Mr. Right Now (MF)

Evernight Publishing

Heat Rating: Scorching
Word Count: 66,115
0 Ratings (0.0)

Need a date? Or a temporary boyfriend? How about a husband in a hurry? The professionals at SASS—Singles Arrangement Service Specialists—are here to help.

Nikki Baranski would rather be running her own vintage clothing boutique instead of working in her grandmother’s thrift store, she’d also rather be more confident than hesitant, and she’d rather put her ex-boyfriend in the past. Unfortunately, she has to hear him on the radio every day. And when her self-absorbed, narcissistic ex invites her to a swanky party after years of not seeing each other, she knows what she has to do: prove he didn’t crush her self-esteem and she did fine without him. Unfortunately, she needs a fiancé and a lot of fantasy to make it work.

Gabe Logan has his own struggles: running a diner bequeathed to him by the dead owner, drowning in bills, and dealing with his own troubled ex, things aren’t easy. When he puts himself in SASS’s catalog hoping to make money, he has no idea the girl who hires him as her husband-to-be might also be the answer he’s looking for. After all, he’s not aiming to be Mr. Right, just what she needs right now.

Despite their business arrangement, Nikki and Gabe discover humans are more complex than a contract—money and playacting aren’t enough to dampen real attraction, chemistry, and emotion.Need a date? Or a temporary boyfriend? How about a husband in a hurry? The professionals at SASS—Singles Arrangement Service Specialists—are here to help.

Nikki Baranski would rather be running her own vintage clothing boutique instead of working in her grandmother’s thrift store, she’d also rather be more confident than hesitant, and she’d rather put her ex-boyfriend in the past. Unfortunately, she has to hear him on the radio every day. And when her self-absorbed, narcissistic ex invites her to a swanky party after years of not seeing each other, she knows what she has to do: prove he didn’t crush her self-esteem and she did fine without him. Unfortunately, she needs a fiancé and a lot of fantasy to make it work.

Gabe Logan has his own struggles: running a diner bequeathed to him by the dead owner, drowning in bills, and dealing with his own troubled ex, things aren’t easy. When he puts himself in SASS’s catalog hoping to make money, he has no idea the girl who hires him as her husband-to-be might also be the answer he’s looking for. After all, he’s not aiming to be Mr. Right, just what she needs right now.

Despite their business arrangement, Nikki and Gabe discover humans are more complex than a contract—money and playacting aren’t enough to dampen real attraction, chemistry, and emotion.

Mr. Right Now (MF)
0 Ratings (0.0)

Mr. Right Now (MF)

Evernight Publishing

Heat Rating: Scorching
Word Count: 66,115
0 Ratings (0.0)
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Cover Art by Jay Aheer
Excerpt

Nikki tried to appear nonchalant as she entered the diner. The place was packed, most of the tables full, and all eyes turned to her as soon as she stepped through the door. Eyebrows shot up. Looks of surprise turned to appreciation, at least on the male faces. She supposed she was a bit overdressed for this establishment, at this time of evening. Or any time, really.

She’d gotten her hair done earlier—she wanted curls tonight, and she wasn’t that skilled at making her ultra-straight hair curly and keeping it that way. It tumbled down her back and was pulled away from her face with a paisley pink headband to match her dress. She really did look like some old school debutante. She’d also watched YouTube videos and did her makeup as flawlessly as possible. Her previous plan, with this look, was to make Jeff want to stab himself with regret.

Now, it was to make Gabe drool.

She strolled to the counter, ignoring the looks as she passed between tables. The heels she wore made her a few inches taller and helped keep her posture straight. The night was warm, so she’d added only a silk wrap that matched the dress. At least it was hiding the back of it from these gawkers.

The guy behind the counter stared at her too, slack-jawed. He was tall and about her age, and he wore an apron.

“Uh … hello,” he said. Immaculate customer service.

Davina came out from the back, then. She stopped and looked at Nikki. “Oh, hey. How’s it going?” She scowled at the man. “Don’t you got some cleaning to do?” She whapped him on the arm. “I’m your boss tonight, and I don’t wanna catch you slacking. Get back there and help George, I’ll holler if we get an order.”

The man grumbled and disappeared through the doorway behind Davina, casting Nikki one last look.

Davina leaned on the counter, peering over it. “That’s a nice dress. Gabe said it was sexy. He wasn’t lying.”

Nikki smiled. “Thanks. Is he around?”

“He’s finishing getting ready in the office.” She looked over Nikki’s shoulder. “You need some more fries or something, amigo?”

Nikki looked over her shoulder. A guy was turned around in his seat, staring at her, but at Davina’s ominous question, he turned and went back to his meal. Nikki turned back around, biting her lip to suppress a grin.

Davina took a sip from a paper cup. “Half the guys who come in here never seen a woman’s bare legs before.” She thumbed toward the back. “You wanna go back and get him? Surprise him.” She winked. “I think you’ll like how he looks.”

“Uh … sure?” She didn’t want to impose. “If he’s not ready, I can wait out here though. Or in the car.” She didn’t particularly want to sit in here, on display.

Davina walked around the counter. “Nah, come on. You can see the behind-the-scenes stuff. Where the magic happens.”

Nikki followed her down a short hallway. It led to an area in the back where the restrooms were, and one other, unmarked door. Davina knocked on it.

“You got a visitor!” She didn’t wait for a reply, but opened the door and leaned in. “Your date is here.”

“Shit,” Gabe replied. “Hold on.”

Davina waved her in, though judging by that exclamation, he didn’t seem ready. Still, Nikki stepped into the room.

Gabe stood in the middle of it, near a desk, and like everyone else, he immediately went still and stared at her. She didn’t mind his stare. In fact, she was staring back at him.

Damn, he cleaned up nicely. He wore a black silk suit with a pink button-down underneath—to match her dress, she assumed. The suit had to be tailored, because it fit his burly, stocky form like a glove and enhanced all the best parts: his broad chest, his hips and meaty thighs, his wide shoulders. The pink looked good on him too. It went with his skin tone and the pastel brought out the blue in his eyes. Thankfully, he wasn’t trying to rock a hat tonight, and the smooth, streamlined look of it all, along with his bald head, made him appear stylishly hip and sophisticated.

She tried to unstick her tongue to say some words. Apparently, he was doing the same. Davina looked between them with a delighted, somewhat evil smirk.

“I gotta go run the place,” she said. “You two get yourselves prepared for your big night.”

She slipped out of the room, closing the door behind her.

“Wow,” Gabe breathed out. He blinked a few times. “You look amazing.”

She licked her lips. “I could say the same about you. You look really good.”

They stood in awkward silence for a moment. Memories of the night before last came rushing back and made her breath catch. The scent of his musky, alluring cologne hung on the air.

“Uh.” He shifted and tugged at his blazer. “I hope this works for you. I mean, I want to make sure I’m living up to what you want me to be tonight.”

She walked over to him and stroked her hand down the lapel. “It’s perfect. I’ve only seen you casual so far. This is something else.”

He chuckled and rubbed a hand over his head. “Yeah, much nicer than an apron or a t-shirt, huh? I promise I’ll act a lot more confident at the party. I’m just a little nervous right now.”

“I’m really nervous too.” She took a deep breath. “But I think together, we’ll knock them all dead.”

“Yeah?” He smiled at her, his eyes shining in the overhead light. Damn, he was handsome. And pretty. Both at the same time. All man, and yet, she liked his soft edges.

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