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Authors: Nicola Marsh

Lucky Love (9 page)

BOOK: Lucky Love
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“But I’m not in love with him.”


“It’s hard, Jaz, living with someone. Putting up with their faults. Their annoying habits. The disagreements. And the boredom,” Nat said, her words tumbling over each other in a rush to escape. “Don’t get me wrong, we’re good together, but it’s monotonous after a while. Even the sex is routine—”

“La, la, la,” I said, not wanting to go there.

“Lachlan makes me feel…sexy.” Nat sighed. “I’d never cheat but for a few seconds a day, when we bump into each other at work, I feel like a woman who’s wanted again.”

My anger faded, replaced by sadness. I thought Nat and Marlon had the perfect relationship but is this what I had to look forward to if I ever met the right guy? Love fading to like? Flirting with colleagues? Routine sex? Not great incentive.

“Just be careful, hon. Lachlan’s a sleaze and he strikes me as the type to take advantage if you were both tipsy at Christmas break-up.”

“I’m not that silly,” Nat said, but a small part of me wondered if she was.

I knew better than anyone what it was like to preen under the attention of a guy. Agreeing to go out with James had been a classic example. Man drought brought out the worst in me. Maybe a lack of fireworks did the same to Nat?

“So last night was a bust?”

I didn’t know if Nat was trying to change the subject or was genuinely interested.

“Yeah, but I have news.”

“What is it?”

“I quit my job, I’ve given up my lease and I’m heading to Love.”

Silence, before Nat let out a squeal. “Seriously?”

“Yep.” I glanced at the suitcases standing sentinel beside my bed. “I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. Icebergs at midday?”

The Bondi institution was Nat’s favorite place to catch up and I deliberately chose it to soften the blow of my impending departure.

“I can’t believe it,” Nat said, her voice clogged, and I knew our goodbye in a few weeks would be the pits. “You’re leaving? For how long?”

“No idea.”

And that was the adventurous part I was looking forward to the most. I’d never done anything like this. Heck, I rarely did anything on impulse.

“Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow and try to talk sense into you.”

I smiled. “Won’t work. I need to do this to get my spark back. Kinda like your flirting with the Lech.”

Nat chuckled. “Bitch.”

I made a smooching sound. “Love you too, babe. See you tomorrow.”

I’d miss Nat terribly but I wasn’t moving to Love forever and she had enough cash to visit.

I glanced at my watch and did a little jig. Time to Skype Aunt Flo.

In less than a minute she appeared on the screen, cookie in one hand, cigarette in the other.

“What’s wrong?” She peered at the screen and I waved her back.

“Nothing, why?”

“You never Skype me this time on a Saturday night in OZ. You’re always primping for some party.”

“Not always—”

“You’re out every weekend. The only time we speak is when you get home at some ridiculous hour.” She took a drag on her cigarette and blew out smoke rings. “Which makes me wonder, what’s going on?”

Was I really contemplating temporarily moving to the other side of the world to live with her?

“Thought you might be interested to know I’m taking a trip—”

“Well I’ll be blowed.” She stubbed out the cigarette in record time and did a little shimmy on her seat. “You’re really coming?”

I nodded. “Booked the ticket today.”

Flo tended to ramble. She also tended to swear and judge and pontificate, all in the same sentence. And she was never, ever speechless.

This was a first.

“I’ve quit my job, got out of my lease and started investigating a green card—”

“You’re staying for longer than a week?” Flo slumped in her chair, stunned.

“Absolutely. When I fall in Love I do a damn good job of it.”

She smirked. “You’ll fit right in if you’re starting with the puns already.”

“Must’ve rubbed off from you.”

Flo dragged a hand through her hair, sending her wiry grey curls in all directions. “Seriously, sweetheart, I’m so glad you’re coming.”

“Me too.”

“Will you be here for Christmas?”

I shook my head. “Sorry, first flight I could get out was day before New Year’s.”

Flo tapped her bottom lip, as if pondering a way she could get the airlines to miraculously find me a ticket. “Liv’s son Marc is mega rich. Runs an acquisitions company in LA. Maybe he could pull some strings—”

“I’ll see you on the thirty-first.” I waved an arm in the direction of my apartment. “Besides, I need that time to pack and say goodbye to people.”

