Title: Can’t Always Get You Want by Chelsey Krause
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 359 pages
Fans of Ruthie Knox, Rachel Gibson, and Molly O’Keefe will love this deeply romantic and uplifting debut novel about losing everything you thought you wanted—and getting exactly what you need.
Sophie Richards has been looking forward to a much-needed girls’ night out: a Rolling Stones tribute-band concert, a few drinks, a distraction from her grueling nursing shifts in acute care. But when her best friend bails, Sophie gets stuck with a blind date.
Although Brett Nicholson may be the hottest carpenter alive, and Sophie may technically be single, she isn’t exactly on the market. Six years ago she found The One. He was everything Sophie dreamed a man could be—and then she lost him. In an instant, her whole life changed, and she forgot all about happily ever after.
But as she gets to know Brett, Sophie starts to wonder about the future for the first time. With a broken heart still clouding her mind, jumping into a new relationship feels impossible. When she’s in his arms, walking away feels even harder. Now Sophie faces an impossible choice: living in the past or choosing love in the here and now.
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Scanning the crowd around the boathouse, I notice that there are about ten other guys with light brown or dark blond hair wearing white shirts. And ball caps.
And most of the young women are wearing some shade of mint green.
I mentally kick myself for wearing something trendy. Maybe I should’ve come wearing a purple, faux fur coat? Or a gorilla costume? He’d have noticed that in a crowd.
I stand on the side of the boathouse with the best view of the amphitheater. I watch the band’s instruments and equipment being loaded onto the stage when I notice someone approach my right-hand side and lean against the wall.
He’s tall, young, blond, and wearing a white shirt and ball cap.
Here goes nothing.
“Hi there,” I say, smiling.
“Hello,” he replies.
“You must be Brett?”
“Umm, no . . .” he says, looking puzzled. He flashes a flirtatious grin.
Twenty minutes pass, and my new “friend” is still trying to talk to me. I probably shouldn’t move away, because the crowd is starting to disperse and there are fewer people for Brett and me to narrow our choices down to.
On the other hand, I’m afraid that Brett will miss me, thinking that I’m some other girl out with her “boyfriend.” That, and I’m wondering how many good seats are left.
Another ten minutes pass.
“Listen,” my new tagalong says, “looks like this guy isn’t coming. You should sit with me.”
I take a good look at him. Mystery man is pretty cute.
“I’m a nice guy,” he says. “And besides, it’d be better than sitting on your own.”
I bite my lip.
“Thanks for the offer, but I probably shouldn’t. He could be running late.”
“Can I have your phone number then? And give you mine? That way, you can call me if this clown doesn’t show.”
My stomach does a nervous flip. I haven’t given my phone number out in years. I’m not sure that I want to. But, I’d rather not be here alone.
I wait for him to take out his cellphone.
“Umm, do you want to add me to your contacts list, then?”
He digs an ancient-looking phone out from his back pocket.
“Can’t. The contact list on this thing never works. Can you write it down for me?”
I scan the thinning crowd. No Brett.
“I guess so.”
I rummage around my bag, looking for a pen and paper, and find neither. All I have is a tube of lipstick and a receipt. It’ll have to do.
I do my best to make legible numbers, careful not to smear the lipstick. Just as I’m about to hand over my receipt, my phone buzzes.
Hey Sophie. This is Brett. Are you here?
Gah. I should’ve texted him. Why didn’t I think of that?
Yes, I’m standing by the boathouse on the side closest to the stage. Are you here?
I glance up seconds later and see another young man, clothed in a white shirt, walking over. His strides are long, confident, and graceful. The fabric surrounding his chest and biceps is slightly stretched, hinting at a muscular physique underneath.
He stops a couple paces away, and glances quizzically at my “friend.”
“Sophie?” he asks.
Damn, he really is quite good-looking. Handsome, even. He has the most striking blue eyes I’ve ever seen.
Relieved that I haven’t been stood up, I smile and offer my hand.
We laugh, shake hands, and I nervously peek over at the guy by my side. He’s looking slightly miffed.
Brett clears his throat. “Is this a friend of yours?”
“Oh no,” I say, a bit too quickly. “I was just . . .”
I look at my hand. I’m still holding the receipt, with large pink numbers scrawled across one side.
“Nice to meet you,” I say to the other guy, and stuff the crumpled receipt into my bag. I turn my attention back to Brett. “Shall we find some seats?”
“Sorry, it must look like I’m late,” Brett says.
“No, I was ten minutes early. There are a surprising amount of women today wearing green, though. Wasn’t sure where to start. Then I remembered I had your phone number.”
So he’s an early bird, like me.
“I know what you mean. I suppose we’re both wearing kind of generic outfits, eh?”
“Yeah, didn’t make it any easier to find each other.”
“I did notice you.”
“Yeah. But you were standing beside that guy for so long, I assumed you were a couple. So I kept on looking.”
I love thrift shops, repurposing old junk and learning new belly dance moves. I can’t decide if my favorite movie is either “Bridget Jones’ Diary” or “Fight Club.”
I’ve always wanted to be a writer and in the spring of 2013, I finally sat down and wrote my first book. Now that that’s done, I’m working on my second.
I believe that the best way to become a great writer is to read.
And then read some more.
I absolutely love books and would live at the library if they’d let me.
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