Published by Self on 2/17/20
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Also in this series: Southern Storms
I once met a man on a cold Halloween night. He dressed as a superhero, and I dressed in red. For one night, I was his break from reality, and he was the temporary fix for my broken heart.
Two years later, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to become a senior editor at one of the biggest magazine companies in the world. The only catch? Nail an exclusive interview with New York’s finest bachelor: Connor Roe.
To the rest of the world he was becoming one of the wealthiest men in New York City. To me, he was simply my once upon a time superhero.
My job was to get an exclusive interview with New York’s hottest bachelor. Never in my life did I expect him to want an exclusive with my heart, too.
The only problem with my growing feelings for him? I was set to marry his new business partner.
Eastern Lights, an all-new heartfelt and emotional standalone romance and second standalone in the Compass Series from bestselling author Brittainy Cherry is available now!
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His playful look shifted a bit as he looked my way and nibbled on his bottom lip. “So there was a recent breakup.”
“He broke up with me about five weeks ago.”
“What an ass.”
“Yeah, but I love him. I wish I could say past tense, but here we are. My roommate Sofia said the best way to get over a man is to get under another one, but I can’t even consider that right now. The last thing I want to do is sleep with someone else.”
“Plus, sex wouldn’t fix a broken heart and—holy shit!” He clapped his hands together and hopped up from the ground to a standing position. The grin on his face was so big, but I didn’t understand what caused his sudden shift. “I got it, Red! I know what we can do to help you.”
I arched an eyebrow and stood. “I’m confused.”
“I know, I know, and you’re going to think I’m crazy—which, maybe I am—but here’s the deal: You can’t bang your way out of a heartbreak. That’s not how love works. Love isn’t a physical connection; it’s an emotional one. Plus, after breakups, people replay the good memories over the bad in their minds and start thinking they somehow failed, when, in reality, the bad probably always outweighed the good. You simply held the good tight in your grip because it was few and far between in the end. Otherwise, the good would’ve been enough to keep you together.”
I hated that he was speaking facts. Over the past weeks, all I’d done was replay all the good times Mario and I had together. My mind was stuck on a loop of moments that meant the world to me in my past relationship.
There were only a handful of good memories, yet I simply played them on repeat, making them feel bigger than they already were. Mario was a master at doing the bare minimum, and I celebrated that fact as if he was a god. It wasn’t his fault he gave me mediocre love. It was my fault for accepting it.
“So what’s your point?” I asked.
“Do you believe in destiny?”
I chuckled. “Don’t tell me you do.”
“I think everything happens for a reason, even if the reasoning isn’t clear as day right away. Maybe that’s why we met tonight, Red, because we were meant to. Maybe I had to get socked in the eye and whipped with a lasso because we were supposed to cross paths so I could help you get over your ex.”
“The best way to get over a love is to find a stronger connection with another person. So, I present to you, your Halloween love story.” He took a bow as if he was making any sense at all.
I stood still, confused as ever. “Am I missing something?”
“Clearly, because you’re looking at me as if I’m having a mental breakdown—which, I mean, is probably accurate.” He cleared his throat and stood taller as he smoothed his hands over his chest. “I’m asking you to fall in love with me.”
I snickered. “I’m sorry, what?”
“Give me the chance to make you fall in love with me before the sun comes up in the next”—he glanced down at his phone—“five hours or so. It’s just past midnight. Give me those hours to make you fall in love with me. Then we’ll end the love story on a good note. No tragic heartbreak, no hard moments or relationship struggles. No cheating or scandals. Just two people who fell in love, then life or, in our case, morning made them say their goodbyes.”
“You really think two people can fall in love within five hours?”
“I don’t know.” He shrugged and held his hand out toward me. “Want to try?”
I should’ve said no. I should’ve laughed off his crazy idea and ended the night right there on the rooftop, but I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t want to be alone. But most of all, I wanted more time with Captain, even if only a few more hours. Even if there wasn’t a real chance of me falling in love with him but just a chance of more time to feel happy.
I felt happy.
I hadn’t even known how much I’d missed happiness until it found me that night.
So, I did what any insane girl would’ve done. I took his hand and agreed to the idea of falling in love within the next five hours.
He clasped my fingers with his and pulled me in close to him. It was the closest we’d stood since meeting, and the way he looked down into my eyes caused the butterflies to intensify. He had to be well over six-foot-two as he hovered over my five-foot-eight frame—and that was with heels. The way he looked at me made me feel important, as if he was going to give this crazy plan of his all that he had.
“Knock, knock,” he said, with the goofiest grin known to mankind.
“Will you fall in love with?”
“Will you fall in love with who?”
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