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Authors: Cathy Kelly

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Someone Like You

BOOK: Someone Like You
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SOMEONE LIKE YOU

 

CATHY KELLY

 

Emma, Leonie and Hannah all want just one thing in life — and then they’ll be truly happy.

 

For just-married Emma, happiness means escaping the control of her domineering father and conceiving a much longed for child with her beloved husband.

 

For Leonie, divorced mother of three teenagers, it means finding the true love that was missing from her ten-year marriage.

 

And for Hannah, striking out alone after the man she loved abandoned her, happiness means independence and security — something she doesn’t think any man can provide.

 

But sometimes when you wish with all your heart for a dream to come true, you risk destroying the happiness within your reach.

 

Praise for Cathy Kelly:

‘An absorbing heart-warming tale’ Company “Warm and delightful’ New Woman

ISBN 0-00-651476-6

 

00699>

 

“recommended

price

780006
514763

SOMEONE LIKE YOU

 

Cathy Kelly is the author of six other novels - Woman to Woman, Never Too Late, She’s the One, What She Wants, Just Between Us and Best of Friends, all of which were No. 1 bestsellers in Ireland as well as reaching the Sunday Times Top Ten. Someone Like You was the Parker RNA Romantic Novel of the Year. Cathy Kelly lives in Wicklow with her partner and their twin sons. She is currently working on her eighth novel.

 

For more information about Cathy Kelly, visit her website at www.cathykelly.com.

 

Acclaim for Cathy Kelly:

 

‘The gap in the market left by Maeve Binchy packing away her laptop has been well and truly filled by Cathy Kelly … A soap opera of tears and laughter.’

 

Daily Mirror

 

‘Female friendship is a powerful thing. As four women battle the everyday worries thrown up by marriage, divorce and motherhood, they are unaware that tragedy is just around the corner. Heartwarming stuff.’ Red

‘All the ingredients of the blockbuster are here … a page-turner.’ Sunday Independent

‘Cheerful … totally believable.’ Rosamund pilcher ‘Plenty of sparky humour.’ The Times

‘Warm and chatty.’ Daily Mail

By the same author

 

woman to woman

she’s the one

never too late

what she wants

just between us

best of friends

always and forever

SOMEONE LIKE YOU

 

CATHY KELLY

 

HarperCollinsPublishers

 

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

 

HarperCollinsPublishers

77-85 Fulham Palace Road,

Hammersmith, London W6 8JB

 

www.harpercollins.co.uk

 

This paperback edition 2004

First published in Great Britain by HarperCollinsPublishers 2000

 

Copyright Š Cathy Kelly 2000

 

Cathy Kelly asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 0 00 651476 6

Set in Sabon

 

Printed and bound in Great Britain by Clays Ltd, St Ives pic

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.

 

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

 

To John, with all my love

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Please forgive me in advance for whoever I leave out because I just know I’ll leave someone out. People ask what’s the hardest thing about writing a book and I always say it’s this bit, because when you’ve put your heart and soul into a novel, you desperately want to remember to thank all the lovely people who’ve helped you in some way during the writing of it or during the last few books. I tend to think of whom to thank when I’m at the traffic lights in the car and can’t write it down. I subsequently forget this vital bit of information in the same way I go into the supermarket to buy milk and come out with four bulging bags of shopping - and no milk. So here goes:

 

Thanks to my darling John for all your love and encouragement; thanks to my family for being so supportive, to

Mum for all the endless things you do; to dear Lucy for being Rupert, to Francis for always being there on the phone to cheer me up, to Anne, little Laura, Naomi and Emer, to Dave and St Lucia, and to my beloved Tamsin who brings sunshine into my day and who appears in this book (thinly disguised).

 

To Ali Gunn, sweetie, the best agent in the world and the woman who understands that the phone isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for life. To Deborah Schneider with much gratitude, to Diana, Carol and all at Curtis Brown. To Sarah Hamilton for encouragement, understanding and lovely gossip, to Rachel Hore for gently and expertly doing

wonderful things with this book, practically into the maternity ward with baby Leo. Thank you to my wonderful new family at HarperCollins, especially dear Anne O’Brien, Nick Sayers, Adrian Bourne, Eddie Bell, Fiona Mcintosh, David North, Martin Palmer, Jane Harris, Phyllis Acolatse, Terence Caven, Jennifer Parr, Lee Motley, Venetia, Moira, Tony … just all of you for being so good to me and risking death by hanging those big posters in the atrium! I appreciate it. Thanks to my Irish family, Poolbeg, especially Paul Campbell, Lucy, Suzanne, Philip, Kieran, Conor for all your support, fantastic work and those deadly Poolbeg cocktails.

 

For advice and support for all sorts of different things thanks to Susan Zaidan, Lola Simpson, Barbara Stack, Lisa Lynch, Patricia Scanlan, Marian Keyes, Kate Thompson, dear Clare Foss, Mairead, Margaret, Esther, all my friends for their help and encouragement, especially all at Sunday World.

 

To the staff at the Animal Welfare Clinic for allowing me to spend some time with them and all their patients, especially to John Hardy, Paul, Grainne, Vanessa, Pamela, Tracy, Juliana and anybody else I’m leaving out. Thanks to Aisling O Buachalla from Sherry FitzGerald for letting me in on the secrets of working as an estate agent. Any mistakes about either being a vet nurse or an estate agent are all mine - probably due to me not being able to read my own shorthand after the event (not unusual).

