In the week of Valentine’s Day, what better titled a book to feature on Linda’s Book Bag than Accidentally in Love by Anna Premoli? I’m delighted to be part of the launch celebrations with an extract for you today.
Accidentally in Love
A funny romantic comedy about how opposites definitely do attract…
Sara Di Giovanni is a successful lawyer in New York City: she is the star of her profession, an excellent role model to her very vivacious little sister, but has so far been unlucky in love…
Ethan Phelps is the rich playboy trouble-maker whose only talent in life is spending money and dating women… That is until Ethan’s father dies with no will to his name, leaving his two sons the legal heirs to his billion-dollar company.
Sara is forced to become the court-appointed guardian to handle Ethan’s share of the fortune, as his family do not trust him to manage it himself. Sara thinks it should be easy, but it’s not so simple when Ethan is determined to get rid of her by whatever means necessary…
What ensues is a dramatic and hilarious power-play between Sara and Ethan… but what will happen when feelings start to get in the way?
An Extract from Accidentally in Love
“Let’s all try to calm down a moment,” Kirk suggested, realizing James was about to lose his head. “Turner is right, we can start the session. James, would you be so good as to read out the first point on the agenda?”
His nephew stood up with the tablet in his hand, but before he’d had the chance to say a word, the noise level at the back of the room went up a notch. The chattering got so loud that all present turned around to try and see what the problem was. Or rather, who the problem was.
Hundreds of eyes swivelled simultaneously to look at the man who had just entered the room, slamming the door rather inelegantly behind him. The soft lights of the room did nothing to soften the effect of Ethan Phelps’s dramatic entrance as he marched forward in the direction of his family, grabbing onto the backs of the chairs he encountered along the way for support. His blonde hair was, as always, long and untidy, and his eyes, which were naturally an extraordinary and very rare turquoise color, were bloodshot and puffy.
James turned white at the sight of his brother. Less because he was so obviously falling down drunk – that was nothing new, he practically always was – and more because he would never have imagined that the bloody fool, who usually wore black as if he were the reincarnation of Batman, would have shown up dressed as if he’d just been on holiday in Hawaii. He was wearing a pair of shorts decorated with a floral print so hideous it could have blinded all present and a shirt also decorated with flowers that, however, clashed terribly with the ones on his shorts. Not even the most flamboyant would have dared call it ‘matching’.
Not satisfied, James decided to lean forward to see the footwear his brother had decided to slip on for the occasion. Obviously, he was wearing a pair of flip flops, just as James would, at that point, have bet he would.
Ethan concluded his unsteady journey and stopped in the proximity of the table occupied by the major shareholders, continuing to sway from side to side before everyone’s eyes as though he had just disembarked from some oceangoing vessel and was still feeling the rolling of the deck.
“Aloha!” he exclaimed in a voice that managed to be both loud and pained, accompanying the greeting with the Shaka sign, stretching out his thumb and little finger and holding his hand over his head.
Some voices from the back of the room actually had the nerve to answer him, but James was not one of them. Having to worry about his brother over the years had made him lose his sense of humour completely. “For God’s sake…” he muttered in a low voice as he watched Ethan try to remain standing upright –– an operation that cost him plenty of effort, judging by the expression on his face.
Turner wasted no time. He stood up and stalked over like a predator, before giving him a loud smack on the back. The gesture almost made the younger Phelps brother fall to the floor. “You’re looking well, Ethan,” Turner told him, scrutinizing him as a hawk might its prey.
Ethan tried to focus on the man standing in front of him but clearly wasn’t able to identify him, so he gave him one of those empty smiles he had learned to do as a child. The amount of alcohol in his bloodstream actually seemed to be helping him cope with the situation.
“Did I miss something?” asked Ethan.
Kirk sighed before answering. “No, nothing at all. We were just about to begin.”
“Great! Then let’s get this party officially started!” yelled Ethan, raising his voice to make himself heard even at the back of the room. But the effort of shouting was too much, and he lost control of the nausea he’d been struggling to hold down since getting off his private plane an hour earlier. It suddenly surged up inside him, making his head spin faster and faster until all he could do was to give in to it.
He was sorry – of course he was –– but it was hardly the first time in his life that he’d given up. Ethan considered himself a realist and was well aware that his nature wasn’t that of a fighter. It wasn’t just some pathetic excuse, it was about accepting his natural proclivities.
And so it was that he vomited all over the man standing next to him and immediately afterwards slumped to the floor. Or, to be more precise, immediately afterwards collapsed on the floor. As a crowd of solicitous people formed around him, he was only grateful for not having identified the man he had covered with vomit.
In some cases, it is best to remain in ignorance.
About Anna Premoli
Anna Premoli is a bestselling author in Italy. She began writing to relieve stress while working as a financial consultant for a private bank. Her novel Love to Hate You won the Bancarella prize in 2013.
You can follow Anna on Twitter @annapremoli.
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