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The Girl Most Likely by Jana Richards is a Stress Busting Festival pick #99cents #99c #romance
Title: The Girl Most Likely
Author: Jana Richards
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?
Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?
“So are you applying for the new job you told me about?”
“I don’t think I’ve got much of a shot.” A new position in the ad department at the station had opened up. The junior advertising associate helped to dream up creative new ads for local clients. The job meant a pay increase and a step up the career ladder— but with no experience, the station had zero reasons to consider her for the job.
“It doesn’t hurt to give it a try. What’s the worst they can say?”
“‘Hell, no!’ is a distinct possibility. It’s not like I’m such a prize as an employee.”
“Why are you always putting yourself down? You’re smart and funny, and if those fools at the TV station can’t see that, then to hell with them!”
Cara stared at him, stunned by his vehemence. She had no idea what to say. Was he angry at her for being a wimp, or at the station for not recognizing her brilliance?
No. It had to be the former.
Embarrassed, she ducked her head. What made her think she could handle a job like that anyway?
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you. It’s just that I hate to see you sell yourself short.” He touched her shoulder. “Sweetheart, look at me.”
The whispered endearment on Finn’s lips had her head snapping up to face him. Her heart pounded, hope blossoming inside her chest.
“I’m sorry. Can you forgive me?”
She would have walked over hot coals if he’d asked. She dredged up a smile. “Of course. There’s nothing to forgive.” “Then you’ll apply for the job?” Why did it matter so much to him?
“Maybe. I’ll think about it.”
“Good.” He closed his eyes a second. “I can’t stand the thought that I hurt you.”
“You didn’t. I’m fine.” She’d been hurt by the best. This didn’t even come close. She took his hand. “Honestly. I’m fine.”
“Okay.” He let go of her hand, once more the poster boy of professionalism. “Stay with the bike for another five minutes and then we’ll move on to the weights.”
“Aye aye, captain.”
Finn gave her a wink. “Just keep working.”
He remained playful for the rest of her workout. Cara floated into the ladies’ locker room on a wave of happiness.
She finished her shower and was drying off in her stall when she heard two women talking. Cara scarcely paid attention, until she heard, “Did you see the cow eyes she made at Finn?”
She stopped drying and listened intently.
“As if he’d be interested in a woman who’s got to be ten years older.”
“Have you seen the outfits she wears? Where does she shop? The Salvation Army?”
They laughed uproariously. Shame and embarrassment welled up from the pit of her stomach. They were right. What could a gorgeous younger man like Finn possibly see in a frumpy, overweight woman like her? What a stupid, middle-aged fool she’d been.
She waited until she heard the showers running before she dressed and made her escape. Finn waved at her as she left the locker room.
“Cara, wait. Do you have a minute?”
“Sorry, no. I’ve got to get home to my daughters. Bye.”
She ran to her car and drove to a park near her home, then into a parking lot used only by maintenance staff. She pulled her car to a stop between two city trucks, finally feeling alone.
Slumped over the steering wheel, tears of shame crashed down her cheeks as waves of humiliation engulfed her. Had she been so starved for affection she’d latched on to the fantasy that Finn felt something for her?
Finally, she started her car, adjusted the rear-view mirror, and wiped her eyes one last time before heading home.
It was a nice fantasy while it had lasted.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
THE GIRL MOST LIKELY (ebook version) is on sale for .99 cents at Amazon from May 12 to 26, 2023.
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3BvdnjV
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Most-Likely-Class-ebook/dp/B006HIJT4W
Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-girl-most-likely-jana-richards/1107758920?ean=2940013547933
Kobo US: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/the-girl-most-likely-1
Kobo CA: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-girl-most-likely-11
What’s your favorite way to combat stress?
Getting outside always helps me combat stress. Going for a walk in nature, or even taking a stroll down a city street, always elevates my mood. And if the weather is harsh and I can’t get outside, I find that sitting in my rocking chair with a purring cat in my lap takes my stress level way down!
Why is your featured book a stress busting read?
THE GIRL MOST LIKELY is an uplifting read that’s sure to chase away stress. In real life a lot of stress comes from the slings and arrows of everyday life, the slights and the unjust. My characters Finn and Cara face plenty of disappointments, hurts and unfairness. They manage on their own but learn that together they can conquer anything.
Nothing beats stress like getting lost in a good story, especially when the characters are ones you can root for. And it’s especially rewarding (and stress-busting) when not-so-likable characters get what they deserve! Cara and Finn’s story will make you stand up and cheer. They definitely deserve their happy ending. Check out THE GIRL MOST LIKELY and see what I mean!
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.
Runs May 1 – 31, 2023.
Drawing will be held on June 1, 2023.
Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length contemporary romance, paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.
When not writing up a storm or dealing with dust bunnies, Jana can be found pursuing hobbies such as golf (which she plays very badly) or reading (which she does much better).
Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren and two senior cats named Layla and Leelou. You can reach her through her website at http://www.janarichards.com
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards
Amazon UK Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B002DEVWWG
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