Release Date: July 15, 2019
Cover Design: Artist Regina Wamba
Photography: Perrywinkle Photography
Every little girl dreams of being swept off her feet by a charming Prince.
The door to the bathroom stuck in a way that only seemed to happen in old houses so I put two hands on the handle and pushed it open with all my strength. It opened on with a loud groan and I ran directly into a wall or I guess a better description would be a wall of muscle.
I pushed against the guy’s chest to keep my skin from touching his just as I noticed he was wearing nothing but a towel. A white, fully towel that barely covered a thing. His hand gripped my elbow trying to steady me, and I tried to calm my racing pulse from the embarrassment of his lack of clothing and mine.
“Oh, sorry.” He fumbled for words and seemed as genuinely shocked as I was.
“It’s okay.” I tugged on the edge of Theo’s t-shirt and tried not to look up at him. His stomach was on full display in front of me, and I let my eyes go there for only a moment before I jerked my gaze away and looked up at his face.
His dark hair was a wild mess and looked like he had been running his fingers through it for most of the night. Or someone else had. Either way, it had the same effect. His jaw was square and somehow made his beautiful face seem harsh, but his eyes were warm and a deep shade of blue that reminded me of something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I studied his face for an ounce of recognition, but I didn’t see him at the party last night. I would have remembered him if I had.
His hand that was still pressed against my skin felt like it was burning me in the best possible way, and I knew I should have pulled away from him. But I didn’t.
“I’m Easton.” I watched his full lips as the sleep-filled, husky words slipped past.
“Maddison.” My voice on the other hand sounded squeaky and anxious and far too affected by a guy I didn’t know.
His gaze slowly slid down my body, and the threads of Theo’s shirt felt like they were unraveling under his stare.
I desperately wanted to flee back to Theo’s room. My heart was racing, and I knew my cheeks were flushed with embarrassment. But for some reason, I didn’t.
“You live here?” I asked like a complete and total idiot.
“Mmmmm…” He nodded but didn’t take his eyes off of me. “You don’t.”
“No.” I shook my head. “I’m here with Theo.” The words came out, but I hated the way they sounded. I didn’t know why, but I didn’t want him to think I was here sleeping with Theo.
I didn’t want him to think that I was that girl.
“Ahh.” He ran he’s fingers through his hair and made a face as if he knew exactly what I was doing with Theo, and I hated it.
“He’s my friend.” I rushed out.
“Theo’s got lots of those.” He chuckled, and the sound pissed me off.
“No.” I crossed my arms and his gaze slid to my thighs that were a bit more exposed. “I’m his best friend. From home.”
“Alright, sweetheart.” His tone was so condescending, so sure that he already knew everything that he needed to know about me.
“Alright, asshole.” I started to push past him, but he smiled at me. A smile that could take your breath away if it wasn’t attached to such a jerk.
His hand touched my elbow again, and I didn’t know why I did it, but I stopped.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I was being an asshole.”
I nodded in agreement. “You were.”
“It’s a little early for our first fight. Don’t you think?” He grinned and I had a feeling that grin got him out of everything. Or into anything he wanted.
“Early in the day or in our relationship?” I cocked an eyebrow at him.
“Both.” His hand moved to the edge of his towel to hold it in place, and I couldn’t help following it’s descent. “How will we explain to our children that we became enemies before we figured out that we were actually in love?”
I actually laughed out loud at his attempt at a joke, and I took my time looking over every ridge of his toned stomach and chest before meeting his eyes again. “It would be heartbreaking. Especially, if they found out you were really never my type.”
His smile was devastating as it lit up his face—devastatingly handsome, devastaingly treacherous.
“We can change that.”
“You seem awfully sure of yourself for a man in nothing but a towel.” I looked toward said towel again with a pointed stare.
“You don’t like my towel? Do you want me to take it off?” His hand tugged on the edge as if he was going to drop it, and I squealed as I covered my eyes.
His deep laugh surrounded me, and I peaked through my fingers to see him watching me with a smile.
“Are you decent?”
“I guess it depends on who you’re asking, but I’d say I’m more than decent.”
I pulled my fingers away from my face and pointed at him as I started backing away toward Theo’s door. “You’re too much.”
“I’ve heard that a time or two as well.” He winked at me, and it took everything inside of me to put my hand on Theo’s door handle. I didn’t want to leave him, but I knew how crazy that sounded. I just met the guy and his towel.
And Theo was just behind the door.
“Goodbye, Easton.” I still couldn’t stop smiling. I had never found it so easy to smile around someone. So easily pulled in.
“Bye, baby. Wait. Too soon? Maybe I’ll wait until our next meeting for the pet names.” He was leaning against the door frame, and I had never met anyone so shameless.
“Until next time,” I whispered as I slowly turned the handle.
“I can’t wait.” He kept his eyes on me as I disappeared through Theo’s doorway.
The door creaked as I pushed it open, but Theo didn’t move an inch as I closed it behind me and pressed my weight against it. I took a deep breath and tried to calm my racing heart as I stared at him sleeping.
I had been nervous around plenty of guys before. Too many had made my heart race over the years. Heck, Theo made my heart race daily, but this felt different somehow.
I pulled the blanket back and crawled into bed behind Theo one slow movement at a time. The warmth of him surrounded me as my body slid next to his, and as soon as he felt me, he turned in my direction and wrapped his arm around my middle.
I tried to let the comfort of him pull me to sleep as he pulled me tighter against his body, but everytime I closed my eyes all I could see were eyes of blue taunting me.
Wrapping my hand in Theo’s, I let him engulf me- his smell, his warmth, everything that was uniquely him, and I tried to forget the guy from the bathroom who I’d probably never see again.
One of Five ARC's for The Wrong Prince Charming
About the Author
Holly Renee is a best-selling author of sexy, contemporary romance, a Harry Potter fanatic, a body positive babe, and a boy mom.
When she's not writing, you can find her reading all the books, taking long strolls down the aisles of Ulta, or hanging out with her two favorite boys.
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