The Player and the Bookworm (The Legends #2) - Erin McCarthy Page 0,1

a tight end.”

“I would say so, damn.” That body was a thing of muscular beauty even in jeans and a T-shirt.

“You don’t want to go there. He’s anti-women right now after a bad breakup. He’s grumpy and disdainful and sighs constantly.”


“The Ukraine Train, huh? Would you be mad if I said I have a tunnel for him?” I couldn’t help it. The joke was right there.

Eloise groaned. “Gross. No. Stay away from Oleksander.”

That made me laugh. “Easy for you to say since you have a big hunk of quarterback in your bed every night.”

“I know this is about your idiot ex, Curtis. His opinion was just that—his opinion. And justification for cheating on you. It’s okay to be upset about that. You don’t have to prove anything to yourself.”

I did, actually. Sure, Curtis had proved himself to be an epic prick, but that didn’t mean he was wrong. It didn’t justify his behavior, but if I did, in fact, suck in bed in the worst way, then I was doomed to repeat our failed relationship with every guy in the future.

“I just need some lessons, that’s all. I’m fine.” I might have repressed rage against Curtis, but that meant the Train and I would have a lot in common. We could take out our anger at our exes on each other and have hot, pounding sex. In theory. “Now will you pick a dress? You’ve tried on everything in your closet.”

“Exactly. I have nothing to wear. What did you bring to wear?”

I stood up and went over to the back of Eloise’s door and unzipped the garment bag. “The shortest dress I could buy and the highest heels.” It was what the salesperson had assured me was quintessential New Year’s Eve. Short, sparkly, three-quarter sleeves. I had suggested more cleavage but she had looked at my chest and determined it was more to my advantage to show a lot of leg, and possibly my vagina given its length.

“Wow. That is very short.”

“Exactly.” I was going to have to avoid sitting down, but otherwise I was going to rock the dress. I didn’t have many opportunities to dress up but that didn’t mean I wasn’t into the concept. Whereas Eloise gravitated toward retro granny chic and was pulled together on a daily basis, I either looked like a high school student who had just rolled out of bed, thrown on leggings, and gone to class, or a full-blown escort. There was no in-between.

Tonight was going to be the Sydney who screamed sex.

“How did Dak manage to get this hotel room on such short notice?” I asked Eloise, gawking in amazement at the luxurious suite laid out in front of us. The floor-to-ceiling windows showed the blinking neon lights of Times Square.

“I have no idea.”

It was obvious to me Eloise was nervous. This was her first party co-hosted with Dak. It was their public debut as a couple even if it was only a few friends.

“I guess it doesn’t matter,” I told her. “But it’s very cool. Look, you can actually see the ball.” I pointed out the window at the dizzying view of the street and the infamous ball. “I can hear the hum of the crowd.”

I’d never been to see the ball drop even though I’d been living in Manhattan for four years and I’d grown up in New Jersey. I doubted Eloise had either. Traditionally, she had been more of a pjs-on-the-couch girl.

“Miss, where do you want the food set out?”

We turned around to see a catering staff member standing patiently waiting for an answer.

Eloise blinked. “Um, where do you suggest?”

“Most guests who book this suite prefer passed hors d'oeuvres with a single station of displayed food by the bar.”

“We’ll do that then, thanks.” Eloise looked at me and shrugged. “I have no idea what I’m doing.”

“Me either. I go to student parties with box wine and a bag of chips and salsa.”

Dak came into the room and drew up short. “You look gorgeous,” he said to Eloise. “I’m the luckiest man alive.”

She blushed and looked adorable and in love and he looked like he wanted to rip her carefully chosen dress off of her and toss her on the sofa. I was super happy for her but also very conscious of the fact that never once had Curtis looked at me like that and we were together for three years.

They shared a deep and intimate kiss that forced me to wander away before it could be considered a