As the Dating Guy on L.A.'s top morning show, I give the single guy's perspective on dating, love, and sex—and I give great advice. Everyone's hooking up…well, except for me. Sure, I can get any woman I want, but I've got a "no relationship" clause in my contract and the only woman I want has "relationship" written all over her. Probably stamped on her ass, too. And wouldn't I like to confirm that.
Unfortunately, she wants nothing to do with me. At all. Something about the next Ice Age might have even come up in her rebuttal. Adorable. Because she's determined to ignore what one simple kiss proved: she wants me as badly as I want her.
Everything in me is screaming to go after her, but I've got a secret that I'm fairly certain will end up with her roasting my nuts over an open fire. So, job on the line? Check. Nuts on the line? Check. Can't get her out of my head? Nail…meet coffin. But what a way to go…
Each book in the Wherever You Go series is STANDALONE:
* Talk British to Me
* Lips Close to Mine
* Too Hard to Resist
About the Author
When not attached to her laptop, USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman can almost always be found with her nose in a book. A California girl, the beach is her favorite place for fun and inspiration. Her fondness for swoon-worthy heroes who flirt and stumble upon the girl they can't live without jump starts most of her story ideas.
She loves to frequent coffee shops, take hikes with her hubby, and play sock tug of war with her cute, but sometimes naughty,dog Harry. She dreams of traveling to faraway places and loves to connect with readers. To keep in touch sign up for her newsletter on her website athttp://robinbielman.com
Read an Excerpt
Talk British To Me
Wherever You Go Series
By Robin Bielman
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Robin Bielman
All rights reserved.
"He did not just say that."
"He did," I confirm as a collective gasp makes its way around the coffee shop. It's not a surprised gasp, because with a ridiculously sexy voice like Bennett's, he can say anything he wants and get away with it. But more like a jealous gasp. Because we all secretly wish he'd say dirty things to us without anyone else around.
Okay, I secretly wish that. Not sure about everyone else.
Until I glance at our usual Monday morning customers and notice faraway looks on all their faces. Even the guys wear an expression that says damn.
"I mean, since when can you say fuck on the radio?" Harper asks quietly. She's leaning against the back counter, arms crossed under her boobs in a way that pushes them up even higher than normal.
"Since it sounds a lot nicer with a British accent?" I offer, but I'm sure it's because whoever had their finger over the censor button was lost to the sound of Bennett's voice, too.
She smiles and nods her agreement. The f-word comes out of my best friend's mouth regularly, so she's just fallen a little bit more in love with Bennett.
There's more than three million people in Los Angeles, and I'm pretty sure all of them — the single ones, anyway — tune in to Bennett's weekly radio report on dating. Everything is at a standstill in the coffee shop as we listen to him talk about his weekend escapades. Our customers are happy to wait for their orders so none of us misses a word he says.
The guy is a cocky Prince Charming, and for the rest of the week we'll dissect everything he says in hopes of figuring out the magic formula to turn dating into love.
Not that I know anything about dating at the moment. Thanks to my dirtbag ex-boyfriend, my self-imposed hiatus from the opposite sex is still in effect.
I close my eyes and let Bennett's voice glide over me. It's playful and sinful, and makes Mondays feel like Fridays.
"Teague?" a guy says.
My eyes fly open and I spin around. I have no idea who this person is on the other side of the register, and my confusion must show on my face because Mr. Twentysomething Suit and Tie gestures to his back.
I'm still at a loss.
He gestures to my back. I reach behind me, and sure enough I find a piece of paper stuck to my white polo shirt. I pull it off and read what it says. Hello, my name is Teague. Thought you should know the name of the girl whose ass you keep staring at.
I am going to kill Harper.
She grins — along with our two other coworkers — when I glare at her and scrunch up the paper. My cute stranger is about to say something, but I shush him with a finger to my lips. Bennett is talking about the pro-flirt move a girl made on him and how it had him thinking about where her hands could go later. Casually touching a guy's shoulder or arm, he says, is the right move to show you're interested. He talks a little more and then says good-bye.
