The Best Friend Incident

The Best Friend Incident

by Melia Alexander

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Overview

The Best Friend Incident by Melia Alexander

The friend zone just got a lot hotter...

Stacey Winters is in love with love, but so far, she’s only found Mr. Dud, Mr. Cheater, and Mr. Boring. Even though her best friend Grant isn’t an option, at least being around him offers her a window into the male psyche—and sets the bar high for her future Mr. Right.

But then she accidentally crosses the friend zone and kisses him, and it starts to feel a little too much like he might be what she’s been looking for...

Grant Phillips doesn’t do relationships. A casualty of the foster care system, he knows people are just looking for a reason to bolt. "No attachments" is his hard and fast rule. There's only one exception: his best friend, Stacey. He refuses to jeopardize what they have.

But now that he knows how good it felt to kiss her, felt the addictive slide of her body against his, Stacey Winters is indelibly stamped onto Grant's brain—and not just as his friend.

He is so screwed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640635159
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 04/09/2018
Series: Driven to Love , #2
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 207
Sales rank: 77,915
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

A native of Guam,Melia Alexander is the author of sassy, sexy, fun contemporary romances. She’s fortunate to work at The Male Observation Lab (a.k.a. her day job at a construction company), where she’s able to observe guys in their natural habitat. In her free time, she’s busy conquering her CrossFit fears: ring dips, power cleans, and the dreaded 800 meter run. Her family appreciates her attempts at cooking and cleaning, although she uses that time to mostly daydream about her characters, which sometimes results in a burnt meal and a half-cleaned house.Visit http://meliaalexander.com to learn more about her.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Stacey Winters stopped outside her apartment door, steeling herself with a breath of cool, central Oregon air. This was it. Her boyfriend was back in Milestone, and tonight, they were taking their five-week relationship to the next level. Leo had texted that he'd picked up the key she'd left at the music venue where he'd perform this week, and would be on the other side of her door, waiting.

For her.

Stacey shivered. With anticipation, of course. This guy was "the one," she was sure of it.

It didn't make her any less nervous, though.

Focus. She slid her key into the lock. Seriously. How come the first time with a guy was always so nerve-racking? Leo was rock-star hot — fitting, since music was, in fact, what he did for a living. Really, she needed to just relax and enjoy the ride.

She paused in the doorway. Wait. Was that an Ariana Grande ballad drifting down the hallway from her bedroom? She blinked, and fluttering butterflies took flight in her belly. He'd put on something she enjoyed instead of playing his own music on a constant loop? That was ... unexpected. And very, very sweet.

Softly closing the door behind her, Stacey surveyed the dim room ... and spotted a trail of rose petals leading down the carpeted hallway. She pressed a hand to her chest, like she could actually touch the melty giddiness coursing through her. That was exactly the kind of romance she loved, and here he was, serving it up on a rose petal — covered platter.

Further proof that she and Leo were meant to be together, right?

She grinned. The rest of her life was clicking into place — all that was missing was her lifelong, hopelessly romantic dream of being part of a head-over-heels-in-love couple. After a string of failures, it was about time she found her real match.

Anticipation gripped her heart as she followed the trail of fragile petals. Tomorrow she'd gather them and preserve them in a keepsake box. It'd be fun to have something to show her and Leo's grandchildren. But right now, it was time for the best kind of adult fun.

Her bedroom was like the deep end of a cave, thanks to the blackout curtains she'd installed, but soft snores filled the space. From the sound of things, Leo was jet-lagged. Three weeks touring with his band in Asia was bound to catch up with him. At least he was here.

She bit her lip. Should she wake him up or let him sleep? He'd been just as eager to do this when they'd last spoken ...

Seize the moment. The phrase might be clichÃ(c)d, but Stacey had sworn by it since she was a child. In a world that only rewarded action, you had to create what you wanted. Case in point, she was in the middle of turning her passion project, Dinners for Two, into a thriving company.

Waking him up it is. If he wasn't interested, she'd settle for a night of snuggling.

