Title: One Last First Date
Series: Cozy Cottage Cafe Series
Author: Kate O’Keeffe
Release Date: June 1st, 2017
Tour Dates: June 11th – 16th, 2017
Genre: Chick Lit
Cassie Dunhill is sick of dating. It’s been ten years and it’s time, time to find The One. It’s either that or buy a fetching habit and veil and abandon the whole thing. But Cassie believes in love, and she’s not ready to give up yet.
Cassie and her best friends make a pact that the next date they go on will be their One Last First Date. The pressure is on to find Mr. Right, and Cassie’s the first to find him: Parker Hamilton. He’s good-looking, smart, cultured—and a doctor. Despite his obvious credentials, Cassie’s not taking any chances. She’s vetted Parker so thoroughly she could offer some pointers to the CIA. He passes with flying colors.
Things get complicated when Will Jordan, her irritating work colleague, muscles in on her dream job and her love life. Will is a typical guy, complete with nicknames for everyone, even Cassie. His good looks and relaxed and easy nature can be distracting. But Cassie can do without that kind of distraction right now, no matter how good Will looks with his shirt off.
In the end, is there only One Last First Date?
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Say Hello to author Kate O’Keeffe.
Kate O’Keeffe is an award-nominated author of fun, feel-good romantic comedies. She lives and loves in beautiful New Zealand with her family, two scruffy dogs, and a cat who thinks he’s a scruffy dog too. He’s not: he’s a cat.
To date, Kate’s written the popular chick lit series, the Wellywood Romantic Comedy Series, and a fun holiday novella. The first in her new Cozy Cottage Café Series, is available now, with book 2 releasing on August 10, 2017.
Books in the Cozy Cottage Café Series:
Book 1: One Last First Date
Book 2: Two Last First Dates – releasing August 10, 2017
Book 3: Three Last First Dates – late-2017
Book 4: One Final Last First Date – early-2018
Visit kateokeeffe.com and sign up to Kate’s newsletter for new releases, great offers, and your chance to win.
I leaned down to collect my purse from the hook under the bar. As I stood and turned to leave, the skirt of my dress must have caught on the barstool because, the next thing I knew, I was dragging the stool across the floor as I tried to walk.
I stopped, glanced at Parker beside me, hoping he hadn’t noticed. But of course he had. Who would fail to notice a piece of furniture stuck to someone’s clothes?
“Are you all right, Cassie?”
I channeled my inner Control Queen. “Yes. Thank you.” I shot him the breeziest smile I could muster and turned my attention to my dress’s recent attachment.
I tugged at it; it stayed put. I tugged again, nothing. It was firmly wedged in the stool’s wooden join. Tension crept across my forehead. How did this even happen? A barstool attached to my dress simply wasn’t part of the look for my One Last First Date.
I had images of myself dragging this stool around with me for the rest of the date, even bundling it into my car at the end to head home.
I leaned down and peered at my dress. In the low-lit bar, it was hard to see exactly how the dress was attached. I grabbed hold of the fabric and twisted it, hoping to loosen it off.
“Do you need a hand?” Parker asked.
I looked up and shot him a terse smile. “No, I’ve got this. Thank you, though.”
He shrugged, watching me tug. “It looks pretty stuck.”
I tugged and tugged. It still wasn’t budging. I took a deep breath, trying to quell the now frantically buzzing bees in my belly. I needed to give this all I’d got before the evening was ruined. I grabbed a firm hold on the fabric and pulled with all my might. In an instant, it snapped free, my hand—still holding my dress—hurtling upwards.
I blinked, unable to prevent contact, as my fist smacked straight into my face, causing my head to snap back. “Ow!” I screamed, clutching my nose, still holding the skirt of my dress. My eyes began to water with the throbbing pain.
“Cassie! Are you okay?” Parker asked, his voice filled with concern.
“Yes, I’m fine,” I lied.
Why oh why oh why did this have to happen on my One Last First Date?
My dress still in my hand, I glanced down. No underwear flash from the front. Good. Slowly, expecting the humiliating inevitable, I turned my head to look behind me. Oh, god. I scrunched my eyes shut and dropped my skirt immediately.
In my wisdom, I had made the decision to wear something I was wearing the day I met Parker. After all, who was I to mess with Lady Luck? I needed all the help I could get to make this the best One Last First Date known to humanity. No pressure there.
I was not a frilly, complicated underwear kind of girl. I liked practical, plain white cotton. Occasionally, I’d go crazy and buy a different color—I had pink, salmon, and even lavender in my not-so extensive collection—but really, I was a plain ’n practical panties kinda gal.
But this pair? They were a joke present from Paige for my last birthday. Plain white, yes. So far so good. However, emblazoned across the back were the words Bite Me! in bold red letters with a blue outline. Seriously? I mean, come on!
I consoled myself with the fact Parker was standing in front of me. There was no way he could have seen what was written across my butt. And then I remembered the mirror behind the bar. Oh, god.
“Cassie! Lean back, hold your nose here. We need to stem the blood flow.”
Underwear logos were forgotten immediately. In a daze, I did as Parker instructed, sitting back down heavily on the offending barstool.
I heard Parker ask the waitress for some ice in an efficient, doctorly tone. As I sat, head back, I wished I had a remote control so I could rewind the events of the last few seconds—was that all it’d been?—and get a do-over. Jeez, how I would love a do-over.
We hadn’t even got to dinner yet! This was so not the impression I wanted to make on my future husband.
Parker, proving to be every inch the caring doctor of my fantasies, gently placed a bag of ice wrapped in a towel on my nose. I winced, and he handed me a wad of tissues, which I immediately placed above my lips.
“The ice will help stem the flow as well as lessen any swelling.”
“Thanks,” I muttered from my awkward position, only able to catch a glimpse of Parker out of the corner of my eye. “I’m so sorry about this.”
“Don’t be. It could have happened to anybody.” He smiled at me. “Well, maybe not anybody.”
I let out a weak laugh. It hurt.
“Try and stay still if you can, Cassie. I’ll need to check to see if it’s broken.”
Oh, this was getting better and better.
Parker pulled the ice pack away from my nose. “Hold still, this may hurt.” He gently tweaked it, moving it from side to side. I must have looked beyond ridiculous. In all my fantasies of how tonight would go, not a single one involved my future husband gently tweaking my bloodied and painful nose as I leaned against a bar, surrounded by onlookers.
“Miss Dunhill? I think you’re going to live. Your nose is not broken,” Parker declared at the end of his examination.
To my eternal humiliation, tears stung my eyes. I blinked them away quickly. Whacking myself in the face and flashing the world’s tackiest underwear at the man I wanted to marry was more than enough humiliation for one night.
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