Monday, September 24, 2018

Caught In The Current


Giveaway of $10 gift card!


Hello! I’m so excited to be back on Just Contemporary Romance to share my latest release in the Cape Cod Shore series from Tule Publishing, Caught in the Current. This story begins in picturesque Chatham, Massachusetts amongst the winding salt marshes and golden sand dunes and takes readers on a romantic and suspenseful road trip South, as the main characters retired Marine Jason Hall and private investigator Alexandra Macintyre, search for a missing child—Jay's nephew.  

The route that Alex and Jay embark on is the same (though shorter) than the ones I used to take on summer road trips with my parents and sister. The car would always be packed to the brim on the three-day ride to Southwest Florida, and I'm sure we drove my patient parents to the brink of insanity, but there was a lot of laughter and memories that I’ll treasure forever. One of my favorite parts of the drive was through North Carolina. The scenery is incredible, from strips of beach to rolling mountain views. One day, I’d like to sit by the ocean and watch the wild Spanish mustangs of Corolla.

 I hope readers find a satisfying escape in Alex and Jay’s unique love story, and in all of their fall reads.

With love,

Charlee

CAUGHT IN THE CURRENT

Retired Marine Jason Hall is a force to be reckoned with. When his nephew Luke is kidnapped by his fresh-out-of-jail father, he knows there’s one woman he can count on to help in the search. The last time he saw private investigator Alexandra Macintyre, they were steaming up the windows of her black SUV. Forgetting the scorch of her lips against his hasn’t been easy, but Jay knows the crippling pain of betrayal far too well.

Alexandra Macintyre is no stranger to tragedy. Haunted by her past, she seeks redemption by helping families find their loved ones, hoping their outcome is different from her family’s misfortune. Alex and Jay make a formidable team as they band together to rescue Luke, but the road trip south tests their emotional stamina. Alex is used to being alone, but Jay gives her a taste of the love and belonging she’s never dared to hope for. 

Will Alex be able to make peace with her tragic past for a future with Jay?




Book Excerpt:

They found their room, set down their bags, and got Hank his dinner and a treat. Jay had expected worse than the tired floral carpet and pineapple comforters, but it was clean, and that was all that really mattered at the moment. Alex dug into her bag, pulled out the stuffed bunny and a few other toys, and arranged them on one of the double beds. His lips involuntarily lifted into a smile. He really liked her rough edges that softened out for the dog. He really liked everything about Alex.
Hank hopped on the bed, circled around a few times, and settled down with the stuffed bunny between his paws. She leaned over to give Hank a kiss on the head and her T-shirt rode up on her hips. There was a black raven tattooed on her ivory skin. He couldn’t quite make out the words scrolled below it. His mouth went dry, like he’d swallowed a fistful of salt. She turned, a tidy little package of subtle curves and strength, and he forgot to breathe.
“Are you feeling brave?” Alex said with one hand on the curve of her hip.
Jay ignored the pull that traveled from chest to pelvis. “Let me guess,” he said plastering on a smile. “You’re hungry enough to see if the bar food will make your stomach bleed.”
“I was more concerned about you.” Alex smirked and went to the door. “My stomach is ironclad.” She patted her flat belly and swung open the door. “We’ll be back soon, Hank.”
“I’ll hold your hair back.” He bumped her shoulder with his as they walked across the parking lot to the bar. Another laugh bubbled out of Alex. It was a pretty good sound. For one second, then two, they grinned stupidly at each other. A warmth spread through Jay’s chest and traveled right down to his toes. This easy camaraderie tied up with sexual tension was an unusual feeling for him. She made him laugh so easily one moment and then turned his muscles to liquid the next. Everything about her was attractive to him from the sway of her hips to the freckles that skimmed over the bridge of her nose.

