By Shannon Richard
Release Date: February 25, 2014Things Paige Morrison will never understand about Mirabelle, Florida:
-Why wearing red shoes makes a girl a harlot
-Why a shop would ever sell something called "buck urine"
-Why everywhere she goes, she runs into sexy-and infuriating-Brendan King
After losing her job, her apartment, and her boyfriend, Paige has no choice but to leave Philadelphia and move in with her retired parents. For an artsy outsider like Paige, finding her place in the tightly knit town isn't easy-until she meets Brendan, the hot mechanic who's interested in much more than Paige's car. In no time at all, Brendan helps Paige find a new job, new friends, and a happiness she wasn't sure she'd ever feel again. With Brendan by her side, Paige finally feels like she can call Mirabelle home. But when a new bombshell drops, will the couple survive, or will their love come undone?
Paige was wrapped in just a towel as she searched for something to wear. She had exactly twenty minutes before Brendan was supposed to pick her up. There was a knock on her door as her hands closed over a pair of jeans.
“Come in,” she called over her shoulder.
The door opened and Paige turned, throwing her jeans onto her bed.
“What time is he picking you up?” Denise asked as she stuck her head inside the doorway.
Paige had a sudden flashback to high school when her mother would help her get ready before a date. She immediately thought of Brendan and Grace and how their mother had died when they were both so young. They’d missed out on so much, especially Grace. Paige couldn’t imagine not having all of those years with her mother and she felt intensely grateful for every single one of them.
“At seven. You busy?”
“No,” Denise said, shaking her head.
“Will you sit and talk with me while I get ready?” Paige asked.
“Yeah,” Denise said, her mouth breaking into a smile. She opened the door farther and walked into the room, a glass of wine in hand. She shut the door behind her and sat down on the edge of Paige’s bed, just like old times. “What are you going to wear?” she asked, grabbing a pillow and playing with the frilly lace edging.
“Jeans,” Paige said, pointing to the pair on her bed. “I haven’t decided on a shirt though,” she said and turned back to her closet.
“My black wedges.” She knew they drove Brendan crazy, and that’s exactly what she planned to do tonight. She didn’t feel guilty about it at all either; he obviously had no problem doing it to her. Turnabout was just fair.
“What about your red peasant top. The one that hangs off your shoulders and hugs your waist.”
Paige grabbed the shirt and turned around, holding it up to show her mom.
“Red on a first date?”
“You look good in red,” Denise said.
“You don’t think it’s too much?”
Her mother gave the blouse a critical eye. “Just wear ugly underwear. If you wear stuff that you don’t want him to see, you’ll be less likely to sleep with him.”
“Mom!” Paige said shocked. “I’m not going to sleep with him on the first date.”
“I know. Just wear something to keep you grounded, and then you won’t slip.”
“I have some self-control.”
“Yes, well, I’ve seen that boy. Slipping would be completely justifiable considering the circumstances.”
“What circumstances would those be?” Paige asked as she walked over to her dresser and opened her underwear drawer.
“That gleam in his eyes,” Denise said.
“What gleam?” Paige asked, turning to her mom.
“The one he gets when he’s looking at you. It’s something that goes way beyond sex.”
“Well, he is a nice young man,” Paige said mockingly.
“Yes, he is.” Denise nodded, taking a sip of her wine.
She grabbed a fairly tame pair with yellow and white stripes. Stripes didn’t scream “I’m going to have sex tonight,” at least not like black or red lace would have. She could’ve sworn she’d read that stripes were unflattering on everyone. Or was that faux fur?
She dug around in the drawer and found her strapless bra. She grabbed her clothes from the bed and went into the bathroom.
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