Can Maisie find what she’s always been looking for from behind a blindfold?
Maisie is in a rut. With piles of coursework, a demanding job and a tiny apartment, she never has time or money to enjoy herself. Life just isn’t giving her any breaks. The only good thing about it is her roommate, Kian.
Then a note arrives from an anonymous friend of Kian’s asking her to meet up with the mysterious admirer. It’s wild and romantic and just what she needs. The caveat? She has to wear a blindfold. The meetings start to become the one thing Maisie looks forward to after long, dreary days. But her affections for her mystery man are complicated by the long-stifled feelings she has for Kian.
Does she choose a man who is perfect for her, but out of reach, or one who’s mysterious and pushes all the right buttons?
About the Author
Kait was born and raised in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest and started writing to entertain herself during the long winters as a child. Insatiably curious with a love of learning new things, she’s picked up many random skills including three languages and two martial arts. After travelling three continents (the other four are on her bucket list), she settled in England with her family where she spends most of her time cultivating her daughter’s love of reading and writing, scribbling ideas on every available scrap of paper, and trying out dialogue on her cat.
Read an Excerpt
Copyright © Kait Gamble 2016. All Rights Reserved, Totally Entwined Group Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.
Maisie Edwards stumbled into her tiny shared two-bedroom apartment and slammed the door behind her. She kicked her shoes off with enough force to send them ricocheting off the wall then dropped her bags on the tiny patch of space in front of the door. Not caring about the mess she’d created, she wrenched at the fastening on her jeans. After peeling them off as quickly as possible, she launched them as far as she could, refusing to think what that wet stuff she’d sat on in the subway was. All she knew was that she had to get it off her—immediately.
“You could have told me you were going to do a strip tease. I would have been ready for it.”
Tall, handsome and permanently between girlfriends, her roommate, Kian Walker, strode into the cozy living room. To Maisie, he looked more like a surfer than a game engineer. The light from his tablet shone on his chin-length blond curls and slight scruff on his chin, giving them an eerie greenish tint. The jade of his eyes was even more intense as his gaze wandered up her legs to settle with an amused sparkle on her face.
“Funny.” She tugged her shirt as low as she could get it and glowered at him.
He tapped the screen, turning off whatever he was studying to give her all his attention. “Sat in something again?”
“How could you tell?” She kicked her bags along the floor toward her room, stomped up to them and did it again. A process she would continue until they hit the foot of her bed. “I just want a shower, some food, if I can find any, and to get in bed so I can do this all over again tomorrow.”
He chuckled, picking her bags up by their straps and placing them gently on the worn sofa. “Get in there. Maybe it’ll make you feel better.”
“Maybe if you took over being PA for the most insane human being on the planet for a few weeks? Or write some of my essays for me?”
“I’ve got my own problems, Maise.” He waved the tablet at her. He’d gone from the game screen to the stark black and white of code. “Unless you’re serious and want to go over this code and figure out why it’s not working.”
“I might be.” Maisie would give it a try if it would save her from hours of endless demands that were borderline psychotic. “I’ll take a look when I get out.” She was only half joking.
She toed open the door to the bathroom then pushed it shut with her butt. The tiny room enabled her to yank back the shower curtains then turn on the water from where she stood.
Kian’s voice came from the other side of the door. “You might want to take a bath. The water’s acting weird again. I took a shower earlier and nearly burned and froze in the same amount of time it took to wash my hair.”
“Duly noted.” She switched the shower to the faucet, plugged the tub and waited for it to slowly fill.
Listening to the trickle of water, Maisie stared at herself in the mirror. Her carefully applied makeup was long gone, leaving stark freckles against pale skin. The two-toned hair she had painstakingly styled that morning hung in a black and white mess around her shoulders. Her usually bright and sparkling eyes were washed out. School and work had drained the life out of her, leaving her with a limp noodle-like appearance. Was it any wonder she hadn’t had a date in ages?
She was the complete opposite of tall, lithe models—not that they were real in the first place. But Maisie was unfortunately without the services of a professional makeup artist or Photoshop expert. The only thing she liked about herself were her eyes. People frequently commented on their cat-like shape, vivid teal color and their lush frame of lashes. But what guy would spot them from across the room and be so moved as to come running over?
If the crowds parted enough for her to be seen, he sure as hell wouldn’t take a second glance at her. There wasn’t much to capture their attention at all.
