Beyond the gold and glamour, one man holds her heart…
For years Annie Wilson has been obsessed with the sensational work of her favorite artist, Devlin McAllister. She jumps on the opportunity coordinate the move of his exhibition from Ireland to New York. As she had always dreamed, she begins to fall in love with him. But Devlin's world of champagne and high-class living soon loses its charm.
It's the welcoming, warm side of Dublin she sees on the arm of fun- loving Sean that she's drawn to. As she struggles to maintain the fantasy with Devlin, she realizes all that glitters is not gold.
Copyright 2011, Anna Grace
All rights reserved, Lyrical Press, Inc.
Annie watched as Devlin made his way through the crowded room, stopping to shake hands with this person, air-kiss that person, and bathe in their praise. She was furious. But what made it worse was she still felt like an awkward little girl in a room full of adults. She wanted to admonish Devlin for leaving her alone, but she knew she wouldn’t. It wasn’t like her to be so shy and unconfident, and she didn’t like it one bit.
“My dear Annie, you came.” Devlin strode up to her, taking her hands in his and bringing them to his lips. All at once, she was smitten again, excited by the feeling of his mouth on her fingertips.
“You’re late,” she said, trying to hold on to her anger.
“I’m so sorry.” He moved in closer so only she could hear. “I shouldn’t have left you here alone for so long. Please forgive me.”
His deep brown eyes held hers with a pleading look, and she felt herself smile. Grinning, he slid his arm around her waist and guided her toward the older man who had opened the door to her.
“Fergus, may I introduce this beautiful young lady to you. Annie Wilson, this is Fergus Bryant. Annie is coordinating the move to New York.”
“Ah, the American,” Fergus said dismissively. “How do you do?”
“We’ve actually met,” Annie said in monotone. “You let me in this evening.”
“Did I? Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you once again. Have you had a chance to peruse the delights of the city? The Rock Star Bus Tour, perhaps? Or the ‘tart with the cart’?” He winked at Devlin.
“He means the statue of Molly Malone.” Devlin laughed nervously. “All the tourists love it.”
“Well, I haven’t been here very long, Mr. Bryant,” Annie said, keeping her cold tone. “But I probably won’t have much time for sightseeing.”
“Shame, shame. Maybe you can just get one of those oversized leprechaun hats instead,” Fergus said with a sneer. “Would you excuse me? I think there’s a disaster about to happen with the profiterole mountain.” He wandered off, swaying his champagne flute at eye-level as he went.
“I apologize for Fergus,” Devlin said. “He’s a sweet man once you get to know him. Just have to work your way past the snobbery first.”
“Can’t wait,” said Annie. “I’m sorry, Devlin, but would you mind if I left the party a bit early? I’m still tired from the traveling, I think, and it’s an early morning tomorrow at the gallery.”
Devlin looked taken aback. “Of course, if you want to. I mean, are you sure?”
“Yes. It was a lovely party, really. I’m just a bit tired, that’s all.”
“All right. Well, I’ll call you a taxi, I suppose. I’m a bit disappointed, though, to be honest. I had hoped to spend some time with you, get to know you a bit better.”
Annie had hoped so too. But this evening was not what she had planned, and she thought it best to start over with Devlin another day when he wasn’t surrounded by snobby friends with profiteroles.
“I’m sorry. But I’ll see you tomorrow, I hope,” she said with a smile.
“You will, of course.” He took her hand and kissed it once more.