July 15, 2004 04:00 PM

It’s still a bumpy road to romance for those in the Bachelor-sphere. Estella Gardinier, whose romance with Bachelor Bob Guiney was short-lived, has split from her latest beau, country singer Steve Holy, whom she met in May.

“It just wasn’t the right time for us,” Gardinier, 28, tells PEOPLE in its latest issue. “We’re both really busy and live in separate places.” (She’s in Beverly Hills; he’s in Dallas.)

Despite the split, the Beverly Hills mortgage broker will still appear in Holy’s new video “Put Your Best Dress On” – and, as he says of her: “I have nothing but positive things to say about her. She’s wonderful.”

Only three weeks ago, the two were singing an entirely different tune. “As they say, when you’re not looking, that’s when it hits you,” said Gardinier, who was attending the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas in May when her friend, Trick Pony guitarist-singer Keith Burns, introduced her to Holy, 32.

The split comes just as Guiney tied the knot with soap star Rebecca Budig on July 3 at his family’s Long Lake, Mich. cottage. But Gardinier says, “I wish them a long life of happiness. He wasn’t the one for me, and obviously I’m not the one for him.”

Last month, Gardinier auctioned off the $45,000 diamond ring Guiney gave her on the Bachelor finale for $22,300. She plans to use the money to help her mother buy a house.

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