Hate to Date You by Monica Murphy
Release Date: April 7, 2020
Hate to Date You, an all-new standalone contemporary romance in the Dating Series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy.
Stella Ricci is bored.
Her overprotective family barely let her out of their sight, despite the fact she’s a grown woman. Yes, she loves her job at her family’s café and she’s the best barista in the entire Monterey Peninsula, but is that enough? She’s thinking no. But what else can she do?
Enter Carter Abbott. Burnt out after the never-ending grind of selling high end real estate in Los Angeles, he’s returned home, unsure of what to do next. He needs someplace to crash temporarily until he gets back on his feet.
It’s easy for Stella to suggest Carter move in. Temporarily of course. It’ll give her someone to talk to. The only problem?
That one night stand Stella and Carter had about a year ago. They never talked about it. They still don’t really talk about it. Despite the fact that the old chemistry has come back full force. Living together has made that obvious. Should they admit that one night wasn’t enough? Or will dating each other turn into an epic fail?
Only one way to find out…
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I’m in the bathroom applying one last coat of mascara to my eyelashes when Carter suddenly appears behind me, his gorgeous face looming over my shoulder. Of course, like the dork that I am, I yelp with a jolt when I first spot him, stabbing myself in the eyeball with the mascara wand.
And like some sort of romcom hero, he rushes for me, his big hands curling around my shoulders and turning me around so I have no choice but to face him. Though I can’t even look at him, considering I’m bent over and holding both hands over my wounded eye.
“Are you all right? I didn’t mean to scare you.” He sounds troubled. Which is good. He should definitely feel bad for causing my injury.
Though really, I’m the one who overreacted and stabbed myself in the first place.
“I’m okay.” I stand up straighter, still cradling my watery, stinging eye. “It only hurts a little.”
“Drop your hand.” He turns away from me, snagging a tissue out of the Kleenex box that’s perched on the back of the toilet, then faces me once more. “Drop it,” he repeats when I still haven’t removed my hand.
Reluctantly I remove my hand from my face, my eyelashes practically stuck together. I’m sure I look a mess and I swallow hard, reaching up to dab at the tender skin beneath my eye, but Carter bats my hand away.
“Let me,” he murmurs as he brushes the tissue underneath my eye, picking up all the excess mascara. “Does it still hurt?”
“A little.” He’s so close. I can see all of his eyelashes, and they’re thick and dark and don’t need a lick of mascara on them, the jerk. He’s freshly shaven, his face nice and smooth, and I sort of want to rub against it. Like a cat.
“I’m sorry I startled you,” he says with the utmost sincerity. “I didn’t mean for you to try to take your eye out.”
A soft laugh escapes me. “I’ve stabbed myself in the eye before with a mascara wand. I’m sure this won’t be the last time.”
He finishes cleaning up the mess I made and then turns me so I face the mirror once more. “Now you’re perfect,” he says, squeezing my shoulders for the briefest moment before he lets go and exits the bathroom, heading straight into his bedroom.
I’m shaken by the encounter and it takes me a minute to get moving again. Since the afternoon at my nonna’s house, we’ve been friendlier. Not so friendly that we fall into bed together, but friendly enough. Which is…nice. I don’t like having hostile feelings toward Carter. What exactly did he ever do to me anyway?
Oh, he just rocked your world and turned you into a firm believer in multiple orgasms, then left you in the dust and never talked to you again.
Right. He did that. And it sucked.
Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and HarperCollins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult, and contemporary romance.
She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.
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