A feel-good, opposites-attract, slow burn romantic comedy
Somebody stole my painting! The one I need for the career-defining Vertex Art Exhibit. This upcoming art show is my chance to finally be recognized as an artist—after ten years of waitressing and being asked if I still have that “lovely painting hobby.”
I have mere weeks to find my painting or lose my artist dream forever—but it’s going to mean working with William.
William Haruki Matsumura. Good-looking, if you like the Secret Service type. You know, law-abiding, protector of women and children. That’s all fine, but I can never tell what he’s thinking. Which drives me crazy.
He insists on coming along to do “damage control.” As if “accidentally” wandering into certain areas is “breaking and entering.” I may be an emotional artist, but William shouldn’t dismiss my investigative skills yet.
William is definitely my opposite, and, if there’s one takeaway from my parents’ divorce, it’s that opposites might attract, but it doesn’t last. But detecting with William is kind of fun—and fluttery. I definitely can’t trust these feelings, or can I? However this caper ends, I think this may be more than a crush.
Kathy has shared an extract with us today. Enjoy!
*****beginning of extract*****
In this excerpt, Miranda is eavesdropping on a conversation between two potential suspects (Edmund and Vinnie). She suspects that one of them stole the paintings. She is outside in the garden, crouched down, listening under an open window. William has left to park the car somewhere else:
My foot tickles. I look down. And shriek. Some huge, slimy, sluglike thing is crawling on my foot. I jump up and shake my foot.
I dash around the side of the house—only to bump straight into a hard chest.
William. His hands reach out to steady me, and then he pulls me closer to him.
“I know I heard something.” Vinnie’s voice. Crunch. They are outside. They must be on the footpath leading to the house.
William flattens me against the wall behind a pine tree that’s close enough to the house to hide us. His chest is against mine.
Our glances meet. We’re inches away. He smells of windy air. I tighten my grip on his biceps. He doesn’t release me. We stare at each other. His eyes widen. He must hear my heart beating. It’s like an electromagnetic force field pulling us together, a connection sparking, that has locked us into this embrace. He grips me tighter. It feels zingy.
Edmund says, “I didn’t hear anything. Maybe it was those kids shouting from that house over there. It couldn’t have been Miranda. Their car is gone.”
The front door bangs shut.
We keep still, nerves taut, waiting to see if that’s just a fakeout.
There’s only the sound of some birds chirping.
William releases me, stepping back. It feels cold suddenly.
I look down to pull myself back together.
William grabs my hand, and we slink out behind the house toward the road.
“That was close,” I say.
“Very close.” William blushes.
*****end of extract*****
About Kathy Strobos:
She grew up in New York City and graduated from Stuyvesant High School, Harvard-Radcliffe University magna cum laude, and Columbia Law School.
She spent two semesters abroad at the Universiteit van Amsterdam.
She previously worked as a lawyer.
She left law to pursue her dream of writing fiction full-time and getting in shape.
She is the author of Partner Pursuit, Is This for Real?, A Scavenger Hunt for Hearts, and Caper Crush. She is still working on getting in shape.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.