That Thing You Do: A Novel

That Thing You Do: A Novel

by Kayti McGee

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Friends don’t let friends marry the wrong man. But where, oh where, is Mr. Right?

In high school, Greta Steinburg and her two BFFs made a pact: none of them would get married unless they all approved the man in question. Since then, Greta has had her fair share of romantic ups and downs—but now, after her latest failed relationship, she is done. Greta announces that her days of dating are officially over, and she’s kissed the idea of happily-ever-after goodbye. . .

Of course her friends will hear none of it. Instead, they insist that Greta go out with Jon, the hottest new DJ who just happened to be at her sister’s wedding. To get her friends off her back, Greta proposes that they pretend to date. The only problem is, for every fake date they have—from feeding angry rhinos to crashing a kiddie roller-skating party—Jon wants a real one. Each time they get together, their attraction grows. . .and soon there’s no turning back. Could it be that true love requires a leap of faith—and that Jon is the one Greta’s been waiting for all along?

Kayti McGee's That Thing You Do is a charmingly sexy novel about finding love in the least likely place.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250086518
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 08/29/2017
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 261,552
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Kayti McGee is a Kansas City native who now calls Colorado home. When she isn't writing, she's making up recipes to go with her favorite books. She is the author of Hands Off and Undercovers.

Read an Excerpt


Greta was twenty-six the second time she managed to get entangled in a binding promise with her so-called sisters. Yet again, and probably not surprisingly, there was booze involved. But, free booze was pretty much the only perk of being a bridesmaid. And the only free thing. This particular occasion was the wedding of Angie, her oldest sister. Before that, it had been Beth, her middle sister. Before that, Jennifer, her youngest sister. Before them, there had been Sheri and Melissa from school, and Paula from summer camp.

Yep, the view around this table was getting pretty familiar. Same duties, different dresses. Overpriced dresses. Amy poured another round of tequila for the never-brides, and a vodka shot for the inescapable Michael.

"To not always being a bridesmaid," she toasted.

"Hear, hear," replied Michael. She punched him.

"Seriously, is it just me, or do they all ... blend together after a while? I can't remember who had the cupcake tower or the chocolate fountain. Who rented the theater and who had the live doves? Everything is just the same kind of different, and it's all boring as hell," Greta said. Although the music was better this time. And the DJ was way cuter. She grabbed a lime wedge from the bowl they had appropriated and stuck it in her mouth to cover her teeth and grinned bright green at them. None of the clever (and occasionally delicious) accoutrements meant the marriages would last any longer.

"It's all in my bridesmaid scrapbook," offered Summer, snatching the lime out and throwing it at her.

"I don't actually care. I'm just making a point. The first wedding was exciting. The second two were easy, because we knew what to expect. Now it's just tedious. And frankly, kind of embarrassing. Oh, here come the perpetual bridesmaids, to the singles table. Again." She glanced back at the DJ. Way cuter. Thank you, Angie.

"Seriously, you guys. I figured by now, I'd be married, so I could pretend to be too busy with my wifely duties to say yes to any more maid stints." Amy picked at the strap of her turquoise dress as the entire table groaned. Turquoise was a big color lately. This was their third dress in the shade. Not that they could re-wear.

The biggest lie ever told to bridesmaids was that the dresses were re-usable.

"It's not for lack of trying, I'll give you that," Michael smirked. "How many proposals have your so-called besties nixed now?"

"Only three, thank you very much. The other nine just — didn't work out." She clearly realized there was no real way to maintain her dignity through this statement, and poured more shots to cover.

"Really, Amy?" asked Greta. She donned an expression of utter innocence. "It was so surprising that the guy you were tree-sitting with didn't work out?" Sometimes her friend made it too easy.

"You weren't there, Greta. Rainn was so poetic. We were in that tree for sixty-two days. We shared absolutely everything. And the sponge-baths ..." Amy smiled dreamily, recalling some of the particulars.

Michael spit some of his vodka out. "Hideous. That is hideous."

"How was I supposed to know he was already married to a girl in another tree?" It had turned out Rainn had a type. The song changed, and Greta bobbed her head. There was an air of familiarity to this song, but she didn't think she knew it. It was just a sense of nostalgia in the beat, in the surprisingly gentle tones of the girl crooning across the bass. She did not have a type, not like Rainn, but if she did it would be a DJ who played music like this.

"I thought you shared everything." Summer's eyes could not have rolled any further without getting lost back there.

"Wait, wait, remember the time you got engaged at Burning Man?" Greta added through her giggles. "To the trash collector?"

