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Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.
Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.
They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.
Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.
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Prologue: No More Bad Boys
I scan the room, searching for familiar faces—anyone in my department at Moorehead Media who I know well enough to strike up menial conversation with. As I perform my visual sweep, I note a small cluster of men at three o’clock. The cluster effect isn’t unusual. This entire party is made up of human semicircles, half of them wearing fake smiles, feigning interest in conversations, the other half using it as a means to conduct business under the influence of alcohol.
My gaze snags and catches on one man in particular. He’s not engaged in his semicircle discussion. I know this, because he’s looking at me. Or at least he’s looking in my direction. He’s dressed like every other man in this room—dark suit and tie—but his face, dear lord, is stunning. High cheekbones that belong to a model, strong jaw, plush lips, perfect nose, eyes framed with thick lashes. His dark hair is cut short and styled in a way that reminds me of a 1950s mobster. Clean cut, refined, exactly the opposite of my usual type.
I keep my hands cupped around my empty glass rather than giving in to the urge to fidget.
After what feels like far too many seconds of prolonged eye contact, the same heat that caused my cheeks to flush moves through my body, making my scalp, among other places, tingle. I look over my shoulder, just to make sure it’s really me he’s staring at so intently. Behind me is a group of women in their fifties, so unless he’s into MILFs, I’m the focus of his attention.
A smile pulls the corners of his mouth up, flashing white teeth and popping a dimple. He absently addresses his group and then he’s moving in my direction. I don’t think I know him. I’d remember a face that gorgeous. As he closes in on me I note how arresting his eyes are. A shocking shade of blue, made more vibrant against the dark hair. His patterned tie matches his eyes. I’m sure it’s purposeful.
He stops when he’s just inside my personal space, the tiniest bit too close to be perfectly comfortable for strangers. His smile grows, his dimples deepening, eyes searching my face with an expression I can’t quite read.
“Hi.” His voice is a gentle caress that begins at the column of my throat and travels down my body, all the way to the sensitive place at the back of my knee.
“Hi.” I break the eye contact for a moment, unnerved by his intensity. I take in the rest of him in the seconds of visual disconnection. He’s a big man, broad with heavy shoulders and thick arms. I imagine there’s definition under that suit based on the tapered waist. His dress shoes are two-tone black and white brogues, as if he’s flipping off the pretension of this party with his choice of footwear.
He chuckles softly, bringing my attention back to his face. He shakes his head, tilting it to the side as his grin becomes sheepish. “I’m sorry. It’s just . . . you’re just . . . wow. I’m Lexington.” He extends a manicured hand.
“I’m Amalie.” The awkwardness seems to cut through the intensity. At least until I slip my fingers into his palm. The jolt of energy that floods my body forces me to suppress a shudder.
He envelopes my hand in both of his. “Amalie. That’s a beautiful name for a beautiful woman. I’d say the most captivating woman in the room, really. I wasn’t sure if someone had snuck something into my drink and I was hallucinating. I’m very pleased that isn’t the case.”
Is this guy for real? “I’m sorry, what?”
He bites his lip and drops his gaze, almost shyly, then glances around the ballroom before turning that smile back on me. I can’t decide if this whole shy thing is part of an act.
He makes a sweeping gesture, his gaze following his hand. “You’re a knockout. Where’s your date?” Subtle. He’s a master of flirting, that’s for sure.
“Um, I don’t have a date.”
“Fantastic. Hard to believe, but great news for me.” He lifts my hand and bends his head. The cuff of his shirt pulls up, exposing a sliver of colorful ink at his wrist. Maybe he’s not quite as clean cut as I first assumed. I wonder how far that ink goes. Alarm bells go off in my head as his soft, warm lips brush the back of my hand.
The electric snap of lust has me snatching my hand away. My mouth is suddenly desert dry. What the hell? I laugh, but it’s a needy sound. I don’t know what else to do, so I take a sip from my empty glass, the three ice cubes tinkling in the bottom.
“Let me get you a drink,” he offers.
“Uh . . .”