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Love at First Sight
This was an important night and Eden was at her best. Her makeup was flawless and she’d pulled her honey-blonde hair up, letting it cascade down her back in a waterfall of curls. Her Norma Kamali gown, a dark emerald green that made her eyes sparkle, clung to her body and defined every curve.
Mitchell took her elbow and steered her towards the entrance to the ballroom, and the photographers followed them inside. They had missed cocktails, partly because Mitchell wanted them to make an entrance, but mostly because he didn’t want her to have access to freely flowing liquor so soon after they’d had a fight. The row they’d had earlier had been a big one.
He didn’t like it when she told him he was getting ahead of himself. As soon as he’d decided to run for congress, he’d started spending, running up the balance on their credit cards. There was no guarantee he’d win, she’d argued, even though he was well known on the political scene. His family had owned a few dozen acres in this part of Long Island for over a hundred years, and his father had been a state Supreme Court judge. Mitchell was convinced that, along with his mayoral record, it was enough to guarantee him a seat in congress.
The fight tonight had started when she’d reminded him that if the dinner didn’t go well, his campaign would be over before it got started. This was their first formal fundraiser. At five hundred dollars a plate, she was worried they wouldn’t meet their goal.
Their argument had been pointless—like most of them. When he had his mind set on something, Mitchell didn’t want to hear that his scheme of the moment was imperfect, and he especially didn’t like being told it wasn’t smart to spend money they didn’t have. They both had ample designer wardrobes, but he had insisted on the expensive gown for Eden and a new tuxedo for himself. The limo had been his campaign manager’s idea and she thought it ridiculous. Mitchell, however, had been delighted.
All she had been able to think of as she got dressed was that their credit cards were almost maxed out—again. Whether he won the election or not, she would have to get a second job if she didn’t want him to ask his mother to pay them down—again. His law practice, which could have been successful if he would stay focused on it, was suffering because of all the time he was putting into the campaign.
Mitchell didn’t cope well with any kind of disappointment and if tonight was a washout, he would be impossible. She was so tired of taking care of him, doing everything for him, especially the constant, incessant ego stroking he required.
As they walked into the Ocean Club, appreciative murmurs swept through the crowd—most of the comments she’d heard before. Mitchell and Eden Bancroft were the glamorous, golden couple—beautiful, bright, young, sophisticated and well-connected pillars of the community. Suddenly, a new insight dawned on her.
Except for his height Mitchell was completely unremarkable. Having her at his side transformed him into a mysterious, even sexy man. To look as ordinary as he did and still get a woman like Eden made him sexy. This unexpected epiphany delighted her. Laughter bubbled up in her throat as she flashed her million-dollar smile.
That’s when Kaleb saw her. He had gone out to the dining room to consult with the maître d’ and as he started back to the kitchen, he heard the full, rich sound of her laughter. He’d turned to see where it was coming from and at that moment, for him, time stopped. It was as if every moving part of the universe froze in a weird kind of suspended animation. For a moment he could hardly breathe. He couldn’t take his eyes off her.
She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her dress was emerald green, slightly darker than her eyes, and her just-right tan accented her soft, blonde hair. It looked soft anyway, and her skin looked dewy and inviting. Kaleb stared at her in awe. Doris, a waitress who had worked all day at her regular job and was doing the gig tonight to pick up a few extra bucks, followed his gaze to the amazing woman.
“Good choice, kid,” she said, heading into to the kitchen. “She’s hot.”
The Congressman’s Wife
by Charlene Keel
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
All Eden Bancroft has ever been to her high-profile politician husband is a trophy wife, born and bred for the part. She believes she has no choice but to play it—until she meets a talented chef and restaurant heir who makes her feel loved for herself alone. The more her husband uses and belittles her, the more deeply Eden falls for Kaleb. Even with Mitchell’s congressional campaign in full swing, the lovers manage to find brief stolen moments together. When her husband is wounded by a bullet from a disgruntled lobbyist, Eden must stay by his side. What she learns can set her free, if she has the courage to take a stand.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Charlene Keel has written over a dozen novels and how-to books as well as multiple episodes of popular TV shows such as Fantasy Island and Days of our Lives. Her Dell book, Rituals, was the basis for the first made-for-syndication soap opera. Recently she co-authored The Tracks, a YA supernatural trilogy. Shadow Train, the final installment, won a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award. Keel has also written screen adaptations of novels by bestselling authors, and has worked as editor or managing editor for a few international magazines. In her spare time she ghostwrites books and screenplays for celebrities, doctors, corporate moguls, spies, strippers and anyone who has an interesting story to tell.
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Arie Pavlou is a popular chef who attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and then perfected his craft at some of the top-rated Michelin restaurants in France and New York. He has lived and worked in France, Cyprus and the U. S. and is an avid world traveler who speaks five languages. He enjoys all sports and has a talent for knife-throwing, which he perfected at Le Cordon Bleu. Currently Chef de Cuisine at the renowned Bridgehampton Inn in New York, his specialties include Caramelized Baked Alaska, Winter Salad, Roast Lamb Fondue, Wild Game and Poached Pears with Mint Ice Cream. The Congressman’s Wife is his first novel, and he’s currently writing a cookbook.
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