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Authors: Candace Vianna

Tags: #contemporary romance

The Science of Loving


book description

The Science of Loving




CHAPTER ONE Pavlovian Serial Killers

CHAPTER TWO Red Dresses and Rock Stars

CHAPTER THREE Old Engine Oil and Blowjobs

CHAPTER FOUR Caffienated Goddesses

CHAPTER FIVE A Camping We Will Go

CHAPTER SIX Flirting With the Dark Side


CHAPTER EIGHT Drinking in the Woods

CHAPTER NINE Blindfolds and Zipties, Oh My

CHAPTER TEN All Good Things Come to an End

CHAPTER ELEVEN Hey Daddy Look What Followed Me Home


CHAPTER THIRTEEN Bitter Bitch Strikes Again

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Sidewalks and Shotguns

CHAPTER FIFTEEN Hot Coffee and Cold Feet

CHAPTER SIXTEEN The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers, Absolutely Nothing



CHAPTER NINETEEN The Road to Hell and Best Laid Plans

CHAPTER TWENTY It's the Stiff Ones You Have to Watch Out For



About the Author

This story’s about…

This is a sweet romance, with some hot sex and not so sweet language. If you are bothered by sexually explicit scenes or profanity, put the book down and back away. This story is intended for a mature audience.


She’s a shy researcher obsessed with muscles. She even has a muscle car. He’s the bad boy rock star of the architectural world, perfectly content with his bachelor status until his tattoo artist sister decides to play matchmaker. Then sparks fly.


Danny was in love. Again. So, she thought everyone else, meaning me, should be, too. She didn’t appreciate that I was already living my dream: no drama, no mess. My life was just the way I liked it; orderly. I liked my shit organized, and I lived alone just so I could have things my way. I’d go out if I wanted company.

“And what’s so special about this particular hottie? She’s a hottie, right? Danny?”

“Well… She’s hot in an understated sort of way. She’s quietly hot.”

Shit. She probably had a great personality too.


I hated parties. Crowds always left me slightly off balance and inevitably, I drew the attention of creepiest, most annoying guy there. Once caught, I could never shake them. By the end of the night, I was a nervous wreck. But Danny wouldn’t take no for an answer, or as she put it, giving me her best death stare. “You might as well give in gracefully
, because I’m not to be denied.” I gave in gracefully.

Now some creep had me backed up as far as I could go without falling into the bushes. “Please leave me alone.” I knew I sounded weak, but I couldn’t help it. I never knew what to do when guys like this cornered me, so I froze, unable to move, breathe or think. I cringed as he brushed a nonexistent hair from my cheek. Ew…

“Excuse me, I know you’re not macking on my girl.”

Holy shit, that was the scariest man I’d ever seen. He was huge. He was bald. He was tattooed. He was a painted Aztec god; all he needed was some gold jewelry and a bloody alter.














The Science of Loving


by Candace Vianna


The Science of Loving


by Candace Vianna


All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever other than those listed below without the express written permission of the publisher author/publisher:


Exerts and brief quotations may be used in a book reviews so long as they are accurate and not taken out of context.


This title has been intentionally published DRM free and may be lent out. If you have a borrowed copy, please consider purchasing a personal copy to keep.


This is a work of fiction. References to historical events, locales, businesses or products are either imaginary or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to specific persons alive or dead or actual events is purely coincidental.


To My Husband


“What ya’ wearin’?” A gruff breathy voice oozes from the handset into my ear.

Responding, “Nothin’ but a smile,” I promptly hang up.

That obscene caller has seen me through three decades of misadventure and folly. Throughout that time, he has endured my domestic ineptitude (which exists on monumental scale) without criticism. He quietly suffers the waves of obsessive interests that capture my sanity with equanimity and stoic resolve. He knows that like a tsunami, occluding everything in its path, they will not abate until their energy is spent. And I know that when I am in the thrall of these feverish psychoses, he will see to it that I don’t misplace our children. He will ensure that we are fed; that we sleep, and he will gently remind us that bathing is a good thing. He is my anchor, forcing me to keep at least one foot on firm ground.

I never tire of hearing his voice. It has a timbre, a quality of tone that fascinates me. It transmits a gentle warmth and surety, and is never cruel. He could read a dictionary aloud and make it interesting. And hearing him recount his day is the highlight of mine.

I asked him once, “What is most important in a successful marriage?”

After the initial deer-in-the-headlights paralysis had passed, noting no marital land mines in evidence, he retorted, “A swift kick and firm fist.” Then strutted from the room. I mulled over his sanguine witticism and realized he’d captured the character of our marriage perfectly, and it’s still true today.

