Read Just Her Type Online

Authors: Reon Laudat

Just Her Type

 
 
 

Just Her Type

By Reon Laudat

 

Just Her Type Copyright © 2015 by Reon Laudat

The Flirtationship excerpt Copyright © 2014 by Reon Laudat

WWW.REONLAUDAT.COM

Cover design: GoOnWrite.com

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quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials
in violation of the author’s rights.

This is a work of fiction. All characters, organizations, and events
portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are
used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living
or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Just Her Type

 

One woman’s quest for Mr. Right,
the Great American novel, and the perfect knit stitch

 

When literary agent Kendra Porter loses her heart, she has a tendency
to lose her head. She’s impulsively accepted three bended-knee marriage
proposals. But this flighty fiancée has never made it to the altar. Her
MO is to return the rings with heart-rending breakup speeches. No more! For
long-term relationship success, she adopts a more pragmatic approach to dating in
hopes of clicking with a different type of guy.

 

Rival literary agent Dominic Tobias is a sexy, charming, hipster sort,
in other words, Kendra’s usual type to a tee. While he induces the best kind of
tingles, he also triggers her flight response.

 

The last few women Dominic pursued banished him to that guy purgatory
of no return– the Friend Zone. His laid-back, no-pressure courting style
has been lousy for his love life as of late. With Kendra, he tries the opposite
approach—a full-court-press strategy.

 

A fierce pull draws Kendra to Dominic, but she can’t fight unnerving
déjà vu when he gets too close.

 

Will they prevail over the “cute couple” curse, spooky synchronicity,
suspicions of client poaching, and double-wide competitive streaks to achieve
their happily ever after?

 

Can Kendra conquer her fear and trust off-the-charts chemistry one more
time? Does Dominic want to win Kendra’s heart?

 

Or does he just want to win?

 

Chapter 1

 

What? You’re going to move? Please, don’t do it!
Kendra Porter
mentally telegraphed her desperate plea to her seatmate.

After boarding the plane, she had recognized the
man upfront who had more than likely extended the offer to give up his first
class seat for the miserable coach seat of her neighbor.

The flight attendant went on, tempting Ed, the
seatmate, with details of all the amenities that would come with the
trade.
 

For their flight from Dallas back to New York,
Kendra and Ed had been stuck in the immobile 32A and 32B with backs flush
against the lavatory.
 
As the ground
crew tended to a minor mechanical glitch before departure, Kendra, who had been
thumbing through a tattered
Fingerhut
catalog
that someone left behind, tucked it away to listen to Ed, the retired Winnebago
salesman from Yonkers. After spotting her
I
Knit So I Don’t Kill People
tote, he told her all about his treasured old
Fair Isle cardigans that needed repairs.
 

Now he would leave her hanging.

“First class?”
 
Ed went wide-eyed with delight as he
gathered his magazines. “Sure, I’d love to switch!” He turned to Kendra.
“Friend of yours?”

“But I was enjoying our conversation,” Kendra
replied, instead of answering his question. “I was about to tell you all about
my Aunt Jackie’s yarn shop.”
 
She
plowed through her purse and passed him a business card for The Sassy Sheep.
“She’s an expert knitter. For a small fee, I’m sure she can repair all the
holes in those sweaters you told me about.”

Ed glanced at the card. “Gee, thanks! I’ll give
her a call!” He pocketed it, unbuckled his seatbelt, and popped up with his
dog-eared
Time
magazines. “Sorry to
leave you, but
this
is an offer I
can’t refuse. No problem with the company, mind you, it’s my bad back and dodgy
knees. Need all the extra legroom I can get.
 
Have a nice flight! Hey, what’s your
name again?”

“Kendra.”

“Have a nice flight, Kendra!”
 
Ed saluted her and grabbed his shopping
bag underneath the seat in front of him before following the flight attendant
to first class.

Seconds later, just as Kendra had dreaded, Dominic
Tobias made his way down the narrow aisle, carrying himself like a man sure of
his supreme magnetism.
 
He’d donned
black jeans and a horizontal-striped cashmere sweater. What were the chances?
They wore identical outfits, but his required miles of extra fabric to
accommodate broad shoulders and timber-like legs.
What is he? Six-two? Six-three?

Untucked tails of a vertically-striped cotton
shirt peeked from his sweater’s bottom ridge.
 
Check.
Chukkas on his feet.
Check.
Groomed stubble.
Check
. An
undercut—dark wavy hair closely cropped on the sides and back, slightly
longer on top.
Check.
Touchable, not
stiff, greasy, or goopy with hair product.
 
