Plan Interrupted - Book cover

Plan Interrupted

Valerie J. Clarizio

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Summary

He’s a widower who deserves to be honored as the “Father of the Year.”

She’s a corporate powerhouse who won’t be inconvenienced by the broken family next door.

When attraction strikes, both are catapulted out of their comfort zone.

Elizabeth Shaw’s professional life is going according to plan until she meets the handsome widower and his two young children next door. Having shelved her personal life to land her dream job, she disregards her romantic feelings for him. But the forces of nature have other ideas for her.

Joe Antonetti has made his children his main focus since the death of his wife. But his beautiful neighbor becomes an irresistible distraction and has him wondering if he can change her priorities.

Surrendering to their attraction for each other causes another player to step in with his own plan for Elizabeth. One that could not only end the budding romance but her life as well.

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38 Chapters

Chapter One

“Here’s to Elizabeth, the youngest Director of Investments at Palmer James Company, and the soon-to-be youngest Managing Director,” Jody said as she held her wine glass up high.

The clang of their glasses reverberated in Elizabeth’s ears, adding to her nervous excitement about her new promotion from Associate Director to Director, and her transfer from the New York office to the Chicago office.

“I can’t believe we’re all going to be living near each other again. It will be so much fun, and just like old times when we were in college. I’ve missed you.” Holly’s smile stretched from ear to ear.

“Oh, by the way, I’ve got a great house for you to look at tomorrow,” Jody added. “It’s the last one available in a new development project my dad’s company recently completed. It’s gorgeous, brick, has three bedrooms, a huge kitchen, a large open entryway, and a den designed as if made specifically for you. And just wait until you see the size of the living room. I can’t wait to show it to you.” The excitement in her tone, as well as her bright gaze, was unmistakable.

“And there’s more, my dad is giving me a condo in this same development, which comes with a membership to the new golf course that borders both my condo and the house I’m going to show you. We’ll practically be neighbors.”

“Sounds great, I can’t wait to see it.” Elizabeth tried to match her perky friend’s enthusiasm, which was always a challenge for her.

After finishing their celebratory meal consisting of seared salmon with crab salad with avocado sauce, Elizabeth reluctantly headed out for some clubbing with her friends. Though she was tired from her travels and ready to call it a night after dinner, they managed to guilt her into going out.

As she sunk into the booth, she watched her friends dance and flirt with the handsome, well-to-do gentlemen who caught their attention. How could they be so carefree at their age? They were in their late twenties, for crying out loud, and it was time to curb the giddiness.

It was no secret her conservative and well-reserved nature always prevented her from behaving in the same lighthearted manner as her friends, even back in college. Holly and Jody focused more on the social activities rather than the academic component like she did. It was probably her father’s fault she was wound so tight. If he hadn’t always implied that a woman’s place was in the home, she probably wouldn’t be so gung ho on proving him wrong by excelling in the workplace; and the Palmer James Company was just the place to do it since it was owned by her father’s long-time friend.

From the very first moment she stepped foot in the New York office, she knew what she wanted. She dreamed of becoming the youngest Managing Director and someday running that very branch.

While she watched her friends on the dance floor, nervous anticipation consumed her. She couldn’t wait to get to work on Monday and hit the ground running, knowing she’d need to prove her abilities in the Chicago office if she wanted to go back and manage the New York office someday.

Jody returned to the table, grabbed her hand, and tugged her to the dance floor. “Come on, dance, smile, and have a good time. You’re way too young to be this uptight.”

Elizabeth conceded and followed her friend to the dance floor, but the entire time she moved to the beat of the music all she could think about was work. She needed to be successful; just had to be. She needed to prove to her father that having a daughter could be every bit as fulfilling as having a son. Maybe, just maybe, climbing the ranks at Palmer James Company would get her father to notice her once and for all.

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