Kian said she was too hard on herself. That she was gorgeous and that anyone who didn’t see it was an idiot who wasn’t worth her time. It didn’t explain why she was alone. There were the losers who did take notice of her. They had been nothing to write home about. The few times she’d had sex had left her wondering what the fuss was all about.
As a result, she had little interest in men or relationships. She had Kian, a small circle of friends, classes and a job. Her life was full enough without the added complication of a relationship.
Yet she still wondered why love in books and on TV was so overblown. Reality was nothing like that.
Maisie emerged from the bath drowsy and less cranky, since the warm water had seeped away a lot of the stress. But when she saw what was waiting for her on the coffee table, she grinned.
“What’s all this?” She tugged her robe tighter around herself as she sat.
“Well, you seemed a bit too tired to make yourself anything to eat and since I was starved too, I thought why not use some of my hard-earned cash to get us some takeout.”
That was a surprise. Neither one of them made enough to splurge on many extravagances. Ordering out was one thing they didn’t do too often. And when they did, it was usually for a special occasion.
“Thanks. It looks great.” Their usual requisition of Chinese food lay spread out like a banquet.
“Glad you approve.” He flopped onto the couch next to her. “So dig in.”
Maisie knew what bits he liked more of and what she preferred. She stuck to what she wanted, leaving a large portion for him. Anything left behind would make an excellent breakfast in the morning.
They ate in silence for a little while before Kian finally broke it. “Since we both know how your day went, want to hear about mine?”
She chewed on a dumpling. “Always.”
“So I managed to sort out a few kinks in something I’ve been working on.”
Kian had been complaining about a few problems he’d been having with a new program. They didn’t usually keep him occupied for as long as the latest glitches had.
He smiled, flashing his near-perfect grin. “Yeah, it is.” Kian lifted his plate to reveal an envelope in his hand underneath. “I also found this.”
Maisie barely took her eyes off her food. “What is it?”
He held it out with a shrug. “Don’t know. It’s addressed to you.”
“What?” She put her plate down and tugged the envelope from his fingers. Sure enough, her name was printed on the front.
Curiosity flooded her gut. Who would send her…anything?
She quickly tore it open and pulled out the little folded note. The script inside was the same. Boxy. Economical. Nondescript. It could have been written by anyone.
He leaned on her shoulder. “So? What’s it say?”
Maisie turned to him dazedly before returning her gaze to the sparse note. “It’s from a secret admirer who wants to meet up with me.”
“So what are you going to do?”
Maisie craned her neck to look at him. “You don’t seem surprised.”
He looked confused. “Why would I be? You’re hot. I keep telling you that.”
“Not hot enough to inspire a secret admirer. Besides. It isn’t something that happens in real life. At least not past elementary school.” Maisie glanced at the note again. Seeing the words declaring someone admired her was both surreal and heart buoying. And somewhat terrifying. “What if they’re a serial killer or something?”
Kian nearly choked on his fried rice when he laughed.
“What? It’s a real concern. What about those killers you hear about who found their victims through Craigslist?” She gasped. “This was hand delivered! This guy knows where I live!”
Kian put his plate on the table. “Calm down, will you?”
“How am I supposed to do that? This guy could be some psycho. He knows where I live and now I’m going to have to call the cops or move or something.”
He rolled his eyes and threw his arm over her shoulder. “It’s a friend of mine, all right? He’s not a serial killer. He’s not a psycho. He just wants to get to know you better.”
The knots in her stomach unraveled. “Really?”
Kian nodded. “He’s a good guy.”
That certainly changed her perspective on things. Hope brought a tentative smile to her lips. “Which friend is it?”
“I promised I wouldn’t tell.”
She grabbed his arm. “Come on! You have to tell me!”
“Nope. I promised I wouldn’t. All I can do is vouch for the schmuck.”
Maisie bounced in her seat. “You can at least tell me what he’s like, right? Is he smart? Funny? What does he look like? Is he hot?”
Kian held up his hand. “I can’t tell you how hot another guy is.”
“At least give me something to go on.” She reread the short note. “There’s nothing here to help me.”
“That was just a teaser to see if you were interested.” He studied her. His eyes held hers. “Just say the word and I’ll tell him to take a hike.”
To say she was intrigued was an understatement. The gesture was bold and romantic. It definitely roused her curiosity about the man who had sent it. He wouldn’t be boring if this was anything to go by. She wanted to know what he would do next.
“Tell him I want to know more about him.”
With a smirk, he picked up his plate again. “Will do.”
Maisie couldn’t keep the smile off her face for the rest of the meal. Things were definitely looking up.