Check.
Retro horn-rimmed
glasses.
Check.
 
All similar to what her exes had worn.
Hipster style. He obviously harbored no aversion to color and
conversation-starter clothing. A few days ago, he’d successfully worn
salmon-tinted chinos and a ginger porkpie hat on stage. Only guys with a
certain attitude—swagger or Grammy award cred—could rock those
without looking utterly ridiculous.

Kendra had avoided contact with Dominic, a.k.a.
Mr. Dazzling-Smile-Double-Take-Body, at the four-day Romantic Wordsmith
Conference that had ended forty-eight hours ago. Getting lost among two
thousand readers, writers, editors, and fellow literary agents had been a
cinch. But now, the prospect of sitting so close to him for three hours, only
made her think of coyotes gnawing off their legs to escape steel-jaw traps.
 
Still, she would mind the manners
carefully instilled by Aunt Jackie.
 
“Hello there!” she said with restaurant-hostess perkiness.

“Hello.” Dominic adjusted his geek-chic glasses
and sat, canting his knees so as not to jam against the seat in front of him.

“So, you gave up first class, extra leg room,
and
the reclining option.”
 
Kendra shifted and tried using her purse
as a makeshift Berlin Wall until it became clear no amount of positioning and
repositioning would keep it in place.

“I did. You gave me no choice,” he said. “This was
the only way I could make official intros happen.”

As if Kendra didn’t already know who he was.
Humph.
She squashed the purse next to
the canvas knitting tote underneath the seat in front of her.

He offered his hand. “Dominic Tobias.”

“Kendra Porter.”
 
When they shook hands, her skin tingled,
just as she’d figured it would.
 
And
she
loved
his voice. It was the first
time she’d heard it up close.
 
If
voices were drinks, his would be a flavorful beer. Kendra was a woman who
preferred a tall brewski to neon
Sex and
the City
cocktails dressed up with fruit slices, glitter dust, and bendy
straws. She appreciated everything from a crisp, uncomplicated bottom shelf
lager to a complex old-country-style ale. His voice was a dry stout. Rich.
Earthy. Not too warm. Not too cold. Just right. It made her want to cozy up to
him for a taste.

“The fit’s a little snug, but the company makes up
for that,” Dominic said of his seat.

Kendra broke the ice with people by giving
compliments. Genuine comments only, lest she come off as a big phony
.
 
Anything about the sexy, oh-so-masculine timbre of his voice would
sound overly flirtatious so she did a quick scan and said, “I like your scarf.”

 
“This
old thing?” Dominic grinned, revealing perfect white teeth as he tapped the
scarf’s bold zigzag print. “Thank you.”

“Mind if I ask where you got it?”

“Truth? My mother’s closet.”

“Nice,” she said.
How cool.
He had no qualms admitting this.

“At last.”

“Pardon me?”

“At last we meet.”
 
Dominic leveled his dark brown gaze at
her. “Every time I tried to get near you at the conference you
disappeared.
 
If I didn’t know any
better, I’d think you were giving me the slip, lady.”

“The slip? Now, why would I do that?”
 
Kendra dipped her chin and looked up at
him through her thick lashes. “Those events are all about schmoozing. But I am
surprised you took the time for that Dallas conference.”

“I had several clients attending. I like to
maintain a personal touch and get face time with them when the opportunity
presents itself. That’s the way you stay on top, keep your ear to the ground
and all that. Hey!” Dominic motioned toward their catalog-labeled “bisque and
pepper” striped sweaters as if he’d just noticed they matched.

“Yup. Twinsies!”
 
Kendra said. “How about that?”

“You know what they say about great minds,” he
replied, stroking the stubble on his chin as if the sartorial coincidence
didn’t bother him in the least. “I’d hoped we could have a drink, or at least
coffee, together at the conference, but we can do that now as soon as the
flight attendant starts cabin service.” He
pushed his backpack underneath the seat in front of him.

“So, you spoken for?”
 
Dominic dropped a glance at her bare
ring finger.

“Way to beat around the bush,” Kendra quipped.

“Hey, I believe if you want to know something, you
ask.”

 
Kendra
considered fabricating a significant other, but her lips moved before she could
think it through. “No. I’m not ‘spoken for.’ ”

“Good. Maybe we can change that.” He winked.

 
That
move triggered the second red flag, after the matching sweaters thing. Once
upon a time, she’d preferred men who’d dispensed with the game play and
declared their romantic interest straightaway.

But that was the past.

Dominic Tobias had actually garnered her attention
a while ago.
 