Giveaway:
 $10.00 Amazon Gift Card and Signed Copy of Caught in the Current - Available Internationally 

About Charlee:
Contemporary Romance Author Charlee James was introduced to a life-long love of reading listening to her parents recite nightly stories to her and her older sister. Inspired by the incredible imaginations of authors like Bill Peet, Charlee could often be found crafting her own tales. As a teenager, she got her hands on a romance novel and was instantly hooked by the genre.  After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, her early career as a wedding planner gave her first-hand experience with couples who had gone the distance for love. Always fascinated by family dynamics, Charlee began writing heartwarming novels with happily-ever-afters. 

Charlee is a New England native who lives with her husband, daughters, two rambunctious dogs, a cat, and numerous reptiles. When she’s not spending time with her tight-knit family, she enjoys curling up with a book, practicing yoga, and collecting Boston Terrier knick-knacks.   


Twitter Handle: @CharleeJRomance
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CharleeJamesRomance/


Saturday, September 22, 2018

The unofficial blurb for Fool Me Forever



Fool Me Forever features Lenore Bradshaw, whose father went to jail for running a fraudulent investment scheme (think Bernie Madoff).  Lenny is desperate to repair her family name and keep her not-for-profit alive and then along comes Halsey Sherwood who is from a long line of Robin Hooding con artists and runs a fraudulent investment scheme that funds social justice projects.

Lenny wouldn't put Halsey out if he was on fire. He's getting away with the same crime that destroyed her family, except that a charity has misused her donation money and Halsey knows how to get it back.

All she has to do is play PowerPoint Girl to his Excel Boy and they can expose a criminal and help bring down a despotic government. (Think government lead by a lying, cheating narcissistic prime minister of a post-Soviet state).

There is absolutely no way they can be anything more than partners in grand bait and switch.

Right! (Cue sarcasm) Shenanigans and HEAs ensue.


Here is Lenny and Halsey about to share their first kiss.

Halsey was on time, of course. Lenny opened the door to him, a tightness in her chest because of all the winged sprites that’d taken up residence there. Why was it this man, whose secrets she knew, whose profession she despised, who could inexplicably make her heart speed, her breath catch, and her insides flutter?

She opened her mouth to say hi and swallowed the word when he put his hand to her waist. “Am I going to ruin your makeup if I kiss you?” he asked in a husky tone that melted critical faculties in her brain.

He took the slightest movement of her head as his answer and cupped her face, tilting it up, and bringing their lips together, giving her plenty of time to change her mind. He locked his eyes with hers until the hand on her waist became an arm at her back, and the sprites in her chest went still momentarily and then lifted into flight in one swooping motion, making her lean into Halsey and clutch at his suit coat.

He had control of the kiss and made it a full-scale production that could play for years on Broadway. The soft, mysterious meeting of lips that opened out into something fuller and warmer and became a tangled greedy demanding force before a third suspenseful act where it nipped and teased and backed away to a cliffhanger, promising more.

“Hi,” he said, seemingly unaffected, when he drew back. “I don’t think I messed you up.”
But he had. He made her heart swell and her senses swirl. She didn’t want to let go of his coat or move to draw him properly inside the apartment, and the words in her head weren’t the right ones to say aloud. Again. More. Now.


“Lenny, are you okay?”
What happened to the Halsey Sherwood who couldn’t even say, “You look nice” while avoiding her eyes? “I wondered how we’d be after you had a chance to think.”

“I only thought about two things all week. What needs to happen with Cookie Jar tonight and kissing you. Did I do all right?”

It wouldn’t do to give a confidence man a swollen head. She pulled out of his arms. “It’s an improvement. Gold star for effort.”

She left him in the doorway and went to pick up her purse. From across the room, she snuck a look at him: black suit, rose-pink tie and pocket silk, white shirt, silver at his cuffs. The details were ordinary; the combined effect was like she’d shot-gunned half a bottle of whisky. He made her feel deliciously woozy.