That is not to say that cruel acts of violence occur in our home, quite the opposite. Anger is a stranger, an unwelcome caller, whose rare presence is always polite. Rather, he’d captured the tone of our relationship, the cautious optimism and mandatory humor necessary to survive the chaos that is my nature. He balances me, enduring my idiosyncrasies. He has grace. The grace to overlook small annoyances, to support me even when he disagrees. He gives me the courage to trust, the confidence to fail, and permission to look foolish. Which I do often and unapologetically.

Grace is not easy. It requires a selflessness and integrity that is unnatural. The snoring that robs you of a good night’s sleep is born gracefully. Late night runs to the pharmacy for soda and aspirin are proffered unconditionally. The occasional request for an evening’s revelry with the girls is unreservedly approved. It takes a sense of grace to acknowledge the right to privacy, to thoughts and personal opinions. And, it takes a strength of purpose to refrain from making another’s existence contingent on your own. It requires maintenance and sustained effort. 

So honey, thank you for our children, for giving the occasional “swift kick” when I need it, and obscene phone calls. Most of all thank you for the laughter and always being there. You are the jam on my toast.


“Come on. Just think about it,” Danny whined above the buzz of her tattoo gun. She enjoyed torturing me, paying me back, no doubt, for all the times I tickled her until she peed her pants when we were growing up. But we’d been at it so long now I was past the pain: My skin was humming, almost numb.

“And what’s so special about this particular hottie? She’s a hottie, right?” Danny was uncharacteristically quiet. “Danny?”

“Well…” Danny considered, chewing her lip. “She’s hot in an understated sort of way.” She glanced up through her eyelashes, adding. “She’s quietly hot.”

She might as well tattoo sucker across my forehead and she knew it. I’d make her work for it, but eventually she’d get her way; my body’s living proof of that. I wouldn’t have any ink at all if it weren’t for her. I was my baby sister’s favorite canvas; my arms and torso chronicled her evolution from tentative inker to fully matured artist.

“Quietly hot, huh.”
Shit. She probably had a great personality too.

Danny was in love—again—so, she thought everyone else—meaning me—should be too. She didn’t appreciate that I was already living my dream: No drama, no mess. My life was just the way I liked it: Orderly. I liked my shit organized, and I lived alone just so I could keep it that way. If I wanted company, I’d go to the corner bar.

Swiping away some blood and excess ink, she studied her work. “I’m thinking red and orange… add some more shading… Maybe toss in some green to make things pop.” The original tattoo had only been done in black ink: One fish on my forearm chasing after another swimming up over my shoulder. It was an ambitious piece for a beginner, but then Danny’s always been a ‘Go big or go home’ kinda girl.

“Sounds good.”

“Really? You’re going to love Angie.” Now, she was being intentionally obtuse. Brat.

“No, no. The red, orange. The whole popping thing.” I had to put up a token resistance for appearance sake, but we both knew I was going to fold.

“You know, Biggie, you should really take my requests more seriously when this gun’s in my hand.”

“You’re evil.”

“Muuhahahah… And don’t you forget it.” Good thing I loved her.









Pavlovian Serial Killers


I hated parties. I was fidgeting in the brightly lit kitchen surrounded by strangers with pounding bass vibrating in my molars. Unfortunately, Danny wouldn’t take no for an answer, or as she put it, giving me her best death stare. “You might as well give in gracefully
, because I’m not to be denied.” I gave in gracefully.

Crowds always left me slightly off balance. Of course, I couldn’t avoid them altogether, no matter how hard I tried. There’d always be the occasional professional mixer like the one tomorrow. And since both my mentor, Bob Tate, and my mother, claimed I was the face behind the science, refusal was not an option; although, I didn’t know why they bothered. I had neither my mother’s classic charm, nor Danny’s sparkling
joi de vivre.
And my attempts at small talk were dismal and few. At least Mom would be there tomorrow to handle center stage so I could lurked on the fringes.

“—I kid you not,” Danny continued. “This knucklehead actually had a monkey’s ass tattooed around his bellybutton.” She nodded when she caught my how-can-anyone-be-that-stupid look. “I know right? But it’s more common than you’d think. I’ve seen all kinds of bellybutton ass-tats: Everything from cats to jackasses. I have to admit, the jackass one tickled the hell out of me at the time, since the guy’s name was Jack. I do love a good pun.”

“So what do you do when someone comes in with something like that?” I asked, morbid curiosity overcoming my innate shyness. I was sandwiched between Danny and a leggy blond girl named Ashley, who, guessing from Danny’s frown, hadn’t been invited.

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