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Showing posts with label Vi Keeland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vi Keeland. Show all posts
Thursday, September 15, 2022

SNEAK PEEK: The Rules of Dating by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

The Rules of Dating by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland is almost here!  Check out my spoiler-free review and a little excerpt below. This September 19th release will be available to download for free in Kindle Unlimited.  

The Rules of Dating by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward on Kindle Crack

Title: The Rules of Dating

Authors: Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 19, 2022



BUY LINKS:

KINDLE Amazon US ➜ https://amzn.to/3BorSWs

Paperbackhttps://amzn.to/3BjvE39

Audio https://amzn.to/3UhhB78


AMAZON LIVE RELEASE ALERT: https://www.subscribepage.com/2FreeBooks

 

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61645755


Try Kindle Unlimited FREE for the first month - https://amzn.to/3xmE0pQ


Excerpt:

Crash!

Shit. Billie and I looked at each other. A devilish smirk spread across her face…and then she turned and bolted.

I looked around. The coast seemed clear, so I ran as fast as I could while pushing a heaping cart full of crap. For the last hour and a half, Billie had been picking things out and holding them up to show me. If I agreed, she chucked them over her shoulder for me to catch with the cart. I’d been zigging and zagging, trying to scoop up all the merchandise she threw as I followed her around—both of us laughing like school kids the entire time. That is, until I missed that last toss and a glass bowl shattered on the floor.

IKEA was a giant maze, and both of us kept running, turning left and then right, until we finally arrived in the warehouse portion of the store, which was right before the checkout line. Billie leaned over with her hands on her knees, huffing and puffing.

“I think we’re in the clear,” she said.

“Pretty sure I would’ve rather paid for the twelve-dollar bowl than make a run for it. This cart is so full, it almost tipped like ten times.”

She laughed. “Did we get everything we need?”

“I’m not sure. But we definitely bought a lot of shit we don’t need. Like I think we could have done without the motorized ice cream cone spinners. The tenant can lick their own ice cream.”

Billie grinned. “Those are for me and Saylor. They light up, too!”

I snorted. “Come on, let’s check out before I’m completely broke.”

While we loaded everything onto the conveyor belt, I lifted my chin toward the in-store restaurant located just after the cashier stations. “You still up for meatballs?”

“Uh…hello? It’s the only reason I came.”

I clutched my hand over my heart. “Oww, that hurts. And here I thought you came for the company.”

After we were all checked out, I wheeled the cart over to a table for two in the corner of the restaurant. “Why don’t you stay here with the stuff, and I’ll go get us some meatballs.”

“Okay. But can you get me a drink, too, please? I’m so thirsty.”

When I came back, I set two big plates of meatballs on the table.

“Did you forget the drinks?” Billie asked.

I grinned and lifted a finger. “Actually, I didn’t. I brought them.” My gym bag from earlier had been lying on the bottom shelf underneath the cart since we walked in. Taking it out, I unzipped and started to unpack. “Wine, madame?” I held a bottle of merlot over one arm, showing the label like a maĆ®tre d’.

Billie cracked up. “You brought wine with you? I thought it was strange when you took your duffle bag into the store. But I figured maybe your wallet was in it and stuff.”

I shrugged. “What choice did I have? You won’t go out with me, so I have to make the best out of our undate at IKEA.” I unloaded two plastic wine glasses, white cloth napkins, and a candleholder with a red candle.

Billie picked up the candle and examined it before raising a brow. “A winter village scene?”

I shrugged. “They’re Christmas candles. I only had an hour to get out of the house with a four-year-old. Don’t judge.”

The looks we got from the people around us as we ate meatballs by candlelight were pretty comical. I was also pretty sure it was against the rules to have an open flame in IKEA, let alone an open bottle of wine, but evidently the people behind the counter hadn’t read the employee rule book to be certain. Either way, the smile on Billie’s face made it all worthwhile. After we were done eating, I blew out the candle and started to pack up.

“You know…” Billie shook her head. “I think you just snuck a date into our undate.”

I shoved the cork back into the top of the wine bottle and zippered it into my duffle. “I did not.”

She squinted at me. “I’m pretty sure you did. What’s the difference between what we just did and a date? We shared a candlelight meal with wine and cloth napkins.”

I leaned down and whispered in her ear. “The difference is, you don’t get to come at the end.”

When I pulled back, Billie’s jaw was hanging open. I freaking loved that she looked so affected. She swallowed. “Is that the way all your dates end?”

I shook my head back and forth slowly. “No, but it’s damn straight the way ours would.”

 

Copyright © 2022 Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland



Review:


The Rules of DatingThe Rules of Dating by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Rules of Dating by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland made my heart sing. I'm still smiling like a loon just thinking about this book a week after finishing it. It was that good! This unexpected, opposites attract romance has the perfect about of sweet and heat.

