Beth lost her heart to Nathan Sommers years ago. After a night at a friend’s wedding, he took off. She tried to move on, with a guy who she could’t love, but that didn’t work out. Now that it’s Valentine’s Day, she’s determined to go out and find her true love. Speed dating is better than no dating.
Why would Nathan show up now? Can she believe in love and happy ever after? And what will his mother do next to her if she lets him in?
And what do you think of this cover?!? I’m intrigued and love it. Happy Valentine’s Day.
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Valentine’s Day should not be spent alone. Everyone deserves love.
Beth Corsini applied one more layer of her ruby red lipstick and glanced in the mirror. She looked good. She finished brushing her sandy brown locks. Valentine’s Day beckoned.
Her phone rang. Beth picked up the phone as she stared at her dress one last time. “Hello,” she said.
“I am so sorry I can’t go.” Her friend Nellie’s voice came through the line. “Work sucks.”
“I’m going alone then. Valentine’s Day signals my start to the new year.”
“Okay, I hope you find your true love.”
Nathan. Every Valentine’s Day, and every other day, she pictured him in her head. But he always said no. She shook her head. “Whoever I meet tonight, it doesn’t matter. Every single woman over the age of twenty-five should go to one of these eight-minute date things in her life. No one is in my house besides the Dark Lord, Squiggles. I need to go out.”
“Call me and let me know.”
Beth hung up the phone. Sitting at home tonight would haunt her forever. New life, new adventures. Her New Year’s motto rang in her ears. She needed to go out after work.
She pet the Dark Lord, found her spiked silver heels, ran through her mental checklist one more time, and drove to the event on Main Street at the local bar she rarely visited.
She was early on purpose to give her time to scope out the venue. If she stayed home, she’d have talked herself out of going, poured wine, and thought about how Nathan never cared about her. Better to go and see how speed dating worked, and form a battle plan. She sat at the corner of the small country bar, a band setting up on the stage to the right. An open floor where a large group could laugh and line dance.
Beth squirmed uncomfortably. The lights were more flashy than she had expected, and the line dancing unique. Growing up in the big city made her sound more uptown than she was. Country did not mean she had to be scared. She walked to the bar and asked in a squeaky voice, “I’ll have a vodka tonic.”
The bartender hadn’t even noticed her nervousness.
Scanning the room while she waited for service, she saw happy couples ignoring the world. Lucky them. Cowboy hats filled the place. Who knew so many people lived on the Broward and Miami border town? South Florida never equaled country, not to Beth.
Her drink arrived, and she pulled out her credit card. The man nodded at her and returned to the register. She noticed the sign on the back room upstairs with the words, ‘Singles Club.’ Putting her drink in her mouth, she took a breath.
She signed the receipt, put her card away in her coach bag, and picked up the glass. Someone watched her, and her body perked with excitement. Nathan? No–impossible.
Her eyes raced through the group, looking around for anyone who might know her. No one met her eyes. Gathering her courage, she walked up the stairs to the private rooms.
Once in the singles room, Beth grabbed a seat near the door, watching the women enter. The men must be in a different room. She glanced around. The women all appeared to be much older than her. Guess Prince Charming wouldn’t arrive after all, but Beth intended to enjoy the evening. She paid to have a few dates, speak to men, and then she would go home.
Ten minutes later, some young woman, might be a teenager, pinned the number seven to her chest, and gave the women a pep talk on speed dating and how it fits into todays singular lifestyle. One woman pulled her to the side when they were all told what table to go to, and told Beth, “I’m so excited for tonight.”
“Why?” Beth had no hopes for tonight other than to not think about Nathan. “It’s just a few eight minute dates.”
“I met my husband, Jeffrey, at one of these events twenty years ago.” The woman wiped a tear from her eye.
“Then why are you here if you are married?” Beth let the question fly out of her mouth.
“Jeffrey died last year.” Once again, Beth put her foot in her mouth.
“I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay, dear. Jeffrey told me to go to more of these events, to both find love and be there for when other women find theirs.”
The teenager moved her hands to get them to sit. Beth smiled at the woman. At least love came for some people. “It’s a sweet thought from a sweet person.”
The woman smiled and walked away to her seat.
Guess hope survived for some. Beth had lost any hope after her friend’s wedding where she her guard fell, and she let her crush for Nathan destroy her. Having sex with a man she secretly craved with every part of her soul, then having him walk away is a pain, Beth never wished on anyone.
Beth had been wrong. Having sex with him could never be casual. After years of not telling him how she always loved him, drinking too much at a party made her lose control. In the morning, she had tried to pretend to be normal, but he became quiet and left. She never saw him again. She waited till she went home to cry, but she lost everything, including her best friend that night.
Shaking Nathan needed to happen. New Year. New life. Her short term ex-boyfriend had been all wrong for her. Why was she still so hung up on Nathan? She had come to the bar tonight to start moving in the right direction. The ‘single mingle’ room allowed for complete privacy from the rest of the club, so unless someone paid the admission price, no one would find out she was here.
The band played softly downstairs, giving the room a nice ambiance. Fixing her hair one more time, she waited for the men to arrive. She felt too nervous to even drink her vodka.
A bell rang indicating the speed dating began. Pasting a smile on her face, she’d see what fate had in store.
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