Unzipped by Lauren Blakely
Picture this – I’m ready to win back the love of my life, and I’m going big this time. We’re talking boom box, sing her name in the rain, let the whole damn neighborhood know I’m good and ready this time around.
After all, if you’re going to grand gesture the ever-loving hell out of a second chance, you need to pull out all the stops. There’s only one little problem. My college girlfriend isn’t the one who shows up when I play my “I’ll do anything to win you back” tune.
The woman who flings open the second-floor window tells me my ex doesn’t live here anymore. But she’ll help me win her back. Anything for romance, anything for a guy so willing to go big for love. And that’s what I want at first. Until I get to know my new “romance coach” and discover she’s funny, clever, and keeps me on my toes. And boy, do I ever need that.
Now I don’t want to win anyone else’s heart. I want the woman who’s been helping me all along. Trouble is – she thinks I’m in love with someone else, and when we take off on a road trip, everything I think I know about women is about to be unzipped and turned inside out.
Excerpt Unzipped by Lauren Blakely
As I peruse the scenes, the opening notes of a song filter from the front of my townhome. What the hell? Did I leave the streaming app open on my phone? I step away from the counter and head to the front door, looking for my phone, even though I swear I had it with me in the kitchen.
The song grows louder, and it’s not coming from my cell at all. It’s coming from outside. I peer through the peephole.
I jerk back.
Rub my eyes.
What the hell?
Am I really seeing what I’m seeing? I don’t think I had that much wine. I had one sip.
Fine, fine. One large sip. One very large, very hearty sip. All right, it was a gulp.
But I can’t possibly be hallucinating, can I?
I peek again, and holy smokes.
There’s a guy on my front lawn going full Lloyd Dobler.
The hair on the back of my neck stands on end, and my paranoid brain leaps three thousand steps ahead. Did he escape from Alcatraz? Is he going to bang down my door? Attack me?
I pivot and grab the baseball bat I keep handy. As the youngest sister of two older brothers, I’ve learned a few valuable lessons: boys are trouble, pizza is good cold, and always keep a baseball bat near the door and/or bed.
With my bat in hand, I scurry to the kitchen to grab my phone, then fly upstairs to the bedroom, taking the steps two by two.
I race into the bedroom, set the bat at my feet, and keep my phone clutched in my hand, ready to call 911 if need be. I pull back the white curtain a smidge.
And I nearly die laughing.
The song has stopped, and the Dobler wannabe is now kneeling on the ground, furiously hitting buttons on the boom box.
I peer around the curtain’s edge, and it’s like watching a sideshow act auditioning for my circus.
He hoists the boom box up above him again. A new tune plays. I cock my head, listening, and I cringe when I recognize the tune.
For real? Is he truly playing “Unzipped”? I could never stand that song when it was popular eight years ago. The music sounds like a can opener mating with a trombone. I wish he were playing Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes,” like Dobler did in the film.
But as I study the bizarre suburban male mating ritual, I decide to award him points for sheer balls. He also deserves bonus points because he chose to go without the super cheesy trench coat that Dobler wore. It worked for Cusack, but on anyone else that attire screams serial killer.
This guy seems harmless.
And admittedly, from my vantage point two stories above, he’s kind of handsome with the glasses, the thick, floppy hair, and the jeans that fit nicely. Strong jaw too.
Fine, fine. He’s more than kind of handsome. He’s 100 percent good-looking, in that hot nerd kind of way.