The Guy Most Likely To... (Harlequin Blaze Series #694)

The Guy Most Likely To... (Harlequin Blaze Series #694)

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by Leslie Kelly, Janelle Denison, Julie Leto

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Ever wonder what happened to the guy most likely to…

Score with the prom queen?

Lauren and Seth were the high school "it" couple—until Seth disappeared on prom night. But a reunion gives Seth a chance to show Lauren an evening long overdue.

Not date a Playboy Bunny?

Ali was the highlight


Ever wonder what happened to the guy most likely to…

Score with the prom queen?

Lauren and Seth were the high school "it" couple—until Seth disappeared on prom night. But a reunion gives Seth a chance to show Lauren an evening long overdue.

Not date a Playboy Bunny?

Ali was the highlight of geeky Will's high school years. But now that he's ditched the nerdiness, he's 100 percent of calculated hotness…and Ali won't be able to say no.

Ride out of town on a Harley?

Rebel Scott "Rip" Ripley always had a thing for the elusive Erica. But reunion night holds a few sexy surprises when Erica decides it's time to take the bad boy for a ride.

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Harlequin Blaze Series , #694
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Standing at the back of the A-E line at the registration desk, her dark sunglasses shielding her eyes and her stiff posture discouraging communication, Lauren Desantos came to a sudden realization. The Marquis de Sade had invented the high school reunion. Him, or that torquemada guy from the Spanish inquisition.

It made perfect sense; there could be no other explanation. Only someone who enjoyed seeing others squirm in discomfort, who got off on inflicting pain, who thrived on reducing mature adults back to their overemotional, whiny, bitchy, competitive, miserable adolescent selves, would have thought this reunion thing was a good idea.

As if that wasn't bad enough, along with the fear and discomfort came other remnants of high school days—nervous twitches, weak, fake-sounding laughter. Heck, even long-left-behind acne seemed to show up. It was probably brought about by the stress of wondering who you were going to run into first, who looked better than you did, who would notice the extra ten pounds you'd put on since graduation, who would remember you had once slipped on mashed potatoes in the cafeteria. And, more important, who would ask if you ever fulfilled your dream of becoming a magazine editor and what they would say if they found out you worked in marketing for a grocery store chain.

Yeah. Pure hell. Straight evil. Really, only a masochistic idiot would ever agree to attend one of these reunions.

So what on earth am I doing here?

There were a thousand ways she could be spending this lovely summer weekend, including staying with her family during this all-too-rare visit back to the Chicago area. Instead, she'd driven outside the city to this sprawling, dubiously themed hot spot called Celebrations, which catered to the let's-relive-past-glory-days-and-pretend-we-aren't-bitterly-crushed-by-the-reality-of-our-adult-lives crowd. In other words, a reunion resort. Blech. Next thing you knew, they'd be opening a spot for post-hemorrhoidal-surgery patients to get together and shake their recently-operated-upon backsides.

So get out. Go before anybody sees you.

She considered it, but knew she wouldn't. Lauren couldn't disappoint her oldest friend, Maggie, who had been there for her during some rough times. Now, when her friend was so unhappy and lonely after her recent divorce, how could Lauren let her down? She wasn't a coward, or a quitter, so she just had to suck it up and get through this weekend no matter what.

She inched closer to the front of the line, staying quiet, hoping not to be seen by any of the former classmates ahead of her. Some de Sade descendant had decided nobody could get their room key until they checked in at the reunion registration desk. She had fully planned to go to her room and get cleaned up before risking running into anyone, but instead, she got stuck standing here with her suitcase and her messy hair, trying to remain invisible.

The odds weren't good that she'd stay unnoticed. Every minute somebody recognized somebody else and the squealing commenced. Watching air kisses between girls who had ripped each other to gossipy shreds ten years ago, and man hugs between former jocks whose beer guts now got in the way of a good old-fashioned chest bump, she could only hope the first person to ID her wasn't kissy or bumpy.

"Hello, Lauren."

Or him.

Oh, God, she would take kissy, bumpy, fake, shrill, sexist, knowing, biting, sarcastic or slobbering over the voice she'd just heard from directly behind her.

Seth's voice.

How can this be happening?

"You're not supposed to be here," she said, still staring straight ahead, not turning her head so much as an inch. Surprisingly, she didn't stammer, sounding in control. She couldn't imagine how that was possible, considering her throat felt filled with a huge, anger-flavored lump.