 

Thanks to the incredible staff at the Kylemore Nursing Home who looked after my father when he was dying with Alzheimer’s and who managed, through a combination of professionalism, compassion and humour, to make that last year a time full of good memories.

 

Thanks to the booksellers who work so hard selling my books, who have to keep up to date with the phenomenal volume of novels coming out every month, and who are

the only people I know who can have wonderful times at parties, drink wine and still have intelligent conversations about the new books they’re dying to get their hands on.

Thanks to you, the people who buy my books and give me such a thrill when you write and say you like them. Without you, none of this would have happened. So thanks.

CHAPTER ONE

Hannah stretched one slim, tanned leg in the direction of the taps, clasped the hot tap expertly with her dripping foot and felt hot water flood deliciously into the bath.

‘You’ve done that before,’ said Jeff in amusement as she sank back against him in the water, her back slick against his bare chest, nothing but lemon verbena-scented bubbles between them.

‘I love reading in the bath and, in the winter, it’s horrible sitting up out of the water to turn on the taps, so I’ve learned how to do it with my feet,’ Hannah murmured as the water level rose slowly in the cracked old roll-top bath and the heat flooded all over her limbs. She felt gloriously tired yet happy, every inch of her body satiated even though she’d had practically no sleep last night. Sharing a bath after such a wonderful, marathon lovemaking session had been a brilliant idea. The bath water eased the aches caused by Jeff’s very energetic lovemaking. There had been one mad moment when they’d almost fallen off Hannah’s bed and she’d just managed not to shriek out loud in agony as a shooting pain had rocketed up her back into her neck.

That was obviously the drawback of flings with younger men, she decided gleefully: they had no concept of back problems and were keen to do gymnastic things with mirrors, armchairs and the ties of your dressing gown. The only thing poor Harry had ever done with the ties of his dressing gown was to let them trail behind him all over the kitchen floor picking up bits of fluff, spare cornflakes and dust.

What was she calling him ‘poor Harry’ for anyway?

‘Poor’ my eye. Parasitical, Lying Bastard Harry suited him better. Thinking of parasites, she grimly hoped that his year-long trek around South America meant he’d finally met that infamous parasite that lived in tropical rivers and swam up the urine stream of any man stupid enough to pee in a river. Once it swam into your system, you were in big trouble. Hannah hoped eradicating it would involve some agonizing operation where Harry couldn’t sit down without wincing for a week. Something like the duckbilled speculum thingy which women had to endure being inserted for cervical smear tests, but much, much worse.

‘Is there anything else you can do with your feet?’ Jeff asked wickedly, whisking her away from the Amazon and agonizing medical experiments by nibbling her ear provocatively.

‘No,’

Hannah said firmly, concentrating on letting the water soothe the nagging ache in her right hip. She closed her eyes and began planning the next hour: her small suitcase was neatly stowed on top of the wardrobe in the boxroom and the clothes she wanted to take to Egypt were carefully arranged on the boxroom bed. It would take half an hour to pack, ticking off every item of clothing and every toiletry on her pared-down list. Then she had to empty the fridge. No point coming back to a disgustingly smelly kitchen through carelessness. When the kitchen was linked to the sitting room by badly fitting double doors, limiting bad smells was particularly important. Logistically, Hannah thought as her mind ran through her preparations with the precision of a Swiss watch, she only had a couple of minutes more to soak in the bath.

Jeff had other ideas. His mouth began trailing down her neck on to her shoulders while his hands rippled under the water, stroking Hannah’s thighs suggestively. She could feel the muscular chest with its six-pack stomach contracting with desire as he touched her.

She sat up abruptly and turned off the hot tap, her dark hair slicking against her skin like a tangle of seaweed.

‘We don’t have time, Jeff,’ she said sternly. ‘It’s half nine already. I’ve got to be at the airport in a couple of hours and I’ve got some phone calls to make, not to mention the fact that I haven’t packed yet.’

Jeff pulled her effortlessly back into the bath with arms used to bench-pressing double her body weight, if I was going with you, you wouldn’t need to pack very much,’

he said, nuzzling her ear. ‘Just a couple of G-string bikinis and a sexy dress like that one you were wearing last night.’

Hannah had to smile. The amethyst dress was incredibly daring and unlike anything else in her limited and quite conservative wardrobe: two flimsy spaghetti-strap little slip things worn together, she’d bought it in a designer shop in a sale and it had hung in her wardrobe for a year before she’d felt brave enough to put it on. But last night, for the launch of the hotel’s new nightclub, Jupiter, she’d decided to drag it out and wear it.

‘There are going to be loads of famous people there.

The guest list is like flicking through Hello!’ one of Hannah’s hotel receptionist colleagues had wittered excitedly about the launch weeks beforehand. ‘We’ve got to pull out all the stops, girls. We can’t let the hotel down.’

So Hannah had pulled out all the stops, had set her long dark hair in curlers so it rippled down her back like a sheet of raw silk and had shoe-horned herself into the ruinously expensive dress she’d nearly taken back to the shop so many times on the grounds that it was a waste of money.

All the other Triumph Hotel receptionists had gasped in shock at the sight of the normally staid Ms Campbell in something other than her off-duty uniform of crisp white shirt, ironed blue jeans, blazer and loafers. She looked phenomenally sexy, they said, stunned. Who’d have thought she could transform herself from a frostily polite receptionist into a siren with just a dress?

BOOK: Someone Like You
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