EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
(20 Something Book 3)
(20 Something Book 3)
by Amy Patrick
Still Me is the third book in Amy Patrick's 20 Something series. Also available: Channel 20 Something (read my blog post) and Still Yours.
Fall in love like a 20 Something….
23 year old Kenley Moran is going through a mid-life crisis… WAY early. Pushed since childhood by a nightmare stage-mom to use her looks to “land a rich man”, she’s reeling from a broken engagement and regretting the day she gave up her career in TV news for a guy.
Now Kenley’s determined to change her life, shunning makeup and fashion and fighting her way back into the highly competitive career she loves, off-camera this time. When she lands a producing job at Worldwide News Network in Atlanta, she plans to keep her head down, work hard, and prove she’s not just another pretty face. And vows NO ONE is EVER going to make her compromise herself again.
WNN anchor Larson Overstreet has it all—old money, good looks, a prestigious job, and more women than he can count throwing themselves at him. Problem is… none of it is real. He’s known his whole life that people are only interested in him for his fortune and his famous family name, in that order. Except for Kenley. The shy news producer isn’t interested in him at all.
Working closely with the anchor of her new show, Kenley’s dismayed to feel an instant spark. Larson’s everything she doesn’t want. He’s too good looking, too charming, and worst of all, too rich. She’s not looking for another big money honey. In fact, she’d prefer a nice little guy from the mailroom, maybe a guy who lives at home like she’s been forced to do.
But when they must travel together for a special report, Kenley realizes Larson’s not the spoiled pretty rich boy she pegged him as, and she’s not as immune to him as she’s pretended to be.
Now, even at the network level, what happens behind the scenes is the real story.
Note: Still Me is a full-length standalone swexy (sweet + sexy) New Adult romance novel. It contains mature subject matter and is intended for readers 17+. As Book 3 of the 20 Something series, Still Me can be further enjoyed in conjunction with Book 1 Channel 20 Something (Heidi and Aric) and Book 2 Still Yours (Mara and Reid). But it is a standalone novel with no cliffhanger ending and can be read without having first read the others in the series.
When I got in to work the next day, Larson was leaning against my desk talking to Deb. Shoot. He looked amazing as usual.
His dark suit pants draped perfectly over his miles-long legs. His arms were folded across his chest, highlighting some very solid biceps under the fine fabric of his dress shirt. He hadn’t put on his jacket and tie yet, and the top two buttons of his shirt were unfastened. He didn’t go to hair and makeup until just before the show—his hair now was a bit windblown, making him look a little less put-together and a little more yummy than usual.
He saw me approaching and gave me a bright crinkly-eyed smile. Shoot, shoot, shoot.
“Hi Kenley. We missed you last night—you should’ve come. A certain network veteran stopped by and started telling war stories from the early days of cable news. It got very colorful.”
“I’ll bet it was interesting,” I said, keeping my tone polite, but not overly engaged. My gaze bounced around the newsroom, settling on anything but his face. We were more or less eye level with each other as he still hadn’t gotten off my desk.
“So what was on the menu for the family dinner?” he asked.
Why the heck would you care? That’s what I was thinking. What I actually said was, “Chicken and dumplings.”
“Sounds tempting,” he murmured.
And my focus flew to his face. Blue. His eyes were very, very blue. Not pale like mine, but a deeper, sort of bluebonnet color. You could tell on camera he had blue eyes, but they were different up close in person—prettier. I shifted my gaze to my feet.
“Oh, you probably want your desk back. I guess I’ll move my lazy ass and let you sit down,” he said with a low laugh.
Which I ignored. I kept my eyes to the floor and nodded.
Larson stood and took a step away from the desk, and I took my seat, turning my attention to Deb.
“Hey. How was your morning? How’s Owen?”
Deb was a single parent to just about the cutest seven-year-old I’d ever seen. Since I’d grown up without brothers or even male cousins, her tales of little boy mischief were equal parts frightening and entertaining—like a good horror movie. And she seemed to have endless patience. Sometimes I found myself wishing she was my own mom.
“Oh, he’s great. He lost a tooth this morning when he was brushing. It went down the drain, and he was devastated for about five minutes until he figured out a solution.”
“Yeah—for the tooth fairy. He finally asked me to cut his fingernails and left some in an envelope under his pillow as a substitute.”
“Lucky tooth fairy.” I laughed.
“You have no idea—you should have heard his first suggestion for what to leave under the pillow.”
We both laughed. “Don’t forget what I said about babysitting. Anytime. You need to get out and take a little time for yourself. Maybe even go on a date,” I said.
Deb rolled her eyes at me. “Says one hermit to the other. I’ll leave my cave when you do.” She picked up her perpetually-ringing desk phone and turned toward her monitor.
I logged on to my own computer, chuckling to myself and completely forgetting I hadn’t seen Larson walk away toward his own desk.
His shivery-smooth voice came from behind me. “Well, okay ladies. I’ll let you two get to work. See you at the team meeting.”
I lifted a hand in a wave behind me, but Larson came around to the front of my desk before leaving. He put a large hand on its surface and leaned down, dropping his voice. “You really should come out with us next time. I know it’s hard to be new. I felt kind of strange when I got here last year, too. But everyone would love to get to know you better.” He gave me an encouraging smile.
Ugh. Why did he have to keep being so nice? Why couldn’t he just leave me alone? The thing was—everyone wasn’t inviting me out repeatedly—only Larson. Had I not been clear enough over the past few weeks about not wanting to know him better?
“Okay, thanks. Maybe next time,” I said, my eyes darting away.
When he didn’t move, I risked another glance at his face. Those ultra-blue eyes were narrowed, his lips twisted like he was trying to figure out a particularly difficult-to-pronounce name on a script.
He nodded. “Okay,” he said and started to walk off. Then he stopped and turned around. “You look pretty today, by the way.” Then he turned and kept going.
My fingers stopped in place on the keyboard. My gaze stayed locked on his back. Though the newsroom was always ice cold, a heat spread through my body from my chest outward until I was blazing with it.
This had to stop—the invitations, the attempts to draw me into conversation, the compliments. Especially those. It wasn’t that I felt sexually harassed or thought Larson was being a lech or something—it’s just that it wasn’t true. I’d made quite sure I didn’t look lovely or pretty before I’d left the house this morning, and I didn’t understand why he kept on saying things like that, day after day.
About the Author
Amy is a two-time Golden Heart finalist (2013 and 2014) who writes Young Adult fiction as Amy DeLuca and New Adult romance as Amy Patrick. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two sons and actually craves the heat and humidity of Mississippi, where she grew up. She's been a professional singer and news anchor and currently narrates audio books as well as working as a station host for a Boston TV station.
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of Still Yours OR Still Me by Amy Patrick (remember you can get Channel 20 Something FREE). The prize will be sent out by the tour organizer after 10 November.