Love Like The Movies
Victoria Van Tiem
Published by: Pan Mac
Published on: 19th June
Kenzi Shaw has her life scripted out down to the last line - the career she's building as an up-and-coming marketing exec, the gorgeous fiancé (Bradley) she'll marry in a fairytale wedding, the children they'll raise in her dream home. But when heart-breaking ex Shane comes back into her life, life starts going off the script . . . Shane tries to win Kenzi over by re-enacting all the rom com movies they used to watch together - Sleepless in Seattle, Bridget Jones' Diary, Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing to name a few. He's just a guy, standing in front of a girl, asking her to trust him again. But has he really changed? Not only is her head in a spin over Shane, but now her job is on the line. And with her perfect sister in law showing up every tiny thing Kenzi does wrong, she feels like she's permanently in the corner. Should she risk her sensible life for the chance of a Happy Ever After? One thing's for sure, when Shane meets Kenzi (again), she's suddenly not so sure just who her leading man is . . . Victoria Van Tiem, like her protagonist, is an artist, a gallery owner and a former creative director, with a background in marketing and brand development. Love Like the Movies is her first novel.
And I do still watch romantic comedies. I have no problem incorporating these into the concept; I just didn’t know there was a movie theme. I don’t need to live the moments with him in order to do that. Who does he think he is?
I lift my phone, click on the e-mail app, and glance again at the one Shane sent. He’s titled it the Love Like the Movies list.
1. Sleepless in Seattle
2. Pretty Woman
3. Bridget Jones’s Diary
4. 27 Dresses
5. Dirty Dancing
6. Sixteen Candles
40 Victoria Van Tiem
7. Love Actually
8. Say Anything
9. You’ve Got Mail
10. My Best Friend’s Wedding
He hasn’t specified any particular scenes. Is he going to just randomly choose one from each movie? I’m not even sure I understand what he’s proposing. I roll over, hugging my pillow to my side, while my mind scrambles recalling each movie.
Pretty Woman has a multitude of great scenes. There’s the shopping one. The polo match with the polka-dot dress. I love that dress. She looks so pretty, and the hat? The hat makes the whole look. Why don’t people wear hats like that anymore? Oh, the opera, and the fancy dinner with the “slippery little suckers.” Does Shane remember that I hate seafood?
Once when his grandparents came for a visit, they took us out for lobster. Shane tried not to laugh at my expression as I forced a few bites down. A tiny, secret excitement flitters around with the memory. Guilt quickly yanks it down with a heavy thud.
Shit. Everything’s getting all mixed up between movies and memories.
I flip on the TV to force everything from my mind, then my phone rings, startling me. Bradley. Finally. I thought he’d call hours ago.
“Hey,” I say, and immediately yawn. I can tell he’s in his car. I’m on speaker and can hear myself in an echo.
“Hi, hon. I wanted to make sure you got home okay. Sorry if I woke you.”
“No, I’m still up. Got home safe and sound.” I turn down the volume. “You just leaving Champps?”
“Um, yeah, Clive and that Rand Peterson kept knocking ’em back. I wanted to make sure Rand got a cab, and I just dropped off Clive.”
He always looks out for everyone, always has their back. He’s going to make a great dad. Mental images of Bradley coaching Little League pops to mind. All Shane knows is boxing.
“What about that Bennett guy?” I ask without thinking. “You mean your ex?” Oh. Shit.
“The one you didn’t bother to tell me about? Now I get why you seemed off in the meeting.” His voice is controlled, but sharp. “Here’s the thing . . .”
I’m sitting in my bed, both hands clutching the phone, eyes wide.
“You could have told me, and I have to wonder why you didn’t.”
“Okay.” I stand and flip on a light. “I didn’t know until he was there today. I was completely blindsided. It was a shock. And then tonight—”
“Tonight, I sat right next to you.” I’m pretty sure his hand is off the wheel and gesturing as he talks. He always does that when he’s irritated. “It was just us, and you didn’t say—”
“Bradley. He was in the bar. You guys were entertaining his team.” I’m pacing, my stomach knotted up tight. “You told me my job depends on this account. That we might have to delay our wedding! What the hell was I supposed to do? Tell you right
there . . . and then what? What if you got angry?” Silence.
I plop back on the bed, and fall back so my head bounces on the pillow. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know what to do, okay? But I was going to talk to you about it when you called.” I wasn’t even thinking about it, to be honest. There’s a twinge of guilt.
“Guy’s kind of a tool, if you ask me,” he says quietly.
“Yes! He is, right? I mean, your research was dead on. And the way he just took over the meeting? What was that?” My shoulders drop with relief. I think he can see my dilemma in not saying anything. I think everything’s okay.
“He’s an ass, but we need his account.” There’s a slight lull.
“Tonya seemed to like him.”
I sit straight up again. “What?”
“Yeah, she left right after he did. You know what that usually means.”
I know exactly what that means. The knot inside pulls tighter. Tonya doesn’t leave early. Ever. Not when she’s the only girl, the center of attention, and there are potential deals to be made.
She wouldn’t. There are rules about exes, clearly stated girl-world rules. “Um, I don’t think Tonya and him hooked up. We all went—”
“You all went to school together. He’s your ex from college. I know. It was fun hearing all about it from them. And I’m still pretty sure they hooked up tonight.”
His words jab. I don’t know what to say. “I’m sorry, okay?” And I am. “Why don’t you stay here tonight? I have on that silky boxer set you like,” I lie, but I could change quickly enough. I’m actually in terry-cloth Hello Kitty pajamas that Ellie bought me for my birthday last year.'
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