Only with You (The Best Mistake)
Forever / July 29, 2014 / $6.00 print / $2.99 digital
Cocktail waitress Sophie Dalton doesn't exactly have a life plan. She's perfectly happy being everyone's favorite party girl. But when a Las Vegas bachelorette party goes awry and an uptight businessman mistakes Sophie for a prostitute . . . well, Sophie wonders if it's time to reevaluate her priorities. Swearing off her thigh-high boots for good, Sophie slinks back home with damaged pride-and a jackpot of a hangover.
Yet what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there. On a trip to Seattle to open a new office, Grayson Wyatt meets his latest employee—who turns out to be the same woman he recently called a hooker. Wealthy and gorgeous, Gray is a man used to getting what he wants. And it doesn't take long to figure out that smart, sassy, sexy Sophie is everything he's been looking for. As their late nights at the office turn into hot morning-afters, they realize their Vegas misunderstanding may lead to the real thing . . .
One of the more critical scenes in a book is how the hero and heroine meet. Authors have free range on devising this meeting, and readers reap the benefit of authors’ fertile imagination, especially when the hero and heroine form the wrong impression. Lauren Layne definitely has a bountiful imagination:
Sophie Dalton is in Las Vegas for her cousin’s bachelorette party. Her cousin is certainly not a favorite relative, but since Sophie’s sister is in the wedding, she is obligated to attend, so when the bride-to-be declares:
I want my bachelorette party to be hella shanky and memorable. If you’re going to be on your period that weekend, fix it.
Sophie does her part to fulfil the bride’s wishes, and for the first time wears her slightly tipsy impulse buy boots from the Lover’s Package sex shop, and the mandatory fake eyelashes with fake gemstones.
Slopping on a glittery lip gloss that claimed to “plump” lips into a sexy pout with God only knew what kind of chemicals, Sophie took one final glance in the mirror.
Skirt the size of a Band-Aid? Check.
Scrappy halter top barely covering her nipples? Got it.
Pole dancer makeup? Definitely.
And the final touch: boots that belonged in a brothel.
Perfect. She looked like a girl looking for no-strings-attached sex.
So you really can’t blame Gray for thinking that she might be a working girl:
“I’m not interested in acquiring your services, so you can save yourself the effort,” he said quietly.
She blinked at him, totally confused. “My services?”
“You know, I mean…” He shifted uncomfortably. “I’m not really the type to pay for sexual, um …attention.”
Heat and disbelief swelled to Sophie’s head. She slowly pulled her hand away from his thigh as she processed what he’d just said.
“You think I’m a prostitute?” Her voice sounded like a twelve-pack-a-day chain smoker’s.
Now everyone knows that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—except when it doesn’t! Sophie meets up with Gray again, and worst, he is blackmailed more or less into giving her a job and from there the story revolves into the attraction of opposites.
Gray is wonderful with the nuts and bolts of business, he is the CEO and president of a company that makes hotel acquisitions. But with people he not very proficient, since he is so stiff and formal. Sophie is a law school drop-out. Not that she couldn’t cut it academically, but she didn’t want to spend her time with her head in books, not when she just loves interacting with people. She has the knack of saying the right thing, easing awkward situations, and cooling tempers. People admire Gray, but they like Sophie.
She’d become both invaluable and intolerable as an assistant. She anticipated his every need before he asked. Her cheerful social skills on the phone easily smoothed over any feathers he inadvertently ruffled by his lack of inane social niceties. And she’d apparently read Martin’s secretary’s notes cover to cover, because in addition to her intuition about every single business deal, she now knew staff birthdays and the names of potential clients’ children and had memorized the menus of every business caterer in Seattle.
But as much as he relied on her, most of the time her presence soured his mood. Sophie was just too much. Too much energy, too many smiles, too Goddamn infuriating.
From the very first meeting Sophie found Gray appealing—very appealing indeed, but she hit rock bottom when she realized he thought she was a hooker! She has enjoyed taking her own form of revenge—keeping him riled up and off balance. But the more she is around him, the more she discovers that beneath the glares and disapproving frowns there is a nice man, maybe even a shy man, who feels awkward around people, because he has always been told he doesn’t have any social skills. Seeing a man’s vulnerable side acts like a chemical aphrodisiac to most women, and Sophie is no exception:
The taciturn, irritable version of Gray never made her feel off-balance. But this flirty, sweet version made her wary. This Gray could too easily slip past her guard, and the thing she needed was to fall for someone who would never approve of her. Throwing a few morale booster her way was one thing, but someone like Gray would never be in a serious relationship with someone as unfocused as her. Hell, Brian had been a freaking nomad, and even he thought she was floating aimlessly through life.
The thought depressed her more than it should. Most of the time she couldn’t stand Gray and now she was thinking about a relationship?
Of course when any couple fall in love it is a cause for celebration, but when two people fall in love and complement each other— her yin to his yang then you know that it is right. Sophie and Gray are that couple.
Charming love story, engaging plot and appealing characters – you don’t want to miss Only With You.
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Only with You by Lauren Layne, out July 29, 2014.
Leigh Davis, blogger