Ready for an excerpt break? To help you through your Monday, today for you we have a hilarious scene from Kristan Higgins' The Perfect Match, which hits stores tomorrow. It's the story of Honor Holland, who's just been neatly rebuffed by her lifelong crush. Kristan set the scene for what comes next:
In this scene, Honor thinks her love life is about to take a dramatic change for the better. (She’s half right. It’s dramatic!) A short while back, she’d proposed to Brogan, her longtime love interest/friend with benefits, and been gently turned down (and compared to a comforting old baseball glove, something no woman wants). She holds it together until she can get to Dana's house, knowing her best friend will be sympathetic. Now, about a month later, Brogan calls her and tells her he wants to see her, and that he’s got something to tell her that he hopes will make her very happy. Honor immediately imagines that he’s had a change of heart…what else could it be? Turns out it could be something else entirely. - Kristan Higgins
So…romantic. There was no other word for it, though romantic didn’t figure a lot into Honor’s life.
And onto the excerpt:
Tonight would be different.
Brogan’s Porsche was already in the parking lot.
This is it, she told herself, wishing abruptly she’d told her sisters to come tonight. But maybe it was better this way. Or…maybe…Brogan had asked them to come tonight, so they could see him popping the question live and in person. That would be just like him. The guy had flare.
Proposing to him had been a bad move. Men liked to do the work, according to the nine books she’d read recently on understanding the male psyche.
She touched her pearls for luck, then opened the door to O’Rourke’s. “Hey, Honor,” said Colleen from behind the bar. “Wow, you look nice!”
“Check you out,” said Connor at the same time.
“Thanks,” she murmured, not really seeing the O’Rourke twins, who ran the bar.
Brogan was waiting for her, that knowing, incredibly sexy half smile on his face.
Oh, Lordy. Could it be true? That in just a few minutes, she’d be engaged to marry this guy? She smiled back, heart galloping. “Great to see you,” he said, bending to kiss her cheek. He took her coat and hung it up, ever the gentleman, and, oh, man, she loved him more than ever, and that was saying a lot.
Somewhere far in the back reaches of her psyche, the eggs were saying something about assumptions and whatever, sort of like an irritating storm warning running along the bottom of the television screen when you’re watching a really good show. Whatever. It was hard to form rational thought at the moment, which was odd, since her trademark was being the sensible one, the dependable, calm member of the Holland family.
Not this night. This night, she was just a woman in love.
The thoughts came in disjointed flashes, the only thing registering solidly was Brogan’s hand on her back, warm through her sweater.
When she saw Dana sitting alone at a table, her heart did a strange flop, and for a second, Honor felt a little surge of sympathy—Dana, who had no problem finding a guy, but had huge problems keeping one, would now have to see her and Brogan together. Dana often mocked happy couples. But Dana was her best friend, and she’d be happy for Honor. She would set aside her own issues.
In fact, maybe Brogan had invited her here for just that reason, to see the whole thing. You know what? That would explain why Dana had been a little hard to reach, a little distant lately. She’d been afraid to blow the surprise.
Then Brogan held a chair at the same table where Dana was sitting, and Dana looked up at Honor and gave her a tight smile that didn’t reach her eyes.
Okay, that was…huh. That little warning that scrolled across the screen was now accompanied by the loud beeping of the emergency signal.
She sat down. So did Brogan.
Later, Honor would wish she’d brought her dog, who could have attacked either Brogan or Dana, hopefully both, biting them with her tiny, needlelike teeth. She might have even peed on someone.
What happened next was a bit foggy. A poison, industrial-waste, evacuate-the-area kind of fog. Honor could hear her heartbeat crashing in her ears, caught Dana looking her up and down, immediately making her regret her choice of outfit. Dana herself wore a yellow wraparound shirt that showed her tiny waist and great boobage, making Honor feel overdressed and prim at the same time. Dana’s dark hair was a little different than the last time she’d seen her—gosh, two weeks ago? Three? Well, Dana was a hairdresser. Her hair changed all the time. Not like Honor, who’d had hers all one length for years. Alice in Wonderland hair, Dana called it. She was always urging Honor to let her cut it.
Honor cleared her throat. Probably should be thinking about something other than hair. The other thought, the big one, was trying to shoulder its way in, but Honor wouldn’t let it. Where was the happy, rosy glow? She missed it. Damn that glow! Come back! “Hi,” she said, forcing a smile.
One of the O’Rourke cousins brought Honor a glass of wine she didn’t remember ordering. Red. Pinot noir, Californian, a little too much pepper for her taste, better at first sip than upon finish, when it left a burning sensation in the back of her throat.
Over at the bar, Lorena Creech bellowed something about beddy-bye time. She heard Colleen O’Rourke’s belly laugh. Someone said, “Thanks, mate,” in an accent not usually heard around here, and all the while, Dana’s dark eyes held a gleam of something, and she kept wrinkling her nose when she laughed. Brogan talked, shrugging, smiling. Little scraps of their words came to her, and Honor was aware that she’d tipped her head and was smiling. Or, at least her mouth was stretched so that her cheeks bunched. It might’ve been a grimace. She wasn’t sure.
Then Dana held out her left hand, and on her fourth finger was Honor’s engagement ring. An emerald-cut three-carat diamond set in platinum. And then the words, all those words she hadn’t quite been hearing, slammed into Honor’s heart, Dana’s voice bright and sharp as a razor, slicing through the fog.
“So obviously, we didn’t plan on it. In fact, it was so crazy! We didn’t want to say anything to anyone until we were sure it was real, right, honey? But you know that saying. When it’s right, it’s right, and you don’t have to spend years wondering about it.”
Oh. That was meant for her. Gotcha.
Interested? We know we are! Be sure to pick up The Perfect Match, online or in stores tomorrow. And for more embarrassing love stories, be sure to visit our Everything Romance page.