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#SundaySnippet – When #fakedating is acceptable…

So tomorrow my book CHANCE ( LAST MAN STANDING #12) releases into the book reading world and I figured I’d give you one more chance ( see what I did there! LOL) to determine if you’d like to read the entire book.

Today’s snippet goes to the heart of the #fakedating premise of the book between Freddie and Chance.

Enjoy…

When he laid it all out she had to admit, the idea was pretty out there.

“I know it’s a last-minute request and I totally understand if you don’t want to say yes. But I really want you to say yes.”

“I don’t know,” she said, biting down on a corner of her lip. “It’s kind of…deceitful, isn’t it?”

“In a way. But for the best of reasons. If they think I’m dating someone they’ll be happy for me and I’ll have the added benefit of them getting off their hook-me-up endeavors for a while. And believe me, I could use a break from that. There’s nothing worse than a grown man being set up by a bunch of elderly women with good intentions.”

“No, I don’t imagine there is.” She laughed.

“It’s only for one night,” he added. “Just to get through this party. There’s nothing else planned until my Aunt Theresa’s birthday in July and by then I’ll have figured something out to get them off my backs permanently.”

“That’s only three months away, you know.”

“Yeah, but I’m looking at it as three months reprieve where I won’t be harassed with dating matchups.”

“Have you ever simply thought to tell them your views on marriage? Marriage for you, in particular?”

“The cousins—their kids—yes. But they’re all married, too. I’ve never said outright to the aunts that I don’t want to get married. I’m afraid a few of them would have heart attacks or start invoking my mother’s name as a way to ward off whatever bedevilment they think has possessed me. Their definition of a happy life is a happy wife and kids for every man they know. It’s their…generation’s, I guess, way of thinking.”

Freddie nodded. “My mother’s a little younger than your aunts, I think, but she feels the same way.”

She sat back and stared at him for a moment.

“Say I say yes—”

“Please do.”

She rolled her eyes. “Say I agree to go with you as your, what? Fake girlfriend?”

He nodded.

“What are you gonna tell them about me? About how we met?”

“The truth is always the best way to avoid issues,” he said. “You own and manage the coffee bar in my office building. We met and hit if off, decided to date.”

“What happens if they ask if I’ve ever been married? If I have any kids?”

“Tell them whatever you’re comfortable with. You don’t need to lie—”

“Good, since we’ll already be lying about our relationship.”

He frowned. “I guess I don’t consider it lying as much as I think of it as a way to keep the aunts out of my hair for a bit.”

She nodded. “What would you expect me to do?”

He shrugged. “Whatever girlfriends do when they meet their boyfriend’s relatives.” He raked his hands down his face, then readjusted his glasses. “And I can’t believe I’m describing myself that way at my age.”

“You’ve got a few years left in you,” she said with a grin.

Intrigued? I hope so!!! Peg

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#SundaySnippet Take a CHANCE on this confirmed bachelor; #preorder #LastManStanding #fakedating

From my soon-to-be-released LAST MAN STANDING addition to the series, CHANCE.

“The trash gets picked up at midnight,” she told him, apologetically, as she led him to an ancient Volkswagen Beetle, the two front fenders different colors.

“How old is your car?” he asked when she popped the front trunk open.

“A hundred and thirty-thousand miles old.” She started placing the containers inside the spacious trunk. “But still running, isn’t a gas guzzler, and has the added benefit of being paid for.”

Chance helped her stack the remaining boxes. When they were done she slammed the hood down, turned to him and said, “Thanks,” with a smile that took his breath away.

He nodded, looked up, then down the alley.  “What time do you get here in the morning?”

“Around six. It’s usually light by then. I can get everything up and running before Lindsey comes at seven and we open.”

He nodded again.

“Well, thanks for the help,” she said. “Can I drop you somewhere? I’m heading downtown, but I can reroute if you need a lift. Or do you drive to work every day?”

He glanced down at her car. He wasn’t even sure he’d be able to sit in the front seat without tilting his head to the side. “I don’t have a car in the city. It’s too stressful driving into work every day and my job’s got enough of that already attached to it.”

She cocked her head and a thought popped into the front of his head. Before he could stop himself, he said,  “Let me take you to dinner.” The request surprised him and, apparently, Freddie. Even in the subdued lighting surrounding them he could see her eyes go wide, her mouth drop open.

“Wh-what? Why?”

A good question and one he’d try to answer for himself later on. For now, though, he had the uncontrollable urge to feed her. “I’m sure you didn’t get a break all day and you must be starved. I know I am.”

The quizzical quirk to her brow was followed by, “I’m not dressed to go out to dinner.”

He shrugged. “Doesn’t have to be fancy. I love diner food as much as the next guy. In fact, there’s a great place one block up. Best breakfast in town and their burgers are insane.”

She didn’t look convinced.

“You don’t have to run home and fix supper for…anyone, do you?”

Way to go, Chance. You never even considered she might be married before blurting out your invitation.

She didn’t wear a wedding ring and in his experience women always did. It was the men who removed them or elected to keep their fingers naked.

“No,” she said.

“So, no husband waiting for you to get dinner on the table?” he asked because he had to be clear on the subject.

For a fleeting moment something he couldn’t get a bead on crossed in her eyes. Then it was gone. “That’s a little sexist, you know, assuming it’s the wife who has to always make dinner.”

She was right. “Sorry. That was stupid of me.”

Her left eyebrow rose as she considered his remark. He felt like a jerk asking again but he really wanted to know.

“I wouldn’t use the word stupid,” she said. “Maybe unenlightened.”

That pulled a grin from him.

“But no. No husband at home.”

He held back his sigh of relief, then wondered why she didn’t have a guy waiting at home for her. He knew asking would truly make him sound insensitive so he kept the question to himself.

“Then how do the best burgers in the city sound?”

Chance had always been good at reading body language. It was a talent that had suited him well when the words a client spoke often didn’t jive with the truth of the situation. Their bodies outted them every time.

When Freddie’s shoulders dropped from their hunched position under her ears he knew he was making headway.

“Look,” he said, pulling out a grin he usually reserved for friends and family, “I know you don’t know anything about me other than I’m a divorce lawyer and I like coffee.”

A half-smile slid up her face. “And corn muffins.”

He nodded. “But I’m not a serial murder, I don’t cheat on my taxes, and if you ask my sister she’d tell you other than the fact I tend to argue a point to death, I’m a good guy.”

A full smile graced her face from that declaration.

Progress.

“So what’d’ya say? Wanna grab something to eat before you head home?”

He held his breath waiting for her answer.

After a few moments when he wondered if he’d ever be able to breathe again, she said, “Well,” as she shifted her bag to the other shoulder. “I am hungry, that’s the truth. It was a long day and I didn’t get a break.”

“Is that a yes?”

Please let it be a yes.

With her lips pressed together and her eyes narrowed slightly she finally –finally – nodded. “I guess it is.”

He couldn’t stop the full-wattage smile that jumped across his face.

Happy reading, peeps. ~ Peg

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Photo of the day, day 161

Coming soon…..

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