The Rules of Dating is flirty and fun romance lovers gold. I legit couldn't put the book down until I reached the end. You guys are in for a treat. That ending! I've said this before, and I'll repeat it, Vi and Penelope make it impossible not to fall in love with their characters and their co-authored books. The Rules of Dating is on my Best of 2022 list.


The Rules of Dating by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland Video review

BLURB

 

It all started when I hosted a little party for a bunch of new friends. 

Though “friends” might not be the right word since the invitees were all the women I’d found out my boyfriend was talking to behind my back. When the guest of honor walked in—aka my now ex—things took a turn… 

Unfortunately, a stranger witnessed the whole blowout. I was in a mood that night and ended up giving this gorgeous guy an attitude, too. As if my night could get any worse, before he stormed off, he informed me he was actually my landlord.

Colby Lennon, along with three of his friends, owned the building where my tattoo shop was located.  He and I were total opposites.  He wore a tie, oozed confidence that came with years of women falling at his feet, and wasn’t afraid to say what he wanted, which lately—was me

I hated that I found myself attracted to him.  Especially since I was supposed to be on a self-imposed dating hiatus. Yet the two of us couldn’t seem to stay away from each other. We started hanging out, as friends.  I even went as far as making rules for what he’d dubbed our “undates.”

But eventually, our explosive attraction became too much to bear, and we broke our resolve. I let my guard down and started to really fall for Colby.

Nothing could have prepared me for the ride he took me on. And I certainly wasn't prepared for where I'd wind up when the ride was over.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn't see coming.


PENELOPE WARD

 

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

 

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

 

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over thirty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/penelopewardauthor

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PenelopesPeeps

Website: http://www.penelopewardauthor.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/PenelopeWardAuthor

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@penelopewardofficial

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PenelopeAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7105545.Penelope_Ward

 

 

VI KEELAND

 

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles are currently translated in twenty-seven languages and have appeared on bestseller lists in the US, Germany, Brazil, Bulgaria and Hungary. Three of her short stories have been turned into films by Passionflix, and two of her books are currently optioned for movies. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

 

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/vi.keeland

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Vi-Keeland/435952616513958

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ViKeelandFanGroup

Website: http://www.vikeeland.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/Vi_Keeland

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@vikeeland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ViKeeland

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6887119.Vi_Keeland



Monday, July 11, 2022

Book Review: The Boss Project by Vi Keeland is LIVE!

The Boss Project by Vi Keeland is LIVE!  The Boss Project packs the ideal amount of heart, heat, and Vi’s signature humor. Merrick and Evie are such fantastic characters. Check out my spoiler-free review below and get one-clicking this incredible contemporary romance book. The Boss Project is on my Best of 2022 romance book list!

The Boss Project by Vi Keeland Kindle Crack

RELEASE BLITZ

Title: The Boss Project

Author: Vi Keeland

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 11, 2022


BLURB

 

The first time I met Merrick Crawford was during my job interview.


Well, technically, I’d met him twenty minutes earlier when he’d barged into a fitting room a few doors down from my appointment. 


I yelled.  He yelled.  After an argument while standing in my bra, I proceeded to smash the door into the gorgeous jerk, trying to yank it shut.


As you might imagine, I was freaked out when I discovered that the rude guy was my potential new boss.


Yet he didn’t seem to recognize me. Or so I thought…  Until we wound up bickering again during my interview and he told me to go sniff my armpit. 


Okay, so maybe I hadn’t exactly been changing when he walked in on me.  In my defense, I’d been stuck on a hot train for two hours and wanted to make sure I didn’t smell.


I obviously didn’t expect to get the job. But somehow an invitation to a second interview arrived in my inbox. 


Before I left, I asked to see Merrick.  I needed to know why I was even in consideration after our disastrous start.


Turned out, Merrick only wanted to hire me because I was the least competent candidate.  It seemed his board was making him fill the position, against his wishes.


I didn’t really want to work in a place where my boss expected me to fail.  But I figured maybe I’d enjoy proving him wrong. It was a little thing I dubbed the boss project.


What I wasn’t prepared for was that there would be other things I’d enjoy doing to Merrick Crawford.


Getting involved with the boss wasn’t the smartest choice. 


But you know what they say about choices: Some we regret, some we are proud of.  I just had no idea where this one was going to land.