She pulled off her boots and socks, then moved on to her jeans. Leo would have plenty of opportunities to take her clothes off tomorrow. It was a shame he wouldn't see her new coordinated panty and bra set, though. The lace brushed against her nipples when she pulled her sweater off to join the pile of clothing on the floor, and she shivered. She'd felt bold, brazen, and totally in control the second she'd slipped on the pieces earlier that afternoon, and she clung to that confidence as she stood in her pitch-black room, trying to decide the best way to tempt a sleeping man back into consciousness.

Hands out, she shuffled forward, groping for her bed. It wasn't quite the same thing as strutting across the room in a thong and high heels, but that was okay. She'd rock his world once she got into bed. If she could find the dang thing.

Her hands found their target and she crawled in. But instead of warm male skin, she encountered denim. Stacey frowned. Leo was still fully dressed and lying on his side, facing the framed print of Chinaman Hat that hung on her wall.

That he was facing that particular print made the situation even more exciting. At her sister's urging, Stacey had followed local folklore and burned an offering at that very mountain a couple of months ago, all in order to find her true love.

Shortly after that, she'd met Leo when he and his band played at the resort near Chinaman Hat at the exact time she'd set a Dinners for Two event. It seemed fitting to have found the love of her life on the same night she'd helped another couple with their own happily ever after.

How was that for fate?

She leaned toward him, breathed in deeply, and frowned. The allergy meds she'd taken earlier must be messing with her because he smelled ... different. Familiar, but not what she expected. Maybe she'd forgotten what he smelled like. It had been a few weeks, and they hadn't spent that much time together before he left.

Never mind that, though. Concentrating, she reached out a hand and trailed her fingers over his upper arm.

Leo didn't move.

Hmm. She traced her fingers back toward his shoulder. Nice muscles. Better than she remembered. He'd been talking about hitting the gym when the tour ended, laughing that he'd need to bulk up if he were to keep up with her need for adventure, but clearly he'd gotten a head start. He must've wanted it to be a surprise, and she definitely wasn't complaining.

She'd joked with her best friend, Grant, that she could only get serious about a guy who was fit enough to mountain bike around the trails at Chinaman Hat. There wasn't a doubt now that he'd make it.

Slowly, deliberately, she rubbed her breasts against his bare arm, loving the friction so much her nipples tightened into hard peaks underneath the thin lace.

She brushed a kiss across his cheek, felt the stubble on her lips, and smiled. Stacey closed her eyes and, to the beat of Ariana Grande's sexy, sensual song, slowly trailed a line of kisses toward his mouth. He turned, capturing her lips and parting for her.

She whimpered. His lips were full, soft, the sense of familiarity and homecoming so palpable her heart ached. So good ...

The kiss started off gentle, sweet. His tongue swept into her mouth, teased hers until she moaned. Delicious tingles raced through her as the kiss deepened, intensifying until every nerve ending pulsed with an awareness Stacey had never experienced before.

She shifted, straddling him as he ran his hands over her hips, her waist ... She'd known she'd wanted Leo, but until now she hadn't realized how badly she wanted him. Anticipation pooled between her legs, his kisses searing her, touching a part of her soul. And that's when she knew deep down that she'd truly, finally found "the one."

It was about damned time.

* * *

Somethin' 'bout you makes me feel like a dangerous woman ...

Grant Phillips wasn't a big believer in dreams or what they meant, but he did believe in living in the moment, and so far, Ariana Grande was un- fucking-believable. If he made her feel like a dangerous woman, that was fine by him. The passion in her words translated to the hot kisses she trailed across his cheek, to the way she captured his mouth, and definitely to the way she pressed her tits against him.

Somethin' 'bout you makes me wanna do things that I shouldn't ...

And why not? They were both adults ...

Grant turned, wrapped an arm around her small waist, and let his hand trail up one side as she straddled him.

Oh yeah, baby.