"He was a recycling specialist. And he treated me like a goddess. Until the LSD wore off and he realized I wasn't actually one." Amy seemed not to like the turn this evening was taking. "So what? So what if I've been unlucky in love? A few more times than most? At least I haven't hidden my sentimentality beneath a tough-as-nails exterior like you, Summer. Or closed myself off to it entirely, like you, Greta.

"The right one's going to come along for me. And for you, too, naysayers." She squinted at them. Greta couldn't tell if she was trying to look serious, or cut the booze-induced blurriness.

"It better. I'm about sick of being the token escort," Michael teased.

"Oh, like your love life is so awesome." Greta leaned over to shove him, but under-reached and hit Summer instead. She tried to move back, gave up, and stayed slumped against her friend instead.

"Ow!" Summer shoved Greta upright and hit Michael. "That was meant for you."

"Look, I'm not the one wearing my seventh bridesmaid's dress. And I always leave these things with at least one phone number. Which is more than I can say for any of you." He glanced out at the dance floor and winked at a groomsman.

"Well, it's not my fault Amy has the worst taste in men and we keep having to veto her choices." Summer was still rubbing her shoulder. She reached over Amy to grab the bottle.

"It's not my fault Summer thinks she can only date fictional men." Greta held her shot glass out with a slightly wobbly hand.

"It's not my fault Greta thinks she's dating us." Amy held out her glass too.

"You three are the most ridiculous people I have ever met. If you all hate each other's taste so much, why don't you just figure it out for each other? Seeing as you guys know everything, and all. I'll be on the dance floor." Michael slammed his vodka down and went off to join a conga line behind the groomsman in question.

The girls stared at each other. Had it really been so obvious all along? Amy always picked men based on their causes, not their worth. Summer and Greta knew that. But then, Greta and Amy always knew that Summer was too scared that after the third date, no one would live up to her expectations. And Summer and Amy were extremely vocal about Greta's jaded attitude keeping her from dating at all.

Once Michael pointed it out, they knew just what to do. One by one, they spit in the tequila and linked pinkies, ignoring a nasty glare from the mother of the groom. Salt, shot, lime, and it was set in stone.

They were totally picking each other's dates from then on.

"Now that's settled, shall we dance?" Amy stood up and started doing the body roll.

"I need more margaritas if I'm going to dance. I'm not done with this — this yet. Let's write out our boyfriend specifications. I have a few brilliant ideas for you two." Greta had ideas all right. Lots of them. She grabbed a nearby cocktail napkin.

"I'm on my fourth, there's no way my handwriting is going to make sense in the morning. Shouldn't we have a family meeting when we're sober instead?" Summer was shaking her ass in her seat and casting longing looks at the Tootsie Roll happening on the floor. But when Greta made up her mind, she could not be swayed.

"I'm gonna — hic — even let you do me first." She was being over-generous; tequila always brought out that quality in her.

"That's what she said," Summer giggled. "Okay, then. Gimme some paper. Or ... something. Gimme something." She snatched Greta's napkin.

Amy produced a lipliner from her fake-leather clutch. The look of glee on her face almost made Greta take back her offer. They definitely should not have had that last shot.

"Firstly. A hottie. You haven't dated in so long, you can't just say yes to the first average dudebro." She nodded in agreement with herself.

"I would not date a dudebro, Drunk Amy. That can be marked off the list immediately. But what's wrong with an average guy? They'd probably be okay with my quirks. And I am okay with that."

"Greta Steinburg, what you call quirks, the rest of us see for the copouts they are. When you pull this whole, 'oh I can't possibly go out, because my ward will want to watch Doctor Who' bullshit, we all know you are forcing the poor child you nanny to come watch television with you in your apartment." Amy giggled like a madwoman.

"Or how you never come to pizza night cause you have gluuuuten problems. But it's really cause you have don't wanna wear paaaants problems!" she added through her laughter.

"Not fair. I do too have gluten problems. With or without pants on." Greta wasn't entirely certain she'd made her point. Anyway, she liked staying in with Mina, so what? She actually enjoyed her job and Mina was awesome and shared her tastes in quality television shows. Not to mention that being a live-in nanny meant she tailored her schedule to match the nine year-old's, and not the other way around. Social lives always suffered when kids were involved, and that was how it should be. Only people like her father, and possibly Mina's, didn't seem to accept that.

"I call bullshit. You know it, we know it. Doesn't really matter what you admit." Summer always told it like it was, and when she had a few drinks, well, she was brutally honest.