"Was that why you decided to come?"

"Yes." The one condition she'd imposed on Maggie was that Seth not be attending. As of yesterday, his name hadn't been on the list of attendees. Obviously he'd decided at the last minute to crash. "Still have a problem with that RSVP thing, huh?" Showing up when he wasn't supposed to, bailing out when he was.

"Honest as ever, huh?"

His voice was still smooth, easy, sexy and masculine. Just like it had been when he was joking, flirting, whispering sweet words in her ear…and breaking her heart.

Hopefully the rest of him had changed and he had become one of those overweight, prematurely balding, red-nosed-from-too-much-beer guys. Because if he got to keep the delicious voice, he ought to at least have been forced to give up his damn good looks. And maybe a few teeth. And all his hair.

A limb might not be stretching it, either. Or his peni… Don't even go there. She wouldn't even allow herself to think about certain body parts and Seth in the same brain wave. Allowing them to come together would be like crossing the beams and disrupting the whole space-time continuum or something.

Needing to know either way, she swung around to face him.

"Oh, hell, you would be gorgeous."

Had she said that out loud? Yikes, the way his brow shot up told her she had. "So you were hoping I'd be a total dog?"

"It would only have been fair for your looks to match your character."

He winced. "Score one for Desantos."

"I'm not keeping score," she insisted.

She didn't want to keep score with him, or to exchange zingers. She wanted to go on believing she was completely over him… Which was easier to do when she didn't have to look at his unfairly handsome face.

The eighteen-year-old Seth had been super cute in the way young, lean guys are. The twenty-eight-year-old one ought to have one of those hazard labels, like the kind on the side of cigarette packages. Warning: Guys This Hot Are Dangerous To Your Heart and Your Underwear.

Because he was so very, very hot. He'd break hearts and melt panties. Seth was a veritable perfect storm of good looks and sexuality, designed to sink a woman's resistance and drown her in her own physical hunger.

His hair was thick and dark, shorter now, but he had a few of those tiny finger-tempting curls at his nape. The dark green eyes were deep-set, heavily lashed, punctuated by light laugh lines on either side, and they still twinkled. Ugh.

His face was a little scruffy, unshaven. No more smooth-cheeked youth, he had the kind of rough jaw a woman would want rubbing against her skin, leaving deliciously wicked red marks.

And his body…wow, the body had definitely matured. Seth had played football in high school, but he'd been the quarterback, so he'd been fast and lean, not bulky. Now he had muscles on top of his muscles. Every inch of him looked powerful, from the broad shoulders clad in a tight black T-shirt down to the massive chest, the rippled stomach with hair.

Stop it. You can't see his stomach or any hair.

Only, she could. In her mind's eye.

She suddenly realized he'd caught her staring. Heat rushed into her cheeks. Jeez, she hadn't blushed since she was a teenager.

"So, do I pass inspection?"

"Not even close."

"Why do I get the feeling you were wishing I'd be bald and covered with scars from a virulent case of shingles?"

"You're too young for shingles. Chicken pox would have suited me fine," she said with a smirk. "I bet you'd be a scratcher."

"Why do you say that?"

"Because you were always ready to scratch your itch the minute it started to bug you," she replied, remembering his rep as a player from when she'd first started school with him in their junior year.

"As I recall, I was kept unscratched and uncomfortable for a pretty long stretch there before graduation."

She ignored the implication. "What would you know about graduation?" He hadn't shown up there, either.

"Touche. By the way, it's nice to see you, too," he said, his grin widening, fully aware she was angry about finding him every bit as sexy as she'd hoped, as hot as she'd prayed he wouldn't be.

"Nice isn't exactly the word I'd use."

Ignoring her, he took a long second of his own to look her over, from top to bottom, and Lauren sent up a mental curse against the person who'd designed airplane seats to be tiny and clothes-rumpling, and their processed air to be hair-flattening and makeup-melting. Of course it hadn't helped that a harried mommy and her way-too-big-to-be-a-lap-baby demon spawn had been seated beside her. The kid kept throwing tantrums and lollipops, one of which had landed in Lauren's hair, which now probably had a sticky streak of red mixed in with the golden brown. And the little brute had been a kicker, so she had a bruise on the side of her arm.

Worst. Day. Ever.

Okay. Nix that.

Second. Worst. Day. Ever.

He stared at her, as if he couldn't look enough, and Lauren found herself shifting from foot to foot, like a nervous kid being inspected by the school principal.