He wasn’t avoiding her anymore. He gave her the same rude appraisal she was covertly giving him, except his was no undercover exercise—he wanted her to know he was looking and that he liked what he saw.

“You’re stunning, Lenore Bradshaw. And I’m not finished kissing you. I’m more in awe of what’s inside you, what drives you, than how you fill out that dress. Since I’m trying to be a better fake boyfriend, let me just say you’re incredibly sexy, and I’m not exactly myself when I’m around you.”

As compliments went, that one was in a class of its own when she’d have sighed for a tossed off “you look beautiful.”

“I’m pretty sure I don’t know who Halsey Sherwood is. Oh, I know the broad strokes.” Did his lips quirk on the word “stroke”? Oh, yes, they did. Damn, that was surprisingly cocky. “Crook, collector, cup wrangler, calculator of sums in cells, corruptor of small children.”
She tossed her house keys at him, and he caught them.

“Good catch. Equally good at ducking, talks a tall story about tattoos, but sucks at chit chat if there are more than three people in the room.” She checked her makeup in the hall mirror, moved across to him, and let him close and lock the door behind them. It wouldn’t do to have him think she was going to be easy. She was going to be easy, though not without some pretense of a chase. “Under all those labels and the sharp dressing, you’re a ghost.”
“What do you want to know about me?”

A dangerous line of inquiry. “Nothing.” She didn’t want the responsibility of really knowing him. If she imagined him all gloss and no substance, it would be a no-brainer to walk away.
He adjusted his tie needlessly, and that made her feel shivery. She still made him edgy, and she liked it.

“I want to know all about what’s inside you, Lenny.” He pushed a folded knuckle against the elevator call button.

Inside. That made her eyes flutter. She imagined how good that knuckle on his big hand would feel pressed against her call button. Unf.

“I want to know what your favorite food is, what you like to do when you’re not working, what you watch and read and dream about. I want to know how you hold your family together and what you want your future to be.”

Unbelievable. He should stop talking. It was easier to deal with him when he was only semi-articulate. The elevator car arrived, and she stepped inside. He moved in beside her and reached for her hand. Giving it to him made her five kinds of foolish, because she wanted it like she always wanted Li-Lac chocolates—greedily, voraciously—and it was just two hands pressed together.

She’d held his hand before, but it felt different now because she’d told him exactly where handholding was going to lead, and he’d had the chance to renegotiate the deal and let it slide.

They made acceptable “how was your week, what about those Yankees, Giants, Rangers, Knicks” conversation, laughing at each other. It was clear Halsey wasn’t a sports fan, didn’t know his touchdowns from his home runs. By the time they arrived at Pier Sixty, they didn’t sound so much like a couple who should never have swiped right.

Author bio
Ainslie Paton always wanted to write stories to make people smile, but the need to eat, accumulate books, and have bedclothes to read under was ever present. She sold out, and worked as a flack, a suit, and a creative, ghosting for business leaders, rabble-rousers and politicians, and making words happen for companies, governments, causes, conditions, high-profile CEOs, low-profile celebs, and the occasional misguided royal. She still does that. She also writes for love, and so she can buy shoes, and the good cat food.

Web                      http://ainsliepaton.com.au/
Facebook:            https://www.facebook.com/AinsliePaton
Instagram:            https://www.instagram.com/ainsliepaton/
Goodreads:          https://www.goodreads.com/AinsliePaton


Buylink:           https://entangledpublishing.com/fool-me-forever.html

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

IRISH ON THE ROCKS




Hey y’all!

I’m so excited to share this excerpt of Irish on The Rocks with you.

This scene comes from Grace’s interview to be Jack’s assistant. They have an enemies to lovers vibe going on since she was always just the annoying best friend of his little brother, but now they’ve both grown up. She needs a job. He needs an assistant.

And possibly more.

Enjoy!


