Part-Time Lover (Part-Time Lover #1)

Part-Time Lover (Part-Time Lover #1)

Lauren Blakely

About Part-Time Lover

I’ll say this about Christian — he made one hell of a first impression. When I first saw the strapping man, he was doing handstands naked on a dock along the canal. His crown jewels were far more entertaining than anything else I’d seen on the boat tour, so I did what any curious woman would do — I took his photo. I might have looked at the shot a few dozen times. Little did I know I’d meet him again, a year later, at a secret garden bar in the heart of the city, where I’d learn that his mind and his mouth were even more captivating. But given the way my heart had been trampled, I wanted only a simple deal — No strings. No expectations.

Our arrangement worked well enough until the day I needed a lot more from him…


Let me just say, this whole part-time lover thing was her idea. I’d have gone all-in from the start, but hey, when a gorgeous, brilliant woman invites you into her bed, and only her bed…well, I said yes.

But then, one hysterical phone call from my brother later, begging me to find myself a wife so grandfather’s business stays in the family, and I need a promotion with Elise. Turns out a full-time husband suits her needs too, and a temporary marriage of convenience ought to do the trick, until we can simply untie the knot…

As long as no one finds out…

As long as no one gets hurt…

As long as no one falls in love…

But our ending was one I never saw coming.



A year ago

Something about the last night in a foreign city makes you want to do crazy things. You want to drink it all in and taste every single dish on the menu. After all, tomorrow you’ll be gone.

Left with only memories.

The last night is the last stop on the merry-go-round of memory-making.

The last afternoon is too, and as the sun careens mercilessly toward the horizon, it’s a reminder that I need to jam everything in.

“Do you feel like going a little bit wild?” I ask Veronica.

She wiggles her eyebrows. “If you mean day drinking, we’ve already done that.”

I wag my finger as we stroll down the middle of a cobbled street. “One glass of wine at lunch does not constitute day drinking.”

“No? That seems the very definition.”

I link an arm through hers. “One glass is simply a beverage at lunch. The meter doesn’t start on day drinking until you hit two glasses, silly goose.”

“How good to know the scale for lushness,” she says drily as she stops to stare at a handbag in the Prada store window.

I give her a few seconds to worship at the altar of designer goods. “In any case, I was thinking we ought to do something we’ve never done before.”

She snaps her gaze from the far-too-expensive leather item she’ll never buy and presses a hand demurely to her chest, batting her hazel eyes innocently. “I’m not that kind of girl.”

I laugh. “As if.”

“I know. You like your sausage too much.”

“As do you. You’re practically a butcher,” I say as we sidestep a pair of strapping, chiseled blond men, who look like twin models for Scandinavian Design’s "Catalog of Men—Denmark.” Their blue eyes linger on both of us, and one smiles and offers a confident, “Hello.”

“Hello to you too,” I say with a grin.

They continue in their direction and we head in ours. “Should we wander down the streets and say hello to random hot men?” Veronica offers.

“I don’t think that’s a bad idea, but no, that’s not my notion of wild.”

This urge to have one wild night is in complete contrast to the purpose of the three-days-in-Copenhagen getaway Veronica insisted I needed.

It’s been a year since . . .

I shake away the dark thought.

Anniversaries of horrible days require trips. And day drinking. And refocusing on things that you control.

“If I want to explore the travel sector more at work, I need to know even more about this city, so I can advertise it better. What if we take one of those buffet boat tours?”

She laughs. “What’s a buffet boat tour?”

“A buffet of landmarks. All-your-eyes-can-eat.” As we near the wide square at the end of the block, I point to the red booth advertising canal tours. I play my ace. “It’s like a crash course in Copenhagen, and we’ll make sure we haven’t missed a single thing. It’ll help me win new business. You know I need to focus on work.”

She smiles in understanding. “Anything for you when you prey on my sympathies.” She marches up to the fire-engine-red booth and purchases two tickets for the next tour, then we head down the concrete steps to the boat.

The blond guide with shoulder-length hair flashes a bright smile as we step onboard, his name tag glinting in the afternoon sun. “Good afternoon, ladies.”

“Lars, she’s no lady.” Veronica points to me and winks.

“Ladies or not, you’re both welcome on my ship as long as you promise to enjoy the sights.”

“We will. Also, you’re handsome, Lars.” Veronica is a shameless flirt.

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