North America

United Kingdom

 

 

 

UNITED KINGDOM

 

 

 

AUS & NZ

 

 

 

Check out the book's reviews,  or devour a juicy excerpt...

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 1/2  stars Romance Junkies
"If you believe in love
and second chances, then this book is a must read.  Ally Blake’s magical ability to make you want to believe in love is incredible.  I laughed, cried and yelled with Kelly throughout this book.  I was able to completely relate to this book.  I am definitely putting this book on my “keeper’s shelf”.

 

 

4  stars CataRomance

"Interested in a read that will have people looking strangely at you while you giggle in public? Well, here it is.  Ally Blake has turned out a delightful, second-chance love story that will keep you warm at heart.  The characters are so real...  Funny, heart-warming and truly a captivating read."

 

 

 

"I loved MM!!!!!!!!!  It really is a fabulous read and my fave of yours so far.  Kelly and Simon are a gorgeous couple--loved the tension between them. You got it exactly right and sustained it throughout the book.  Can't wait for Cara and Gracie's story now."

Nicola Marsh

Harlequin Romance author

 

"The story is SO funny.  I laughed out loud on the bus and got quite a few bemused glances from my fellow commuters. Well done!  Can't wait for book four."

Louise Cusack,

Fantasy Romance author

 

"Just a quick not to say how much I enjoyed this book.  I loved Simon's quiet perseverance, and his sense of humour."

Cindy

 

"I LOOOOVE your latest book.  One day I will have to visit this Acland street in Melbourne!!!. I presume Acland street is real?"

Suzanne, Adelaide

 

"Book and author of the month for me, for sure!! I loved the characters and the storyline of your book! You captured the nervous, "I want to hate him" feelings perfectly.  I love it, love it, love it! Highly recommended. I couldn't put it down!"
Wendy

 

"Ally, I really loved 'Marriage Makeover'. It's my favourite so far of yours."

Fiona

 

"I did not want to put it down but I had to a few times in order to tend to my life! Kelly's last column brought tears to my eyes."

Penn

 

"From the time I read the back summary to the time I was reading it, I couldn't put it down for a second!"
Hopeful

 

 

 

 

 

ST KILDA BEACH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

- NORTH AMERICA January 2005 -

 

 

M&B TENDER ROMANCE

- UNITED KINGDOM  September 2004 -

 

SWEET ROMANCE

- AUSTRALIA / NZ October 2004 -

 

 

 


 

She was supposed to be 'single and loving it' - instead she was in love - with her husband!

 

Kelly works hard to love every minute of being single.  She's even started writing a column about it - but she harbours a secret she can never tell her readers...she's married!

 

She hasn't seen her hubby in five years - until now!  To her horror, her famed column has brought gorgeous Simon hotfooting back to Melbourne...  Kelly thinks this is a good opportunity to hand him the divorce papers...but Simon has something else in mind -  a marriage make-over!

 


 

 

KELLYISM:
SO YOU WANT TO BE A SINGLE, AND LOVING IT! GIRL?
BE RESOLUTE.  BE FEARLESS.  BE HEARD!

‘Kelly Rockford.  Babe.  You’re a hit!’

That was the kind of talk Kelly had heard only in her dreams.  But there she was, sitting at editor-in-chief Maya Rampling’s desk at Fresh magazine, hearing those glorious words for real.

Maya’s talon tipped finger tapped the draft of Kelly’s latest magazine column which lay on her desk.  ‘This is your best effort yet.  Your column has really touched a nerve.  Barely a month on and we are getting more mail for you than any other regular writer.  As such I would like to offer you a freelance contract here at Fresh.’
Single, and Loving It!, her pride and joy, her week by week column about how to be a happy single, was now her ticket out of writing bridal announcements and obituaries in the local rags!  And she would be able to pay the rent on time.  Her heart almost burst at the thought.

A dead straight strand of cocoa coloured fringe slipped from Kelly’s straining ponytail and swung before her eyes.  She had to fight the urge to blow the offending lock away as, knowing her luck, she would blow a raspberry rather than the smooth, perfectly aimed wisp of air she would prefer.  And she wanted to remember herself in this perfect moment as the epitome of cool.  Well, maybe not cool so much as not blowing a raspberry at an inopportune moment.  She could hope for at least that much.

‘We will offer you a three month contract,’ Maya continued in the face of Kelly’s strained silence. ‘Work at your own pace.  Here or at home.  Just as long as your copy is on my desk every Monday afternoon at five, and the work and the reader response stay on track, you will be a welcome and regular member of the Fresh family.  Come on, I’ll show you to your work-station.’

Maya stood and led the way.  In desperate relief Kelly raked her hand over her hair, tucking the fringe back in place.  There.  Cool Kelly held her ground.

