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Misadventures with My Ex
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Once, Eryn Hope fell fast and incurably for Weston Quaid. And he seemed to adore her too—until she learned their love was built on lies when he walked out on their wedding day.
Three years later, West has finally won control of his family empire and fortune, but it cost him Eryn—something he regrets every day. When business forces him to return to her life and temporarily shut down her livelihood, of course she’s furious. But their chemistry is still beyond combustible. So he makes her a proposition: he’ll take care of her until her bistro reopens…if she becomes his mistress. Her mind screams no, but her body whimpers yes, yes, yes.
As soon as West has her back in his bed, their passion burns hotter than ever. So do his feelings. But can he and Eryn really recapture the love they shared? And when their bargain ends, will he be the one shattered this time or will they finally come together forever?
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“If that son of a bitch hadn’t given in to his case of cold feet, I would be on a beach somewhere—like Bora Bora or Bali or Barbados. Why do all the best beaches start with a B?”
As I look through the small, airy apartment, I can’t see the woman who slurs the words, but I’d know Eryn Hope’s voice anywhere.
“I would be soaking up the sun, enjoying my life, and glowing from multiple orgasms because, even though Weston Quaid is a total bastard, he was always amazing in bed.”
My former fiancée’s younger sister, Echo, stands in the open door, wincing. “You didn’t hear that.”
Though I’d rather not be here, and I probably should have come equipped with a steel-girded jockstrap and a shield to protect myself from what I suspect will be a shit fight, I can’t not grin. “Not a word.”
“But nooo. I’m getting romantic with Ernest and Julio Gallo. They don’t give orgasms.” Eryn huffs. “Hey, if that was the pizza guy who rang the doorbell, bring me a slice, will you? I need something to soak up this merlot.”
“Eryn is just…having a bad day,” Echo murmurs.
Because life in general has been rough or because, if things had ended differently, my former fiancée and I would be celebrating our third wedding anniversary tonight?
Truthfully, today has sucked for me, too. I’ve avoided thinking about the significance of this date since I woke up. Too many what-ifs and memories. Since I walked away from Eryn, I’ve fought a gritty, ugly uphill battle. It’s almost over. I seem to be winning now…but along the way, I’ve taken terrible losses.
“Maybe you should go.” Echo begins to close the door. “She’s not exactly sober.”
I wedge my foot past the threshold. “Waiting isn’t an option. I need to see your sister tonight. It’s business.”
Echo frowns. “What business could you two possibly have? Eryn won’t want to see you now. Maybe not ever.”
I’m not surprised. Or deterred. “I—”
“Pizza?” A teenage kid wearing a collared shirt with a well-known chain’s logo dashes up the stairs, an insulated carrier balanced on his palm.
I take out my wallet and pay the guy, tipping handsomely so this interruption will go away.
“Thanks!” the high schooler calls over his shoulder as he runs back down the steps.
“You didn’t have to do that,” Echo insists, cash in hand.
“I’d like to deliver this to your sister personally. Alone.”
Echo hesitates. She’s usually free-spirited, funny, and easy-breezy. Once, we shared a good camaraderie. Not surprisingly, that’s gone. Hell, I’m shocked she’s speaking to me at all.
As usual, she’s dressed as if she belongs in a granola commercial. Today, it’s braids and flannel, cargo shorts, knee socks, and hiking boots. She’s an original. But she’s also fiercely protective of both her older sisters, just as they’re protective of her.
“I don’t know if she can handle that,” Eryn’s sister admits. “To be honest, this day is rough on her every year.”
I’ve come to dread October fourth, too. My younger brother, Flynn, pointed out this morning that the first year after my split with Eryn wrecked me, but he’s relieved I got over her.
Clearly, I have him fooled.
But I’m not here to win Eryn back. And after the way our split went down, I’m sure that’s impossible.
“Your sister bought a restaurant recently. I need to talk to her about it. Only talk,” I assure Echo. “I’ll make sure she gets fed, sobered up, and safely in bed. No fighting. Just conversation. I’ll keep my hands to myself.” Even if I’m dying to touch her.
“Echo, where’s the damn pizza?” Eryn calls again from somewhere deeper in her apartment. “If I have to eat mediocre pie instead of fresh seafood on the freaking beach in the Bahamas—see, another great beach that starts with a B—I’d like it hot.”
“Coming.” But Echo doesn’t move, simply blinks at me.
Is she surprised I know about Eryn’s new endeavor? Gauging my sincerity? Probably both.
“Echo, I wouldn’t ask to see her, especially tonight, if it wasn’t important.”
Finally, she sighs and lets me inside. “All right. Only because I don’t think she’ll ever move on until you two have talked.”
Guilt stings. I handled our breakup horribly. True, I’d been blindsided and was reeling myself. I’ve been over those dark days in my head a thousand times. I can’t change how everything unfolded now, and I didn’t come here to rehash the past, but maybe while I handle business I can give her some peace.
Echo lingers. “So, you’re a bigwig CEO now?”
I can’t miss her subtle dig. “Yes.”
She’s judging me for seemingly prioritizing business above love. I get it. That’s not exactly true, but I understand it must appear that way. At the time, I made the only choice I thought I could. Only distance and perspective have made me second-guess that.
“How’s school?” I change the subject. “You’re close to finishing, right?”