The Trouble with Love (Sex, Love & Stiletto #4)
by Lauren Layne
As Lauren Layne’s salacious Sex, Love & Stiletto series returns, a jaded columnist discovers a steamy way to get over an old flame: falling for him all over again.
As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.
After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.
“You’re looking . . . glamorous,” Camille said, as Emma crossed her legs and carefully made sure her short satin dress didn’t ride up.
“Long story,” Emma said. Though her friends had an easy relationship with Camille, Emma was newer to the group—newer to Stiletto—and she wasn’t quite secure enough in her position at the company to run her mouth.
Not that Emma was ever one to run her mouth. She was more the live-and-let-live type.
It was a natural evolution for someone who’d grown up with a twin sister who’d had more than enough personality for the both of them. And speaking of her twin, Emma had no doubt that Daisy’s southern-belle sensibilities would probably be all why, I never! if she could see Emma’s current state of dishevelment.
Emma’s perfectly coiffed sister would have found a way to emerge from a flooded apartment looking every bit as darling as she had at the daffodil parades. All the daffodil parades.
It hadn’t been easy being Daisy Sinclair’s quiet, boring sister. When they were growing up, Daisy had been the quintessential little princess. She always wore dresses, and the dresses would never have lemonade spilled down the front like Emma’s. Daisy knew exactly what to say to boys to make them fall all over themselves, whereas Emma had been horribly shy around the opposite sex.
When Emma had gotten engaged first, she’d been braced for Daisy’s resentment. Not because Daisy was generally resentful, but because everyone—Emma included—had assumed that Daisy would be the first sister down the aisle. But nobody had been happier for Emma and Cassidy than Daisy. Because as if it weren’t enough that Daisy were the charming one, she was also good. Emma would be annoyed if she didn’t love her sister so damn much.
And as it turned out, Daisy had been the first—and only—twin to walk down the aisle after all. Of course, she’d also been the only sister to get divorced. Daisy always joked that the twins had two unshakable things in common: a face and a shit-ton of heartache.
Except Daisy hadn’t actually said the “shit-ton” part. That was Emma’s special profane spin on the situation.
“I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours,” Camille said.
Camille pointed a coral fingernail at Emma’s still-damp hair. “You tell me why you’re rocking the fresh-outta-the-shower look, and I’ll tell you while I’m leaving my darling magazine in the hands of one of the Oxford buffoons.”
Emma pursed her lips. Couldn’t argue about the buffoon part. Although she was pretty sure that, despite her boss’s words, there was plenty of mutual respect between Cassidy and Camille. Still, Camille always saw Oxford as a bit of an enemy. The competition, so to speak.
Marrying her high school sweetheart was a good start. *cue Disney soundtrack.* But Lauren wanted all romance, all the time.
Now she writes fictional happy endings, and considers her job done well if you swoon while reading her books. Don't worry. You will.
Once upon a time she lived in a Manhattan high-rise, but now she's on the laid-back train in the Seattle area. If you ever find yourself in Issaquah, she'll probably buy you a drink. Maybe.
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