Ain't She Sweet (Seven Brides for Seven Mothers #2) - Whitney Dineen


My eighty-three-year-old yoga instructor, Rupa Babu always says that when your soul is conflicted and your mind is foggy, you need to drop to the ground and immediately execute an Ardha Matsyendrasansa, or half spinal twist. Hold it for twelve minutes and then start writing—I usually write lists. She promises enlightenment will flow through your fingers and your spine will be as supple as a newborn baby’s. I could only ever hold the pose for five minutes, but I still hoped for enlightenment.

Things I Don’t Like About Modeling

Being so hungry I start fantasizing about stealing a little girl’s ice cream cone and eating the whole thing before she can tell her mother. Not that I’ve ever done that, but there have been some close calls.

Wearing clothes that I wouldn’t be caught dead in in real life. I cite the black jean mini skirt with an over-the-top ragged fringe hem that oddly dipped in the front making it look like I’d missed my last twenty waxing appointments.

Waxing appointments.

Jet lag.

That German photographer, Helmet, who spits orders—as in literal spit flies out of his mouth, often hitting me. “Lächeln! Wende! Und nicht jetzt, diese schlampe geht nicht raus! Translation: “Smile! Move! And inexplicably, Not now, this bitch isn’t putting out!” I’m pretty sure something got lost in translation with this one.

Things I Like About Modeling


Yup, pretty sure it’s time for a change.

Chapter One


“Tara, it’s your Mother. I know you’d prefer I text and not leave voicemails, but this message is too long to type out, so listen up.

“Romaine stopped by the house again yesterday. It’s the seventh time he’s done that since you’ve been in Oregon. While I was never a fan of you dating him, let alone getting engaged to him, I really do think he’s sorry about what happened.

“That doesn’t mean I think you should tell him you’ve changed your last name and moved to the middle of nowhere to live a life of anonymity. As far as I’m concerned, you don’t need to ever talk to him again. But you should know I’m going to file a restraining order against him if he comes back.

“Every single time he comes here he’s followed, and I’m sick to death of the paparazzi stomping through my birds-of-paradise in hopes of getting a picture of the two of you together. If it happens again, I’m going to take matters into my own hands.

“While I’m not happy about you being there, I know it’s because you feel like you were robbed of a normal childhood, which is totally your own fault, by the way. I get that you need this break to find yourself. Just please hurry up so you can come home. I miss you.

“Oh, that reporter from TMZ has called no fewer than a dozen times trying to get me to talk about the breakup. I’m surprised they haven’t tracked you down yet. Be on your guard.

“Call me back. I don’t want a random text; I want to talk to you. Love you.

“Again, this is the woman who labored for seventy-two hours to bring you into this world. You’re welcome.”


When Pink Lady apples are in season, the first thing I think of is that bite of caramel apple clafoutis I had in Paris when I was sixteen. It changed my life. The slightly softened tart apple paired with the firm flan-like batter encasing it totally rocked my world. So much so, I started to fantasize that I was lying in the middle of a giant clafoutis and the only way to get out was to eat my way to the edge of the pan.

The truth is, I spent my entire sixteen-year career dreaming of food. If my fairy godmother appeared Cinderella-style one day and gave me the choice to get on a time machine—pumpkin-shaped of course—to meet a young Hugh Grant, or eat a magical calorie-free banana split, I’d be all, “Hugh, who?” And I love vintage nineties rom coms, so that’s saying something.

I shake off the memory and become transfixed as the butter and brown sugar melt together in the cast iron skillet on the stove. When it becomes a glorious amber color, it’s go time. I’m mesmerized as I pour the river of thick caramel over freshly cut apple slices. It’s like poetry in motion.

“Tara, there you are!”

Startled, I nearly fling my wooden spoon coated with the hot mixture across the room. I didn’t hear my boss walk into the kitchen.

“Mrs. Cavanaugh, hello. What can I do for you?”

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