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Styling Wellywood: Funny sexy chick lit (Wellywood Romantic Comedy Book 1)

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Styling Wellywood: Funny sexy chick lit (Wellywood Romantic Comedy Book 1)
Returning home is the last thing Jessica Banks ever wanted to do.

Jessica does not want to be back in her New Zealand hometown one little bit. Goodbye exciting London, hello old-fashioned boredom.

And she's got a lot to deal with. There's her overbearing mother, her new fashion career, not to mention the sudden disappearance of her best friend. Thank goodness for Ben, her reliable, cute friend who always has a broad shoulder to cry on--at least when his gorgeous girlfriend isn't around.

Then sexy tennis pro, Scott bursts into her life, serving up a hot and steamy love match. But off the court Scott is running a different racket--one that might just open Jessica's eyes and heart.

With everything she ever wanted and feared in front of her, will Jessica finally find her way home?

A fun, "well written masterpiece" (Readers' Favorite), chick lit romp for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes.

"Part 'Bridget Jones's Diary' and part 'Eat, Pray, Love'" (Chick Lit Central), escape to beautiful New Zealand in this sexy, feel-good romantic comedy.

This is the second edition.

Suitable for readers 16+

Books in The Wellywood Romantic Comedy Series:

Wedding Bubbles (short story)

1. Styling Wellywood

2. Miss Perfect Meets Her Match

3. Falling for Grace

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As I approach the court I hear an American man’s voice float over to me from a group of people. Although I can only see the back of his head and the rest of him is obscured by the throng of eager women, I can see enough to work out he must be the coach the women were getting flustered about in the changing room.

I bet he’s some old, greying has-been in reasonably good shape who’s got the housewives all excited because he shows them a little interest and flatters their egos. He won’t have any such effect on me.

I lean over at the edge of the court to put my bag next to the others and pull out my racquet. As I straighten up and look over at the group he turns around and locks me with his piercing gaze. He smiles lazily at me as he listens to one of the women’s animated stories about how his coaching had helped her beat a member from an opposing club the previous week.

Oh. My. God.

I catch my breath as I take in his Greek Adonis-like gorgeousness, a blush rising up my neck. He’s probably about 6’2” or 6’3”, broad-shouldered, athletic, with a full head of not even slightly greying hair. When he smiles, he reveals a perfect set of white teeth. What’s more, he’s not old at all—more like my age.

He’s wearing a slim-fitting orange and white T-shirt, showing off his tennis pro tan and more than hinting at the muscular torso beneath. His legs are long and muscular, not too bulky—not like one of those overdone bodybuilder types—and he has an air of confidence about him that is undeniably hot.

He’s more attractive than any single person has the right to be. He is, what my friend Lindsay used to call ‘the total freakin’ package’.

All right, Jess, time to breathe. I collect myself enough to straighten up, push my chest out to its best advantage—come on, I’m only human—and try to look nonchalant.

He walks towards me, arm outstretched. “You must be Jessica. Taylor told me we might be getting a new girl today. Hi, I’m Scott. I’m the coach.”

I love that accent. With an enormous effort, I pull my eyes from his face and stare down at his hand, mesmerized by him. I know there’s something I should be doing with his hand right now. Oh, yeah, that’s right: shake it!

“Hi. Yes, I’m the new girl,” I stammer. Did I just giggle? Get a hold, Jess. “My name is Jessica Banks. Pleased to meet you.” I try to appear cool and casual, as though I meet impossibly good-looking men every day of my life.

I reach out and shake his hand, hoping my palms haven’t started sweating. When he touches me I could melt into a blob of human flesh on the spot.

Why didn’t I put on any mascara this morning? Or lip-gloss? Surely I could have managed a bit of lip-gloss, for the love of God!

“Great!” He releases my hand, still smiling at me. “Before we start, can you tell me a little about yourself?”

He wants to know about me? Is he interested in me? My heart starts palpitating even faster as my tomato blush deepens.

“About me? Well, I’ve just moved to Wellington from London. I loved living over there and don’t want to be here, but here I am, and I’m starting up a new business with my friend Morgan, which I’m really excited about, and—Oh.” I notice the amused look on his face. “You mean tell you about my tennis, don’t you?”

I wish the court would open up and swallow me whole.

