WHERE IT BEGINS, an all-new 1001 Dark Nights novella in the Pucked world from New York Times Bestselling Author, Helena Hunting, is available now!
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Single dad, hockey coach, and the last guy this single mom should fall for…
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting comes a new story in her Pucked series. The untold story of Skye and Sidney, and the origin story where Vi and Miller are teens when their parents start dating and fall in love…
I accidentally grabbed the wrong drink at the coffee shop. On the upside, the hot guy it belonged to chased me down to kindly swap with me. On the down side, the reason I grabbed the wrong drink in the first place is because the hot guy had just caught me checking out his ass…sets.
In my defense, his rear view is rather magnificent.
In true, humiliating form, I word-vomited a bunch of horrible nonsense. Including an unnecessary explanation of the trauma I’d evaded thanks to his chasing me down. Nothing could ruin my lactose-intolerant day faster than my one true nemesis: dairy.
I did not expect him to ask me out on a date after that.
I also didn’t expect the date to go well since my tendency to truth-vomit is high, and not everyone finds that quality endearing.
But apparently he does. Because he asks me out again.
Sidney Butterson (yes, it’s a weird last name) ticks all my boxes.
He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s employed and he’s ridiculously hot.
There’s one catch.
We’re both single parents. With teens.
And if our kids don’t like each other?
Well, we’re doomed.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
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“…a charming, endearing and nostalgic romance full of Helena’s signature blend of heart and heat.” ~Danielle, Red Cheeks Reads
Check out Danielle’s 5 SMOOCHES review!
Hubert, the barista, calls out, “Skye and Sidney! Your lattes are ready!”
I rush forward and grab mine, muttering a hasty, “Thanks!” Then beeline for the exit. Of course, that’s the moment a hoard of teens barrel through the door, forcing me to hold it open until the entire gaggle has stormed the café.
Once outside, I hustle to the crosswalk. I punch the button and glare as the sign counts down from thirty.
And then I hear my name being called.
I glance toward the café and, much to my horror, the attractive man whose butt I was admiring is rushing toward me, coffee in hand.
“Hey! You’re Skye, right?” he asks.
“Yes. That’s me.” Maybe he didn’t mind my checking out his butt.
“You took the wrong coffee.” He taps the side of the cup with the name SKYE written in Larissa’s lovely cursive.
“Oh.” I turn mine around and see Sidney scrawled on the side. And it’s a pumpkin spice latte. Half sweet, skim milk. “Wow. I would have spent the rest of the afternoon working from a bathroom stall if you hadn’t caught me.” At his questioning expression, I continue with the embarrassing word vomit. “I’m lactose intolerant and this much dairy would mean stomach cramps for days.” I bite my lips together and close my eyes. “Sorry. You didn’t need to know that. I haven’t taken a sip. See. No lipstick prints.” I thrust the cup toward him and reluctantly crack a lid.
He’s smiling. Widely. “I’m very glad I caught you when I did then. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for an afternoon of prolonged discomfort.”
We exchange takeout cups. “It would’ve been my fault for not checking more than the S, but I was trying to escape my embarrassment. Seems like it’s following me around and making things worse.” I step away from this exceptionally hot man who inspires an unprecedented amount of word vomit. “Thank you for stopping me. You, uh…you didn’t drink out of mine, did you?”
“I didn’t.” His eyes are blue. So vibrant and pretty and his teeth are straight. I glance at his hand. His ring finger is bare. Then I realize he’s giving my hand the same inspection. “Do you work around here?”
“Just across the street.” I thumb over my shoulder. “You?”
“No, but I’m in the area often.” He tucks a hand in his pocket. “Maybe you’d like to grab a coffee later this week?”
I blink at him. Then open my mouth and ask a stupid question. “Are you asking me out?”
“Unless you’re already seeing someone. I didn’t see a ring, so I was hopeful.” His bottom lip slides through his teeth and for a moment, he looks boyishly handsome.
“But…you don’t know anything about me.” I don’t know why I haven’t said yes yet. He’s attractive and thoughtful enough to stop me from drinking the wrong coffee. His kindness saved me from ending up curled in the fetal position on a bathroom floor.
He rubs the back of his neck. “I’ve seen you here before. I’ve been working up the nerve to introduce myself. Looks like the universe gave me a push in the right direction.” He holds up a hand and gives his head a little shake. “I’m probably making this awkward. I’ll be here Wednesday at eleven-thirty. Hopefully, I’ll see you then.” And with that, he turns and disappears into the crowd.
About Helena Hunting:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.
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