Dear Darling – A Valentine Special

Gooood evening everyone! There was a slight fudge up with posting so I’m so sorry that you’ve been without for the last 2 days. I guess this means you’ll be treat to a double whammy soon 😉

Enjoy xx

CHAPTER ONE

Christmas is well and truly over, the ‘January blues’ are still hanging around, and I have about a stones worth of salted caramel profiteroles sticking to my arse courtesy of Marks and Spencer.

Running my hand down the list of chart DVDs at the supermarket, I wonder which new miracle workout DVD to buy, if any. Will it be the reality tv star who sacrificed her weekly kebabs and pints of beer for the tiny bikini body she’s now sporting, the presenter who I just can’t seem to trust because she smiles too much for someone who isn’t high, or a bootcamp master that could potentially kill me off with the warmup alone. Decisions, decisions.

“You could try the old fashioned route. You know, join a gym?” Gina raises a perfectly groomed eyebrow at me as she bounces Mathilda on her hip, wiping the drool from her chin.

“You know what I’m like, I’d pay the joining fee, turn up to my first session with the personal trainer, see the other women barely out of their teens bouncing about on the treadmill with their boobs still where they belong and flee like the coward I am. No, I think at home sessions are the best way forward.”

“But half of these DVDs are made by celebrities that purposely gained the weight just so they could lose it for a profit. Surely Adam would help you work it off?” She winks as I shake my head and cover Mathilda’s tiny ears.

“Firstly, Adam refuses to condone any extreme measures where my weight is concerned because he thinks I look perfect and likes the extra boobage. Secondly, 3 times a day 7 days a week wouldn’t help with the amount I’ve eaten over Christmas. I also blame you and your cravings. And Dale. Why is it that I was the one who always had to go on the cream cake shop for you, not to be crude but it wasn’t me that fertilised you and turned you into a walking garbage disposal.”

“Dale got the 2am trips for salad cream and red onion for my sandwiches. Anyway fat arse, don’t blame me for your lack of self-control. I gave birth well before Christmas and your festive cream cake obsession kicked in. You do realise that just because something is a limited edition it doesn’t mean you’ve got to eat enough of it to make up for the 11 months it’s not on sale, don’t you?” Kissing Mathilda’s head, Gina nudges me away from the DVDs and guides me towards the salad aisle. “Just stock up on salad and green tea so if all else fails, you’ll pee your weight off.”

“Nice. Thanks.” Adjusting my bra that’s steadily impaling me, I load my basket up with salad and tea bags and head to the checkout. Hannah insists that my new waistline is contentment and that I could just not buy the treats in the weekly shop. We’re no longer friends.

I joke, of course, but I mean there’s really no need to take such extreme measures is there? She may as well have sworn at me.

What I didn’t admit was that she was probably right. I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time now that I’m with Adam. We cook together too every weekend which means that the days of a bottle of wine and Pot Noodle for my Saturday evening meal are long gone. My parents are thrilled with my new ‘healthier’ physique but I need exercise and until I start to tone up my jiggly bits, I refuse to shop for anything new. Apart from bras. This one really is digging in.

“How is Adam anyway? You guys found a house yet?” Mathilda gurgles and chews on her chubby little hand as Gina straps her into her baby seat and fights with the pram.

“He’s fine, stressing about finding somewhere as nice as where we are now.” The day the owner of his rented house decided he didn’t want to sell to us was a dark day indeed. I clung onto the bathtub like a child with their favourite blanket as he argued it out with the grumpy old git of a landlord. My apartment was long gone since Arianna moved back to the UK and decided that London was where her soul felt most at ease. I called bullshit on that and my guess is she ran out of money and wanted to get back some of her old clients from her call girl days, so all in all we haven’t had the best of luck where property is concerned.

“Well, you know my old apartment is empty at the moment, you can always stay there if you get stuck.”

“Thanks, G. Right, I’d better get back to work, sleeping with the boss won’t save me from the dead eye from the others if I’m late back.”

“Okay, give Hannah my love. And on a serious note babe, you look gorgeous, you don’t need to lose any weight.”

“Yeah, yeah.” I bat her away and blow kisses at Mathilda. “You just don’t want me raiding your wardrobe since the whole coffee down the cashmere incident.”

Glaring at me, Gina gets into the car and gives me the finger. Such a smashing role model.

 

*

 

“So I’ve been thinking,” Adam starts as he spoons out the salad onto my plate. We move in perfect synchronicity as I grab the steak from the griddle pan, doing my best to avoid the hiss and spits as I plate up.

“Go on,” I pour the wine and wait.

