Published by Sourcebooks, Inc.
Missed Connections by Tamara Mataya
Series: Summer Love, Book 1
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
About the Book
Missed Connection: I saw you standing there, and I was struck by your eyes. Gorgeous, but not as gorgeous as your smile.
Thanks to her job at a crazy New Age spa, what should have been a sizzling NYC summer is being hijacked by demanding hippie bosses. To unwind, Sarah spends her nights cruising Missed Connections, dreaming of finding an uber-romantic entry all about her. Of course, the moment she finds that Missed Connection, real life comes crashing down around her in a night of unbridled passion with someone completely different: totally off-limits Jack.
Best. Hookup. Ever.
Gorgeous and wealthy, hot as sin, Jack can give Sarah everything she needs—except an emotional connection. That she gets from her Missed Connection, the romantic stranger who never fails to make her swoon. But there’s only so much of Sarah to go around. Torn between the bad boy she can’t keep and the sensitive stranger who bares his soul online, her heart and body are soon in two very different relationships…or are they?
Exclusive Excerpt from Missed Connections
“How did your interview go?”
I smooth my ponytail in what I hope is a casual manner, feeling self-conscious about my tiny shorts and tank top. “I think it went well, but they said they had a few more applicants to go through. And they’re a little strange.”
How much can I say without sounding judgmental? “They’re hippies.”
“As in cool stoners? That might be kind of sweet having them as your bosses.”
“I don’t know about that, but I suspect there’s going to be a lot of talk of chi and auras.”
“Ah, New Agers.”
“Yes.” Resting an elbow on the desk, I prop my chin in one hand. “And they haven’t let the person whose job I’d be taking know they’re fired yet.”
He grimaces. “Harsh.”
“But I’d work there in a heartbeat if they’d have me.”
He crosses his arms, and I try not to ogle them. “They’d be stupid not to hire you.”
“Thanks, Jack.” His earnestness makes me smile.
“I know you said before you couldn’t waitress, but they make awesome tips. I could—”
“I know you have all kinds of connections, but I couldn’t work as a waitress at one of those clubs. I don’t have the coordination. There’s a reason you guys never let me carry the drinks back to the table. I’d end shifts owing more than I’d made.”
“Fair enough. So—” he says, as my cell phone vibrates against the desktop.
“I’ve got to get this.” I hold up my hand. “Sarah speaking.”
“Hi, Sarah, this is Fern. From Inner Space?”
“Hi, Fern.” It’s them, I mouth at Jack. “How are you?”
“I’m fine. Listen, I just wanted to call to let you know that unfortunately”—damn it—“our old receptionist found out we were interviewing and came in for an ugly confrontation before she stormed out, so we’re going to need you to come in tomorrow morning.”
Wait. “You mean I got the job?”
“Oh yes, didn’t I say?”
I punch the air. “No! Thank you, Fern. I will definitely be there. What time do you need me?”
“You’ll be working Monday to Friday, leaving around six. Is ten too early?”
Too early? The firm had me start work at seven—and I’ll get weekends off. “Ten is perfect.”
“Great. See you tomorrow.”
“Bye.” I end the call and spring to my feet. “I have a job.”
“Congratulations!” Jack holds his hand up, but our high five turns into an enthusiastic hug.
And here, pressed up against his warm, muscular length, with my face to his chest, I remember why he’s off-limits. Because I want him so very much, and he’s so very wrong for me.
But for once, I don’t care.
I tighten my embrace and breathe deeply, holding his scent in my lungs because I want any part of him inside me right now. His hand splays across my lower back and presses me closer, but no lines are crossed except those in my mind…where we’ve already done everything. Twice. My skin’s cooled from the air-conditioning, but he’s still warm from the heat outside, making the difference even more interesting. How would those heated hands feel trailing up my thighs…
Pulling back, I slowly drag my gaze from his chest to his face. I’ve wanted Jack from the moment I saw him six years ago at a house party, spinning records in the basement. Ten minutes later, I’d learned his nickname. DJ Madhead. My gay best friend’s identical twin.
He licks his lips.
Oh, Jack is sex personified and he knows it. The trouble is, a lot of other women know it too. A lot of women. Too many women.
And I refuse to be just another car on the train. Man whores are firmly off-limits; I’ve seen what cheating can do to people. My mom tore my dad’s heart out again and again. The worst part is he always takes her back. His pride is the least of my worries. It’s the stress that she puts on his heart that worries me and reminds me to never date a potential cheater—no matter how pretty they are, or how pretty their words are. I’ve heard variations on every justification in the book from my mother’s lips.
But even if all that changed, Jack’s rampant Peter Pan syndrome would still keep him from being an option. He’s a DJ. His office is a dance floor covered with intoxicated people. Late nights, flashing lights. How could I live like that, never seeing him? Never getting to spend more than a few hours a week, or a stolen moment on a noisy dance floor? How could I compete with all the women who throw themselves at him? I want more for myself—I need more. As lame as it may make me, I need someone who’s serious about the future, about me—not just a hot guy who refuses to grow up.
So, despite the quickening of my pulse every time Jack comes near, nothing will ever happen between us. With a sigh, I step back, breaking contact, and head to the living room, hyper-aware of him as he follows and sits on the opposite end of the couch, giving me the space I don’t want but need.
He picks up the conversation as if he hadn’t noticed the weirdness.
“They want you to start tomorrow? That’s awesome.”
“Definitely.” Though it’s weird that the old receptionist had to be the deciding factor in me getting hired. Maybe it just sped up the timeline and they had chosen me already.
The door swings open and bangs against the wall. “Honey, I’m homo!” Pete calls out.
“God, you’re such a caricature,” I call with a grin.
“I’m a campy delight.” He and his shopping bags rustle into the kitchen.
“Your brother’s here.”
“Good. I could use a big, strong man to help me with these heavy bags while I freshen up. I’m sweating like a hooker in church.”
Jack rolls his eyes at me but moves to help Pete. I follow, trying not to notice how great Jack’s ass looks in those jeans. Pete’s already deposited the grocery bags on the counters when we reach the kitchen, so I stay out of the way while Jack helps him put stuff away.
They move with a similar grace, but Pete’s a little softer and flows more, while Jack’s like a slinky jungle cat. There’s something about the way he walks that has always hit me right in the nether regions. Other than style choices and Jack’s adorable mole, they are shockingly identical. Jack’s hair is still their natural light brown and lacks the dyed, lacquered finesse of Pete’s. Pete’s eyebrows are also more groomed, but they don’t look overdone. He’s a junior aesthetician and stylist at a trendy, upscale salon in Manhattan, and he does amazing work. I trust no one else with my hair.
“Guess who has news?” Jack asks Pete.
“What? Who? Spill!”
I laugh. “I have a job! Soon, you’ll have your couch back.”
“Thank God,” he exclaims with relief.
I narrow my eyes. “You could sound a little less excited to spare my feelings.”
“Honey.” He smooths an eyebrow with the tip of his ring finger, managing to look long suffering with that small action. “I love you, but if I had to see one more thong hanging over my towel rack, I was going to lose it.”
“Pete!” My cheeks flame, and I look at Jack.
About the Author
Tamara Mataya is a librarian with a great love for recommending books to patrons. Certified to teach English as a second language, she is also a musician. She writes erotic romance and contemporary romance that appeals to the New Adult audience. She lives in Alberta, Canada.