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False Start by Barbara Valentin


False Start
An Assignment:
Romance Novel
Barbara Valentin
Gemma Halliday Publishing
Contemporary Romantic Comedy,65,555k
Mattie Ross is probably
the last person who should be doling out good counsel to anyone on anything.
Still smarting after being left at the altar two years earlier, she is strapped
with debt, has sworn off men and, despite her well-proportioned figure, remains
haunted by childhood taunts of “Fatty Mattie.” But to her publisher
at the Chicago Gazette and readers, she is their latest advice columnist, The
Plate Spinner, a self-assured working parent to adorable fake children and is a
multi-tasking savant.
Enter Nick
Derosa, the twin brother of Mattie’s cold-footed fiancé who is trying to get
back on his feet after his brother steals his identity and implicates him in an
illegal investment scheme. But thanks to Nick’s legendary running career, the
publisher of the Chicago Gazette proposes a wager: If Nick can train an
out-of-shape working parent to compete in the Chicago Marathon, he will
contribute enough to help Nick launch his own non-profit running club for
homeless kids.
“Fatty” Mattie and Nick are thrust together as the most unlikely of
pairs and under a deadline to put their trust issues aside and avoid another
false start in their lives. 
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          Nick DeRosa. Why Eddie
chose his estranged twin brother to be his best man over any of his esteemed
colleagues at his LaSalle Street investment firm, she had no idea. The
awkwardness of their greeting the night before was matched only by its
impropriety. Mistaking him for Eddie, Mattie had pulled his face down to hers
and, with all of the exuberance of a jubilant bride-to-be, planted a passionate
kiss on his surprised lips.
he had the same chiseled Mediterranean features and wore his chestnut-colored
locks in the same style as his brother’s was hardly her fault.
he kissed her back was his.
later, as she was leaving the rehearsal dinner, Nick managed to confirm, if not
worsen, the bride-to-be’s opinion of him when she overheard him ask Eddie, “Why
do you want to marry somebody like Mattie?”
like Mattie.
out of context, that question could be twisted any number of malicious ways and
twist it Mattie did. But, given that she was less than a day away from becoming
Mrs. Eduardo DeRosa, co-owner of a custom-built Gold Coast penthouse and a
cherry red Ferrari, she simply added the insult to the already long list of
offenses Nick had incurred against her over the years and filed it away for
future reference.
Author Bio:
Barb is
a freelance writer, over-scheduled parent, and connoisseur of fine chocolate. A
second-generation journalist, her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and
its affiliates. The exploits of her five boys provided fodder for her column,
The Plate Spinner Chronicles, a long-running feature in the Chicago Tribune,
which snagged her a runner-up spot in an Erma Bombeck Humor Contest. A member
of RWA’s Windy City chapter, she still dreams of the day when her to-do list
includes “Send NY Times book critic thank you note” and “Accept
Godiva’s request to be a taste-tester.”
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