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I’m over men. I’m done with them.

Or at least the ones that work in my kitchen. Fine, one man in particular. Wyatt Shaw is cocky and condescending and so far out of his element that he doesn’t know which way is up. Or how to run his brand new kitchen all by himself.

That’s where I come in. Sous chef extraordinaire. Second in command. Bane of his existence. I am the reason Wyatt’s doing so well as the new executive chef of one of our city’s most prestigious restaurants. He has me to thank for his glowing accolades and five-star write-ups. Only if you were to ask him, he’d say I’m his biggest problem.

Despite his discouragement and bullish behavior, I’ve set two goals for myself.

The first? I’m going to fight my way to the top of this male-dominated industry and claim my own award-winning kitchen.

The second? I’m going to do whatever it takes to ignore Wyatt and his rare smiles and the thickening tension that’s started to simmer between us.

Wyatt Shaw might be Durham’s new shining star. He might be up for a James Beard Award. He might be my new boss and key to my future success, but he’s also in my way.

So he can keep his smoldering looks and secret kisses. And he can be the one that figures out how to make it through service without getting distracted by me.

I’m not the problem. The problem is him.


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: The Problem with Him

Rachel Higginson

BOOK SERIES: 

The third standalone novel in Rachel Higginson’s Opposites Attract series—one of my favourite series EVER—is releasing tomorrow, and I have a sneak peek for you.

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Excerpt

“Hey, Wyatt,” Dillon said, breaking the awkward tension boiling between us. “What’s up?”

He didn’t take his eyes off me. “Are you planning on working tonight? Or are you going to hang out here until your shift’s over?”

I attempted to swallow, but my throat had dried out to a husk and I couldn’t manage it. “Here,” I decided. It seemed like a better option than walking back inside. “I’m going to hang out here all night.”

His sneer hit me right in the gut, and a deep swell of panic and insecurity washed over me. I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide. I wanted to walk away from this restaurant and never look back. I wanted to… I wanted to feel nothing whenever Wyatt was involved.

That was my biggest issue with him. He made me feel more than any other person on the planet. When he disapproved of something I did, it killed me. When he got irritated with me, it made me want to cry. When he approved of something I did, my spirit soared. When he touched me, I burned. When he kissed me, I exploded.

My emotions were not neutral toward him. I was all over the place. With every other person I could remain nonchalant, totally unaffected no matter their opinion of me. At the very least I could defer to sarcasm without wanting to cry or run away.

Wyatt brought every single feeling out of me. All at once. I didn’t want to care about him or what he thought. Yet, here I stood, a buzzing, flailing ball of feeling. If Dillon wasn’t here, I probably would have jumped the poor man and picked up right where he’d left off earlier—meaning more kisses. So many more kisses.

I was also contemplating punching him in the kidneys.

It was really anyone’s guess what I would do. But the indecision inside me was concerning.

He turned his glare on Dillon. “Can I have a minute with Kaya?”

She crossed her arms and glared back. “That depends. Are you going to be mean?”

His jaw ticked, and I had to fight to swallow again. Only for entirely different reasons. Damn that jaw.

Damn this boy.

“I’m never mean to Kaya.”

Dillon rolled her eyes, and the confused, over-emotional crazy person inside me threw her hands in the air and cheered for good friends. “Please.”

Wyatt’s jaw ticked again. “Go inside, Dillon. I need to have a conversation with my sous chef.”

She pointed a finger at him. “Be nice.”

His hands dropped to his waist and he glared at the ground until she’d walked past him and disappeared in the building again.

“Am I in trouble?” My voice had more courage than I felt, but I was thankful for the bravado.

His head lifted slowly, his eyes finding mine from behind thick lashes. “You shouldn’t let her set you up. I’ve heard stories about the guys she dates. They’re losers.”

His words made zero sense to me. I blinked at him and tried to put them in the right order. Was he having a stroke? “What?”

“Listen, you’re better than that. You deserve more than club rats.”

My heart kicked in my chest and I struggled to catch my breath. Was that a compliment? But I didn’t know what to say. Or why he was giving me dating advice. I should have said thank you and walked back inside. That’s what I should have done. But like all the times before with Wyatt, for whatever stupid reason, I ended up blurting the truth. “I, uh, she’s not setting me up with anyone.”

His eyes narrowed. “I thought I heard you ask her to.”

