Title: Our Options Have Changed
Series: On Hold #1
Authors: Julia Kent & Elisa Reed
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 5, 2016
Having it all is a fantasy, right?
Chloe Browne knows all about fantasy. Fantasy is her job.
And she’s very, very good at what she does.
As director of design for the O Spa chain, a sophisticated women’s club that is trending its way into being the Next Big Thing, Chloe’s ready to take on the world.
One baby at a time.
Her home study’s done, and she’s about to adopt, a thirty-something single mother by choice. Who needs to put her life on hold for the right guy when the right baby is waiting for her?
Besides, talk about fantasy.
The right guy?
And then in walks Nick Grafton, with those commanding sapphire eyes and wavy blonde hair and a sophisticated mouth that only smiles for her.
But the last thing Nick wants is to start fresh with a new baby as his college-age kids fly the coop. A single father for more than fifteen years after his wife walked out on her family, Nick finally tastes freedom.
But he likes the taste of Chloe more.
* * *
Our Options Have Changed is a full-length standalone contemporary romance, the first in the On Hold series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent and journalist-turned-fiction-writer Elisa Reed. It is a loose spinoff from Julia Kent’s Shopping for a Billionaire series, with cameo appearances from favorite characters.
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When my alarm goes off at six a.m., I know it’s time to get up. My meeting with Nick Grafton is today. I’ve been awake since four, when I woke to find Mink covering my face, fur tickling my nose.
Mink. My living, purring fur coat. My cat.
I tried so hard to hold on to sleep, blissful unconsciousness. General anesthesia.
My brain, however, wanted to watch a slideshow:
The mystery shop report. Who highlighted all those pages?
Me, at the market, shopping for treats for Joe.
Me, in the ladies’ room, primping a treat for Joe.
Joe, getting treated. By someone else.
I have read that it’s essentially impossible to think of nothing, but I tried. I visualized grey. The O shade.
Quite right. Impossible. I started running through the alphabet backwards.
Z Y X… W… not as easy as you would think, right?
N… Nick Grafton in my office doorway, somehow familiar. Starched white shirt. The scent of Bay Rhum when he caught me. If masculine has a scent, it’s Bay Rhum.
…M L K…
J… Joe, red-faced and drunk, Nick’s arm around his neck. Pathetic. I wish I could un-see this.
B… Baby. Baby coming soon. Life will change, forever. Am I ready? I think so. But is anyone ever ready? Maybe I’m too ready—what if Li changes her mind? Should I buy diapers, baby clothes, a crib? Would I be tempting fate? So far I just have an infant car seat. If this doesn’t happen, I can just put it in the closet. Way far back in the closet where I can’t see it.
Li is so young. Old enough to get pregnant but far too young to be a mother. In so many ways, she’s really still a baby herself. She’s been forced into a situation with no possible happy ending—at least not for her. Her tragedy will make my dream come true. Can I help make some of her dreams come true in return? She wants to be an esthetician, told me the day I met her on the gO Spa. Can I find a scholarship for her? Create one?
A… Anterdec. Meeting today with Nick Grafton. Okay. This is better. This I can handle. What to wear?
I am representing O. I visualize grey again. Dove grey suit of raw silk, seamed to fit my body perfectly, never too tight or too loose. High heels, but not too spiky. And most importantly, a necklace of glass Os, linked together with silver.
And for today’s secret power, rose silk cheeky panties that lace up the back. Matching bustier. Grey thigh highs in fine mesh.
On the outside, chic and understated. Underneath, intimate pleasure.
I am O.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.
Elisa Reed is a journalist-turned-fiction-writer whose snappy, irreverent prose combines with an irrepressible zest for the simpler, and often intimate, pleasures of life to produce fun(ny) contemporary romance with a focus on second chances. New England born and bred, Elisa Reed now lives, writes, and plays in New Orleans and along the sugar sands of the Gulf Coast.