Good grief, she so needed to get away from this reunion. She was degenerating back to high school mode, even in her thoughts! It didn't help that she suddenly remembered the secret Senior Class Superlatives that had made their way around campus, outside of the safe, sanctioned ones in the yearbook. Seth had been voted "Most Likely to Score with the Prom Queen." She'd forgotten all about it until right now…when she was face-to-throat with the potent male who was supposed to have been her first lover.

It was one more thing to be mad at him for. Because of Seth, she'd lost her virginity to a guy she didn't even like much. Being abandoned by her first love had made her anxious to prove herself worthy of sexual desire, so she'd gone to bed with the first guy she'd dated in college.

He'd thought her clitoris was inside her belly button.

"What are you doing here, Seth?" she finally asked.

"Last time I checked, I was part of the class of '02."

"You didn't show up at graduation," she reminded him again.

"That doesn't mean I didn't get a diploma." Well, that was news to her.

"I got them to mail it to me," he continued. "I had the grades, even without being there to take my finals."

He'd definitely been smart enough, which had been part of his appeal. Handsome, athletic, sexy and supersmart. Could any girl have resisted him? Certainly none back in high school. He could have had anyone he wanted…but he'd sworn he only wanted her.

They had gone to an exclusive, pricey private school in Chicago. She'd been a scholarship commuter kid from a blue-collar neighborhood who took a city bus to and from classes every day. He'd been a golden boy, a blue blood, living in the Ivy League-priced dorms, occasionally mentioning a family estate outside the city, but mostly not talking about his parents, with whom he didn't get along.

She and Seth had been as different as chocolate and sauerkraut…yet those ten months they'd been together, she'd believed there was nobody else on the planet as right for her.

Stupid teenager.

"Did they mail your diploma to the dark side of the moon?" she asked with a sweet smile. "I mean, I assumed you were kidnapped by aliens, the way you disappeared."

"You can't know how badly I feel about that."

"Save it."

"It killed me not to be able to take you to prom."

"Yeah, well, believe me, if you'd been close and I'd had a weapon that night, I would have happily taken care of that killing thing for you."


"Then, on Monday, when I found out you'd withdrawn from school, I stopped hating you long enough to be really worried," she admitted, though she chided herself for the note of concern she still heard in her voice.

But she had been concerned. Concerned enough to forgive him, enough to think something truly awful must have happened. Enough to decide to be there for him during whatever calamity must have befallen him. She'd waited for him to reach out to her to explain. And she'd waited.

Finally, she'd called—number disconnected.

She'd written—letter returned to sender.

Only the fact that his younger sister, a middle schooler, had also withdrawn the same day convinced her Seth hadn't been murdered. That, and his second call. He'd phoned her house that autumn, saying he was okay, and he was sorry.

Lauren had already been living in Georgia with her aunt, having just started her freshman year of college, and her parents had refused to give Seth her number. When her mom called to give her the message, Lauren had only cried for about ten minutes before going back to her regularly scheduled plan of get-over-Seth-and-move-on. End of contact. Until today.

"Lauren, I."

"Hey, look guys, it's Seth and Lauren! The king and queen of the prom are finally together!"

"Oh, fuck my life," she muttered under her breath.

Seth's quick, short bark of laughter told her she hadn't been quiet enough.

Never had Lauren so wished for a time machine—she'd get in it and go back ten minutes, to the moment when she'd pulled up her rental car in front of this overly lavish place. Instead of parking, she'd have kept on driving. Canada was nice this time of year. Or Mexico. The Sahara. Anywhere else.

Though, honestly, if she had a time machine, she'd be better off going back to warn her young, vulnerable self to never say yes to Seth Crowder in the first place. She could even take an extra minute during the trip to offer herself a stock tip: Starbucks, yes. Borders, no. Oh, and since you're single, cruise on up to Harvard and introduce yourself to this dude named Mark Zuckerberg. He's single right now, too. He's a bit of an egghead, but he's got an idea for this thing called Facebook…

"Pose for a picture guys—the one you never got on prom night!"

"Fat chance," she snapped, turning quickly. They could take a picture of her butt as she walked away. "Lauren, we need to talk," Seth said. "No, we don't."

"Please!" He held out a hand and put it on her arm.

