Once Upon A Setup

Sometimes love begins with a little friendly blackmail…


The historic Madrigal Theater in the heart of downtown Wishful is on the verge of closing its doors, and Piper Parish is on a mission to save it–even if it means pulling a little deception to get her best friend back up on the stage where she had her heart broken.  When new-to-town newspaperman Myles Stewart catches on to his co-star’s shenanigans, he has a choice–keep quiet or get to the bottom of things.  He’s never been able to resist a story…and he’s not sure he wants to resist Piper.


Like the other books in the Meet Cute Romance line, Once Upon A Setup is a novelette covering the first meeting of a romantic couple.  Readers who fall in love with Myles and Piper will be happy to know that their story continues all the way to happily ever after in Just For This Moment, Book 4 in the Wishful Romance series.  Both stories can be read and enjoyed on their own.
Cover Artists:

Myles finished his call and removed the headset and glasses, tossing both in the midst of the piles of paper on his desk and running a hand through his thick, dark hair. Catching sight of her, his serious expression shifted to a smile, and he crossed to open the door. “Well this is a pleasant surprise. Come on in.”

“Thanks. I read your article in the paper this morning. The interview with Barbara Monahan. It was really poignant.”

“I’m working on a series of interviews with various members of the cast. I want to really bring home to the community how much the Madrigal means to people.”

“I think it’s a great idea.” She dropped into a chair opposite his desk as he leaned back against the front of it. “I really appreciate what you’re trying to do here. Especially since you’re new to Wishful.”

“Good journalism is about people, about community, and I took over the paper here because I wanted to be at the heart of a good one.”


Dozens of questions rolled through her brain. Personal stuff better suited to a date than a business meeting. But she wasn’t quite ready to get down to business. Instead she smiled and jerked her head toward the posters on the wall. “Who are they?”

“My inspirations. That’s Lois Lane, Brenda Starr, and Vicki Vale.”

“Okay, Lois Lane I know. Who are the other two?”

“They’re all kick ass female reporters from the comic world. Lois from Superman, obviously. Brenda had her own comic series, and Vicki is from Batman.”

Piper angled her head. “Why them instead of, say, Perry White or that editor guy from Spiderman? The one with the mustache?”

Myles grinned. Damn but he had a great smile. “J. Jonah Jameson. Well, for one, the ladies are more fun to look at. And for another, they were the ones who put their butts on the line to get out there and report the truth. I find that more appealing than just sitting behind a desk.”

“And is getting out from behind the desk why you decided to audition? Nate said you had come that night just for a story.” That was edging into the personal again, but she couldn’t help herself.

“Well, partly. I did decide that telling the story from the perspective of one of the performers would be another way to engage people. But honestly? I wanted to meet you.”
Piper blinked, surprise and pleasure diffusing her cheeks with warmth. “That’s…flattering.”

“I don’t want to overstep any boundaries or make something weird. Are you seeing anybody?”

She wasn’t quite sure what to think about his candor. “No, I’m not. But you should know, I have a rule.”

“A rule?”

“I don’t date my costars.”

He didn’t look perturbed. “Why’s that?”

“A couple reasons. For one, the show comes first. If you start dating your romantic lead and everything goes south, it’s a lot harder to sell the part. I’m not going to do anything to endanger the quality of this show.”

“Fair point. And the other reason?”

“Acting as romantic leads tends to engender a false sense of intimacy. The nature of the roles often mean you fall into feelings of a relationship without going through the right order of things. So, you may start seeing each other during the show, keep seeing each other after, and then find out that what you thought was real attraction ends up being just a part you played that became familiar.”

“That sounds like the voice of experience.”

“Oh, it is. I have been burned before. So, while I’m incredibly flattered and not a little intrigued by your interest, I’m not going to pursue it while we’re acting together.” It was as direct and soft a put down as she could manage.

She expected a flicker of irritation or something. Instead he asked, “Do you have a waiting period?”

“A waiting period?”

“Sure. If you think there’s false intimacy or whatever, do you have some standard waiting period for after the show is over to let it wear off? Because, if you do, I’d like to mark it on my calendar.”

“Seriously?” she laughed.

“I’m nothing if not dogged in pursuit of the things that interest me.”

“I can see that.” The frank interest combined with the easy way he respected her boundaries made him all kinds of appealing. And that had her wanting to break her own rules. Before she could go down that path, she said, “Three months.”

“So, three months after the show closes, you’d entertain the idea of going out with me?”


He picked up his phone. “Siri, remind me three months from December 20th to call Piper up for a date.”

“Okay, I’ll remind you.”

Piper couldn’t hold back the grin. “You’re incorrigible. I shouldn’t find that appealing.”

“I’m just gonna put it out there that if you change your mind, I have no such rules.”


He pushed away from the desk and circled around behind it. “So, since you obviously didn’t come here for purposes of charm or seduction, what can I do for you?”
Piper pushed the flirt aside and pulled out the ad copy for the show. Time to get down to business.

Reviews:D. Bevan on Amazon wrote:

Piper and Myles' story is deftly woven around the events in Be Careful, It's My Heart. You might think you know what they're up to, but there're still some tense moments... Not to mention some intense romance! I love the idea of love at first sight, and Kait's stories are so good at making you believe in the characters' love -- and in their happily ever after.

Emily Elliott Shaw on Amazon wrote:

Another great meet cute by Nolan, and another book that will have you begging for more! I cannot wait to read the full story of Myles and Piper!

Included in the print edition of Be Careful, It's My Heart.

One thought on “Once Upon A Setup

  1. Love these Wishful books. I love all of your books that I have read. I am disabled and read a lot to take my mind off my pain, you are truly a talented and entertaining writer.Keep up the good work and looking forward to reading more of your books.

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