Excerpt Man Hands by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby

Nov 182019
 

Man Hands (Man Hands #1) by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby

BRYNN

At thirty-four, I’m reeling from a divorce. I don’t want to party or try to move on. I just want to stay home and post a new recipe on my blog: Brynn’s Dips and Balls.

But my friends aren’t having it. Get out there again, they say. It will be fun, they say. I’m still taking a hard pass.

Free designer cocktails, they say. And that’s a game-changer.

Too bad my ex shows up with his new arm candy. That’s when I lose my mind. But when my besties dare me to leap on the first single man I see, they don’t expect me to actually go through with it.

TOM

All I need right now is some peace and quiet while my home renovation TV show is on hiatus. But when a curvy woman in a red wrap dress charges me like she’s a gymnast about to mount my high bar, all I can do is brace myself and catch her. What follows is the hottest experience of my adult life.

I want a repeat, but my flying Cinderella disappears immediately afterward. She doesn’t leave a glass slipper, either— just a pair of panties with chocolate bunnies printed on them.

But I will find her.

Excerpt Man Hands (Man Hands #1) by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby

Ash and I are camped out at my place. All the curtains are drawn, because the photographers have found me now. There are at least a dozen of them outside my house. They took photos of Ash’s butt as she walked up the driveway.
Ash has a nicer than average butt. Even so, I wish the world would just go away.

We’re eating popcorn on my sofa, and I’m pouting.

There’s a video of me on the internet having sex. It’s still there. I know because my mother is having a heart attack every hour. One of her besties from church saw it and called her.

“I need to change my name,” I say suddenly, dipping my hand into the popcorn bowl again.

“Because of the job-hunting thing?” Ash asks. She’s bathed in the light of my computer screen. I can’t bear to look at my inbox, so she’s doing it for me.

“The job-hunting thing is pretty crucial,” I admit. “It’s a shame, because I always liked being Brynn. It’s unusual. It rhymes with ‘grin.’”

“What are you going to call yourself?”

“No idea yet. Something else the rhymes with grin? Shin? Spin? What are you doing?”

She taps away on my keyboard. “I’m deleting all the dick pics.”

“People are sending dick pics? This is why I’m changing my name. I could be…Berlin!”
“No. Your name stays the same. Maybe you could just close your Facebook account. That sounds easier.”

“No one will hire me without Googling my name.”

Ash flinches, and that’s how I know it’s really bad. Ash isn’t a flincher. Once, in college, she fought off two muggers with one high-heeled shoe. “It will blow over eventually,” she says.

“The internet never forgets. I also have to change my face.”

“What?”

“My face. I can’t keep this one. It’s no good.”

She looks up. “Not sure you have a choice. Don’t go all Silence of the Lambs on me.”

“Ew! No worries. I don’t like fava beans and Chianti.”

“I know.”

“But—” This is the thing I can’t get past. “—the internet has seen my sex face. Before last night, that was private. Even I hadn’t seen my sex face! And I would have liked to keep it that way!”

Ugh.

“I’m sorry, honey,” Ash says, patting my hand. “I would switch places with you if I could.”

“Really?”

“Sure! It would probably be great for my real estate business.” She sits back as a dreamy look steals across her face. “I think I should claim to be a porn star. It doesn’t even have to be true. I could triple my listings.”

I give her a little kick. “You’re mocking me.”

“I’m not!” She looks up in alarm. “I’ll prove it.”

She starts to turn the screen in my direction, but I look away. “Don’t show me my sex face!”

“Calm down. We’re looking at your blog stats.”

“I haven’t posted anything new in three days!” My whole life was going to hell, and I didn’t even have a carefully styled pastry to eat while Rome burns.

“They don’t care, Brynnie. Look.”

The graph of my daily unique visitors looks like a cliff in the Alps. A flattish line bumbles along from left to right and then leaps up. “What the hell? Is this thing broken? I can’t have forty thousand unique visitors today.”

“Au contraire, mon frère!” Ash cackles. “Scandal is good for web hits. Also, you have a really nice sex face. My sex face looks like I just farted.”

“Holy cannoli,” I breathe, eyeing the stats, not responding to Ash’s sex-fart-face.

“You know what would really make you feel better? You could make us some cannoli. From scratch,” Ash suggests. “That sounds really good right about now.”

“I’m not your personal chef.” Lately it makes me touchy when people ask me to cook for them.

Ash pokes me. “I’m not Steve, damn it. I’m just hungry, and we can’t go out for a boozy lunch because there are photographers camped out on the front walk. I’ll cook for you if you want me to, but we both know where that will lead us.”

She’s right. The ER. Ash can cause food poisoning while fixing up nothing but air. She’s magic that way.

We do need food, damn it. “I’ll see what I can scare up. This popcorn isn’t going to last forever.” This kind of crisis requires frequent snacking. “Hey—look at my Amazon ranking, would you?” I heave myself off the couch and wander toward the kitchen. I’m not in the mood for sweet things. Stress calls for salty things, and since I can’t have sex right now, I’ll just make some artichoke dip.

“Hey!” Ash calls out a minute later. “Yummy Balls is ranked ninety-seven.”

I ponder the interior of my refrigerator as I try to make sense of that ranking. “Ninety-seven in appetizers and side dishes?”

“Nope!”

“Um…” I pull out some mayonnaise, parmesan, a lemon, and artichokes. This is not a dip for the calorie-afraid. “It can’t be ranked ninety-seven in all of cookery,” I yell. I never rank that high.

“It’s ninety-seven in the entire Amazon store.”

The mayonnaise and parmesan fall to the floor with a thunk. Luckily, I’m able to cling to the lemon and artichoke hearts. “Don’t tease me, Ash. I’m fragile.” Unless we’re talking about my hips. Those’re about as fragile as a bulldozer.

“Yummy Balls is a bestseller in three categories,” Ash says. “You got the little orange flag and everything!” The excitement in her voice is proof enough. She’s not bullshitting me.

“Screen shot!” I yell. “Quick!” This has never happened to me before. Still clinging to my lemon and artichoke hearts, I run for the living room. “Where is Tasty Dips?”

“That one is ranked at a hundred and twelve. Your dips are lagging your balls, you slacker.”

“Omigod. Omigod!” I flap my elbows, because ingredients in my hands. “I’m having a moment!”

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