She shivered slightly, affected in spite of herself. Seth was here, looking at her with desperate longing in his beautiful green eyes, touching her with those strong hands that had once given her as much pleasure as a girl could get with her hymen still intact. This man had been born understanding a woman's anatomy—no belly button confusion for him. He and her clitoris had made friends on their third date. By the fifth they'd been drinking buddies.

But it didn't matter.

"Let me go, Seth," she told him.

"Can't you give me a chance to explain?"


"Come on, a half hour, that's all I ask."

Considering she was already standing here thinking about her panties and her girlie bits, and his habit of making them sing, five minutes was already too long.

"It's not going to happen."

"Why not?"

She answered the only way she could. Truthfully. "Because I have spent the past ten years either crying over you or hating your guts. I'm over the crying, and I'm past the hating. Now all I feel for you is…nothing. And I intend to keep it that way."

Meet the Author


Leslie Kelly has written dozens of books and novellas for Harlequin Blaze, Temptation and HQN. Known for her sparkling dialogue, fun characters and depth of emotion, her books have been honored with numerous awards.  Leslie lives in Maryland with her own romantic hero, Bruce, and their three daughters. Visit her online at

Over the course of her career, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Julie Leto has published more than forty books—all of them sexy and all of them romances at heart.  She’s a born-and-bred Floridian homeschooling mom with a love for her family, her friends, her dachshund, her lynx-point Siamese and supersexy stories with a guaranteed happy ending.

