Title: Forever in a Moment
Author: Charlotte O’Shay
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
A stormy encounter...
Samantha DeMartino’s Christmas wedding is two weeks away when her fiancé calls the whole thing off. Word on the street: his cold feet are being warmed by an old flame.
With her well-ordered world in complete disarray, Sam’s friends convince her to go on her honeymoon—alone. A week away from the city and her demanding corporate career at a charming Vermont inn, could be just what she needs to figure out next steps.
Between his twenty-four seven work schedule on his family’s farm and teaching tourists to ski, Jed Armstrong’s too busy to think about how lonely he is...until Sam sings her way into his life during a Christmas blizzard. Now he has to figure out a way to convince her to stay.
Can a vivacious city girl find forever with a reclusive farmer? Will her secret keep her from trying?
Forever in a Moment is a finalist in this year’s Hudson Valley RWA Hook, Line & Sinker contest.
Honeymoon for One
How did I, Samantha DeMartino, end up driving a rental car in a snowstorm on my way to a tiny town in Vermont on a honeymoon for one? I’ll tell you, but I’m warning you now, keep your comments to yourself until the end. It’s not pretty.
That Friday started out like any other day, and by any other day I mean every other day. You can set your watch by my schedule. No, actually you could run NASA by my schedule; it’s that freakin’ predictable. Five a.m. alarm, set so I can snooze till five fifteen, workout, shower, protein shake. Select another just this side of staid outfit from a closet full of ‘yes I am a curvy woman and yes you must take me seriously’ wardrobe choices.
Since I spend the entire day stuck in my tiny office, in theory I could wear daisy dukes and a cut off tee but parental decree dictates otherwise. Ten hours a day, every day, I’m poring over the federal, state and city tax code, and rulings along with writing the occasional memorandum of law. I don’t meet with clients. I’m a junior lawyer in a tax firm. Even my desktop finds me so boring it yawns and shuts down on a regular basis.
I leave the charming shoebox I call my apartment to walk one and half miles to the office, Uber if it’s raining because—my hair. It’s long, thick, and wavy and no amount of clever angle cuts or fancy YouTube tutorials can prevent it from blowing up into cartoon hair at the slightest hint of precipitation. Eight a.m. I greet Dad, sometimes Mom at the door of their adjoining lower Park Avenue offices. We’re always the first ones there. Naomi and Jeremy, who share our receptionist and assistant duties, show up closer to ten a.m.
Then I sink into regs, opinions, and precedent, like it’s my job, because it is. I don’t pick up my head till my yogurt and apple lunch at exactly twelve noon, unless it’s to answer a query one of my parents pose about a client. My mom, Lina LoRusso DeMartino is an accountant and my dad, Sam Sr. is a lawyer. Dad and I are DeMartino, LLP.
In the adjoining office space is LoRusso Accountants. The accountants are my mom and my fiancé Ben Talese.
I mean ex-fiancé. You’ll excuse me because habits are tough to break, especially, I’m realizing, for me. For almost three years, I’ve been calling Ben my fiancé. I’m such a creature of habit you can tell what day it is by the color of my shoes. Friday’s are red, which is, I hope, self-explanatory.
But back to that Friday. It wasn’t just any Friday. Yet like every Friday since even before we got engaged, Ben and I planned to have dinner together. At six o’clock if it was a working dinner with take out in our shared conference room or six-thirty if we went out to our usual place, Park Avenue Burger, home of what I called the boring-burger, where the salads were unfashionably tiny and the desserts predictably inedible.
However, it wasn’t just any Friday for a number of reasons. First, it was two weeks before our wedding. Second, it was two weeks before Christmas. Third, I had some news to give Ben and fourth, it turns out Ben had some news to give me.
Ben suggested, no, he insisted we go to Park Avenue Burger and in retrospect it made sense. We were such a sensible couple. If he was going to break up with me two weeks before our wedding, he was going to do it in a public place where the legendary DeMartino temper, seldom seen but feared all the more because of its elusive quality, could not be unleashed. Or so he thought.
“Oh, Sam, you didn’t…” There’s shock and awe in Tracey’s voice, and I don’t mind saying that if I have to tell my girlfriends the sad and sorry tale of being dumped two weeks before my wedding, I’m glad there’re some moments I can look back on with a smile. Make that a smirk.
“I did. I guess those tone up workouts really jacked my arms because I lifted that table like it was an empty pizza box.”
“And then what happened?” That’s Beth, she’s a New York City schoolteacher, idealistic and tough as nails.
“He brushed himself off, but I’m guessing he took a hefty burger and fries scent home with him to the lovely Krystal. Along with my ring.”
“You gave the ring back?” Tracey and Beth both shriek at the same time. Other diners in the Turtle Bay tavern we chose as our impromptu girls’ night out spot barely look in our direction but Tracey and Beth are apparently appalled. Tracey is an event planner and always has the Emily Post etiquette angle on everything. Beth has been my righteous protector ever since our middle school’s mean girl squad made fun of the embarrassing, too early, beginnings of my centerfold figure.
“Seriously? Why would I want it?”
“Because it’s almost two carats?” They’re both flabbergasted.
“No. I spent all of last night wondering how it all went south and I decided I was as much at fault as he is. He can keep the ring, give it to Krystal, I don’t care. I don’t need the reminder of a lesson learned.”
“You’re not the one who cheated…”
“No, no I don’t mean it like that. And he didn’t cheat right away. When Krystal came back to New York, he says they were just meeting up, you know two college friends, blah, blah, blah.”
“Two college friends who were inseparable all through college.” Tracey sips the last drop of her margarita before pursing her lips in disapproval.
“Yeah, and after eight years apart, he still had feelings for her.” My voice droops against my will into a half whine.
“He should’ve told you right away.” That’s Beth.
I nod and search for an upbeat tone in the depths of my wine glass. I raise my head and flip my work appropriate ponytail back over my shoulder. “He should have. He shouldn’t’ve waited and it kills me because I know why he did. My mom planned to give him a stake in the accounting firm when we married. He waited because he had to calculate whether marrying me and getting equity in the firm was worth giving up Krystal. And yeah, he’s going to take her, not me. Not even half interest in Mom’s firm could tempt him to stay.”
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Charlotte and her suit and tie wearing corporate warrior live in Manhattan with their last child, a black dog who thinks he’s a bear. When Charlotte isn’t reading or writing, she’s dreaming of the beach.
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