How are you supposed to get your life back on track when the Universe won’t stop messing with you?
After a series of personal and professional setbacks, interior designer Evie Glass has lost faith in herself and the world. The last thing she needs is her loud, boisterous family poking their noses in her business, so that’s why she avoids opening up about anything—especially her love life—during their weekly dinners. Thankfully, her bestie and next-door neighbor, Matilda, always has her back.
When Evie is asked to cat-sit Matilda’s beloved rescue, she’s not thrilled at the prospect. One well-meaning mistake later and a distraught Evie is rushing her furry charge to the ER where she meets and is instantly smitten with Fletcher West, a charming veterinarian who seems to return her interest. That is until they both realize they’ve met before—ten years ago when he was dating her temperamental cousin. Fletch’s break-up with Bee put him at the top of her family’s hit list and makes him the last person Evie should be dating.
In addition to navigating a secret romance with Fletch, Evie must also deal with a demanding new job, an eccentric client from her former life, and an ex who’s suddenly blowing up her phone. She convinces herself she’s got it all under control, but what happens when things start falling apart and Evie learns she’s not the only one keeping secrets?
One thing’s for sure…
Eventually Evie’s got to take a chance—on love, on life, and on herself.
This is thirty-two. It’s completely normal to want to be alone on your birthday, right? (She asks her 5 followers.)
I know my plans for a quiet evening watching TV have been thwarted as soon as I slide the key into the door and hear Matilda’s hushed voice telling—no, ordering—Silas to be quiet. A part of me wants to slowly back away from the door and escape to the diner down the street. Or I could go eat my cold leftovers on a park bench because who doesn’t want to do that on their birthday? A party sounds like the absolute worst right about now. But if my best friend went to the trouble of filling up my apartment with people who want to celebrate the day I was born for some reason, the least I can do is be grateful and play along. I take a deep breath and open the door.
Indeed it is. And what a relief—there are only two people in my apartment, and it happens to be my neighbors from across the hall. I walk into Matilda’s and Silas’s open arms for a group hug, silently grateful I won’t have to pretend I ran out of good wine as I pour out the cheap stuff into plastic flamingo tumblers. And I also won’t have to tidy up. Now that I look around, my apartment looks cleaner than it was before I left. My collection of Designer Daily magazines is neatly stacked on the coffee table instead of scattered on the floor. And there’s the unmistakable aroma of ginger and citrus in the air—Matilda’s favorite designer room spray.
“Did you clean my apartment?” I ask.
Matilda nods, a satisfied grin on her face. “Remember when I said you’d get the rest of your gift on your actual birthday?”
“Of course,” I lie. I’d forgotten about that particular conversation—probably because I overdid it on Pretty in Pink Passion cocktails when she dragged me to a club on Friday night. A large part of that evening remains a blur.
“Well, this is it. I cleaned this place top to bottom and reorganized your bedroom closet and your kitchen cupboards.”
“You are an angel,” I say, which is what I always tell Matilda whenever she does this—the urge to clean is strong with this one. You’d think I wouldn’t like having someone rummage through my apartment and dust-busting every shameful nook and cranny, but in addition to being my best friend, Matilda is also a professional organizer and a proud neat freak. Rearranging a pantry is her idea of a good time, and since I’m such a good friend, I let her go crazy in my closets.
“Oh. And I got you gummy bears,” Silas says, handing me a small gift bag. “I’ve been told to tell you not to eat the entire bag in one sitting.”
I eat candy like it’s a medication keeping me alive. I’ve tried many times to kick the habit, but I always end up at the bodega across the street throwing bags of sour gummy worms on the counter and ripping into them before I even get back home.
“Thank you, Silas.” These aren’t the generic gummy bears I’m used to. They’re made with rosé wine and covered in pink edible glitter. These babies are definitely not surviving the night.
“No problem. Let me go see if I can help M in the kitchen,” Silas says.
“Does Matilda allow you to call her M?” I ask with a wink.
Silas laughs. “It’s tolerated, at best.”
As someone who’s been called by a nickname her entire life, I can’t understand Matilda’s aversion to being called anything other than her baptismal name. We were allowed to call her Tilly—her childhood nickname—for a while, but it recently became blacklisted again after someone (me) decided to rhyme it with silly and turn the whole thing into a Broadway show tune that I kept singing over and over again whenever she came over. Leave it to me to ruin a good thing for everyone.
Silas and Matilda have been dating for a little over a year, and they are the perfect example of completely opposite people coming together and making a perfect couple. And, yes, I am gagging at the words perfect couple. (And rolling my eyes too—that’s how nauseating their cuteness is.) Somehow, they make it work even though he’s messy and distracted and the kind of person who can lose his phone and wallet in the span of a few hours. She’s his calm and levelheaded counterpart who’s never misplaced anything in her entire life but knows exactly what to do and who to call when you lose your phone and wallet.
by Cat Lavoie
Publication date: January 4th 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance
Cat Lavoie is a chick lit writer from Montreal, Canada.
She loves writing fun and quirky romantic comedies and is the author of BREAKING THE RULES, ZOEY & THE MOMENT OF ZEN, PERI IN PROGRESS and MESSING WITH MATILDA.
A fan of all things feline, Cat loves cats and hopes to someday have a house full of them in order to officially become a crazy cat lady. (But one or two cats will do for now.)
If she isn’t reading or writing, Cat enjoys listening to podcasts (mostly comedy and true crime) and watching way too much TV. She fell in love with London many years ago and hopes to go back one day. Cat is currently at work on her next novel.
To connect with Cat and find out more about her books, visit CatLavoie.com and follow @CatLavoieBooks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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