Released: March 6th, 2014
First loves, second chances…
When Cali Morgan kicks off her perfect post-college summer in Lake Tahoe, she has everything she ever wanted: acceptance into a top law program, a gorgeous boyfriend, and an incredible summer planned with her best friend.
Confident about her place in the world, Cali makes it her mission to be her friend’s wingwoman and help her meet guys. What Cali doesn’t count on is running into Jaeger Lang, one of her older brother’s high school friends, or the sparks that fly when she’s around him.
Jaeger has changed, and it’s not just the added height and muscle. There’s something about him that’s deep and a little scarred. In spite of the changes, Jaeger becomes a top pick for her friend—if Cali can keep her hands off him.
But when Cali’s boyfriend dumps her and her carefully laid plans begin to unravel, she finds herself questioning what it is she truly desires. In the midst of doubts about her future, one thing is very clear: she wants Jaeger for her own. The question is, has her friend already fallen for him?
Gen and I approach the seamstress counter in the Blue Casino basement, the hub of lower employee relations. The managers’ offices are located above the casino floor, where bosses peer at everyone through stealthy security cameras. Blue stockpiles its uniforms in the basement and allocates them to the minions at the beginning of every work shift. To remove a uniform from the premises is considered stealing. I don’t get management’s proprietary clamp on polyester, but I’m happy to let them do my laundry for me.
I hand the attendant my claim check and she passes me a pair of black slacks and a white button-down shirt. Boring, but I’ll make it work with a few buttons open at the top. Gen hands in her claim check next, and I step away, searching for our lockers. After a long moment, I glance back.
She’s still in front of the counter, staring at what I’m guessing is her uniform. Her back’s to me, so I walk up and look over her shoulder.
“Don’t say anything. Anything, Cali!”
Oh, God. This is perfect. I couldn’t have set things up better.
Now I remember why I chose the dealer position. I’m an absolute wuss when it comes to the cold—I used to dress like an Eskimo during Tahoe winters. Having grown up around the casinos, I know a thing or two about the air conditioning and the cocktail uniforms. I didn’t want to freeze my nipples off every day.
I cover my smile with my hand. “It’s pretty,” I mumble through my fingers.
The look she gives me . . . appalled, peeved. She’s seriously pissed. I don’t know why, but seeing her like this always makes me want to laugh. It’s like watching an angry kitten or a furious fluffy bunny. It’s so out of character.
I squeeze my lips together and bend over, holding in a snicker.
Gen leans down, her mouth to my ear. “You. Suck. You did this on purpose!”
I straighten. “How could I do this on purpose? You picked your job position.”
Aside from the freeze-your-nipples-off factor, I wouldn’t have minded the cocktail uniform. I hadn’t warned Gen, because I didn’t think it was a big deal. She needs to loosen up, and I couldn’t have arranged a more perfect outfit to attract guys to my reserved best friend.
Gen’s hands shake as she crushes the small piece of black, shiny fabric in the shape of hot pants and the blue-and-black-sequined bustier to her chest. She stomps away.
“Good luck tonight,” I call out, a smile in my voice.
Without looking back, she holds her hand above her head and flips me off.
Jules Barnard is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended UC Davis, whose college landscape often finds its way into her New Adult novels. She has a Master’s degree and spent many an hour running statistical analysis, until she realized her favorite part of the job was writing reports. She decided to cut out the math and add in some hot guys, and so began her career as a novelist. Jules is a Northern California native living on the coast with her husband and two children. She has no impulse control around cupcakes and credits herself with the ability to read while running on the treadmill or burning dinner.
Check her out in these sites: