Ready for a sneak peek? Fool Me Once by Catherine Bybee
â€śYouâ€™re American, right?â€ť
The married and engaged party of four was from Sicily. All of them spoke
â€śOh my God, Shannon, I almost forgot. We were supposed to meet those French guys
on the main pool deck when we pulled out of port.â€ť
Shannon caught on quickly. â€śOh, thatâ€™s right.â€ť She put her arm through Trinaâ€™s
and turned her away from the Italians. â€śLovely meeting you. Iâ€™m sure weâ€™ll see
Lori held back to sign for the bar tab.
One of the Italians muttered something about the French before they took their
drinks to another part of the lounge.
By now, the barkeep was elbow deep with orders. With tractor-beam eyes, she
watched the man in hopes of gaining his attention.
â€śThe death stare usually works faster.â€ť Lori felt her lips peeling back in a
smile before pivoting her head toward the amused male voice.
She took him in from the ground up. Slacks, not jeans or shorts like many of the
men milling about on deck. Trim waist that bloomed into thick shoulders covered
by a pullover, three-button shirt. Arms that spent some time holding something
other than a pen flexed under the short sleeves and made her wish he was
sunbathing by the pool instead of standing at the bar. Strong jaw, freshly
shaven, could only be described as chiseled, or maybe that was the faded scar
that slid along his left cheek, a little more than an inch long. His eyes were
dark with thick lashes most women would pay to have. His chestnut hair was a
little long, and not as well cut as the rest of him. She thought, briefly, that
his hair didnâ€™t fit. Then she shook off her odd thoughts and realized she was
Lori forced herself to look away only to find the bartender on the other side
helping out a gaggle of early twentysomethings wearing as little as possible.
â€śThe key to the death stare is never letting your eyes wander away,â€ť Lori said,
and when it appeared the bartender was turning around, she lifted her hand in
He didnâ€™t see her.
â€śI messed you up, my apologies.â€ť He pushed in closer, their shoulders brushed
against the other.
â€śI can have him put your drink on my room.â€ť The realization that he was hitting
on her created a swirl of chaos inside her. Loriâ€™s job was to acclimate the
First Wives into their new single life, not trying to get lucky on her weeklong
Lori turned to find him watching from a good five inches above her head. She
liked them tall. â€śThat would be rude of me, seeing as I donâ€™t even know your
He extended his hand, his palm warmed hers with a spark. â€śMr. Single.â€ť
Lori hesitated and then laughed. â€śYou were listening.â€ť
â€śThree beautiful women show up at the bar, and men watch.â€ť
Lori cocked her head. â€śThere were four of us.â€ť
â€śThree beautiful and one captivating.â€ť He squeezed her palm before letting go.
Her cheeks warmed. â€śAre you a salesman, Mr. Single?â€ť
â€śI can be.â€ť
She looked him up and down, made sure he knew she was sizing him up this time.
â€śEvery day but Sunday.â€ť He met her eyes with a full kilowatt of charm.
He was joking, but she liked the flirty banter. â€śWhatâ€™s wrong with working out
â€śNothing. I prefer to take my workouts outside of the gym on Sunday.â€ť He had a
decent tan, so she assumed that meant the beach, or maybe a hiking trip. â€śWhat
about you? Professional model?â€ť
Lori rolled her eyes. â€śReally? Your lines were better a minute ago.â€ť
â€śYouâ€™re right. You seem much too put together for such a flighty profession.
Lori played along, mainly to avoid him asking the next question and suggesting
lawyer. Because for some strange reason, announcing she was a divorce
attorney while on the cruise with three of her female clients didnâ€™t feel right.
Besides, the less this stranger knew about her, the better. â€śYou guessed it.
â€śOf?â€ť He didnâ€™t believe her.
â€śWhat, I could be. Especially in a bar on a cruise ship sailing the
Mediterranean. Lots of great people to study here.â€ť
â€śThat would make me an anthropologist in training, since watching people is my
The bartender walked by and Lori shouted out the need for her check.
â€śBody language is important when selling used cars.â€ť
His smile slid, but his eyes did that twinkle thing. He sized her up slowly. â€śI
bet youâ€™re into yoga?â€ť
â€śOnly on Sunday,â€ť she said with a laugh.
â€śWhy only Sunday?â€ť
â€śBecause the rest of the week Iâ€™m shimming up a pole and collecting one-dollar
bills all night.â€ť
If she had to guess, the way he shifted his hips meant her comment made his mind
â€śNow that Iâ€™d like to see.â€ť
The bartender handed her the bill and walked away. She wrote her room number and
scribbled a signature.
â€śNext time youâ€™re in Vegas, let me know. Iâ€™ll hook you up.â€ť
Mr. Single leaned back as their flirting came to a close. â€śA pole dancing
stripper needs to work a lot of hours to afford a cruise like this.â€ť
â€śNawh, she just needs a sugar daddy, now if youâ€™ll excuse me, my friends are
He turned as she walked away. â€śUntil next time, Miss Single.â€ť
For Reed Barlow, falling into the world of private investigation was easy. He
knows the law and knows how to avoid breaking itâ€”all while doing his job. His
rule to live by? No emotion, no involvementâ€¦until Lori. His charming smile and
cocky attitude distracts Lori and lowers her guard, which is exactly what Reed
But what appears as a one-time-only flirtation may be a plot orchestrated by
Reed. As heâ€™s taking his investigation to a dangerous level, itâ€™s Lori who could
end up in jeopardy. Reed has only one shot for Lori to grant him a second
chance. But if he comes clean with her, he blows his cover. And that just might
cost him the opportunity for an alliance of familyâ€¦and of love.
[Montlake Romance, On Sale: September 19, 2017,
Trade Size / Kindle, ISBN: 9781612185071 / ]
New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today
bestselling author Catherine Bybee has written twenty-seven books that have
collectively sold more than three million copies and have been translated into
twelve languages. Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California
in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she
returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in
urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite
series, the Weekday Brides series, the Most Likely To series, and the First