Mr. Right Goes Wrong
Harlequin MIRA / July 29, 2014 / $7.99, print & digital
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Like a bad-choice-making boomerang, Mazy Gulliver has returned to her mom's tiny house in Brandt Mountain. But this time, she's got her teenage son, Tru, in tow and no intention of messing up ever again. Mazy’s so determined to rebuild her life she hardly minds being the new loan collector, or even working for Tad, her ex. She's not here to make friends—or fall in love.
Sweet, dependable Eli Latham has loved Mazy since they got pretend married in second grade. But after being burned by Mazy for two decades, Eli's got a new strategy. Mazy likes bad boys, so a bad boy is what he'll be. How hard can it be to act like a jerk?
Not for the first time, men are making Mazy crazy, though she's determined to do what's right for her and Tru. But breaking old habits is hard, and if she really wants things to change she'll have to face her biggest adversary: herself.
Looking for a different type of heroine, perhaps one who is imperfect? The heroine of Pamela Morsi's Mr. Right Goes Wrong just can’t seem to quit making the same mistake over and over again—getting involved with losers.
When Mazy was in high school she got intentionally pregnant by Tad Driscoll. Tall, dark, handsome, rich—captain of the basketball team and class president—Tad is every girl’s dream guy, except he is a first class jerk, as Mazy soon discovers. After she told him she was pregnant, he denied that the baby was his, and Mazy was left to raise her son, Tru, alone. But that one experience didn’t faze her as she bounced from one bad relationship to another. The only time she found solace with a nice guy was when she rebounded—not once, but twice into the arms of Eli Latham. And while she never intentionally wanted to hurt her son, her choices have done exactly that:
“I’ve pretty much had all the adventure I need,” Tru answered. “And four years is almost a third of my life so far.”
He raised a dishcloth-covered hand to halt another apology.
“I can do the time,” he said. “Don’t worry about me. Just watch your own self. Don’t hook up with another jerk.”
“I’m done with that,” Mazy promised.
Tru shook his head in a way that was far too world-weary for his age. “Mom, there is always going to be someone. I get it. For you, being alone is always going to be just a lull between…adventures. I’m okay with it.”
“Oh, Tru, I really hate that I’m like that.”
“I don’t,” he said. “You’re really good when you’re in love. You’re happy and carefree and well…fun. You deserve some fun, Mom. But please, no more thieves, cheaters, megalomaniacs or assholes.”
Mazy’s last relationship was with both a cheater and thief, which caused her to lose everything—her home, her career, and the potential career opportunities as a CPA:
“There was some trouble at my last job,” she said evenly.
It was a euphemistic term.
“The company was a family business, privately held. The CEO was the son-in-law of the founder, but wanted to leave his wife. He began stashing money off the books for his getaway. I discovered it and I covered for him.“
Tad’s jaw dropped.
“We were caught, of course. And I was compelled to testify against him in court. I pled guilty to conspiracy. I did four hundred hours of community service. And I owe fifteen thousand dollars in restitution.”
But Mazy is determine not to make the same mistakes again. She now has some knowledge of why she feels compelled to hook up with assholes:
”Being a nice guy is a problem?”
Mazy nodded. “I…I did some therapy before I left Wilmington. Twelve weeks actually. We talked a lot about why I’m always attracted to the wrong guys.”
“Did you get an answer to that?”
“Sort of,” Mazy told her. “I can’t explain it as well as the doctor did, but it seems to be about deliberately picking the men who are going to ultimately reject me.”
“Why would you want to do that?”
“It’s not that I want to do it. It’s more that I feel compelled to repeat a pattern.”
“What does that mean?”
“You know my father died when I was eleven.”
Eli and Mazy grew up together. He always had a big crush on her, but because he was a year younger, she never seemed to look at him as a potential boyfriend. That changed the summer after he graduated from high school, but Mazy never was serious about him, even though they had sex like rabbits. When she came back a couple of years later, he welcomed her back into his arms, but again Mazy left him for some loser. So it is no surprise that his family is worried that Eli will get tangled up with Mazy again:
“Hey, you’ll always be my kid brother no matter how old you get,” Clark told him. “And I know, just as sure as I’m alive, that she’ll come crawling over here, looking at you with those big brown eyes. Don’t fall for her again. That woman is not for you.“
Eli gave a huff of dismissal. “Trust me, I know that,” he said. “Mazy’s been out of my league since middle school.”
“Out of your league? That crazy psychochick would need an extension and a hot-air balloon to even get close to your league.”
”She’s not a psychochick. She’s …she’s just kind of mixed up.”
“Mixed up is what people are in high school,” Clark said. “When you get past thirty that definition slides into crazy.”
Sure enough, Mazy is back in his bed, and treating him like her favorite lap dog. But this time Eli has a plan. He is going to treat her like all her loser boyfriends did and she will finally fall in love with him.
Mazy, on the other hand, thinks she has got it right –she has finally kicked her habit of falling for men who treat her badly—except now Eli is acting completely out of character!
This comedy of errors will make you make you realize how complex falling in love can be.
Learn more about or order a copy of Mr. Right Goes Wrong by Pamela Morsi, available July 29, 2014:
Leigh Davis, blogger