IRISH ON THE ROCKS


My family's whiskey empire needs to keep me as CEO. But thanks to my dad's will, to take my place as rightful head of the company, I need to find a wife. If I could just get my brother Sean's pain-in-the-arse best mate, Grace, out of my head long enough to focus on finding a decent woman.
The woman maddens me, but she's a longtime friend of the family, so giving her a job as my assistant is the only way I can keep everyone off my back. But the more time I spend with her, the more I find myself looking differently at this girl from my past.
Too bad she's decided not to give me the time of day.
Each book in the Murphy Brothers series is STANDALONE:
* Straight Up Irish
* Murphy Brothers


Excerpt:
That left just me and Grace, who wore a tight green skirt and a black blouse that was probably supposed to appear professional but instead had me thinking about the curve of her collarbone and how I wanted to run my tongue along her bare flesh.
What the feck?
Not only was she mouthwateringly sexy, but the smolder and sass that came with her curvy figure had me thinking about anything other than a chat to discuss the position of my assistant.
“Mr. Murphy, first off, I just want to apologize for the other night. I shouldn’t have spilled my drink. Which was totally an accident. I swear.” She pressed her hands together, her teeth slightly clenched and bending slightly at the waist.
Normally I would have grumbled at the apology or blown it off. But with her, something kept me going forward.
“Thank you for your honesty, Ms. Evans. I appreciate that. And I accept your apology. Now please, have a seat,” I said with a small nod, motioning to the leather chair in front of my desk.
She straightened her shoulders before gingerly sitting as if the chair was on fire.
 I wasn’t that bad, was I?
 “Whatever the reason you’re here, I’m glad you are, and I should apologize for my forwardness at the gala.”
She blinked hard. Hell, if I were in her seat I would have, too. “You’re actually apologizing to me? That’s a first.”
I cocked an eyebrow. “I’m not sure what you mean.”
She narrowed her dark eyes. How did I not notice them before? They were always hidden behind some clunky glasses, but now they were hard not to get lost in.
Feck. Feck. Feck.
This was an interview, not a first date. I had no reason to be staring at her and wondering if it would go against company conduct to ask if we could move this to the pub. Somewhere less stuffy. 
“Look, Jack, I know you probably didn’t want me here and you just did this meeting to discuss the position because of my grandfather. I really do need a job and a possible flat of my own for myself and my dog. I may not have experience in this field, but I’m a fast learner. And I promise not to bugger this up.”
She let out a low breath and swore. “Shite. Sorry. I didn’t mean to use those exact words.”
She slammed her fists down on her thighs. “Blast, I did it again.”
I admired her cheekiness.
I would have kicked most women out of my office at this point. But not her. I felt like I owed it to Seamus. The old man always had my brothers and my back, and if he was asking for a favor, I had to at least look into hiring Grace.
Not only were her test scores impressive, her former employer raved that she wished they hadn’t downsized and they had kept her.
This woman was fit for the position, that was for sure, but could I stand looking at her outside my office every day? Wondering what would have happened if that drink had never spilled. If I would have stopped playing her little game and just opened my mouth to say I knew who she was. That she looked gorgeous and I wanted to get her alone and see how soon we could get reacquainted.

About the Author:
Magan Vernon believes that no matter what your story is, everyone deserves a happily ever after and tries to include that in all of her stories. She's had top 100 stories in everything from YA aliens to angsty New Adult tales.
When not writing, you can find her on her Texas ranch, trying to wrangle two kids, two dogs, and a colony of whatever other kids or animals ends up in her yard.




Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Nanny For The Reclusive Billionaire



Hello, contemporary romance readers! I happy to be back at Just Contemporary Romance to talk about my latest book, A Nanny For The Reclusive Billionaire. This is the second book in my Worthington sisters series, and I have to admit it was definitely the toughest of all my books for me to write. It’s a bit of a departure for me, with a single dad, a cute kid, and lot of angst and emotion on top of my usual snark and sex. As hard as it was to get this one right, I’m so, so happy with the end result, and I’m thrilled that early readers seem to love Mallory and Rhys’s journey as much as I do.

