Of Plans and Pretence and Virtual PA’s, by Trish Morey

by Trish Morey, author of Fiancee for One Night (Harlequin Presents, February 2012)

Do you consider yourself a planner?

Leo Zamos is. He has to be — he’s an international business broker, travelling the world and bringing deals and parties together, oiling the wheels of negotiation and give and take and never able to relax until the deal is done. He can’t afford to leave anything to chance. He lives for his plans. He lives for success.

Eve Carmichael has her own big plans — in the forefront of her mind is renovating her grandfather’s old house in Melbourne before it falls down around her. But another is to never meet Leo Zamos in the flesh again. Just one meeting and she’d abandoned good sense and ended up in a filing room clinch with him that ended all too soon and left her wondering and wanting more. But she doesn’t want more now. She has a young child to look after — an unplanned result of all that pointless wondering, but a result she wouldn’t change for quids.

Eve is a virtual PA now, working from home to support herself and her young son, and by chance and happenstance Leo is now her number one client. And if there’s one good thing about being a virtual PA, it’s that they conduct all their business via the internet. If they never meet, she figures, he’ll never know who she really is and she’s safe pretending they don’t have history. It makes perfect sense — until Leo lands in Melbourne needing more of Eve’s services than she’d ever expected possible.

Here’s an excerpt from the opening of Fiancee from One Night

Leo Zamos loved it when a plan came together.

Not that he couldn”t find pleasure in other, more everyday pursuits. He was more than partial to having a naked woman in his bed, and the more naked the woman the more partial he was inclined to be, and he lived for the blood-dizzying rush from successfully navigating his Maserati Granturismo S at speed around the sixty hairpin turns of the Passa dello Stelvio whenever he was in Italy and got the chance.

Still, nothing could beat the sheer unmitigated buzz that came from conceiving a plan so audacious it could never happen, and then steering it through the ensuing battles, corporate manoeuvrings and around the endless bureaucratic roadblocks to its ultimate conclusion—and his inevitable success.

And right now he was on the cusp of his most audacious success yet.

All he needed was a wife.

You can see where this is going, right? Eve has to front up as Leo’s pretend fiancee for the night (because getting an actual wife within 8 hours was decidedly more tricky). But it’s what happens then that gets more interesting. You’ll have to buy the book to find out exactly what:-))

RT Book Reviews have awarded Fiancee for One Night a 4.5 star review, saying –

Broker Leo Zamos needs a fiancée to seal the deal on his latest coup so he turns to his über-efficient virtual PA, banking on her professional appearance — but she turns out to be a showstopper. Single mom Eve Carmichael needs the extra money Leo’s offering, and hopes Leo won’t recognize her from when they met years before. Morey takes readers on a lush tour of the land down under as she lets her romantic plot play out with characters who enrage and endear, and love scenes hotter than a blazing Australian summer.

I love it when plans go astray and get blindsided by life, and it’s kind of funny that both Leo and Eve found much, much more than they were planning on when life dealt them both a curve-ball.

Have you ever had your own plans come unstuck in spectacular style? And have you ever been grateful that they did? I’d love to hear your stories.

And to celebrate the recent acceptance of my 25th title for Harlequin Mills & Boon, one lucky reader commenter will win a signed copy of Fiancee for One Night, plus a book of their choice from my back list titles. Your choice!

Look forward to hearing your stories,




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Update: The contest is now closed. Please check the comments for the winner announcement.

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Comments ( 34 )
  1. 2paw
    January 27, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Your twenty-fifth book?? Congratulations!! I remember your first!! This new one sounds great.

  2. Caitlin Crews
    January 27, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Is there anything better than life messing up all your plans? I think it’s hard to accept it happening when it’s happening, but looking back, it usually turns out it was all for the best. I’ve always been grateful for the plans that came to nothing, because life intervened in grand style. For example, I was supposed to be a professor, but I wrote a book instead… Thank goodness!

    Congratulations on your 25th book, Trish! What an accomplishment! Hooray!

  3. StacieD
    January 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I was on a trip to Venice and was trying to find a specific shop. The narrow passages and streets are very confusing. I get lost easily anyway. This time I was very lost. I ended up at so many dead ends. I heard singing and decided to follow it. I ended up at an ancient building and it turned out singers were practing for an opera. I thought it was a good sign so I bought a ticket for that night’s performance. That is how I got to see La Traviata in Venice. I never would have found them if I hadn’t gotten lost.

  4. Chey
    January 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Congrats on your 25th book
    While I was going to school I planned to work near home when I graduated. When I graduated, I couldn’t get full time work near home, so I got to travel to other places to work.

