Across the Horizon by Aly Martinez
From USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez comes a sizzling standalone contemporary romance.
“Sometimes love happens when you least expect it.” That was what my husband’s mistress told me the day I found out about their affair.
I didn’t believe it until five minutes later when mouth-watering celebrity chef Tanner Reese walked up, tossed his arm around my shoulders, and told my cheating husband to take a hike.
Tanner and I couldn’t have been more different. He spent his weekends at clubs, rubbing elbows with fellow A-listers. I spent mine in yoga pants with cheese boards and a glass of wine—or six.
Our relationship shouldn’t have worked, but it did. That is until Tanner proved to me that even though love happens when you least expect it…
So does heartbreak.
This is a standalone spin-off of The Darkest Sunrise Duet. It contains no spoilers and can be read before or after The Darkest Sunrise.
Across the Horizon by Aly Martinez
I shifted the phone to my other ear and asked her, “Did you just get in bed?”
“If, by bed, you mean carrying a glass of wine out back to swing in the hammock, maybe.”
I bit my bottom lip, my head falling back against the headrest. For most men, this would have been an
innocuous statement. But for a hammock connoisseur like myself, this was the normal guy equivalent of
her saying that she liked to give blowjobs during halftime.
“You have a hammock out back?”
There was a delay in her response, which was followed by a subtle kiss of her lips on what I assumed
was a wine glass. “Don’t knock it until you try it. It’s one of the most underrated luxuries in outdoor
“Oh, I’m not knocking anything. Rope or quilted?”
“Oh, sweet heavenly baby Jesus, she’s beautiful and knows her hammocks. I’ve never been so turned on
in my life.”
She giggled, pausing for another sip. “You know, if you leaked this hammock fetish to the press, you
could probably increase demand by five million percent and singlehandedly lower the country’s
Okay, so at some point during the day, she’d figured out who I was.
But! Even with this knowledge, she was trying to avoid a date with me and was not elbow-
deep in planning our televised wedding. This was a definite plus in my book.
“Yeah, but then, when I talked to beautiful women like yourself, I’d have no idea if the hammock was
your idea or a ploy to impress me.”
“Jeez, that’s sad, Tanner,” she said, her sweet Southern accent like a wave rolling over my name.
I’d meant it as a joke, but it was the absolute truth when it came to dating. Early on in my career, I’d
done a rapid-fire interview about my personal life. One of the questions had been: What would your
ideal woman order on the first date? Truth be told, the only thing I hoped my ideal woman would order
was something she wanted. I didn’t factor into that. But I’d been on my last question in my
last interview of the last day of a month-long press tour. My face had hurt from fake smiling, I’d been in
desperate need of a shower, a smoke, and sleep, and my mind had been mush, so I’d prattled off the
first thing that had come to mind: shrimp and grits.
That one little answer somehow made it onto my Wiki page, and after that, every woman I’d taken out
ordered shrimp and grits. One of them even had a shellfish allergy and nearly ended up in the hospital.
And this insanity was not limited to women outside of the spotlight.
I’d once gone on a date with America’s princess of pop, Levee Williams. We’d hit it off at a charity event.
For one of the most famous women in the world, she was a surprisingly nice girl, gorgeous, and funny as
all get out. But the first time I took her out? One guess what she ordered.
I was at the end of my rope with dating and lost my freaking mind before storming out like an asshole.
That night, as I was reporting shrimp and fucking grits as an error to Wiki, I noticed that her page listed it
as her favorite food. I’d never had the balls to contact her again, and I once hid behind a palm tree on
Rodeo Drive when I heard the clamoring of paparazzi calling her name. But that’s neither here nor there.
In short, while finding a woman was all too easy, dating was hard.
But that wasn’t about to stop me from trying with Rita.