The Cinderella Romances #1
Released December 16th, 2015
Soul Mate Publishing
Cinderella's fairy tale moves to Jupiter Island, Florida where Lily Foster, owner of an eclectic landscape nursery, is mistaken for a wealthy socialite by billionaire resort developer Rhett Buchanan. Overdue for a little romance in her life, Lily is anxious for one fabulous date with her handsome prince, so she cultivates her inadvertent masquerade.
Rhett Buchanan has become jaded with the Palm Beach social scene, dominated by scheming women desperate for more money -- his money. Rhett falls hard when he meets Lily Foster. She is a breath of fresh air after the smog of gold diggers constantly surrounding him.
For Rhett and Lily, it's love at first sight until her deception comes to light and pitches their relationship into a disastrous tailspin. Well-meaning friends are determined to intercede and resort to inept high jinks to reunite the estranged couple while a wicked ex-girlfriend plays dirty to keep the couple apart.
The front door of the quaint, shake-roofed office stood open when Rhett Buchanan drove into the parking area. Like he had time for this foolishness. Whoever heard of the CEO of a billion-dollar development firm approving a truckload of trees, even if they were species no other nursery could grow?
He peered through the windshield at the overhead sign. Evidently, a small-time nursery called Bloom & Grow had heard of such nonsense. He tugged his tie loose and rolled up the sleeves on his white dress shirt before angling out of his black SUV. At least a nice breeze was whipping off the Intracoastal Waterway.
Rhett had argued with Garrett over lunch about doing this inspection alone. Apparently, this eccentric nursery insisted on a final inspection conducted only by the actual owner—no substitutes. Sounded more like an interview. He let out a resigned sigh. Garrett Tucker made Rhett’s new resort developments stand out like diamonds in the rough and accomplished the feat with specialty landscape materials. The man had a gift, but only Garrett could find an oddball place like this to buy trees.
“Better just to get this over with,” he muttered and started up the stairs to the porch.
At the threshold, he froze. His gaze slowly took in a pair of perfect slender legs, then inched up to a spectacular yellow sundress with a cleavage that made his mouth water.
A flawless complexion, shoulder-length blond hair, and delicate features finished the marvelous package who appeared to be perusing some sort of plant brochure. At that moment, Rhett wished he owned this oddball nursery, so he could spend all day selling plants to the beauty in the yellow sundress.
Wait a minute. Single women don’t buy plants. Married women buy plants.
His eyes flashed to her left hand.
No ring. Hmm. Things just got interesting.
He cleared his throat.
The beauty started and turned a pair of sapphires the color of the Gulf Stream in his direction.
“Sorry,” he said, then smiled. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”
The beauty smiled back—a dazzling smile with perfect straight white teeth.
His mouth went dry. The woman was drop-dead gorgeous.
“It’s okay,” she said softly. “I was daydreaming and didn’t hear you come in.”
He nodded, started to reply, then didn’t. He just wanted to stare a while longer. Quickly realizing he’d look like an idiot if he did, he cleared his throat and began again. “Sorry, I’m being rude. My name is Rhett Buchanan.”
She took the hand he extended. He felt a spark, and her eyes widened almost imperceptibly. If he hadn’t been staring at her eyes, he might have missed it. Had she felt the spark, too?
“I’m Lily Foster.”
“I’m, uh, h-here to inspect some plants. T-Trees actually. An order for BDC.”
Great. He just stuttered like a bashful high-school boy. This from a man who bought and sold corporations over lunch. What the hell was wrong with him today?
“I see.” She stared for a long moment, then glanced down.
Good Lord, was he still holding her hand?
“Sorry.” He let her go.
Petie spent a large part of her career working as a biologist at Walt Disney World -- "The Most Magical Place on Earth" -- where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night. She eventually said good-bye to her "day" job to write her stories full-time.
Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.