Get the hot goss with the
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forget to look out for the other two books in the
"Taking on the Boss"
REVIEWERS' CHOICE WINNER
FOR BEST TENDER ROMANCE SECOND HALF OF 2005!
"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!"
Blake's THE SHOCK ENGAGEMENT combines a chick-lit tone and characterizations...
the ending's funny and unexpected!”
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."
M&B TENDER ROMANCE
- UNITED KINGDOM
NORTH AMERICA November
- AUSTRALIA / NZ
THE SHOCK ENGAGEMENT
is the second book in the Office Gossip miniseries!
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
engaged....to 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.
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.
hope that in reading the Office Gossip trilogy you come to adore
Melbourne as much as I do!
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.
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.”
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
finally said. “Must have been a trick of the light.”
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
“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.”
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.”
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.”
“Basking on the
beaches of Acapulco, getting to know the native girls -- ”
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
engaged,” Emma reminded her.
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.”
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
“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.”
charm,” Harry murmured against her ear.
From "THE SHOCK ENGAGEMENT"
by Ally Blake
Mills and Boon Tender
Romance September 2005
0-263-18734-9 Copyright: © 2004
® 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
To all of the fabulous
women I have ever worked alongside - especially the Sussie Chaddie super stars
for their endless enthusiasm