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Mandy has a plan to move on from her cheating ex by seducing her best friend’s brother. Instead, she mistakenly seduces a stranger with a body from an erotic fairy tale. For Mandy, an art major who only paints in black and white, Brandon adds a dangerous splash of color to her life.
Brandon Gage is used to getting what he wants, so he won't give up his pursuit of her despite her telling him she's been in love with his roommate Jake since high school. After a sports injury, he becomes her patient at the health clinic where she works and hatches his own plan to make Mandy forget about Jake and fall for him.
He soon learns that pretending to date her only makes him want her more. Who will be the winner in “Operation Mandy”?
Page Count: 320
Word Count: 79767
Head Over Heels
“What do you mean they broke up?” I asked my best friend, Ashley, as she held a pair of unattractive, shrimp-pink heels in one hand.
She’d obsessed over this particular shoe store for over a week. When I first walked in, the desire to run right out the door plagued me, but she yanked me back inside. As a college junior, majoring in art with an extreme couponer of a single mother, whenever I stepped into a store with price tags carrying three digits to the left of the decimal point, I tended to stay away.
The chic black and white walls matched the expensive marble looking floor. I hesitated to step on it and dirty up the pretty shine with my discount store boots. The enormous gold chandelier hanging from the ceiling screamed: ‘you don’t have the paycheck worthy of breathing the same floral scented air as me, much less buy shoes here.’ Even the workers appeared too wealthy and too important to talk to. Their uniforms looked like they had been designed by Vera freaking Wang. For the first time in my life, I felt uncomfortable in my jeans and camisole.
“She didn’t show up to Thanksgiving dinner,” Ashley said, cuddling the shoes in one palm like a newborn baby. “I asked Jake if something was wrong. He said he broke up with her two weeks ago.”
She checked the price of the horrid looking shoes one more time and put them back. Thank goodness. I did not want to tell her something as strange as shrimp colored shoes made her ankles look fat. Whenever we shopped together, I came up with ridiculous excuses as to why she should keep her credit card in her purse. Friendship and all that.
“Anyway, now’s your chance.” Her squeal of enthusiasm reminded me of how lucky I was to have a friend like her. “He’s single and ready to mingle. Think about it, we could become actual sisters if you married my brother.” Most girls hated when their best friend liked their brother. Ashley embraced it and swore to help me in any way she could.
I had loved Jake Kane since I was fourteen years old, but timing never worked for us. Plus, I had no clue if he would ever see me in the same way. To him, I was his little sister’s best friend, the girl with frizzy blonde hair and who once ate all his Halloween candy at the mere age of eleven. Now as a twenty-year-old, I was ready to go after him.
“But what if I ask him out, and he doesn’t feel the same way? Then it’ll be awkward and then—”
“Mandy. Calm. Down.” Ash squeezed my hand. “Jake has always liked you; he just has yet to realize it.” It sounded like what people in the movies told the girl with the unrequited crush to comfort her.
My stomach twisted with nerves. “I don’t know…”
My mother and I spent every Christmas at their house. If this didn’t work out, I feared it ruining my relationship with Ashley, her brother, and their family.
“Oh, come on,” Ash said. “You’ve pined after him for six years. Now you can finally take him. Why are you not jumping up and down?”
She’d tried to get me my ‘groove’ back ever since I walked in on Eric, my boyfriend of two years, and caught him having sex with some other girl. A year had passed since our break up, and I still struggled to get my confidence back to where it had been.
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