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Pretty in Pink

excessica publishing

Heat Rating: SIZZLING
Word Count: 25,906
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Kimber Daniels knows what they say about assuming and how a person should never do it. But she can't help but assume her new neighbor Charlie Brewster is gay. What with is matching curtains, brand new filigree bird bath and that pink flamingo on his front lawn dressed in its cute little holiday Santa outfit. It's wrong to assume, but she does anyway, especially when he answers the door in a bright pink tulip covered robe.

It seems only logical that Charlie's a safe guy to be around when all other men are on her naughty list. While her best friend Sarah is trying to convince Kimber to make the moves on Charlie because he's a good guy, Kimber's trying to convince Sarah that Charlie is totally off limits and is simply the kind of man that sugar plum dreams are made of.

Christmas has never been so confusing.

Professional Reviews
Bobby D. Whitney, BookWenches

"a light and humorous holiday-themed novella that gives a new definition to the phrase `love thy neighbor’... sexy and filled with good-natured humor…filled with Christmas cheer…"

Seriously Reviewed, 17/20 SCORE

"As a lover of Ms Marsden’s work, I have to say that this one was just as good as I figured it would be. Cute, laugh-out-loud funny and totally hot. Sommer never fails to write a story that pulls me in and rocks my world. Pretty in Pink is another great read in what I hope will be a LOOOONG line from one of my favorite authors. Filled with great characters, funny situations, a great misunderstanding that begins with an assumption...Smokin’ hot!!"

Vicky, Sizzling Hot Books, 4/5 HEARTS

"[A] cute but spicy novella ...This one starts out innocent enough, moves along nicely, then has this great, very hot scene that goes beyond all expectations!... I would recommend Pretty in Pink for any romantic, and this one leaves you with a smile!"

Excerpt

The groan and squeal happened again and this time they both jumped, clutching at each other and doing an odd mix of screaming and laughing. “Call John! Call John!” Sarah–the ‘brave one’–yelled.

John was the last ex. John was the one who’d sat and told Kimber over and over that she wasn’t smart enough, savvy enough, quick enough to start her own business. Especially not with a woman who always acted as if it were party time. John had not been Sarah’s biggest fan, but Kimber had kept that from her friend. No reason to hurt Sarah’s feelings over a guy who clearly wasn’t worth muddying up her mental space. Before John had been Dan who’d told her that she had child bearing hips and of course if they ever got married she’d understand that he carry on the tradition of the men in his family of keeping a mistress. Before him had been Guy the drug dealer and before him Michael who was still technically married and had forgotten to tell her.

It had not been a banner decade for Kimber. At thirty-two she was ready for a good man or no man. And since men seemed to be her doom, in general, it was looking as if no man was the way it was going to go.

Sarah yanked at Kimber‘s arm, ignorant of how John had disliked her and said, “Go on. What are you waiting for?”

“Oh, I am not calling that shit stain! I’d rather be eaten by rabid wildebeests than call him,” Kimber said and stalked to the window. She gazed up seeing nothing at all. Nothing. At. All. “He can’t help me. He is mentally compromised.”

“How so?” Sarah whispered, coming to the kitchen window and looking up too.

“His head is empty. That’s how so,” Kimber said.

They laughed, holding each other as another shrieking kind of moan filled the house. “What. The. Fuck?” Kimber said.

“Don’t look at me,” Sarah said.

The final one was the last straw and Kimber grabbed Sarah. “Come on! Let’s go! I doubt whatever it is, it can hurt us, but I‘ve had enough. Time to call in the troops, get back up, muster some reinforcements.” She was babbling and she knew it, but talking aloud always helped keep her at least a bit calm. “Let’s go! Move your ass,” Kimber barked.

“Go where?”

“Next door! Mr. Gay America!”

“He’s not gay!” Sarah grumbled.

“Whatever. We’ll figure that out later. Let’s go see if he’ll come over with his shield and sword and save us.”

“We’re not damsels in distress.” Sarah rolled her eyes, but Kimber could see her pulse pounding at her throat.

“Of course not. But…we need help. We need bulk, muscle…firepower!”

“What?”

“Oh, for Gods’ sake. He’s a cop, Sar! Let’s go”

Dark was swiftly falling in her little town and the air was the color of periwinkles. They rushed down the path, slipping and shrieking as evening traffic trickled past. Sarah went into a skid, pulling Kimber with her. Why were they doing this? Why couldn’t they figure out what was wrong with the house themselves? Why did they need a man?

Because Kimber had no earthly clue what to do, where to begin, or how she would solve a household issue if that ever came about. But before the new year ended she planned on knowing. She was going to get one of those owning a house for morons kind of books and start being a domestically empowered woman. She was. Right after she begged her new neighbor Charlie Bucker? Bowman? Brewster! Right after she asked Charlie Brewster to help her out this one little time.

They did a Lucy and Ethel-esque slip and slide right up to his door and started banging. “My god. What if it’s a water pipe? What if the water main has busted?” Kimber breathed.

“That would be the county’s problem, honey,” Sarah said as her teeth started to chatter. “You don’t have a whole damn main under your house.”

“Okay, whatever. You know what I mean, Sarah! Do not split hairs. What if my main has ruptured!”

“Then you are fucked,” Sarah said, her teeth clickety clacking together as the temperature dipped and the wind picked up. They’d backed up a bit, into the purpling shadows, so the door could be opened.

“Damn!” Kimber said as the door swung open. Warm, glowing home light came spilling out. The kind of light that cozy, safe thoughts were made of. The screen door came open and they both turned to scramble in.

“Hello?“ There he stood. All six foot, three inches of him. Sandy hair teased high, eyes painted a garish blue with lopsided fake eyelashes. His bulk was barely concealed in a hot pink bathrobe with tulip appliqués on it. Faded jeans stuck out underneath and a plain white tee, but that robe did it’s best to hug his bulging biceps and nicely cut forearms.

Cold, freaked out, shuddering with the wind, they still stood dumbfounded and silent.

“Holy mother of Christmas,” Sarah said.

“What she means is…” Kimber lost her train of thought staring at the train wreck of a makeup job. A hysterical half snicker escaped her and she clamped her hand over her mouth.

“Hello, pretty in pink,” Sarah snorted. And then, “What in the hell are you wearing ma—”

Kimber punched Sarah none too lightly on the arm and her friend winced. “What she means is, hi. Hi there. I’m Kimber from next door. We’ve waved and…” They both let out a hoot as the December wind whipped around the porch and froze them to the bone.

“Ladies, why don’t you come in,” he said, frowning. Even frowning he was handsome. Despite the makeup and the pink and the tulips. Despite all that, Kimber recognized a smoking hot man when she saw one.

“Yes, ladies, come on in,” said a small voice from closer to the ground. Kimber looked down and smiled. A small, blonde girl, who was the spitting image of their host smiled up. She giggled, waved and shook a makeup brush at them. “It’s cold out there. Put some hustle in your bustle!”

Sarah looked down as if she’d never ever seen a child before and Kimber had to prod her to get her to move and then they were both ensconced in the brilliant light and warmth of Charlie’s home. “So what can I do for you?” Charlie asked, swiping at his eyelashes and if she wasn’t mistaken, the poor thing was blushing.

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