  5. Linda Henderson
    January 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    I think the one thing that happened for me that was the most significant was I took a job once, one I didn’t really want, and it lead me to a job I really loved. I really enjoy your books. I had some on my keeper shelves, before I lost my keeper shelves in the tornado. I can’t wait to read this one.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  6. Trish Morey
    January 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    2paw, you were there for my first book, I remember! Lovely to *see* you again, and thanks so much for the congratulations!

  7. Trish Morey
    January 27, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Caitlin, I am so glad book writing snaffled you before professerdom did!

    It’s so true what you say about life intervening in grand style. The Beatles said something similar didn’t they, where they said life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. So often it’s for the best, even if we don’t think it at the time.

    And thanks for the congrats! I can’t believe I have that many titles to my name (and that’s not counting the ones languishing in the bottom drawer – but best we don’t talk about those -lol)

  8. Trish Morey
    January 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    StacieD, what a beautiful story! How wonderful to see La Traviata performed in Venice! Your story takes me right back to that gorgeous city and to those narrow alley ways and dead ends and the inevitable incidences of getting lost with not a clue how to find one’s way.

    Hubby and I stumbled upon an old opera house too while in Venice just last year that was still being used despite the marble floor upstairs dipping alarmingly in strange places and the columns leaning slightly askew. But oh, so beautiful. How lucky you were to attend a performance while you were there! What a fabulous memory. Thank you for sharing it.

  9. Trish Morey
    January 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Chey, isn’t it good to be shifted out of our comfort zone every now and then? I shifted interstate a few years after getting my degree and while it was in some ways a terrifying thing to do by myself, I’ll never regret it – I made new friends and got to do new and exciting things, and best of all, I met my husband there and we now have four gorgeous daughters. Much to be thankful for!

    Thanks for sharing and many thanks for the congrats!

  10. Trish Morey
    January 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Linda, that’s happened to me too, one half-hearted decision leading to something much richer and more rewarding!

    But how appalling to lose your books that way – and how terrifying an ordeal sitting out that tornado must have been! Hang the contest, I’ll send you a couple of books anyway – email me at trish at trishmorey dot com with your details and I’ll get a couple in the post.

    (For everyone else, I’ll still be drawing one winner at random from the comments, so don’t think you’ve missed your chance!)

  11. Joanne Dannon
    January 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Congrats Trish – 25 books is a brilliant achievement, well done!!!

    I really enjoyed “Fiancee” – it was a fab read 🙂

  12. Trish Morey
    January 27, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you Joanne!

    Totally chuffed to hear you liked Fiancee. You’ve made my day:-))

    Oh, and while Fiancee for One Night is out in North America right now, for anyone Downunder, Secrets of Castillo del Arco is on the shelves!

  13. Kai W.
    January 28, 2012 at 3:56 am

    My shopping plans for the Holidays were ruined. I was planning to shop via Internet but instead I had to go to the coffee shop to use the Internet because my sister forgot to pay the phone bill. I couldn’t buy stuff since the Internet in the coffee shop is not a secure line. On my way home I saw an open house sign and decided to look. The house was nice and in a good area and was within my price range. Well, I found my house and is currently in escrow. Talk about a blessing in disguise.

  14. Marilyn
    January 28, 2012 at 7:02 am

    25th book, I can’t believe it! Congratulations Trish. I think I also read if not your first., soon after that. I did however read Annie’s, Abby’s, Kimberley’s, Lynn Raye’s, Jennie’s and Natasha’s. Whew!

    What a great post. Ron and I also got lost in Venice but nothing that exciting happened to us with the exception of flooding and having to literally “walking the planks” so to speak.

  15. Shelley Bagby
    January 28, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Congratulations on your 25th book! I have such respect for writers. Well, my Christmas plans changed. They weren’t ruined though. We thought we were going to be able to move in our new home right before Christmas. Because of one set back and another we couldn’t. We were living in a one bedroom apartment until our home was finished. ( my husband, our 17 year old, and me). We didn’t decorate, because we thought we’d be out, plus all our stuff was in storage. So a week before Christmas, when it became obvious we weren’t moving, we got busy. We ended up having our families over (25 people). We learned it’s not where you are, but who you’re with, that makes the holidays special.

  16. Jacqui R
    January 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Pretty simple life here no unstuck plans working out for the best. Well done on the 25th book being accepted.

  17. Sharon Archer
    January 28, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Trish! You rock! Twenty five books is AWESOME! And so is a 4.5 star RT review!

    I love the sound of Eve and Leo’s story… I’d better get me over to the e-shop!

    I guess when it comes to plans going awry… I’d have to say my original plan when I came to Australia was to work for a while and then travel on to other places. Instead I got a job that I loved and met the man of my dreams! Yup! You can definitely say that I’m grateful that plans aren’t set in concrete!

    Happy Silver Book, Trish!