Greta sighed heavily. How could it be that her friends were tougher on her than her siblings? It was Angie's wedding, but her sister was kind enough not to seat her next to an eligible bachelor the groom knew. Because Ang knew her little sister was just flat out not interested. In fact, her entire family had long ago stopped trying to set her up.

It was just her pseudosisters now. Amy and Summer, in whom hope sprang eternal that if one of them found true love, the others would swiftly fall like dominoes.

As she formulated her rebuttal, the DJ looked up and caught her eye. Her first instinct was to look down, uncomfortable at being caught staring, but something about the searching look he gave her made her feel pinned in place. Even across the room, she could see his eyes were a startlingly green. With a deft flick of his wrist, the song changed seamlessly into something slower, and couples began to pair up on the floor.

"Just like that," Summer was muttering. Greta wrenched her eyes away from his magnetic gaze to glance down at the napkin, which now said things like "tall," "dirty blonde," "lean," and "DJ". Oh, no.

"Seriously, can I not even admire the view without you two reading something into it?" She wasn't just pretending to be annoyed. Drunk Amy was notorious for getting blabbermouthy, and the last thing Greta wanted was for her friend to accost this poor DJ. Poor, hot DJ. Poor, smoking hot DJ. She wasn't going to look back. Nope.

She looked back. His eyes were still on her, not lasciviously, but almost thoughtful. Maybe she looked like someone he knew, she thought. People occasionally told her she reminded them of Amy Winehouse, with her small frame, big hair, and thick eye makeup. Unlike Amy, she was completely drug free. There was one hundred percent less heroin involved in her own look, just genetics, the aforementioned gluten sensitivity, and MAC. His attention returned to the decks in front of him, and she was able to study him closer.

In the sea of semi-formal wear bobbing on the floor, he stood out in a casual white button-down and straight-leg jeans. She took stock of him, his hair was short but unkempt like he mussed it often, setting off his shockingly green eyes. His look screamed casual but he was laser focused on the music as if everyone fell away and he had the room to himself. He barely nodded his head to the beat, as if restrained by his own focus on keeping it going ...

"You've got champagne taste, my friend," came Summer's voice in her ear, Damn it, she had to stop staring. "DJ Force is like the hottest thing on the San Fran music scene. Didn't you see his big write-up on the SFRightNow blog last week? They say he's like the Californian Calvin Harris."

In fact, Greta had stopped her subscription to that blog a month prior, after they had slammed her favorite gluten-free brewery as a hipster-catnip waste of time. She eyeballed DJ Force and idly wondered what kind of beer he liked.

"He's playing my sister's wedding. If this is champagne taste, I'm afraid I'm buying Andre," Greta turned to grin at the other girl. "And what kind of a name is Force, anyway?"

"He's friends with Matt. Your new brother-in-law? I'm shocked that you didn't know this. Force may not be the best name, but hey, with a face like that and the talent he's got, he can call himself anything he wants. I'm not kicking him out of bed for eating crackers." Summer waggled her eyebrows.

"I don't see why you would. He could even have some Cheez Wiz in bed with those crackers." The gestures Amy was making just a little too vigorously left no doubt that Cheez Wiz was a euphemism.

"Gross, you guys! You know I tune out wedding talk. That's what my other sisters are for. I'm just the eternal bridesmaid, that's my role. And I'm not going to bed with anyone, crackers or not, much less someone who calls himself Force."

"Your loss. I bet he knows a thing or two about rhythm. And its not like your disposition has been improved by all the times you didn't go to bed with someone. I'd hire you a sex partner if I thought you'd take me up on it." Summer's brows were going again. It was difficult to be annoyed at someone so enthusiastically silly.

"You know full well I'm not bringing a guy home to my boss's house. I am done with this conversation!" Greta raised her voice to be heard over the opening notes of That Thing You Do. This was one of her favorite songs, and DJ Force was creating a remix, infusing it with a few different melodies. She was digging it. Maybe those music bloggers were on to something. She pulled Summer by the arm. "Come on, let's dance!"

She chose not to dwell on the fact that the dance floor would give her a much nicer view of the unfortunately-named DJ in question.

And she couldn't dance, Jon mentally added to the list of reasons why he shouldn't continue staring at the pint-sized beauty on the floor before him. The list was actually more of a multi-circular Venn diagram, and this girl fell into the intersection of "no more girls while building career," "no dating mates' sisters," and "seriously, though, no mates' sisters."

Her arms were flailing a bit like she might break into the chicken dance, and her legs were shuffling. She knew every word to the song, yet somehow couldn't identify a beat anywhere. But she looked like she was having a blast. It was charming.