Harper turns off the radio. The coffeehouse resumes its normal liveliness — movement, conversations, the whirring of the blenders kicking into high gear — and we girls get back to business.
"Know the Score fans, huh?" my new customer says with a nice smile that meets his friendly brown eyes. Know the Score is the name of Bennett's dating report.
I toss the crinkled paper in my hand into the trash can. "I think you could safely say we're superfans. What can I get you?"
"Large coffee with a little ice, please."
"That'll do it."
I grab his drink and place it beside the register for him to pick up after he pays. He hands me a hundred-dollar bill, which I dutifully inspect for forgery, then tuck it in the register and give him his change. He puts all of it in the glass tip jar.
My attention bounces from the jar to his face. "Thank you," I say with genuine gratitude.
"It's a nice ass, Teague." He winks at me, raises his coffee in goodbye, and walks away. My jaw drops. I'm not sure if I should feel flattered or cheapened. Would the guy have skipped the tip if he didn't like my rear end? I'm definitely not in my small hometown of Cascade, Oregon, anymore.
Harper spanks my butt. "Yes it is."
"Hot Beverly Hills Boy wants a piece of it," she adds.
"Shut up." I glance toward the front doors as he pushes through them. Does he?
Harper leans over to whisper in my ear. "He does. And before your vagina shrivels up and goes into a coma, you are coming out with me this weekend."
I open my mouth to argue, but she cuts me off with, "No more hiding out in your room to read or take online classes."
With my eyes on the floor-to-ceiling front windows, I see my big tipper turn his head to look in my direction. I'm not sure if he can see me, but I don't miss the good-natured smile on his face. "Okay," I say, granting my roommate's request.
Honestly, I'm tired of holing up in my room studying to be a freelance travel writer. So far the stories I've pitched have been rejected, which makes me think maybe I need a break from trying so hard. I barely had to study to get my bachelor's degree in math, graduating with honors several months ago. I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I was wrong.
For the next forty-five minutes we're slammed with customers who have to be at work or school or just need a caffeine fix to face the day. At eight fifty, I load up my to-go tray with two lattes, one mocha, and one double macchiato. "I'll be back," I call out.
The April sun feels really good on my face, and as happens every morning that I make my delivery, "Walking on Sunshine" plays in my head. When I was little, my mom sang it to me the minute the sun came out after a rainstorm. We get tons of rain on the Oregon coast, so she sang it a lot.
Since I landed in L.A. two months ago, my mom calls or texts me every Tuesday. My dad every Friday. They're all about tag-teaming me and that's okay. When I told them I was moving here, they had to sit down and catch their breath. I'm the baby of the family. My wings were supposed to stay clipped. But as much as I love my parents and being close to them, I need to be on my own.
And even though I worry about money now, I'm happy with my decision. When I left home, I left the safety and security of living where I grew up. I own my car, my clothes, and my laptop. My rent isn't too crazy, thanks to rooming with Harper, but if I don't figure out something to supplement my coffee paychecks soon, my savings will run out. And I can't let that happen.
I met Harper McKinney my first day at the University of Oregon, and we took to each other like peanut butter and jelly. We're totally different but complement each other perfectly. She's loud to my quiet, tough to my soft, careless to my careful. She's the flip side of me, and I love her like a sister. My mom and dad love her, too. Which made the move a lot more bearable for them. I wouldn't be without any family here.
I arrive at the shiny glass building for Gabrielle Gallagher, Wedding Consultant, with two minutes to spare. Briggs is at the security desk but on the telephone, so I give him a quick wave. I take the elevator up to the third floor, exit the lift, and enter the opulent office space behind suite 302.
For the first time in my weeks of delivery, Ms. Gallagher's assistant isn't at her desk. I'm not sure if I should leave the coffee drinks without acknowledgment, so I wait. She'll probably be right back. From what I've witnessed on my brief visits here, Ms. Gallagher likes her beverage delivered into her hand immediately. At exactly 9:00 a.m.
