I look at my guy as he bids and wins a hot red sports car. Then I turn to my mom. “I do owe you a thank-you. You knew exactly what I needed to be happy.”

She shakes her head. “No, I simply hoped you’d find someone you loved. Someone you connected with. You made all that happiness happen on your own.”

That afternoon, Cameron drives off the lot in his new sports car, looking all kinds of sexy behind the wheel, with me in the passenger seat.

He drapes an arm over my shoulder. “What do you say we go drive around my new city and buy towels or shaving cream or whatever it is that I’ll need to live here?”

“Nothing says sexy like driving your hot new Ferrari to Bed Bath & Beyond.”

We drive off into the sunset.

Two wild cards that turned into a perfect match.

If you enjoyed this novella and want to read Lulu’s love story, please check out Birthday Suit. Piper’s love story will be told in Never Have I Ever, coming soon.

Once Upon a Red-Hot Kiss

A Heartbreakers novella


A man needs to stay far away from falling into bed with his best friend.

Even if she’s sexy as sin, sweet as candy, and damn near irresistible every single day.

But not only are Macy and I best friends, we’re also complete opposites. She’s perky, upbeat, outgoing and I’m . . . how shall we say . . . a little bit broody.

Then, she reveals something to me that just might lead me to revise all my rules on friends in bed…




Everywhere I see red. Hearts, flowers, balloons, candy, cards, ribbons, streamers, and Cupid.

That dumbass angel is everywhere. On windows. Winking from billboards. Shooting arrows in stores.

As I head down Eighth Avenue to the rehearsal studio, it’s as if New York City has grown red octopus arms, and every storefront spews pink paper hearts, teddy bears, and every possible valentine decoration, topped off with candy-bearing, soul-sucking sayings like Be Mine, Let’s Kiss, and the worst one of all—Soul Mate—mocking the non–soul mate seekers of the world.

It’s three days from that wretched holiday, and I would give up a free lifetime supply of pale ale if I could escape from pink, red, and white New York for the next few days.

Wait. That’s crazy. I’d never give up a lifetime supply of good brew.

It’s not that I hate Valentine’s Day. It’s that, well, Valentine’s Day hates me.

I’m cursed.


Bianca Sweetwater hexed me in fifth grade when I sent her a white rose instead of the red one she wanted. In my defense . . .


I thought a white rose was just fine.

She said a white rose meant friendship, and I said friendship was good, and she said everyone knew friends couldn’t fall in love, and I said I was eleven and didn’t want to fall in love, and she raised both arms high above her head, mimed shooting lightning at me, and declared I was cursed to fall in love with a friend who’d never love me back, just as I’d done to Bianca.

I shudder at the memory as I push open the door into the building, leaving the cold air behind. I say hi to Pete, who mans the desk here.

“How’s it going? Did you see the game last night?”

“I did. And now I’m just counting down the days till Valentine’s.”

I refrain from rolling my eyes. Is there anyone in this city who doesn’t give a shit about the holiday? I want to talk hockey, not hearts.

“The Mrs. is big on V Day, I take it?”

His smile spreads from cheek to jowly cheek. “She is and so am I. I like to go all out for my woman. Italian dinner. Gourmet chocolate. Flowers.”

“You do all that? For a greeting card holiday?”

He puffs out his chest. “Damn straight. Only folks with a black heart don’t like it.”

Laughing, I add, “Guess I have a black heart.”

“Ah, I don’t believe that, Kirby.”

“Oh, it’s definitely black. Just like my ink.” I hold out my arm, even though he can’t see the swirls of tattoos under my Henley.

“Someday you’ll tattoo a woman’s name in a heart under that whole badass tough guy exterior.”

“Ha. I sing songs on YouTube with my sister. I don’t have a badass exterior.”

“Take away the songs, and you’re one hundred percent tough guy, won’t let anyone in.”

I wave him off, even though he’s kind of right. “See you later,” I say as I head to the elevator.

Look, I don’t believe in white magic or black magic. But curses? There’s something to them. Some people just have bad luck.

I’ve been lucky in some aspects of love. Cough, cough. The ladies like me and I like the ladies.

But love? That’s been a tough nut to crack, and every year Valentine’s Day reminds me.

Starting way back when.

Tags: Lauren Blakely Romance
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