Something Like Perfect by S.C. Stephens
English | 2020 | Romance | ePUB | 2.9 MB
Valerie would never do anything to hurt her sister, but when the man of Valerie’s dreams turns out to be her sister’s new boyfriend, remaining loyal to her family becomes increasingly difficult. Valerie knows nothing can ever happen between her and Jake, but that doesn’t prevent her from growing hopelessly fond of him.
By keeping her distance, Valerie is mostly successful in pushing her feelings for Jake aside, but when she struggles to land a job after culinary school, it’s Jake who offers her the opportunity of a lifetime working with a world-renowned chef…and also, working with Jake.
Valerie’s heart twists with indecision. Does she take the job of a lifetime cooking and sailing around on a yacht, but torture herself in an isolated situation with a man who is perfectly made for her yet absolutely off limits? Or does she reject the offer that could get her so much closer to making her dreams come true?
It was a chilly night in LA, and I wrapped my jacket tighter around myself as my friends and I walked down the sidewalk to our favorite club. I was exhausted, and I really wanted to go home to my apartment and sleep for about a hundred years, but I couldn’t. Today was my best friend’s birthday, and we were celebrating.
“Valerie, why do you look like you’re about to pass out?”
I looked over at the tall redhead walking beside me. Stephanie, the birthday girl and my best friend. “Culinary school is kicking my ass,” I told her. She frowned, like she was worried about me, and I quickly swished my hand to wipe away her concern. “It’s a good tired, I swear. I love school.” Even as I said it, visions of soufflés, risottos, and tartars filled my head. God, I couldn’t wait for Monday.
Smiling, her blue eyes shining with joy, Steph looped her arm around mine. “Well, I’m glad you’re coming out with us. And not just because it’s my birthday. You need to unwind.” Steph had always been the protector of our little group, caring and empathetic. She was the one we all went to when we needed a shoulder to cry on.
I grinned at Steph, and the smile instantly turned into a yawn. On the other side of me, my friend Alicia smacked my arm. “Stop that. You’re making me tired, and it’s not even ten o’clock.” Her dark eyes sparkled with mischief as she smirked at me. Where Steph was sweet, Alicia was blunt and outspoken. She told the world exactly what she felt about it; I loved that about her.
“Sorry,” I said, clenching my jaw to stop myself from yawning again.
My third friend, Chloe—walking behind me with my sister, Kylie—started giggling. Cute, sweet, and so short you could almost tuck her in your pocket, Chloe was the official jokester of the group; she found everything funny and had a way of making everyone else see the humor in any situation.
At hearing Chloe snort, Kylie started laughing too. I tossed a glare at her. The sister code clearly stated that she shouldn’t laugh at my misery. Kylie cringed in apology, then continued laughing. So much for the sister code.
Rolling my eyes, I twisted back around to face the club that was now just a few feet away. The thumping music inside the building was so loud I could feel it vibrating through my chest. Its energy perked me up a bit. Maybe Steph was right. Maybe this was exactly what I needed.
The five of us walked inside and headed straight for the bar. Dancing was always better once you had a shot or two dulling your senses. I ordered a round of whiskey for everyone, then passed them out.
After everyone had one, we formed a circle—a symbol of our impenetrable bond. “To Steph,” I said. “The best one of us.”