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Breaking up is hard to do.
It’s even harder when you’re not expecting it.

Brooke Jensen is a planner. Not only in her personal life but also professionally as one of the most sought after event planners in Chicago.

But, when the ideal life she built for herself, complete with handsome, long-term boyfriend and perfect apartment crumbles, she realizes there are some things you just can’t plan for.

While trying to start anew from her best friend’s guest room and discovering the best doughnuts in the city, an idea sparks to life when she meets Levi. He’s intriguing, funny, and shockingly good-looking, and what had been a few stray thoughts becomes a new passion for Brooke, a blog detailing learning how to be single. The project introduces Brooke to new people and experiences, and keeps returning her back to Levi.

But, Brooke learns kismet may have been wrong when she learns Levi is the last person she should be interested in.

Falling for the wrong guy once has Brooke hesitant to start a new relationship, but Levi is quickly proving that The Fallback might be even better.


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: The Fallback

Mariah Dietz

10 January 2019

A swoony second chance romance is coming tomorrow from author Mariah Dietz, and I have a sneak peek for you.

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Excerpt

“I question if your interest in me stems from the challenge. Because I’ve told you we can’t be together.”

Levi leans closer to me, the scent of beer from his drink filling my nose. “You’re misreading everything if that’s what you think.” He stares at me, his gaze so intense it again feels like a physical weight.

“I’m kind of a mess,” I admit, swallowing the rest of my words and forcing myself to lay it all out for him. “Gabe and I were friends for three years before we began dating. I kind of suck at trusting people.”

“That’s another thing we have in common.” He takes another drink, his sips small.

I laugh. “You say that like it’s a good thing. Two people who don’t know how to trust sounds like a disaster.”

“Most people are fucked up and don’t know how to trust—we’re just honest about it.”

“Would you like another?” the bartender asks, grabbing my empty glass. I nod, knowing he’ll go away faster.

“I’m a workaholic,” I tell Levi when the bartender turns his attention to someone else. “I’m also ridiculously independent, and as a fun reminder, I currently reside in my best friend’s guest room.”

Levi lifts a brow. “Is this your attempt to scare me?”

“This is me being honest.”

He reaches for his glass, taking a longer pull before dropping it with a thudagainst the polished counter. “I’m also a workaholic. I hate most people, and I talk during movies.”

I gape. “You talk through movies?”

He laughs. “This is what I’m talking about. Everyone has their own share of issues. All that matters is if you can accept the other person’s.”

The bartender hands me a filled glass, and I take another drink to fill my confidence. “Why didn’t you kiss me the other day? In the parking lot.”

“Because you hesitated. I’d leaned forward, and you didn’t.”

“I did!”

His lips snake into a smile as he shakes his head. “You didn’t.”

“We should be friends,” I tell him, gripping my glass in an attempt to ground myself and not get lost as I stare into his eyes, seeing a million possibilities that I want to make promises and vows upon.

“Probably.” Levi leans closer. He raises a hand, gripping the back of my neck with the pads of his fingers so that the palm of his hand fits against my jaw.

I hold my breath, waiting for him to kiss me. Praying it will be as great as the first kiss.

“Excuse me. Do you know what time it is?” The same woman who had eye-stalked Levi stands beside us, her cleavage and wide smile on display.

Levi shakes his head and moves so he’s standing even closer to me.

The woman looks me over once, then gives a contrived smile before taking a couple of steps back.

A grin tugs at Levi’s lips. I wonder how apparent my jealousy and disappointment is. “Are you ready to go to the next bar?”

I glance at the other woman a final time, discovering her talking to another man, her eyes still on Levi. “She’s basically having sex with you with her eyes.”

Levi leans forward, his breath against my ear. My heart stutters and then takes off at a sprint. He invades my senses. His cologne is a drug as I glance at his shoulder in front of me, seeing the edges of his tattoos peeking through the neckline. “I only see you,” he says.

I’m a puddle. I can’t recall why I’m not supposed to like him or why he shouldn’t be flirting with me or if anything has a right or wrong answer.

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