Royal Exclusive - Another Shot At Love by Niecey Roy

Another Shot At Love
Another Shot At Love... a What's Love??? Novel 

Imogen Gorecki needs a date to her sister’s engagement party—especially since her cheating ex-boyfriend is on the guest list. But finding Mr. Perfect in a time crunch is proving impossible. 

Just when she’s about to give up, she face-plants into the crotch of the sexiest guy she’s ever met. 

Matt Sesnick is everything Imogen wants in a man, but he’s not looking for a relationship so soon after his recent divorce. Will Gen’s pregnant and hormonal older sister, her bridezilla twin, and all of her past Mr. Wrongs get in the way of their happily-ever-after, or can she convince Matt to take another shot at love?

Another Shot At Love, a What’s Love??? Novel, Book 1
Matt’s POV
BEFORE Chapter Seven
Matt’s feet were propped up on the corner of his desk as he stared out at the park on the other side of the window. He’d been staring at the view for ten minutes now, letting his thoughts wander.
He loved this time of year—spring meant new beginnings and he was ready for one of those. The fountain spouted water from its center, cascading down along the stone, into the basin. The only time the park was more beautiful than it was now was during Christmas, covered in snow and decorated with twinkling lights.
Matt dropped his feet to the ground and turned to the laptop on his desk. Everyone had gone home for the night and the office was quiet. This was his favorite part of the day, he spent an hour alone, reviewing portfolios and reading emails he’d missed during the day. He’d just opened an email to respond to when his office door opened and his secretary walked in. Cassandra held out a pink memo.
“What are you still doing here?” He glanced up at the clock. “Thought you had a hot date with that drummer.”
“That guy’s a tool. I’m meeting someone else. He promised me lobster ravioli.”
“Sounds like a good guy.”
“He gets a point for good taste in food. I forgot my purse and saw a message on the machine when I came in to grab it.” She waved the memo at him. “You have a new girlfriend?”
Matt took the memo from her. “Huh?”
“I did leave, but forgot my purse. Seen the message light blinking so checked it quick. You have a new girlfriend?”
Matt took the memo from her. “Huh?”
“A. Girl. Friend.” Cassandra waited for him to answer, but he was too stunned to speak. She rolled her heavily lined eyes skyward. Fresh out of college and a drama major, she enjoyed exaggerating her facial expressions for practice. She threw her hands up and grumbled, “Men. Did you forget you have a girlfriend?”
“I didn’t forget I have a girlfriend.”  Because he didn’t have a girlfriend. The word sounded strange on his tongue. It’d been a long time since he’d had one of those.
Cassandra cocked her head as she studied the confusion he knew must be written all over his face. “Your girlfriend left a message and wants you to call her back.”
Matt shook his head as he reread the message for the second time. “Must be a wrong number.”
Cassandra raised her brows. “She called you by your full name—Matt Sesnick.”
The closest thing he had to a girlfriend was an ex-wife. The word “lasagna” was in all caps and underlined twice. What the hell was going on?
“Lasagna?” he asked.
“Yes. Her message said she wanted to invite you to a lasagna dinner.”
“Okay…” Matt stared down at the phone number. “A lasagna dinner.”
“You better call her back. She seems very eager to talk to her future son-in-law.” Cassandra’s face broke into a smile before she turned toward the door. He had no idea how she walked on five inch heels without breaking an ankle. At the door, she said, “You better be careful; we women hate it when a man forgets they’re dating us.”
She shut the door behind her, leaving Matt to ponder over the message. Bizarre.
He picked up the phone and dialed the number off the memo.
The phone rang three times and a breathless woman answered. “Hello?”
“Hi. I’m looking for Marilyn. This is Matt Sesnick returning her call.”
A pause, then a muffled, “It’s him!” And then something fell to the floor. After a moment of what Matt assumed was some sort of mad shuffle to pick up whatever had fallen, the woman came back on.
“Matt! So good to hear from you.”
It sounded like she’d put him on speakerphone.
“Good to…hear from you too, Marilyn. How can I help you?”
“Ask him,” a voice whispered on Marilyn’s end of the phone.
Despite the very strange conversation, Matt smiled. He picked up an ink pen and underlined Marilyn’s named on the memo.
“Well, of course you haven’t a clue who I am since my daughter hasn’t brought you home to meet us yet.” She sounded frustrated by that. “I’m Gen’s mother.”
An image of pink highlights and ocean blue eyes came to mind. But he had to be sure.
“My girlfriend…yes. What color is her hair?”
Marilyn paused and whispered something to whoever was with her. After a moment, she said, “This month she’s got some wild pink going on. Before that she colored her hair all blue. A few months ago she was a redhead. Of course, it was gorgeous on her, but everyone knows we’re all blonde in this family. But you would know that already.”
Matt pictured Gen with bright red hair and swallowed hard. She’d be a knockout as a redhead. She was a knockout regardless. A smile broke over his lips and he picked up the pen and wrote GEN on the memo then circled it. Based on the conversation they’d had, she must have buckled under the pressure to find a date to her sister’s engagement party.
His curiosity was piqued—and the fact she’d used his name pleased him more than it probably should have. He pictured the tiny diamond stud in Gen’s nose and the full pink lips, and sucked in a breath.
And now he had a reason to get a hold of her.
“Pink… Looks nice with her blue eyes.” Matt kicked his feet back up to prop on the corner of his desk.
“You might want to tell her she should be more careful—all that bleaching will make her hair fall out. I tried to tell her, but she won’t listen to me. Always goes in one ear and out the other. She might listen to her boyfriend though.” The giddy lilt to her voice when she said ‘boyfriend’ made him grin.
“I’ll do that, Marilyn.”
“Now, I know Gen thinks it’s too soon for you to meet the family, but I think that’s silly and so do her sisters. I’m making lasagna tomorrow night. Please say you’ll come.”
Before he realized what he was doing, he accepted the invitation. “I love lasagna. I’ll be there. Thanks for inviting me, Marilyn.”
Gen was just so different than any woman he’d ever met. To say he was intrigued was an understatement. He’d just accepted a dinner invitation from a woman he didn’t know, and he was certain Gen had had no intention of him finding out about her little white lie. He couldn’t keep the smile from his lips.
“I’m just so happy you’re real,” Marilyn added, interrupting his thoughts. She didn’t just sound happy, she sounded relieved.
Another interesting fact: Gen in a relationship was reason for celebration and chair bouncing.
“So am I,” Matt mused. “Marilyn, could you give me Gen’s phone number? I left my cell phone at home and I don’t have her number here at work. I, uh…” He racked his brain for something believable to say in a situation like this, “…hate to go too long without hearing her voice.”
“Of course!” Marilyn gave him two phone numbers for a cell and a landline. He wrote them down along with Marilyn’s home address for the dinner on Saturday night, and told her goodbye.
The entire situation screamed trouble, but he was already hooked by the bait of being near Gen again.
He stared down at the phone number, contemplating his next move. Warning her seemed the best way to go, and calling her would give her time to reach out to him before dinner.
Smiling, he ripped the sheet of paper out of the yellow legal pad and put it in his suit jacket pocket. He couldn’t wait to hear what she had to say about their “relationship.” Whatever it was, it was sure to be interesting.

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About Niecey

Author of Sexy Smooches and Happily-Ever-After’s...anything romance. Serious obsession with shoes, lover of life and often guilty of snorting when I laugh. I write contemporary romance and romantic comedy.

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