“Fair enough.”

“I hope I don’t have to share a room with this new man of yours?”

Flo guffawed. “Not bloody likely. We haven’t got that far yet.”

I winked. “Taking it slow, huh?”

“You don’t know the half of it,” Flo muttered, lowering her voice. “I’ve got a plan for Love Fest and if it works out … well, let’s just say the old codger won’t know what hits him.”

I loved the twinkle in her eye and I knew living with Flo would prove entertaining.

“Does he have a hot son for me?”

“I haven’t asked.” Her eyes widened in horror. “Bloody hell, what if he’s married? What if the old fogey is a phony?” She pressed her fingertips to her temples. “I’m too old for this shite.”

I laughed, knowing I’d hear her signature saying many times over the next few months.

“Tell you what. While I’m busy indulging in a rousing goodbye to Sydney, you rustle up all the hottest, eligible guys in town who love Aussie accents and tell them I’m coming.”

She saluted. “You’re on.”

As I reached forward to disconnect, she held up a finger. “One more thing.”


She crooked her finger and I leaned forward.

Flo winked. “Pack a case with Tim Tams and Vegemite.”

“But you hate Vegemite?”

“I do, but my man fancies it and with a little luck he’ll spread it over me and—”

I disconnected with a resounding

Yeah, I was grossed out but the fact remained. If my sixty-year-old aunt had found a guy in that hokey town, there was hope for me.

Would I be lucky in Love?

Only one way to find out.



I hope you enjoyed LUCKY LOVE, part of the ‘Looking for Love’ series.



(book 2) is available now.


Here’s a preview:






Cupid’s Dating Tips for the Enlightened Male

Acknowledge you don’t look like George Clooney (and get over it.)



“I’m in love.”

Sierra Kent ignored her loquacious BFF Belle and focused on her PC, her French manicured nails flying over the keyboard as she entered Love Byte’s latest batch of dating applicants. “Sure you are, hon. It’s where we live and it’s—”

“What makes the world go round. Yeah, yeah, heard it all before.”

Belle Adamson, her best friend since grade school, wandered behind the desk to peer over her shoulder. “Save the BS for your clients because I’m not buying it. Besides, I only said that to get your attention.”

Sierra paused, surprised by Belle’s bitter tone.

“What’s up?”

Belle ignored the question, her green eyes widening as she stared at the computer screen.


“The agency’s latest applicant.” Sierra glanced at the photo she’d downloaded and wolf-whistled. “Pretty damn hot, huh?”

Belle fanned her face. “Any chance of matching me with him?”

“What happened to being in love?”

“I meant our town, obviously.” Belle grinned, her gaze riveted to the screen. “Now start matchmaking.”

Sierra laughed and erased the image of applicant 8049 with a tap on the delete key. “This is a dating agency, not a matchmaking service.”

Belle arched a perfectly shaped eyebrow. “The difference is?”

“Fill out the forms like everyone else, let me input your info into trusty Cupid and his megabytes will statistically find you a suitable date.” She snapped her fingers. “And hand over the hundred dollar fee like everyone else.”

“What do I get for the matchmaking service?”

“A bottle of tequila, a push-up bra and free entry into Venus for a night?”

Belle screwed up her nose and perched on the edge of the desk. “I’m sick of the cowboys and out-of-towners in that joint. Besides,” she patted the sides of her DD breasts and smirked like a woman well aware of her assets, “I get by on what the good Lord gave me. Though the tequila sounds like a plan.”

“Mexican? My place at seven?”

“We talking food or a tall, dark, handsome stranger from south of the border?”

“That applicant was blond. Nice to know you’re not fussy.”

Belle slid off the desk, tugged her pastel pink beautician’s uniform over her lush curves and picked up her handbag.

“With my luck lately I’d settle for a Martian.”

“I hear it’s not the size of the antenna that’s important, it’s the way the Martian wiggles it.”

Belle performed an imaginary drum roll complete with cymbal crash. “An oldie but a goodie. Later, babe.”

As Belle strolled out of the office working her hips, Sierra wondered why her gorgeous friend hadn’t found love yet. Curvy, stacked blondes were always the rage yet Belle hadn’t been serious about a guy since…ever.