Nanny For The Reclusive Billionaire

Mallory Worthington has had enough of being treated like a fragile flower. She needs to get out of Dodge, as far and fast as possible. Somewhere no one knows about her childhood battle with cancer. A talented chef working at her family’s flagship hotel, she leaps at the first job opportunity that meets her criteria – personal chef and nanny for a reclusive and insanely hot billionaire in the Florida Keys. She doesn't know a lot about the nanny part, but how hard can it be?
Billionaire Rhys Dalton cut himself off from the world after his wife was killed. Living on this remote island was the only way he could ensure the safety of his son. Finding someone willing to help him take care of his child, well that's been a challenge right up until Mallory knocks on his office door. She makes him think and feel things he hasn't in years. He's smart, so he fires her on the spot.
But she's not going anywhere, no matter how hard he might try to get rid of her...

Excerpt:
“Enter.”
She had to stop herself from backing away. Collins wasn’t kidding about the barking. She hoped he was right about the bite, too.
She took another deep, unsteady breath in a futile attempt to calm her jangling nerves and cracked the door open. The room was in semidarkness, shades drawn, lit only by a lamp on the impressive mahogany desk that dominated the space. A man stood behind it with his back to her, one hand holding a cell phone to his ear, the other jammed in the pocket of his butt-hugging khakis.
“I’ll be with you in a minute,” he said, lowering the phone. Good thing, or she would have had no way of knowing whether he was talking to her or the person on the other end of the line. It wasn’t like he bothered to do something crazy like actually look at her when he spoke.
She took the opportunity to study him unobserved while he finished his conversation. He was tall––around six feet, she guessed, dwarfing her tiny frame. Inky black curls dusted the collar of his shirt, a shirt that molded his broad shoulders and back as well as his pants showcased his butt. He’d rolled the sleeves to his elbows, revealing tanned forearms with a smattering of fine dark hair.
Holy hotness. If he looked as good from the front as he did from the back …
Stop. Do not pass Go. Do not collect two hundred dollars. Do not think lustful thoughts about your workaholic, criminally-attractive-from-behind new boss.
“I need that report by five,” the object of her lust practically spat into the phone. “And tell Mark I want to talk to him as soon as he’s back in the office.”
He ended the call without so much as a goodbye and tossed the phone onto his desk, turning to face her as he did. Any hope the full-frontal view would quash the dirty daydreams inspired by his backside was immediately dashed.
The grainy picture in the file Collins had shared with her didn’t come close to doing him justice. Whiskey-brown eyes, framed by almost obscenely long lashes. Patrician nose. Strong jawline. It all added up to a mouthwatering package of male physical perfection.
Why hadn’t she bothered to Google him? Then she would have been prepared for the onslaught of his sheer masculine beauty. If you could ever prepare for something as powerful as that. Or run the other way as fast as her short-girl legs would carry her.
“Miss Worthington?” His eyes, dark and appraising, skated over her less-than-impressive curves, leaving her wondering if the final verdict was desire or derision. Not that it mattered, because she was there to take care of his son’s needs, not his own. Or hers.
“Mallory,” she corrected, her shaky voice betraying the potent cocktail of nervousness and attraction coursing through her system.
“There’s been a misunderstanding. I thought you were”—his gaze traveled the length of her body again, the journey ending this time in a scowl—“older.”
His words were like a bucket of ice water dumped over her head, effectively dousing any flickers of awareness.
Probably––no, definitely––a good thing considering their circumstances. It was practically a cliché, the world-wise billionaire and the innocent, virginal nanny.
“Is that a problem?” she asked sharply. She was twenty-seven, not seventeen. More than mature enough to handle a preschooler. Heck, she’d run a commercial kitchen, managed almost a hundred employees from sixteen to sixty, some of them no better behaved than your average four-year- old. Hadn’t he read her résumé?
“I’m afraid so.” He jabbed a button on the intercom on his desk. “Mrs. Flannigan, we’re ready for you now.”
Mallory shook her head, plastering several damp strands against her cheek and no doubt making her look even younger. Not helping her cause one bit. She pushed the sticky strands off her face and straightened, maximizing every inch of her five-foot frame. “I don’t understand.”
“I’m sorry you’ve come all this way for nothing.” He crossed to the door, his powerful strides eating up the short distance, and opened it. “I’ll see you get the earliest possible flight home, and you’ll be compensated for your time and trouble.”
Author Bio:
Regina Kyle knew she was destined to be an author when she won a writing contest at age ten with a touching tale about a squirrel and a nut pie. By day, she writes dry legal briefs, representing the state in criminal appeals. At night, she writes steamy romance with heart and humor. She is a two-time winner of the Booksellers’ Best award, in 2016 for Triple Dare and in 2018 for Billionaire In Her Bed.
A lover of all things theatrical, Regina lives on the Connecticut coast with her husband, teenage daughter and two melodramatic cats. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely singing, reading, cooking or watching bad reality television. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and of her local RWA chapter.

