Published by
Berkley (2015)
Current material
MS: Complete Unedited
Original language
English
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COLD FEET

by FitzHenry, Amy

Emma has jitters about her planned wedding. A wonderful comedy set in California.

Emma Moon is counting down the weeks to her wedding, but unlike her fiance - the gounded, unflappable Sam - Emma has serious jitters. She's always been conscious of her parents' short-lived marriage, and the long-estranged father who disappeared back to California when Emma was just a baby; now a lifetime's idle wondering becomes an unhealthy preoccupation. After all, fifty per cent of her gene pool is a mystery, and she’s pretty sure it’s a recipe for disaster.

Emma holds it together until the bachelorette retreat in the Napa valley with best friend Liv – but when Emma breaks down and Liv hears what’s eating her, a halt is called to the mudbaths. Liv figures they're just an hour's drive from San Francisco, and maybe it's time to put to rest Emma's old neuroses about her family. If finding her father is what it takes to get Emma down that aisle, then that's what they'll do. The problem is they don't have much to go on: just the unusual name of "Hunter Moon" which doesn't turn up much on Google besides pagan rituals and werewolf fansites.

But when the girls get to San Francisco, they make a very different kind of discovery. The first person they run into is the last person Emma wants to see: society girl and ex-friend Valerie Babbitt (or Val Baby, as she likes to term herself on Twitter). The awkward encounter turns nightmarish when Val spills to Emma about the one-night stand she had two years ago - with Sam, Emma’s fiancé. When Emma gets over her shock she calls Sam, and to her horror, he confirms the story. He's beyond contrite, but can that really be enough? Buried in denial, Emma resists Liv's efforts to get her on the next plane home to hash things out with Sam; then just as she gives way there comes an out-of-the-blue signpost to her estranged father’s whereabouts. More than ever, she needs answers to those questions. What made her father leave… and is it a curse that’s going to follow her her whole life? Is she destined for marital failure? She ditches the return flight and persuades Liv to tag along on what will become an epic scavenger hunt for the elusive Hunter Moon.

Meanwhile the girls' AirBnB host, the charismatic Dusty, becomes an ally in the search and a shoulder for Emma to lean on, and Liv finds her own drama in the city as a blast from the past resurfaces. With some luck, lateral thinking, and unexpected new allies, the trail to Hunter is growing warmer.

The standoff with Sam escalates until it seems like the wedding, and the relationship, will be called off for good. Then with a last bombshell, Emma uncovers the final truths about her parents' hidden past - gaining a father and losing another along the way. Of course, her parents' story is not the only one she needs to entangle, as back in LA there's a man who still loves her, if she can find a way to trust him again…

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