As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.
After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.
The Trouble with Love
Sex, Love and Stiletto #4
Sex, Love and Stiletto #4
By: Lauren Layne
Releasing March 3, 2015
And as for Emma? Emma was the resident heartbreak expert—the one who helped women figure out how to cut him loose, or how to survive the aftermath when you were the one set loose.
Her most recent article was “Surviving the Single Life When Your Friends Are Coupled Up.”
Emma was able to write that one from personal experience. Hell, Emma would even call herself an expert on the topic, because her best friends were very much coupled up. In the best way possible, of course.
When she’d joined the Stiletto team a year ago, Julie had already landed the dead-sexy Mitchell Forbes, while Grace and Riley had been single.
Since then, she’d watched Grace fall head over heels in love with hotshot journalist Jake Malone, whom she’d married in a small, gorgeous destination wedding a few months ago.
And Riley? Riley had successfully completed her ten-year quest for the heart of Sam Compton. They were getting married in a few months.
But then there was Emma.
Emma was still most definitely single. Intentionally.
She dated whenever it suited her, and had had plenty of relationships over the years. But Emma had no intention of shackling herself to a man, no matter how happy her friends were.
Because that happiness could be ripped away faster than a burst pipe could ruin your morning. And then you were left with nothing but a gaping hole where your heart should have been.
“Okay, so if there wasn’t a hurricane or prom date gone wrong, what’s with the weird combination of wet hair, au naturel makeup, and glam cocktail dress?” Grace prodded.
Emma filled them in on her apocalyptic flood situation. As she talked, Julie rummaged around in her purse until she came up with a mascara wand, lip gloss, bronzer, and a hairbrush.
She offered them up to Emma, who reached for them eagerly.
Grace checked her watch. “Sorry, Em. You’ll have to rock that natural look a bit longer. Staff meeting’s about to start.”
“Emma, you didn’t tell them the best part of your morning,” Julie said, as the four of them headed toward the conference room.
“What?” Emma asked. “The part where you gave me your caramel macchiato?”
“Nope,” Julie said, “I’m talking about who we saw in the elevator.”
Emma rolled her eyes. Oh. That.
“Who?” Riley asked. “Was it the Duchess of Cambridge? I heard she and Prince Willy were coming to the States, and I must know what hair conditioner she uses.”
“We saw Cassidy,” Julie said in a singsong voice.
“Yikes,” Grace muttered as she pushed open the conference room door. “I hope everyone was bundled up. It’s always like an ice storm when Emma and Alex are in the same vicinity.”
Emma’s eyes flicked to Grace in surprise. It was weird to hear someone refer to him as Alex. When they’d gone to college together, the guy had been known only by the last name scrawled across his back on game day. To Emma, Alex Cassidy had only ever been Cassidy. Had that changed? Had he grown up? Decided to ditch the soccer superstar identity and go by his first name?
Not that she cared. Whether he went by his first name or last name, it all translated to the same thing: jerk.
Marrying her high school sweetheart was a good start. *cue Disney soundtrack.* But Lauren wanted all romance, all the time.
Now she writes fictional happy endings, and considers her job done well if you swoon while reading her books. Don't worry. You will. Once upon a time she lived in a Manhattan high-rise, but now she's on the laid-back train in the Seattle area. If you ever find yourself in Issaquah, she'll probably buy you a drink. Maybe.