Gabby Revealed (Finding Perfect #2)
by Amy Gregory
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.
Gabby James didn’t have the idyllic childhood many in her little hometown of Renlend, Kansas had. High school was a living hell, but when she graduated she couldn’t bring herself to leave Renlend. The town was her prison, but her family’s bookstore, The Looking Glass, was her one true love. It was the place she could run to, and escape the prying eyes of the ones who taunted her.
Shane Compton was a literary agent in one of the most prestigious publishing houses in New York City. He found no greater rush than finding the next big talent, someone who could take the written word and turn it into an art form. In the span of one rude phone call Shane was drawn into the mystery of just who the fiery new author from Kansas was. When everyone else in the office refused to deal with her, Shane willingly accepted the challenge. There was no logic to the madness, but every time he had contact with her, she drove him wild.
Gabby tried every trick in the book to keep Shane at arm’s length, but he had made good on his promise to come to Kansas. He wanted to pull her out of anonymity, he wanted her in the public eye. Now here he stood, on the sidewalk in front her bookstore, and one look told her he was everything she was afraid he’d be. Too bad she was anything but who he thought she was.
Gabby quickly discovers Shane has more on his mind than just books and with a little help from an ornery matchmaker, he shows her a whole new life through her looking glass.
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“I knew what you meant, smartass.”
“I know you did, darling.”
“Stop,” Shane interrupted her. She stalled in her mock packing and her chin dipped. “Gabby. Don’t fight me. I won’t let you hide from me.”
“You don’t know me, Shane. You know jack shit about me. You don’t get to tell me what I can or can’t do. I don’t owe you any explanations. You just show up in my place, you don’t ask, you don’t warn—”
Shane crossed the room in less than twenty paces. There was no premeditation, no plan, no thinking. He grabbed her upper arms, the sleeves of her T-shirt soft under his palms, her skin warm to his touch. Gabby’s eyes widened, her argument stilled as she blinked. Pulling her to him, he pressed his lips to hers.
Gabby was stiff in his hold, but Shane was unrelenting. It was his lower half controlling him now, willing him to beg for more. “Gabby,” he whispered against her lips right before the tip of his tongue swept lightly over her satin-soft lower lip. She surrendered to him, parting for him, and he took over. Pulling her thin body against his, his tongue memorized her mouth, afraid he may never get another chance. It was as if the last few years had built up, the wanting for a woman who wouldn’t have him took over. Shane poured every part of him into that kiss, running his hands over her, holding her close, afraid of the moment it ended.
Reality hit him, as well has her open palms against his chest as she pushed off of him.
“What in the hell was that?” she asked, wiping her forearm over her mouth.
Shane wasn’t stupid. She was wide-eyed and panting. For a small piece of time, she’d been all-in with him. She’d kissed him back with as much passion as he tried to show her. She couldn’t deny it. And he wouldn’t let her.
“Gabby, for years I’ve worked overtime at a job I love. And one day I got a file thrown on my desk with a manuscript. On top a bright yellow sticky note said “read-this.” I didn’t have any appointments that afternoon, it was cold as hell outside, and I wasn’t in the mood to brave the wind to go out and get lunch. I peeled the note off and read the first page just thinking I’d see if I wanted to bother taking what was damn near a whole ream of paper home with me for the weekend. See, that’s who I am. A guy who loves to read and got lucky enough to make it in an industry in which I get paid to do just that.
“But one page turned into three hours and the next thing I knew the janitor was knocking on my door frame to let me know it had started snowing harder over the last hour. I hadn’t even noticed it had gotten dark, Gabby, let alone started snowing. I was so pulled into your world, so consumed that I fell in love with this author I knew nothing about. Initials…I didn’t even know if you were a woman, except something told me you were.”
Gabby’s eyes widened, narrowed, the creases came and went across her face, her breathing increased as he drew her a picture of what the last few years of his life had been like. Chasing an elusive angel he knew he had to have. There was something in her writing that fulfilled him, as if she was writing just for him. Pieces of her soul Shane linked together and saw the match they made to his own.
“I grabbed up your book, my laptop, and found what had to be the last cab still running in that God-awful, freaking storm and got home an hour later. With a fire, a beer, and leftovers I poured over your manuscript. Then I read it twice more that weekend. I knew I had to have you. And when I finally got the writer on the phone, do you know what happened?”
She bit her lip, and try as she might to be aloof, Shane could tell immediately she remembered that phone call as much as he did. Being this close to the woman he’d longed for, pined for, was intoxicating. Gabby was as real as real got; there wasn’t any game to her, the sweet scent of vanilla with a hint of coconut encircling him. She was tumbling curls and model beautiful with no makeup. The girl next door with ripped jeans and love of cowboy boots. In his hold, she wasn’t full of fire like she was across a thousand miles of phone line. Gabby was a mystery he was quickly unfolding, even though through his whole admission, she’d yet to say a word.
“You…you were a total brat on the phone.” Gabby’s mouth dropped open, but before she could speak, Shane silenced her with a kiss, then whispered against the side of her mouth, “and I loved it. You told me I took too long to get back to you—which I’ll have you know was less than forty-eight hours. And you hung up on me. Me, Gabby. You hung up on me. Do you know how many authors beg for me to call them back? But no, you knew you were good. And I knew I’d fallen in love. First with your passion on paper, then your voice on the phone, and your fire. But you’ve driven me from crazy to sane and back again too many times to count. I can’t tell if I’m coming or going, all I know is that I love seeing your name come across my email, or listening to your slaps on the phone when you actually take my calls. You don’t want me for who I am. You’re not using me. There are no pretenses. We both just love something in common.
“But, Gabby…for me—it’s become more.”
About the Author
When asked ‘when do you have time to write’, Amy Gregory simply laughs. The real answer is, “in bits and pieces”. She and her husband live in Kansas City with their three fantastic kids that keep them running in three very different directions. Because she sits so much, she always carries a notebook with her at all times.
She has an off the wall, snarky, off the cuff sense of humor that often shocks even those who’ve known her for years. And she loves that her children have all been blessed that ability to make others laugh as well. At least she’s grateful most of the time! Her husband often teases her about how she “makes this stuff up” when he’s reading a piece of her work. … The answer—“it just comes to me when I’m typing”. Scary thought, huh!