He lifted his hips and deepened the kiss until she moaned and ground herself against him. A moment later, her citrus scent registered. She smelled like freshly picked lemons. He liked lemons. A lot.

Lemons?

Wait. There was only one woman he knew who smelled like lemons ...

He stilled his hands, forced his fuzzy, sleep-deprived brain into gear, and shifted just enough so he could reach for the bedside lamp. In the sudden circle of light, he blinked, felt the weight of the woman on him, and heard her gasp all at the same time as two things registered.

First, Ariana Grande wasn't there. Second, he hadn't seen his best friend so pissed off since the time he hid a harmless garter snake in her locker back in high school. Only now, it didn't make much sense. What was she —

"Grant! What the hell?"

He stared at the startled expression on Stacey's face, then glanced around the room. He was in her bed. She was straddling his lap, naked. Kinda naked, anyway. The barely-there black lace she wore didn't technically count as clothing, did it?

Then the whole evening came rushing back at him in stunning clarity. That night's awful first date ... the need to hash through the gory details with his best friend while they watched Netflix ... Only, when he'd arrived at her apartment, Stacey's jerk boyfriend was already there.

By the time he'd gotten rid of the guy, Grant was too tired to pull out the laptop and load an action flick. He'd put some music on and crashed on her bed instead. Just like he'd done countless times.

"What the fucking hell are you doing here?" she demanded again.

Oh, shit. He really wasn't dreaming.

"Stacey." His voice was hoarse. From shock, no doubt. After all, how often did a guy see his best friend almost as naked as the day she came into this world?

She crossed her arms over her breasts and scrambled off him, but not before he got an eyeful of her gorgeously ripe nipples pushing against the black lace, or saw the mortification stamped on her face.

The hell of it was, his dick hadn't gotten word that the woman he'd been playing a tongue duet with had turned out to be the one woman whose friendship he'd never risk losing. His hands, either, because they tried to grab her back. He fisted the sheets and hoped she didn't cut them off.

The look she shot him was hard. Carbon steel hard, and he was pretty sure if they were back on their old grade-school playground, she'd deck him. Hell, he wasn't convinced that right now, crouched on the floor and peeking up at him, she wouldn't attempt something like that again. "Where's Leo?"

Leo? Oh, right. Her latest in a long line of guys she'd sworn was "the one." "I threw him out."

"Why the hell did you do that?" The words were quietly spoken, but she was pissed. All that anger would erupt into a firestorm in about three ... two ...

"You had no right to throw him out!" Her voice inched up an octave, which, given how long they'd known each other, wasn't much of a surprise. Indignation and rage rose out of her eyes like steam from the copper still at Mile High Desert Distillery where he worked.

Her eyes continued doing the fire and brimstone thing. "Just who the hell do you think you are, Grant Phillips? The King of Milestone? I want you out of my apartment. Now."

He frowned. Did she really not know her boyfriend was a cheating bastard? Did he want to be the one to tell her the guy'd had his wedding ring on and was talking to another woman when Grant had let himself in?

He began to sit up. "Stace —"

"Don't you dare move." She glared at him, her brown eyes on the verge of becoming lethal weapons.

"Leave. Don't move. Make up your mind, already." He leaned back again and looked pointedly at her. "Why don't you put a robe on or something?"

"Turn on your side."

No problem there. He rolled away, only to catch her reflection in the glass covering the framed print of Chinaman Hat on the wall. He tried to pull his gaze away, but damn it, his brain seemed to have decided he liked what he was seeing.

She had curves. Gorgeous curves. On someone so petite she could've appeared plump, but she wasn't. She was perfectly proportioned. Her long, brown hair, normally in a ponytail, flowed freely down her back. Tugging on it could be a lot of fun ...

What the hell was he doing? He shouldn't be thinking about things like that, and he shouldn't be staring, either. After all, Stacey was like a sister to him. They'd grown up together, and she was the first friend he'd made when he'd been sent to live with his foster parents. His first set of foster parents.

She was his best friend, damn it.

He pulled his gaze away from the glass when she yanked her closet door open. "You've got some nerve, you know that?"

