After a disastrous meet cute turns into repeated meetings, a free-spirited rebel and a stodgy rule-follower have to figure out why the one they can't seem to get away from ... is the one they can't live without.
'Hard pass on that guy, right?’
Mackenzie ‘Mac’ Austin just wants what any modern, commitment-phobic woman in New York wants: a no-strings-attached hook-up, steamy enough to brag about over mimosas the next morning.
What she doesn’t want is her dating app’s latest suggestion: preppy, corporate Thomas Decker. So, obviously, she rejects the guy without a second thought. There’s just one snag: he’s sitting next to her, so he witnessed her do it. And now he’s calling her out.
After the initial embarrassment, Mac is determined not to let it bother her, but Fate has other plans – and Thomas isn’t going anywhere. First, he pops up as her new boss. And then he reappears as her best friend’s soon-to-be brother-in-law.
As the not-so meet cutes add up, Mac is sure that uptight Thomas is the last man that a free-spirit like her should want. Only the more time she spends with him, the more Mac realizes that the man she can’t get away from has become the same one that she wants to keep close…
We unwrap our food, peeling back foil, popping soda can tabs, and tearing open plastic utensil bags, all without saying a word. And for some reason, the whole situation reminds me of an old-fashioned standoff in a Wild West town, only with burritos instead of pistols. The visual makes me laugh.
“What?” He takes a bite of burrito and glares at me.
“Nothing.” Then I change my mind and tell him anyway about our imaginary burrito duel.
Thomas chews and says nothing, and my smile fades a little that my peace offering is being shut down. Then he whistles a tune, that’s so spot-on Western that I laugh again.
His smile is more reluctant, but definitely present.
“So, what kind of burrito guy are you?” I ask, after taking a bite and swallowing.
“I’m sorry?” Thomas wipes his mouth.
I point with my burrito to his. “Steak? Chicken? Veggie?”
“Ah. Chorizo. Habanero salsa, and I tell them not to be shy with it.”
“Habanero,” I repeat. “The super-hot one?”
He meets my eyes. “You sound surprised.”
“Well.” I chew a bite methodically and take a sip of my soda. “Yes. I confess I had you pegged more as a…”
He lifts his eyebrows in question.
“I didn’t think you’d go for spicy,” I admit.
Thomas takes his time, setting down his burrito, taking a sip of his sparkling water, as he leans forward and captures my gaze. “I like it hot.”
I freeze in place. Something about the way he says it, the way he’s looking at me, makes me think he’s not talking about salsa. And even more surprising than this unexpected side of Thomas is my reaction.
Now I feel suspiciously hot, and it has nothing to do with my salsa, which is mild.
Then I see it. Just the tiniest of smirks that he covers quickly, but not quickly enough. He knew exactly what he was doing.