She’s lost her soul mate. She doesn’t believe you get a second. Will the least likely candidate of all be able to change her mind?
Jennie Farrell always believed there was a happily ever after out there for everyone. Shame she’s missed out on her own. Rocking up in London with close friend Samantha, Jennie falls back on her long-ignored artistic skills to make ends meet. Her future is even looking bright when she runs into Rupert Smythe-Brown, an aristocratic prat used to getting his own way, no matter who gets hurt in the process.
Painted into a corner, Jennie turns feral and Rupert doesn’t know what’s hit him. Well he does, but for once he’s not enjoying it. Thank goodness she’s got Mark, a strapping six foot four Aussie bloke watching her back and keeping her out of trouble — at least when he’s not trying to get her into it.
Brush With Fame is a chuckle along, feel good book for any woman who’s ever wanted to fight back but hasn’t felt strong enough.
Standing next to Samantha, her life-long friend, Jennie rubs her finger where an engagement ring should sit. From what she’s seen of it so far, Steve would have loved London and, while Sam’s a brilliant travelling companion, it isn’t the same without him.
“Wow, it’s a nice looking place. We definitely got lucky here,” says Sam.
Coming out of her reverie, Jennie realises she’s looking down at a ragged parting in Sam’s normally tidy hair. She’s looking down on everything and everyone. To avoid paying excess baggage when they’d left, she’s wearing her heaviest, calf-muscle-cramping platform shoes. A pair of wooden wedges, each weighing as much as a newborn. Sam calls them glorified firewood.
Focussing on the house sitting at the end of a very short, intricately tiled pathway, Jennie can see that Sam is right. They’re lucky. Damned lucky.
Dark red brick is layered three stories high and topped with a roof so steep, it’s definitely a Santa-free zone. Bay windows either side of the glass front door give the place a look of wide-eyed innocence. While the house is immaculate, the same can’t be said for the garden that’s sporting a spectacular showing of weeds. Any flowers brave enough to survive, peep warily from a profusion of yellow dandelions.
“I guess Eadie can’t garden with arthritis.” Jennie flexes her fingers in sympathy. They’re still aching from hefting her suitcase from the back of the minicab. Their driver, after loading the huge bag at the station, wanted nothing more to do with it.
Peering over the low wall, Sam says, “If the rent’s as cheap as your workmate was saying, then maybe we can do some weeding for her.”
Sam’s long blonde hair is blinding in the reflected morning sunlight. Jennie would kill for hair like that rather than the short curly auburn locks she’s stuck with. Her height ‒ and lack of action on the boob front ‒ means that if it weren’t for a lot of hair product, people would think she was a bloke. “We can pitch in with the housework too.”
A lace curtain twitches at the bay window to their right and Sam drags her two wheeled suitcases up the tiled path, before helping Jennie manhandle the beast, as it’s been named, up to the front door. Jennie now hates her huge suitcase with a passion. It had seemed a good idea when she bought it and while she can fit everything in, it’s a nightmare to move.
“Well, knock on the door then,” says Jennie.
“No, you knock, you know her.”
“I don’t know her.”
Jennie had told Sam that Eadie is a workmate’s auntie. She’s actually Mark’s auntie; Mark is Chris’s best mate in Melbourne. Chris is Sam’s ex-boyfriend. It was so convoluted that Jennie had to think twice before speaking about it, in case she got it wrong. It was better Sam didn’t know. No point in getting her hopes up again after it had taken weeks and weeks for her to get over the worst of her break-up with Chris. Jennie doesn’t want to pick at that particular scab any time soon.
“Oh, for goodness sake, I need to get in and lie down.” Sam’s hand is poised to knock when she spots a doorbell.
Jennie hears a loud brinnggg echoing around inside the house. When there isn’t an immediate response, she puts her ear to the door and is rewarded with faint sounds. Someone is moving, the increase in volume proving they’re getting closer, albeit incredibly slowly.
The door opens at the speed of your average glacier, giving Jennie time to remove her sunglasses out of politeness before looking down at who she assumes is Eadie. The description Mark had given definitely matches the woman standing in front of them dressed in a flowery housecoat and fluffy slippers. She’s lacking in height and girth and her legs dandelion stems in all but colour. The main thing about her of any substance is her hair. There’s at least double the requirement for such a small woman. Her face is surprisingly free of wrinkles.
Mark had said Eadie was tiny but Jennie had assumed this was in relation to his six foot three. He’d even made Jennie feel petite and she’s five ten without her platforms.
Ever confident, Sam puts her hand out to shake that of the little woman and they get confirmation that it is indeed Eadie, their new landlady.
Seeing Eadie wince during her greeting with Sam, Jennie makes a mental note not to squeeze too hard when it’s her turn to shake.
“And this is Jennie.”
Sam deliberately keeps hold of Eadie’s hand, thus avoiding Jennie having to shake it too.
Instead, Jennie waves her fingers in greeting. “Hi.”
“I’ve so been looking forward to meeting you both,” says Eadie, her hands now held limply in front of her. “Come in, girls. Can I help you with anything?”
Both Sam and Jennie refuse this well-mannered offer. Jennie suspects her bag would be equal to four Eadies, so the chances of the diminutive woman being able to help move would be laughable, if it weren’t so sad.