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The Guy Most Likely To...: Underneath It All\Can't Get You Out of My Head\A Moment Like This 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Kari_on_From_the_TBR_Pile More than 1 year ago
This book was a lot of fun. Each story is a very quick read. I enjoyed all three, but not equally. Of the three authors, I have only read books by Janelle Denison. I know I will be seeking out other works by the other two. Underneath It All is Leslie Kelly's offering. I loved Seth and Lauren's story. Out of the three it was the most believable. They have a serious history together. Seth's story of why he left was heartbreaking. I won't give it away, but it was a pretty valid excuse. The ending was really sweet. Can't Get You Out of My Head by Janelle Denison is the classic story of the geek who becomes wealthy and really hot after high school. He heads back to the reunion to get the girl of his dreams. Ali may have given into peer pressure in high school, but it was nice to see she had changed. She really grew as a person as an adult. Their HEA was cute. A Moment Like This by Julie Leto was the one I liked the least. I didn't really like either of the characters. I felt like should have been a bit more back story about both Rip and Erica. I just didn't believe in their meeting and didn't think they would go beyond a hook-up. Rip seemed like he had more depth to him, but it wasn't really explored en0ugh to satisfy me. I didn't buy that he could love her when they really didn't have much of a history. There wasn't even a HEA. It was more a HFNish ending. Had it been a longer story or had some type of epilogue, I might have liked it more. I definitely recommend this anthology. The guys are sexy and the love scenes are steamy. Check it out when it hits the shelves!
In_My_Humble_OpinionDA More than 1 year ago
What ever happened to that guy from high school... Lets find out at the 10th year reunion in three wonderful stories. Underneath It All by Leslie Kelly - "Ever wonder what happened to the guy most likely to...Score with the prom queen?" Lauren and Seth were high school royalty. Prom King & Queen except Seth never showed up for the prom leaving Lauren alone and humiliated. His family up and left with no explanations. He did leave a message with her folks a few months later apologizing but still giving no reason for abandoning her with no word. He broke her heart. Now 10 years later he walks into the reunion looking better than ever and Lauren wants nothing to do with him except she does. When she finally finds out why he left she feels really bad for doubting him. Can she get past her broken heart to give him another chance? Can't Get You Out of My Head by Janelle Denison- "Ever wonder what happened to the guy most likely to... Not date a Playboy Bunny?" Ali was a busty cheerleader. Will was a geeky nerd. When Ali needed a tutor Will stepped up and they became friends. Will even got the courage to ask Ali out on a date. When Will calls off the date two hours before it was to take place and informs Ali he doesn't want to see her anymore Ali is confused and a little bit relieved as her "friends" were giving her grief about going out with the geek. 10 years later Will has turned his geekyness into an asset and is the CEO of his own software security company. He has grown into his body and is looking much, much, hotter than the wimpy nerd he was in high school. He doesn't want to revisit the pain that was high school but he does want to reconnect with Ali and explain why he canceled out on her so long ago. Can the geek get the hot chick? A Moment Like This by Julie Leto - Ever wonder what happened to the guy most likely to... Ride out of town on a Harley?" Erica was the good girl. Scott "Rip" Ripley was the bad boy and never the twain shall meet. Erica is still stung by the fact that when she tried to get Bad Boy Rip to kiss her when he was tutoring her in French he took off for the hills. Now 10 years later Erica still wants a piece of that bad boy. Things have changed for Rip. He is no longer the angry bad boy. Back in high school he wasn't worthy of Erica but he has paid his dues and she might just have bitten off more than she was ready for. Oh goodness who can't relate to the horrors of high school and the what ifs and whatever happened too questions. These three stories are short but sweet and fun to read. *I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Marissa Book provided by NetGalley for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book <i>Underneath It All by Leslie Kelley</i> Okay, confession time. I never went to my senior prom. I was so anti-school by my senior year that I wanted nothing to do with anything so &ldquo;d&eacute;class&eacute;&rdquo;. Now that I&rsquo;m *mumble* one, I sometimes wonder what it would have been like. Somehow, I&rsquo;m sure I would have had a better time than Lauren, the heroine in this story. As the prom queen, she&rsquo;s left standing alone on stage, in tears, without her prom king. Luckily there is a class reunion where the two reunite and Lauren finally finds out what happened to Seth, the AWOL boyfriend, on prom night. This story was well told and had me in tears, both sad and happy. I felt so much for Lauren, first being jilted, then running through the anger and finally acceptance of what had happened on prom night. And, of course, her new emotions &ndash; happiness and love. <i>Can&rsquo;t Get You Out of My Head by Janelle Denison</i> What can I say? I love me a good nerd. Even my boyfriends tend to the nerdish side. (I&rsquo;m currently dating an accountant but he swears he doesn&rsquo;t own a pocket protector. Rats!) Our nerdy hero, Will, is really no longer a nerd. He&rsquo;s kind of like Bill Gates &ndash; he grew out of the nerdiness when he got rich. Ali is the cheerleader with a heart who always had a thing for Will but was afraid to let her fellow cheerleader and football player friends know. It was amusing to see how those fellow class mates grew and matured (or not) and makes me wonder about all those snotty cheerleaders and jocks from my own class. The worst line in the entire book came from this story: &ldquo;&hellip; but there was no denying she had a gorgeous rack.&rdquo; Rack? Really? Now, Will is supposed to be the shy kid from high school, the computer nerd, the guy whose older sisters taught him to look at a woman&rsquo;s eyes when he talked to her and not at her &ldquo;rack&rdquo;. The word &ldquo;rack&rdquo; just doesn&rsquo;t ring true here. And I am the furthest thing from a feminist but come on. A little dignity here. <i>A Moment Like This by Julie Leto</i> My other favorite kind of man? The bad-boy in leather and torn-up jeans that comes roaring in on a Harley. I never seem to end up with these men but they are fuel for my fantasies. And Rip is definitely fantasy material. As his polar opposite, Erica reminds me of the character Muffy Tepperman in the TV show Square Pegs &ndash; a senior class president, she knows everyone and is quick to relate anything negative happening to the principal. Yep, really dating myself with that one. It was wonderful to watch Erica change to her true self when she was with Rip. Even she knows when the mask goes up and down and, like most women I think, Erica desires the one man she can be herself with. I love the way these characters developed from high school to adulthood, changing and growing up but retaining the essence of who they are. For all the stories in this book, I give a thumbs-up. Each story is heart-warming and shows how we never forget that high school love &ndash; even if it was only love from afar. Now, if only my high school crush would show up&hellip;
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hpuoeot .? I p%0*%) $6 +&*)
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
This was a quick read, and fairly satisfying. The theme was a fun one--reuniting with an old flame at a high school reunion (do people really look forward to those things? It's hard to believe), and all three stories took place at the same location--a resort designed for reunions. Other than that, they weren't connected, which was a bit of a letdown. I read this over a couple of days, so I kept checking back to see if any of the characters or situations were in common, but they weren't. It would have given it some extra pizzazz, I thought. Of the three, I thought the strongest story was the first, Leslie Kelly's "Underneath it All." It was a bit of a stretch that Seth hadn't tried before the ten years were up to find Lauren and explain where he'd gone on prom night, but not too much of one. The next story, "Can't Get You Out of My Head" was fairly cute, if a bit less realistic. "A Moment Like This" I thought was the weakest of the three, but still not a bad story. All in all, it delivers what it claims to--short, summer fantasy reads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago