When Greyson Forrester receives an invitation to his cousin’s wedding, he knows he can’t refuse—even if the groom is his ex-fiancé. If he doesn’t go, people might think he still cares, which he doesn’t, thank you very much. Showing up alone isn’t any better, but he has neither the time nor the inclination to jump back into the dating scene. So, what’s a guy to do? Hire a fake boyfriend, of course!
+One isn’t a dating agency. Fine. He’s not looking to make a love connection, just survive one week with even a shred of dignity intact. Then, Jace Harkin walks through the door, and Greyson knows he’s in trouble. Jace is the total package—successful, witty, gorgeous—but falling for him wasn’t supposed to happen. Yet, every smile, every touch, every whispered endearment pulls him in a little deeper until the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur.
Too bad it can’t last. After all, it’s just make-believe, right?
Free to Read With Your Kindle Unlimited Subscription!
Without waiting for a response, Jace Harkins strolled into the office with an easy, self-assured gait. “You summoned me?”
Sweet baby Jesus, his voice could melt the panties off a nun. Deep and smooth with just a hint of a southern drawl, it pierced right through me, and I kind of forgot how to breathe for a second.
While his tone radiated sarcasm, the smile on his face when he looked at his sister belied his irritation. I’d thought he had a great smile from his photograph, but it was nothing compared to the real thing. Damn, that picture really hadn’t done him justice.
“You’re late.” From behind the desk, Anna grinned back. “But since you brought coffee, I’m willing to forgive you.”
Too busy staring at the way his black T-shirt stretched around his bulging biceps, I hadn’t even noticed the drink carrier in his hands. Coming forward, he took one of the plastic cups and placed it on the desk with an unopened straw as he rattled off some complicated name that sounded like it was made of sugar and glitter.
After thanking him, Anna reached for the drink with one hand while motioning toward me with the other. “Jace, I’d like you to meet Greyson Forrester. Mr. Forrester, this is Jace Harkin.”
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Forrester.” Instead of offering his hand, he nodded at the remaining drinks in the carrier. “I wasn’t sure what your poison was, but you’ve got some options. There’s plain black, an iced caramel macchiato, and a vanilla cold brew.”
I didn’t normally drink coffee, but his gesture was sweet, and I found myself not wanting to disappoint him. “Uh, whichever one tastes the least like coffee.”
His laugh made my stomach flutter and my pulse skip, and I nearly melted into the floor when he winked at me. “Ah, not a big coffee fan, huh? No worries.” He took one of the plastic cups from the carrier and passed it to me. “Try the macchiato. I think you’ll like it.”
I thanked him as I opened the straw and stabbed it into the lid. Since he was still watching me, I bent my head and took a polite sip. He was right. I did like it. I could practically feel my glucose levels rising, but it was just the right blend of coffee, milk, and sugar.
“Not bad,” I declared with a smile. “It’s actually pretty good. Thanks.”
Jace nodded as he eased his hip down on the corner of the desk. “So, Mr. Forrester, what is it you do?”
“Please, call me Greyson.” My nerves had mostly settled, making it easier to speak to him without hyperventilating. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what had changed, but there was just something about him that felt…calming. “I own a shop in Wakefield. The Apothecary.”
He leaned back a little and folded his arms across his chest. “Like a pharmacy?”
I tilted my head from side to side and flopped my hand around in the universal symbol for “kind of, but not really.” I did sell remedies out of my shop, but they were homeopathic and made with organic ingredients.
“I carry a lot of things in my store. Natural remedies. Organic bath products. Lotions. Lip balms. Things like that.”
As I spoke, I raked my gaze over the numerous tattoos that inked his arms. Part of me wondered how much they’d hurt. Another part of me—namely the part behind the zipper of my jeans—just found them sexy as hell. I’d expected skulls and flames, and while those things were represented in the art, there were also flowers, dragonflies, and an adorable pixie with dark hair and tattered wings.
They weren’t random. That much I could tell. Some of his tattoos were dark and eerie, others surreal, and some just cute, but they all flowed together like parts of a story, like pieces of his life.
“That’s amazing,” he answered, forcing me to pry my gaze away from the ink. “I’d love to see it sometime.”
His smile was warm, his tone genuine, and I preened a little, surprised by how much this stranger’s approval meant to me. “I’d like that.” I leaned to the side to look at Anna. “Your sister said you’re a business owner as well.”
He glanced over his shoulder, then shook his head as he turned back to me. “Yeah, something like that.”
He didn’t elaborate, so I let the subject drop and floundered for something else to say. Eventually, I settled on honesty. “I’m guessing this is the part where you’re trying to decide if you’ll take the job or not. So, what else would you like to know?”
His gaze raked over me slowly, intimately, and I fought the urge to squirm under his scrutiny. “Tell me in three sentences or less why you’re here.”
I could do that. No rambling. No apologizing.
“My ex and my cousin are getting married. I can’t get out of going to the wedding, and I don’t want everyone thinking I’m pathetic. I need someone to pretend to enjoy my company so I can get through it with even a shred of dignity intact.”
There, I’d said it. Now, all I could do was wait and hope it would be enough to convince him.