A Romantic Comedy
Size: 8.00 x 5.00 in
"Fun and flirty, EARNING IT is a winner!" -- Avery Flynn, USA Today best selling author of The Negotiator
One blind date. One case of mistaken identity. One Navy SEAL faced with his high school crush. What could go wrong?
Pepper was looking for a simple hookup. She'd just named a Madagascar hissing cockroach after an ex, so yeah, not exactly in the head space for a long-term relationship. She wanted to prove her douchey ex wrong--she wasn't cold.
And her blind date? A hot lawyer.
It should've been simple. A hot, sweaty afternoon quickie and never the two should boink, er, meet again.
But it wasn't simple. The blind date? Her old high school nemesis Luke Haas, or Haashole as she called him. All grown-up and…and…brawny and maddening and omg-so-hot.
EARNING IT is a steamy second chance, enemies-to-lovers standalone romantic comedy from RITA Winning and USA Today bestselling author Angela Quarles with a happy-ever-after and no cheating or cliffhangers. Warning: there's a scene where guys get all hot and sweaty playing the ancient Irish sport of hurling, just sayin'
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Since this series is set in Sarasota, Florida, a portion of the 2017 proceeds will be donated to help in Sarasota's recovery from Hurricane Irma
ur 2 cold
I glare at the four-month-old text, barely glancing at the bearded hipster bumping past me on the sidewalk. The sender? That’d be my ex. The hockey goalie who slapped away our year-long relationship with a text. Well, a series of texts over a five-minute span.
I’m killing time, and like someone who keeps picking, picking, picking at a scab, I’d pulled up those texts to stare at that last one. Cold?
Ambitious. Driven. Yes.
I shove the phone into its pocket in my purse. I am not my parents. Thinking of those two fills me with a familiar but fuzzy unease.
A searing wave of fuck-that-asshole follows. He’s still infecting my life—what I need is closure. I can’t let that infection spill into my new life here in my old hometown. I yank the phone back out, resigned at this point to looking like an idiot to anyone who might be watching.READ MORE
An article on Facebook from yesterday waves at me—hello, perfect revenge!
Tap, tap, tap. A quick search, a phone call, and…Yes.
I mash the end call icon on my Samsung and do a tee-hee dance on the sunny sidewalk. I sheepishly glance around to see who witnessed my little bout of enthusiasm on Sarasota’s Main Street, but the locals and the few meandering tourists are preoccupied with their own lives this morning. Why should I care anyway, right?
Because thanks to my vengeance-driven donation, there’s now a Madagascar hissing cockroach at the Bronx Zoo graced with the name Phil Stoddart.
It might be a placebo, but damn, it feels fantastic.
That task hasn’t wasted enough time, so I pop under the barely cooler shade of one of the pin oaks lining the street and enter today’s tasks in my app. It’s my last day for errands before I start work with my new medical practice. Ha—look at me being all casual. My new medical practice.
Try first. Yesterday, seeing the nameplate next to my door—Dr. Rodgers—had brought goose bumps along my arms, making everything terrifyingly and excitingly real. I’m finally starting my career as a sports medicine doc. See, it’s that life I can’t wait to start after twelve grueling years of schooling, but instead, I’m five minutes early for a coffee date I’d rather not go on, much less be early to. So yeah, I’m stalling.
My high school best friend set me up with a colleague at her law firm. A lawyer? No, thanks—got enough of them growing up. (Read: my parents.) But since she’s the only old friend I still want to hang with here, I succumbed. What’s one morning?
All right. That’s as much as I can reasonably stall. Now to face Rick the Lawyer, make small talk, and sip overpriced coffee. Maybe he’ll surprise me. With the fresh reminder of Phil’s opinion of me, maybe it’ll be good to swim in the dating pool again. Live a little.
I dodge the sidewalk amblers and push through the door of the Mocha Cabana exactly one minute early. The rich scent of coffee and sweet pastries envelops me. Customers of all ages are bunched around the café-style tables. The population has definitely skewed younger since childhood. When I moved away, the realization that not everyone was seventy-plus years old was an eye-opener.
I do a quick scan—all I have to go on is that he’s my age, he’s got dark hair, and his name is Rick. And he’s a lawyer.
I paste on a smile.
My gaze latches onto the man by the corner window, whose unnervingly masculine face is bisected by the fluctuating shadow of a nodding palm frond outside. The table in front of him is practically Lilliputian, he’s so huge. He’s the only man in the place matching Rick’s description, though, and my heart does a tee-hee dance of its own. And I can tell, in that odd way that happens sometimes, that he knows I’ve arrived and is aware of me viscerally. That he’s watching without watching, because the air between us has that crackly, weighty anticipation that triggers my sixth sense. This guy will have significance in my life, it says.
Combined with a rush of attraction? Not the reaction I want for a lawyer—or for anyone right now. Shit.
But Lordy, he must work out in his off hours. He’s fit in a way you rarely see outside of movies and comic books. His hair is midnight black, and if it wasn’t just past his ears, I’d totally peg him for active military—but not in the way you might think. He doesn’t have those all-American good looks honed into sharp cheekbones and jaw like you associate with Marines. No. It’s in the posture, the confidence, the strength. He owns—dominates—the space around him.
He has sharp cheekbones, but they’re not part of an overall shiny, do-gooder package. Instead, they’re combined with an olive skin tone, five-o’clock shadow, and a commanding nose that all adds up to Devastating..
Yipes, this easily-six-foot-two stack of hunky muscle is a lawyer and—I swallow—my blind date.
Pulse stupidly racing and that weighty awareness tingling up my back, I shuffle into line to order my café mocha. Deep breath. Live a little, I remind myself.
Swim in the dating pool? Now I want to splash in it, and I can’t tell if it’s because I want to cause a distraction or revel in the sheer fun.
One thing I do know—this reaction is so not like me.COLLAPSE
Zoe York wrote:
Fun and flirty, EARNING IT is a winner!
Nan R on Chasing Away Reality Book Blog wrote:
Get ready to swoon hard for a Navy SEAL! Angela Quarles' first contemporary romance is hot and funny and delivers everything I want in a sexy read. This series is a feast of military and sports heroes--the best possible combination for romance readers!
Kate Meader on USA Today bestselling author of the Hot in Chicago series wrote:
I adored the characters in this story. Luke had the whole hot, badass Navy SEAL with the lingering childhood insecurity thing going for him. I loved that he had a secret crush on Pepper back in high school and used the mistaken identity moment to finally get what he always wanted-her. I was sad for Pepper and her situation. She seemed like a lost girl who just wanted to find love. I enjoyed how their relationship progressed and their interactions throughout.
Lia Riley, author of the Off the Map and Hellions Angels series. wrote:
Sweet and steamy, Earning It is a super fun take on the mistaken identity theme set against an unusual sports romance backdrop. A great read!
Annika Martin, NYT bestselling author wrote:
"Pepper and Luke sizzle...my e-reader almost caught fire during a few sexy scenes. This read was sweetness and smolder with just the right dash of swoon. Whip-smart writing and sly humor abounds-simply my favorite kind of read! Angela Quarles is an up-and-coming contemporary romance writer to watch."
Julie Anne Long wrote:
Witty, charming, and wonderfully romantic! I loved these characters and the addictive fun of watching them win each other over!
Sizzles with heat, sparkles with charm...you'll savor every sexy, emotion-packed moment!
Coming October 4, 2017!
NOTE: This was previously published for 90 days in the boxed set SOME LIKE IT GEEK (Spring 2017) with the title TO SCORE OR NOT TO SCORE.
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