Planning on Prince Charming(8)

By: Lizzie Shane


Oh. Right. That.

“Josh?” Her teal gaze snared him again.

They had to be contacts.

But his body didn’t care. The air seemed to crackle around them, a lightning storm waiting to happen, pulsing with inevitability. Every inch of his nervous system was waking up and reporting for duty. She looked at him with mischief and promise in those teal depths and his better judgment went on hiatus.

He was going to kiss a Suitorette.





Chapter Three





She was possessed. It was the only explanation.

This wasn’t her. Sidney had never been this girl before. She didn’t break curfew. She didn’t drink scotch—which was frankly gross. And she had certainly never flirted with the host of a major network television show.

She read about adventures. She planned them for other girls. But this wasn’t her.

She’d come to Marrying Mister Perfect with a plan. Get the guy, grow her business, live happily ever after. None of which included making gooey eyes at one of Us Weekly’s 100 Hunkiest Hollywood Hotties.

Even if he was single.

That didn’t make him available. Not to her. But the way he was looking at her…

Almost like he might kiss her.

Holy Moses. Josh Freaking Pendleton was looking at her like he might kiss her.

This wasn’t her life. She’d been lifted right out of her body and dropped into the shoes of someone a thousand times more glamorous than her.

She wanted to pinch herself—

But then his gaze skated off to the side and he cleared his throat roughly, rising from the couch. “Miranda’s probably gone by now.”

With those words, reality returned with a thud. This wasn’t her Prince Charming. Even if he was single—which would give Parvati heart palpitations. Sidney stood as well. “Right. Of course.”

Yes, if she was honest she’d sort of had a crush on Josh Pendleton ever since she’d first seen him hosting the Brainiac quiz show ten years ago—but she was meeting Mister Perfect tomorrow, she certainly hadn’t planned to fall into the arms of another man tonight.

Or be awkwardly lifted into them.

This strange electric feeling in her blood wasn’t attraction. It was just a reaction to meeting her first bona fide celebrity. If he seemed to glow with the force of his personality—well, that was probably just what celebrities did.

She trailed after him to the door, waiting as he opened it and peeked outside before closing it again and giving her a nod. “All clear.”

“Thanks.” She moved to stand close to him in the small space near the door. She might never be this close to Josh Pendleton again.

His hair was thick chestnut, messier than she’d ever seen it on television, when it was always neatly trimmed and gelled into position. It made him seem more approachable somehow, that disordered mop. Touchable.

A hint of wryness shadowed his eyes, something just a little bit cynical that he’d never revealed to the cameras. It gave him an edge—and made him more real. This wasn’t Josh Pendleton the host. This was Josh Pendleton the man.

And what a man.

“I’m sorry about your divorce.”

He shrugged, looking away. “It happens.”

“Not always,” she said with quiet emphasis. It was suddenly irrationally important to her that he realize the entire institution of marriage wasn’t a lost cause because his had ended. “Sometimes love finds you when you’re least expecting it.”

He studied her then, his gaze so intent she could almost feel it tracing her features. “This show is going to eat you alive,” he murmured low.

“Maybe,” she said. “But I bet I come out the other side believing in love just as wholeheartedly.”

His expression turned quizzical. “Why?”

“A girl has to believe in something. Why not love?”

“Because it hurts like a bitch when it ends.”

“But what if it doesn’t end? What if the next guy will be the one that goes the distance and I might have missed my destiny if I was too scared to take that chance?”

“You’ve been watching too much Marrying Mister Perfect.”

“Listening to all the things you say every week on the show, you mean?”

His dark eyes gleamed wryly. “What can I say? I’m a peddler of false dreams.”

“Have you always been this cynical or is it a product of your divorce?” His relaxed face tightened and she lifted a hand. “Never mind. Don’t answer that.” She’d rather believe he was speaking from pain rather than core-deep cynicism. “It was nice to meet you, Josh Pendleton.”

It was the most natural thing in the world, going up on her toes to kiss him. One hand rested gently on his chest as her lips brushed his.

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