 

 

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61200650-the-boss-project

 

BUY LINKS

•Kindle  https://amzn.to/3Ir07iS

•Audio  https://amzn.to/3ako7rn

•Apple Books  https://apple.co/3NaZw6J

•Nook  https://bit.ly/3P8gd33

•Google Play  https://smarturl.it/TheBossProjectGPlay

•Paperback  https://amzn.to/3x6Pzl8

•Amazon UK ➜ https://amzn.to/3c5Jk9b

•Amazon CA ➜ https://amzn.to/3yUwpzI

•Amazon AU➜ https://amzn.to/3c2KjHd

•Add to Goodreads  https://smarturl.it/TheBossProjectGR


Spoiler-free Book Review of The Boss Project by Vi Keeland 
The Boss ProjectMy rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Boss Project by Vi Keeland Video teaser Kindle Crack

I don’t know how to write the perfect review for the perfect book. I seriously don’t understand how Vi Keeland creates magic in every book that she writes. The Boss Project packs the ideal amount of heart, heat, and Vi’s signature humor. Merrick and Evie are such fantastic characters. Don’t get me started on my love for Kitty. You guys are going to LOVE it. This book is boss. I’m still smiling days after reading this romance. If you’re going to read one book this July, you need to one-click The Boss Project when it releases on 7/11. 

The Boss Project is on my Best of 2022 list. The Boss Project might be my all-time favorite Vi books.

AUTHOR BIO

 

Romance author Vi Keeland Kindle Crack

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles are currently translated in twenty-seven languages and have appeared on bestseller lists in the US, Germany, Brazil, Bulgaria and Hungary. Three of her short stories have been turned into films by Passionflix, and two of her books are currently optioned for movies. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

 

 

AUTHOR LINKS

 

Facebook Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ViKeelandFanGroup

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/vi.keeland

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorViKeeland

Website: http://www.vikeeland.com

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@vikeeland

Instagram: http://instagram.com/Vi_Keeland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ViKeeland

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6887119.Vi_Keeland

 

Friday, June 3, 2022

Cover Reveal: The Boss Project by Vi Keeland

COVER REVEAL I’m reading this July 11th release right now and I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!  This is model Daniel Harris’ first time appearing on a book cover.  Look for my spoiler-free review.  Happy cover reveal day Vivi!  The Boss Project is a standalone/no cliffhanger.

The Boss Project by Vi Keeland Kindle Book Kindle Crack


Title: The Boss Project

Author: Vi Keeland

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance

Cover Design: Sommer Stein, Perfect Pear Creative

Photographer: Wander Aguiar

Model: Daniel Harris

Release Date: July 11, 2022


BLURB


The first time I met Merrick Crawford was during my job interview.


Well, technically, I’d met him twenty minutes earlier when he’d barged into a fitting room a few doors down from my appointment. 


I yelled.  He yelled.  After an argument while standing in my bra, I proceeded to smash the door into the gorgeous jerk, trying to yank it shut.


As you might imagine, I was freaked out when I discovered that the rude guy was my potential new boss.


Yet he didn’t seem to recognize me. Or so I thought…  Until we wound up bickering again during my interview and he told me to go sniff my armpit.  


Okay, so maybe I hadn’t exactly been changing when he walked in on me.  In my defense, I’d been stuck on a hot train for two hours and wanted to make sure I didn’t smell. 


I obviously didn’t expect to get the job. But somehow an invitation to a second interview arrived in my inbox.  


Before I left, I asked to see Merrick.  I needed to know why I was even in consideration after our disastrous start.


Turned out, Merrick only wanted to hire me because I was the least competent candidate.  It seemed his board was making him fill the position, against his wishes.


I didn’t really want to work in a place where my boss expected me to fail.  But I figured maybe I’d enjoy proving him wrong. It was a little thing I dubbed the boss project.


What I wasn’t prepared for was that there would be other things I’d enjoy doing to Merrick Crawford.


Getting involved with the boss wasn’t the smartest choice.  


But you know what they say about choices: Some we regret, some we are proud of.  I just had no idea where this one was going to land.


GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61200650-the-boss-project



PRE-ORDER LINKS


Apple Books: https://apple.co/3NaZw6J

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3x6Pzl8


Sign up for Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live! https://www.subscribepage.com/i6h3o5


Do you like texts better than email? Receive text notices of Vi’s new releases by texting the word BOOKS to 77948 You will ONLY receive a text when a new book goes live - no other messages at all!



AUTHOR BIO

Vi Keeland Author photo


Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles are currently translated in twenty-seven languages and have appeared on bestseller lists in the US, Germany, Brazil, Bulgaria and Hungary. Three of her short stories have been turned into films by Passionflix, and two of her books are currently optioned for movies. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.



AUTHOR LINKS


Facebook Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ViKeelandFanGroup 

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/vi.keeland 

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorViKeeland

Website: http://www.vikeeland.com 

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@vikeeland 

Instagram: http://instagram.com/Vi_Keeland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ViKeeland 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6887119.Vi_Keeland



OTHER BOOKS BY VI KEELAND


The Invitation


Amazon: https://amzn.to/3zchpxz

Apple Books  https://apple.co/390y226

Paperback  https://amzn.to/38u71U7

Audio  https://amzn.to/3p9vPq2 Narrated by Sebastian York and Andi Arndt!