"It's extremely unprofessional to have no backup plan in this situation."
At the sound of the feminine voice, I turn toward Ms. Gallagher's office. She comes into view through open French doors. She's talking into a headset, her hands on her slender hips as she paces.
"Of course I could send someone, but that's not the issue. Your promise of delivery is."
She's wearing a fuchsia silk blouse tucked into a white pencil skirt, with black heels that I'm sure cost more than six months of my rent, and her long black hair is pulled back into a sleek ponytail. She's stunning for a woman in her forties. Intimidating, too. Especially when she looks up and her sculpted eyebrows pinch together at the sight of me.
Her assistant is still MIA, so in a quick decision, I put the coffees down on her desk, grab the macchiato, and hurry it over to her. Inside her office space, it's like I've stepped into the pages of an ultrachic design magazine. Everything is stark white, save for the ironwork on several furniture pieces and the massive pastel-colored fresh flower arrangement sitting atop a round glass table underneath a crystal chandelier.
I hand her the coffee, hoping I haven't made a huge error in judgment. She eyes me up and down, assessing. I've no idea what she sees and don't care, but if I've stepped over some line and she calls the coffee shop to complain, I could lose my job. Worry settles uncomfortably tight in my chest.
When the cup is firmly in her hand, I smile and turn to leave. I pray the second I'm out of sight, she'll forget all about me.
"Hold on," she says in a stern voice.
I'm not sure if she's talking to the person on the phone or me, so I twist around to be sure. She moves the mouthpiece to the side. "I need you to pick something up for me."
"You're the only other person in the room. Yes, you."
"I'm sorry, but I've got a job to get back to."
"It can wait." She moves around her desk and jots something down on a piece of paper. Then, moving the mouthpiece back into place, she says, "I'll have someone there to pick up the bag in fifteen minutes. If it meets with my approval, I expect you'll adjust the price by ten percent."
I look over my shoulder. The reception area is still empty. The offices down the hall have their doors closed.
Ms. Gallagher sits in the white leather swivel chair behind her massive desk. "No, you did not misunderstand me. If my bride weren't already on her way here, I'd cancel our order with you and go with someone else. In fact —"
A slow, devilish smile curves the corners of her red lips. "Thank you." She slides off the slim black headphone and places it on the desk. Her attention moves to a neat stack of binders before she lifts a piece of paper and, without making eye contact, waves it at me. "Here's where I need you to go. Let them know Gabrielle Gallagher sent you and I'll see you back here in thirty minutes." Her dismissive tone is insulting. Not at all how my parents raised me to talk to people.
"Isn't this a job for your assistant?"
She raises her head. Her dark eyes appraise me again with some sort of magnetic pull, because my feet are involuntarily moving toward her desk to take the piece of paper and help her out. "Yes."
"I'm confused why you need me, then."
"Do you see my assistant, Miss ...?"
"Watters. And no."
"Exactly." She shakes the paper at me in dismissal, dropping her gaze to a huge stack of papers on her desk.
Wow. Talk about rude. I should say no and walk away. I know I should. The problem is I suck at saying no. And I double suck at leaving someone in a lurch. Even if she deserves to figure this out on her own. Maybe she's just had a really bad morning at home and she's taking it out on me.
No, that's not it. I've heard her bark orders from her desk. I've seen her assistant on edge when I walk through the door.
I pluck the note from her fingertips, noticing out of the corner of my eye that the papers on her desk are résumés. I read the address she's handed me and have no clue where it is.
She glances up. "You're wasting my time."
Her time. As if mine doesn't matter. I'm grateful the girls at the coffee shop will have my back if I'm gone longer than usual, but I'm starting to reconsider my good deed.
"I'm sorry. I left my crystal ball at home."
"Excuse me?" she says snidely.
"I have no idea where this is or how you think I'm going to get there and back in thirty minutes. Unless it's just down the street?" I don't even have a car at the coffee shop. Harper drove us to work this morning.
