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The Rule Book
Rule Breakers #1
Publication Date: May 9, 2016
Genre: Adult, New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Entangled Embrace
Starr Media Second-Assistant Survival Guide
1. Don’t call your hot boss the antichrist to his face.
2. Don’t stare at hot boss’s, um, package or his full sleeve of tattoos. (No. Really. Stop!)
3. Don’t get on the malicious first assistant’s bad side.
4. Don’t forget to memorize the 300-page employee manual.
5. If you value your cashmere, steer clear of boss’s dog.
6. Boss’s dimples are lust-inducing. Do. Not. Give. In.
7. “The elevator ate your clothes” is not a valid excuse for showing up to important meetings half dressed.
8. Don’t break seven of the rules within the first week of employment if you, ya know, are in dire need of money to support your sick mom.
9. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the boss. See rule eight about sick mom.
10. Never forget the rules.
I walked to Brogan’s apartment building after leaving the office at seven. I stared at the lone silver key in my sweaty palm, the metal catching in the light outside Brogan’s door. I had a feeling that Brogan would have a conniption of epic proportions if he knew I had access to his personal sanctuary right now. This went way beyond a picked-up picture frame.
I let out a deep breath and put the key in the door. Before I could tell what was happening, a brown blur leaped from the ground and tackled me to the floor. My back hit the tile with a muffled thud as my boots slipped out beneath me. Drool splattered across my face as Bruce stood on my chest, licking at my hair, pulling strands out of my French braid.
My arms shielded my face, taking the brunt of the tongue assault. “Jesus, Bruce, I need to be wined and dined before making out.” Sad truth, this was the most action I’d seen in months. With everything going on, I wasn’t left with much time for things like picking up dudes at bars. Although I was still kicking myself for not talking to the guy reading Emerson on the light rail.
Bruce backed off my shirt and sat beside me, tongue still lolling out of his mouth.
“Does this mean we’re friends now? Earlier you wanted to bite my head off. I need a man who doesn’t go hot and cold.”
He let out a loud woof, which I took as an insult because he ripped a fart near my face and then trotted into the apartment with his tail wagging.
I closed the door behind me and glanced down at the gaping hole in my shirt that hadn’t been there prior to my opening the door. A piece of fabric was stuck to one of Bruce’s nails and flopped around on the floor as he pranced around the kitchen island. A special circle in hell was reserved for this dog.
Bruce trotted over to a set of matching silver bowls. He pawed at the empty one and let out a high-pitched whine.
“Yeah, yeah.” I looked around the expanse of the kitchen, all the granite counters clear of anything indicating where Bruce’s food might be. “Help me out here a little? I don’t know where your food’s stored.”
Was it possible for a dog to have a condescending glare? Bruce really knew how to channel the “you dumbass” look. Jackson must have been rubbing off on him. He huffed out a sigh and loped over to a cabinet and sat in front of it. He pawed at the door and let out another loud fart.
“Maybe you need to get a different brand of food,” I muttered and pinched my nose as the smell assaulted my nostrils.
He growled, and I rolled my eyes and opened the cupboard. Boxes and cans of organic food were stacked with expert precision on the top half of the pantry, and a clear bin with dog food was at the bottom.
I scooped out two cups worth of dry food and Bruce went airborne, dashing toward the bowl. A skittering of puppy paws tap danced across the wood as he impatiently waited for me to drop the food in his dish.
“Sit.” I commanded.
Bruce barked in response, his butt not coming any closer to the floor.
“Sit.” I repeated.
Bruce huffed—and was that an eye roll? Could dogs even do that? This was exactly why I liked cats. They weren’t needy, and they certainly didn’t leave puddles of drool that called for a mop and heavy duty rain boots. Zoey’s cat Jitters was far superior to this mangy mutt.
Jennifer Blackwood is an English teacher and contemporary romance author. She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and poorly behaved black lab puppy. When not chasing after her toddler, you can find her binging on episodes of Gilmore Girls and Supernatural, and locking herself in her office to write.