Kobo  https://fave.co/3smt47o

B&N  https://fave.co/3s1hfmT

Google Play  https://fave.co/2MzcikO


The Summer Proposal


Kindle: https://amzn.to/3JPCAIZ

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3CeACfT

Audio: https://amzn.to/3zpeZdg

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3Fg2x1f

B&N: https://fave.co/3zoej7W

Kobo: https://fave.co/3FWCahz

Sunday, January 9, 2022

The First Book On My Best of 2022 List!

The Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland is LIVE! This book is the first book to go on my Best of 2022 Romance Reading List!  Check out my spoiler-free review below. 

Buy Links:

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3JPCAIZ

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3CeACfT

Audio: https://amzn.to/3zpeZdg

PRE-ORDER LINKS

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3Fg2x1f

B&N: https://fave.co/3zoej7W

Kobo: https://fave.co/3FWCahz

The Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland Kindle Crack

Title: The Summer Proposal

Author: Vi Keeland

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance

Cover Design: Sommer Stein, Perfect Pear Creative

Photo: Michael Yerger

Model: Rodolfo Martinez

Release Date: January 10, 2022 (live early on Amazon)

 

BLURB

 

The first time I met Max Yearwood was on a blind date. 

Max was insanely gorgeous, funny, and our chemistry was off the charts. He also had the biggest dimples I’d ever laid eyes on. 

Exactly what I needed after my breakup. 

Or so I thought… 

Until my real date arrived.  

Turned out, Max wasn’t who I was there to meet. He only pretended to be until my real date showed up. 

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. 

Before he left, he slipped me a ticket to a hockey game a few blocks away, in case things didn’t work out on my actual date. 

I tossed the ticket into my purse and went about trying to enjoy the man I was supposed to meet. 

But my real blind date and I had no connection.

So on my way home, I decided to take a chance and stop by the game. 

When I arrived, the seat next to me was empty.

Disappointed again, I decided to leave at the end of the period.

Just before the buzzer, one of the teams scored, and the entire arena went crazy. 

A player’s face flashed up on the Jumbotron. He was wearing a helmet, but I froze when he smiled. 

You guessed it: Dimples. 

Apparently, my fake blind date hadn’t invited me to watch hockey with him, he’d invited me to watch him play. 

And so began my adventure with Max Yearwood. 

He was everything I needed at the time—fun, sexy, up for anything, and only around for a few months since he’d signed with a new team three-thousand miles away.   

Max proposed we spend the summer helping me forget my ex. It sounded like a good plan. Things couldn’t get too serious when we had an expiration date. Right?

Though, you know what they say about the best-laid plans. 

 

 

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59585168-the-summer-proposal


The Summer ProposalThe Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Summer Proposal Video Edit Kindle Crack Vi Keeland

The Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland is releasing on January 10, 2022. A few days earlier, and it would have landed on my Best of 2021 list. I was a third of the way into this book, and that’s when I knew that I was head-over-heels for Max and Georgia, and totally invested in these characters. Their relationship made me fall in love (again) with Vi’s writing. The Summer Proposal reinvigorated my love of romance books. These characters couldn’t be more perfect. This hockey romance pucked with my heart. You’re going to pucking love Georgia and Max!

I propose that you one-click The Summer Proposal on 1/10 and start the new year off with this perfect romance! This winter release will warm your heart!



AUTHOR BIO

Author Vi Keeland Photo


Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles are currently translated in twenty-six languages and have appeared on bestseller lists in the US, Germany, Brazil, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Three of her short stories have been turned into films by Passionflix, and two of her books are currently optioned for movies. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.


 

AUTHOR LINKS

 

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/vi.keeland

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Vi-Keeland/435952616513958

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ViKeelandFanGroup

Website: http://www.vikeeland.com

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@vikeeland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ViKeeland

Instagram: http://instagram.com/Vi_Keeland

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6887119.Vi_Keeland

 

Thursday, January 6, 2022

SNEAK PEEK: The Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland

Read an excerpt from The Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland. I absolutely LOVED this spicy romance book. I propose that you one-click The Summer Proposal on 1/10 and start the new year off with this perfect romance! This winter release will warm your heart!

The Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland cover Kindle Crack

Title: The Summer Proposal

Author: Vi Keeland

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance

Release Date: January 10, 2022


Excited about Vi Keeland’s upcoming release, The Summer Proposal?

Check out this SNEAK PEEK of CHAPTER 1!

 

CHAPTER 1

Georgia

 

“What can I get you?” The bartender set a napkin down in front of me.

“Ummm... I’m meeting someone, so maybe I should wait.”

He rapped his knuckles against the bar. “Good enough. I’ll keep my eye out and stop back over when I see someone join you.”

