Excerpt: Yours In Scandal by Lauren Layne
“I just need to be sure . . . am I going crazy? I am, right? Our girl’s not seriously telling us she had dinner with the mayor,” Rosalie said, turning to Jane.
“You’re not the crazy one—she is,” Jane said, emphatically pointing at Adeline.
Adeline nibbled on the corner of a chip. “It’s really not the big deal you two are making it out to be. It was just dinner. Pizza.”
“That’s even worse!” Jane said shrilly. “It’s so intimate.”
Adeline glanced over at her calmer friend. “Please tell her there’s nothing intimate about Italian sausage.” She winced as she caught herself. “Yeah, I heard it.”
“It is a little out of character,” Rosalie said slowly. “You haven’t exactly made it a secret how you feel about men these days. To say nothing of your thoughts on elected officials.”
“I didn’t sleep with the guy, we just had pizza.”
“I’d actually be less concerned if you’d slept with him,” Rosalie admitted.
“Agreed,” Jane said, smacking the table. “A sexy fling with the Man of the Year is one thing. A cozy dinner at his place is just . . .” She threw her hands up. “I can’t. I literally can’t process it.”
“You don’t have to process anything,” Adeline said, dunking the chip into the salsa and stuffing the whole thing in her mouth. “It was a one-time thing. The party’s next weekend, and then I’ll probably never see him again.”
“What if he wants you to be his forever event planner?”
“He won’t. His regular planner’s one of the best in the city, and I’m sure she’ll be back from maternity leave by the time he needs to hire someone again.”
“Is his regular event planner hot and single?” Jane pointed out.
“Exactly. Much less susceptible to his sexy face than single you.”
Adeline sighed and looked again to the perpetually calm Rosalie. “Make it stop.”
“Just promise you’ll warn us if you start to fall for the guy,” her friend said, fiddling with her chip. “Much as I love the idea of you landing the hottest guy in the city, I also know just how tricky that would be for you.”
“Tricky is an understatement given he’s likely running against The Bastard in the next election,” she said, knowing that both of her lifelong friends knew she was referring to the father she’d all but disowned.
Adeline hadn’t known Rosalie as long as she’d known Jane, but they still went all the way back to high school. Adeline had been the loose cannon, Jane the genius, and Rosalie had been, well . . . perfect.
“You know,” Adeline said, looking thoughtfully at Rosalie over the top of her margarita. “I actually thought about setting you and the mayor up.”
“Wait, what?” Rosalie’s eyes went wide.
“You said yourself he was hot,” Adeline pointed out. “You’re also beautiful, well spoken, polished. You never look bad in a photograph, and you never say the wrong thing. I literally can’t think of a more perfect future First Lady of New York.”
“Oooh, I see that!” Jane said, pivoting in her chair to stare at Rosalie.
Adeline gave Jane an exasperated expression. “You were just warning me off of the guy.”
“Warning you off, yes. But Rosalie . . .”
Adeline tried to ignore the sting. It wasn’t as if Jane were saying anything Adeline herself hadn’t thought. Even if she were inclined to pursue the mayor, and she wasn’t, she knew that she was the last thing someone like him needed. Her past alone made her an inconceivable choice for him, and even if she could keep her past mistakes under wraps, she would never be the right woman for him. She may have mastered the bun and the blazers, but she was still the woman who collected adventurous lingerie and loved tequila.
“The guy’s definitely attractive,” Rosalie said. “But I don’t know that I want one of Adeline’s rejects,” she said with a smile intended to annoy Adeline.
“I wouldn’t let that stop me,” Jane said, fanning herself. “If it weren’t for Dan . . . . Too bad I love that man so damn much. Seriously, Rosalie, let Adeline fix you up, so I can live vicariously.”
“Hello,” Rosalie said, staring at the admittedly, occasionally tone-deaf Jane. “Are you not seeing what I’m seeing?” She pointed at Adeline.
Jane glanced over and narrowed her eyes.
“Ever since she came back from New Mexico with her hair brown, she’s been like this buttoned-up ice woman. But when she talks about him . . .” Rosalie made an unrecognizable hissing, clicking noise.
“What was that?” Jane asked.
“Fire igniting,” Rosalie explained. “Whatever, so sound effects and act-outs aren’t my strong suit. The point is—”
“If I sound fiery when I talk about the mayor, it’s only because he’s a control freak and pain in the ass,” Adeline interjected. “The man doesn’t know how to delegate, is hell-bent on carrying on his father’s legacy without ever checking in with himself, and . . .”
Adeline’s thoughts scattered a little as she realized she wasn’t being entirety fair to the mayor. Yes, he was obsessed with his image, as a man in his position had to be. But he could also be funny and irreverent. He could also be spontaneous and casual.
He’d proven that yesterday, first with the tour of his home, then the invitation of dinner. Even the way he ate pizza was appealing, somehow both buttoned-up precise and outright relishing, all at the same time.
“We need more margaritas.”
About the Book
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: March 10, 2020
Fresh off being named Citizen magazine’s Man of the Year, New York City’s youngest mayor, Robert Davenport, decides it’s time to strategize. Next move: a bid for the governor’s seat. In his way: an incumbent with a flawless reputation. He also has an Achilles’ heel: an estranged wild-child daughter with a past so scandalous it could be Robert’s ticket to victory. And a charm so irresistible it could be Robert’s downfall.
Rebellion is a thing of the past for Adeline Blake. As New York’s premier event planner, she’s all about reform and respectability. Then she’s approached by Robert to organize the party of the season. Curious, considering he’s her father’s most formidable opponent. And alarming, too. Because Addie can’t help but fall for the righteously popular candidate with the movie-star smile.
Now it’s Robert’s choice. Does he pursue a future that holds his legacy? Or the woman who holds his heart?
Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Hot Asset, Hard Sell, and Huge Deal in her 21 Wall Street series, as well as her Central Park Pact series. Her books have sold more than a million copies in nine languages. Lauren’s work has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Glamour, the Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City. For the latest updates, be sure to check out her website at www.laurenlayne.com.
Social Media Links
a Rafflecopter giveaway