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Authors: Ava McKnight

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BOOK: Right Moves
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He stared at me for a few tense moments. I could see this wasn’t a new concept for him, but certainly a difficult one. As difficult as it’d been for me. It was scary, I knew, but he couldn’t possibly have gotten as far in life and business as he had without taking a few chances.

So I wasn’t surprised when he finally cracked a smile and nodded his acquiescence. “You always were a smart kid,” he told me. “You’re right. I’ve got to make some changes.”

I gave him another hug and then said, “The wedding’s in a month. Plenty of time for you to rearrange your schedule.”

He chuckled and assured me, “I’ll be there, I promise. And this thing about having kids…”

“Yes?” I gazed up at him unwaveringly.

“I think you’ll make one hell of a mom, Claire-bear.”

I hugged him again as more tears streamed down my cheeks. I prayed he was right. But then, I didn’t really fear screwing up my children’s lives. I knew the pitfalls to avoid and, after all, I had Jack’s steady guidance to help me along. Not to mention his warm and caring parents, who had started a family when they were just barely out of high school. They’d made it twenty-nine years together and were still going strong. I suspected that gene had been passed to the man I was going to marry and that made me even more sure of the direction we were headed.

Plus I knew deep in my soul what I wanted. Jack and a beautiful brood we could lavish with all the love and affection we shared, and which I’d wished for growing up.

When he finally pulled away, my father said, “Why don’t you spend the afternoon at Harrod’s and then meet me at the Dorchester Hotel for dinner?”

“That’d be convenient,” I told him with a smile, “since that’s where I’m staying.”

“You do have good taste.”

“See? You passed some good traits on to me.”

He chuckled. “Seven o’clock work for you?”

“Perfectly.” I stepped away and headed for the door. Something made me glance over my shoulder, though, and I found him eyeing the trash bin with my mother’s picture in it.

I doubled back and lifted the waste can, taking it with me. Leaving his office, I handed the bin over to Candace. “Please dump this before he comes and gets it.”

She gave me a curious look after noticing what was inside. “Everything okay?”

“It’s going to be.” I truly believed that. With a smile, I said, “See you soon, Candace.” Because I had no intention of ever letting so much time slip by before I had dinner with my father again. Next time, I’d bring Jack. In fact, I was already mentally planning to return here with him on our way home from Paris. And then my father would meet the Reeds and I knew he’d fit right into our blossoming family.

As I stepped out of the elevator on the ground floor, I pulled my iPhone from my purse and dialed a new friend, who picked up immediately.

“How’d it go?” Giselle Kemper asked. We’d discussed my impending trip over coffee in the break room at the magazine not more than a week ago.

“As well as I’d hoped,” I told her. “Maybe even better.”

“I’m so glad to hear it.”

“Me too.” I was also glad I now had people in my life to share all of these new and wonderful experiences with.

I returned to my hotel room and, the next day, caught my flight to Paris. I’d traveled ahead of Jack because I’d been wary of how the conversation with my father would go and I hadn’t been ready to subject Jack to the potentially awkward and tense situation. But I looked forward to introducing them before we went back to the States.

I arrived at the newly opened boutique hotel we’d booked in Paris and unpacked my bags. Then I hit the Champs Elysees for some goodies. I bought a beautiful floral arrangement for our room, as well as champagne and French Kisses—dates stuffed with decadent foie gras mousse. I returned to the hotel and took a luxurious bubble bath, then slipped into a long, sexy red nightgown with a slit that ran almost all the way to the top of my left thigh.

After consulting the dainty Waterford crystal clock on an end table in the sitting room, I popped the cork on the champagne and poured two glasses. I set out the French Kisses and turned on the radio, finding a selection of jazz stations to choose from, knowing Jack would like the music.

As I took a sip from my champagne flute, a soft rap on the door made my stomach flip. My giddiness every time I was about to see Jack had only escalated since I’d first met him. A very good sign I’d been right about destiny when I’d considered taking a chance on him that night I’d attended the party at his house.

I’d texted him the suite number and when I pulled open the door, I couldn’t stop from launching myself into his arms. Luckily, I’d set aside my glass and his arms were free, because his bags were at his feet.

He chuckled at my exuberance as he wrapped his arms around my waist and held me tight.

“I’ve decided a few nights without you is henceforth out of the question,” he told me.

I smiled as I continued to hug him. “Duly noted.”

When he eventually pulled away from me, his emerald gaze roved my body and he let out a sigh of appreciation. “Maybe we should step inside,” he said as his eyes blazed and his hands eased over my hips covered with red satin.

We moved into the room, bringing his luggage with us, and closed the door behind us. I handed him a glass of champagne and he touched the rim to mine, making a soft clinking sound.

“I’m glad you cleared the air with your father,” he told me after we indulged ourselves with a French Kiss of the foie-gras variety. I’d shared my conversation with him before I’d left London, and he’d said he absolutely thought I’d done the right thing by confronting my dad.

“I am too. I really shouldn’t have waited so long, but I guess I needed a little shove to push me in the right direction.”

“How’d he feel about our engagement? Maybe I should have done the old-fashioned thing and asked him first…”

I shook my head. “Although I’m looking forward to the two of you meeting, I needed to work things out with him alone. I think I did the right thing, because I really couldn’t have said what I needed to say with you there. It would have damaged his pride even more. It’s not easy for either of us to admit someone we loved didn’t love us enough to stay.”

“I get it,” he said before kissing me. Then he added, “By the way, my parents want to host the rehearsal dinner at their house. It’d be great if he could join us.”

“I’ll be sure to invite him.”

Jack placed his champagne glass on the table and then took mine from me and set it next to his.

He scooped me up in his arms and said, “Let’s rehearse for our wedding night.”

I laughed enthusiastically. “You won’t get any arguments from me.”

We ducked into the master suite and christened the king-sized bed. Many times over.

About the Author


Multi-published and award-winning author Ava McKnight’s love of romantic fiction began as a teenager. She holds degrees in General Studies and Communications and has worked on newspapers as an editor and reporter. Most recently, she worked in PR, writing speeches and Congressional testimonies.

Ava is a member of Romance Writers of America and one of its Phoenix chapters, Desert Rose. She has served as a Board member, Newsletter Director, National Contest Chairperson and Arbitration Co-Chair. She is also published in romantic fiction as Calista Fox.


Ava welcomes comments from readers. You can find her website and email addresses on her
author bio page





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Also by
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Ellora’s Cave Publishing




Right Moves


ISBN 9781419941061


Right Moves Copyright © 2012 Ava McKnight


Edited by Briana St. James

Cover art by Fiona Jayde

Photos: Coka/


Electronic book publication May 2012


The terms Romantica® and Quickies® are registered trademarks of Ellora’s Cave Publishing.


With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.® 1056 Home Avenue, Akron OH 44310-3502.


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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.


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BOOK: Right Moves
3.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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