But as he started to walk away, I reconsidered. “Actually!” I raised my hand like I was in school.

He turned around with a smile and arched a brow. “Change your mind?”

I nodded. “I’m about to meet a blind date, so I wanted to be polite, but I think I could use something to take the edge off.”

“Probably a good idea. What are you drinking?”

“A pinot grigio would be great. Thank you.”

He came back a few minutes later with a hefty pour and leaned his elbow on the bar. “So, blind date, huh?”

I sipped my wine and let out a sigh as I nodded. “I let my mom’s seventy-four-year-old friend Frannie set me up with her grandnephew to make my mom happy. She described him as ‘a smidge ordinary, but nice’. We’re supposed to meet here at five thirty. I’m a few minutes early.”

“First time letting someone fix you up?”

“Second, actually. The first was seven years ago. It took me this long to recover from it, if that tells you anything.”

The bartender laughed. “That bad?”

“I was told he was a comedian. So I figured, how terrible could it be going out with someone who makes people laugh for a living? The guy showed up with a puppet. Apparently his comedy act was as a ventriloquist. He refused to speak to me directly—wanted me to talk only to his dummy. Who, by the way, was named Dirty Dave, and every other comment out of its mouth was obscene. Oh, and my date’s mouth moved the entire time, so he wasn’t even a very good ventriloquist.”

“Damn.” The bartender chuckled. “Not sure I’d give another blind date a chance after that, even after a few years.”

I sighed. “I’m sort of regretting it already.”

“Well, if anyone comes in with a puppet, I got you covered.” He gestured toward a hallway behind him. “I know where all the emergency exits are, and I can sneak you out.”

I smiled. “Thanks.”

A couple sat down on the other end of the bar, so the bartender went to help them while I continued to stare at the entrance. I’d purposely taken a seat in the back corner so I could watch the front door, hoping to get a look at my date before he saw me. Not that I planned to ditch if he wasn’t handsome, but I didn’t want him to read disappointment on my face if I felt any. I’d always been terrible at masking my feelings.

A few minutes later, the restaurant’s door opened and a drop-dead gorgeous guy walked in. He looked like he belonged on a men’s cologne ad, probably emerging from crystal blue Caribbean water. I got excited, until I realized he couldn’t be my date.

Frannie had described Adam as a computer nerd. And pretty much any question I’d asked her about him, she’d answered, “About average.”

How tall is he? About average.

Is he handsome? About average.

Body type? About average.

This guy was tall, with broad shoulders, big, blue bedroom eyes, a chiseled jawline, dark hair that was sort of messy, but totally worked for him, and even though he was wearing a simple dress shirt and slacks, I could tell he was buff underneath. Frannie would have to be crazy to think anything about him was average.

Oh.

Oh!

Well, she was a little…different. Last time I went to Florida to see Mom, we went to lunch with Frannie, and she’d glowed orange from an excessive amount of self-tanner she’d bought on the Home Shopping Network. She also spent all afternoon telling us about her recent road trip to New Mexico to attend a UFO convention in Roswell.

But even with that factored in, this guy didn’t look like a computer nerd. Nevertheless, his eyes scanned the room, and when they met mine, he smiled.

Dimples.

Deep ones.

Oh, Lord. My heart did a little pitter-patter.

Could I be this lucky?

Apparently it was possible. Because the guy headed right toward me. I probably should’ve played it cool and looked away, but it was impossible not to stare.

“Adam?”

He shrugged. “Sure.”

I thought that was a bit of an odd response, but his smile widened, and those cavernous dimples seemed to turn my brain to mush.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Frannie. My mom is friends with Georgia.” I shook my head. “Sorry. I mean, I’m Georgia. My mom is friends with Frannie.”

“Nice to meet you, Georgia.”

He extended his hand, and when I placed mine in it, mine felt really…small.

“I have to say, you are definitely not what I was expecting. Frannie didn’t describe you very accurately.”

“Better or worse?”

Was he joking? “She may have described you as a nerd.”

He sat down on the stool next to me. “I usually don’t admit this when I first meet a woman, but I do have a Star Wars action figure collection.” He reached into his pocket and pulled something out. “In fact, I almost always have one on me. I’m a bit superstitious, and they bring me luck.”

Adam unfolded his big hand to reveal a tiny Yoda. He leaned over and set it on the bar in front of me, and a hint of cologne wafted through the air. Smells as good as he looks. There had to be something majorly wrong with him.

“Women tend to not like Star Wars for some reason,” he said. “Or a grown man carrying around an action figure.”

“I actually like Star Wars.

He put his hand over his heart. “A beautiful woman who likes Star Wars? Should we skip the formalities and just grab a flight to Vegas to get married?”

I laughed. “Maybe, but first promise me you aren’t into ventriloquism.”

