Vibes & Feels
(Unlikely Pairings, #2)
Publication date: February 22nd, 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
THE SEQUEL TO SIPS & STROKES!
Falling for your enemy never felt so good.
Marco Woodruff has hit rock bottom. He drunkenly propositioned his ex-girlfriend at his own wedding rehearsal dinner just over a year ago and ended up dumped and jobless with a broken nose. He’s been the pariah of his social circle ever since. Now, he’s trying like hell to change for the better.
Morgan Paulsen loathes Marco. He’s nothing more than the douchebag who broke her best friend Lily’s heart. He’s also the last person in the world she expects to help when she finds herself in a crisis. Her ailing grandma needs a full-time caretaker, something she can’t afford. So when Marco offers to look after Gram for free, Morgan takes it as a sign from the universe and reluctantly accepts under one condition: that they never tell anyone about their arrangement.
But Morgan quickly realizes Marco has a completely different vibe these days. The sweet guy who whips up homemade meals for her Gram and happily escorts her to bridge club definitely isn’t the douchebag she remembers. She’s falling hard for the tall, dark, and handsome hottie who kisses like a demon and rocks out to BTS and Taylor Swift. Marco is equally smitten with beautiful, badass Morgan. Never in his life has he felt so content and comfortable than with her. Never did he think he was capable of feeling so much for somebody.
Soon they’re falling hard into total bliss and blazing passion. But if they make it official, Morgan will lose her best friend forever. Can she come clean to Lily? Can Marco prove that therapy and cutting out his toxic family have really changed him? Or will being open about their love ruin everything?
I’m rummaging in my bag for the valet ticket and not watching where I’m going as I approach the podium, which is why I crash into a brick wall dressed in a white dress shirt and paisley tie. We bounce off each other with a collective “oomph.”
The broad-chested guy reaches out to steady me. He cuts off my muttered apologies with, “No, my fault, I was—”
Nothing else follows that statement. When I blink up at him, I find him looking at me with a kind of sick horror in his eyes. I don’t think my essential oil is so potent as to be offensive. Why is he looking at me like I’m his worst nightmare? Why am I getting dread vibes?
And why does he seem so familiar?
I know him… No, no way… He’s too scruffy and raw to be—
The maître d’ clears his throat. “Can I help either of you?”
“Yes, um, well. I need my car brought around, but, um, you go first, Morgan.”
My head whips back to the guy as my suspicions confirm themselves. “Marco.”
He cringes at the way I whisper-puke his name, but the sour taste in my mouth is too much to suppress. Marco Woodruff is standing beside me. My best friend’s dickweed ex-boyfriend. Hey, creep, how’s it going?
I hurry to slide the valet ticket onto the podium. “Um, it’s a red Mini Cooper,” I say as if he needs to know this, then spin on my heel and race out the door to the front curb. Heavy footfalls behind me tell me Marco, too, has come outside to wait.
We stand side by side in total silence.
“Where did they park them, the North Pole?” I mutter when an eternity has passed.
He breathes out a chuckle that I don’t want to hear. It’s commiseration, and we are not people who have anything to bond over.
I pucker my lips as headlights blaze from our left. A Mercedes glides up. I roll my eyes. “Of course.”
The valet pops out, and Marco frowns. “She was first.”
The annoyance in his voice stops the valet, who was already jogging back toward the parking lot. “Sorry, boss, your car was blocking hers in.”
We trade a look.
“Do you need me to wait with you?”
His voice is thin. Clothing aside, he’s nothing like I remember him. The scruffy beard is definitely new. He isn’t cocky, either. If anything, I sense deep fatigue in him. It’s in his eyes. It’s in his slumped shoulders. It’s in his whole damn aura.
But the question has only one right answer. I jut my chin out and sneer. “If I ever need a chaperon, Marco, I’ll find one who’s at least a modicum of trustworthy, thanks so much.”
He flinches like I’ve delivered the blow he’s been waiting for since we ran into each other. Maybe I have. “I expected that answer. Goodnight.”
And with that, he drops into his car and is gone.
Sarah Skye is the nom de plume of romance authors Sarah Smith and Skye McDonald. Sarah and Skye met on Twitter as fledgling authors seeking critique partners. That turned into a brilliant friendship, a joint podcast (Quick & Dirty Romance Podcast), and now a novel.
Sarah Smith (Faker; If You Never Come Back; Simmer Down) is a copywriter-turned-author who wants to make the world a lovelier place, one kissing story at a time. Her love of romance began when she was eight and she discovered her auntie’s stash of romance novels. She’s been hooked ever since. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking, eating chocolate, and perfecting her lumpia recipe. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband and adorable cat Salem.
Skye McDonald (The Anti-Belle Series) is an author and personal development coach. Skye’s Anti-Belle series feature sassy GRITS (Girls Raised In the South) learning to love themselves before they can claim their happily ever after. (Spoiler: they always do!) Her coaching method uses fitness and life skills to teach individuals to do the same. When not writing sexy books or cheering for you to live your best life, Skye can be found out on a new adventure, usually with her pup at her side.