Olivia Bishop is no fun. That's what her ex-husband said. And that's what her smart bob and glasses imply. So with her trademark determination, Olivia sets out to remake her life. She's going to spend time with her girlfriends and not throw it all away for some man. But when an outing with her book club leads her to a brewery taproom, the dark-haired beauty realizes that trouble--in the form of sexy Jamie Donovan--may be too tempting to avoid.
Jamie Donovan doesn't mean to be bad. Sure, the wild streak in his wicked green eyes has lured the ladies before. Now it's time to grow up. He's even ready for a serious romance. But how can that be when Olivia, the only right woman he has ever met, already has him pegged as wrong?
This wasn't a book club; it was a manhunt.
Olivia couldn't believe she'd fallen for it. Actually...she couldn't believe she'd thrown herself headfirst into it. She'd read the assigned book. Twice. She'd downloaded important discussion points. Made detailed notes. Marked up the pages. And finally, before walking into the brewery, she'd sat in her car for ten minutes, pumping herself up for this first foray into a girls-only gathering.
They're just women like me, she'd assured herself. No need to be intimidated. You'll fit right in because you'll all have the book in common.
Now here she was, sitting in the barroom of Donovan Brothers Brewery, listening to seven women discuss their current dating lives and sexual adventures. And Olivia, having no dating life or adventurous sex to contribute, sat there like a bump on a log, the book club selection clutched tight in her tense fingers.
It wasn't that she'd never had girlfriends. She'd had a best friend in high school. And one in college. And then...then she'd had her husband. Her ex was as close as she'd gotten to a best friend in the past ten years, and he'd failed pretty spectacularly at that.
She needed girlfriends, and she needed them fast.
When Gwen Abbey had invited her to join her book club, olivia had felt honored and relieved.
She should've known better. Gwen wasn't exactly the type to opine about literature. Oh, she was smart enough, but her attention flitted about like a hummingbird after a shot of espresso. She might read a book, but Olivia couldn't imagine her spending two hours talking about it afterward.
"I'm so glad you came!" Gwen whispered, putting an arm around Olivia's shoulders for a quick squeeze. "Isn't this fun?"
"Yes!" Olivia answered, feeling her fingers go numb against the slick cover of the book. She really, really wished she hadn't posted so many sticky notes in the pages. They fluttered like tiny blue banners under the breeze of the ceiling fan.
"Can you even believe how adorable he is?"
Olivia glanced automatically toward the bar, where a very young, very handsome man filled glasses at the tap. He was Jamie Donovan, she'd been informed, and his welcoming wave had set the whole table tittering a few moments ago. The tittering had been followed by promises--or threats--of what the women would do if they got Jamie Donovan alone for an hour. "Find out exactly what's under that kilt," had been a common refrain.
"So," Olivia ventured, leaning closer to Gwen, "is he the reason you guys meet at this place?"
"Heck, yeah. No reason not to have a nice view while we hang out. Plus, Marie, Alyx and Carrie are all married, so this is a nice safe way for them to get a little flirtation in. They get to drool over Jamie, fantasize a little, and then their husbands benefit when they get home. Everyone is happy!"
"Great!" Olivia responded with fake enthusiasm.
But even she was tired of fake enthusiasm. Why couldn't she just be enthusiastic? Granted, it wasn't what she'd expected, and Olivia liked to know what she was getting into. She made plans. And lists. She believed that in life, you measured twice and cut once. But all the measuring in the world hadn't managed to make a good marriage. She needed to loosen up.
And in all honesty, she felt better knowing that some of the women were married. If it was just about having fun and not about picking up a man, she could get into it. Or she could try.
"Here he comes," Gwen whispered. "And it looks like we're in luck..."
"Jamie!" one of the women called. "You wore the kilt for us!"
The cute bartender with the messy...