Twenty-eight year old Coco Thomas knows the recipe for disaster:
1) Agree to plan last-minute engagement blowout for spoiled Mafia princess before you realize her choice of caterer is Nick Lupo, a despicably gorgeous young chef with a hot new restaurant in town, a reality TV show victory, and a romantic past with you—one that did not end well.
2) Strike a deal with Nick in which you agree to spend a weekend with him in exchange for his services, under the strict conditions there will be no talking about the past, no second chances, and definitely no sex.
3) Violate all three conditions within 24 hours and spend two glorious days remembering what made you fall for the sexy, egotistical bastard in the first place, and why it hurt so much when he broke your heart.
Add one road trip, plenty of good scotch, and endless spoonfuls of chocolate cake batter drizzled over your body and licked off inch by oh-my-God-yes-right-there inch, then just admit it.
You’re totally FORKED.
An excerpt from Forked
Holy shit, I might actually pull this off. A smile tugged at the corners of my mouth as I noted the vendor names on the contract. No, not might. I would absolutely pull this off by myself, and it would be fabulous. Huge without being impersonal. Fun without being tacky. Elegant without being stuffy. Mia would be proud of me, we were bound to get good buzz if this reality show took off, and with the estimated total cost — at which Angelina didn’t even bat a fake eyelash — I’d make enough money to put ten percent down on the house. I could make an offer next week, even.
See? Stop worrying. This was all meant to happen. It’s fate.
“Oh! I almost forgot. I want that Italian chef, Nick Lupo, to do burgers at midnight,” announced Angelina. “Right after the fireworks.”
The floor dropped a few feet, or maybe it was my stomach. I gripped the edge of my desk. “What did you say?”
“I want that Italian guy. You know, the one who won first place on that reality show about hot chefs last year, Lick My Plate? He’s from here and he has a restaurant downtown called The Burger Bar. He’s there like every night. I saw him in there this week.”
“Yes, I know who he is. I just…” Haven’t seen him since he snuck out of our hotel room in Vegas seven years ago. “…think he might be difficult to get.”
Angelina blinked at me. “Why?”
“Well, because he’s, um…” My ex. Famous now. The best sex I ever had and the worst mistake I ever made. There were any number of ways I could’ve finished that sentence, but finally I went with “probably not available.”
“I want him.” Angelina poked an index finger onto my desk. Unlike her pink and white pedicure, her fingernails were painted corpse gray. “Get him.”
“Uh, I don’t think Nick Lupo does private parties.” I hadn’t said his name out loud in years, and the sound of it, the feel of it on my lips brought back powerful memories—the taste of whiskey and apple pie. A warm, muscular body moving over mine. The crunch of leaves beneath my back. A wide, lush mouth closing over my breast as he filled the hollow ache inside me—
I crossed my legs and squeezed my thighs together. Don’t.
“This isn’t just any private party. Tell him who it’s for,” said Angelina, like duh. “Tell him who my father is. He’ll do it.”
My insides churned. “I guess I could try.”
“Do it. Or I’ll get someone who can.” Her loud voice was razor sharp, and I suddenly got the feeling God wasn’t the one who’d sent her.
“I’ll do it.” My throat was bone dry, my words barely audible.
“I’ll do it,” I said more forcefully. “I’ll get him.”
“You promise?” Angelina sniffed.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
We finished up, and after she left, I dropped my head onto my desk and banged my forehead against the wood until it ached.
Nick Lupo. I had to face Nick Lupo, after all this time.
Even Mia didn’t know the complete truth about my most impulsive decision ever. I’d been too ashamed to tell her.
When he’d left me sleeping in that room at the Bellagio seven years ago, I’d been wearing a wedding ring. That he’d put on my finger the night before.
He’d left his ring on the nightstand along with a note.
This was a mistake.
About the Author
Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. She lifts her glass to readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI.