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Title: The Proverbial Mr. Universe
Author: Maria La Serra
Publication date: June 27th 2016
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Dear girl with the red scarf,
Love was never meant to be conquered;
you have to surrender to it.
Trust me. After all, I am Mr. Universe.
When the universe conveys a message, you listen.
Olivia Montiano just caught her fiancé cheating. Now she is forced to question what she wants out of life and love. Striving to live up to her father’s unrealistic standards for the past twenty-three years, every decision she has ever made was with her father’s wishes in mind—until she finds mysterious, handwritten letters tucked away in places only meant for her. That’s when she realizes she’s been on the wrong path all along and gives her heart to a guy her father thinks is entirely wrong.
Washed-up abstract artist Nick Montgomery has had quite a few setbacks in life. He’s become accustomed to never needing anyone, thinking he’s just fine—until he meets the girl with the red scarf. She’s not his type. But the universe has other ideas. Nick has a secret he’s keeping from her, afraid it will bring their new relationship to a sudden halt.
Will they figure out what the universe holds for them?
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She was taken aback. “I … I’m not looking for anyone. The only reason I’m here tonight was to get away from someone.”
“Right, and here you are … you found me instead. You can’t deny it’s not serendipity.”
“Serendipity?” Olivia repeated.
“Look, I believe you walked into this bar tonight, not by chance, and I was meant to talk to you. When you’re not looking for something and find something extraordinary, that’s serendipity.” He motioned with his hand in the air like it was some magic trick.
She observed in silence, wondering if this sort of crap worked with other women.
“You think you’re something extraordinary?”
“No, not me … us,” he replied.
Olivia laughed. “Do girls fall for this kind of stuff?”
“I wouldn’t know,” he replied honestly and let out a long breath. “Alright look, we got off on the wrong foot. Can we call it a truce?”
Olivia bit her lip. She hated to admit it, but she was kind of having fun, well maybe just a little. He did manage to get her to forget her problems at least for the moment.
“Nick Montgomery.” He encouraged her by holding out his hand.
She hesitated before taking it. “Olivia … Montiano.”
“Olivia Montiano? Is that your real name?”
“Yeah, why wouldn’t it be?” Her brows tangled together.
“You’re not one of those girls who like to toy with men. Give them a fake name and number?”
“Do I look like the kind of girl who would do such a thing?”
He amusingly narrowed his eyes at her.
“Okay.” She laughed. “Yes, Olivia is my name. I was named after Olivia Hussey.”
She caught sarcasm and narrowed her eyes at him. “Are you familiar with Olivia Hussey?”
“Yeah, sure. Everyone knows who Olivia Hussey is … okay, not really.”
“She’s an actress, obviously one of my mother’s favorites.”
He shrugged. “Anyhow, it’s a lovely name.”
He tapped his fingers on the counter. “Montiano … where have I heard that name before? Sounds very familiar to me.”
She shrugged innocently. Her surname name had been all over the news for the past year.
“Hey, you know what I realized? We share the same first four letters in our surname. You have to admit it’s more than a coincidence.” he said.
“Wow! A good observation.” She smirked, not seeing what the big deal was.
He studied her for a moment, raising his hands in the air in defeat.
“Alright, Olivia Montiano, I give up. I see you’re a woman of many well-kept secrets, and you have the right to them.”
After a short moment of silence, she said, “So, what’s your story?” She was trying to be a little more friendly-ish.
“Nope, I’m not going to tell you a single thing.”
“Alright, I guess I deserve that,” Olivia replied.
“Okay, you don’t have to twist my arm. I’ll tell you … but over dinner.”
“You don’t give up? No, that won’t be possible.”
“Are you afraid that you will find me interesting? See, I’m the type of guy who stays on your mind, long after you met me.” His eyes danced.
Oh great, he was one of those. Full of himself. She should introduce him to Dario.
“For sure. You’re not a guy who is … forgettable.” Olivia laughed.
“Are you making fun of me?”
“You’re a very strange man, Montgomery.”
He took out a blue pen from under the counter. “Give me your hand,” he asked and extended his hand to her. She hesitated for a moment, allowing him to take her hand in his.
“You’re not going to write your phone number, are you?”
“Only a fake one.” He smiled.
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About the Author:
Maria La Serra, a fashion designer, turned writer, lives in Montreal with her husband and two children. She will try everything at least once, except for skiing, hiking or camping-okay anything relating to activities done in the great outdoors. The Proverbial Mr. Universe is her first novel.
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