A sizzling new series is coming from Rachel van Dyken about a PI firm committed to humiliating cheating exes, and I have a sneak peek from the first book in the series, releasing on 5 Jun 2018, as well as a chance to WIN a $50 Amazon Gift Card + a paperback copy of Dirty Exes (contest managed entirely by publisher).
“Stealth mode, I am stealth mode,” I repeated under my breath as I snatched a glass of champagne from one of the waiters and surveyed the glorious ballroom of the Taglyan Cultural Complex. The lighting was gorgeous, with white chandeliers decorating the blue-lit room and candles of every size gracing circular tables. The ceiling almost looked like it was painted with a gold paintbrush as it wrapped around the top of the dance floor. Its colored glass ceiling took my breath away. I gave a happy sigh and surveyed the rest of the room.
“Right, maybe don’t say it out loud though,” Isla said in my ear.
“Stop that!” I hissed, cupping my ear and adjusting the piece that buzzed with her voice as I stumbled toward the far right wall near the drinks. “It’s creepy.”
“Oh please,” she sighed. “Alright, I’m setting the recorder on and giving you privacy to do your thing. Text me if anything sketchy happens, other than that have fun, and stop talking to yourself. You’re a grown-ass woman, channel your inner spy.”
I blew out a breath and nodded. “Right.”
“I thought I said to stop talking to yourself?”
“Go away.” I clenched my teeth just as a waiter eyed me with terror and tried to turn around only to spin right into the wall and spill champagne all over the floor and himself.
“I’m so sorry.” My tight white ball gown was beautiful but impossible to do anything in. I’d had to get a size smaller since I didn’t have time to grab anything else, and I’d immediately fallen in love with the wraparound Grecian-style front and the short cape that fell down the back. It was hard as hell to bend over, so I hiked it up a bit and did a semisquat—with heels on, mind you—and started picking up the pieces of glass.
The waiter flushed. “Uh, no need, miss, I’ve got this under control, enjoy the party and—”
The sound of ripping fabric lit the air between us.
He blinked at my thigh.
My eyes widened as I moved my left hand to the now naked skin beneath my fingertips. “How bad?”
He whistled. His eyes darted from the rip, to my face, and back again. “It’s not bad.”
“Are you lying?”
“Absolutely.” He licked his lips. “I see your Spanx, you’re wearing white, why the hell are they black if you’re in a white dress?”
“Do you mind?” I hissed, slamming my hand over the bare skin. Full-on panic set in as I slowly stood. The rip went from the ground all the way up my left leg, nearly to my hip.
And yes, you could see Spanx. Which meant only one thing. I had to remove them.
“Cover for me.” I pointed at him with my new diamond-studded white clutch like he was my partner in crime then moved behind a potted plant just as a few people walked by that I recognizedfrom late-night ESPN binge watching.
The ladies’ bathroom was on the other side of the room.
I’d need to walk through hundreds of celebrities to get there.
Normal Blaire could walk through without turning heads.
Spanx Blaire would end up in US Weeklyunder “What Were They Thinking?”
“Ma’am.” The waiter moved toward me. “I have to get back to work.”
“You”—I pointed again—“are going to stand there until I can get these things off.”
“Do you have a knife?”
“Do I look like I have a knife?” Shit-for-brains had the audacity to have attitude.
I eyed him up and down. Guy couldn’t be any older than twenty-two—hell, he probably just got his braces off and discovered Proactiv.
I took a deep breath and counted to seven so I wouldn’t rip his head off. Seven was a safe number, three wasn’t long enough, and ten just made people think you were senile and having a mild stroke. “If you’ve been opening wine bottles, you may have a corkscrew?”
His eyes lit up like I’d asked him if he had any spare pot.
Ah, there you go, kid, hand it over. He very slowly reached into his pocket and pulled out a corkscrew.
The “Hallelujah Chorus” played in my mindas I triumphantly grabbed the tool, thrust it in the air, flicked open the knife side, and started sawing through the chastity belt that was Spanx.
Two minutes later, I was cramping in my forearm and well on my way to carpal tunnel.
The waiter was bouncing on his feet like he had to pee and kept looking over his shoulder like I was going to shank him. “You done yet?”
“Do you want me to slip and accidentally bleed out by way of hitting my carotid artery?”
“And stop calling me ma’am!” I ordered. “I’m only thirty-five.”
His gasp said it all.
“I’m not dying,” I felt the need to grumble. “But my hips do hurt sometimes and—” The right leg of my Spanx broke free now, all I needed to do was rip them up to the waist and tug the rest down.
The dress was too tight to lift all the way up, meaning I could only shimmy out of the Spanx if I was naked.
“Almost there.” My hand was almost completely numb as I tugged the band free. I used waiter boy as an anchor, stepped out of the Spanx, and stood.
Sweat pooled on my lower back, but other than that, I was completely successful.
“Can I get back to work now?” he asked in a bored tone.
“Yes.” I licked the moisture from my lips. “And thanks for your aid.”
Aid? Did I just say aid?
“Er, yeah, whatever, hope your hip feels better.” He snatched the corkscrew out of my hand and walked off, leaving me a sweaty mess next to a fake potted plant and a wall that probably had permanent nightmares from having my ass pressed against it for a solid ten minutes while I shimmied sweat against its surface.