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Cheryl N. Warner
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Casey Wells moves thousands of miles from home to accept a position with a public relations firm for Hollywood’s elite. A self-proclaimed workaholic, jilted at her wedding rehearsal, the twenty-eight-year-old Southerner has decided that a career and a love life simply do not mix. However, she is not prepared for the likes of Shawn Lafferty.
The free-spirited Shawn presents Casey a wager shortly after they meet—the stake—five thousand dollars—the terms—Casey cannot maintain a successful relationship with him while working for her ironfisted boss. Casey cannot resist the challenge, but will she reign victorious? Especially when she is offered the company on a silver platter.
Four new emails already?
Casey had quickly downloaded her messages at Laptop Lane before running to the gate just prior to takeoff. Now that she was seated on the plane, she could relax and see who had written since she left her apartment. She looked up from her laptop just long enough to accept her Coke and snack from the flight attendant. “Thank you,” she muttered absentmindedly, her attention held captive by one of the sender’s names.
“It can’t be,” she whispered to herself, unmindful of the curious glance by her assigned seating partner.
She stared at the name. Someone must be playing a trick on me. But how could they? And how could they have stolen my ex-fiancé’s email address?
The subject line read, “Sorry to bother you but...” It sure sounded like a Neal introduction, kind of like his “Sorry to ruin your entire life, but I just can’t marry you” speech.
What could he possibly want now, almost two years after dumping me at the rehearsal dinner?
The mere thought of that night caused her face to flush, and she impulsively clicked on her brother’s email to rid her screen of the scarlet letter.
What’s up? I hope you get settled into your new place fast. I hear L.A. has the hottest chicks and the coolest tattoo parlors in the country. If it’s true, look for me to show up at your doorstep real soon. You’ve only been gone a couple of hours and Dad’s already on my case. I can tell it’s really bugging him that you’re moving so far from Georgia. Now he’s going to have to pay long distance charges if he wants to bark orders at you. I’ll bet you’ll hear from him a lot less. Good for you, but bad for me! I hate to admit it, but I’m going to miss you, too, you workaholic freak.
Stay in touch or else,
Casey had no idea what she just read but she smiled. She’d miss Kyle. She had always been close to her little brother. When her mind wasn’t eroding with curiosity, she’d return to his email and see what he had to say.
Clicking back to her inbox, she checked the addling name under the ‘From’ column. It hadn’t changed. It still looked like her ex-fiancé’s name. But he had no reason to contact her. Why should she give him the time-of-day? Or even the click-of-mouse?
Impetuously, she highlighted the message then hit the ‘Delete’ key. Letting out a cleansing breath, she opened the email from Danielle and scanned it quickly.
I can’t believe you’re gone! I miss you already! It still hasn’t sunk in that you’re going to be living in California. Remember our silly pact in college? We were supposed to graduate with honors, find great jobs and great guys, get married, and live next door to each other forever. Well, at least you graduated with honors and found a great job! Maybe you’ll find your great guy out there, too. I hear there are a lot of tall, blonde dudes in L.A., just like you like ’em! After you find yours, get one for me and come back home, okay? Even though you were busy working all the time, at least you were here! Call me soon, okay?
I love you!
“Find your great guy out there.” She snickered and shook her head. A guy is the last thing I need right now.
With a sudden burst of curiosity, Casey clicked over to her ‘Delete’ folder, unconsciously holding her breath as she double-clicked on the perturbing message. Once the email opened, she gaped at the streaming sentences that struck at her like agitated pythons.
The word ‘Sorry’ appeared in the first paragraph at least ten times. Why does he feel the need to apologize two years after the fact? She checked the second paragraph. More strange excuses and apologizes, none of it adding up.
The third paragraph had to be the charm. Leaning forward in her seat, she scanned the words quickly, finally landing on the crux of the message. Once she read the one sentence—the pithy sentence—the sentence that explained it all, her hands flew to her mouth. “Nuh-uh!” she said loudly, “He did not!”
Casey is one of the most empathetic contemporary women I have read in a long time. She is smart, driven, and confused about her love life versus a career. She also has an endearing awareness of her flaws and readers will enjoy how her character develops.
Relationships are definitely the focus of the Autumn Crossroads, with the characters' growth and their reaction to change the best part of the book. While the secondary characters are followed in-depth, they fit into the main story well. The public relations background was interesting without becoming a tutorial.
Autumn Crossroads has most of the requirements of a good mainstream contemporary. Characters are people we want to know and the settings are realistic, making Cheryl N. Warner's latest a definite mainstream keeper.
Anya Khan, Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
"Cheryl N. Warner has taken a common theme: women who want it all, and woven a magical tale. Autumn Crossroad contains twists and turns and a moving plot. What an enjoyable read." Reviewed by Eileen Key for The Road to Romance
I was surprised by how aptly Ms. Warner conveyed the depth of Casey and Shawn’s emotions through dialogue and platonic interaction.
This is one romance that treats readers to not only a fabulous, touching romance, but also to a dynamic group of characters that will have readers fully involved in the story ~Amanda, Fallen Angel Reviews
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 318
Paper Weight (lb): 13.4
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