At Arm’s Length – a enemies to lovers romantic comedy
Series: Love in the Suburbs, #2
Published: January 31, 2020
Word count: 55,000
Jackson Schmidt is the biggest jerkity jerk ever. They should totally erect a statue to commemorate his jerkityness, jerkdom— Uggh! There are literally not enough words for ‘jerk’ to depict the man.
Unfortunately, Jackson is also the most gorgeous specimen of manhood I’ve ever laid eyes on. One look at him and I want to jump and climb him like a tree. But whenever he opens his mouth, his status as the biggest bastard on the planet is immediately reinstated. It’s impossible for the man to say anything remotely nice – at least not to me. To my best friend, though? To her, he’s Mr. Perfect Gentleman. Did I mention he’s carrying a torch for my engaged best friend?
My libido does not give one flying hoot Jackson is a dick who has a crush on my bestie. Nope. Not at all. No matter how much of a schmuck the man is – and trust me he takes schmuck to the next level – I continue to pant after him like a nerdy freshman crushing on the prom king. If I want to keep my sanity, I’m going to have to keep Jackson at arm’s length.
Sanity is totally overrated.
“Woman, can we have one dinner when we don’t have to deal with your infernal matchmaking,” Frankie’s grandpa growls.
My eyebrows raise of their own accord at his grumbling. Bill is usually a mild-mannered dude, but I guess even the mild-mannered have their limits.
“You’re ruining my fun,” Grandma pouts. Seriously, pouts. She sticks out her bottom lip and flutters her eyelashes at him.
“You can flutter your eyelashes until the cows come home. I stopped falling for that bologna approximately three decades ago.”
“Cuddle-pumpkin, you didn’t have a problem with my eyelash fluttering the other night.”
He grunts. “You were offering something I wanted.”
“Oh my god, are you talking about sex?” Frankie shrieks. “Stop!” She slams her eyes shut and covers her ears. “La la la. My grandparents do not have sex. Nope. Nope. Nope.”
“I’m surprised she didn’t hear us when she lived here. Guess it was a good thing she had those pain pills to put her to sleep,” Grandma remarks.
I choke on the piece of lamb I’m chewing on. Jackson pats my back as he bursts out laughing. “I thought there was nothing that could phase you, babe.”
I take a sip of water. “Oh, I’m not phased.” I smirk when I see Frankie take her fingers out of her ears. “I’m perfectly okay with Grandma and Bill having loud sex.”
Frankie screams and jumps to her feet. “I’m…” She looks around as if the walls will offer her some type of excuse. They don’t. She throws her arms in the air and stomps out of the room.
Bailey watches her leave before turning to me with a grin on her face. “You were right. Sunday meals at Frankie’s grandma’s house are the best.”
About D.E. Haggerty:
I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/D.E.-Haggerty/e/B00ECQBURU/
Bookbub author page: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/d-e-haggerty
Newsletter signup: https://mailchi.mp/027b2768aa1c/newsletter-sign-up-for-a-writers-life-by-de-haggerty
Interview D.E. Haggerty:
1. Can you tell us a little about your books?
I write in three genres: romantic comedy, cozy mystery (with a dash of romance), and historical novels. I started out writing historical novels because history is my jam, but with the research, they take a loooong time to write. I switched over to cozy mysteries, although I didn’t know that was what I was doing. I thought I’d give chick lit a go, but I kept on writing mysteries. Someone labelled my books cozies and I was like ‘oh yeah’. Then, I had an idea for a romance and decided to give it a try. Now, I concentrate on romantic comedies with the occasional cozy thrown in there.
2. What inspires you to write?
Everything. A funny comment from a friend. A newspaper article. An interaction between a couple at a bar. Song lyrics. You name it and I can find inspiration in it.
3. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Hold on, I need to count. Seventeen (excluding one book I’ve unpublished because yowza!). Oh gosh, picking a favorite would be like picking a favorite child. But seriously, my favorite book is usually the one I just finished. If I you twist my arm, I’d say Searching for Gertrude (historical romance) is my favorite. I spent a year researching and writing the book. I feel like I could climb right into the book and settle in.
4. If you could be friends with one of your character, which one would you chose?
Hmmm… I think I’ll go with Shelby. She’s the heroine of At Arm’s Length. And she’s totally and completely crazy. I love hanging out with people are up for just about anything.
5. Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Interesting question as I was just listening to a podcast about this. I always thought the best time to write for me was right away in the early morning (6 a.m. onwards). Then, my neighbors started reconstruction on their house – at 7 a.m. each day. I was forced to head to the library to work, but the library doesn’t open until 10 a.m. I found this time works well. I work on admin and marketing in the early hours now and only start writing after I walk the dog. (Sorry, the dog insisted I mention him as he’s my writing companion.)
6. Do you have a release day tradition?
Not really. I used to try and take a few days off with each new book, but now I’m trying (trying being the operative word here) to publish six books a year. So, no time off for me with each new release. This time I am having lunch with two of my best gal pals.
7. If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Do I have to choose just one? *Pouts* For my writing, I’d choose invisibility. Then, I could listen to stranger’s stories without them worried I’m stalking them or something. Because yeah, that’s happened.
8. What writing projects are you currently working on?
I’m nearly finished with the rough draft of the next book of the Love in the Suburbs series. After that, I’ll start on a novella in my cozy mystery Death by Cupcake series.