Flowers and romance – the words feel synonymous, especially around Valentine’s Day. Throw in your anniversary, birthday, and maybe Mother’s Day and most men seem to think they have the landscape covered.
Not in my book!
I love flowers. When we lived in South Carolina, I constantly worked in the yard, planting not just flowering trees and shrubs, but flower starts from my grandparent’s garden.
When we moved to Washington, I mourned the loss of my garden, but a few plants survived the journey and now grace our new yard.
My wonderful husband—a smart man—picked up on this love affair with flowers early in our relationship. When we started dating, he’d leave a rose in my mailbox… just because. Thirty years later, he still brings home flowers on a regular basis. Roses, bunches from the local grocer, bouquets from the flower market, he knows I love them all.
Flowers say I love you, I’m sorry.
I was thinking about you. In For Love or Money, heroine Holly Price has been casually dating Alex Montoya, but finds herself in an uncomfortable triangle when Holly’s ex-fiance, JC Dimitrak, reappears in her life during a murder investigation. Questions about Alex’s possible involvement—and whether JC is using the investigation to drive a wedge between the pair—lead to a huge fight (a fun scene to write!). The next day, Alex sends flowers:
In one smooth move, Holly dumped her briefcase, deposited Alex’s flowers on the credenza, shrugged out of her jacket, and punched “voicemail.” She stared at the flowers as the phone connected. Did Alex really think he could smooth over the angry accusations with a seasonal assortment?
In his dreams.
Smoothing over those kinds of arguments takes more than flowers!
The next day, more flowers arrive at Holly’s office, but she has no idea who sent them. Alex still hoping to make up—or clear his name? JC, wanting to start something new? … Or someone else, with a hidden agenda?
“Well, aren’t you Ms. Popular this week?” Tracey beamed at Holly once she managed to wrestle the trolley into Desert Accounting’s office. A vase of roses graced the corner of the receptionist’s desk.
“For me?” Surely Alex wouldn’t spring for flowers two days in a row. The first bouquet had surprised her. Two seemed excessive, even for him.
“They came this morning. Open the card. Who are they from?” Tracey extended a white florist’s envelope.
Holly fumbled with the small card until Tracey grabbed it and extracted the note.
“To second chances.” Tracey peered over her reading glasses. “What does that mean?”
She gave the receptionist a perplexed look. “I’m not sure.”
A second chance with who? Alex? Her heart skipped a beat. JC?
She cautiously peeked into her college memory file. Had JC ever sent her flowers? She couldn’t remember, and she had no idea what kind of dating moves he currently used.
“There’s no name.” Tracey flipped the card front to back. “Alex? Or someone new?”
The receptionist’s eyes held an avid gleam as she sensed the possibility of juicy details.
“I don’t know.”
Was JC really looking for a second chance? Showing up at the library last night, that hadn’t been police work.
Could he have faked the way he’d held her? She’d felt not just safe, but cherished.
“Let me see the card.” She studied the words. It wasn’t JC’s distinctive handwriting, but he could’ve called in the order. And the cryptic message sounded like something a guy would say when he didn’t want to commit himself.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t exactly call up JC and ask if the flowers came from him.
She sighed with frustration. She really didn’t need another mystery right now.
Do you love flowers? Have someone who indulges your habit? Or do you buy them yourself when you want a spot of color or hint of fragrance?
When Holly Price trips over a friend’s dead body, her life takes a nosedive into a world of intrigue and danger. With an infinitely sexy cop—Holly’s pissed-off, jilted ex-fiancé—threatening to arrest her for the murder, the intrepid accountant must protect her future, her business…and her heart…by using her investigative skills to follow the money before the killer decides CPA stands for Certified Pain in the Ass…and the next dead body is Holly’s.
Cathy Perkins is a member of Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She writes predominantly financial-based mysteries but enjoys exploring the relationship aspect of her characters’ lives. Her suspense writing lurks behind a financial day-job, where she learned firsthand the camouflage, hide in plain sight, skills employed by her villains.
She lives in Washington, the setting of FOR LOVE OR MONEY, with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.
Amazon Author page http://www.amazon.com/Cathy-Perkins/e/B006K0IKUQ