Table of Contents

Book Info

Author:
Series:

The Script Club

Series Type:
Individual Stories
Number In Series:
4
Publisher:
Lane Hayes
Published:
3 December 2021
Book Type
Words:
39,000
Pages:
158
Genre's
Heat Level

Synopsis

The Mars maestro, the single dad, and a wish list…

Chet-

Boy, am I lucky! Finding a living situation with a houseful of passionate scientists just before the holidays is ideal in every possible way. As the newest member of the Script Club, I feel it’s important to step up and tackle the to-do list my friends would prefer to avoid. Item one, address the tutoring request from the neighborhood-hottie-slash-single-dad on the next block. I’ve got this!

Or do I?

Handsome, older, sporty gentlemen intimidate me. And Mr. McSwoony doesn’t like the holidays. This may be a daunting task.

Sam-

What do you do when a new neighbor shows up on your doorstep with cookies and a wacky plan to spread holiday cheer? I don’t need cheer, but I could use help with some of the experiments my son wants to try. I know football, not science. Hopefully, I can talk Chet into a mutually beneficial trade. The only snag is that I’m seriously attracted to my local Mars expert. He’s unintentionally charming…in the very best way.

Don’t quote me, but this holiday elf with thick glasses and a mile-long list might be exactly what I need.

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Excerpt

“Who said I was lonely? I’m not lonely. I’m just tired of being with myself. That’s not the same thing,” I argued.

“Close enough. One thing that helps me fight the blues is an immediate change of scenery,” Chet pronounced with a wide grin.

“Thanks, Doc, but Linc is coming home this week. I’m not going anywhere.”

“You don’t have to physically go anywhere. You can just switch up your routine and add—”

“Let me guess…holiday cheer?”

Chet beamed. “Yes.”

I had to give the guy credit…he was tenacious.

I couldn’t let him think he’d won too easily, though. I furrowed my brow, giving him my best cranky scowl, and huffed. “You really want to decorate my house?”

He frowned. “No. I want to reset your karma. And mine. You’ve done a good deed here tonight, and I owe you one in turn. I also owe my roommates for their kindness.”

“Putting up a tree is going to help your karma?” I snorted.

“And yours.”

Somehow, I doubted that, but I liked the idea of having an excuse to see him again. “Fine. You can decorate my house.”

Chet whooped as he jumped to his feet. “A nice noble fir would look perfect in that corner of your great room near the fireplace. But of course, closer to the window. We don’t want to worry about fire hazards. What’s your ornament situation? I’m happy to purchase some if needed. Simple red and silver balls are always nice and—”

“I’ve got plenty of balls.” I stood, testing my shoulder to be sure I didn’t do any real damage, as I met him at the door. “It’s getting late. We can talk about this later. You seem like the kind of Christmas elf who needs parameters.”

He snickered, pushing his glasses to the bridge of his nose. “There might be some truth to that statement.”

“Just so we’re clear, I’m not gonna want to wake up in a winter fuckin’ wonderland.”

“Right. Got it.”

I braced my hand on the doorknob, scanning the dimly lit foyer briefly. “Come over Saturday. We can talk about it then. And…you can meet Linc.”

Chet narrowed his eyes. Not gonna lie, his immediate transformation from skinny geek to bad-ass science guy was kinda hot.

“Is this trickery?”

“No, but it might be a good trade. We’ll see.” I shot a lopsided grin his way as I opened the door, pointing at the chair that knocked me on my ass. “This is not an adequate security system. I’ll give you my number. If anything seems suspicious or if you need anything, call me.”

Chet typed my contact info into his cell obediently, then pressed Call so I had his number too. Courtesy complete, he fixed me with a no-nonsense look. “Thank you. For the record, while I appreciate your help tonight, I didn’t agree to—”

“I know, I know.” I stared at him for a long moment.

This had to be one of the oddest yet most interesting nights I’d had in a while. This was probably a good time to remind myself that Chet was my neighbor. My much younger neighbor.

But damn it, he was tempting.

I leaned in and pressed my lips to his. It was featherlight touch, hardly a real kiss at all. It was just enough to make him blush. Chet’s cheeks pinkened, and a flush rose low on his neck.

“Mr. Rooney…”

“Sam,” I gently reminded him. “Good night.”

Don’t ask me how I did it, but I somehow managed not to turn around as I headed down the pathway and up the street to my house. My lips twitched in amusement, giving way to a smile that grew with every step. When I finally got home, I let it fly, grinning like a madman as I chomped on a rosemary shortbread cookie made by my own personal elf.

Was I vaguely alarmed at the concept of letting him put a bunch of holiday crap up in my house? Fuck, yes, I was. Hot kiss or not, nothing was going to happen between us. And I was okay with that. Mostly.

Maybe he was just the diversion I’d needed, ’cause hanging out at home for the next couple of weeks suddenly didn’t seem so bad.

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Series Cover

Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a

$25.00 Amazon Gift Card!

Biography

Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.

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