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Monday Puzzler > Monday Puzzler, June 11, 2018 - Enemies to Lovers

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message 1: by Irisheyes (last edited Jun 10, 2018 05:00PM) (new)

Irisheyes | 896 comments This is an excerpt from a fun enemies to lovers story that I enjoyed. I liked the characters and their coming together and burying their animosity towards each other felt real to me. I believed in the HEA


His dad smiled at Heroine. “So, Miss Heroine. I hear you’re keeping my son on his toes while I’m not around to do it.”

Heroine’s eyes widened in surprise as Hero inwardly groaned.

“I don’t know about keeping him on his toes but I certainly try to deflate his ego when I can.” She smiled.

Heroine had the most stunning smile of any woman he’d ever met. It was full and glamorous and completely spellbinding.

Hero felt a spike of envy toward his dad and shook his head in disbelief.

His dad laughed. “Glad to hear it. I saw your inn when I took a walk on the boards early this morning. It’s beautiful.”

One tiny compliment and Heroine blossomed, preening under the praise. “Thank you. That’s very kind of you.” Her eyes narrowed as she looked between father and son. “If you two didn’t look so damn alike I would question the relation.”

While his dad laughed, Hero squirmed, fighting the urge to respond in turn. He had to remember she was going through something traumatic and he had to be extra careful of her feelings.

Heroine seemed surprised by his lack of response. “Are you on your best behavior in front of your father or is something else going on?”

“Excuse me?” He feigned polite ignorance.

Her features tightened, her pretty lips pressing into thin, hard lines. When she did that it made him want to kiss them to soft and full again. He jerked his gaze from her mouth only to meet his father’s stare. A stare that was bright with curiosity and speculation.

“Someone told you, didn’t they? About my breakup with “Ex-boyfriend”. Was it Cooper? Well, he probably realized that it would be all over town by the end of the night anyway. So yes. I broke up with “Ex-boyfriend” because I found him in nothing but dirty socks, rutting with a twenty-three-year-old.”

And that was just like Heroine to ignore social decorum and put the upsetting business of her breakup, and the circumstances of it, out there. Hero’s dad was hiding a smile, apparently amused by her candidness.

Hero cleared his throat, not knowing whether to laugh, strangle her, or pull her into his arms. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

Heroine raised an eyebrow as if to indicate, Yeah, right.

“Breakups are difficult,” his dad said. “I’m sorry to hear you’re going through that, Miss Heroine.”

Like most women who met his father, Heroine melted under the blast of his warm charisma. “Thank you. And please call me Heroine.”

“Then call me Liam,” he returned.

Kill me now, Hero thought. As much as he didn’t want any kind of congenial relationship with Heroine he had to admit it stung more than a little that upon meeting him she took an instant dislike to him, but upon meeting his father she treated him with the same friendly warmth she did everyone else.

“Liam it is then.”

“I hope you’re doing okay,” his dad continued.

Since Hero wanted to know the answer to that he didn’t interrupt and demand two coffees to go from Emery like he probably should have.

“I am, thank you.” She slumped against the counter. The seriousness of the new subject seemed to drain her. “The change is hard. We were together ten years. But . . . we weren’t right for one another.” She gave his dad a sad smile that Hero felt deep in his chest. “It’s kind of a relief actually.”

Not for the first time Hero marveled at Heroine’s ability to wear her emotions on her sleeve for all to see. He admired and feared it.

He was also amazed by how calm she was about her breakup with “Ex-boyfriend". There was no way she could really be that calm. Perhaps she was in denial. The hysterics would come later.

He winced thinking of what he’d gone through with Camille.

“It’s still fresh. That relief will change to loss,” he found himself saying. “You need to give yourself time to process it.”

“Sure thing, "Hero's Last Name".” She cheekily saluted him. “Of course you know how I’m feeling better than I do. You always know better than I do, right?”

His father stared at him in amusement.

He ignored them both. “Two grande cappuccinos to go, please, Emery.”

Heroine sighed. “You’re playing nice today, "Hero's Last Name". It’s unsettling me.”

Exasperated by her and knowing exactly how he wanted to take that exasperation out on her, Hero couldn’t look at her for fear his father would see the lust pouring off of him. “I always play nice.” He focused on the bestseller stand behind them, pretending to peruse it. “You just take everything I say the wrong way.”

“Oh? And how should I take you calling me mediocre?”

Guilt tightened his throat at the tiny speck of hurt he heard buried beneath her dry question. The weight of his father’s disapproval fell on him—he didn’t even have to look at him to know His dad didn’t like what he was hearing.

What was it about a parent’s ability to make you feel like a child again even at thirty-six years old?

He forced himself to look Heroine in the eye. “I will remind you it was in retaliation to you calling me ‘nothing.’”

Seemingly remorseful she gave him a taut nod. “You’re right. And that was wrong of me.”

“As was what I said. I shouldn’t have. It was wrong and untrue.”

Heroine was taken aback. “Apparently, Liam, you have the ability to make your son behave like a gentleman. That says good things about you.”

Hero knew his dad well enough to read his expression. His dad was unsure and confused by the dynamic between Hero and Heroine. “I was under the impression my son always acts like the gentleman I raised him to be.”

Hero shrugged, pretending to care much less than he did. “Sometimes I forget my manners. Especially when provoked.”

“And he’s back!” Heroine smirked at him, looking almost relieved. “I’ve had enough shocks for one week, "Hero's Last Name". Don’t suddenly be nice to me. You almost gave me heart failure.”

While his father laughed and talked with Heroine, Hero paid for the coffees and somehow managed to drag a reluctant His dad out of there. As soon as the door closed behind them, his dad said, “I like her a lot.”

“Miss Saunders? Yes, she’s sweet. And she makes a great coffee.” He sipped at his cappuccino.

“You know fine well I’m talking about Heroine.”

“Miss Heroine? Really?”

“She’s got fire. Your mother had fire like that.”

Uncomfortable with the idea of his father approving of Heroine, Hero sought a subject change. “I was thinking of taking you to Antonio’s for lunch. We could eat at the hotel but I thought you might like something a little more down to earth. Iris and Ira own the place and the food is wonderful. The pizza is good. You like pizza.”

He was almost rambling.


“You like her,” His dad said.

Hero didn’t reply. He’d never been able to lie to his father.

message 2: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2104 comments Mod
Definitely haven’t read this.

message 3: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1211 comments Never read this but oh my I really want too!!

message 4: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (staceyissassy) | 1281 comments Can't wait for the reveal, I definitely haven't read this one. :-)

message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan (shaydock) | 727 comments Nice excerpt, no idea. Sounds cute like the Dad too.

message 6: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (nikanne) | 222 comments I like her bite! Can't wait for reveal.

message 7: by Janga (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
I usually recognize your puzzlers, Irish, but I don't think I've read this one. Something else to add to my TBR library?

message 8: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 896 comments This one is from Every Little Thing by Samantha Young. It's the second book in her Hart's Boardwalk series. I liked it a lot. Her first series, On Dublin Street, was steamier and felt more New Adult. This series still has sizzle but it feels more... grown up, maybe is the word I'm looking for, if that makes sense?! I'm loving the whole cast of characters, but unfortunately, can't find any info on when the next book in the series is scheduled to come out.

message 9: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1211 comments oooh! Thanks Irish!

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