An über-emotional tale of two opposites attracting that my book junkies are already raving about, Jewel E. Ann’s latest novel is the story of a widower and single dad whose quirky new tenant forces him to face a lifetime of pain and regrets, while offering him a second chance at finding love. Look the Part is now live, and I have a little sneak peek for you.
Two hours later I have nothing left to clean, but my mind still won’t submit to sleep, so I power walk to my favorite coffee and bagel shop. Armed with caffeine and carbs, I head home to shower and look online for a new office space.
“It’s not even seven. Your caffeine addiction must be worse than mine.” Just as I reach for the door to my apartment building, Flint’s uncharacteristically cheery voice calls from behind me.
I turn, not expecting or wanting to see anyone I know when I’m in desperate need of a shower. I have the hood to my sweatshirt pulled over my head.
“Hey …” I smile. “I’m incognito. How did you recognize me?”
“Ass and legs. They’re unmistakable.”
“Sometimes.” He saunters toward me holding two hot cups, no suit this morning, just jeans and a sweater.
“Did your parents give you permission to sneak out this morning? Or did you not go home? Was I not your only female companion last night?”
“Jealous?” His head cocks to the side.
“Nope.” I open the door and head toward the stairs. “I risk feeding your ego by saying this, but you’re what some women might call sex on a stick. As you know, I call you Sex in a Suit, but anyway, it would be a shame not to share you, so I hope whoever came after me enjoyed you as much as I did.”
“I feel cheap.”
I unlock my door and open it up to my clean apartment. “No.” Shooting him a flirty look over my shoulder, I walk down my entry hall. “I’ve seen your suits, your car, and your house, Mr. Hopkins. You’re far from cheap.”
His gaze lands on the bucket of cleaning supplies by the door to the deck. “You cleaned up for me. It’s like you knew I was coming.”
I set my coffee on the kitchen counter and fish my bagel from its bag. “Ha! No … you are quite the surprise this morning.”
He removes the lid to his coffee cup, smirking while bringing it to his mouth. He sips it while keeping his eyes on me.
“Did you stop by just to bring me coffee? Early morning bootie call? Or to remind me that I need to find a new place to rent?”
Flint’s smile fades as his eyes divert to everywhere in the room but me. “It’s not person—”
“I know, I know … it’s business, not personal.”
“Would you let me finish?” He gives me a stern look.
I blow out a slow breath and nod.
“I know you’re pissed off that I didn’t fully understand your job before signing our rental agreement, but the truth is I can’t focus on my job when you’re banging on drums and singing all afternoon. It’s not personal. I didn’t wake up one day and decide to be vindictive. When we met, I liked you and thought you would be a good renter. And whether you choose to believe it or not, I do need to concentrate to do my job properly.”
I weigh his words, but they don’t solve my problem. “You didn’t answer my question. Why are you here?”
His chin dips as he shakes his head.
“Sex? You can say it. I won’t judge you. Let me take a quick shower and we’ll have sex.”
“Jesus …” he whispers. “You make it sound like a job, like I’m paying you for sex. That’s not why …”
“Fine. Do you want to sit down and talk? Do you want half of my bagel?”
He continues to shake his head.
“Then what? Why are you here?”
“I don’t know!” He flinches at his own outburst when he looks up at me.