From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby comes an all new novella set in her beloved With Me In Seattle series…
Zane Cooper. Hollywood royalty. Fourth generation superstar. He knows what it is to be one of the biggest celebrities in the world. And how lonely that title truly is. When scandal hits, his career hangs in the balance, and Zane flees LA for Seattle, laying low with his newly married best friend. Things will eventually blow over, and he’ll have his life back soon enough.
Aubrey Stansfield arrives in Seattle excited to start a new job, and eager to settle into her new home. But when she arrives at her rental, Aubrey’s sure she’s imagining things because the uber sexy Zane Cooper is unpacking in her new bedroom. Thanks to a rental snafu, and unwilling to relocate on such short notice, Aubrey and Zane are thrust into being roommates.
Aubrey is about as average as a woman gets, so what could the megastar possibly see in her? She tells herself she’s not interested, despite their undeniable chemistry. But Zane is very persuasive, and soon Aubrey finds herself playing house with the most recognized man on the planet. Deep down, she knows it’s all a fantasy. He’ll head back to his posh lifestyle soon and leave her behind. No way could she fall in love with him.
But love doesn’t always follow the rules…
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
Zane and Aubrey are fun and likely deserving of a longer novel, but they also work well as a shorter story. It's a fun introduction to Kristen Proby and the Seattle series if you are new, and a great addition if this isn't the first you have read of the titles.
I enjoyed and recommend this book.
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“Who are you?”
My heart jumps, and my stomach jolts as I spin and see a man walk out of the master bath. He’s tall. He’s frowning.
And he looks familiar.
“The question is, who are you?” Why did I leave my purse—and my mace—in the kitchen?
“You’re in my condo,” he retorts.
“No, you’re in my condo,” I reply and cross my arms over my chest, trying to look mean. “This is two-oh-three A. Mine. If you’re going to murder-death-kill me, I’m going to ask you to take today off and do it to someone else because I’ve had a long drive, and I need to get ready for my new job. Now, see yourself out.”
Is that me, sounding all calm and collected?
I’m never this calm. Or collected.
Seattle is clearly good for me.
“I hate to burst your bubble,” the stranger replies, “but I’m not leaving. I leased this place, and I’m moving in today.”
“But.” I frown. “I leased this place. And I’m moving in today.”
I stomp out of the bedroom and head straight for the kitchen, opening my bag to retrieve my phone.
I also set my mace on the counter, just in case.
“I can show you the lease.”
“Same,” he replies. “Landlord fucked up.”
I blink, open my mouth, then close it again.
“What’s in here?” He opens my pink box and surveys the goods. “These cake donuts are my weakness.”
Before my eyes, he grabs one and takes a big bite.
“So now you’re stealing my house and my food?”
“I didn’t steal anything,” he says with a full mouth. “Well, except the donut.”
“You’re going to have to move,” I inform him. “I already paid for the first month and the security deposit.”
“I paid six months in advance,” he says, swallows, and then smiles. Suddenly, I know exactly where I’ve seen him before.
This is Zane Cooper. The actor. The celebrity.
He must see the recognition in my eyes because his go ice-cold.
“I can’t afford to find a new place,” I inform him. “It took me a month to find this one. And it’s perfect for me. It’s less than six blocks from the school I’ll be teaching at, so I can walk every day. And it’s furnished. Plus, it’s close to the water.”
“Definitely perfect,” he agrees.
“Oh my God, why are you here?” I demand and prop my hands on my hips. “You’re a gazillionaire. You could literally go anywhere. Why do you want my condo?”
“I’m not a gazillionaire,” he says and crosses his arms over his chest. “I’m more of a trazillionaire.”
“Pretty sure that’s the same thing. So, go build your own building and live in it.”
“Nah.” He picks a piece of donut out of his teeth and shakes his head slowly. “I don’t think I will. I’ll stay here.”
I blink at him and start to feel helpless. My savings is in this place. I don’t have enough left to rent anything else.
And I don’t have time. I start work in just three days.
Part of me wants to cry, but I’ll be damned if I let this hoity-toity movie star see me upset.
So, I do the only thing I can think of.
I prop my fist on the opposite hand in a challenge of rock, paper, scissors.
“What are you doing?” he asks, raising one sexy eyebrow.
“The adult thing,” I reply primly. “Best out of three wins?”
He blinks twice, looks from my hands to my face and back again, then shrugs one muscular shoulder and assumes the position.
“Fine,” he says. “I’m going to win—wait. What’s your name?”
“Aubrey,” I say and lick my lips. “Aubrey Stansfield. And you’re Wyatt Earp.”
His lips twitch into a half-smile. “I only played him on TV.”
I chuckle and say, “Ready?”
“Go,” he says, and we thump our fists three times.
I land on scissors.
He fists for rock.
“Let’s go again,” Zane says.
One. Two. Three.
I land on paper.
He chooses rock again.
I grin, and his blue eyes smile back.
There’s a reason Zane Cooper is the hottest sex symbol in the world. Good God, I might combust just from standing next to him.
All the more reason to get him out of my house.
“Last one,” I say. “Go.”
One. Two. Three.
I land on paper again, assuming Zane only knows how to use rock.
But he forms scissors.
I breathe deeply and reach for my last damn donut.
“That’s mine,” he says, and I whirl on him.
“This is mine,” I reply hotly. “I stood in a bloody line in Portland for it, just this morning. I drove all the way here from Arizona. I’m tired. I’m a little scared. And now I have you in my house, and you won’t leave. Even better than that, you just stole it out from under me.”
“I won it,” he reminds me. “Fair and square. The donut, that is.”
I stop and frown at him. “Huh?”
“I won the donut. In the rock-paper-scissors game.”
“I was playing for the condo, Wyatt.”
He barks out a laugh. “Not me. I want that donut.”
About Kristen Proby
During that time, Kristen wrote many romance novels and joined organizations such as RWA and other small writing groups. She spent countless hours in workshops, and more mornings than she can count up before the dawn so she could write before going to work. She submitted many manuscripts to agents and editors alike, but was always told no. In the summer of 2012, the self-publishing scene was new and thriving, and Kristen had one goal: to publish just one book. It was something she longed to cross off of her bucket list.
Not only did she publish one book, she’s since published close to thirty titles, many of which have hit the USA Today, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists. She continues to self publish, best known for her With Me In Seattle and Boudreaux series, and is also proud to work with William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, with the Fusion Series.
Kristen and her husband, John, make their home in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana with their two pugs and two cats.