Samantha Young offers Romance At Random readers a sneak peek of the next book in her series, enjoy!
Despite her outgoing demeanor, Olivia is painfully insecure around the opposite sex—usually, she can’t get up the nerve to approach guys she’s interested in. But moving to Edinburgh has given her a new start, and, after she develops a crush on a sexy postgrad, she decides it’s time to push past her fears and go after what she wants.
Nate Sawyer is a gorgeous player who never commits, but to his close friends, he’s as loyal as they come. So when Olivia turns to him with her relationship woes, he offers to instruct her in the art of flirting and to help her become more sexually confident.
The friendly education in seduction soon grows into an intense and hot romance. But then Nate’s past and commitment issues rear their ugly heads, and Olivia is left brokenhearted. When Nate realizes he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he will have to work harder than he ever has before to entice his best friend into falling back in love with him—or he may lose her forever….
Nate and Cole were playing a war game that Nate was in the middle of reviewing, while Peetie and I waited patiently for our turn. Cam sat in the corner at his desk, going over some work stuff, while Jo lay half snoozing on the rug in front of the fireplace.
I sat next to Nate, attempting not to feel weird hanging out with him in a normal situation with our friends after having spent all Thurs- day evening flirting with him. Despite it being friendly lessons, there was still something kind of naughty about the fact that none of our friends had any idea Nate had told me he thought about fucking me, or that we’d spent four solid hours lightly flirting until I’d begun to tingle between my legs.
“I’m rethinking my plan to become a tattoo artist,” Cole announced, his thumb going into rapid motion upon the controller as an enemy target appeared on the screen.
Jo stirred and blinked sleepily up at her brother. “Why? You’ve been going on about it for months.”
The game paused while Cole stared at her with a somewhat mulish expression on his face. “I don’t ‘go on.’ ”
Cam grunted from the corner of the room and murmured without looking up from his drawings, “He’s got you there, baby.”
“Okay.” Jo yawned and sat up slowly. “You’ve talked about it. For you that is ‘going on’ about it.”
Cole shrugged. “I want Nate’s job now.”
“Stick to the tattoos, mate,” Nate replied. “One, this is a part-time gig. It doesn’t pay all the bills. And two, I’ve seen the tattoo you de- signed for Cam. You should stick to it.”
“Yeah?” Cole was trying not to look too pleased. “I could design you a new one.”
“A new one?” Jo didn’t look sleepy at all now as she brushed her hair off her face. Her eyes were bright with curiosity. I knew for a fact that she found Nate a bit of a mystery because she’d tried to pry answers about him out of me before. As much as I trusted her, Nate’s story was not mine to tell, so she was left in the dark for the most part. “You’ve got a tattoo, Nate?”
On this, it would seem, so was I. I’d had no idea Nate had a tattoo. The room grew weirdly tense at Jo’s question, and Nate’s reply was tight and abrupt. “Aye.” “What is it?”
“Nothing.” He shrugged and restarted the game.
“Well, it’s got to be of something.”
“I told you it’s nothing.”
“When did you get it?”
“Christ, I said it’s nothing, all right?” Nate cut her off tersely and I stared at him in surprise. It wasn’t like him to be moody or short with people. That meant one thing. The tattoo had something to do with her. However, Jo didn’t know enough about her to get it, so she looked a little wounded.
“Baby, do you want to help me put some snacks together?” Cam asked quietly, standing up from the desk. She looked up at him and a silent conversation passed between them. “Sure.” She took the hand he held out to her and he helped her up.
Even after they’d left the room it was still thick with unease.
Cole cleared his throat and started playing the game again. “I think the reaction time on this is a little slow, by the way,” he offered, trying to change the subject.
Nate nodded gratefully at him. “I think you’re right, wee man.” They began discussing the game with Peetie. The whole time, I watched Nate, waiting for the tension along the back of his shoulders to disappear. It didn’t. My chest ached for him. I needed him to know that if he was having a hard time, I was there for him just like he was there for me. I shuffled closer to Nate as Peetie disagreed with Cole over the graphics.
“Tattoo?” I asked softly in his ear, not sure whether I would get my head bitten off like Jo had.
Nate turned to me, his eyes soft as he gave a shake of his head. “Later, babe,” he muttered. “I shouldn’t have spoken to Jo like that.”
“She’s fine,” I reassured him. Giving his knee a gentle squeeze, I got up with the intention of going to help Jo. As I was leaving the room, Cam was coming back in and he was scowling.
“You okay?” He gave me a slight shake of his head. “She feels bad for pushing him.”
“He feels bad for snapping, so don’t give him a hard time,” I murmured. Cam gazed over at his friend and then whispered, “You forget I know, Liv. I wasn’t going to give him a hard time. But I sometimes wonder if someone should.”
About the Author:
Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She’s been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestselling novel ON DUBLIN STREET. ON DUBLIN STREET is Samantha’s first adult contemporary romance and has been sold in twenty five countries. For more info on Samantha’s adult fiction visit http://www.ondublinstreet.com
Posted by arrangement with New American Library, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Samantha Young, 2014.