Belatedly I remembered that I had asked her to hook me up not that long ago. Crap. But had I even been serious? I didn’t have the time or energy for blind dates and meaningless hookups. Honestly, a night out with one of Dillon’s friends sounded exhausting. Best to move this along. “You must have misheard. Uh, what did you want to talk to me about?”

He remained silent long enough that I wondered if he forgot what he’d wanted to talk to me about. Finally, he said, “There’s a chance that Rebecca Jones will stop by tonight.”

“Whoa.” Rebecca Jones was a food critic in Durham. Lilou had been reviewed by plenty of notable critics while Killian was here and considering the magazines and professionals and acclaimed critics that had reviewed before, Rebecca Jones wasn’t that big of a deal. But for Wyatt, she was the most notable critic to dine at Lilou under his new regime.

This was a good sign for him. People wanted to check him out, see if he had the chops it took to handle Lilou.

He shrugged. “It’s not for sure. But just in case, I, uh, I need you to be extra on top of things tonight.”

Noticing the redness to his eyes and the several days of stubble covering his face, it was easy to see that he still wasn’t sleeping. Unable to help myself, I leaned forward and brushed my thumb over his cheekbone. He leaned into my touch, his eyes fluttering closed.

I had the strongest urge to kiss his closed eyelid. My heart squeezed with the need to soothe some of his exhaustion, the burden stress and perfection had dropped on his shoulders. He was too calm like this, too sweet. This wasn’t the dictator I’d come to resent in the kitchen, this was a softer, more insecure version of him. A version that made me all squishy inside and prone to make bad decisions.

When I realized what I was doing, I dropped my hand. His eyes opened, and my heart kicked again at how tired he looked. Maybe that was what the kiss was about earlier—sleep deprivation.

“Are you still not sleeping?” I asked gently.

He shook his head. “I think I’m still acclimating.”

“You must be doing something right. Rebecca Jones is coming tonight. The city of Durham will soon know you can handle the shit out of this kitchen.”

I had been hoping for a smile and I got one. “Yeah, or the opposite.”

Rolling my eyes, I moved to walk past him. “Don’t worry, I’ll babysit you tonight so that doesn’t happen.”

His arm shot out, wrapping around the front of me. “Thank you,” he murmured near my ear.

We heard the smokers returning at the same time. His arm dropped immediately, and I ducked inside before anyone caught us talking innocently and not at all suspiciously outside.

I looked for a surface to bang my forehead against until my rapidly beating heart and rushing blood returned to normal but settled on prep work and hours of chopping instead.

Get your shit together, Kaya. Or you’re going to end up as red-eyed and glitchy as Wyatt.

And I did not have time for that right now.

I had an executive chef to babysit and a different restaurant to take over.

It was hard to focus after all that had happened between us today. By the time I got home after a grueling fifteen-hour shift and a successful night of impressing Rebecca Jones—or at least I hoped we had— I wasn’t even surprised to find a text message from Wyatt. I might have even been expecting one.

Thanks for taking care of me tonight.

I smiled at the typed words, imagining that they were said with no small amount of reluctance. Are you embarrassed by how much you need me? I asked him.

Not even a little bit, he’d typed back immediately. Pretty sure I’ve needed you for a long time.

The demonic seductress inside me couldn’t help herself. You’ve never said anything before…

I’ve never had an opportunity before.

I nibbled on my lip ring and tried to decide if he was still talking about food. Don’t let this go to your head, chef, but I might need you too.

His reply was simple, to the point, and inexplicably the hottest text I’d ever received. Good.  

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Opposites Attract - Recommended Reading Order

(standalone stories with interconnected characters)

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179 Comments Hide Comments

I’m intrigued! Sounds steamy. I haven’t read anything by this author and can’t wait to check this out. Natasha makes me want to read all the books.

I didn’t read the excerpt because I prefer to read the book together in its entirety BUT I know that it’s awesome because Rachel Higginson wrote it and this series is the perfect example of my favorite genre.

I am so excited for this book!! This excerpt got me even more excited to read the book when it releases! I loved Wyatt in the Opposite of You, so happy he is getting his own book. :)

That 1st book was such a great story, really stayed with me (his group proposal!!). Ready to read #3 for sure. Thanks.

Haven’t read this series…

Loved the text exchange between these two. Will check out #1 and #2.

Thanks for the recommendation!!

And I’m now heading to amazon to check this out! Fabulous excerpt, really makes me want to go get the book immediately.