And then she saw her work-station and had to choke back a gasp of splendiferous happiness.  It was her very own tiny three-walled cubicle amongst a dozen other tiny three-walled cubicles.  The desk was so sparse it reminded her of the first day of school when every new pencil is sharpened and no book is dog-eared nor scratched.  The work-station housed a corkboard, a filing cabinet, a phone, an assortment of stationery and a computer, which was turned on and opened to a fresh, hopeful word file.

Kelly took off her faded denim jacket and fluffy pink scarf and hung them over the back of her very own bouncy office chair.  She took a seat, swung back and forth and imagined dozens of happy snaps plastered over her corkboard, her “I Hate Working Wednesdays, They Really Cut Into My Weekends” mug resting amidst a ring of stale coffee, and assorted funky knick knacks balanced atop her monitor.  Yep.  This was her dream come true.

‘So how does that all sound?’ Maya asked.

Like the angels were singing her song!

‘Sounds fine, thanks,’ cool Kelly responded.

‘Great.  First things first, your next column.  You have touched on something very deep and given it a voice.  So of course, I want you to hit that vein deeper and deeper every week.  Our female readers love you so in my infinite wisdom, I have decided reader feedback will become a huge part of your page.  We will start with a whammy.  In amongst your legion of new fans, there was one reader who was not convinced.’

'Just one?’  Good one, Kelly, real cool and confident!

 Maya smiled indulgently, her sharp, preternaturally smooth face breaking into a zillion telling wrinkles at the unfamiliar movement.  ‘One juicy one who made an interesting point.  So maybe you could respond to this beauty in next week’s issue.’

Maya flicked a one-page letter onto Kelly’s desk as she left. ‘Have fun, and welcome to the Fresh family.’

Have fun?  This was turning out to be the best day of her life!  The best she cared to remember, anyway.  She now had a real job doing something she utterly loved, her very own quasi-office with her very own bouncy chair, and lastly a real pay packet, a regular pay packet.  How she wished she could have stapled her mother to the wall to have listened to everything Maya had said.   Then her life would be perfect.

Kelly picked up the letter.  She unconsciously fiddled with the corners of the folded piece of baby blue paper.

Truth be told, Kelly was surprised there was only one not convinced.  The Single, and Loving It! idea had come about around a month before after a Saturday Night Cocktails session with her flatmate, racy Gracie, and her landlord, classy Cara, during which they had bitched and moaned about their conglomerate of ex-boyfriends.  How they threw every ounce of their energy into the relationships whereas the guys had seen them as a step above cricket practice but not so important as Mum’s home cooking.  Was that love? they had asked.  Was that as good as it could be?

So Single, and Loving It! was born.  Kelly had written her first attempt the minute she had trudged home.  It had been 3am, there had been no coffee in the cupboard, as she had not been able to afford it, so she had plied herself with chicken cup–a-soup.  She sold the story to Fresh within the week and had been writing weekly follow ups ever since.

She glanced down at the letter.  In her fidgeting hands lay the first piece of fan mail she had ever received.  Well, except for that one old guy who once had been determined she was the only one whom he would allow to write his obituary (first job after Uni – bad office, bad pay, bad news).

She rubbed her fingers over the fine paper, memorizing the touch.  She took a deep breath and dove in.

Dear Kelly

Men and women are meant to be attracted, but not forever, you say.  They come together to fill in space, time, and the void left by their parents, you say.  Well, dear Kelly, I don’t believe a word of it.

 I believe you are a woman who has loved and loved deeply.  I believe you have convinced yourself there is no such thing as love so that you do not have to feel you have failed.

And the thing is, dear Kelly, I believe love is alive and well out there.  Especially for you.  You just have to be willing to lose yourself to find it.

Simon of St Kilda.

Kelly dropped the letter to the table as though it had scorched her fingers.  She hastily looked over her shoulder to make sure no one had seen the words on the paper, the words she wanted nobody else to believe, as no more potentially damaging words had ever been written. 

How did the writer know?  How?  Then out of the red mist before her eyes swam the most telling part of the read.  She picked up the letter between two fingers and re-read the name at the bottom of the page.

Simon of St Kilda.

No, it couldn’t be!

                                             

v

 

From "Marriage Make-over" by  Ally Blake
Mills and Boon Tender Romance.  September 2004
ISBN: 0 263 83852 8   Copyright: © 2003 Ally Blake
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher.

The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A

For more romance information surf to: http://www.eharlequin.com


 

 


This book is dedicated to Harry's real life skipper, my little sister Suze, a girl who can see the bright side in any situation and thus makes life that much brighter for the rest of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Night with the Society Playboy  |  Hired: The Boss's Bride  |  The Magnate's Indecent Proposal

Falling for the Rebel Heir  |   Steamy Surrender  |  Millionaire to the Rescue  |  Billionaire on Her Doorstep

Getting Down to Business  |  Meant-To-Be Mother  |  Wanted: Outback Wife  |  A Father in the Making  |  The Shock Engagement  

A Mother For His Daughter  |  How to Marry a Billionaire  |  Marriage Make-Over  |  Marriage Material  |  The Wedding Wish

 
 

 

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