  18. Helen
    January 29, 2012 at 1:59 am


    Huge congrats on the 25th book way to go

    I really love your stories and this one sounds excellent.

    Not sure that I can remeber anything going haywire and turning out great for me LOL, having 4 kids and now 6 grandchildren things often get changed around and we all end up having some fun.

    Have Fun

  19. Trish Morey
    January 29, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Wow, KaiW, isn’t fate a funny thing? On the one hand you get put out because your on line holiday purchases couldn’t happen, and then as a consequence, you find the perfect house at the perfect price! Serendipity!

    I hope your new house is everything you wanted and more!

    (And thanks for dropping by!)

  20. Trish Morey
    January 29, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Gorgeous Marilyn! How great to see you. You have the best *job* in the world I reckon, reading all the Presents you can get your hands on. I’m jealous you get to read so many when I never seem to get time to read all I want.

    Venice in the floods must be a real experience! I hope not too much of an inconvenience, but what a story to tell. I shudder at the thought of walking the planks!

  21. Trish Morey
    January 29, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Oh Shelley, you are so right! It’s who you’re with that makes or breaks an occasion, not where you are. So glad your Xmas dramas turned out for the best. I bet that will be a family celebration that will be remembered for ever!

    And thanks so much for the congrats! I have such respect for readers, for without them we wouldn’t have a job. So thank you!

  22. Trish Morey
    January 29, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Sharon, how lovely of you to drop by!

    Hehe, I’m loving your story of plans being waylaid by meeting the perfect man, it resonates somehow… And somehow I like these new plans better:-))

  23. Trish Morey
    January 29, 2012 at 4:51 am

    Uh oh, I just typed three more replies and they’ve gone… drat!

    Called away to feed the hordes here, but I will return and make good – so sorry they haven’t appeared!

  24. Trish Morey
    January 29, 2012 at 5:42 am

    Kai W, how weird life is sometimes! I’m so glad your inconvenience turned into a great purchase – and I really hope this is the home of your dreams!

  25. Trish Morey
    January 29, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Dearest Marilyn, you really have the best job in the world if you get to read so many new Presents stories! I’m so jealous!

    And of your reminiscences of Venice in flood – that would be an experience and a half! What fabulous stories for the dinner table. I hope it wasn’t too inconvenient at the time.

  26. Trish Morey
    January 29, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Shelley, I think you’ve made a really important point – it’s not where you are but who you’re with that makes the difference when your plans go awry – I can vouch for that and Sharon too, by the sounds.

    That’s how it was for my characters too – plans blown away by a meeting that brought the past back and made the future steer a different course.

    I love the sound of your Christmas! I bet you were the perfect hosts and it was one the family will talk about for years, and for all the right reasons. Happy new house, but may last Xmas be a memory you will tuck away with all your other fond memories.

  27. Trish Morey
    January 30, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Jacqui R, I missed your post- sorry! I’m all for the simply life, Jacqui, sounds good to me.

    And I love your name – one of my faves (our eldest is a Jacqui!)

  28. Trish Morey
    January 30, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Helen! I missed your post too – or messages are playing up – I see my repeats have come through too:-))

    I guess with four kids and 6 grandkids, you’re going to have fun and games from time to time.Crikeys, just thinking, we have fourt kids. Haven’t got as far as thinking grandies, (all in good time) but 6! What a gorgeous collection. How blessed are you?

    Okay, I see Maisey’s post is up, so it must be time for a draw – drum roll please…

  29. Trish Morey
    January 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    And the winner is…

    KAI W!!!

    Kai, please drop me an email at trish at trishmorey dot com and let me know what book you’d like in addition to Fiancee for One Night and I’ll get those in the mail, along with Linda’s.

    Thanks everyone for participating. It’s been fun hearing your stories.

  30. Maria from 'gaelikaa's diary'
    January 31, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I loved this book. I totally loved the way Eve’s life with her child was so different from her virtual one. Life with a young child is rewarding, but it’s anything but glamorous.

  31. Trish Morey
    January 31, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you, Maria! It is so lovely to hear you enjoyed Fiancée! I agree with you – bringing up kids is hard work. It was fun changing Eve back into a glamorous woman for a night, with Sam’s obvious approval too;-)

    Thanks so much for posting. You’ve made my day!

  32. Laura Russell
    February 1, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Absolutely love second chances. I need a third chance myself right now.

    I really enjoyed ‘Inherited Bride.’ Congrats on 25th book!

  33. Laura Russell
    February 1, 2012 at 3:53 am

    OOPS! Wrong comment section! But I have read several of your books. Still remember Mancini Marriage Bargain well 🙂

  34. Trish Morey
    February 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    LOL Laura, you definitely get another chance to post here:-)

    I’m glad you enjoyed The m Mancini Marriage Bargain!