Layla James has always been in the business of love and never mixes business with pleasure, but when Cole Reed walks back into her life, she’s left questioning everything. Can this blast from the past convenience Layla to set her rules aside and take a chance on love? Fans of secret fling romances will love TWIST OF DATE by Lauren Helms, a steamy matchmaker romance.
Once upon a time, there was a charming restaurant owner and an unsuspecting matchmaker who refused to mix business with pleasure…
I’ve always been in the business of love. Happily Ever After, Inc. has thrived under my leadership and the hard set of rules that I set for myself. But when a never quite forgotten blast from my past walks into my life, I’m suddenly questioning everything and everyone around me.
Cole Reed is everything I want in a man – handsome, successful, and charming.
There’s just one small hiccup…Cole is Happily Ever After’s latest client, and he’s got his sights on me.
I’m used to getting what I want and I’ve never left a date unhappy. So when my grandmother insists I need to work with a matchmaker…her lifelong best friend at that…I’m skeptical. Especially when my path crosses with the girl that always seemed to get away.
She’s sexy, smart, and determined – everything I’ve always admired about her. And this time, I refuse to let her get away.
There’s just one small problem…Layla James is my so-called matchmaker’s granddaughter – and the owner of the matchmaking company that’s just taken me on.
It feels like a weird twist of date that’s put the two of us back in each other’s life, but Layla doesn’t quite see it that way.
Can I convince her to break a few rules and take a chance on our own happily ever after?
Copyright 2023 @Lauren Helms
“I have so many questions,” I say.
“About?” He chuckles. His hand reaches out like he’s going to touch me again but drops his hand into his pocket.
“You being here in Indy. Meeting with Ruth,” I explain. I won’t share the Googling sleuth Stella just performed.
“Ah, yeah, it’s been a hell of a long time, Lays.” He uses the old nickname like it’s still second nature to him. The reminder of how he insisted on adding the S when we merely acquaintances, friends at best. While we had chemistry, it was never the main factor in the relationship we had. His nickname for me had always baffled me, but I wouldn’t deny that I loved it.
“Ten years,” I say, nearly in a whisper.
A seductive gleam flowers in his eyes as he grins back at me. “You look damn good, Layla.” In my building and meeting with my grandmother.
I smile at his compliment. “So do you, Cole.” He’s wearing is flirty smile, so if I don’t direct him off this flirty path, I’ll regret it later.
“Why [EmL1] [LH2] were you meeting with Ruth?” I try not to sound stern, but I’m not flirting right now.
He lets out a sigh. “She’s apparently my matchmaker now.”
A heavy ball forms deep in my gut. That’s what I was afraid of. She’s going to find him a match, and that will be that. I set my lips in a firm line, switching on my professional mode.
“Well, that’s perfect. Ruth is the best.” My eyes dart away from his face. I can’t continue to look at him. He practically belongs to someone else now.
He doesn’t seem to notice the difference in my demeanor, which is good, but his next words cause me to reinforce the walls.
“I want to catch up. Soon. Can we set a date?”
I gulp before looking back at him, opting to look at his chest rather than his face. He’s wearing a black winter jacket, but it’s unzipped, his dark-colored, green maybe, button-down showing through.
“Oh, yeah, maybe,” I say.
“Let me have your phone. I had to get a new number a few years ago.” He reaches out his hand, his palm face up. I stare at it a moment, then pull out my phone against my better judgment.
I assume he’s entering his number and I’m correct when his own phone pings from somewhere on his person. His grin is huge as he hands my phone back to him.
“Now I’ve got your number.” He reaches out one more time and squeezes my bicep. “I’ve got to run. Potential new distributor meeting.”
I nod, forcing a smile.
Damn, he’s so attractive and all I want to do is snag his hand and pull him over to a table and catch up. But that won’t happen.
“All right. It was good seeing you,” I tell him. Truth.
Then he catches me off guard, pulling me into him for a hug. “So fucking good seeing you, Lays.” I feel his warm breath in my hair before he steps away. “Promise we will catch up soon, yeah?”
I nod, still taking in everything about that hug. His manly, woodsy scent, his warmth, the feel of his body around mine. His chuckle follows him as he leaves. I watch him leave until I can’t see him anymore.
What just happened?
I look down at my hand and see my phone still in it. I swipe open the messages to see what he texted himself.
Me: you’re still so hot, Cole. #perfection
Rereading the message from himself, he replies and my eyebrow rises.
Cole: Damn, Lays, you know how to make a guy blush.
I snort at his bullshit reply with a quick eye roll emoji. Even though he’s probably halfway down the street by now, I can practically hear his laughter.
About Lauren Helms
Lauren Helms is a romance author her nerdy and flirty contemporary words. Lauren has forever been an avid reader from the beginning. After starting a book review website, that catapulted her fully into the book world, she knew that something was missing. While working for a video game strategy guide publisher, she decided to mix what she knew best–video games and romance. She decided to take the plunge and write her first novel, Level Me Up. Several published novels later, Lauren created PR company, Indie Pen PR, to help other authors promote their books.
Lauren lives in Indianapolis, Indiana sharing her love of books and video games with her own Gamer Boy husband and three young kid nerds who will hopefully grow up to share the love of things that united Lauren and her husband on their own happily ever after.
This promotional event is brought to you by Indie Pen PR