|Vivian and Edward in Pretty Woman|
From atop a grassy knoll in the park, Michael spotted Shannon standing near the stage. The crowd was too noisy for him to hear the MC very well, but he caught enough of his announcements to understand the bachelor auction was about to get underway. He should have known he would find Shannon near wherever Drew was going to be.
It was her hair that caught his attention first, even in the dwindling twilight. Finally free of any fetters, it fell over her shoulders like cascading fire, and the effect of it made his pulse quicken unexpectedly. She stood out from the rest of the crowd like a brilliant jewel in a pile of ordinary rubble, and the wonder of all wonders was how the people standing around her didn’t seem to see it.
He saw a dark-haired woman lean in to say something to Shannon, and then watched as Shannon’s face burned with embarrassment. His jaw twitched, and he frowned.
Girls can be catty. Wasn’t that what she had said before?
The brunette turned her back on Shannon, as if she were second-hand news, leaving Shannon to try and recover from the obvious snub.
Oh, hell no, he thought. Not on his watch.
And Michael began to push his way through the sea of people…
Tomboy Shannon Mahoney has always been a lot more comfortable with power tools than high heels or lipstick, and she wishes she could reinvent herself and finally tell her perfect boss, Drew Kingston, she has had a crush on him since high school. But she is just as tongue-tied and awkward around him now as she ever was, and long-familiar patterns are hard things from which to break free…
Ladies’ man Michael is a former bad boy looking for redemption. He is desperate to atone for past mistakes that he made with his family, but younger brother Drew has cut him out of his life and refuses to even speak to him. Which means Michael needs help getting to Drew.
And so he approaches Shannon with a proposition: If she will get Drew to agree to hear him out, Michael will mentor Shannon in how to win his brother’s heart. Suspicious of Michael’s motives, Shannon initially enters into the bargain just to make sure Michael isn’t actually in town to cause trouble for Drew, but the two unlikely allies are surprised to discover they enjoy each other’s company far more than either expected.
Shannon starts to realize that maybe love isn’t about reinventing yourself after all. It’s about finding your perfect match.
“So, ten years…That would take it all the way back to high school, wouldn’t it?”
She nodded, still very deliberately working on getting just the right amount of ketchup on her fry so she wouldn’t have to look at him.
“Wait—were you and Drew in the same graduating class?”
“Then that would mean…so you and I were actually in school together?”
“For a year, yes.”
He gave her a very thorough once-over as if trying to place her. “You and I—we never hooked up in high school, did we?”
Shannon’s mouth fell open. “No, we certainly did not!”
“So is that why you were really so mad at me the other day?”
“What?” she sputtered hotly. “You are unbelievable!”
“Oh, so we did hook up.”
A slow grin spread across his face, and she realized he was playing with her.
Taking a deep breath, she bit back a name she had been about to call him. “You get a perverse pleasure out of yanking my chain, don’t you?”
“Kind of, yes.”
“Aren’t you afraid I might back out of the deal?”
“No, I think you realize it’s in Drew’s best interest. Besides,” he added with a knowing gleam in his eye, “I think you get a perverse pleasure out of putting me back in my place, so we’re developing a great little symbiotic relationship here. Don’t you agree?”
“What? Oh, I’m sorry. I’m still recovering from the shock of hearing such big words come out of your mouth.”
Michael started to laugh, and Shannon felt a kind of rush go through her...