Anybody who has tried to find a romantic connection through an online dating app or website knows that it is a minefield of unsolicited pictures and messages from absolute creeps. So of course, Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings (aka Christina Lauren) turned the nightmarish experience into a book.
Enter Millie Morris and Reid Campbell. Millie and her group of four best guy friends (including Reid) are all professors at UC Santa Barbara. When an event at the university turns into a black-tie gala, they all decide to join an online dating service to find plus-ones.
While the guys have success finding nice women to take out on dates, all Millie gets are nasty pictures and creepy AF messages (typical!). So, she decides to create a secret profile… “Catherine”—and accidentally matches herself with Reid. Catherine and Reid seem to hit it off, which makes things a bit complicated.
Check out an excerpt below from My Favorite Half-Night Stand.
At the counter Reid rinses his glass and bends to open the dishwasher, carefully setting it inside. It’s something I’ve seen him do a hundred times, and I don’t know if it’s the talk of dates, or the wine, or if Reid is just looking particularly good in that dark gray shirt, but tonight, I don’t look away.
I watch as he easily moves around the kitchen, picking up stray dishes near the sink and loading them into the correct tray. I can see the muscles in his back flex as he bends when he’s done, rubbing a hand over the broad head of Chris’s silver Labrador, Maisie.
I’ve had enough to drink that my limbs feel loose and pliable; my stomach feels warm. My brain is a little fuzzy around the edges—just enough to block out my tendency to overthink everything. Instead, my mind meanders around the fact that Reid doing something as mundane as loading a dishwasher and petting a dog is absolutely fascinating.
With the kitchen tidied up, Reid extends his arms above his head in a leisurely stretch. My eyes are like magnets and follow the lines of his body, the way the fabric of his shirt pulls tight across his chest and strains along the curve of his biceps. I get a peek of stomach.
Reid has a really nice stomach.
I bet he’d look great with that shirt all the way off . . . kneeling above me, arms outstretched, fingers wrapped around the headboard while he—
I mean . . . WHOA. Where did that come from?
I fix my attention down at the dining room table and it’s a full five seconds before I dare to move again. I just had a sex thought about Reid. Reid. Reid Campbell, who always roots for the underdog in any sporting event, who pretends he enjoys classical music so Chris doesn’t go alone to the symphony, who buys a new pair of running shoes precisely every six months.
When he returns to the table and sits down next to me, if the pounding of my heart is any indication, I do not look like I’m thinking about resuming our fascinating game of Monopoly.
I blink over to my empty wineglass, eager to point blame in the most convenient place. How many of these did I have? Two? Three? More? I’m not hammered, but I’m not exactly sober, either.
I’m the kind of tipsy where I should want to hug everyone, not pull my best friend’s pants down. GAH.
Strictly platonic best guy friend. Strictly platonic best guy friend.
Heat rushes to my face and I stand so quickly my chair teeters on its back legs. Four sets of curious eyes swing in my direction, and I turn, making a beeline for the bathroom.
“Millie?” Reid calls after me. “You okay?”
“Gotta pee!” I shout over my shoulder, not stopping until I’m safely inside the bathroom and the door is firmly closed behind me.