He crossed his heart. “Star Wars is as bad as it gets.”

The bartender came over to take Adam’s drink order. I was surprised when he asked for a Diet Coke.

“You’re not going to join me for a cocktail or a glass of wine?”

He shook his head. “Wish I could, but I have to work later.”

“Tonight?”

He nodded. “Yeah. I wish I didn’t. But I actually need to get out of here in a little while.”

I’d thought we were meeting for drinks and dinner, but perhaps Frannie had gotten that wrong.

“Oh, okay.” I forced a smile.

Apparently Adam saw right through it.

“I swear I’m not making that up. I do have to work. But I definitely would love to stay. Since I can’t, is it too early to say I’d love to see you again?”

I sipped my wine. “Hmmm... I’m not sure about that. Normally, I get to know someone on a first date, so I can weed out the serial killers and nutjobs. How am I supposed to know you’re not the next Ted Bundy if you’re running out of here?”

Adam stroked the scruff on his chin and looked at his watch. “I have about fifteen minutes. Why don’t we cut the small talk and you can ask me anything?”

“Anything?”

He shrugged. “I’m an open book. Take your best shot.”

I gulped my wine and turned in my seat to face him. “Alright. But I want to watch your face as I grill you. I’m terrible at hiding lies on mine but great at reading others.”

He smiled and turned, giving me his full attention. “Go for it.”

“Okay. Do you live with your mother?”

“No, ma’am. She doesn’t even live in the same state. But I do call home every Sunday.”

“Have you ever been arrested?”

“Public indecency in college. I was pledging a fraternity, and me and a bunch of other guys had to walk through the center of town naked. A group of girls stopped us and asked if any of us could hula hoop. Everyone else kept walking. I figured they were all too chicken, so I stopped. Apparently, the guys weren’t afraid; I was just the only one who didn’t see the cop coming out of a store a couple of doors down.”

I laughed. “Can you actually hula hoop?”

He winked. “Only naked. You wanna see?”

The smile on my face widened. “I’ll take your word for it.”

“Shame.”

“When was the last time you had sex?”

For the first time, the smile on his face wilted. “Two weeks ago. Are you gonna hold that against me?”

I shook my head. “Not necessarily. I appreciate the honesty. You could have lied and said a while ago.”

“Okay, good. What else you got?”

“Have you ever been in a relationship?”

“Twice. Once in college for a year, and then I dated a woman for eighteen months, and that ended two years ago.”

“Why did they end?”

“College, because I was twenty and…it was a crazy time in my life. And the woman I dated a few years back, because she wanted to get married and start a family, and I wasn’t ready.”

I tapped my pointer to my bottom lip. “Hmm… Yet you just asked me to go to Vegas and marry you.”

He grinned. “She didn’t like Star Wars.

We were both too busy laughing to notice a guy walk up to us. I figured he must have known Adam, so I politely smiled and looked to him. But the guy spoke to me.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, but are you Georgia Delaney?”

“Yes?”

He smiled. “I’m Adam Foster. Frannie showed me a picture of you, but it was from a costume party.” He motioned to the side of his head, twirling his hand around in a circle. “You were dressed as Princess Leia, with your hair all pinned up on the sides, so you looked a little different than you do now.”

I furrowed my brow. “You’re…Adam?”

The guy seemed just as confused as I was. “Yes.”

Now this man looked like what I’d been expecting: worn, brown tweed jacket, cropped hair parted to one side—sort of the average Joe that worked in the IT department at your office. But…

If he was Adam, then who was this?

I looked at the guy sitting next to me for an answer. Though that’s not what I got.

“Did you really dress as Princess Leia for a Halloween party?”

“Yes, but…”

Adam, or whoever the hell the guy sitting next to me was, put his finger over my lips and turned to the man who was apparently my date. “Can you just give us a minute?” he asked.

“Umm…sure.”

As soon as average Adam walked away, I laid into hot Adam. “Who the hell are you?”

“Sorry. My name is Max.”

“Do you make a habit of pretending to be someone else?”

He shook his head. “I just…I saw you sitting at the bar through the window when I was passing by, and you had such a pretty smile. I came over to introduce myself, and it was clear you were here to meet someone else. I guess I sort of panicked that you weren’t going to talk to me since I wasn’t Adam. So I went with it.”

“And what if my date hadn’t showed up? Would you have pretended to be Adam on a second date?”

Max dragged a hand through his hair. “I didn’t think that far ahead.”

Normally catching a date in a lie would make me angry, but finding out Max wasn’t Adam was more disappointing than anything. We’d had great chemistry, and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d laughed so much meeting someone new.

“Was every answer a lie? Do you even like Star Wars?”

He held up both hands. “I swear. The only thing that wasn’t the truth was my name.”

