Home > The Virgin Rule Book (Rules of Love #1)

The Virgin Rule Book (Rules of Love #1)
Author: Lauren Blakely

Prologue

 

 

Nadia

 

A woman needs three things in her purse when she’s out with her friends for the night: tissues, lipstick, and a Leatherman multi-tool.

Just the thing for picking the lock on a bathroom door if, say, your bestie gets stuck in the ladies’ room at The Extravagant hotel right before the sold-out concert you’re there to see.

Who only needed forty-five seconds and that Swiss Army knife for lumberjacks to spring Scarlett in time for the opening song?

This girl.

But when morning rolls around, it’s time to change out the handbag arsenal.

Because by day, every badass businesswoman must have three weapons at her disposal when she marches into the boardroom.

Not lipstick. Please, gloss works just fine for nine to five.

Definitely not tissues, because I don’t ever let a business associate see me cry.

And save the Leatherman, because wits matter more in the bright light of day.

What’s in my purse when I meet with the guys is this: my ovaries of steel, my ultimate poker face, and one hell of a mantra to navigate any conference room or sports arena where I’m the only one who doesn’t pee standing up.

Don’t be afraid to speak up.

I’m not one bit hesitant to use my voice.

My father instilled sky-high confidence in me, whether it comes to school, to life, or to running the football team he gave me before he died a year ago.

He prepped me to fill his big shoes since I could walk, since I could talk, since I could fly down the street on my bike like the wild child I was. Look, Ma, no hands! That was me.

He taught me to be a squeaky wheel, and I aim to get the grease.

I’ll tell you when your fly is down, when you’ve ticked me off, and when you have made my day with your awesomeness.

I’ll be your biggest champion, and I’ll also be the one to let you know when you’ve stepped in mud.

That’s how I am in business and in friendship.

But there’s another side to every woman.

The secret side.

I have mine. Oh hell, do I ever. I have a drawerful of classified intel on moi.

And when it comes to dating and mating and other forms of associating, I rarely share any hush-hush info. First date, second date—I can’t remember when I last had a third—I’ve never been one to spill the insider scoop on the heart, mind, and body of Nadia Harlowe.

And that’s how it’s been. Until my brother’s wedding, when I asked to see the best man’s dick pic.

With that, my secret starts to unravel, and once it does, there’s no reeling it back in.

 

 

1

 

 

Crosby

 

 

It’s official.

I’m radioactive.

My relationship fiascos have gotten so bad that they belong on a BuzzFeed Top Five list. Actually, I’m lucky no wiseass has made one.

Confronted with the final bill from my lawyer, I take a hard look at the results of my latest belly flop into the dating pool. My cousin Rachel introduced me to Daria, a motivational speaker who was highly motivated to sell a racy shot of my favorite body part to a sleazy publication.

Fine, fine. I shouldn’t have sent Daria the dirty pic in the first place, but you should have seen the one she sent me.

Along with a dare: Ball’s in your court.

And my balls very nearly wound up in court as evidence of her malfeasance.

That was fun.

And costly. From my comfy couch, I hit send on the payment to Bentley & Cohen Partners and heave a sigh.

“Good riddance, Daria,” I mutter. I ended that fling months ago, but the wreckage took this long to clean up.

Rachel blames herself for the Daria debacle, and she’s been texting daily to ask how I am or to send a picture of her kittens chasing their tails, or to forward me a particularly witty column from my favorite political satire site.

But she thinks a new woman will make up for the last one being a rotten egg.

How about Rosemary the schoolteacher? What about Marisa the boutique owner?

And this latest one that just arrived:

 

Rachel: Can I set you up with my fabulous friend Sasha? She’s a nurse! She loves baseball, rescue animals, and hiking in Muir Woods, just like you do. Plus, she’s a sweetheart.

 

She’s included a picture of her friend—a gorgeous redhead smiling at the top of a mountain she just climbed—but I’m not even tempted.

Okay, I’m a little tempted. I’m not made of iron, and Rachel’s hiking pal is smoking hot.

But I’m turning over a new leaf.

I stand, grab my keys, and tap out a reply as I leave my pad in Pacific Heights.

 

Crosby: Love ya, Rach, but I’m benching myself. I am out of the running for dates, setups, hookups, situationships, or more.

 

 

Rachel: Really? Are you just saying that? I swear, she’s nothing like Daria. I still feel terrible.

 

 

Crosby: We’re all good. And yes, really. If I kept hitting into double plays or striking out looking, my manager would bench me. So I’m doing the same to myself.

 

 

Rachel: Has there ever been a time when you couldn’t use a baseball analogy?

 

 

Crosby: Life is baseball.

 

 

Rachel: Ah. So, what if you miss a shot at a home run with this woman while you’re benched?

 

 

Crosby: That’s a chance I’ll take. Gotta run—tux fitting with Eric in ten minutes.

 

 

Rachel: You’ll meet someone soon who’s a sweetheart. I just know it! Keep the faith.

 

 

I respond with a noncommittal smiley face. Rachel’s a good one, but she’s dead wrong. I don’t meet sweethearts. I meet bad girls.

I like bad girls. And bad girls like me.

But they haven’t been good for me. Hence, it’s time for a change.

Tucking my phone into my jeans pocket, I zip up my fleece—San Francisco is fuck-all cold in February—and make my way up Fillmore Street to Gabriel’s Tuxedos, feeling solid with my dating game plan.

The zero-date plan.

In baseball, a player sometimes needs to sit out a few innings to reset. And I figure if that works in baseball, it must work for anything else, including dating.

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