Hate to Date You by Monica Murphy
Release Date: April 7, 2020
Hate to Date You, an all-new standalone contemporary romance in the Dating Series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy.
Stella Ricci is bored.
Her overprotective family barely let her out of their sight, despite the fact she’s a grown woman. Yes, she loves her job at her family’s café and she’s the best barista in the entire Monterey Peninsula, but is that enough? She’s thinking no. But what else can she do?
Enter Carter Abbott. Burnt out after the never-ending grind of selling high end real estate in Los Angeles, he’s returned home, unsure of what to do next. He needs someplace to crash temporarily until he gets back on his feet.
It’s easy for Stella to suggest Carter move in. Temporarily of course. It’ll give her someone to talk to. The only problem?
That one night stand Stella and Carter had about a year ago. They never talked about it. They still don’t really talk about it. Despite the fact that the old chemistry has come back full force. Living together has made that obvious. Should they admit that one night wasn’t enough? Or will dating each other turn into an epic fail?
Only one way to find out…
The Dating Series by Monica Murphy are interconnecting stories, and this one is the fourth book in the series! I loved Stella and Carter’s story. It was the perfect mix of sexy and sweet!!!!
Stella and Carter are quite a pair!!! While they are a driven pair, they find themselves at a crossroads of sorts in their lives. Stella is bored with her life. She has a good job in her family’s coffee shop, but she wants more. Carter had a successful career in California before coming back home, and he isn’t quite sure what direction he wants to take in his life. So, Stella’s roommate, BFF, and Carter’s sister, Caroline, suggest Carter stay with Stella until he knows what he wants to do. Plus, she won’t feel so bad moving out to be with her fiance. She has NO IDEA what she is asking, especially if she knew her brother and friend had a hot one-night stand a year ago!!!!
Even though they haven’t talked about it, unless Stella’s snarky comments or dirty looks count, the chemistry is still off-the-charts! It was fun to see their sexy banter back and forth, but I liked seeing them become friends mixed with their attraction sizzling under the surface. I kept hoping they would discover they had found the “one” in each other, even if it was fast. As her Nonna said, “Love can start in many ways. All encompassing. Fast and passionate. Slow and thoughtful. We each fall in love at the pace we’re meant to.” I felt like Carter and Stella were meant to be!!!!
Their romance was only a part of the equation. The two of them had to also discover who they were as individuals as well. I just love a relationship where they not only grow together as a couple, but they each grow as independent people as well. That just makes them better together.
I can’t leave this review without giving my thoughts on Stella’s family. They were overprotective, and at times, I thought didn’t give Stella or her grandma the respect they deserved. It did come from a place of love though. My favorite was her Nonna. She was the best…she was feisty and a bit of a matchmaker. She had a lot in common with her granddaughter. That is probably why they had such a special bond!!!!
I haven’t read the other book in the series, but I have to say Murphy has made me a fan, and I can’t wait to get to know the couples in the other books!!!
Download your copy today!
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I’m in the bathroom applying one last coat of mascara to my eyelashes when Carter suddenly appears behind me, his gorgeous face looming over my shoulder. Of course, like the dork that I am, I yelp with a jolt when I first spot him, stabbing myself in the eyeball with the mascara wand.
And like some sort of romcom hero, he rushes for me, his big hands curling around my shoulders and turning me around so I have no choice but to face him. Though I can’t even look at him, considering I’m bent over and holding both hands over my wounded eye.
“Are you all right? I didn’t mean to scare you.” He sounds troubled. Which is good. He should definitely feel bad for causing my injury.
Though really, I’m the one who overreacted and stabbed myself in the first place.
“I’m okay.” I stand up straighter, still cradling my watery, stinging eye. “It only hurts a little.”
“Drop your hand.” He turns away from me, snagging a tissue out of the Kleenex box that’s perched on the back of the toilet, then faces me once more. “Drop it,” he repeats when I still haven’t removed my hand.
Reluctantly I remove my hand from my face, my eyelashes practically stuck together. I’m sure I look a mess and I swallow hard, reaching up to dab at the tender skin beneath my eye, but Carter bats my hand away.
“Let me,” he murmurs as he brushes the tissue underneath my eye, picking up all the excess mascara. “Does it still hurt?”
“A little.” He’s so close. I can see all of his eyelashes, and they’re thick and dark and don’t need a lick of mascara on them, the jerk. He’s freshly shaven, his face nice and smooth, and I sort of want to rub against it. Like a cat.
“I’m sorry I startled you,” he says with the utmost sincerity. “I didn’t mean for you to try to take your eye out.”
A soft laugh escapes me. “I’ve stabbed myself in the eye before with a mascara wand. I’m sure this won’t be the last time.”
He finishes cleaning up the mess I made and then turns me so I face the mirror once more. “Now you’re perfect,” he says, squeezing my shoulders for the briefest moment before he lets go and exits the bathroom, heading straight into his bedroom.
I’m shaken by the encounter and it takes me a minute to get moving again. Since the afternoon at my nonna’s house, we’ve been friendlier. Not so friendly that we fall into bed together, but friendly enough. Which is…nice. I don’t like having hostile feelings toward Carter. What exactly did he ever do to me anyway?
Oh, he just rocked your world and turned you into a firm believer in multiple orgasms, then left you in the dust and never talked to you again.
Right. He did that. And it sucked.
Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and HarperCollins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult, and contemporary romance.
She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.
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