I sighed. “Well, Max, thanks for the entertainment. But I don’t want to keep my real date waiting.”

He frowned, but nodded and stood. “It was nice meeting you. I guess asking for your number would be stupid right about now?”

I gave him a look. “Yes, it would. Have a good night, Max.”

He looked at me for a few seconds, then slipped a bill out of his wallet and tossed a hundred on the counter. “You, too, Georgia. I really enjoyed meeting you.”

Max took a few steps away, but then stopped and walked back. He again took out his billfold, only this time he peeled off what looked like a ticket of some sort and placed it on the bar in front of me. “I’d really love to see you again. If your real date turns out to be a dud or you change your mind, I promise I will never tell you another lie.” He pointed to the ticket. “I’ll be at the hockey game over at the Garden at seven thirty, if you would consider giving me another shot.”

What he said seemed heartfelt, but I was here to meet another man. Not to mention, I was really disappointed. I shook my head. “I don’t think so.”

With a sullen face, Max nodded one last time before walking away. I didn’t have time to process everything, but I felt a strange sense of loss when I watched him walk out the door. Though as soon as he disappeared from sight, my real date was next to me.

I had to force a smile. “Sorry about that. We, um, just had some business to wrap up.”

“No problem.” He smiled. “I’m just glad that guy wasn’t hitting on you, and I didn’t have to defend your honor. He was a tank.” Real Adam sat down. “Can I order you another wine?”

“That would be great. Thank you.”

“So…I take it you’re a big Star Wars fan?”

“Hmm? Oh, because of the costume.”

Adam pointed to the bar. “And the little Yoda.”

I looked down. Max had left his Yoda figurine behind. I guess he hadn’t been lying about being a Star Wars fan, considering he carried an action figure in his pocket. At least I hoped it wasn’t just a prop he used when he told strangers tall tales at bars and lied about his name.

 

***

 

Real Adam talked about artificial intelligence—a lot.

I tried to get my head back in the game after the Max letdown, but I knew before my actual date and I had finished a drink at the bar that this would be our only date. Adam was a nice-enough guy; there was just no connection, physical or mental. I wasn’t into computers or Bitcoin, which seemed to be a big thing for him, and he wasn’t into any of my hobbies, such as hiking, traveling, and watching old black-and-white movies. He didn’t even enjoy going to the movies. Who doesn’t love bingeing on popcorn and a gallon of soda while watching a big screen? Not to mention, when I told him about my work, he said he was allergic to flowers.

So when the waitress came by with a dessert menu, I politely declined.

“Are you sure you wouldn’t like a coffee or something?” Adam asked.

I shook my head. “I have to work in the morning. Having caffeine after noon keeps me up all night. But thank you.”

He nodded, though I could tell he was disappointed.

Outside the restaurant, he offered to share a cab, but I only lived eight blocks away. So I extended my hand to set the tone for the end of the evening.

“It was very nice to meet you, Adam.”

“You, too. Maybe we can…do this again sometime?”

It was so much easier to be upfront and tell a guy there wouldn’t be a second date when he was a jerk. But I always struggled with the nice ones. I shrugged. “Yeah, maybe. Take care, Adam.”

It was late April, but the cold weather just wouldn’t relent and allow spring to start this year, and a gust of wind blew while I waited at the intersection at the corner of the restaurant. I shoved my hands into my pockets for some warmth, and inside, something pointy pricked at my fingers. I slipped it out to see what it was.

Yoda.

His plastic ears were tapered to points, and there was a tiny chip on the left one. I’d forgotten I’d stuck him in my pocket when Adam and I had moved from the bar to a table. Looking down at him, I sighed. God, why couldn’t your owner have been my actual date tonight?

It had been a very long time since a man gave me the warm fuzzies in the pit of my belly—not since the day I’d met Gabriel. So maybe finding Yoda in my pocket was a sign? The light changed, and I walked a few more blocks, lost in thought.

Did it really matter that he’d pretended to be Adam? I mean, if he was telling the truth, he only did it so I’d talk to him. Let’s face it, if he had walked over and introduced himself as Max, I wouldn’t have invited him to sit down. I would have been polite and told him I was waiting for my date, no matter how gorgeous the man was. So, I couldn’t really say I blamed him…I guess.

I stopped for another red light at the crosswalk on 29th Street, this time at the corner of 7th as I made my way down to 2nd Avenue where I lived. While I waited, I looked to my right, and the neon lights of a sign hit me. Madison Square Garden. Now that was definitely a sign—quite literally. Between Yoda and walking right past the place Fake Adam had said he’d be…perhaps it was more than that.

I checked the time on my phone. Twenty after eight. He’d said he would be there at seven thirty, but I was sure the game took a few hours. Should I?

