The Bookworm's Guide to Dating (The Bookworm's Guide #1) - Emma Hart


rule one: don’t talk non-stop about your books.

“Ahhh! You stupid dumbass bitch!” I threw the book at the wall and felt a satisfying rush of emotion as it hit it, the pages splaying everywhere, before it landed with a thud on the floor.

Then I froze.

“Oh, damn it!” I hauled myself out of the oversized beanbag and rushed across the room to retrieve the book. “I’m sorry,” I muttered, holding it against my chest as I straightened out the pages that had bent. “But it really wasn’t my fault. If you’d just picked Kieran, Alexandra, then I wouldn’t have gotten so mad at you.”

Good Lord, being a romance reader was hard work.

The door swung open and one of my best friends, Saylor, stepped in. She paused in the doorway and she took in the scene in front of her and sighed when her blue gaze fell on me crouching on the floor. “Kins, are you throwing your books again?”

I straightened up and bristled. “Alexandra picked Will.”

She frowned and tossed her blonde hair over her shoulder as she came over. She plucked the book from my hands and looked at the cover with a wince. “Ah, yeah, I wondered how you’d get on with that one. The love triangle is brutal.”

“Brutal? Brutal? Until this last chapter, she was all about Kieran! Lovely, sweet Kieran.” I took the book back and slipped my bookmark in to mark the place of my betrayal. “But noooo, Will comes along with his magic dick, and suddenly Kieran isn’t that great after all. Never mind that Will is a raging jerk with an ego problem and an even bigger inferiority complex and Kieran has never done anything to hurt Alex! Will kissed his ex! Good God, take the damn book before I throw it again.”

Saylor dutifully took it. “Do you want me to get rid of it?”

“No. Don’t be stupid. I have to finish reading it.”

“Oh, my bad. I thought you were done.”

“If she doesn’t change her mind, this author is dead to me. You hear that, Saylor? Dead to me.”

“No, she’s not. Her next book is about Will so I know you’ll buy it as soon as it comes in.” She grinned and tucked the book against her body. “Shall I put this under the counter?”

I groaned and stalked out of the staff room. “Goddamn it. I have got to stop reading love triangles.”

Holley looked up from the counter when I walked back into the store. “Oh, you got to the bit where she picks Will and his stupid magic dick, then.”

“Has everyone read this book but me?” I threw my hands in the air and slumped against the counter. “Why did nobody warn me?”

“It’s fun to see you flip out,” she said, taking the book from Saylor and checking the page I’d marked. “And it happened sooner than I expected. Saylor, you owe me fifty bucks.”

I rolled my eyes. Sure, I was an emotional reader, but wasn’t that the point? I wanted to get mad like this at a book. I mean, the heroine was a dumbass bitch with terrible taste in men, but it’d been pretty enjoyable to be inside her head.

“Nope, she threw the book at the wall, which means you owe me twenty,” Saylor mentioned.

Great. Their bets were getting out of control.

“Whatever, you still owe me thirty bucks, which means I’m getting white girl wasted on Sauvignon Blanc tonight.”

“No, you’re not,” I said, stepping to the side so Holley could serve a customer.

Saylor waited until the customer had left four historical romances heavier and fifty dollars lighter before she said, “She’s right. It’s Kinsley’s birthday tomorrow so you have to be here early to open the store.”

“Crap. Yeah.” Holley pursed her lips. “So… Does anyone mind if I run out to the party store?”

I rolled my eyes at her. “Go.”

Saylor swapped places with her. “We’ve been friends since we were four. How can you still forget her birthday twenty-something years later?”

Holley held up her hands. “I know when her birthday is, but I’ve been so busy planning Ivy’s baby shower that I lost track of the dates. On the bright side, I have her birthday present already.”

“You do?” I brightened. “Is it a book?”

She tapped the side of her nose and grabbed her purse from the staff room. “You’ll find out tomorrow. I’ll be back in twenty minutes.” She darted out of the store, and the bell above the door rang to announce her departure.

“She won’t be back in twenty