Authors: Kathleen Long
Tags: #Romantic Comedy, #humor, #contemporary romance, #kathleen long
GET BUNNY LOVE
by Kathleen Long
GET BUNNY LOVE
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2005 by Kathleen Long
Get Bunny Love previously published by Zebra Kensington Books
This book is a work of fiction. All names, characters, events, organizations and products depicted herein are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from the author.
Praise for GET BUNNY LOVE
"...a wonderful story with quirky characters that leave us wanting more."
Fallen Angel Reviews – Recommended Read
"...outrageously funny...one of the best romantic comedies of 2005."
Romance Junkies – Five Ribbon Review
"...pure pleasure to read."
The Romance Reader's Connection
"...the most entertaining novel I have read in months."
A Romance Review – Five Rose Review
"Fans of romantic comedy should definitely keep an eye on this author."
All About Romance
Snuggle into your bunny slippers and prepare to be charmed.
Long has a corner on the love and laughter market!
Vicki Lewis Thompson, New York Times Bestselling Author
Nate McNulty slammed the phone onto the receiver, wondering exactly what constituted justifiable homicide.
Of all the controlling stunts his aunt had pulled, her latest took the cake. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to calm the rapid pulse thrumming through his veins. He'd run this firm just fine since his uncle's death and intended to continue—whether Aunt Martha liked it or not. He shoved both hands through his hair and let out an exasperated breath.
How about temporary insanity? That was a popular plea these days, wasn't it?
Bert Parks, McNulty Events' vice president, stood in the doorway, lips twitching into a smirk. "New hairdo?"
Nate patted down his unruly locks, frowning. "I'm going to kill her."
"Who now?" Bert sank into the chair opposite Nate's desk.
"My darling aunt."
"Trouble in trust fund paradise?"
Frustration simmered in Nate's gut. "Very funny." He met Bert's pale gaze. "She wants to sell."
Nate nodded. "Says it’s too much stress."
"Which part? Spending the money we earn or crashing every event we plan?"
Nate swiveled toward his credenza and pulled a tumbler of scotch from the center cabinet. He splashed amber liquid into two glasses then slid one toward Bert.
Bert’s pale brow rose. "Drinking on the job? I'll get fired."
"Doubtful," Nate scowled. "Armand will love you."
"She's selling to Miller?"
Nate drained the scotch from his glass, choking on the fiery liquid as it slid down his throat. "The one and only," he grumbled.
. He should have known. The man had been a thorn in Nate's side since prep school, even more so since his daddy set him up in the event planning business—as a direct rival to McNulty.
Heat infused Nate's cheeks. Miller running McNulty Events? Over Nate's dead body. He’d worked too hard for this firm. His father’s firm. His uncle’s firm. He was not about to let his aunt sell it out from under the family.
"Can we stop her?" Bert's normally bright features grew serious.
Disgust settled like a ball of clay in Nate's chest. "She’ll reconsider if we land The Worthington Cup."
"The dog show?"
"The key to attracting Philadelphia society to the firm, in her vast event planning experience." Nate scowled, sarcasm dripping from his words.
"Dogs?" Bert's pale blue gaze narrowed, his expression incredulous.
"Seems Kitty Worthington's upset with Armand." Nate flipped open his electronic organizer and tapped the screen. "We've got a chance to steal the account."
A concerned look flashed across Bert's features, his eyebrows pulling together. "Isn't the show next month?"
"Little longer, but not much." Nate rubbed a hand across his face.
Damn Aunt Martha
. If he ignored her ultimatum, he and most of his staff would be out of jobs—or worse. They'd be working for Armand Miller. The smug, smiling event planner from hell.
"We'll be short-staffed." The furrow between Bert's eyebrows deepened.
"We'll hire." Nate dropped his organizer, blowing out a frustrated breath.
"Bowwow." Bert waggled his brows.
"My sentiments exactly."
Bunny Love smoothed the lapel of her winter-white suit. She squirmed against the oversized leather chair, attempting to find a comfortable position as she waited for her interview to begin.
Mr. McNulty’s secretary had said he’d be with her in five minutes. Good. More time to mentally prepare. Or panic. Whichever came first.
She took a sip of the herbal tea the woman had kindly provided. It wasn’t steeped properly, but the fruity aroma and warmth soothed her frayed nerves.
Bunny met with clients occasionally in her freelance graphic design business, but to be quite honest, most of her contacts were made on-line, or by phone or fax. Matter of fact, she hadn’t had much human contact other than that of her neighbors for a very long time.
No matter. She needed this job. She was ready for the interview, and she planned to nail it.
She fussed again with her suit. White was good. Creative. Powerful. Lots of chi. Bunny was a big believer in chi. Cosmic energy. Life force. Whatever you wanted to call it, she practiced whatever it took to increase its flow.
She reached up to give her wild curls a test pat. Drat. They hadn’t relaxed at all. Not good. This was the last time she’d let her neighbor, Tilly, set her hair in Velcro rollers.
, her foot.
And speaking of feet, Bunny struggled to wiggle her toes in the constricting high-heeled pumps that covered hers. She could wear the contraptions once in a blue moon—for weddings or funerals—but every day? She’d much rather sink her toes into the monstrous pink slippers that had earned her the nickname, Bunny.
Oh well, it wasn’t as if she had a choice. She could keep a roof over her head with a regular paycheck or freelance on the street.
Bunny let out a deep sigh. Her apartment building had been perfect before the owners decided to sell and the residents voted to go condo. Mortgage payments. Financing.
