THE RULES ACCORDING TO GRACIE
BOOK #1 IN THE BEHIND THE BAR SERIES
Rule number one: don’t fall for the wrong guy.
Gracie Greene has a shopping list for men. Career, financials, family…and a long list of rules to determine a guy’s suitability. She’s already disappointed her socialite mother once—now Gracie needs to find Mr. Perfect. Too bad she keeps getting distracted by her super-sexy, six-feet-of-tattooed-hotness friend, Des, who is so many shades of Mr. Wrong…
Bar owner Des Chapman has vowed never again to get involved with society girls. Yet he’s irresistibly drawn to Gracie—those lush curves, those lips, and her ridiculous ability to date the wrong guys. As Gracie’s discouragement grows, Des realizes it’s time to show her what she really needs in a man—and it has nothing to do with a briefcase and generous bank account.
He’ll teach Gracie the Rules According To Des…even if it means breaking his rule in the process.
CAN THIS BE READ AS A STANDALONE?
Is this book available in languages other than english?
Not at this stage.
IS THIS BOOK AVAILABLE IN AUDIO?
Not at this stage.
Excerpt from THE RULES ACCORDING TO GRACIE
From his vantage point at the bar, Des Chapman could tell two things: One, they were going to run out of the seafood special and, two, the guy at Gracie Greene’s table wasn’t getting lucky tonight.
He chuckled as he looked over to the booth set intimately for two. He knew all of Gracie’s tells; this date was not going well. Her hand repeatedly raked through her dark chocolate curls—she was frustrated. She kept chatting to the waiter— she was bored. And finally, she ordered a peach Bellini with a cherry on the side—her S.O.S.
Des poured the fizzing Prosecco over peach nectar and dropped a cherry into a dish, then placed both items on the bar where Gracie would be joining him shortly.
Despite the countless dates she paraded through First, his restaurant and bar, he’d been lusting after the woman for months on end. Not that she showed any kind of reciprocal interest. Though, if he was being honest with himself, it was for the best.
Gracie Greene was any and every kind of wrong for him.
She came from money…old money. If that wasn’t warning enough, she’d shed a little light on her family situation and it didn’t look good: irritatingly perfect older sister who’d married into another old money family, controlling mother who was more concerned with keeping up appearances than the wellbeing of her children. The whole thing screamed back the hell away.
He could have been persuaded to look past those factors for a chance to be with Gracie if it weren’t for the fact that he’d done it all before. His ex was exactly the same—same crazy family, same outdated views, same preference for status over love.
Society girls were not in his repertoire any more.
Des stalked over to her table. He couldn’t wallow in frustration any longer. He had a business to run and customers to keep happy. Fantasies about Gracie and her unobtainable body would have to wait until he was home. Alone.
“I told you, Gracie”—he placed his palms on the table and leaned forward—“you can’t be bringing men around here while we’re still married.”
She blinked at him, her rich brown eyes the picture of innocence. He caught a whiff of her sweet vanilla perfume as she tossed her hair over one shoulder. The scent intoxicated him.
The guy who sat across from Gracie almost choked on his steak. “You’re married?”
Des looked him up and down and scowled. The guy was way too overdressed for a date. For starters, he was still in his work clothes—a ridiculous three-piece suit—and he wore a pair of shoes so shiny Des could see his own face in them. Secondly, he had enough product in his hair to grout an entire kitchen.
He was all kinds of wrong for Gracie.
“Your profile didn’t say you were married!”
“I won’t be for much longer,” Gracie said, narrowing her eyes at Des.
To anyone else she would have appeared angry, but he noticed the tiny, barely perceptible twitch of her lips.
She jabbed a finger at Des. “As soon as this bozo signs the divorce papers, I’ll be single again.”
“Ha.” Des folded his arms. “Over my dead body.”
Mr. Shiny Shoes looked from Gracie to Des and back, his pale face losing what little color it had. He took a hearty gulp of his wine and fumbled with his iPhone and wallet.
“Look, Gracie, this has been great but I…uh,” he stuttered. “I have a thing…”
“Go.” She waved her hand, dismissing him.
He dropped a fifty onto the table and escaped, shaking his head as he went. Customers at the nearby tables were oblivious to the action and Gracie shot a grateful grin at Des.
“I do love the angry ex-husband gag,” she said, standing and linking her arm through his.
“Not bad for someone who’s never been married, eh?”
“Yes, and it’s much better than the overprotective older brother act.” They walked to the bar, her hip bumping his as they navigated the crowded space. She climbed onto a bar stool and reached for the Bellini. “No one would ever believe we’re related.”
“Why not?” Des stepped behind the bar and grabbed a towel to wipe down the countertop. This was his favorite part of the evening, the bit where he got Gracie all to himself.
“Look at you. You’re covered in tatts.”
“I’m a sweet, innocent young lady—too clean cut to be related to you.”
“There’s not much innocent about you, Gracie.”
He drank in the sight of rich curls as they tumbled over her shoulders. She wore a red dress, not showy but subtly designed to capture attention. Large gold earrings tinkled as she shook her head, giving her a gypsy-like appearance. Everything about her was smoothly curved and sculpted with lust in mind.
“You’d be surprised.” She gave a coy smile and dangled her cherry for a moment before popping it into her mouth and pulling off the stem with a gentle tug. The things that girl could do with a cherry stem…
Des swallowed, resisting the flood of heat that coursed through him whenever he watched Gracie eat. “I’m never surprised.”
The ambient light of the bar caught on her red, lacquered nails as she gesticulated. “We couldn’t be related. No one in my family would ever go a whole week without shaving.”
Des ran his hand along his jaw, stubble rough beneath his fingers. “Two days, Baby. You can thank my Mediterranean genes for that.”
“Hairy bastard.” She threw her head back and laughed, the sound much richer than one might expect from such a petite woman. Like most things about Gracie, it was deeply appealing.