Social media links:
Buy links:



Monday, September 10, 2018

Opposites Attract


I am so excited that it’s finally time to unleash my latest sexy contemporary sports romance on the world…and just in time for hockey season, too!

After some tabloid-worthy behavior, Brett Sillinger has been traded to a new hockey team, and he’s determined to ditch his bad boy ways and focus on the game. Until a gorgeous, clumsy seductress spills his drink and derails his good intentions.

Chelsea London is looking to shed her chronic good girldom for one night. No names, no strings, just passion. But when her hot hookup ends up being the latest addition to her father’s hockey team, things are suddenly looking a whole lot more complicated.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from TAKING A SHOT, available now from Entangled Publishing:


“What’s your name?”

She opened her mouth to answer, but those expressive eyes of hers slid over the length of him and she changed her mind. “No names,” she decided, igniting fire along Brett’s nerve endings.

He was beginning to like what that might mean for the rest of his night. “Okay, Red. No names.”

That little frown again. “Red?” she asked, obviously confused at the nickname, completely oblivious that all he wanted in life right now was to pull that sweater off her and dissolve the scarlet lace that covered her breasts with his tongue.

“Like Little Red Riding Hood?”

“Kinda like that,” he averred.

She sent him a sidelong glance. “Does that make you the big bad wolf?”

Brett rasped a hand across his stubbly jaw in contemplation. “Depends. You looking for someone to huff...”

She swallowed, and the delicate muscles of her neck mesmerized him.
“...and puff...”

She bit her lip, and his world narrowed to her mouth.
“...and blow your house down?”

God, she was pretty when she blushed.

“Wrong fairy tale,” she corrected in a soft, breathy voicethat made him want to knock the air out of her lungs again. And again. Until she screamed with pleasure.

Brett leaned closer to her. “Doesn’t have to be.”

Her exhale was shaky, and his pulse jacked up in response.

The punch of lust was so strong, it took another moment before he realized the predicament he was in. He was half hard in the middle of a bar full of office drones, and using a fairy tale as a pickup line. She had him all spun around, and yeah, he liked it. And yeah, he wanted to blow off steam, especially after the day he’d had.

She was trying to be adventurous, she said, but she lived in a world where that meant chatting up dudes in suits in a hotel lounge. She was a flirting lightweight. She couldn’t handle her whiskey. She was all wrong for him.

No, she was perfect.

But he was all wrong for her, and the fact that she didn’t even know it was proof that he should send her on her way.

He had a big day tomorrow. The morning skate started at eight sharp and was followed by a meeting with the head of PR to get him presentable and interview-ready for the fancy silent auction fundraiser his new team was showing him off at tomorrow night. He couldn’t mess it up. He was supposed to do the right thing. Grow up. Be good.

