A first, exclusive look at the almost completely ready-- but not quite past the final "final" approval--There's Something About Ari.
A TV star had arrived for coffee, and the fans who’d come to town in droves from Seattle and Vancouver and points south wanted their money’s worth. They didn’t mean to be intrusive. They were supportive. Some of them were also dressed as wolves, and that was wonderful— none of us would have jobs without them—up to the point when we were all blinded by cell phone light and choking on the odor of wet faux fur. Which was the case most of the time.
I followed the trail of blue cellphone screens toward their person of interest. It could have been one of the other actors from the shoot, one of those old detective dudes, but no. It was Ari. I’d been tuned in for a week waiting for him to appear, and I don’t know how I knew, but I felt his presence long before I saw him. Which was the twigs-and-bark way of saying I was super fucking paranoid, but he was here, and an entire oatmeal cookie disappeared into my mouth like nothing.
Not paranoid. I was clairvoyant. And starving.
Ari joined the back of the line like any other person, except he could have passed as the Stark of Winterfell’s bastard son. Kit Harrington’s American twin. God damn, he was good looking, in a nubby, charcoal wool sweater with one of those vaguely British high, rolled collars. The slick, salon-bought man-products were absent and his shaggy, black as midnight, incredibly thick hair waved almost to his shoulders. The man-scaped stubble from last week had thickened, and looking at him, my mouth turned to ash.
I suddenly understood exactly what the big deal was with Ari Valentine.
A smile spread across Ari’s face when he caught me staring, and god damn it, one solid week of steeling myself against running into him meant squat. My battered, idiot heart thumped inside my chest like a rookie, even as anxiety wrapped its meaty fist around my throat and squeezed until I dropped a mug on the counter. The handle cracked right off.
I got a grip, threw the mug in the trash, swallowed another cookie, which tasted like the aforementioned ash—go figure—and with Ari’s smile seared on my brain, I moved to the next order. Hot chocolate. Easy. Extra marshmallows. Great.Available November 10th from Riptide Publishing. Blog tour begins November 3rd!