If anyone asks, I knew better than to flash my boobs for Mardi Gras beads.
I still don’t know why I did it.
Maybe it was the dare from my two best friends.
Maybe it was the guys on the balcony saying they’d throw Fireball shots with the beads.
Or maybe it was the quiet guy in the corner of that same balcony with piercing gray eyes, wavy dark hair, and a smile so tempting I wanted to climb up there and lick it off his face.
Maybe it was because I never thought I’d see them again.
Not that it matters. Not today.
Because the hotel I manage was finally bought—and the guy who walks in and introduces himself as my new boss is Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent.
There are many upsides to being single.
Your new boss knowing what your boobs look like?
Not one of them.
Chloe grimaced, turning around to face me. “Does he show up randomly at your house?”
I jumped out of my chair. “Shut up! No!”
She pointed at the door. “There’s a hot guy who just pulled up in an Audi unexpectedly with dark hair, who wears a white shirt the way hookers wear thongs, and has an ass like a giant, ripe peach.”
Three loud knocks sounded at my door.
“Oh God!” I moaned, clutching at my stomach. “I have to hide. Can you stall him?”
Peyton grinned. A shit-eating warning grin.
“Actually, no, never mind,” I whispered harshly. “Peyton, you go out the back, I’ll hide, and Chloe can get rid of him!”
Peyt shook her head. “Not a chance. Who is it?” she added, shouting the last three words.
I clapped my hands over my mouth. Not only was this not a good time because I was still freaking out over the kissing, but we’d not long finished a yoga DVD and I was still sweaty and gross. Not to mention I was pretty sure I’d pulled a muscle.
And the powder. I was covered in donut sugar, okay?
“Uh… It’s Jake,” came the reply through the door.
Peyt waggled her eyebrows. “Jake, eh?”
I glared at her then stuck my middle finger up in her direction. “I hate you.”
The door hinges creaked, and the next thing I knew, Chloe was standing in the door frame. “Hi!” she said in an upbeat tone. “I’m Chloe.” She shoved her hand at him.
“Jake,” he replied slowly, taking her hand. “Is Mellie here?”
“She’s here, but she might be hiding.”
Peyton burst out laughing. My cheeks flamed red, and I stormed across the room and tugged her away from the door.
“Hi. Excuse her. She didn’t take her meds this morning,” I said.
Chloe poked my cheek. “Hello, Mommy. Did you bring me my cookies?”
Peyton, still laughing, stood up. “Okay, Chlo, drop it. Let’s go. We have work to do.”
I spun around as she slipped her laptop into her purse. “And you need to leave to do that? You literally just showed us a penis photo.”
“Your house doesn’t have the right Feng Shui.”
“You’ve never looked up Feng Shui!”
She pointed a finger in my direction. “You don’t know my life!”
Jake blinked between the three of us.
Chloe grabbed hold of her purse and then Peyton’s arm. “We’re going. Call us later, okay?”
Jake moved out of the way while Chloe dragged Peyton out of my house.
“And don’t forget to put your foot down on the kissing thing!” Peyton shouted, eyes sparkling. The last I saw of her was a large, mischievous grin right before Jake shoved the door shut on her.
The Upside of Being Single was a real hoot from start to finish–from the titular “upsides” that started each chapter (hallelujah to the one about never needing to worry about the toilet seat) to the snarky banter between Mellie and Jake to their scorching chemistry to Mellie’s signature clumsiness–I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this one from statrt to finish. And Mellie’s two best friends, who are also getting their own books? Can’t freaking wait.
One niggling little detail, though…
The only real conflict here is the whole we-shouldn’t-have-a-relationship-because-we-work-together (worse yet, it’s a boss/subordinate relationship) issue. Mellie and Jake know this, obviously, and along with nearly every other character warning them about the many pitfalls, they admit themselves this is problematic. And it absolutely is–every single concern voiced is valid. At the novel’s end, however, this fact still hasn’t been dealt with, and it really should have been. The characters literally go from their first real night together, though, to two weeks later, when they are an item and book two is being set up for Mellie’s friend. No mention of how the working together (they share an office, for pity’s sake! and coworkers were already beginning to wonder several chapters before the end…) issue is going to be dealt with whatsoever, making the book feel ultimately unfinished.
So…five stars for all of the fun stuff–characters, banter, voice, LOL-inducing situations, and sexual chemistry–but three for plot resolution. I had a lot of fun here, even if I ended up wishing for just a little bit more. Will I read more from Ms. Hart in the future? Absolutely. Am I on board for Peyton and Chloe’s books? Just try to keep me away from them! (No really, don’t. It won’t got well for you.)
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies—usually wine—and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy—unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.