She set her chin with resolve, raised those blue eyes to his, so full of invitation that he had to concede he might have underestimated her flirting skills a little. “Do you want to get out of here?”

Oh, hell yeah, he did.

He could be good tomorrow.

Taking a Shot is available now:

About Taryn Leigh Taylor:
Taryn Leigh Taylor likes dinosaurs, bridges, and space, both personal and of the final frontier variety. She shamelessly indulges in cliches, most notably her Starbucks addiction, her shoe hoard, and her penchant for falling in book lust with hot fictional men.

Author Links:



Monday, September 3, 2018

Love And Other Secrets

Star lacrosse player Alex “Kov” Koviak has it all. Or so everyone thinks. He’s real good at pretending his life is perfect...until he meets Bailey. The girl challenges him and pushes him and makes him laugh like he’s never laughed before. Their friendship is their little secret, and he’s happy to keep her to himself.
Between school, two jobs, and trying to get into NYU film school, Bailey Banfield has zero time for a social life. But then she meets Alex in her express lane at the grocery store, and their secret friendship becomes the only place she can breathe. She refuses to complicate that with more. No matter how charming Alex can be.
When Bailey decides to film outrageous promposals for her NYU application, she enlists Alex’s help to plan an over-the-top, epic promposal to someone else. Too bad the only prom date Alex wants anywhere near Bailey is him.
For a guy who seems to have it all, he’s about to lose the only thing he’s ever wanted.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Crush contains a cocky lacrosse player in over his head with his secret best friend, unexpected midnight kisses, swoon-worthy slow dancing, and movie-night cuddling that’ll make you ache. You’re going to want an Alex of your own!

Each title in the First Kiss Hypothesis series is STANDALONE:
* The First Kiss Hypothesis
* Love and Other Secrets
Excerpt:
Chapter One

Alex

We’re at lunch when the questions begin.
“You get asked to prom yet?” my best friend Eli asks right as I take a huge bite of pastrami sandwich. Nora, his girlfriend, is at his side digging into a slice of pie, and not in any gentle, girly way. More like a linebacker at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
I like that about her.
I swallow and lift a shoulder. “Nope.”
With how much everyone talks about it, you’d think prom is a huge deal at our school, but it’s really the promposals that get everyone worked up. As in, they usually go viral.
I’ve never had to plan one because, in three and three quarter years of high school, I haven’t asked anyone to prom, or homecoming, or the eighties dance. Not a single dance. It’s not that I’m against taking the initiative; the girls just always beat me to it, asking me (in some really bizarre ways) to go with them.
It’s only a matter of time before I’m ambushed again, and Eli knows it.
Last year, it was two girls at once in the school cafeteria. One got a bunch of her fellow cheerleaders to bend their bodies into the letters P-R-O-M-?. The other brought in her grandma’s parrot that she’d trained to say “Prom, Koviak?”
It was like the battle to the death of promposals. I felt so bad I said yes to both of them and took two dates, because what else could I do? Have you ever seen someone bend themselves into the shape of a question mark?
Eli snorts. “You know, it wouldn’t kill you to do the asking for once.”
I grunt. I’ve known Eli forever. He’s been my best friend since preschool and thinks he knows everything about me, but he doesn’t know that I’ve been thinking of asking someone.
It’s just…complicated.
Nora stares at me with serious eyes, almost like she knows about my mystery woman, like I knew about her and Eli before they were even a thing.
She can’t, though. No one knows about Bailey.

About Christina Mandelski:
Christina Mandelski loves to bring the characters in her head to life on the page. When she isn’t writing, she spends time with her family, working as a substitute teacher, eating (sweets, usually), traveling and reading (preferably under an umbrella at the beach).  Chris lives with her husband and two daughters in Houston. You can visit her at www.christinamandelski.com.

Author Links:
Snapchat: @cMoney

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