North America

United Kingdom






Get the hot goss with the Dear Reader letter only to be found in the front of the North American versions of the book, check out the book's reviews,  or devour a juicy excerpt.


And don't forget to look out for the other two books in the OFFICE GOSSIP trilogy..




"Impossibly Pregnant"

by Nicola Marsh





"Taking on the Boss"

by Darcy Maguire



























5 stars! Cataromance

"Its official! Ally Blake is in my top ten authors list. I loved this book, all of her books have a feel good nature to the writing but ‘The Shock engagement’ especially had me wanting more of this author.


The author hooks the reader in till they can’t help but interact in the story; this is the sign of a great writer. I can’t tell you a fav scene because I loved it all but I can mention a few words, pink shirt and Barry Manilow, classic!"



Romantic Times

"Ally Blake's THE SHOCK ENGAGEMENT combines a chick-lit tone and characterizations... the ending's funny and unexpected!




"What a gorgeous story! I couldn't put it down and by the time Harry got to the sweeping Emma off her feet bit (I won't go into details so I don't spoil the surprise for others) I was alternately laughing out loud and crying."





"I attended Ally's workshop in August and I fell in love with her quirkiness. Fortunately, this freshness translates into her writing.  The execution was cute as macadamia cookies."















































































- UNITED KINGDOM  October 2005 -



- NORTH AMERICA November 2005 -




- AUSTRALIA / NZ  November 2005  -





THE SHOCK ENGAGEMENT is the second book in the Office Gossip miniseries!





"Men and women can't be friends?" Emma wished Harry only knew that!


Emma Radfield has been in love with Harry Buchanan since she knew what it meant to be madly in love.  But after the tragic death of her brother Jamie, Harry's best friend, Harry has taken it upon himself to be her surrogate older brother.


But now, Harry needs her.  To get himself out of a pickle, he has claimed to be Emma.  This is Emma's big chance!  With the help of an extensive romantic DVD collection, the music of Barry Manilow, and her two best friends, she takes the leap and shows Harry just what he has been missing.



I am a city girl.  Give me freeways, football stadiums, and fresh food delis on every corner and I am in heaven.  As such, my books are often set in my fabulous hometown: the dynamic, glorious, and graceful city of Melbourne. 

Writing the Office Gossip trilogy alongside Darcy Maguire and Nicola Marsh was fabulous fun as we have all lived in Melbourne, and were thus able to introduce our characters to the very best our beautiful city has to offer.

Emma Radfield, the leading lady in The Shock Engagement, and her best friends, Keely and Tahlia are all city girls too.  They live for the hip cafés near their workplace at Southbank, hang out in the cool clubs in St Kilda, and are more than fit to handle the inundation of gorgeous urban males who happen their way.

I hope that in reading the Office Gossip trilogy you come to adore Melbourne as much as I do!

Happy reading,



“That can’t possibly be little Emma Radfield, can it?”

Emma looked up to find six feet of heaven in a battered leather jacket and low-slung jeans leaning against her desk.  “Harry!”

“Come here, you luscious length of woman, you.”

She didn’t need to be told twice.  She threw her pink manila folder onto a nearby chair and leapt into Harry’s waiting arms, grabbing fists full of the back of his ancient caramel coloured jacket, her cheek rubbing against the supple collar, giddily breathing in the familiar scent - fresh air and sunshine mixed with something decidedly male, decidedly Harry.

“You’re early!” she noted, but she was so happy to see him she could barely stop grinning.

He held her at arms length, his hands keeping a gentle grip on her shoulders. “And you’re different,” he said.

Understatement of the year, Emma thought, but she bit her lip and let him play his game.

He twirled her back and forth, held her wrist to his ear to check her pulse, and shook her a little as though trying to place the change.  “What could it be?” he asked.  “I just can’t put my finger on it.”

Hair that has been waist length forever now chopped into a slick bob?  The last remains of my puppy fat gone by way of power Pilates?  Usual tomboy uniform of jeans and t-shirt replaced with a black suit that looks as though it has been sewn on?  All somewhat proving that I am anybody but little Emma Radfield.

“Nope,” he finally said.  “Must have been a trick of the light.”

Oh he’d noticed, alright.  Emma could see it in the barely there furrow of his brow.  Though she could tell he didn’t quite know what to make of it yet, he had noticed.

“So how are you?” she asked with a bright smile.  “Mr big-time CEO.  I didn’t know if you would come this year now that you are such a busy big shot.”

“Aw, shucks,” he said.  “You know me.  Gracious.  Benevolent.  Giving of my precious time.”