Confidence always was.

The fact that she could be confident and silly was refreshing. He scanned the crowd, taking in the confectionary bridesmaid dresses interspersed with the half-drunk guests smiling and dancing ... or, well, trying. Wobbling was a better term than dancing after a bit too much of the champagne.

He had to admit, when Matt had asked him to DJ this wedding, he groaned. A wedding, really? One of the perks of growing fame was never doing weddings again. But he owed Matt a favor, after the guy had coached him through a nasty breakup, and saying out loud that he was too good for weddings was a bit shit, wasn't it? So although he would rather turn in his decks then admit it, he was having a great time. When people came to his shows, they knew they liked him. Watching people who'd never once heard his name respond to his music ... that was a drug.

Jon knew he was talented and more than a little bit lucky, but when your star was on the rise, everyone wanted a ride. The clubs, the parties, the girls ... all fun, all exhausting. He never knew who wanted him, and who just wanted a piece of fame. Even if it was semifame. He glanced over at his dancing hot mess.

She looked up at him for a brief moment before blushing and looking back at the girl in a matching dress she'd dragged out to the dance floor. That was the difference, right there. It was her seeming reluctance to connect with him. The models and wannabe singers who set their sights on him had done just that — made sure he knew they were looking. Made sure he knew they were willing to go to bed with him if he was willing to introduce them to the right people, get them into the right clubs.

It was gross, really, the transactional aspect of becoming famous. Emotionless sex-for-a step-up. How easily people were willing to trade their souls for the promise of stardom. How little that promise had to be in order to deserve their attention, their bodies. People who probably grew up with dreams beyond his, but settled for selling themselves to the lowest bidder.

What was even sadder was that Jon was so easily duped into thinking that his ex, Leah, she of the nasty break up, was different. How quickly he fell for the first pretty face that also happened to have a brain behind it; a brain that recognized his insecurities and used them to wrap him around her conniving little finger.


