Having kept their engagement a secret since Bachelorette filming wrapped in mid-May, Emily Maynard and her final rose recipient Jef Holm are clearly having fun making up for lost time now that they can enjoy their relationship out in the open.
Celebrating Holm's 28th birthday over dinner at New York City's upscale eatery Abe & Arthur's Tuesday, single mom Maynard, 26, couldn't help but pack on the PDA with her new fiance.
"During dinner, Emily could not stop looking at Jef. She is clearly smitten by him and he dotes on her," an eyewitness told Us Weekly of the happy couple, who feasted on filet mignon and mashed potatoes, and of course birthday cake, alongside Bachelorette producers and friends. "They continuously were whispering into each other's ears. . . . At one point, the pair posed for a photo of Jef kissing Emily's check. It was very sweet."
Accepting Holm's emotional proposal on Sunday's Bachelorette finale, Maynard is eager to integrate the bottled water company CEO into her life and family, which includes her 7-year-old daughter, Ricki. (The little girl's daughter is Maynard's late NASCAR driver fiancee, Ricky Hendrick, who perished in a plane crash shortly before Maynard learned she was pregnant.)
"[Jef will] make the best husband and the best stepdad ever," Maynard has said of her man, who plans to relocate from Utah to Charlotte, N.C. to be closer to his bride-to-be and her little girl.
Holm and the modest single mom intend to take things slow and enjoy a long engagement while living in separate homes. "We're going to combine our lives and I'm going to hang out with Ricki all the time and become a car pool dad," Maynard's fiance -- who popped the question with a $68,000 Neil Lane sparkler -- has said. "We're just going to live our lives together and get accustomed with each other, plan a wedding, and when we get married, move in together."