Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard


  “Well, what do you think?” Aunt Joella asked, jerking Daisy out of her fantasy.

  “It’s beautiful,” Daisy said, and one of the tears she had been blinking back escaped to slide down her cheek. “You two are so sweet—”

  “Not that sweet,” Aunt Joella interrupted, frowning at the tear. “Why are you crying?”

  “Is something wrong?” her mother asked, reaching over to touch her hand.

  Daisy drew a deep breath. “Not wrong. Just—I had an epiphany.”

  Aunt Jo, who was sharper than any tack, shot her a narrow-eyed look. “Boy, I bet that hurt.”

  “Jo.” Sending her sister an admonishing glance, her mother took both of Daisy’s hands in hers. “Tell us what’s wrong, honey.”

  Daisy took a deep breath, both to work up her courage and to control her tears. “I want to get married.”

  They both blinked, and looked at each other, then back at her.

  “Well, that’s wonderful,” her mother said. “To whom?”

  “That’s the problem,” Daisy said. “No one wants to marry me.” Then the deep breath stopped working and she had to bury her face in her hands to hide the way her unruly tear ducts were leaking.

  There was a small silence, and she knew they were looking at each other again, communicating in that mental way sisters had.

  Her mother cleared her throat. “I’m not quite certain I understand. Is there someone in particular to whom you’re referring?”

  Bless her mother’s heart, she was an English teacher to the core. She was the only person Daisy knew who actually said whom—well, except for herself. The acorn hadn’t fallen far from the mother oak. Even when her mother was upset, her phrasing remained exact.

  Daisy shook her head, and wiped the tears away so she could face them again. “No, I’m not suffering from unrequited love. But I want to get married and have babies before I get too old, and the only way that’s going to happen is if I make some major changes.”

  “What sort of major changes?” Aunt Jo asked warily.

  “Look at me!” Daisy indicated herself from head to foot. “I’m boring, and I’m mousy. Who’s going to look at me twice? Even poor Wally Herndon wasn’t interested. I have to make some major changes to me.”

  She took a deep breath. “I need to spruce myself up. I need to make men look at me. I need to start going places where I’m likely to meet single men, such as nightclubs and dances.” She paused, expecting objections, but was met with only silence. She took another deep breath and blurted out the biggie: “I need to get my own place to live.” Then she waited.

  Another sisterly glance was exchanged. The moment stretched out, and Daisy’s nerves stretched along with it. What would she do if they strenuously objected? Could she hold out against them? The problem was that she loved them and wanted them happy, she didn’t want to upset them or make them ashamed of her.

  They both turned back to her with identical broad smiles on their faces.

  “Well, it’s about time,” Aunt Jo said.

  “We’ll help,” her mother said, beaming.

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  LINDA HOWARD is an award-winning author whose New York Times bestsellers include Cry No More and, from Pocket Books, Open Season, All the Queen’s Men, Now You See Her, Kill and Tell, and Son of the Morning. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two golden retrievers.

  Books by Linda Howard

  A Lady of the West

  Angel Creek

  The Touch of Fire

  Heart of Fire

  Dream Man

  After the Night

  Shades of Twilight

  Son of the Morning

  Kill and Tell

  Now You See Her

  All the Queen’s Men

  Mr. Perfect

  Open Season

  Published by POCKET BOOKS

 


 

  Linda Howard, Mr. Perfect

 


 

 
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