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Plus One

Plus One by Brighton Walsh
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"So, interesting fact," the guy sitting across from her said. His confident tone suggested he really did think it was interesting. "Cat urine is one of the most difficult things to get out of carpet."

Olivia Winters just stared at him, no longer surprised by what came out of the mouths of the men she dated. After a solid eighteen months of nothing but shitty and shittier dates, she was done.


She didn't need this. She wasn't a leper, for God's sake. She was cute and fun. She owned her own bakery—her own successful bakery, thank you very much. She had a great sense of humor, if she did say so herself, and gave one mean blow job—or so she'd been told.

So then why did her luck with men suck so horrendously?

With her blank stare still focused on Geoffrey Scott, Bad-Date-Number-Too-Many-to-Count, who was still blabbering on about the different products one could use to get rid of cat pee, she decided this was it. The very last date she'd subject herself to. She had better things to occupy her Friday and Saturday nights—namely, spending some quality time with her much-loved vibrator. Unlike some of her former lovers, at least it had never left her high and not-so-dry.

She stared into the eyes of the guy she'd hoped would be her reprieve from the shittiness, and she let out a relieved breath when her cell phone rang from inside her purse, right on time. Thank God she had some people in her life she could count on.

Turning a mock look of regret at her date, she said, "I'm so sorry, but I need to get this. My best friend had surgery yesterday and she lives alone. I told her to call if she had any problems."

"Of course."

"Emma?" she asked into the phone, not bothering to check caller ID.

"Is he awful?" The deep timbre of the voice on the other line startled Olivia momentarily. That definitely wasn't the voice of Emma, friend and bad date rescuer. With her thoughts scattered from surprise, it took her longer than usual to recognize who the owner was, but once she did, she took a deep breath, remembering her part in this farce.

She put on her most concerned face. "Oh, no, are you all right?" she asked into the phone, pausing for dramatic effect and making her eyes go wide. "Yes, of course, I'll be right there!" She turned a well-rehearsed mask of contrition on Geoffrey and held the phone away from her mouth. "I'm sorry, Geoffrey, but I have to leave. It's been...well, it's been something."

Without waiting for an answer, she grabbed her purse and hightailed it out of the restaurant and straight to her car, the deep chuckle rumbling in her ear as she went. A chuckle that belonged to her best friend's brother, Ian Donnelly—who, thanks to his rescue from her abysmal date, was currently her favorite person in the entire world.

"Oh, yeah, yuk it up," she said once she was safely in her car. "He was talking about cat pee, Ian! At dinner!"

That just caused him to laugh harder, the sound a welcome comfort in an otherwise god-awful night. She switched him over to her Bluetooth and headed out of the parking lot, anxious to get as far away from this nightmare of a date as possible.

"I don't know why you do this to yourself, Livvy."

Carina Press; May 2013
384 pages; ISBN 9781426895555
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Plus One
Author: Brighton Walsh
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