Excerpted from "That Thing You Do"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Kayti McGee.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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That Thing You Do 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
I won a copy of this book from Goodreads giveaways. I was not required to give a favorable review. This was a wonderful book. 3 young girls became friends in kindergarten and made a pack as teens and now they are adults and have been bridesmaids more than they can count. This time it is at Greta's sisters wedding and the DJ is kinda cute. Little did she know that he as one British, two a friend of her brother in law and really cool. He has a bet with her sister he can date her she has a list with her friends for the perfect guy. Little did she know it was him. She was never to fall in love or get married. Boy how things can change. This is a great beginning to the series, I want to know what happens to the other girls.
Holly More than 1 year ago
That Thing You Do is the story of how a bet will lead to something more than a woman will ever imagine. Greta has always been the bridesmaid but never the bride an she's happy with that for all the bad relationships she's been in. Her friends want her to be happy so they set her up with a DJ named Jon. After meeting Jon, Greta comes up with a plan to save her heart with setting up fake dates with Jon but as the story goes, Greta learns that love comes in the most unexpected way that she never dreamed of happening! I'm torn about this book, I stuck in between loving it and just liking it. As soon as you start reading it, you can figure out what the ending is gonna be like but there is a moment that something bad happens that I never saw coming that made this story even better for what was happening. I kinda wished that the ending was a little different but overall, this was a good love story that was made for days that you just need to read something light-hearted and fun! Thank You to Kayti McGee for writing a story that introduced me to your stories that are great for days that you just need a fun, romantic read! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley!
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
Society seems to forget, there would be no bromance, if sisters of the heart never paved the way. Kayti McGee, makes that point loud and clear with her ode to sisterhood, That Thing You Do. It's a tale of friendship and finding that special someone. Not only do we get to fall in love with Greta on her quest for true love, we get to explore the bond she has with her best friends.
tsmb02 More than 1 year ago
Greta and her two best friends, Amy and Summer make a pact when they were one can get married to a guy unless the other two both give their approval! Fast forward 11 years and her friends are making another pact....two of the friends will pick the guy for the other girl to date. At Greta sister's Angie's wedding, Greta is drowning her sorrows with her two best friends when she notices the cute DJ, Jon. Ends up he is good friends with the groom. Also great is that the DJ had already noticed her! Summer and Amy decide the hot DJ is who Greta has to date! Greta's on the floor dancing and keeping Jon amused. Just when he thinks Greta is going to approach him, she takes off. He asks the bride and groom who that bridesmaid was. Angie explains it is her sister, and good luck with that. A small bet ensues and now Jon is up for the challenge. He meets up with Greta in the coat room with a fun exchange and she ends up with his coat and phone number. Greta wants to pretend to date Jon to appease her friends, but he really wants to date her so they agree for every pretend date that Greta sets up, Jon will set up a real date. Oh, was this fun. Greta kept picking things that she thought would scar off Jon (think Harry Potter!), while Jon picked things that would reel Greta in closer. It was so enjoyable to watch these two pretend date/really date. Of course, as things started to get serious, Greta freaked out. Jon realized that he needed to do something dramatic with Greta to really get her attention....and boy did he. I really enjoyed both of these characters. Jon was so dreamy and add in that British accent and SWOON! Greta just wanted to be loved but was so afraid to try. Add in Greta's two crazy friends, along with Mina, the tween that Greta was a nanny for for and it makes for a great, enjoyable story. Be warned, you will laugh and cry during this one. It really tugged at my heart strings.
astroyic More than 1 year ago
Charming, Sweet & Sexy! Romantic Comedy at its Best! If you want to read something entertaining, charming, sweet and sexy, with a good amount of heat, lol moments full of sass, as well as heart, this is it. Kayti McGee is a new author to me and I am so glad I found her. I Loved this refreshing storyline with hilarious banter and sexual chemistry that is off the charts. 
Greta Steinburg and her two best friends made a pact at the age of fifteen that they, would never marry without the agreement of all of them. So after always being the bridesmaid, but never the bride, Greta, finds herself manipulated into another pact, allowing her trusted friends to pick her next date, the DJ from her sister’s wedding. But for Greta no man had ever failed to disappoint her, from her father to the string of ex-boyfriends that had led her to stop dating in the first place. She was not going to let them, set her up for heartbreak now. So she comes up with a great plan to trick her friends into thinking that she is putting herself out there, by talking “DJ Force” or Jon Hargrove into going out on some fake dates with her. 
Jon Hargrove is the hottest thing on the San Francisco music scene. He is also friends with Greta’s new brother in law Matt. Tired of being wanted and used only for what people can get from him. When he sees a gorgeous, silly, carefree girl at the wedding he volunteered to DJ at for his best friend, it is her seeming reluctance to connect with him, that draws him in. He is tired of the fake relationship game, and is ready to settle down with the one. Could it be fate that has him meeting her in the coat room as she is leaving? Or will Greta’s quirky idea about fake dating be the end? 
But Jon is so much more than Greta expected, and he has a condition to her fake dates. For every fake date there would be a real date. Let the games begin and the sizzling chemistry fire up. Because their heartwarming romance will give you all the feels, I laughed, I cried, I melted, I swooned. I Loved It!
Highly Recommended. 
Received an arc through the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily wrote an honest review.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
That Thing you do is a cute, fun, sexy read that was completely entertaining! It's very well written with great characters and a story that had me flipping page after page. Greta is such a fun character and she and Jon work so wonderfully together. Olivia is a bit disillusioned about love and relationships so when her friends start trying to fix her up she decides to take matters into her own hands. She makes a deal with Jon for several fake dates to make it look like she's perfectly happy and not needing any help dating. Of course she never counted on the sparks that fly between them or the feelings that start to develop. Could she have had everything all wrong? Don't miss this one. I highly recommend it.
kgagnon More than 1 year ago
This is a sweet and sexy romance. It started out when Greta and her friends were young teens trying to figure out love and how not to have their hearts broken. They make a pact that they will only date men who they all agree on. Fast forward a decade and they are all at Greta's sister's wedding as Greta mourns being a bridesmaid yet again. As the friends have a few too many drinks, Greta catches the eye of the sexy DJ playing music. Her friends talk her into dating him. Greta doesn't thing she is capable of love, and decides to fake date him to get them off her back. Jon the DJ is tired of being used for his fame and wants to find someone to settle down with. He agrees to fake date Greta if she will date him for real as well. When you try to pull one over on your friends, what could go wrong? So begins a fun and flirty, hot and steamy story of finding true love in unexpected places. Jon is so sweet, kind, and sexy. He easily charms Greta's friends, the adorable little girl, Mina, who Greta takes care of, but also drawing in Greta as well. I was a bit frustrated with some of Greta's decisions and actions but I loved the twist and grand gesture at the end. There are some emotional situations and twists that keep this story flowing. I loved the unconditional support from Gretas wonderful and funny, family and friends. If you like fun, heartfelt, emotional and hot and steamy romance, you will definitely enjoy this book.