While the world is ravaged by a global pandemic, hotshot NFL running back Evan Sparks is locked in his own personal hell. With a career-ending scandal on his back, Evan hides out in his best friend’s empty San Francisco home, the full city shutdown locking him in a lonely twenty-story apartment in the sky.
Romance writer Sadie Walsh is having the worst case of writer’s block ever…until the incredible, muscular stranger staying next door gets her muse going strong. The pair of loners, never expecting to find a friend in all the madness, meet each day out on their balconies like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.
Each new day brings unique challenges for the pair as they navigate the unknown and find solace together. They quickly figure out that as long as they have one another, they can handle anything.
Even falling in love under quarantine.
Writing together for the first time, New York Times bestselling authors Kylie Scott and Audrey Carlan team up to tell a story that not only is a beautiful escape during a trying time, but a true lesson on the power of humanity’s ability to survive. Through a sexy, hopeful, strangers-to-lovers romance, the authors prove with love, trust, and faith, we can conquer anything.
Okay, reposition feet hip-distance apart and centered on the mat. Inhale and let it all go on the exhale. I look over the balcony across the barren city and try to find perspective. What did the teacher say? Set your intention? My intention is to maintain a modicum of good health and to not go insane during self-isolation. Fingers crossed on both fronts. Getting some work done wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
“They locked down the fucking city, man!” The voice blocks me from finding my zen spot. Some big blond dude is pacing back and forth in the neighboring apartment. Guess we’ve all got to get our exercise one way or another. A nice quiet doctor owns the place, but he’s overseas right now. No idea who this guy is. The new cat sitter, maybe? If so, I hope Gloria housetrains him quickly because all of this shouty behavior is not okay. Not if I have to share a wall with him for the next few weeks.
My new neighbor’s voice lowers to a more tolerable level and I take a deep, calming breath before moving into my next pose. Much better. Despite having questionable balance and being new to this whole yoga thing, I’m not doing too badly. It’s weird how quiet the city is with everything on lockdown. Peaceful, almost.
“Two weeks! I’ll be stuck here for two weeks!” he rants once more.
Due to the architect’s penchant for floor to ceiling windows—perfect for letting in the light—I have quite the view of my new neighbor’s performance. Much angst. Such woe. Like we’re not all going to go stir crazy during lock in. Even if it has only just started. I for one can’t wait to see how many divorces and break-ups this causes. Call it morbid curiosity. Though, being a romance writer, my mind would be better served dwelling on the possibilities for true love in this situation.
A random casual hook-up turning into so much more due to weeks of forced interaction? Roommates bonding over newly revealed shared interests? Nuh. Roommates entering into a sex pact to stave off boredom! Now that could work. Broken beds and broken hearts. That’s how to get things done. With the requisite happy ever after at the end, of course.
“Excuse me!” he shouts, shoving a frustrated hand through his head of thick, wavy, dark blond hair. New phone call, I think. After all, you can’t yell at the same person all day long. How tedious would that be?
Call me distractible, but watching him is actually a hell of a lot more interesting than perfecting my Downward Dog or doing yet another inventory of my pantry. Damn Oreos. I could have sworn I had another package. Day one and I’m already out of my favorite snack. Just bring on the apocalypse already. Without Oreos my life is already functionally over.
“Are you kidding me!” The man sure has a set of lungs on him. Unfortunately, at this point, he about-faces and strides back into the apartment. Still yelling, of course, though I can’t quite make out what he’s saying.
On the plus side, in those blue jeans, his ass is a thing of wonder. Honest to God. In less pandemic-y times, I’d charge my friends a bottle of wine to come over and witness the beauty of that thing. So tight. So nice. I lick my lips. Impressively broad shoulders beneath his T-shirt too. When he paces back to the front of the apartment, I’m presented with a strong jawline, high forehead, and a nose that could be slightly crooked. At least, it will be in the book. Readers dig that shit. The hint of a complicated past with a dash of violence thrown in for good measure. Ideally, he’d have broken it defending a small child or rescuing puppies. A combination of the two, perhaps?
Yes, it’s a definite. Apart from the anger management issues, this guy is officially hot stuff. Not that I’m after an actual love interest. Just inspiration for the hero of my next book.
Which is when it hits me…big buff dude reveals surprisingly sensitive side to sexy single introverted neighbor during quarantine. Hmm. It has possibilities. I stop procrastinating and move onto the next pose, arms out in a T, legs wide, and a slow bend at the waist. I exhale, pondering the plot idea along with the thickness of his thighs. The way the denim lovingly embraces every inch of his musculature. It’s like it’s on a loop playing over and over in my head. Okay, maybe I’m a little sex starved. He can feature in my masturbatory fantasies as well. After all, he’s that kind of can-do, helpful guy. Or at least, he is in my mind. And that’s where the man will stay. At a safe and appropriate distance. For both the virus and my heart.
About Kylie Scott
Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, 2014 & 2018, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.
Connect with Kylie
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About Audrey Carlan
Audrey Carlan is a #1 New York Times and International bestselling author. Her titles have appeared on USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Audrey writes wicked hot love stories that have been translated in over thirty different languages across the globe. She is best known for the world-wide bestselling series Calendar Girl and Trinity.
She lives in the California Valley where she enjoys her two children and the love of her life. When she’s not writing, you can find her teaching yoga, sipping wine with her “soul sisters,” or with her nose stuck in a steamy romance novel.
Connect with Audrey
Stay up to date with Audrey by joining her mailing list: https://bit.ly/2V050Y1