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~~Book Bits from Erin M~~

Happy Monday! Today's excerpt is from FINAL LAP, the last book in my Fast Track series. I loved doing the research for setting a wedding at the Biltmore Estate. The grounds are so gorgeous. What's your ideal wedding setting?

Cooper was leaning forward, forearms on his thighs, his knees bumping hers. A casual observer might think they were having an intimate conversation. Which maybe they were, just not the kind of intimacy Harley was looking for.
“Where do you live?” he asked suddenly.
“And you’re a nanny?” he asked, a little longingly.
Oh, no, she saw where this was going. “Yes. I work for a cardiologist and a therapist. They have two boys, two and four.”
“I don’t suppose you’re looking for a new position?”
He gave her a charming smile, one that made her want to kiss him repeatedly and give him everything he asked for. Except for that. There was no way she was going to quit a job she loved to monitor the Internet activity of his tween sister and go on maxi-pad runs when puberty well and truly hit.
Trying to channel her sister and the fact that Charity would direct the conversation to where she wanted it to go, Harley gave him a smile and went for an innuendo. “It depends on the position. Some I like more than others.”
That was pretty damn good for her.
But Cooper didn’t pick up on the flirt, probably because she sucked at it.
He just frowned. “Technically, I guess it would be considered a nanny position. I know that sounds odd since she’s twelve and that’s a little old for a nanny, but that’s really what she- and I- need.”
Sigh. Harley tried to give herself a mental pep talk. He was distraught. Possibly drunk. It wasn’t that she had a complete lack of sexual appeal. “No, I’m sorry. I’m quite happy there and I couldn’t leave the boys.”
“Damn. You seem like you’d be great at it.”
Under other circumstances it would be nice to be appreciated for a job well done. Right now, unless that job involved her riding him like the bull down at the Buckle bar, she didn’t need a compliment. She didn’t need polite and professional respect. She wanted to be seen as a sexual feast he couldn’t wait to take a bite of.
“You seem very maternal and stable.”
Yeah. What every twenty-eight year old woman in a cocktail dress wants to hear.
Suddenly Harley felt monstrously depressed.
It was the same old story. She was a scullery maid in the eyes of every man under fifty.
Even the fact that he was good looking wasn’t making up for the fact that her ass was going numb from sitting in the chair on the edge of the dance floor stiffly or that her stomach was growling from hunger, her lips chapped. She desperately needed to use the restroom as well since she’d sucked down the two vodka tonics he’d gotten her, but wasn’t sure how to interrupt him without sounding like a jerk or like she was trying to ditch him.
Which was just the most hilarious of ironies. Her trying to ditch Cooper Brickman? Not how she imagined the evening going if she ever had his hotness all to herself. But even his muscles couldn’t alter the fact that her bladder was going to burst, and she felt about as desirable as Mrs. Doubtfire. She just wanted to pee then hit the dessert table for some sugary comfort.
When “Single Ladies” came blaring out from the speakers and the DJ announced the bride was about to throw her bouquet, Harley lifted her head. If she knew her sister, she would be out there knocking down every bridesmaid she could for the honor of having a random man feel up her leg for the garter deposit. Charity had no interest in the men or marriage, she just wanted to win. Plus possibly prove that catching a bouquet in no way guaranteed a proposal. blush bridesmaid gowns
As Imogen, slim and elegant in her lace gown, moved to the front of the stage area, Harley’s sister didn’t let her down, appearing out of nowhere and grabbing her.
“Come on! Single ladies, front and center. That means you, Harley!”
As she tugged her arm and Harley stood with an apologetic look at Cooper, her sister realized who she was talking to. “Oh. Hello. Are you going to be vying for the garter, handsome?”
Cooper, who had been earnest and serious, suddenly looked like a rooster let loose in the hen house. He gave Charity a sly smile. “I hadn’t planned on it, but if you catch the bouquet I may have to rethink that.”
Seriously? Harley got him telling her about his concern over his sister’s impending puberty, and Charity got flirty Cooper? What the hell was fair about that? They looked exactly the same. They were identical twins.
She clearly had no sex appeal. Zero. Less than zero. Negative sex appeal.
Annoyed, she didn’t even try to catch the bouquet, preferring to stay a bit clear of the melee, sneaking side glances at Cooper, who was watching Charity. Unfortunately, watching Cooper meant she wasn’t watching the bouquet.
It hit her in the head.
Then bounced off and fell right into her twin’s hands, who let out a whoop of triumph.
Damn it all anyway.