He swallowed, then took a stab at the conversation, hoping she hadn't caught him staring like a prepubescent boy. "For what? Throwing Cleo out? I was doing you a favor."

"Leo," she said. "His name is Leo."

"Leo the liar," he muttered. If there was one thing Grant couldn't stand, it was liars. Like the foster parents who'd sworn over and over there was nothing wrong with him, even as they turned him over to his next set of temporary parents.

"What?"

Damn it. He hated to be the one to tell her. Really, it was disappointing. Hadn't he taught her enough about his species to make an intelligent choice in the guy department? "What the hell were you thinking, giving a complete stranger a key to your place?"

"We've been dating for five weeks, moron."

"Yeah, and he's been gone for three of those five weeks." He'd heard enough of her pining after the idiot to know that much. "Do the math. He's practically a stranger. Plus, he had that stupid trail of rose petals to your bedroom."

"It's romantic. Not that you'd understand."

Romantic? He rolled his eyes. "Guys only do stuff like that so they can get laid."

"Maybe I wanted to get laid."

He grimaced, but not for the right reasons. He did not like the idea of that asshat touching her. "Should we be having this conversation? You know, since I'm in your bed and all?"

"Very funny. You can turn around now."

He turned over, then scooted to a sitting position on the bed, just like all the other times he'd been in it while they watched Netflix and ate popcorn. One thing was for sure, he'd probably never be able to watch another movie in bed with her without remembering the feel of her body on his.

"Look, Stace, if he really cared about you, he'd have made a trail to the kitchen where there'd be dinner. But instead, what'd he do? He had his dick ready and waiting in your bed." Sort of, anyway. When Grant had walked in, the guy was pacing her living room, telling some "babe" that he was in Cleveland. He'd even had the nerve to hold his finger up in the universal signal for Grant to remain quiet. And that's when he'd seen the wedding band. Bastard.

Shit. If he was gonna tell her, there wasn't ever really a good time, was there? Might as well get it over with. "He's married."

"What?" Her eyes widened. "He is not married." She slowly enunciated every word and crossed her arms, then her eyes narrowed into thin slits. "How could you say that?"

"Because it's true." He shoved a hand through his hair. "Look, do you think I'd tell you something like that if it wasn't true? Think about it. The guy's never in Milestone except for a few days here. Just enough time to play a couple of concerts, then he's off to the next stop. Or so he says. What do you really know about him, Stace?"

She stuck her chin out, a mixture of defiance and flat-out adorableness.

He gave himself a mental shake. Adorable wasn't how he should be referring to his best friend.

"If that's true," she said, "how come he's never pressed me to sleep with him?"

"Do I really have to answer that?" Grant knew his species, knew that guys like Leo would prey on any female who seemed remotely willing. And if one said no it didn't matter, because there was always one who would say yes.

He took a deep breath. "I saw his wedding ring."

"Oh, God." The whispered words tugged at his heart, made him clench his fists. He should've punched the asshole before throwing him out.

Her shoulders sagged and her face crumpled for a moment, just long enough for him to recognize the pain and disappointment. But there'd be no tears. As sensitive as Stacey was, he hadn't seen her cry since they were in grade school. And back then it was because she'd given a boy a black eye for pulling on her braids.

She swallowed, lifted her chin, and her face morphed back into a woman in control. "I guess he wasn't the guy I thought he was after all."

"Hey, I'm sorry."

"That's it. I'm done with this conversation." She stared at him, her eyes flashing as she crossed her arms. "Get out. Now."

Not until he'd done damage control. He folded his hands behind his head and settled in. "Shouldn't we talk about this? You know, they say couples should never go to bed angry."

"I've seriously had it, Grant."

"Fine." So much for trying to lighten the mood. Under normal circumstances she'd have taken his lead and they'd be laughing by now. He blew out a breath and rolled off the bed, then reached for his sneakers. "For the record, you were the one kissing me."