“These last couple of months have been incredibly stressful for us both, between work and having to move out of this place, and I think we deserve a break. We didn’t even celebrate our anniversary properly in November it was so hectic.”

My mind flashes back to our anniversary night and I feel myself blush. We may not have made it out but we certainly celebrated most of the night.

“Sure,” I cough. “Where were you thinking?” I silently pray it’s not somewhere that I’d need to get bikini ready for in a matter of weeks.

“How about a long weekend in New York? How would you feel about that?” He sits back in his chair and watches me as my fork hovers in limbo.

“Seriously?! That would be amazing! New York is right at the top of my bucket list! When?”

I watch relief flood his face, his dark eyes dancing as he bites his lip and takes my hand. I swallow hard and try to smile. I might be having a bad day because my work trousers are so tight that the top button has been undone all day, but nobody has ever made me feel as special and sexy and important as Adam does every single day.

“I’m so glad you said that because it’s already booked.” He laughs and his eyes crinkle in that way I love. “We fly out on Friday. Happy Valentines!”

Leaping from my seat, I throw myself into his lap and kiss his face like a dog who hasn’t seen his owner all day – which is pretty much how I feel at work anyway not being able to kiss him as and when I want.

“Have I told you lately how much I love you?” I ask.

“Hmmm, now that you mention it, not for a while. You can always show me tonight though.” His hand travels up my back and under my silk shirt and I smile against his mouth.

“Deal, Mr Donley. When did all this happen?!”

“Well Gina and Hannah have both said that they’re worried about you and so am I. We thought a break would do you the world of good and I know how much you love America. The only thing is….” He trails off and sucks air through his teeth, “they’re coming with us. Well, Gina and Dale, Hannah and Christen. We don’t have to see them but we all thought that a night out together letting our hair down might be nice. No work worries, no stresses at home.”

“It sounds perfect. I’m a very lucky lady to have so many people in my life that love me,” I laugh. “Although I’m not sure why you’re worried?” I spear a potato and chew slowly.

“Ellie, Gina rang me today to tell me about the exercise DVDs. You’re a beautiful, sexy, vivacious woman that lights up whatever room she walks into. You do not need to lose weight, okay?” His voice is firm, commanding, and I may have just peed my pants a little. “You want to get fit, fine. But you need to get the losing weight mission out of your head because you’re perfect, just the way you are. Also, you’re a bloody nightmare when you’re hangry.”

“You’re an idiot,” I laugh. “But I love you.”

Catch up on Chapter two soon………

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How to Get a (Love) Life by Rosie Blake

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Here’s the official description:

Some people book last-minute holidays, walk barefoot in the grass or party on a week night. Not Nicola Brown. Nicola is the kind of girl who double-locks the front door, leaves the plastic covering on new furniture, sticks to a super-strict diet and definitely, absolutely Does Not Date.

Her colleague Caroline – loopy, warm and exasperated by her, knows that Nicola’s reluctance to lose control means she’s living only half a life. And so she lays down the gauntlet: Nicola must cast aside her hang ups and go on as many dates as it takes to find true love in time for Valentine’s Day.

The pick of local men is, quite frankly, a bit rubbish. And there are only three months until February 14th. Surely it’s an impossible task? But, as Nicola is about to find out on her dodgy dates, letting go isn’t quite as scary as she imagined. In fact, it’s rather a lot of fun…

 Review

After seeing all of the rave reviews and people saying how funny it was on Twitter, I couldn’t NOT one click this beauty!

Nicola Brown is a single 29 year old creature of habit, and that’s putting it mildly. She has serious OCD, from the strict times she has her food on a specific day of the week to her super organised office space. Nothing she does is ever spontaneous and her life is meticulously planned – but she likes it that way….doesn’t she?

It’s Nicola’s colleague, Caroline, that finally get’s Nicola to relax little by little by setting her a challenge: find true love by Valentines Day.

Caroline is hilarious. I loved her care free attitude and free spirit, if it wasn’t for her I don’t think Nicola would have ever taken the plunge and realised how little of her life she was actually living.

Poor Nicola has to suffer her fair share of disastrous dates though and there are some genuine laugh out loud moments. My ultimate favourite was the kayaking date. I. LOVED. It.

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Between Caroline and her brother Mark, Nicola finally let’s her hair down and becomes the happy person that she deserves to be which results in her potentially finding love in the most unexpected of places 😉

Once Nicola finally begins to relax, the book skips along nicely and I for one really fell for all of the characters at that point.

4 STARS

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Love is in the air!