I nibbled on my lip as the light in front of me turned green. People on both sides of me started to walk…but I just stood there, staring down at Yoda.

Screw it.

Why not?

What do I have to lose?

The worst that could happen was that our initial connection fizzled or it turned out lying was one of Fake Adam’s hobbies. Or…the spark we’d had might lead to just the distraction I was looking for. I wouldn’t know unless I tried.

For the most part, I was pretty conservative with my choices in men. And look where that had gotten me. I was a twenty-eight-year-old workaholic, going on blind dates with my mom’s friend’s relatives. So screw it—I was going.

Once I made the decision, I couldn’t wait to get there. I practically jogged to Madison Square Garden, even in my heels from work. Inside, I showed my ticket to an usher standing at the entrance to the section listed, and he showed me to my seat.

As I walked down the stadium stairs, I looked around and noticed I was pretty overdressed. Most of the people had on jerseys and jeans. There were even a few shirtless guys with their bodies painted, and here I was wearing a cream silk blouse, red pencil skirt, and my favorite Valentino pumps. At least Max had been pretty dressed up.

I hadn’t noticed the row number on the ticket before handing it over to the usher, but the seats must’ve been decent because we just kept walking down toward the ice. When we hit the very first row, the usher extended his hand. “Here you go. Seat two is the second one in.”

“Wow, first row, directly in the middle on the fifty-yard line.”

The guy smiled. “In hockey we call it center ice.”

“Oh…okay.” But the seat next to the one he’d shown me to was empty, and Max was nowhere in sight. “Did you happen to see the person sitting in the seat at the end?” I asked.

The usher shrugged. “I’m not positive, but I don’t think they’ve arrived yet. Enjoy the game, miss.”

After he walked away, I stood looking down at the two empty seats. This was one outcome I hadn’t thought about: I might get stood up. Actually, would it even be considered standing someone up if the other person didn’t know you were coming? I wasn’t sure. But I was here, so I might as well take a seat and see if Max showed. He’d said he had to work, so perhaps he was running late. Or maybe he was already here, just in the men’s room or in line for a beer.

A woman sat on the other side of me. She smiled as I settled in. “Hi. Are you here to watch Yearwood? He’s on fire tonight, already slashed two in the net. Too bad they’re probably not going to be able to hold onto him for next season.”

I shook my head. “Oh. No, I’m actually meeting someone. I’ve never been to a live hockey game before.” Just as I said it, two guys slammed into the glass wall directly in front of me. I jumped, and the woman next to me laughed as they skated away.

“That happens a lot. You’ll get used to it.” She reached out her hand. “I’m Jenna, by the way. I’m married to Tomasso.” She pointed to the rink. “Number twelve.”

“Oh, wow. I guess I’m sitting next to the right person for my first game.” I put my hand to my chest. “I’m Georgia.”

“Anything you want explained, Georgia, you just let me know.”

For the next twenty minutes, I tried to watch the game. But I kept looking around to see if Max was coming down the stairs. Unfortunately, he never did. By nine o’clock, it was pretty clear I’d wasted my time. Since I had early meetings tomorrow morning, I decided to call it a night. The game clock showed less than a minute until the end of the second period, so I figured I’d wait until then so I wouldn’t be blocking people’s views as I climbed the stairs back up to the exit. These hockey fans seemed pretty into the game.

When the clock hit nine seconds, one of the guys scored a goal, and the place went crazy again. Everyone jumped up, so I did the same, only I used it as an opportunity to slip on my jacket. I leaned to the woman next to me and yelled. “I don’t think my date’s coming, so I’m going to head out. Have a good night.”

But as I turned to leave, something caught my attention on the Jumbotron. The player who’d scored held his stick up in the air celebrating, and a bunch of the guys on his team were whacking him on the head. His helmet covered most of his face, but those eyes… I know those eyes. The player took out his mouth guard, waved it in the air, and smiled right at the camera.

Dimples.

Big ones.

My eyes went wide.

No…it couldn’t be.

I continued to stare at the screen with my mouth hanging open until the guy’s face was no longer on it.

The woman next to me finished cheering. “See? I told you he was on fire. If this is your first game, you’ve picked a good one to watch. You don’t see a lot of hat tricks in a single period. Yearwood is having his best season ever. Too bad the rest of his team isn’t.”

“Yearwood? That’s the name of the guy who just scored?”

Jenna laughed at my question. “Yup. Team captain and arguably the best player in the NHL these days. They call him Pretty Boy for obvious reasons.”

“What’s his first name?”

“Max. I figured you knew him, since those are his seats you’re sitting in.”

 

★★★

 

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AUTHOR BIO


Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles are currently translated in twenty-six languages and have appeared on bestseller lists in the US, Germany, Brazil, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Three of her short stories have been turned into films by Passionflix, and two of her books are currently optioned for movies. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.


 

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