"Because I thought you were someone else."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Best Friend Incident"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Melia Alexander.
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.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Best Friend Incident 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
OpheliaOA More than 1 year ago
This is the second book that I’ve read from Melia Alexander and I can honestly say that I was not disappointed. Stacey and Grant are best friends who than turned into lovers. They might not have started hooking up in the hopes of starting a relationship but after one kiss they could not stop the feelings that were let loose. Grant has commitment issues and Stacey is looking for a HEA so both were very hesitant going into their friends with benefits arrangement but one taste and they both start to realize that their is no better relationship then being in love with your best friend. I really loved this story line and I can’t wait to read more like it. A must read!!!! *** I was given this ARC by NetGalley as an exchange for an honest review.
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
I truly love best friends to lovers stories. And this one was spicy from the very first pages. When I started reading the first scene, I was like Oh yeah, this is going to be good, so good. I absolutely adored Stacey and Grant. They worked well together, supported each other, and both afraid of their friendship turning into something more. But once it did, it was golden. Until it wasn't. That hit me hard especially after the sad feeling with Stacey's client. But the ending was very sweet and perfect for Grant and Stacey. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Danii_045 More than 1 year ago
A romantic comedy which is funny and sexy. Yes, please! The best friend Incident ticked all the right boxes. Stacey has a new boyfriend Leo. He works out of town and is a little too good to be true. He's a sexy travelling musician and Stacey has convinced herself he is the one. Stacey is an old romantic. She believes a man should hold the door and treat his women like a lady. When Stacey returns to her home she is about to get a huge shock. Her sexy night with the man of her dreams might not go as expected but it definitely helps her find her ever after. Grant has commitment issues. His mother abandoned him when he was younger and he has never recovered. He isn't looking for Mrs Right. He is looking for Ms right now. Stacey and Grant have been best friends for a long time. They have never considered more with each other until the "incident". Now everything has changed and these two need to work out what they want. Their relationship is a mess. Lustful looks and some sexy talk. This is a sweet friend to more romance. It has Witty banter and a good storyline. 4.5 stars out of 5. *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I love books like this. Sassy and sexy rolled into one fun read
Danii_045 More than 1 year ago
A romantic comedy which is funny and sexy. Yes, please! The best friend Incident ticked all the right boxes. Stacey has a new boyfriend Leo. He works out of town and is a little too good to be true. He's a sexy travelling musician and Stacey has convinced herself he is the one. Stacey is an old romantic. She believes a man should hold the door and treat his women like a lady. When Stacey returns to her home she is about to get a huge shock. Her sexy night with the man of her dreams might not go as expected but it definitely helps her find her ever after. Grant has commitment issues. His mother abandoned him when he was younger and he has never recovered. He isn't looking for Mrs Right. He is looking for Ms right now. Stacey and Grant have been best friends for a long time. They have never considered more with each other until the "incident". Now everything has changed and these two need to work out what they want. Their relationship is a mess. Lustful looks and some sexy talk. This is a sweet friend to more romance. It has Witty banter and a good storyline. 4.5 stars out of 5. *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I love books like this. Sassy and sexy rolled into one fun read
Danii_045 More than 1 year ago
A romantic comedy which is funny and sexy. Yes, please! The best friend Incident ticked all the right boxes. Stacey has a new boyfriend Leo. He works out of town and is a little too good to be true. He's a sexy travelling musician and Stacey has convinced herself he is the one. Stacey is an old romantic. She believes a man should hold the door and treat his women like a lady. When Stacey returns to her home she is about to get a huge shock. Her sexy night with the man of her dreams might not go as expected but it definitely helps her find her ever after. Grant has commitment issues. His mother abandoned him when he was younger and he has never recovered. He isn't looking for Mrs Right. He is looking for Ms right now. Stacey and Grant have been best friends for a long time. They have never considered more with each other until the "incident". Now everything has changed and these two need to work out what they want. Their relationship is a mess. Lustful looks and some sexy talk. This is a sweet friend to more romance. It has Witty banter and a good storyline. 4.5 stars out of 5. *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I love books like this. Sassy and sexy rolled into one fun read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read – not great – sweet story. Best part of this book was Justin and Martha. Likable characters Grant and Stacey just didn’t have much to do with anything. Okay for a quick read. I was given a copy of this book for an honest review.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
