Self-assured Nadia Normandy knows everything there is to know about men and dating, which seems to be why little old Mrs. Beasley maneuvers her into taking unsuspecting and bookish accountant Benji Garner under her wing. Her mission? Shape him up for the opposite sex, preferably in time for New Year’s Eve.
A challenge? Sure, but Nadia discovers that Benji’s got a charm all his own, and she finds herself avoiding her usual social scene in favor of time spent with him—all in the name of mentoring him, of course.
Except that after a while, it starts to feel less like mentoring and more like something else—which could present a problem, because just as Nadia begins to realize she didn’t know quite as much about men as she thought, other women are starting to notice her unlikely protégé.
Much like Nadia is beginning to notice him in a whole new way herself…
(This novella is the 2nd in the Heavenly Bites series)
“Dear, could I possibly get you to do something for me?”
On the surface, the question seemed harmless enough, especially when the petite white-haired lady asking it looked like she could have stepped right out of a Norman Rockwell painting. When one actually knew the matchmaking schemer that lay beneath that innocent exterior, though, one learned to pay close attention before committing to anything.
And Nadia Normandy had long ago learned to pay very close attention. Straightening from behind the Heavenly Bites display case in which she was rearranging a tray of cream puffs, she put both hands squarely on the counter and leaned forward to look the older woman straight in the eye. Well, forward and down; Mrs. Beasley was only four foot eleven. “Who is he, Mrs. B?”
Her customer blinked at her through enormous tortoiseshell glasses, her eyes wide with innocence. Considering how much the huge lenses magnified her eyes, they looked very wide indeed. “I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.”
“Last time you asked me to do something for you with that little quaver in your voice, I wound up agreeing to a blind date with a carpet salesman who had an absolutely out-of-this-world sweating problem. What was wrong with that poor man anyway? Was it something glandular?”
“My dry cleaner’s son is very nice,” Mrs. Beasley huffed with what struck Nadia
as incredibly insincere indignation.
“He used my cashmere scarf to wipe his forehead at dinner. Twice.”
“Sorry, Mrs. B.” Nadia bent down to resume working on the cream puffs. “I can find my own dates just fine, thank you.”
“Pretty thing like you? Of course you don’t need help finding somebody.” And yet it was impossible to miss the glance Mrs. Beasley gave to the ringless finger on Nadia’s left hand, especially since her eyes were magnified to twice their normal size by her tremendous lenses.
“And anyway,” the older woman continued, “that wasn’t the kind of favor I was
going to ask of you.”
Closing up the display case, Nadia returned her attention to Mrs. Beasley. “So there’s no man involved in this favor whatsoever?”
Now Nadia raised both eyebrows. “Uh huh, that’s what I thought.”
“It is not what you think. You see, the young man who handles all of my financial matters for me is a sweet boy, but he’s also rather…awkward.”
“Socially speaking, yes. You see, Benji—”
“Benji? This guy is named after a dog? And he’s an accountant—oh, Mrs. B…” Shaking her head, Nadia reached for a cloth and began wiping down the counter.
“Mrs. B, I am not going out with your accountant.”
“I’m not asking you to see him socially, dear, I’m asking you to…to educate him.”
“In social niceties, particularly in regards to women. How to talk to them, where to meet them, that sort of thing.” Mrs. Beasley patted Nadia on the hand. “You’re so
good with people, dear. You’d be a natural at this!”
The Heavenly Bites Series:
Click here for my review of Pastels & Jingle Bells
Christine S. Feldman writes both novels and feature-length screenplays, and she has placed in screenwriting competitions on both coasts. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her ballroom-dancing husband and Molly the beagle.
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