GAH! Okay, I’m in LOVE with the cover! IN. FREAKING. LOVE. Plus, the enemies-to-lovers and opposites attracted trope <<– ALL THE YESES! I love Staci Hart’s books and I love how much heart and heat and feels are in her stories! Today we have an excerpt of Gilded Lily, which is LIVE + FREE in KU. And TODAY ONLY (12/4/19) you can grab it for 0.99!
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They say there’s no such thing as perfect.
But I’ve built my life to perfection—the perfect boyfriend, the perfect apartment, the perfect career planning celebrity weddings. My job—my only job—is to make sure every event is absolutely and completely perfect.
What’s not perfect? Kash Bennet.
And I wish I didn’t find that so appealing.
I could have told you every perfectly imperfect thing about the gardener at Longbourne. Like his hair, lush and black and far too long. Or his nose, the flat bridge of a Greek god, bent a little like it’s been broken. Or his size. Beastly. Roped and corded with muscles, gleaming with sweat and peppered with dirt. There’s no escaping him, not if I’m going to use his family’s flower shop for my events.
But nothing is what it seems. And in the span of a heartbeat, my perfect life is turned inside out. They say the best way to get over somebody is to get under somebody new. When Kash offers his services to the cause, it sounds like the perfect plan.
What’s not part of the plan? Falling in love with the gardener.
But they were right—there’s no such thing as perfect.
And I’m the fool who finds out the hard way.
“Ivy said I should find myself a rebound.” It was a test, a gentle probing for a reaction.
It was offered by way of the warming of his eyes and the ticking up of one corner of his lips. “Did she?”
“She did,” was my only answer. I took a sip of my tea, watching him over the rim of my mug.
“Well, they say the best way to get over somebody is to get under somebody.”
A laugh, nervous and tittering, jumped out of me.
“You looking for volunteers, Lila?”
My laughter died at his directness. “That’s silly,” I hedged, certain I misread his meaning.
I opened my mouth to oppose but closed it again. Then, I snagged a thought. “I’m not really in a place to make pragmatic decisions.”
“On a rebound?”
“On much of anything. But yes, that too. How can I willingly involve someone in all of this? It wouldn’t be fair.”
“The biggest danger is to the reboundee,” he said. “And I happen to be immune.”
The proposition hung in the air for a moment, simmering between us. There was no mistaking his intention, and a shocking rush of yes whispered through me.
“Immune?” I asked quietly. “How?”
A pause. “I already know what things are between us and what they’re not. You’re not looking for anything serious, and I’ve never been one for the notion. The reason rebounds exist, why they happen so often, is that when you’ve been hurt, a distraction makes you forget the pain. And I’ve been told I’m an excellent distraction.”
That smile, tilted and teasing. But his eyes were dark and full of promises.
He stood, closing the space between us with little more than a shift. My mug disappeared from my hand, placed on the table by his. But I hadn’t seen the action—there was only Kash, towering and sturdy and safe. His smile faded as his gaze hooked on my lips.
“I can make you forget all about him,” he promised. His hand, warm and rough, cupped my jaw, thumbed my cheek. “Is that what you want?”
My thoughts were a tangle, jumbled by his proximity. By the heat of him radiating into the chill of my skin, the damp of my hair. The scent of him sliding over me, around me, pulling me into him without thought or permission.
Something in my mind yelled through the fog to stop, to think. To make a pros and cons list, to be rational. But with Kash looking at me like that, holding my face like he was, none of it seemed to matter except for one question, the question he’d asked me.
Did I want to forget Brock? I pulled the thought from the mire, searched for my answer.
And that answer was clear and true as daylight.
“Yes,” I whispered.
Series Reading Order:
PS: The books in this series are interconnect standalones. They are both in Kindle Unlimited!