She’d read numerous
publishing industry articles about him, and she might have surfed over to his
agency website and social media accounts a time or two. Or several dozen.
 
Just checking
out the competition, or so she’d told herself at the time. She’d
also seen his photos in
Town &
Country
, usually with his well-heeled family and friends, and in
Us
magazine, with his A-list Hollywood
clients who’d written best-selling bios or memoirs.

While he had a reputation as a shark when it came
to business, he was quite the catch, according to more than a few single women
in the publishing industry. Gorgeous, successful, and from what she had
gathered, an all-round fascinating bachelor.

They also had a lot in common as Gen Xers with the
same anachronistic devotion to all things eighties-related, especially film,
TV, and music. They even loved the same cover band–Love Nest Ninjas, a
local eighties new wave group. She’d read all about his favorites on his blog.

“I thought I saw you in the audience at my
How to Power up Your Author Platform in
Twelve Easy Steps
presentation at the conference,” he said. “So, what did
you think?”
 

Okay, so she hadn’t
completely
avoided him during the five-day conference. To ensure
they would not bump into one another, she’d actually skulked about and hidden
in the back of the auditorium at his presentation.
 
Those glasses of his obviously had telescopic
lenses.

“It was good,” she said, nodding.
 
Watching him on stage from a safe
distance, she’d found him intelligent, self-assured, witty, and charismatic. “I
gleaned some tips for my clients.”

Sharing an occupation could either ramp up their
compatibility or stoke conflict. With mere inches separating them, it was
almost enough to make Kendra forget her new approach to dating. Instead, she
renewed her vow to stay
focused.
 

After all, at thirty-four, she had reached that
age at which the average person was supposed to become less neurotic.
 
Okay, so she still worked on exorcising
those neurotic tendencies. Those things took time.

But man, oh
man, Dominic Tobias is a looker.
Kendra tossed her long, dark hair over one
shoulder and gazed at his lips.

 
“Did
you enjoy the rest of the conference?” Dominic asked.

“Huh?”
 
Oh, that deep, sexy voice
.
Move over, Vin Diesel.

“The conference. Did you enjoy it?”

“Yes.”
 
Kendra stopped gaping at the man to look out the window as the plane
taxied down the runway.
Enough obsessing
over that sexy voice and highly kissable-looking lips! Focus on company goals!
Increasing profits!

Her literary agency careened toward financial
ruin. Dominic was the last person she wanted to know this. Nor would she whip
out that promising submission she’d planned to review on this flight home. What
if he caught a glimpse of a line or two on her e-reader and became intrigued
enough to track down the author, whose name was clearly displayed? Long shot,
but she’d heard of colleagues going to extensive lengths to land choice
clients.

Kendra did not want to go head-to-head with
Dominic again.

Instead, she reached inside her knitting tote for
one of the books she’d tucked in there. Her fingers caressed the embossed, foil
lettering of the trade paperback edition of
Onyx
& Snake Eyes
she’d
purchased
at an
airport shop
.
The
author
,
Brody Goodwin, many considered an undisputed master of modern
noir novels, mixed elements of mystery with deep psychological studies.
 
Kendra was eager to read his latest
work, the fourth in the series, since the hardcover edition had debuted at the
top of all major best-seller lists early last year. However, there were only so
many hours in a day and manuscripts by clients or potential clients took
precedence over books read strictly for pleasure. When she wasn’t catching up
on novels, she read everything from quirky blogs to small literary magazines to
search for new talent.

Kendra shoved
Onyx
& Snake Eyes
deeper inside the bag. After all, Brody Goodwin had chosen
to work with Dominic’s agency five years ago.
 
No way would she give Dominic an
opportunity to gloat. She removed a copy of the self-help book,
The Single Girl’s Guide to Cute Coupledom,
so she could gloat instead, though she’d already read it several times from
rough draft to final trade cover edition.

Kendra’s client, clinical
psychologist/relationship expert Lizzy Hopewell had enjoyed her personal best
sales with it and
subsequent
books
in
the
series
.
Lizzy specialized in detailed to-do lists and road maps to nab
Mr. Right. Most of the advice focused on finding relationship nirvana based on
the ol’ chestnut:
Opposites attract until
they
attack
.
 
After extensive field research, Lizzy
believed in “mirror mating.”
 
Selecting a version of oneself was the key to a successful long-lasting
relationship after lust had inevitably run its course, she claimed.

Been there.
Done that. Sorry, Lizzy.
When it came to affairs of the heart, there was no
one size fits all. In fact, moving forward, Kendra planned to do the opposite
of what Lizzy had advised.

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