Chasing Perfect

Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery Page B

Book: Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery Read Free Book Online
Authors: Susan Mallery
“I’ll take care of you.”
    â€œJust for tonight,” Pia said, slumping down on a sofa. “Tomorrow I take care of you.”
    â€œTomorrow you’ll be puking your guts out.” The woman smiled at Charity. “Hi. I’m Crystal.”
    â€œNice to meet you.”
    Charity was introduced to the other women and did her best to remember their names. Renee/Michelle was there and Charity was surprised to learn her name was actually Desiree. When the introductions were finished, Jo led Charity into the kitchen.
    â€œYou can see what’s open, what’s in the blender and what you can create on your own.”
    The kitchen had been partially updated. The counters and sink appeared new, but the stove was from the forties and the cabinets looked like they might have been original.
    â€œGreat place,” Charity said.
    â€œI like it. I know it’s big for just me, but I enjoy the space.” She pointed to the array of bottles on the counter. “Wine, both colors, margaritas in the blender, unless Pia drank them all. Mixers, vodka, Bailey’s. You name it, we have it.”
    â€œI’ll go with a glass of wine,” Charity said.
    â€œPlaying it safe on your first night. Probably wise. Pick a color.”
    Jo got a glass and poured. After she handed it to Charity, she leaned against the counter. “So you’re our new city planner. How are you liking Fool’s Gold?”
    â€œI love it here. All my small-town fantasies are coming true.”
    Jo laughed. “I moved here about three years ago. From the east coast. It was quite a change, but a good one. The people are friendly. Pia invited me to join her and her friends. They made me feel very welcome.”
    Charity glanced toward the living room. “I appreciate the invitation. I want to get to know people.”
    â€œYou will.”
    A pretty blonde walked into the kitchen and sighed. “I need more. Pia’s drunker than me and I was supposed to be the drunkest one at the party.” She smiled at Charity. “Hi, I’m Katie and please don’t think badly of me.”
    â€œI won’t.”
    â€œI don’t usually drink very much.”
    â€œOr at all,” Jo muttered. “Speaking as someone who owns a bar, you’re a real disappointment in that department.”
    â€œI know.” Katie leaned against the counter. “But tonight’s different. My sister’s getting married.”
    Charity felt confused. “And that’s a bad thing?”
    â€œThe groom and I were dating when they met. For nearly a year. He’d bought me an engagement ring. But before he gave it to me, he met my sister and they kicked me to the curb.”
    â€œOuch,” Charity said. “I’m sorry.”
    â€œDon’t be. He was a jerk,” Katie told her.
    Charity had a feeling that was the alcohol talking more than her heart.
    â€œThe worst part is that the wedding is a four-day party up at the Lodge,” Jo added.
    â€œI need a date and I don’t have one.” Katie hiccupped softly.
    â€œThere’s always Josh,” Jo offered.
    Katie rolled her eyes. “I need a date with a guy people will believe I’m actually seeing. There’s no one. And now my mother is offering to set me up with her best friend’s son. Howie.”
    Charity tried to muffle a laugh. “Okay, it’s not a traditionally romantic name, but he could be great.”
    â€œI met him back when we were kids. He’s a total nerd, and not in a good way. We hated each other, and I get to spend four days with him. Someone just shoot me now.”
    â€œHow about another margarita?” Jo asked.
    â€œThat works, too.” Katie looked at Charity. “Are you happily married or dating? Because I’ll warn you—in this crowd, you’d be the only one.”
    â€œSorry, no. I have a string of bad breakups, as

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