She blinks her long, dark eyelashes at me like she can't believe her ears. That's right, Ms. Gallagher, if you aren't going to adjust your attitude, then I guess I'll adjust mine.
"Do you have a driver's license?" "I'm twenty-two," I say in a huff.
"That doesn't answer my question."
"Here," she says, pulling a key fob out of her very expensive-looking handbag. "My car is in space number two. Use the navigation system to get to the address."
"Seriously?" The woman must be really desperate. Or have a fleet of cars parked in her driveway, so my taking whatever is downstairs for a spin is no big deal.
"Miss Watters, I'm always serious, and unfortunately in need of your help this morning, so if you could please hurry along I'll have compensation for you when you return."
"In cash?" I ask jokingly, and take the key. Because really, this is the weirdest, most ridiculous thing to ever happen to me. And I'm not going to accept any compensation from her.
She levels me with shrewd eyes while she sips her coffee. From behind me I hear one of the office doors open. The sound of heels click-clacking on the marble flooring follows. "Gabrielle, I just got off the phone with — Oh, excuse me."
"It's okay," Gabrielle says. "Miss Watters was just leaving."
I look between the two women before saying, "Right."
"Thirty minutes," she says to my back. I'm going to take at least thirtyone, just because.
Huh. I think my backbone is growing.
* * *
"Hi, Briggs," I say after stepping off the elevator and into the lobby.
"Hello, Teague. How are you on this fine morning?" He smiles his warm, friendly smile that reminds me of Denzel Washington. When I told him that a couple of weeks ago, he confessed he was actually Mr. Washington's stunt double. I'm friendly with a man who worked in the film business! I'm starstruck every time I see a celebrity or meet someone in the entertainment industry, which is super common here in L.A. If I want to fit in, I really need to chill.
"I'm good, but forgetful and don't have my cell. Think I could use your phone for a minute?" "Of course."
In my rush to follow Harper out the door this morning, I left my cell at home, and I want to call the coffee shop to tell her why I'll be late getting back. After I hang up, Briggs looks at me with kind regard and says, "Drive safely."
"Thanks. Hey, how was your granddaughter's birthday party?" "Spectacular."
I grin and give him a wave good-bye before heading down to the parking garage.
Ms. Gallagher's car is a sleek black convertible Mercedes. It's shiny without a speck of dirt on it. The windows are tinted. I carefully open the driver's-side door and find that the plush interior is almost as soft as my bed. I plug the address into the navigation system and proceed to drive like an eighty-year-old woman. I really want to put the top down, but I don't dare.
My pickup is only a few miles away, thank goodness, and I let out a deep breath when I arrive without incident. The woman who hands me the large white Gucci leather tote talks a mile a minute about the "OOT bag" and apologizes profusely for being unable to deliver it. I tell her no worries and then hope I didn't say the wrong thing.
I mean, it's just a tote filled with stuff. Upon closer examination, I think it's a welcome gift for out-of-town guests. OOT bag. Out of town. I smile at the powers of deduction I didn't know I had. I may have dreamed about my wedding, but OOT bags weren't part of the fantasy. Reading the tag attached to the handle — Welcome to Beverly Hills and our weekend wedding ~ Enjoy some treats and our favorite places in our hometown. xo Madison & Henry — confirms I'm right.
Holy crap. They're giving away Gucci bags like they're from the Oriental Trading Company. Not wanting to endanger this precious cargo, I secure the bag with a seat belt in the passenger seat beside me.
Two car horns blare at me on my way back. Whatever. I'd have to sell my soul to the devil if anything happened to this car in order to pay for the damage. Just before I pull into the underground parking structure, a large brownish splat paints the windshield. That beauty I don't have to pay for, and I giggle.
When I get off the elevator on the third floor, Ms. Gallagher's assistant is still missing, so I head straight back to hand-deliver the tote myself.
"Finally," Ms. Gallagher says. A blonde woman sitting across the desk from her turns her head.
Excerpted from Talk British To Me by Robin Bielman. Copyright © 2017 Robin Bielman. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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