His Curvy Enemy - Piper Sullivan


I hated running late. It was something I took great pains to avoid, going so far as to set my clock fifteen minutes forward just to make sure I was always a little early. For everything. But the Monday morning meeting had started eight minutes ago, and I was just walking through the front doors of Time For Love. The matchmaking agency wasn’t my main gig, but one day, Sophie Worthington had come to me with an offer I couldn’t resist and, well, here I was.

Now nine minutes late.

“Sorry I’m late, ladies!” I still wore the lightweight jacket I’d grabbed to stave off the early morning chill. “I meant to be on time, but…”

I was still too angry to finish that sentence, so I took a deep breath and set the cardboard carrier filled with coffee cups and the pastry box on the conference table. “I brought goodies.”

Sophie’s light brown eyes slid to the green ones of our etiquette and styling expert, Olive Jensen. “You saw Oliver’s article,” Olive said. It wasn’t a question.

“How could I miss it?” The words came out on a huff as I handed out the coffee, surprising Kendra, the part-time receptionist who was afraid of me for some reason. “Who in the hell thinks women don’t really want romance? The man is delusional. Absolutely delusional.” I shook my head and grabbed the black coffee with a splash of caramel syrup, taking a few big gulps to calm my nerves.

“As long as you’re not riled up about it.” I didn’t miss the sarcasm in Sophie’s voice, but I chose to ignore it because she was right. Oliver could get my blood boiling like nobody’s business.

“I’m over it.” I would be, anyway—as soon as we got on with the meeting. “Who does he think he is, speaking on behalf of women? He probably pays for it just to find all those women agreeing to his terms.” Sure, I could see Oliver’s appeal: he was tall, lean, and ripped, with wavy blond hair and laughing blue eyes. And he was witty, and a pretty decent writer. But above all else, he was infuriating.

“Why are you so upset?” Olive’s calm tone wasn’t as soothing as it usually was, which meant I was too upset.

I sucked in a deep breath and held it for ten full seconds before letting it out for a count of twenty. “Because Oliver March is encouraging men to give into their worst, commitment-phobic instincts. That is bad for our business. And while it’s great to help people find the love of their lives, it’s also nice to, I don’t know, make money.”

Sophie pursed her lips, a sign she was keeping her opinion to herself. “Okay, that is a concern. But until it actually affects our bottom line, let’s let bygones be bygones and all that ok?”

I nodded. “Agreed. Monday morning meeting?”

Sophie nodded to Olive, who stacked her papers until they were all in a straight line from all angles. She smoothed down her shoulder-length black hair and flashed an uneasy smile. “I have a full etiquette class signed up for this evening, which is good news. But I need to practice.” She was notoriously shy, but starting Time For Love Matchmaking Agency had been good for her and her confidence.

“You can practice on me after the meeting.” I hoped that the more confident she became professionally, it would spill over to her personal life and that jerk Winslow Thorpe would be nothing but a bad memory.

“Thanks. I also have had a few inquiries about date night styling. Apparently, it’s a service people want.”

Sophie nodded. “Let’s see what an acceptable rate for that kind of thing would be. If you have the time, more revenue streams are better than less.”

“Agreed,” she said softly. “That’s it from my end.”

Sophie was the CEO of the company and took care of securing new clients, running the business, and pretty much anything else we needed to make this work. “I think we should offer to sponsor the Pilgrim Police Department’s kickball team this year.” Pilgrim wasn’t your average town, and it definitely wasn’t your average Texas town. Instead of baseball or softball, our civic workers battled it out on the kickball field. “It’s good exposure for us, and shows we’re all about community spirit.”

“I’m on board, as long as it doesn’t cost too much.” Time For Love had been in the black for the past six months—an incredible feat after almost two years in business, but we’d found our foothold. I