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Bang on Loosely (The Bangover #3)
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Pop Quiz: You just banged a rock star you vowed to loathe until the end of time. What’s next?
Hint: You don’t agree to be his fake girlfriend. And you certainly don’t fall in love…
Once upon a time, Cutter Comstock was the hot older boy who tormented me in high school. Fast forward thirteen years and I find myself in his bed, riding him like the last stud at the sex rodeo…
Needless to say, mistakes have been made…
But as a chef, I turn food flops around all the time. I can turn this around, too. All I have to do is ignore the insufferably gorgeous (and generally insufferable) Cutter until he goes on tour.
Too bad my nemesis has other plans…
Cutter wants my help winning back the one who got away and he knows just the bait to dangle—the chance to open my own restaurant in a dream location.
I can pull off pretending to be the devil’s devoted girlfriend in order to make my dreams come true. Right?
But what happens when my dreams start to include the clever, funny, unexpectedly sweet man Cutter has become?
Can a bad boy rock star and a chronically nerdy chef live happily ever after?
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You can’t think your way into a good soufflé.
You can read every recipe and troubleshooting tip, but mastering the perfect egg-white-whip-and-fold requires real-world experience, and there’s no way you’re nailing it the first time out.
Soufflés are hard, and mistakes will be made.
But if you’re paying attention, you’ll learn from your missteps and come out a better cook on the other side.
I accept this truth as a part of life in the kitchen and do my best to be grateful for my culinary screwups. Mistakes are how we grow, and I credit my willingness to take risks and learn from where I’ve gone wrong as the reason I’ll soon be the youngest head chef in Claudio’s fifty-year history.
Yes, I’ve worked my butt off for this promotion, but without the lessons learned at the School of Food Flops, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Where I am today…
The words float through my sleep-fuzzy thoughts, and a prickle of foreboding scales my spine on tiny spider feet.
I don’t want to think about where I am today. My subconscious lunges for my brain, wrapping its arms around the spongy organ, trying to drag it back down into the safety of sleep.
But sleep is long gone, and my brain has sprung into action, lobbing memories from last night my way like fastballs that hit right in the gut.
And the pride.
And the self-respect.
Oh, sweet baby corn, what have I done?
“No, no, no,” I whisper, squeezing my eyes shut tight as I burrow deeper into the covers. But the covers are scratchy cotton, not the cozy flannel I dress my bed in all year round, and they don’t smell like honeysuckle dryer sheets.
They smell like man.
Like spice and sweat and…banging. Hot, sweaty, wild, multi-orgasmic banging that makes it abundantly obvious last night was no dream.
I really got drunk, went home with Cutter Comstock, and rode him like I was a rhinestone cowgirl and his mouth was the last rodeo left on earth.
Memories flood my conscious mind—Cutter’s big hands on my breasts, teasing my nipples as his tongue told my clit everything she’d always wanted to hear. And then the part where my stupid mouth kept shouting things like “Yes! The best. You’re the best. Oh my God, oh my God!”
My skin shrivels with embarrassment even as my lizard brain sends a surge of heat rushing between my legs. The lizard brain is down for a repeat of last night’s idiocy, but it’s a cold-blooded reptile. A heartless, shameless thing that craves satisfaction at any cost.
But the cost in this situation is way too high.
Not only is Cutter a man whore with a booty call in every city—and probably a bad case of crotch cooties waiting to happen—he’s my childhood nemesis.
It doesn’t matter that we called a truce years ago or that we’ve both grown up and moved on from our teenage feud, he’s still the guy who made me feel like a scrawny loser every day of my freshman year of high school. The guy who ignored me, called me a bitch, and then ignored me some more, not even granting me the dignity of knowing I irritated him as much as he irritated me. I spent many an angsty, hormone-fueled night wishing Cutter’s perfect unicorn-person face would break out in oozing revenge acne, and that’s not a thing a girl forgets.
And that guy isn’t someone who deserves to see me out of my mind with pleasure, heaping praise on him while I come my brains out.
But he did.
And I did.
Boy, I really, really did.
I’d been too high on happy hormones to remember every moment clearly, but I know he made me feel delicious things I’ve never felt before, and I wasn’t shy about sharing the good news. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was still whispering “the best, the very, very best,” between promises to rock his world as soon as the room stopped spinning, when I drifted off to sleep in his arms.
Maybe that should make me feel better—at least Cutter didn’t get an orgasm along with bragging rights—but it only adds to my embarrassment.
I’m a generous person. I like to make my man feel good. The fact that I failed to deliver with Cutter stings, even though he’s not my man, or even my friend, and he should have known better than to ask me to come back to his house in the first place.
He knew I was drunk.
But he was drunk, too. And if I’m being honest, I can’t say I was out of my right mind—at least not because of those three glasses of white wine.
It was his kiss that undid me, that slow, seductive kiss that woke my dormant sex drive from hibernation. And she woke up starving, so ravenous for D that she didn’t care that the D in question was attached to a bad guy.