Having it all is a fantasy, right?
Chloe Browne knows all about fantasy. Fantasy is her job.
And she’s very, very good at what she does.
As director of design for the O Spa chain, a sophisticated women’s club that is trending its way into being the Next Big Thing, Chloe’s ready to take on the world.
One baby at a time.
Her home study’s done, and she’s about to adopt, a thirty-something single mother by choice. Who needs to put her life on hold for the right guy when the right baby is waiting for her?
Besides, talk about fantasy.
The right guy?
And then in walks Nick Grafton, with those commanding sapphire eyes and wavy blonde hair and a sophisticated mouth that only smiles for her.
But the last thing Nick wants is to start fresh with a new baby as his college-age kids fly the coop. A single father for more than fifteen years after his wife walked out on her family, Nick finally tastes freedom.
But he likes the taste of Chloe more.
* * *
Our Options Have Changed is a full-length standalone contemporary romance, the first in the On Hold series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent and journalist-turned-fiction-writer Elisa Reed. It is a loose spinoff from Julia Kent’s Shopping for a Billionaire series, with cameo appearances from favorite characters.
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“Chloe, I’m Nick Grafton. I handle branding for Anterdec properties. It’s critically important for a new brand like O to carry the same recognizable image throughout all locations. Can you tell us a bit more about how your design will do this while at the same time bringing in the unique atmosphere of New Orleans?”
Even seated, I can tell he’s a tall man. All the time I spend with seven-foot-tall Henry has skewed my perspective a bit, but Nick must be over six feet. His hair is thick and a little on the long side for a corporate guy, light brown with a hint of silver. I admit it: I have a total weakness for long hair. Not man buns, but a little over the collar… something to grab and maybe pull at intimate times…
Ice blue eyes.
But what really gets my attention is his dark navy blue suit. Crisp shirt. Cotton madras plaid tie. When you spend every work day surrounded by mostly naked men, a fully-dressed guy gets your attention.
Sexy. Makes you wonder what’s underneath.
Not that I’m objectifying him. Ahem.
Did he say his last name is Grafton? My turn to look closely at him. My first boyfriend—we’re talking age fifteen here—was Charlie Grafton. Not an unusual last name, though, right?
His question is easy, really. I answer, he thanks me, no one else has a question.
I signal Carrie to lower the room lights. Showtime.
“O is never ordinary,” I begin. “We’ve created another O for you, and I think it’s our most exciting space yet.” The faces around the table are mildly surprised, not expecting anything else from me.
I click a button to lower the screen and another to start the slideshow.
“This is our first gO Spa.” I flash to a picture of a full-size RV. “This vehicle could be the beginning of a fleet. In every city where O has a presence, the gO Spa can go beyond the physical location. The gO Spa can be booked for private parties and weddings. It can travel to concert venues and theaters for services to big-name performers.”
The next slide is an interior view of the gO Spa. Three small showers. A bank of four hair washing and styling stations. Small closets filled with curated professional clothing.
“But it has another important purpose. The gO Spa is how O will give back to the communities that have welcomed us and made our success possible. A way to demonstrate our commitment to the idea that peace and pleasure are vital to everyone.”
Nick Grafton is giving me his full attention. I like it. I could get used to it.
AUTHOR BIOS AND LINKS
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.
Elisa Reed is a journalist-turned-fiction-writer whose snappy, irreverent prose combines with an irrepressible zest for the simpler, and often intimate, pleasures of life to produce fun(ny) contemporary romance with a focus on second chances. New England born and bred, Elisa Reed now lives, writes, and plays in New Orleans and along the sugar sands of the Gulf Coast.