The Bride Takes a Powder

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Book: The Bride Takes a Powder Read Online Free PDF
Author: Jane Leopold Quinn
Tags: Romance, Literature & Fiction, Contemporary, Contemporary Fiction
repercussions of Garrett's
actions and would have a clean bill of health.
    The man—the person? She didn't miss
him. Not one little bit. At that thought, she put a little skip in her step and
headed on toward the town center—toward the coffee house and its connected
bookstore. How long had it been since she'd had free time enough to read a
novel? The most she did these days was leaf through a magazine at the beauty
salon while her highlights set. She'd always had to keep up with the latest
cases and continuing education courses. Now the bookstore was drawing her
inside. She'd never wanted to read a novel more than she did right that minute.
    Inside Java Joe's Books, Etc. she
smiled at the sight of large rectangular tables piled with current releases and
others with older books—fiction, non-fiction, biographies. There was a moment
of concern that there were too many choices, but she let that worry float away.
She had all the time in the world to relax and read. Good Lord, could that be
true? Everything had been prepared and organized and arranged at the office.
All her cases were being handled by others. All her clients knew she'd be out
of the office but would be in touch occasionally. No trials were scheduled.
Aware she hadn't called her secretary, she decided to do it later this evening
after hours so she could leave a voice mail. She didn't want to talk to anyone.
But for now, she truly had nothing to do.
    Except read a book and drink a cup
of coffee.
    She bought several books with
interesting sounding blurbs, a large coffee, and then strolled across the
street to the park at Courthouse Square. Benches lined the walkways, not too
close together, making it easy to talk to people but also allowing privacy. A
maintenance worker was in the process of drying off the benches with rags so
not a spot of rain water remained. She quickly appropriated a seat and watched
the surprising number of passersby on their way to lunch or out for a walk to
enjoy the respite from the rain. Sipping her coffee, she wondered if she looked
as silly as she felt—smiling at nothing as she was. Sunlight peeking through
the tree limbs warmed her face. Bird songs and chattering, rushing squirrels
charmed her. She realized she'd left her cell phone in her apartment but didn't
miss it one bit. The last thing she wanted was to hear that ringtone and see
Garrett's texts. Her parents knew she was okay, and they were the only ones who
mattered.
    Women passing by wore slacks, even
shorts and sandals or athletic shoes. She didn't want to be noticed as an
outsider dressed in designer jeans and heels. Garrett and his brother had been
on TV news. Her name had probably not been mentioned so no one here would know
who she was. Still, she was dressed for the big city, and that didn't seem
appropriate here in Birchwood Falls.
    Relaxed and half asleep, she began
to feel the stirrings of hunger. Depositing the coffee cup into the waste
bin—Lord, even those were cute, painted to look like wild animals—she headed
across the park toward the grocery store. Today she had a better idea of her
living arrangements and what she'd need day to day.
    Roaming the produce aisle, she
spotted a gorgeous woman with hair pulled up in a ponytail, a fuchsia streak in
her dark bangs, and a good-sized pregnant belly. The woman hummed as she
inspected the tomatoes, then she turned to cantaloupes and early strawberries.
    They both reached for a container
of the fruit at the same time and bumped hands. "Sorry." Norah pulled
her hand back.
    The woman turned to her. "Hi."
    That was it. Just a hi but spoken
with a luminous smile. Norah couldn't stop an answering smile and murmured, "Hi."
She was usually in a hurry in the grocery store and didn't pay attention to
other people.
    The woman plucked a box of
strawberries off the display and handed them to Norah. "These look good.
What are you going to have with them?"
    "Um, I hadn't thought about
that. What do you do with them?"
    The woman
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