When The Stars Align by Isabel Jolie
Series: West Side series #1
Release Date: January 13, 2020
Subgenre: Contemporary Romance
Synopsis for When The Stars Align:
A second chance, friends to lovers romance.
Anna and Jackson meet their last year in Chapel Hill. She’s accepted a job at a respected, award-winning advertising agency in New York City, and he has a position at a prestigious Atlanta firm. Sparks fly, but when he suggests she change her plans, she’ll have none of it. By the time moving day comes, they don’t even share goodbyes.
Four years later, Anna and Jackson meet again in New York City when, thanks to a mutual connection, he moves into her apartment building. She’s a Creative Director at a medium-sized advertising agency. He’s just moved from Atlanta to New York to accept a position at a well-respected law firm.
Anna, friendly to everyone, welcomes him to her city. Jackson has zero interest in repeating past mistakes, and he’s still angry over what she did years ago. But he’s in a new city, she’s his neighbor, and a friendship forms.
With a singular focus on making partner and no interest in exploring a relationship with Anna, Jackson sells her on a friends with benefits arrangement that won’t take them off course. In his mind, it’s a win-win. What could go wrong?
The arrangement works until Anna battles sexual harassment at her agency and the two don’t see eye to eye on how to handle it. Anna cares about her career, and Jackson knows the law and plans to leverage it. The situation forces Jackson to face some realities about his father and life choices. Anna has zero intention of letting him tell her what to do. Both find themselves wondering if they should step back once again and wait for a better day, when their relationship makes sense. A day when the stars align
Yeah?” My head swirls with a slight buzz, and I find myself focusing on his biceps and forearms. He’s wearing a braided leather bracelet with silver endings. Dark hair covers his arms, and I have an urge to reach over and rub my fingers through it. He’s stopped talking. I raise my eyes to his. Dark, green, hungry eyes.
“What about friends with benefits?”
I snort. “What?”
He holds up a hand and attempts a serious, firm expression. “No decision tonight. Think about it. Neither of us wants a relationship. If I’m being honest, I actually don’t like dating. I find it to be time-consuming. I do occasionally hook up with women I meet out at bars, but I’d rather not have to make the effort.”
“The effort? Really? You mean talking to a woman?” I remember him in college. Girls surrounded him. Now that he sports suits and has a powerful air, I imagine the only difference between college and now is he’s surrounded by women of all pedigrees.
“No, I mean going to bars. Playing the game, flirting, trying to get them home with clear expectations for no follow-up.”
Grinning, I gaze at him, amused at his explanation.
“Don’t knock me on this. To some degree, you feel the same way I do. You don’t like dating, or at least you don’t seem to. Casual hookups aren’t necessarily the best.”
I roll my eyes. The two of us are similar, but he’s being ridiculous. Friends with benefits never works.
“You and I, we already know we’re sexually compatible.” He’s right, there. If a girl had a spank bank, I’d say our two months together in Chapel Hill fills a large percentage of mine. “You won’t feel like you are at risk of slipping into a relationship, because it’s not an option with us. It’s not something either of us wants. I’m not going to try to apply the girlfriend title. Casual can work because we’ll agree to it before anything starts. And we’ll still be friends. We’ll be intimate with someone we care about. Which, I suspect, Anna, is the only kind of intimacy you want.”
Right again. After the one night with Nick, there aren’t enough words to describe how dirty and ashamed I felt. Embarrassed. Wrong. I’m still dealing with the aftermath of my drunken mistake.
My skin tingles. My heart beats faster. He slides closer. Temptation. He’s gorgeous. Maybe more so now. My body thrums with anticipation. I swallow. Damn the wine. Is the wine making this whole crazy idea seem reasonable?
He doesn’t want a girlfriend. I don’t want a boyfriend. But we both like sex. He’s not going to tell me what to wear, or who I can be friends with, or how to spend my time.
About the author:
Isabel Jolie is the mother of two strong, kindhearted girls and she’s been married to her supportive, romantic husband for over fifteen years. Isabel received a BA Journalism from the University of North Carolina and an MBA from New York University. She has a business background in advertising and marketing. Wine, falling snow, good friends, and a delicious book with all the feels are a few of her favorite things.
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