Home > Hopelessly Bromantic (Hopelessly Bromantic Duet #1)

Hopelessly Bromantic (Hopelessly Bromantic Duet #1)
Author: Lauren Blakely

 


About

 

 

My first day in London feels ripped from the pages of a rom com when I meet a charming, witty guy in a quaint bookshop. We vibe like crazy, and our chemistry is almost too good to be true because...It is.

Turns out he’s my new roommate, and I’ll be living with the English hottie in a tiny flat that’s barely big enough for a mattress. Time for a few simple rules -- don’t walk around the flat wearing only a towel, don’t spend our nights together exploring London, and don’t crack open my secrets for him.

Even as I smash all those rules, I try to resist the swooniest guy I’ve ever known. But after a taste of his lips I give in, telling myself one night and we won’t fall in love.

Except, it might already be too late for me.

Too bad in the morning I discover that hiding my true feelings is the least of my worries, compared to what fate has in store for us.

 

 

Hopelessly Bromantic

 

 

Book 1 in the Hopelessly Bromantic Duet

 

 

By Lauren Blakely

 

 

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Prologue

 

 

Some Guys Are Just Like That

 

 

TJ

 

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Present Day

 

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Seven years ago, when my boss hit me with the news that he was sending me to London for the next twelve months, I could picture my nights unfolding like a dirty fairy tale.

After working my ass off all day, I’d hit the music bars, check out cool new bands, and meet hot guys. They’d charm me with their accents, and I’d charm them with my wit, and we’d bang till Big Ben struck morning O-O-O-and-one-more-O’clock.

My sex life would be nothing like it was in college, which was a lot like a drought—a famine from which, two years post-graduation, I’d only recently started to emerge.

But Ye Olde London? It would be a beefeater feast.

And sure, yeah, a great work opportunity. Obviously. And I wanted that because I had goals. Big ones.

Little ones too.

First, I wanted to stop at the bookstore on Cecil Court I went to on a family trip when I was an awkward teenager. While my parents hunted for a guidebook, I browsed the paperbacks, and for the first time in my life, I visualized my name on a cover. I left there with an armload of books . . . and a dream.

The bookshop was one of the first places I went when I arrived in London seven years ago. I wanted an auspicious beginning to my year abroad. Full circle and all that.

But that time, when I reached Cecil Court, it wasn’t a paperback that sparked my dreams.

It was a man.

This bloke had more charm and appeal than any hero I could write into a novel.

But he wasn’t simply between the covers of a story, where I could mastermind the ending. He was vibrant, real, and the most thrilling time I’d ever had. Soon, my London life was full of him.

And—spoiler alert—this guy in the bookstore was going to upend my world, not once, but twice.

Some guys were like that. They stayed with you, even when you wanted them out of your head.

And they left, even when you wanted them to stay.

 

 

Part One

 

 

Seven Years Ago

 

 

And so it begins . . .

 

 

1

 

 

What Kind of Lap Dances Does He Like?

 

 

Jude

 

* * *

 

This is the greatest vacuum cleaner ever. There has never been a better one in all the land. It’s literally going to change your life.

I repeat those notes from my agent before I head into the audition room—a drab, windowless shoebox of a place above a strip club on the outskirts of Leicester Square.

I’ve got no problem with the business of exotic dancing. But all things being equal, I’d rather audition for a new commercial above, say, a Tesco or an insurance office.

But a gig is a gig is a gig.

I put on my best smile as I give the casting director my name. “Jude Graham with Premier Talent. Harry Atkinson reps me, and it’s a pleasure to be here.”

The casting director looks up from her tablet, question marks in her eyes. “Harry? I thought he was—” She makes a slashing gesture against her throat.

“I hope not. I saw him a week ago. Very much alive. And also, not headless.”

“Ah, must have been someone else,” she says.

Yes, I’ve noticed the epidemic of talent-agent beheadings in London lately.

“Sorry for whoever that might be,” I add.

She smiles faintly, the thick coat of plum lipstick cracking. “All right, show us you’re in the market for a Cleaneroo.”

Somehow, she manages to keep a straight face when she says the brand name—something I’ll be required to do in three, two, one . . .

I become a cheerful, British businessman returning home to his flat after a hard day at the office. “Sweetheart, I swear the floors have never been prettier. Did you get that new Cleaneroo?”

Could this script be any more 1950s?

“Thank you,” the casting director says, revealing zilch about how I did.

“Thank you for having me,” I say with a gentlemanly nod as old-fashioned as this script.

Shit.

That was more of a bow. I meant to be jaunty, not obsequious. No matter. She didn’t even notice. She’s dragging her chipped red fingernail on the tablet screen, already done with me.

I grab my messenger bag and make my way down the rickety stairs in the back of the building, heading out through the strip club. A brunette dancer weaves past me, pink thigh-high boots jacking her up several inches, white seashells covering maybe half her breasts. An unlit cigarette dangles from her lips as she gives me a once-over. “Fancy a lap dance? Half off for you . . . I like blonds,” she says.

“Thanks, but I’m on a lap-dance fast,” I say, making my way to the exit.

Once I hit the street, I call my agent. “Why do these Cleaneroo people think you’re dead, Harry?”

He chortles. “Ah, that’s so typical of Vicki. When I don’t send her anyone for a while, she assumes I’ve kicked the bucket.”

That’s not the most reassuring answer. But last year, Harry did book me a sweet spot that’s still paying the bills, so I let rumors of his demise slide. “Maybe let her know you’re still alive?”

“Oh, I already told her, Jude. She just called.”

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