I have this weird thing for books about chefs. It must be that I can live vicariously through the characters eating such good food, lol. I can’t wait to read this one. It looks like it is right up my alley.

As someone who has worked in several kitchens, I’m ALL OVER this book! Not just for the heat (ha!) but to see the heroine succeed professionally because Food & Bev (esp. in the kitchen) can be a hard road for women.

This series sounds amazing! It is next up on my TBR! These covers are very eye catching to me! Thank you for the chance.

Whelp… this will be another automatic one click! I lover her books and this excerpt makes me pretty sure I will love this book too! Thanks for the chance! 😍

Omgosh💟 so so excited😁 I love all the books & can’t wait to read more💜💙💚💛❤ thanks bunches✔📚

I’m so excited about this read. Like I expected, the excerpt had me dying to read the rest. 😀😀

This series has been on my TBR list for awhile (those covers are SO pretty!), but I think this excerpt just bumped them to the top! This was a great snippet from the book and it absolutely piqued my interest.
Thanks for the chance! This is a great giveaway! :)

Tomorrow is toooooo far away! I can’t wait to read this. I feel like I’ve been anticipating this release forever!! Thanks for the excerpt!

I’ve read the other books in this series and loved them. I’m looking forward to this one as well. The excerpt just made me put it to the top of my list!

I cant wait to read Wyatt’s story. I know this book will be amazing just like all of Rachel’s is. I dont own any of her books in paperback yet so this would be the best giveaway to win. Thank you for the chance to win this generous prize package.

This looks so good! I have not started this series yet but this bumps it up my TBR for sure!!! Thank you for the chance. <3

The Opposite of You is my absolute favorite Rachel Higginson book. Looks like The Problem With Him will be my new favorite based on this expert. The connection between them, yum!

Wow!! This sounds really good!! Definitely will be reading this.. Read some of Rachel’s other books and they were great!! New to these and excited to get started.. Thank you for the chance!!

Ahh! I cannot wait another millisecond to get my hands on this one. I have loved every one of these books. So of course the excerpt whetted my appetite to do a massive reread and then dig right in to the new one. Hands down this along with Love and Decay are my fave Rachel novels.

Wow!! This sounds really good.. Definitely will be reading this!! Read some of Rachel’s other books and they were so good. Love her writing. New to these books but excited to read them.

I want more! Would love to read it! I haven’t read any books by this author, I think it’s time!! Love the excerpt and want more!

Sounds good can’t wait to read this book!! I read The Difference between Us and loved it, so I know this is going to be amazing.

Sounds good can’t wait to read this book!! I have read The Difference between Us Us and loved it, so I know this is going to be amazing.

I am so excited for this book! This excerpt got me even more excited, that messages… LOVE! Thank you for this wonderful chance <3

Anyone can write a romantic story or create sizzling hot sex scenes but it takes real talent to create characters that are believable and a storyline that is meaningful and feels genuine. Just by reading this short excerpt, I can tell that Madison has achieved both! After reading just these few paragraphs, I already feel compelled to read more, Eager to find out what happens next! I am super excited about this book

Anyone can write a romantic story or create sizzling hot sex scenes but it takes real talent to create characters that are believable and a storyline that is meaningful and feels genuine. Just by reading this short excerpt, I can tell that Higginson has achieved both! After reading just these few paragraphs, I already feel compelled to read more, Eager to find out what happens next! I am super excited about OPPOSITES ATTRACT #3!!!
📗📘📙📕📗📘📙📕📗📘📙📕📗📘📙📗📘📙📕📗📘
Liked:✖️
Shared:✖️
Following you:✖️
Following Rachel:✖️
On my TBR:✖️
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE CHANCE TO WIN!!!
📗📘📙📕📗📘📙📕📗📘📙📕📗📘📙📗📘📙📕📗📘

I’ve loved these covers since I first laid eyes on them and have had the first two on my GR TBR for a while, just haven’t quite ‘gotten’ around to reading them. However they keep popping up in many different places – it’s a sign! This blurb is increasing my desire to get stuck in. Thx for the chance. Oh & loved her other’s I’ve read.

Oh my God.. This is so good. I have loved the first two books. This one is not going to be any different. I am so glad it’s Wyatt now.. Have been waiting for him since the first book… 😍 😍 😍 😍

This is a new author for me, but I just one clicked all 3 books because I’m very interested in each book now! Loved this excerpt obviously. Thank you!

