“No, but my point is, I’m your brother. It basically disqualifies me from ever commenting on your appearance.”

I huff. “Can you just tell me if I look good?”

“No, I actually can’t tell you. I couldn’t function any longer as a man in any way if I tell my sister she looks good. Fine, empirically, yes. You look good. But you also look stupid because you’re my sister, and I have to think that.”

“You legitimately cannot think your sister looks nice in something? I’m thirty, you’re twenty-seven. We’re not children anymore.”

“Doesn’t matter. Certain things can never change. You look fine. Sisters always look fine. I can’t give you any other opinion than that.”

I stare daggers at him. “Flynn, it’s a good thing I like you. And you know what? I like myself too, so I am going to assume that I chose wisely in the fashion department.”

He flashes a smile as he claps my shoulder. “There you go. That’s the confident sis I know and love. You did choose wisely. Now go out and have a great time. I’m so psyched that you used Evie. I have a good feeling about this. Don’t sabotage it.”

“Who, me?” I ask ever so innocently. “I would never do that.”

His expression goes stern. “I mean it, Liv.”

I hold up my free hand in oath. “I promise. I installed an anti-sabotage shield on myself tonight. And I am going into this with eyes wide open.”

“Be good,” he says as he heads for the door. I say goodbye, then give myself a final once-over in the mirror.

Jeans look good, boots look sexy, cute top that slips off one shoulder is pretty, with a hint of something more. My brown hair sports a little wave as it curls over my shoulders.

“You are a thumbs-up,” I tell my reflection.

I head downtown to Tribeca to meet Herb, the hot vet.

I arrive right on time, expecting him to be late. Most people usually are. But when I see a tall, trim, toned, handsome, as in the most handsome in the entire universe, man standing in front of a light installation at the Helen Williams Gallery, my breath catches.

There’s no way that’s him.

That guy in the dark jeans and a blue button-down shirt that hugs his muscles has to be somebody else. I bet he was flown in, shipped in from some foreign country that grows good-looking men in meadows. He was paid to stand around and simply radiate handsome. He has to be a model. There’s no way that’s actually Herb, the hot vet, standing under a fuchsia-pink light, exactly where Evie said to look for him.

Herb is probably in the restroom and this stepped-out-of-a-magazine-ad man is holding his spot.

But then Mr. Too Handsome for Words catches my gaze. His lips quirk up in a lopsided smile that puts all the other lopsided smiles in the entire universe to shame. Because that is the crooked smile that defines why crooked smiles are absolutely delicious. Already my stomach is flipping, and I haven’t even talked to him.

“What do you think? Is pink my color?” he asks from a few feet away, glancing up at the light.

God, I hope it’s him. I walk closer. “I see you as more of a magenta.”

He gives me a thoughtful look. “That’s too bad. I was actually hoping perhaps I would be a periwinkle.”

I laugh. “Do you know what periwinkle looks like?”

“No, isn’t it a shade of, let me guess, blue?” He extends a hand. “I’m Herb Smith.”

Praise the Lord. “I’m Olivia Parker.”

Herb Smith is the most handsome man I’ve ever met, with his dark hair, square jaw, and blue eyes the sapphire color of perfect Bora Bora ocean. The man is to die for, and I don’t believe in playing games. If I’m going to be up-front with the duds, I’ll be direct with the un-duds.

“I didn’t think the man standing under the light was actually going to be you,” I admit, going for full truth.

“Why’s that?”

I gulp, and then I bite off a big chunk of honesty, since what’s the point in anything else? “You look like you were imported from the land of hot men.”

He blinks. His eyes widen and sparkle, and then he says, “Wow. I didn’t know that country existed.”

“It’s right between Goodlookingvia and Stunninglandenero. Just north of Beautifulcountria.”

“I’d like to see your map of the world.”

“I have it at home. But was that too forward? Calling you good-looking and objectifying you from the start? Want me to rewind and go again?”

“Hold on a second. You just complimented me for being too handsome, and you think that was too forward?”

“In case you think I’m only evaluating you based on your appearance,” I say, since I had the impression from Evie that her services are more of the soul mate variety and less of the hop-on-the-hottie style.


Tags: Lauren Blakely Romance
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