The coffee shop wasn’t very busy. Only a couple of tables were occupied, with several more people standing in line. Manny sat rather nervously at her table sipping her third vanilla latte and wondering if she was as crazy as Rebecca and Daisy claimed. This would be her fourth interview today of a potential travelling companion and she hoped this guy would be more of a possibility than the other three she’d already met. Oh, they all seemed nice enough, but Olive had been jittery and they’d quickly realized their personalities would never mesh well enough to travel together for six months. Isaac had had a predatory, speculative gleam in his eyes as he looked her over–and she hadn’t needed Harvey to tell her to stay as far away from him as possible.
Darius was very sweet and charming, just eighteen, but he couldn’t pay his own way, and Manny wasn’t about to support him for six months. He’d shrugged and accepted her decision with an adorable smile and she offered to call Daisy’s boss, Max, to see if he had any work that Darius could do. Darius had thanked her and even paid for their lattes, and they’d chatted for a good forty-five minutes before he’d finally gone on his way. Yes, he would have been a good choice–and she might change her mind if she didn’t find anyone before she left in two weeks.
You can always go by yourself.
I know. But it would be more fun with someone else.
You’ll have me.
Manny glanced at Harvey sitting in the chair across from her. He was dressed casually in jeans and a button down shirt open at the throat to show the strong lines of his neck and chest.
You’re not real.
Harvey winked at her. Just checking.
She shook her head and Harvey blinked out of existence as the door opened and a darkly handsome man walked in. He paused in the doorway and removed his sunglasses as he glanced around the small room. Securely hidden in her corner, Manny considered him.
Tall; over six feet. Dark. Handsome, with large, dark eyes and full pouty lips. His black, tousled hair and dark stubble on his face gave him a sexy, scruffy appearance. He was slim, with broad shoulders, narrow hips and long legs encased in jeans.
I’ll bet he has a great ass.
I’ll bet you’re right.
He’s like a younger version of me.
Manny blinked at the man standing in the doorway and realized Harvey was right. Oh, they didn’t exactly look alike, but they had similar colouring, and a similar underlying confidence and arrogance in their stance. Probably something natural when you’re that naturally gorgeous, Manny thought ruefully, or, in Harvey’s case, thatunnaturally perfect.
I’d almost be jealous…if I was real.
But you’re not–and he’s quite something. I wonder who he’s here to me…eeet.
Her internal dialogue trailed off as the stranger’s gaze met hers. He gave a half smile and headed towards her.
For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.
After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus.
Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
Genre – ChickLit, Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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