Stacey Winters loves the idea of being in love but has yet to find it. The only constant male in her life it her best friend, Grant Phillips and they are very supportive of each other but nothing more . . . or are they? When she returns home expecting her boyfriend to be there she strips and slips into bed with him - but it isn’t her boyfriend, the man in her bed is Grant! Their kisses alter their relationship and expectations for both of them. However, she’s still looking for her HEA whilst he has commitment issues after being shuffled around the foster care system. Can they learn to trust each other and give their love a chance to develop and flourish? I’m going to be honest from the start in this review and admit that my favourite character in this delightful romcom wasn’t the hero or heroine but was Justin, a wise octogenarian who is still very much in love with his wife of more than sixty years. I think he’s the kind of man most women would love to have loving them - kind, considerate and still very much in love with her after all those years. As a couple they are so sweet! This is a sweet romance written with humour and just a touch of angst. It is a great read when you’re looking for something light, fun and romantic to read I requested and was lucky enough to be given a copy of this novel, via NetGalley, with no obligation. This is my honest review of the book after choosing to read it.
westgirlds More than 1 year ago
Although I found this book to be a bit challenging to get into initially, I did enjoy it! I found the flow of the first few chapters to be a bit off. I would definitely read another book by Melia Alexander. I look forward to reading future books to see how her writing style moves forward! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
nelriv More than 1 year ago
Rcvd an ARC at no cost to author..(netgalley) This is the first that I have read from this author and she did keep me interested enough that I will most likely read another book from her. So in this book we have a friends to lovers story. Grant and Stacey have been best friends and they don't want to rock the boat, why because they both want different things. Stacey wants a committed relationship and love, while Grant doesn't believe in either of those things and he has a background that you could understand where it is coming from. My issue was the indecisiveness mainly coming from Grant and it was hard because he was really attracted to her.. So what happens? Does he give in? Does he ruin the best thing that happened to him by having Stacey as a friend or keep her in best friends status? well you need to read. I still recommend.. Enjoy!
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Best friends Grant and Stacey find their relationship changing after they accidentally end up in the same bed one night. In this cute quick read there are some great characters and a fun struggle as they come to terms with their new and changing feelings. It's well written and although predictable, it's a very entertaining read. I highly recommend this one.
FizzaYounis More than 1 year ago
It's a sweet, lighthearted; a perfect rom com. I loved it! This is my favorite kind of romance, where two best friends who are unable to find love finally find it with each other. Stacey and Grant have been friends since they were kids. Stacey believes in romance, love, happily-ever-afters, and everything that should come with it. She wants a perfect guy and a perfect love story of her own. Grant, on the other hand, hates commitment. His belief is that people leave you sooner or later so better not hope for ever-afters. They don't exist anyway. But soon they both realize that life is a mixture of good and bad, and the only way you can make it work is if you compromise a little and give others a chance. I loved both Stacey and Grant, they are perfect for each other and their story is quite entertaining. I enjoyed reading it and would definitely recommend to romance fans; don't be a cynic, just give it a try. ;)
Linda__ More than 1 year ago
This is a sexy and sweet friends to lovers novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. The author made me feel connected to the characters and feel invested in their story. I especially enjoyed Grant's back story and the way it influenced his present. Fans of the genre will love this novel and want to put it on their TBR list. While this is the first book I've read by this author, it won't be the last. I'm looking forward to reading her future books.
ArecRain More than 1 year ago
A light friends to lover story that is written with an easy enjoyable style. That being said, the story just didn’t wow. While it had its moments, the only true conflict came from Grant’s insecurities. It is a tired old trope that is tedious at best. There is nothing glaringly wrong with the novel, everything is just underwhelming.