BETTING ON LOVE
by Jennifer Hoopes
Publication Date: April 13, 2020
Genres: Entangled: Bliss, Sweet Romance, Contemporary, Romance
Whitney Carroll is back home in Gatlinburg, Tennessee after divorcing her low-down, cheating husband. First thing on the to-do list: Get a job. Second thing: Just say no to men. Third thing: Don’t fall for the boss. One out of three’s not too bad, right?
For Sam Ellis, his to-do list is always work, work, work, trying to keep his family’s legacy alive. Now, out of concern, his siblings bet he can’t keep a girl happy for thirty days, and if he loses he’s out as CEO. No problem, he can fake a relationship. And he knows just who to ask…his new man-vegan assistant.
Yet Whitney’s sexy boss—secret singer and Skee-Ball champion—is definitely NOT boring, and their connection is undeniable. But when a disaster strikes at work, Sam will have to decide if he’s willing to trade in his job for his heart.
“Well, there’s a family dinner tomorrow night that I should probably bring you to, I mean if you’re able to come. If not, I’ll make some excuse.” He loosened his tie and unbuttoned the top button. Whitney’s eyes darted and her face flushed.
Sam needed to be anywhere but in this secluded hallway, sunlight streaming through the windows, with the mountains as a backdrop.
He cleared his throat. “Maybe we should lay down some rules.”
She nodded and clasped her hands behind her back. “That would be very good.”
“What?” she shrieked, her gaze colliding with his.
“I mean what is acceptable touching? Can I hold your hand? Kiss your cheek? Do you like for men to hold doors open or do you find that antiquated? I want you two hundred percent comfortable with the whole setup. Maybe we need a safe word?”
“Sam, I do not think any part of this fake relationship will involve the need for a safe word.”
He hung his head. “Man, I really am bad at this. Seriously, you can cut and run now. From the bet, not the job,” he clarified. “I meant, if at any time we find ourselves in a situation where you’re not comfortable, you could use this word and I will facilitate an exit for you.”
“Gosh, are you for real? I mean, I thought my cheating ex-husband was about as golden-boy as they come, but you’re making him look like a pile of manure.”
Sam stared. Cheating ex-husband. Lord, that took the cake. Who would cheat on this lovely lady with confidence in her worth and a slight dimple in her right cheek?
“I try to make people comfortable.” He moved down the hallway.
“And what about you?” She caught up in two strides.
“My feelings don’t matter.”
“Says who? What if I nibble on your earlobe and you hate that sort of thing? Does my love of earlobes override your hatred of it?”
He froze and fought the urge to look at her. Did she really confess to nibbling earlobes? He needed to refocus things quickly.
He cleared his throat. “No. One does not override the other.”
“How about we approach this like the normal progression of a relationship. We get to know each other and face the hurdles as they come.”
“Fair enough, but I would still like to know if—”
“Sloth.” Whitney blurted.
“I’ll say sloth.”
“Oh…okay. Sloth it is.”
“And…” she said.
“I like having my earlobes nibbled.”
ABOUT JENNIFER HOOPES
Contemporary romance author, Jennifer Hoopes, lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband, and two daughters. Stories have been in her head for as long as she recognized every person had one and figuring out how two people meet and fall in love makes for a rewarding dream job. When not writing she wears the many mom hats of PTO, dance, and music, all while driving a mean, mom-taxi. She loves caramel and roller coasters, plays a solo version of Carpool Karaoke, and cannot live without coffee and Jane Austen adaptations.