We are so excited to bring you an exclusive excerpt of the meet-cute in Layla Hagen’s recent novel One Perfect Touch. Also scroll to the end of the post to find out her favorite meet-cutes!
About One Perfect Touch:
In business circles, I’m known for being cutthroat and demanding. Robert Dumont is a hardass, they say. And it’s true. I thrive on challenges. Taking the family-owned restaurant chain to the next level is my passion.
When my sister’s marriage implodes, I head back to New York, to be there for her and my niece. These are my only two priorities: growing the business and taking care of my family.
My new neighbor is a temptation I hadn’t counted on. Skye Winchester is bold, sensual and I just can’t keep my distance. I’m determined to make her mine. But once I’ve touched her, I want more. I want to worship her all night long.
As a business owner herself, Skye’s got enough on her plate. I was expecting her to run in the opposite direction when she realizes how complicated my life is. Instead, she does the opposite: making my sister laugh, charming my niece… She completely wins me over.
Neither of us expected our attraction to grow until it obscures everything but each other.
And neither of us can afford to allow that. But how can we stop now?
I’d barely reached for my phone when I heard someone step inside the living room. I knew before turning around that it was Robert. I couldn’t even tell how I knew this, but the second our gazes crossed, my pulse quickened. I licked my lips, pushing a strand of hair behind my ear.
“Everything okay?” I asked.
“Yes. I have a few questions.”
“Is it available right away?”
“Yes.” Wow. He was seriously considering it? My heart was racing.
“Okay. There is no furniture in here right now, but is there anything in storage?”
“The family took the furniture with them. I’m afraid we can’t help you with that.”
He frowned, rubbing his jaw. I could imagine he was the type of guy who preferred everything to be ready.
“Right. I’ll figure something out. Lastly, is your commission included in the costs on the listing, or do they come on top? It wasn’t clear on the listing.”
Ha! He thought I was a realtor.
“Oh, I’m not getting a commission. I just wanted to help out the family. I’m not a real realtor… but I’ll help you facilitate everything.”
He cocked a brow, making me realize how odd that sounded.
“Their youngest daughter is sick, and they had to relocate to Houston. Finances are tight, and they didn’t want to lose money by giving a realtor a commission. I’m in charge of showing people the house, and they have a lawyer for all legalities,” I added even though he hadn’t asked for specifics. But everything from his body language to his tone of voice told me that he was used to having all the details, used to being in charge. And damn, I liked that a little too much. I was hoping he wouldn’t use the information to lowball them, but in case he did, they could always deny his offer.
“In case any issues arise after the sale and I need to contact the previous owners, how do I go about it?”
“Through the lawyer or through me.”
“And how do I contact you?”
“Messaging, calling, or emailing will do. Or throwing stones at my window.” I smiled, and a strange hiccup sort of laugh escaped my throat. How could this be happening? “I’d be your neighbor. I live next door.”
“Excellent bonus point. You should have started with that.”
Holy shit. I almost swooned right there. My throat instantly dried up as Robert’s gaze perused my body, slowly and deliberately. I suddenly felt so hot that I wished I could down a glass of ice water right now… or even better, throw a bucket of ice all over my body.
The other couples descended in the next second, bombarding me with questions. It was mostly stuff already written in the listing, but I didn’t mind repeating it. I felt Robert’s gaze on me, determined and smoldering. He was quiet, but his presence still dominated the space. He was confident, sexy, as if he owned the universe.
I wondered why he wanted to live here. He looked like he belonged in a penthouse in Manhattan. The owners of the house insisted any interested parties should send me an application before so no one wasted my time. His position and last address had been in it, so I knew he was a hotshot CEO who was moving here from LA. Quite honestly, I couldn’t imagine having this sexy god as my neighbor.
“Right, I think we’ve covered everything,” I said after the last question. “Do let me know within seventy-two hours if you are interested.”
“Can we take another look around?” a man asked. “We’ll just show ourselves out afterward.”
I was so happy, I could dance. They were going to take it, I was sure of it.
“I’ll take another look too,” Robert said, gaze fixed on me. Damn. There was that flash of heat again. The second couple left as Robert and the pair who wanted to take another peek went upstairs.
This time, I did manage to call Tess.
“Hey, everything all right?” I asked.
“Yes, it was a successful evening. Twenty percent more sales than yesterday.”
“How did the house showing go?”
“I’m still here, waiting for three clients to finish a second tour.”
“One is a couple with two kids, the other is a guy.”
“Dumont?” she asked. She’d gone through the potential buyers’ information with me.
“That’s the one.”
“What’s he like?”
“Ah, I’m trying to think what the best way to describe him is. Smoking hot or fucking gorgeous. He has gorgeous green eyes and lots of muscle. I’m surprised I didn’t catch fire just looking at him.”
“Wow. How many muscles are you able to see exactly?”
“None. But the contour of his ass looks sexy as hell even in jeans. I definitely saw some pecs under his shirt.”
A light sound alerted me that I wasn’t alone anymore. Shit. I turned around slowly, bracing myself. Robert stood at the bottom of the stairs, smiling.
“Tess, I’ve got to go,” I murmured. Oh God, he could not have heard that.
“What? But you were just getting to the good part. And—”
I disconnected the call, clutching the phone tight.
Crap! He did hear me; I was sure of it. My cheeks were on fire.
“Any questions?” I asked.
His smile grew more pronounced. Masculinity just rolled off him, wrapping around me as he came even closer.
“One or two, but I think you and I are better off if I keep them to myself.”
Layla’s Favorite Meet-Cutes:
1. The British Knight by Louisa Bay: They bump into each other in the tube in London, and later find out he’s her boss.
2. Just for Now by Rosalind James: The heroine interviews for a nanny job, and let’s say it doesn’t go well.
3. Egomaniac by Vi Keeland: The heroine accidentally breaks into the hero’s office and doesn’t know it, because she thinks it’s her office.
4. The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride by Kristen Painter. He is a vampire and thinks she’s the woman his grandmother requested from the supernatural matchmaking agency…against his will. hint: she’s not.
About the Author:
Welcome! My name is Layla Hagen and I am a Contemporary Romance author.
I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later. I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world. And I drink coffee. Lots of it 😀
SIGN UP FOR MY MAILING LIST and find out about future books as soon as they are released! (just copy and paste this link in your browser to sign up): http://laylahagen.com/mailing-list-sign-up/
I am represented by Louise Fury (The Bent Agency)