EXCERPT: Hate Notes by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland
It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.
I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”
Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.
The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there. Because I’ve since found out something else about Mr. Starry-Eyed.
He’s arrogant, cynical, and demanding. I should know. Thanks to a twist of fate, he’s my new boss. But that’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.
But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweeter, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.
But I have no idea how this one is going to end . . .
📆 November 6th
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Grabbing my laptop, I searched my history and called up the last website I’d visited.
Eastwood Properties is one of the largest independent brokerage firms in the world. We connect the most prestigious and exclusive properties with qualified buyers, assur-ing the utmost privacy for both parties. Whether you’re in the market for a luxury New York City penthouse with a view of the park, a waterfront Hampton estate, or an en-chanting chateau escape in the mountains, or you’re ready for your own private island, Eastwood is where your dreams begin.
There was a link to search properties, so I typed in the name of the place the woman had mentioned in the voice mail: Millennium Tower. Sure enough, the penthouse popped up for sale. For only twelve million dollars, I could own an apartment on Columbus Avenue with sweeping views of Central Park. Let me write you a check.
After drooling through a video and two dozen photos, I clicked on the button to make an appointment to view the property. An application popped up, the top of which read: For the privacy and safety of our sellers, all prospective buyers are required to complete an application to view properties. Only buyers that meet our stringent prequalification cri-teria will be contacted.
I snorted. Great prequalification criteria you have there, Eastwood. I wasn’t sure I had enough money to take the train uptown to get to that swanky place, much less buy it. God knows what I’d written that had qualified me.
I closed the website and was just about to shut my laptop and go back to bed again when I decided to take one more peek at Mr. Romantic on Facebook.
God, he was gorgeous.
What if . . .
No good ever came out of ideas formulated while drunk.
But . . .
That face . . .
And that note.
So romantic. So beautiful.
Plus . . . I’d never seen the inside of a twelve-million-dollar penthouse.
I really shouldn’t.
Then again . . . I’d spent the last two years doing everything I should do. And where had that gotten me?
Right here. It’d gotten me right damn here—hungover and unemployed, sitting in this crappy apartment. Maybe it was time I did the things I shouldn’t be doing for a change. I picked up my phone and let my finger hover over the “Call Back” button for a while.
No one would ever know. It could be fun—getting all dressed up and playing the part of a rich Upper West Sider while satisfying my curiosity about the man. What harm was there?
None that I could think of. Still, you know what they say about curiosity . . .
I pressed “Call Back.”
“Hi. This is Charlotte Darling calling to confirm an appointment with Reed East-wood . . .”
Meet The Authors: Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a fifteen-time New York Times bestseller of twelve novels.
Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.
Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in fourteen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.