It’s day two of the Chick Lit Chat Valentine’s Promo Event and today’s treat is a romantic excerpt from The Story of Us. I tried hard to find a part without spoilers and finally managed to pull out this special part. I won’t be posting tomorrow because it would lead to too big a spoiler to introduce you to Lexi’s other half, but I will be back on Thursday with a special ‘Galentine’s blog’ brought to you by Lexi and her BFF, Rosie.

For now though, enjoy:

As I round the corner into the main living area I gasp, holding my hand to my mouth.

There before me is a table set for two. Candles are lit, wine sits in an ice bucket and the San Francisco skyline begins to shimmer as the city prepares for night time. The picnic basket that I struggled over with earlier sits in the kitchen, emptied, and I can’t help but hope he hasn’t had a binge while I’ve been asleep. The thought makes me smile a little. I know he wouldn’t do that, but the image of him with a napkin tucked into his t shirt as he feasts on an array of picnic food makes me laugh.

“Something funny?” He slips his arm around my waist and pulls me back against his chest as he kisses me lightly behind my ear sending a tingle up my spine. I breathe out contentedly and look up at him.

I hope you’re all having a great week and I will see you all soon!

Ellen

xoxo

Your Valentine’s Week starts here!

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Well hello there you lovely lot!

It’s Valentines week and boy are you in for a treat. You’ll be getting a lot of action from the gang from The Story of Us thanks to the Chick Lit Chat Valentine’s Promo Event which I’m very excited about. You’ve all met the lovely Lexi, and if you haven’t, you’re about to get to know her quite well in this brilliant Q & A! I’ll hand her the reigns now and hopefully she’ll behave 😉

1) What three qualities do you find most attractive in a partner?

Wow, you’ve not given me an easy one to start with have you. Cheers guys. It’s so tempting to put a peachy bum, abs of steel and gorgeous eyes, but that’s just a bit shallow isn’t it? To be honest, I think my answers are kind of obvious, but they’re true. To me, respect is one of the most important things in a relationship. It works both ways of course, but a guy has to respect you, not just treat you like an accessory or a piece of meat.

Secondly, a great sense of humour. If he doesn’t laugh at my jokes, then he clearly hasn’t got one. Seriously, I’m hilarious.

Finally, kindness. Someone who has a good heart will always melt mine.

So there you have it, respect, kindness and a great sense of humour….although the peachy bum, abs of steel and gorgeous eyes do help too ;)

2) What’s your idea of romance?

I love to be whisked off of my feet unexpectedly. Or just to have someone make cute little gestures. Take for example my dad, he brings my mum a bunch of roses home every Friday, without fail, just because. I love receiving messages or phone calls just because your other half misses you through the day or misses hearing your voice. I’m a sucker for the sweet traditional stuff, I liked to be romanced old school baby!

3) Who’s your favorite on-screen couple (Film or TV)?

Okay, so if I tell you this you have to promise not to scoff at me….promise?It’s, Homer and Marge Simpson. I know, I know, they’re cartoon characters, bla bla bla but I challenge anyone to say that they wouldn’t want the unconditional love that Marge has for Homer. They stick together through thick and thin, through Homer’s misgivings and the kids causing havoc. Homer always comes good in the end, he’s just a little bit hopeless sometimes.

4) What’s been your most embarrassing moment in regards to the opposite sex?

Does having your leg dry humped by a dog on your first date count? If so, THAT!

5) What was your first impression of your partner or crush? How accurate was it?

I thought he was an absolute ass. Never wanted to see him again to be honest. But I’m glad I did because I learnt that he had his reasons for being like that and as wrong as they were, I appreciated his honesty.

6) How have you coped with break-ups in the past?

HA, this is a good one. I’ve eaten my own body weight in ice cream and cried at Kate Hudson movies. It’s never pretty.

7) Which hot actor would you want to be stranded on a deserted island with and why?

Ooooh, now you’re talking! I’m quite torn though, I’m quite partial to some Simon Baker but Alex O’Loughlin is pretty damn special isn’t he?! Alex looks like he could hunt for food and set up camp pretty well because trust me when I say nobody wants to be around me when I’m hungry ;)

8) What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?

Moved away from everything and everyone I knew.

9) PDA: How much is acceptable?

Ugh, I’m all for sweet little kisses or an arm around your waist, maybe even a little moment on the bum but I really do hate when people are practically down each others throats in the middle of the street. Get a room y’all, get a room.

10) What is the best relationship advice you’ve ever gotten?

Take a chance and forget about the past. You have to follow and trust in your heart, it usually knows what it’s doing.

Well, that was fun! I hope I get to come back again at some point, I’ve quite liked taking over. I’d better love you and leave you though, I have a kitty here that’s threatening to jump all over my laptop, God only knows what nonsense he’d come up with.

Thanks for joining me! Lexi xxxx