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Still Not Over You
Author:Nicole Snow

Still Not Over You

Nicole Snow



Description



I'm SO over that gorgeous, scary, heartbreaking man who hates my guts.

I'm just counting on him to save my life.



Never, ever fall for your brother's hot older friend.

I flunked the test the instant I laid eyes on Landon Strauss.

Tall. Ripped. Commanding. Irresistibly alpha.

He gave a damn like no one else did.

His soul-searing eyes saw me, not just a nerd girl next door.

I had my idol, my destiny, and names for our future kids picked.



Then I read Landon's little black book.

One nosy peek exposed the shock of a lifetime.

His confession. His pain. His plan.

The sweet boy I loved was gone.

Hero-turned-villain-turned-bad-memory overnight.



Five years later, an insane slip of fate puts us under the same roof.

Sweet closure, I think.

I almost forget he hates me.

I almost think we'll talk like normal adults.

I don't expect the shirtless behemoth who comes barreling through my door.

Landon's grown up. All snarls, testosterone, and lethal chemistry.

We're in trouble, he says.

Oh, Landon. Oh, baby, don't I know it?





1





At Least It’s Not Box Wine (Kenna)





Never trust a man who drinks Cabernet Sauvignon.

That’s always been my rule and it's never steered me wrong. Cabernet Sauvignon is for men who have certain ideas about themselves, but not a damn bit of what it takes to back them up.

All slick and shiny on the outside. Inside, it’s just empty promises and pointlessness.

No dreams. No heart. No grit. No soul.

Nothing like the man who set an impossibly alpha standard for every date I'll ever have. Right after he finished playing kickball with my heart. After the day that ended us, the one I swore I'd never fixate on again.

Welcome to my life in present day SoCal.

I’m not sure I’m going to find what I’m looking for out here in the plastic Ken-doll lineup of L.A. hotties, but I know Mr. New Money isn’t it. Not by a Tinder mile.

I’m not sure why I gave him a chance once he ordered his Cab with that shallow, overconfident smirk.

Maybe it was those blue eyes.

Empty as a bottomed-out glass. But they reminded me too much of someone I keep reaching for even though he’s forever out of my grasp.

Mr. New Money would’ve been easy, but I don’t do easy. I need more.

Although I wouldn’t mind Mr. New Money’s sleek Mercedes to come cruising by and rescue me, right now.

Half a block. Just half a freaking block around the corner from Skofé’s Wine Bar to my place, and I still managed to break a heel.

That’s the kind of luck I have.

Kenna Burke, human black cat.

At least it’s not Friday the 13th, or I'd be cursed double.

It’s a choice between walking barefoot on beat up L.A. sidewalks or limping along in one broken heel.

I choose limping – and regret it by the time I make it up the stairs to my apartment. I kick my shoes off with a little extra spite for the broken one, sending it rocketing across the entryway, and step forward. My aching foot comes down on something cool; an envelope. I pick it up and flip it over.

My name's on the front, neatly handwritten. Landlord’s letterhead logo in the upper left corner.

Oh, crap.

Just another thing I don’t want to open tonight.

I need something to fortify. Wasn't that the whole reason I went out, anyway? Not to meet some Cabernet-swigging wannabe Casanova.

I’ve been ignoring an email from my publisher all day. Subject line? “Re: His Royal Nuisance.”

Pinch me. I sent the manuscript in over two months ago. Normally I get a response back within weeks. The silence has been deafening, and I’m afraid the email will be damning.

If I’m going to author-hell, I'll do it on a five dollar bottle of pink Moscato.

Never trust a girl who drinks Barefoot Cellars, either.

She’s usually broke and chases her wine with straight up bad luck.

I drop myself on the barstool in front of the kitchen island, pour a glass, and toss it down. Courage comes in pink fizzy form.

I close my eyes, letting the tingles go to my head until everything feels a little floaty. Sweet distance. That’s what I need. That muting layer of mild intoxication that makes everything feel just a little farther away, and a little less likely to stab me in the heart.

Okay. Now for the envelope.

I slit the top with my fingernail, so not in the mood to care about my manicure. The single sheet of paper spilling out is obviously a form letter. The blue ink swoop of my landlord’s name gives it away. So does what’s supposed to look like a signature, but is obviously a rubber stamp smacked on by a tired secretary. A number in the middle of the top paragraph jumps out at me.

Two thousand dollars.

That’s what they want to charge me for rent, starting in two weeks.

I can barely manage the eighteen hundred I'm paying now for an overpriced shoebox of a one-bedroom walk-up.

“Holy shit,” I mutter to myself, the grim realization setting in. Two thousand will push me from living on ramen to living in the cardboard box the ramen was packed in.

Defeat hovers over me like a guillotine waiting to drop, but that thread’s not snapping just yet. There’s still hope in the email.

All I need is a solid advance for His Royal Nuisance and I’ll be able to handle the rent hike. At least long enough to keep from having to move again after the fifth rent adjustment in two years.

I top off my glass, take a sip for bravery, unlock my phone, and swipe the email notification.

And immediately feel my throat close shut at those horrid first words, “We regret to inform you…”

Those bastards don’t regret anything at all. Not when they go on to list a litany of my faults, calling the book rushed with flat, unrealistic characters, incoherent sex, and zero chemistry.

I guess it’s not enough to stick the dagger in my gut.

They have to twist it, too.

Mission accomplished because I can't even breathe.

Yes, I know I forced the book. But I thought I’d been doing this long enough that I had it in the bag and could at least rely on experience to push me through.

I haven’t been shot down like this since I was a baby author sending my first query letters. Another brutal sign I’m off my game.

Mojo, lost. Everything’s a disaster, and that disaster’s name is McKenna Burke.

I’m ready to chuck my phone across the room when it buzzes in my palm. My brother’s name pops up on the screen with the same cheesy cheerful selfie grin I’d set for his icon.

Steve, not now. Bad, bad timing.

I almost hang up. My head throbs, my heart hurts, and I don’t know if I can stand someone else being happy right now while I'm so miserable. But I could use a little human connection, too, and one way or another...

Steve always makes things right.

I take another swig of Moscato, this time straight from the bottle, then wipe my mouth with a gasp and tap to answer the call.

“Hello?” It falls from my lips by reflex, when my mouth feels numb and my head is whirling.

“Hey, sis,” Steve says. Perky as ever. With the way I feel right now, it’s like being dead and hearing voices from the living. “Did you get my email?”

“Email? What?” I blink vacantly, and pull my phone away for a second. Oh, hell. There’s like...ten other emails I’d ignored, including one from Steve with the subject “Gamma’s birthday.” But he’s still talking, this tinny voice coming from the speaker, as I put my phone to my ear again. “Sorry, sorry, just looking now. I just saw it and haven’t had a chance to open it. Sorry.”

“No biggie! I was just asking about the card.”

“Card?”

“Gamma’s turning ninety, remember?”

“Oh...”