Love when they realize it’s a “need” and not a “want”. I’ve been looking forward to Wyatt’s story since he was introduced in “The Opposite of You”!

This sounded good, but I think that I would have preferred the scene that must have taken place between Kaya and Wyatt before this.
Still, I haven’t read anything by this author and this tidbit has me wondering what is up with these two.

I’ve read the first book in the series and look forward to reading the second and now this new one.
Wyatt seems overwhelmed and needing some comfort and it sounds like Kaya can provide that! I also love text messages between the characters as people can sometimes say more vs in person. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks!

I’m a newbie to this author, but I definitely want to read her work now. I’m always looking for new authors to read. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

Enticing, always looking for exciting and new authors to read. Would definately love to read these 3 books. : )

I have quickly fallen in love with this series from Rachel Higginson! I stumbled across the first book The Opposite of You by accident and devoured the second book The Difference Between Us immediately after. I can’t wait to read more of Wyatt’s story and loved the excerpt from The Problem With Him! Midnight can’t come fast enough! Ps…Thanks for the Opportunity!

Every time she writes new characters, I don’t think she will be able to top them but she does! This looks so good! I can’t wait to read it!

Never read this author, but it’s reminding me a bit of Christina Lauren, who I LOVE! Definitely adding this to be TBR list, even if I don’t win the contest :)

I can’t read anymore in this excerpt! I am dying to read this book and because I love this series so much, I don’t want the details. I just want to dive right in!
We need to discuss this cover though!! Holy hotness!! 😍😍

I fall for every character Rachel writes, and I adore her!!! The protectiveness and chemistry Wyatt is putting off slays me!

I haven’t read a book in awhile so I’m looking forward to reading this series now that it’s complete. I’ll have all 3 read in no time. So excited!! Love love love Rachel Higginson!!

I haven’t read any of these (or anything from this author, actually!). But I definitely just added it to my TBR!! Restaurant life (which I have many years experience in… & sometimes decide I miss it and should go back…. So reading about it should be a good enough stroll down memory lane, to remind me that reminiscing is okay, but … No need for rash decisions! 😂) AND a seemingly super STEAMY story line… Umm, YES PLEASE! So Ready to experience Kaya and Wyatt’s story!!! *Those texts at the end…. 😍😍*

Ohhh I absolutely adore Rachel and her writing! Freaking love this excerpt and I can’t wait to read it!

Loved Wyatt in Opposites Attract! And I love that he took over Lilou. Can’t wait to read the rest of what happens between him and Kaya.

The excerpt is really intriguing!😱 I’m adding it to my TBR😍 I love that he seems very corky and I like the contrasting emotions that she seems to feel for him. I need to read more! 💙

I have loved all the Opposites Attract books so far. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one! Thanks for the excerpt – this one doesn’t sound like it’ll disappoint.

I’ve been in love with this series since I picked up the first book! I haven’t had the chance to read this one yet but I can’t wait!

Wow! This excerpt was rather interesting! Would love to read the entire series. Sounds like a good way to spend a couple of days. Thanx for the chance!

This sounds so good! I have not read anything by this author, but this book sounds amazing! The texts at the end made my stomach flutter….LOL!

This book sounds sooooo good! I have never read this author before, but I will be correcting that soon. I loved the texts at the end. It made my stomach flutter.

I love all I have read and I love the guy in the backwards ball cap. I look forward to reading the latest Rachel has written. I love her books!

I’ve been seeing and hearing this author’s name for a while now and haven’t read yet- but that excerpt…total one-click! No club rats!

The excerpt was sweet, and sexy, brought a smile to face. Love the series. Thank you for the awesome giveaway. 💙📚

Gosh, don’t you just love it when an asshole shows the girl his vulnerable side!? This book is burning a hole in my kindle, but would absolutely love to win the series in paperback since the odds of buying it myself is slim to none…live in South Africa and shipping is EXPENSIVE! Thanks for the chance 💙

This book sounds like a great read, I’ve not read anything by Rachel Higginson before . Thanks for sharing!

Haven’t read it yet, can’t wait too. I’m so happy i stumbled across your page. I always get excited when you post! Follow you everywhere, thanks so much!!

Ooh la la! Love this excerpt. Well, the first part annoyed me a little bit but the flirting at the end was cute.

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