Not Another Bad Date

Not Another Bad Date

4.3 133
by Rachel Gibson, Nicole Poole

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What does a gal have to do to get a good date in this town?

Adele Harris can't even begin to answer that question. She's had so many lousy dates that she's sure she's cursed. Why else would every man she goes out with suddenly act like he's lost his mind—and his manners? Adele thought life couldn't get any more confusing . . . until she learns the marriage

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What does a gal have to do to get a good date in this town?

Adele Harris can't even begin to answer that question. She's had so many lousy dates that she's sure she's cursed. Why else would every man she goes out with suddenly act like he's lost his mind—and his manners? Adele thought life couldn't get any more confusing . . . until she learns the marriage of her seemingly Miss Perfect sister is on the rocks. So she goes back to their hometown to give her a shoulder to cry on, only to run smack into Zach Zemaitis . . . the one who got away.

Texans love God, family, and football, though not always in that order

Zach, a former pro star, knows all about football. As for the other two, well, he's doing his best. But when Adele comes charging back into his life—still all lush curves and beautiful, big blue eyes—he wonders if his best is good enough. After all, he did her wrong. Can a woman with her track record ever really believe that he's serious this time . . . or is he destined to be another bad date?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This yummy lovefest from Gibson (after Tangled Up in You) focuses on a familiar dilemma: how to end bad luck in love. At 35, successful Idaho SFF novelist Adele Harris has had it with losers who make fun of her "big fat ass." She feels cursed-and she was, by old rival Devon Hamilton-Zemaitis, who stole Adele's first love, football star Zach Zemaitis. When Devon dies following an accident, she must remove the curse that's prevented Adele's happiness so she can go to heaven. Meanwhile, Adele gets a frantic call from older sister Sherilyn, who's divorcing her husband and has moved back to their old hometown of Cedar Creek, Tex.-where Zach now coaches high school football, and where Sherilyn needs help with her 13-year-old. Gibson keeps the action light but dead-on delicious in Adele's and Zach's sizzling second-chance-at love. (June)

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Recorded Books, LLC
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Cat Who... Series

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Not Another Bad Date

Chapter One

"Kiss me, babe."

"No, really." Beneath the light of a sixty-watt bulb on her porch, Adele Harris placed a hand on the chest of her latest date. "I've had enough excitement for one night."

Investment banker and former nerd turned world-class jerk, Sam King mistook the hand on his chest for a caress and took a step forward, backing Adele against the front door. Cool October air slipped across her cheeks and between the lapels of her coat, and she watched horrified as Sam lowered his face to her. "Baby, you don't know excitement until I fire you up with a kiss."

"I'll pass. I don't thi—urggg—" Sam smashed his lips against Adele's and silenced her protest. He shoved his tongue into her mouth and did some sort of weird swirly thing. Three quick circles to the left. Three to the right. Repeat. She hadn't been kissed like that since Carl Wilson in the sixth grade.

She forced her free hand between them and shoved. "Stop!" she gasped as she reached into the small purse hanging from her shoulder and pulled out her keys. "Good night, Sam."

His jaw dropped and his brows lowered. "You're not inviting me in?"

"No." She turned and unlocked her front door.

"What the hell? I just spent a hundred and twenty bucks on dinner and I don't get laid?"

She pushed the door open and looked over her shoulder at the moron standing on her porch. The evening had started out okay, but had began a downward descent with the salad course. "I'm not a prostitute. If you'd wanted a sure thing, you should have called an escort service."

"Women love me! I don't haveto pay a prostitute," he protested a bit too much. "Women are dying to get some Sammy."

By the time the dinner plates had been cleared, the date had nosedived into the third level of hell, and for the past hour Adele had tried to be nice.

"Of course they are," she said, but failed to keep a bite of sarcasm from her voice. She stepped into her house and turned to face him.

"No wonder you're thirty-five and alone," he sneered. "You need to learn how to treat a man."

For the past hour she'd pretended interest in his narcissistic ramblings. His nonstop bragging and his presumption that he was quite the catch and she was very lucky. She tried to tell herself that it wasn't his fault. That lately she'd begun to suspect there was something about her that made men insane, but he'd just crossed the line. Poked at a very sore spot. "And you need to learn to kiss like a man," she said, and slammed the front door in his stunned face.

"What the hell is going on in my life?" She pushed one side of her thick curly hair behind her ear and leaned her back against the door. This was getting ridiculous. Every man she'd dated for the past . . . what? . . . two or three years had been a jerk. If they hadn't started out as jerks, they'd quickly turned into jerks. At first she'd thought she was just a jerk magnet. That she attracted idiots, but lately she'd begun to wonder if there was something else going one. That there was something about her that turned otherwise-okay men into morons. Because really, how many jerks and idiots were there in this world? And how likely was it that she just happened to date every last one of them? Repeatedly? Without a break?

Not likely. Adele flipped the dead bolt and pushed away from the door. For the past few months, she'd begun to think that she was cursed. Cursed with perpetually bad dates.

She hung her coat in the front closet and moved into the living room. She tossed her purse onto the green sofa and reached for the remote control on the glass-and-iron coffee table. A couple of months ago, she'd mentioned to her friend Maddie that she thought she might be cursed, but Maddie had laughed it off and Adele hadn't brought it up again.

There were some people who thought she was a little different—maybe a lot different. Growing up she'd believed in magic; in fairy dust and unicorns and pots of gold. As a child, she'd believed in cracks in time and life on distant planets. Ghosts and alternative realities. In endless possibilities. As an adult, though she never ruled out anything completely, she no longer believed in endless anything anymore.

She turned on the television and sat on the arm of the couch. These days, she might not believe in endless anything, but she did make a good living off her imagination and the possibilities she'd believed in as a child. To date, she'd published ten science-fiction and fantasy novels. Researching those books had taken her to some truly bizarre places, and she'd personally witnessed too many instances of paranormal phenomena that could not be explained away by science to casually dismiss anything out of hand.

She flipped through the TV channels and paused on the ten o'clock news. Out of the many books she'd written, she'd never researched curses, and she didn't know a lot about them. She didn't know how curses worked, if they had to be cast by means of witchcraft or black magic. If just anyone could curse anyone else, or if there had to be a certain knowledge of curses, spells, and hexes?

I'm crazy. Adele felt her brain squeeze, and she dropped the remote onto the sofa. As crazy as people sometimes thought she was. She rose and moved through her living room to her bathroom. Because really, what kind of person thought she was cursed?

A crazy person, that's who.

Not Another Bad Date. Copyright © by Rachel Gibson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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