She shuddered. Even free spirits had to face the music sometime.
She stared at the décor of Mr. McNulty’s office. Five minutes. How could anyone survive five seconds in the stifling space, let alone five minutes?
Gray walls. Gray carpeting. Heck, even the blotter on the beautiful mahogany desk was gray. The man must be seriously out of balance, if his office reflected his inner self.
Bunny clucked her tongue. Such an amateur mistake. Too much yin and not enough yang. Everyone knew you needed yang for creativity. Didn’t they?
She stared at the equine prints on the wall and the lack of anything but the blotter on top of the massive desk. The room felt totally devoid of life force. She frowned. Maybe Mr. McNulty was beyond help.
She scanned the room again, her gaze settling on a row of framed photos atop the gray credenza.
A sign of life
She stepped close then shook her head. Orderly. Neat.
. She peered into each framed face. Also orderly and neat.
Bunny stepped back, narrowing her gaze. Was she nuts, or did each frame sit two inches from the next? Exactly.
. This guy needed a cosmic energy intervention and fast.
Should she? Dare she?
In a matter of seconds, she angled and rearranged the frames until they warmed the space. After all, a little feng shui never hurt anyone.
She sank back into the rich leather chair, fishing in her purse for her Pez dispenser. She tipped back Wonder Woman’s head and a small, yellow candy appeared. Bunny popped the morsel into her mouth and smiled.
Deciding she’d better practice her pitch once more, she opened her portfolio to scan her design samples, mentally crossing her fingers. She’d have to use her best powers of persuasion to land a job with McNulty Events.
According to word on the street, Nathan McNulty was one tough nut to crack.
Nate straightened in his chair, plastering on his best I’m-the-event-planner-for-you expression. He’d managed to land a meeting with Kitty Worthington—the force behind The Worthington Cup. He couldn’t help but wince, however, as the woman let a tiny white poodle lick her ear.
Kitty gave the dog a quick pat then deposited the creature on top of the mahogany table. Nate’s eyes grew wide. He’d have to get the whole meeting room disinfected by the time she and her poodle were done.
Something moved against his pant cuff and he glanced under the table. A second poodle snuffled his shoe.
. He didn’t know dogs came this
. The tiny fanged creature twisted and pulled at the expensive wool cuff of Nate’s trouser leg. He resisted the urge to kick.
“Is Chardonnay bothering you?” Kitty asked. She clucked her tongue.
The offensive creature released its grip on Nate’s pants, scampering toward its owner.
Nate pointed to the fur ball on top of the table, now asleep, chin resting on crossed paws. “What do we call that one?”
“Why, this is Chablis.” The woman smiled. “Isn’t she lovely?”
“Lovely,” Nate mumbled. The ball of fluff wasn’t exactly what he considered proper table decoration. “Mrs. Worthington, perhaps Chablis would be more comfortable on the carpet?”
The elderly woman tipped her head, considering the slumbering canine. “She looks perfectly content, but thank you for your concern.”
“Of course. Wouldn’t want her to get a stiff neck.”
“Oh she won’t, dear.” Kitty raised her gaze to look at Nate. “I’m sorry I can’t stay long.” She patted her close-cropped silver waves. “Salon appointment.”
Nate tamped down a wince. Women. Why did they feel the need to share such details? “I see.” He tapped his black Monte Blanc pen against his leather portfolio. “I appreciate you meeting on such short notice. I understand you may have an opportunity for our firm.”
“Yes. As you know, The Worthington Cup is one of the oldest Kennel Club shows on the East Coast.”
Nate brightened. “And certainly the most prestigious.”
Kitty’s expression turned hopeful.
“I understand plans have been underway, considering the show’s just five weeks away.”
“That’s correct, but I’ve had a disagreement with our current event planner.”
Nate nodded. So Aunt Martha had been right. Kitty Worthington was upset with Armand the Almighty and a Worthington Cup coup was within reach. As much as he hated to admit it, an event of this magnitude would make a solid name for the company and bring in top-paying referrals. Better still, a successful Cup would prove the firm belonged under family control—under Nate’s control.
“I see,” he said. “May I ask what type of disagreement you had with Mr. Miller?”
Kitty held her head high, nose pointed to the ceiling. “I requested purple draping for the staging area.” She leveled a perplexed expression at Nate. “Armand told me purple was gauche. Can you believe he spoke to me in such a fashion?”
Nate slowly shook his head. Purple. What could one say about purple? Quickly. Think of something.
“Regal,” he sputtered.
“What?” Kitty’s eyes narrowed. She pursed her lips.
“I’ve always felt the color purple was a regal color. Suited for royalty, if you will.”
Kitty beamed. “Why that’s what I’ve always felt.” She clasped a hand to her chest. Chablis woke momentarily, then rolled onto her back, paws in the air.
“Charming,” Nate muttered.
Kitty patted the dog’s stomach and slowly shook her head. “I knew it was a stroke of brilliance to come to your firm. Your Aunt Martha is a genius.” She waggled a finger toward Nate. “I can tell you’re a dog person.”
Nate stood and walked to Kitty’s side, extending his hand to seal the deal. “Perhaps we can meet again tomorrow to work out the details. If your schedule permits.”
“Of course,” Kitty said. “I’ll be here first thing in the morning. The girls are having their portraits taken in the afternoon.” She nodded to Chardonnay and Chablis.
Nate gave Kitty’s hand a squeeze. “Let me assure you the McNulty team will deliver the most successful Worthington Cup the region has ever seen.”