Sierra put it down to the intimidation factor. Guys took one look at Belle’s hot bod and movie star blonde bombshell attitude and bolted for the nearest cold shower and porno flick, not necessarily in that order.

And despite her interest in Love Byte, Belle had never let Sierra input her data into the computer. “
I’m not a desperado. Yet
.” Was her usual spiel but now she’d turned thirty, who knew?

Besides, it was difficult coping with single-dom when surrounded by Love. Ask the town’s twelve thousand inhabitants who happily touted the emotion to anyone willing to listen.

And people did. Crowds flocked to the only place in the good ol’ US of A that promised the often unattainable for those lucky enough to visit.

Personally, Sierra preferred LA for its hip vibe. Instead, she was stuck an hour south of the City of Angels, surrounded by kitschy reminders of an emotion she touted for a living but didn’t believe in.

Dolores Kent did, which is why Sierra had been here since the age of ten, when her dad ran off and her mom settled in the hope of finding the fabled love the town promised. It never eventuated and Dolores now resided in Nepal trying to find nirvana on a higher plain.

Despite Sierra’s initial loathing, the place had grown on her. Thanks to a stint on Letterman a few years back Love had blossomed with lonely hearts flocking in droves, eager to test the theory the town lived up to its name.

With Sierra’s input, it did. She loved computers and loved people, and her passion for matchmaking had created Love Byte, one of California’s largest Internet dating sites.

People thought it romantic to be matched in Love. She found it corny yet lucrative and she’d proudly watched her business grow from working out of her back room with a single computer and a few local applicants to an office, a plethora of virtual assistants and enough work to keep her in the designer gear she coveted.

It hadn’t hurt when Hollywood’s resident bad-boy Porter Davey, researching a part in his latest blockbuster romantic comedy about dating in the twenty-first century, had stumbled across her website. He’d plugged his name in as a joke, filled out an application and been totally blown away when matched with Jaime Sutton, the darling of the Australian tennis world.

Jaime, whose coach was a born and bred Lovernian, had entered her data into Love Byte’s computer as part of a promotion to coincide with her first sponsorship deal with a Silicon Valley mega corporation, and Sierra hadn’t removed it.

Neither Porter nor Jaime had minded her gaff and when the two met at her office where she’d called an emergency meeting to apologize for the mistake, they’d taken one look at each other and fallen head over heels.

She’d milked every drop of PR from the Davey-Sutton match and as a result had enough business to last into the next decade.

Sipping at her cappuccino, Sierra opened her sixtieth email for the afternoon, her attention momentarily snagged by yet another gorgeous guy with come-get-me eyes and a dimpled smile. Her job was tough but somebody had to do it and she tilted her head to one side, wondering if the picture had been Photo-shopped.

As she leaned forward for a closer look, the outer bell rang and she winced as the first few bars of “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” pealed out. The tacky factor always made her cringe but the customers loved it. And what the paying patrons loved she provided. She’d wasted enough years rebelling against the town and all it stood for before finally realizing if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em.

“I’ll be with you in a sec,” she called out, hitting ‘save’ before leaving her PC, having learned diligence the hard way via a computer crash in the early days that left her manic for a week.

Though it hadn’t been all bad. The computer geek from LA had turned out to be anything but and they’d created a few wham-bam crashes of the horizontal kind while he’d been in town. Something she didn’t usually do but hey, she’d always been a sucker for a kindred spirit and Mr. Motherboard had been a loner, one with nice pecs and dimples to boot. They’d flirted, they’d danced, they’d fooled around a bit.

The memory brought a smile to her face, which widened further as she caught a glimpse of her visitor.

Pity Belle hadn’t stuck around because the guy inspecting the photos of married couples on her wall was the clichéd tall, dark and handsome in a big way.

“Can I help you?”

He turned, his piercing gaze making her skin prickle like she’d consumed an ocean’s worth of shrimp, guaranteed to bring her out in hives.

His eyes were dark as coal, Superman eyes, able to penetrate concrete and women’s outer layers of clothing with a single stare.

BOOK: Lucky Love
3.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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