“Yeah, kinda did, though it’s great to hear about your life too.” He seems to be enjoying my obvious discomfort. “How would you rate your game and your level of fitness? So I know how hard to run you today.”

I’ve recovered a little from my schoolgirl rambling but am still blushing profusely, hoping he doesn’t notice—although I suspect a malfunctioning heat-seeking missile would have no trouble finding me right now. “Umm, well, I’m probably about an intermediate player, although I haven’t played for a few years. Probably average fitness? Yeah, probably about average, maybe better when I haven’t just got off a twenty-four-hour flight. But I already told you about that, didn’t I?” I shoot him a cheeky grin, attempting to make light of my embarrassing faux pas.

“Yeah, you did.” He flashes me a mischievous smile.

There’s that feeling again.

He turns towards the group whose presence I’ve barely registered. “Right ladies, it’s time to get moving. Jessica, why don’t you go and join Stacey, Kyra, Amanda, and Chris at my end of the court, and Jonelle, Tara, Lily, and Rhonda, you ladies go to the other end of the court. Let’s get started with some cross-court forehands.”

He hits the first ball to Kyra, one of the athletic middle-aged women in my group, who whacks it across court with impressive strength and accuracy. I’m up next—telling myself I’m here for the tennis, not the tennis coach—and I concentrate hard on ensuring I hit a good, clean ball. As I draw back I get my footing all wrong and shank the ball into the adjoining court. Damn!

“Don’t worry about it, Jessica. Go to the back and try again. You’ll get there, you know?” Scott calls out as he drills the next shot down the court.

After a shocking start and an epic effort to concentrate on my game instead of on Scott I improve steadily during the forehand session. I begin to find my rhythm by the time we move onto backhands, matching the other women shot for shot. I notice they’re all handy players and most of them are wearing full makeup, dressed in cute tennis outfits.

I must look like their poor cousin: makeup-less, hair pulled into a ponytail, wearing what looks like an old, tattered looking tennis outfit next to theirs.

I’m here for the tennis, not to flirt with the hot coach. But, now that I think about it, Mum did say this was a good way to meet a man, and Scott is a man, right?

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Endorsements
Just went through the basic elements of a proper chicklit with some friends. Here is the unofficial list: romance, sex, humour, drama, fun, friendship, intelligent and relatable heroine, at least two cool guys, interesting setting. So let's go through the check list with Styling Wellywood. (Neat title, by the way.)

Romance certainly blossoms in this book, on more levels than one, as the heroine is challenged to reinvent herself, fall in love with her hometown, deal with her friends and family and their relationships (some surprises there;)), not to mention finally admitting who is right for her. Check.

Sex is there, quite steamy although with... aah, no, no spoilers in this review. Let's just say you will find it, quite soon in the book, although it does not drive the story. Check.

Humour stems directly from the authors witty writing style, charming similes, and of course, funny situations developing from the ridiculousness of human inability to communicate emotions clearly. Not laugh-right-out situations, so no fear of choking on your beach cocktail, but enough to give you a cheeky smile which will attract some attention of those checking out you and your book. Humour - check.

Drama - there is an underlying dramatic plot which may not be evident from the start, but which unveils itself, connecting new friendships and old ones. It gives the story a serious touch, but it is justified. And the friendships are not only of the galpal kind - the male-female motive is there too, and so is a charming development with the heroine's parents. So drama, family & friendship - check.

Fun abounds all around. Parties, events, dates, family get-togethers... What I was intrigued by was how the personal stylist career of the heroine evolves, and although related to shopping and looks, the author also shows the confidence booster element behind this particular profession. The clients' list is charming, but no spoilers:). Fun, check.

Heroine and the guys. Yes, all there. Agree or not with some of her decisions, eventually the heroine will justify your trust and make you proud, and although she can be gullible, hormone-smittened and stubborn, she is a positive girl, after all, and you will connect with her. The guys are colourful - I know my favourite, and you will definitely pick yours.

As for the setting, the little town in New Zealand will quickly grow on you as you fall in love with the comedy and drama of its inhabitants. The final scene setting is cute and quirky, and many a guy and girl may have dreamed of it, although it is not predictable. Check.

Overall, this chicklit has all the spices you might expect, with a charming set of characters, twists and turns, and will make your holiday fun. It might even inspire a romantic streak; you never know!

This review was written for the Readers Review Room and earns the author a gold bookworm.

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