by Lisa Becker
Genre: Contemporary Romance
In high school, Charlotte Windham went through a typical ugly duckling phase - glasses and all, while harboring a crush on Garrett Stephens, the school's athletic heartthrob. Fifteen years later, Charlotte and Garrett have a chance encounter at a Los Angeles restaurant. However, this time around, Charlotte has leveled the playing field. She’s a bestselling novelist and no longer “Glasses,” the humiliating nickname Garrett gave her. She’s a catch and, thanks to corrective eye surgery, it’s not just her eyes that see better…so does her heart! Garrett hasn’t fared poorly either, transforming from teen heartbreaker to adult lothario and is now a successful professional golfer suffering from a possible career-ending injury. Can Charlotte forgive Garrett for his past ways, and more recent Don Juan lifestyle? And, can Garrett change his ways for a second chance with Charlotte, who may just be perfect for him?
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“Lovely to meet you, Charlotte. Fiona tells me you need something formal for a special evening with a special man.”
“Fi is prone to exaggeration, but yes, I do need something formal.”
“Well, let’s get some measurements and go from there.” She ushers me into a private dressing room outfitted with a small settee, two satin-covered chairs, and a table housing a glass dispenser filled with water, cucumbers, and floating sprigs of mint.
“Go ahead and disrobe so we can get some proper measurements.”
“Uh...” I splutter. She wants me to undress...right now...in front of her?
“No need to be modest, dear. I’ve seen it all,” she says, smiling brightly at me. Unsure of how to respond, I slowly start to take my clothes off. When I get down to my bra and panties, I see Florentina shaking her head. “Tsk, tsk,” She is staring at my chest, which is now flushing pink with embarrassment.
She reaches over and tugs on my nude-colored bra strap, pulling my left breast up in the process. She grabs a hold of the side of my boob and jiggles it up and down. “See this?” she says, motioning for me to watch my flesh wobble around. See it? I can feel it. Honestly, it usually takes a lot more than a warm smile and a glass of spa water to get to second base. “When was the last time you had a proper bra fitting?” She shakes her head at me in disapproval.
“Uh...” I say, unsure of which response will get her to release her hand from my flesh. Without hesitation, she unhooks my bra from the back and tosses it to a chair. She whips out a measuring tape and straps it around my breasts, moving them around so the tape goes across my nipples. My mood swings between humiliation and weariness.
“Dear, you’ve been wearing the wrong size bra. Before we look for dresses, we’ll need to start there. I’ll be right back,” and with that, she’s out the door. I pick up the phone and text Fi.
Me: Florentina just felt me up and it’s the most action I’ve had for the better part of a year.
Fi: Ah, should have warned you. She’s fanatical about proper bra fitting.
Me: Yes, you should have warned me!
Fi: She’s the best, Char.
Me: Well, she did have a soft and gentle touch. Perhaps she’d like to have dinner with me tonight.
Fi: LOL! You wouldn’t need to resort to fantasies about Florentina if you would just give in to temptation with Garrett.
Me: This again? I told you, JUST FRIENDS!
Fi: OK, OK. If you say so.
Me: She’s back. Talk soon!
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I'm a romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money – on margaritas and books. In addition to my romantic comedy novels, which reviewers call clever, hilarious, sexy and smart, I’ve written bylined articles and participated in interviews about relationships, online dating and romance for a range of media including Reader’s Digest, Mind Body Green, Cupid’s Pulse, The Perfect Soulmate and TV Grapevine. My grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” I’m now happily married to a wonderful man I met online and live in Manhattan Beach, California with him and our two daughters. So, if it happened for me, there’s hope for anyone!
Tell us about your most recent release.
A light-hearted, second chance romance, Links explores what happens when nerdy girl Charlotte reconnects with her unrequited schoolgirl crush, star athlete Garrett, 15 years after high school.
Did you have an unrequited crush in high school?
I'm not too ashamed to admit I had such a fierce crush on a boy, I willingly sat with him in the bathroom at parties while he puked up wine coolers, just so I could spend time with him. Thankfully, that soul-crushing time in my life is over, but I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if I came upon that secret crush today as a confident, successful woman.
One of your books is based on how you met your husband. Can you tell us more about that?
I'm most known for the Click trilogy comprised of Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click, which is loosely inspired by how I met my husband. The series follows a young woman's search for love online in Los Angeles with the entire series unfolding in emails between our heroine, her friends and her hilarious dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. And ultimately, they will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.
What is next for you?
This spring, I will re-release a novel I published several years ago called Clutch. The re-release includes five new chapters, a new cover and audiobook. It is a laugh-out-loud romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags (the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc.) as she searches for the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.
Is Clutch also inspired by your real life?
When I was writing the Click trilogy I was obsessed with NCIS re-runs and would have the show on in the background as I wrote. There was an episode where a character refers to a man as a “handbag husband,” or something useless you carry on your arm. I started thinking about that, and the idea for Clutch grew from there. I believe that everyone deserves a happily ever after
and would like to think there’s a “clutch,” or someone worth holding onto, out there for everyone.
At the end of your life, when it is all said and done, what would you want your tombstone to read?
Here lies Lisa Willet Becker – a great wife, mother, friend and citizen who wrote books and movies people loved.
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