“Not so giving of your precious time that you could make it to my surprise birthday party.”

Harry winced.  Bullseye!

“I tried, babes.  Really I did.  But...circumstances kept me away.  Yet here I am now, as always, choosing to spend all the free time I can wangle with you.”

“As opposed to...?”

“Basking on the beaches of Acapulco, getting to know the native girls -- ”

“Oh, diddums.  Life’s tough.”

“You have no idea,” he said, smiling, but Emma knew there was a kernel of truth to the words.  He wasn’t yet thirty and yet with Harold’s House he had created a modern day marvel, a masterpiece, a powerhouse.  Now the question on everyone’s lips in the Internet biz was: what was Wonder Boy Buchanan going to do next?  It was a hard act to follow, especially for the man himself.

“And you also have no idea how much I missed you, kiddo,” he said, smiling into her eyes.

“Me too, Harry,” Emma said, her throat closing up.

With a thick growl, Harry once again took her in a great bear hug, lifting her off the ground like she was a doll, not five-foot-six of digital animator who enjoyed a daily white chocolate macadamia cookie as much as the next girl.

Emma revelled in the feeling of swinging through the air as he twirled her about.  That was until her flailing legs caught a hold of the edge of her office chair, sending it crashing to the ground in a mess of screeching metal and spinning wheels.

Her office door crashed open and a familiar face peered in.  “What on earth is going on out here?” Keely asked, her eyes twinkling.

Emma fought back a laugh.  Keely was six months pregnant, which was a happy little miracle, but it was also making her more forgetful as the months progressed.  Always one to tuck a pen behind her ear, her up-do now had several pens tucked into and about it.  She was a walking stationery case.  Keely folded her slim arms atop her slightly rounded tummy.

Emma scrambled out of Harry’s arms and straightened her twisted black pantsuit.  Harry hid behind her as much as a guy double her size could.  Emma shot daggers at Keely with her eyes, waiting until the sound of the spinning wheel of the office chair slowed and stopped.

“Um, Harry this is Keely Rhodes.  Keely this is Harry Buchanan.”

Keely’s face said “d’uh” as her lips said, “Nice to meet you Harry.”

Emma only hoped that Harry was not so understanding as to what Keely’s expression gave away; that Emma had been a basket case all day, well all week really, awaiting his arrival.  Emma pulled away from Harry and moved to push her nosey friend back out the door.

“You promised to let us know as soon as he arrived,” Keely whispered through clenched teeth, and jabbing a finger at her silent mobile phone. “A quick text message would have been fine.  You didn’t need to break any furniture in a fit of passion.”

Emma glanced over to Harry but he was blithely oblivious to their conversation as he picked up the heavy chair with one hand and tucked it under her desk.

“Though I have to say; now I totally get your years of pining.  He’s swoon worthy, Em.”

“And you’re engaged,” Emma reminded her.

“Engaged, yes.  But blind to the allure of a hot guy?  Never!”

“Get out now,” Emma quietly demanded.

Good deed done, Harry followed them to the door and reached around Emma to shake Keely’s hand.  “It is a pleasure to finally meet you, Keely.”

Emma groaned inwardly as Keely gave Harry a detailed once over, taking in his too long hair, weather-beaten jacket, jeans with the knees almost worn away, and scuffed boots, all which did little to cover the fact that this was one superb specimen of Australian manhood.

“I assure you Harry,” Keely purred, “the pleasure is all mine.”

Having born the brunt of such obvious female attention ever since Emma had known him, Harry just grinned, generating his lady killer smile, guaranteed to melt a pair of female knees at fifty paces.  He then tucked himself in behind Emma once more, resting a casual hand across her hip and Emma had to stop herself from leaping away from his feather light touch.  She had long since learned to control her instincts when it came to Harry’s effortless, yet entirely innocent, caresses.

He rested his chin on her shoulder.  She could feel his warm breath tickling at her ear.  “So are you two partners in crime?” he asked.  “Sharing secrets and lipstick?  Shopping together for sexy underwear -- ”

Emma gave Harry an abrupt elbow in the ribs and was rewarded with a hearty “Oomph” from his direction.  “You’ll find it’s best to ignore him, Keely.”

“It’s called charm,” Harry murmured against her ear.

“It’s called pathological.”



Mills and Boon Tender Romance September  2005
0-263-18734-9   Copyright: © 2004 Ally Blake
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher. The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A. For more romance information surf to:



To all of the fabulous women I have ever worked alongside - especially the Sussie Chaddie super stars for their endless enthusiasm











































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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