Let the countdown to Valentine’s Day commence! It’s time for another Valentine’s Round Robin from Choc Lit, back by popular demand. Five talented Choc Lit authors have been working collaboratively on a super sweet short story – A Valentine’s Wedding Fair – which we will be sharing in five parts in the run-up to Valentine’s Day (with the final part falling on the big day itself!) Come back every day to read a new extract AND enter competitions to win chocolate & book prizes.
Each author taking part has no idea where their part of the story will go, which leads to a few surprises along the way. But you’ll need to read on to find out more
Victoria Cornwall has written a fabulous penultimate part today – but, before reading this extract, make sure you’ve caught up with Parts 1-3 of the story.
And, as always, make sure you read right until the end to find out how to enter an exclusive competition!
A VALENTINE’S WEDDING FAIR – PART FOUR BY VICTORIA CORNWALL
Jess opened the fourth box. She breathed a sigh of relief. Her piece de resistance, a cake decorated with ivory lace icing, had survived, unlike her other creations which reminded her of last night’s news footage reporting the aftermath of a tornado in Nebraska. Jake arrived and she shot him an irritable glance.
‘What were you thinking, Jake?’ she said under her breath when Mark had left. How Jake got the Event’s Manager’s job she would never know. She suspected it had something to do with his habit of doctoring his CV.
Jake held up his hands in mock surrender. ‘I swear I wasn’t looking at her cleavage.’
Jess rolled her eyes. ‘I didn’t mean that, I mean putting Mark’s ex-wife’s stand next to ours. Today is turning into a disaster. I haven’t even hung up all the bunting yet.’ Jake reached for a red sugared heart. Jess slapped his hand away. ‘This mess is your fault, Jake. If you hadn’t had your eyes glued to Harriet’s cleavage …’
Jake nodded knowingly. ‘I knew it was about the cleavage. It was difficult to avoid, Jess.’
A devious thought struck her, ‘I’ll forgive you, but only if you do me a favour.’
Jake eyed her warily, ‘What are you up to?’
‘Nothing much. I just want you to use your position as Events Manager to ask Harriet to move the stand for her chocolate cake a bit more to the left. It will give us more room.’ The sun will catch it nicely there, thought Jess. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the chocolate covering to melt.
Jake walked over to talk to Harriet and Jess returned to her boxes to see what she could salvage. Her first task was to set up the only cake that had survived. She had to admit, it was one of her best. She stood back to admire it. She had hoped to impress Mark. As if on cue, Mark reappeared carrying a box of wine.
‘I’ve had an idea,’ he said, opening a bottle and flashing her one of his sexy smiles. ‘We can give out free drinks and taster samples. If we slice up the broken cakes, no one will know what a mess they look now.’
It was a brilliant idea. Jess felt the urge to hug him. In fact she had the urge to hug him quite often these days, but had always resisted … until now. She was about to fling herself at him, when he turned round with the sharp end of a knife pointing at her. It killed the moment.
‘Here.’ He held the knife out to her. ‘You start cutting and I’ll get the plates.’
Deflated, Jess took the knife from him. She helped herself to a very large glass of wine as she began to slice up a squashed cupcake. She glanced over at Harriet’s chocolate cake. Either the wine was more potent than she had expected and it was distorting her vision or the top tier was already beginning to slide. She hoped it was the latter.
Unfortunately, Mark had noticed too. He rushed over to rescue Harriet and arrived just as the top tier slid slowly forward and onto her dress. Jess downed another glass of wine as she watched Mark fuss around Harriet. She wasn’t sure what upset her most, that they appeared to be enjoying each other’s company or they were doing it amidst her favourite chocolate recipe. Could the day get any worse?
Oh no – poor Jess! And there’s only one more part of the story left for her to get her happily ever after. Let’s hope Jane Lovering is kind to her tomorrow … it is Valentine’s Day after all
If you enjoyed Victoria’s part of the story, you can find her novels on all eBook platforms – and The Thief’s Daughter is also out in paperback and can be ordered through your local book shop! Click on the cover images below for more details.
To be in with a chance of winning a Victoria Cornwall paperback and some chocolate simply answer the question below (we hope you’ve been reading carefully!):
What happens to Harriet’s chocolate cake?
To enter, send your answer to email@example.com with the subject heading ‘Round Robin comp 4’ by Thursday 15th February. The winner will be picked at random and announced on Friday 16th February.