Wanderlust Lauren Blakely ~ Page 1

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From #1 NYT bestselling author Lauren Blakely comes a sexy new standalone romance!

The first time I met him, his sexy British accent almost talked me into giving him my number on the spot. The second time, he nearly charmed the panties off me with his wit. Then I learned he’s the key to success in my new job in Paris. The man who tempts me into fling-worthy dirty daydreams has turned out to be my personal translator, and his accent is the hottest thing I’ve ever heard.
My mantra is simple — Don’t mix business with pleasure. I do my best to resist him as he teaches me how to converse with my co-workers, navigate the metro and order the perfect bottle of wine at dinner. But I also figure out how to tell the charming and clever man what I most want to say — that I want him to take me back to his flat — tonight.
Except there’s a catch…

***
One more assignment before I take off on my big adventure…

And it involves the toughest work ever — resisting the fetching American woman I spend all my days with. But you know what they say about best intentions. Soon, we’re spending our nights tangled together, and I don"t want to let her go. The trouble is, my wanderlust is calling to me, and before we know it I’ll be traveling the globe to fulfill a promise I made long ago.

What could possibly go wrong with falling in love in Paris" Nothing…unless one of you is leaving.Books by Author:Lauren Blakely Books

Prologue

Joy

Forget oysters. Screw candlelight and champagne. A sexy accent is the truest aphrodisiac. I"m talking a weak-in-the-knees, flutters-all-over, fast-track to euphoria.

I"ve tried to analyze precisely why the sound of a man"s words can elicit this reaction in, frankly, millions of women. But when I break down an accent and study it like a chemical reaction, it"s nearly impossible to draw a logical conclusion. The ingredients in and of themselves don"t seem swoontastic enough.

And yet, accents have been known to induce major swooning.

That"s why, in my professional opinion, the sounds aren"t the rocket fuel for the tingles. Instead, it"s the associations evoked. Italian is food, wine, and days drenched in the pleasures of the senses. Australian is the laid-back twang of a surfer. A Southern drawl says a man will take his sweet time. Oh, yes, darlin", will he ever.

But British" Dear God. A delicious British accent to my oh-so-American ears triggers wave after wave of goose bumps across my skin. My knees wobble. My stomach swoops. My skin heats. All the turned-on centers in my body are cranked to high.

A British accent is James Bond in a bottle. It"s sex, it"s style, it"s sophistication, and it"s the man who"ll find his way out of any jam, save the damsel, and do it all with silver cuff links on.

Wait. Make that platinum.

Charmed, indeed.

That"s why I say it"s a damn good thing I"m moving to a country that won"t be chock full of my personal vocal kryptonite, since I don"t have the time or inclination for distractions in my life right now. Look, I don"t have a single problem with the French accent whatsoever. A hot French man can voulez-vous coucher avec moi, if you know what I mean.

But it"s a British accent that turns me to Silly Putty, so in Paris I"ll be mighty fine.

Then, I meet him.

1

Joy

I"m giving myself a gold star.

I"ve managed the entire transatlantic flight speaking only French. Yay me! Or should I say oui, moi! Pretty sure that"s not an official saying, but whatevercakes. Either way, I"m rocking it in the speak-French-or-die department.

I"ve rattled off my s"il vous plaits and mercis like a native speaker, and I"m about to break out an even fancier request as the flight attendant strolls by offering the last round of beverages.

"Would you like something"" she asks in French.

I"ve checked my app. The words are on my tongue for fizzy water. "Je voudrais l"eau avec bulles."

With a pinch to her lips, the angular flight attendant arches a brow. "Excusez-moi""

Oops. I bet bubbles was the problem. Maybe my app went a little too literally when I looked up that word. I try to talk around the confusion, to explain what I want, when I remember something I read in a travel blog once about how the French order still versus sparkling water.

I snap my fingers and smile, going for it in a whole new direction. "L"eau avec gaz."

Water with gas.

I snicker to myself. The French call the sparkling variety of water gassy.

The flight attendant blinks.

I say it again, louder this time, prompting the kindly old couple in front of me to whip their heads around. Doesn"t faze me. I"m naturally loud. That isn"t the first time someone"s blanched in surprise at my volume, nor will it be the last.

The blonde twig smiles sympathetically and says, "Of course, mademoiselle. I will bring you a Perrier."

Le sigh. She spoke to me in English. Cue the disappointment track.

But hey, I"m a mademoiselle at least. So, obviously I"m still winning at life.

When she brings the drink, it"s delish. Not gassy at all, so I"m coming out ahead in the drink department, too. Optimism, thy name is moi.

Thirty minutes later, the loudspeaker crackles and an authoritative voice booms throughout the jetliner. "We are nearing Charles DeGaulle airport," the pilot intones, and a spate of nerves flutters up my chest. But I ignore them because I"m ready for this adventure no matter how daunting the drink ordering may be.

My seatmate in 2A, a lovely lady in a pink-checkered suit, smelling faintly of Obsession and tweed, shoots me a caring smile. "Is this your first time in Paris""

She speaks in English with the most delightful French accent. Her lips are freshly glossed, like she slicked some on moments ago. Otherwise, she wears little makeup, and her hair is clipped in a loose but immaculate bun.

"I was supposed to visit a year ago for vacation . . ." I say, my voice trailing off. But I don"t want to get into why that trip never transpired. She lifts an eyebrow, waiting for my answer, perhaps wondering, too. I return to my cheery side. "That didn"t happen and that"s A-OK. But I"ve always wanted to go. I wish I had studied abroad. It"s one of my great regrets that I didn"t."

"And now you can remedy that regret with a visit."

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