After too many bad decisions in romance, Emma is going on a man-fast. For the next six months, she’s fasting from men. No sex. No dating. No soulful gazes. No fond memories of her first crush. She’s going to spend the time focusing on her career, getting in touch with herself, and helping her two best friends with the launch of their new tea room. No men.
And that includes her brother’s best friend, Noah Hart, who has just returned to their hometown.
She doesn’t want Noah anyway. He might be even hotter than he was before, but he’s not a nice guy anymore. He’s made a fortune by acting ruthless in business, and the last thing he’s looking for is small-town domestic life. He doesn’t even want to be in town again, but a sick grandmother guilted him into it. Then he has nerve to not even recognize Emma when he sees her again. Maybe it’s been seven years, but a decent guy would remember his best friend’s little sister.
Noah is not a decent guy. Anyway, Emma is on a man-fast. And she doesn’t want Noah.
Noah felt an emotional pull toward her, that she seemed to understand him so well, even when he wasn’t sure he understood himself.
But he shouldn’t—he really shouldn’t—be feeling that way.
He cleared his throat. “And I noticed your Man-Fast flew out the window.”
She gasped and straightened her spine, which unfortunately called attention to the curve of her breasts. “What are you talking about?”
Struggling not to gaze too fixedly on the slight outline of nipple he could see beneath the white fabric of her dress, he managed to say, “Your Man-Fast. With all the flirting you were doing, I figured you’d given up on it.”
“I was not flirting!”
He lifted his eyebrows.
“Don’t you give me that snide look,” she said, her lush lips turning down in a frown. “I was talking to some people I know, same as you.”
“There was definitely more than talking going on over here.” He had no idea why he was pursuing this. It was stupid. Futile. It would just make things worse.
But he’d been bristling for too long about all the guys falling over themselves around her, and it was going to come out one way or the other.
“What are you talking about?” she demanded. “I didn’t do anything but talk.”
“Right. You didn’t smile at them and show them all that skin and make them think they might be getting lucky later on.”
She gasped again. “I did nothing of the kind.”
“I didn’t! I was talking. A girl can talk to guys without being accused of leading them on. I could say the same thing about you—every time you talk to and smile at women.”
“I haven’t been talking to women tonight.”
“You talked to a few.”
He tried to remember back to the people he’d chatted with and only remembered two young women. “They were married. I knew them from high school.”
“So? What’s your point? You can flirt with married women, you know.”
“Are you saying you think I’m the kind of guy who would do that?” His voice was now as angry as hers was.
She opened her mouth with some sort of sharp reply, but she must have rethought it. She slumped slightly. “No. I know you’re not.”
“It would be nice if you’d know I wasn’t like that either.”
“I’d never think you’d come on to married men.”
“You just think I’m some kind of tease, torturing men for fun.”
Noah sighed and leaned against the counter. “No. I really don’t.”
“Then why were you acting like that then?”
And a question he couldn’t possibly answer honestly.
“I was just being an ass.”
“Yes. You were.”
Her frown was relaxing slightly, and she was peering at him closely. “Okay then.”
He felt a little better, now that she wasn’t so mad at him. But it just made him want to touch her even more.
He really needed to get out of here.
“I already have an older brother,” she said, still scrutinizing his face. “I don’t need another one.”
She thought he was acting like an older brother.
She had no idea he felt like a jealous boyfriend, resenting the fact that any other guy was thinking about what was his.
Could things be any more of a mess for him?
Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she reads any book she can get her hands on and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel. She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances. If you’d like to contact Noelle, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.