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Contemporary Romance

Excerpt: Take A Chance on Me

My Fair Lady meets reality TV...

Chapter One

Chocolate was everywhere in Kate Templar’s kitchen. On the ceiling. On the walls. On the counters. On her dog, Murphy.

On her.

And the doorbell was still ringing.

“Hold on!” Kate slapped her hands down on her flour-encrusted counter. A huge mushroom cloud of flour erupted, blocking her vision. She coughed, desperately searching for a towel to wipe the gunk from her eyes.

Instead, she hit a mixing bowl and heard it crash to the floor. She found the towel, hastily wiped her eyes, and ran to block the bowl from Murphy.

“No! No chocolate! It will kill you!”

Her foot slipped on a spot of chocolate, and she stumbled toward the counter. Her left hand hit the wooden spoon; her right hit the mixer, somehow turning it on again.

The mixer spun in her direction, and Kate watched in stupefied horror as it splattered even more chocolate batter against the walls.

Ugh. This was going to be a nightmare to clean up.

She was a total klutz. A danger zone. And she should have just bought a cake from the grocery store. But no, she had to watch a stupid cooking show and think she could bake a cake, because they made it look so easy.

She’d given up on baking from scratch after the first two attempts. This last one was Betty freaking Crocker. There should have been no way to mess this one up. Except she had.

The doorbell chimed yet again followed by a no-nonsense, heavy knock. Murphy’s ears perked and he turned to the door, his tongue already lagging out of his mouth in anticipation.

She knew what he was going to do.

“No!” She lunged for Murphy’s collar but missed. Typical. She scrambled after him as he bounded from the kitchen to the front door. They left a trail of chocolate in their wake.

Running for the door, Kate tried to push Murphy aside. He ignored her, shoving her aside to get at whoever was still ringing the damn doorbell. What part of her earlier “hold on” was so difficult to understand?  She grabbed Murphy’s favorite sheepskin toy and squeezed it to get his attention. His brown eyes widened, his attention momentarily diverted.

Time to divert it some more.

“Go get it!” She tossed the toy down the hallway. Murphy scampered after it and headed in the direction of her bedroom. Damn. Now she’d have chocolate-covered sheets, too. But at least Murphy would stay in there for a while.

She yanked the door open before it could ring again, and—

Light blinded her.

She held her hand up to shield her eyes, only to see a camera crew. And . . . and . . .

Sam Brody?

No way.

Was she really looking at the so-called Golden Prince of Hollywood? A man famous for his makeover shows.

What was he doing here?

“Hello,” he said, in that famous clipped British accent of his. “We’re looking for Katharine Templar.”

Me?!” She gestured wildly, and chocolate sailed through the air, hitting Sam Brody in the face. A smear of chocolate slanted down his straight, aquiline nose and plopped onto his firm lips.

“Oh. My. God. I’m sorry.” Her hands fumbled about, looking for something to give to him so he could clean up. She had nothing.

Sam Brody removed a handkerchief from his suit jacket and somewhat wiped the mess from his face. But there was still chocolate streaked across his face like a facial mask that hadn’t been completely removed. “You’re Katharine—“

“Kate. Please call me Kate. No one calls me Katharine unless you count my mother, and that’s only––“

And now she was rambling to the most handsome man she’d ever seen in her entire life. And she’d thrown chocolate at him, not on purpose, but still.

This day could not get any worse.

“Kate, then.” Sam held out his hand. “I’m Sam Brody.”

“Yeah, I know.” But she held out hers, too, and they both stared down at their outstretched hands.

His was perfectly clean and hers was covered in chocolate, flour, sugar, and . . . Were those pieces of eggshells? Yes, yes, they were.

No way was she going to shake his hand and mess him up even more.

She started to pull back, but then Sam surprised her.

He took her hand, firmly shaking it.

And she felt a shock.

Or perhaps it was just a piece of eggshell digging into her palm.

She let go of his hand and glanced over his shoulder at the camera crew behind him. “So, what are you doing here? What exactly is going on?”

“Congratulations, Kate.” Sam smiled at her, and her heart took a nosedive to her stomach. “You’ve been chosen to be on the new reality show, It Girl. You’re getting a makeover.”

Yup.

This was officially the worst day of her life.


Excerpt: Take A Chance on Me