PART-TIME LOVER Excerpt:
A year ago
I stroll up the hilly yard toward my house, passing my brother, Erik, who stands close to the porch. “Did you scare them all away? Admit it—they cringed in terror, scary movie—style.”
I slash an arm through the air. “Whole boatload of them. Tears, shrieks of horror. Wailing.”
He cringes dramatically.
“Toss me a towel, will you? Or do you want to continue to admire your more fit and handsome younger brother?”
Erik scoffs and throws the towel over the porch railing, away from me.
I shrug. “I’ll just go inside, and you can check out my arse.”
“You can count on me never ever checking out your arse.”
I grab the handle on the sliding-glass door and head inside to one of my homes. You can’t beat a home on the water. But then, a flat in Paris is hard for me to say no to as well. Good thing I get to have both.
I grab the pair of boxer briefs I left on the couch and tug them on as Erik follows me inside.
“Seriously. How did it go?”
“Exceptionally well. I landed a date tonight.”
“Bastard. You’re not supposed to get dates when you flash the tourists, and especially not when your beloved brother is only in town with you for a few days.” Most of the time Erik’s in London, where we were raised.
“Jealous much?” I ask, heading for the fridge and pouring a glass of cold water.
Erik flexes a bicep, then another, posing like he’s Mr. Olympia. “I’ve scored plenty of dates with this fabulous physique. Just none lately.”
“That would be because you’re married, you tosser.”
He flashes a dimpled grin. He’s so ridiculously in love with his wife, it’s nearly disgusting. He could be the poster child for man-who-falls-arse-over-elbow-for-a-woman. That’s something I can’t say for all the men in my family.
“I’m like Grandfather, happy as a clam.”
I furrow my brow. “How does anyone know clams are happy? Is there a study on clam happiness? We all assume they’re rays of sunshine, but how do we know?”
He scratches his chin. “Good question.”
“I bet they aren’t happy at all. I bet they feel nothing. Is that what happiness should feel like? Nothing?”
He sighs. “Aren’t you philosophical today?”
“Maybe. It happens every now and then.” I take a drink of the water. “But what can you do? Sometimes deep thoughts stray into my brain, and I can’t help it.”
“Best to get them out of your head if you have a date tonight.”
“Perhaps she likes thinkers,” I suggest.
“So who is she? Did you exchange numbers on the dock? Or did you, I don’t know, play charades with your appendages swinging in the breeze?”
“Yes. I can do Morse code with my d$*k.”
“Such a useful skill,” he deadpans.
“We did it the old-fashioned way. Picked a spot to meet and a time.”
He raises his chin. “And why her? Of all the ladies on all the tours you’ve ever flashed, you haven’t asked one out before. Not that you’ve told me about anyway.”
I let my brain rewind to the petite brunette with the big sunglasses who ogled me unabashedly from the side of the boat. She was pretty, that much I could tell even from fifty feet away.
But pretty alone isn’t enough. Pretty is a dime a dozen. I’ve dated women who aren’t pretty, but are witty, clever, and keep me on my toes. I like those traits just as much. Perhaps more. But I’m not opposed to pretty either.
“She was bold. She called out bravo. She said it louder than anyone ever has.”
“So she knows how to read your Morse code.”
“She’s welcome to read Morse code on me anytime. Come to think of it, she can even treat me like I’m fruit at the market.”
Erik laughs. “In some countries, they don’t let you touch fruit at the market.”
I gesture to my body, from my chest down to my legs. “In the fine country of Christian Land, it’s highly encouraged for the bold brunettes to touch the fruit.”
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About Lauren Blakely:
A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 95 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In June she’ll release PART-TIME LOVER, a sexy new standalone romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter
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