Dating in D.C. is like navigating an apocalyptic wasteland populated by men in expensive suits with zero mating potential. Need to Know provides all the information a savvy single woman like you needs to avoid dating disasters.
By night, Jordan McAdam is the proprietor of a popular website that rates D.C.’s hottest bachelors—everything from how quick they email you back to their skills in the sack. She’s been burned once too often to accept any man at face value. By day, her job as an office temp puts her in the perfect position to do a little fact-checking on her rich and powerful subjects. When her latest assignment brings her face-to-face with the sexy but mysterious Forest Redder, Jordan decides to do a little “hands on” research of her own. To Jordan, he seems like the perfect man—but she knows there is no such thing. Moreover, there’s a big problem: Forest knows Jordan’s the woman behind the scandalous site—and Jordan knows he knows. Will he expose her secret—or find his own posted on Need to Know?
Thank you for having me here to talk about my latest, EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW, one of the launch titles from the new Cosmo Red-Hot Reads by Harlequin line.
People talk about the “meet cute” in a romance novel, that first time the hero and heroine cross paths. A lot of times it’s an accidental meeting or they see each other across the room. In EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW, Jordan and Forest meet in an office. She’s the temp for a businessman – not a very nice man – Forest is coming to see for a meeting. Forest and Jordan see each other, an interest sparks and they move on.
It’s the second meeting that really sticks. He makes an impression. He’s in a tux, after all. And this time he doesn’t let her walk away without moving in:
Early Saturday evening Jordan stood at the open bar and drank a silent toast to the bride, the newly minted Elizabeth Savory-West. Jordan could almost picture the personalized stationery. It would probably be in the same bright pink as the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Jordan had a harder time figuring out the bride, since Jordan had never actually met her. She stood now and watched Elizabeth swish around in her fluffy white dress, surrounded by tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of pink and white roses and her thirteen bridesmaids. Because that was a rational number. Jordan could barely come up with thirteen people she’d want at her wedding, never mind acting as bridesmaids.
She scanned the Highwater Observatory, the fancy room housing the reception. It was one of three ballrooms at the tony hotel on the edge of Georgetown. Jordan had to fight the urge to grab her phone and figure out how much the room rental cost. Something with skylights and “observatory” in its name couldn’t be cheap. Add in the paneled mahogany ceiling, glitzy chandeliers and rich golden fabrics and you had a very expensive few hours of dancing and cake.
She didn’t know one person in the room. That’s what happened when you crashed a wedding to scope out a groomsman. Word was Nick Asher enjoyed sleeping with bridesmaids—any bridesmaid—and sometimes skulked around weddings looking for sex partners. Sex, as in having it, then sneaking out before the hotel-room bill was paid.
He was a real classy guy, this Nick. Just went to show money couldn’t buy manners.
Right now she watched him move, circling a petite brunette and following her as she walked out the towering doors to the terrace. Jordan guessed it was time she got some fresh air, as well. She pivoted around one of the fancy columns at one end of the room and came eye-to-mouth with a guy.
At least it was a hot mouth, and the rest of the face…well, damn.
“How do you know Bitsy?” Forest stood there, dressed like James Bond, all sleek in a tux that fit him as if some dude stripped Forest naked and measured him for it.
Jordan felt all the blood leave her head. It had to be a reaction to the impressive outfit. No way was she responding to him. “What?”
Clearly the rushing sound in her ears drowned out part of the conversation. “Is that a person or a thing?”
“She’s the bride.”
Jordan decided this would teach her not to do more investigation on the bride and groom before crashing a wedding. She’d gotten a tip about Nick being a groomsman and showed up without any planning. It was a hotel, after all. Not exactly a security-protected event.
But none of that solved the six-foot-something problem in front of her. Damn, she couldn’t see anything past Forest’s broad shoulders. That couldn’t be normal.
She waved her hand and gave a chuckle. “Oh, sure. Bitsy.”
He shifted as he folded his arms over his chest. “No one calls her that.”
Shifty bastard. “Why did you?”
“To see if you knew her or were even invited to this event.”
“What makes you think I’m not supposed to be here?” Other than that being the truth, of course.
“You’re not talking to anyone.”
Jordan snorted before she could stop it. “So?”
He put his palm against the column behind her head and leaned in. “You were hiding behind the post and ducked when the bride walked by. You’re not giving anyone eye contact and I haven’t seen you talk or eat or even sit down, probably because you don’t have an assigned seat.”
“Yeah, that’s not creepy or anything.”
“Your stalking problem.”
The corner of his mouth lifted but just as quickly flatlined again. “You’re not exactly engaged in normal wedding-guest behavior.”
“Clearly you don’t go to many weddings.” Jordan had been to seven for her mother alone, so she considered herself a bit of an expert. And, really, hiding was the only way to get through them.
It’s not their first meet and not all that cute, but it starts them down the road…and it’s a very fun road. :)
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