Title: The One
Author: Kristin Vayden
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing
Releasing: May 10
Cover Design by Jena Brignola
When your best friend is also your boss, ‘great ideas’ aren’t always optional.
After all, when you run the largest fashion, gossip and trend blog in the country, you got to take risks to keep it edgy.
Believe me. This is edgy.
The idea? For one week, date every male fantasy.
The Jock The Rock star The Billionaire
See how they are all crossed off except one? That’s because he’s Satan.
And my best friend’s stepbrother.
And there may or may not have been an incident in Jr. high that he hasn’t forgiven me for…but that’s history.
Or so I hope, because I’m at his mercy for the next week…
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“I hate that you were right.” But I took another bite, loving how my stomach was growing fuller and fuller by the minute. I hated being hungry.
“Think of it as simply expanding your education.” He gestured broadly with his arm.
“Or I can just give credit to William,” I said after I swallowed.
“That too. But I’ll still take credit.”
We finished our haggis, and Kirby stood and collected the plates. “I’ll wash, you dry.”
“If I must.” I sighed.
“It’s the least you can do after I buy yer supper.”
“So you’re saying that if I pay you, I won’t have to do dishes?” I badgered, following him back into the kitchen.
“I’m saying if you are a brat then I’ll leave you to do the dishes alone.”
“Threats. Empty threats,” I teased.
Kirby turned on the water, and grabbed the hand sprayer, cleaning off the last of the haggis.
“You do know that while there was no sheep’s bladder in the haggis, there was liver, kidney, and heart. Right?” he asked calmly, handing me the clean dish.
“Say what?” I asked, pausing mid wipe with the towel.
“All William said was that there was no bladder. And truthfully, it’s quite easy to omit the bladder, since the bladder is what you cook it in — rather that’s the traditional way to cook it.” He handed me other dish.
“I ate liver and heart… and what else?”
“Oh.” I wiped again.
“Ach, Merry. Where’s your sense of adventure?” A stray spray of water smacked me on the cheek.
“Kirby…” I warned, glaring.
“Honest, that was not intentional.” He held up both hands, one with the sprayer. “But this is.” He squeezed the handle and I ducked, but not soon enough. Warm water saturated my head and started dripping down my shirt.
“Kirby!” I shouted, then reached for the water handle to turn it off, but he blocked my attempt, spraying me directly down the back.
“That’s it,” I shouted and lunged for him, not caring the sprayer was aimed at my face.
“Shit.” Kirby squeezed the handle again but it was too late. My palm covered the nozzle, and the water flowed around my hand and trailed water down his shirt, and pants even as I wrestled him for control. Water sprayed in all directions from my hand blocking it. As Kirby tried to get away, I jumped, wrapping my legs around him, holding on to his neck with one arm while the other hand held the sprayer.
“Merry!” he shouted as the water continued to flow, soaking him through, and me in the process. “Fine!” Kirby yelled and reached out, turning the water on full cold, and squeezing the spray handle as it continued to soak us both.
“That’s freezing!” I gasped, letting go of my viselike grip on the nozzle and darting to the sink. My cold and wet hands slipped so I wasn’t able to turn the knob, but before it was completely shut off, Kirby’s arm snaked about my waist and hauled me back.
“Like hell you will!” I kicked my legs, fuming as his laughter echoed in the sterile kitchen. Then, he wasn’t laughing, rather he was swearing like a sailor as his feet started to slip on the wet tile.
“Don’t you take me with—” We crumpled into a heap just in front of the sink.
“I ken ye broke my legs, lass,” Kirby groaned.
“You’re fine. My ass is going to be black and blue tomorrow from landing on your knees. Seriously?” I moaned as I slightly adjusted my position.
“At least you had something to break yer fall,” Kirby groaned.
I glared. “Yeah, and your knees are so much softer than the hard ground…”
“You have more padding.” He arched a brow, challenging me.
“You did not just—”
I stared him down.
“Are you going to try and kill me with that glare or do you have something to say?” He leaned forward, taunting me.
I couldn’t back down… it would mean he won.
And he could never win.
But I couldn’t think of any sort of comeback that wasn’t completely lame.
“It’s okay, Merry. I didn’t actually expect an intelligent response.” He shrugged.
That. Was. It.
I stood, found my footing, and grabbed the discarded nozzle. Kirby was slow getting up and even as he shouted a warning, I turned the water on cold and sprayed him once more. “I’m more of a actions speak louder than words girl.”
“And here I thought you were all talk, no balls.”
“That’s you.” I shrugged and turned off the water. “And I think that about sums it up.
Kirby wiped his hand down his face, shaking off the excess water, then slicked back his dark hair away from his eyes. There was no way I could ignore the way his blue eyes sparkled, or the way his long-sleeved Henley clung to his torso, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination.
Damn, he looked good wet.
I took a deep breath, pried my gaze away, then tried to give an easy shrug as I set the nozzle back in the sink.
When really, all I could do was think about how the water had somehow magnified his cologne.
How? I hated that nickname, yet when he said it… somehow I didn’t hate it as much.
He made me like it… want it.
Want to hear him say it.
Over and over and over again.
I didn’t turn around. I didn’t trust myself to.
“Merry,” his voice was closer.
My body was finally registering the cold, and when mixed with the charged atmosphere of the kitchen, had me starting to shiver. A warm hand reached around my waist, pulled me back gently. For a moment Kirby’s soaked shirt felt freezing against mine, then the cold evaporated into an inviting heat. His other arm reached around my waist as well, holding me tightly as he rested his chin on my shoulder. If I closed my eyes, I could feel each breath he took, every shift of his body.
And even though ten seconds ago I was freezing… I was now on fire.
Kristin’s inspiration for the romance she writes comes from her tall, dark and handsome husband with killer blue eyes. With five children to chase, she is never at a loss for someone to kiss, something to cook or some mess to clean but she loves every moment of it!
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