Walk of Shame

Walk of Shame

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USA TODAY BESTSELLER • Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in this lively standalone rom-com from the author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.

Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.

Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.

One-Liners
  • 5am. The end of her night. The start of her day. The beginning of Manhattan's hottest cold war.
Accolades
  • A USA TODAY besteller

“I thought that this was a charming, delightful, sexy read and would recommend it.”—Linda’s Book Obsession

 “Georgie and Andrew will have you believing that love can conquer all and that when it’s right, it’s right. . . . No matter the differences, the heart will win out. And, if you love love like I do, this is a very good thing. Enjoy!”—The Book Hookup

“Sexy, witty and adorably romantic!”—What’s Better Than Books? (10/10)“Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne was such an ‘enchanting’ story that I read it in one sitting. You couldn’t have pried it from my hands.”—Happily Ever After

“Ok, I’m just going to say it: this is Lauren Layne’s best book! This was absolutely adorable. I loved everything about this book. I was feeling like a giddy little school girl reading it.”—AC Book Blog

 “This is a book I have been so looking forward to and literally from page one, it had sucked me right in. I practically inhaled it within a few hours.”—Melissa Kate

“What’s this? Another rave review for a Lauren Layne book? Yes! I was hooked to the premise of Walk of Shame even before I read the book.”—Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist

“Fabulous.”—I am, Indeed“I adore Lauren Layne’s books. . . . Her standalones are delightful . . . and Walk of Shame is no exception.”—All About Romance

“Lauren Layne has done it again. Walk of Shame is yet another reason why she should be on everyone’s one-click list.”—Hypable

“This book about polar opposites had me a giddy, laughing, crying mess! And I don’t think I have ever happy cried so much, this book, oh, it made me a ridiculously emotional girl! *sigh* Walk of Shame was absolutely perfect! I loved it so much and I hope you do too!”—Star-Crossed Book Blog

“I gleefully smirked my way through this delightfully amusing story packed with clever humor, witty banter, quick quips, and scorching hawt chemistry.”—Books and Bindings

“Could not turn the pages fast enough on this one! Adorable banter, electric chemistry, and smoking sex scenes. So much fun!”—Christi Barth, author of the Naked Men series

“A wonderful, enchanting, toe-curling love story of two opposites attracting and falling hard! I adored this couple and their slow-burn romance.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blakely

“Lauren Layne never disappoints, and Walk of Shame was no different! This novel pulled at my heartstrings and had me rooting for an HEA!”—Sarah Robinson, author of the Kavanagh Legends series

Walk of Shame is my favorite read of 2017 so far! The sexy banter and sparks that flew between Andrew and Georgie made this so much fun, I couldn’t help fall in love with the two of them.”—New York Times bestselling author A. L. Jackson

“Sharp, feisty, and whip-crack smart! Walk of Shame is ridiculously delicious.”—Jessica Lemmon, author of Eye Candy

Excerpts

Kissing Andrew Mulroney is nothing like it's supposed to be.

The kiss is unapologetic and carnal, disregarding of the fact that we're in the middle of a sidewalk at the crack of dawn and that we don't even like each other.

His fingers spread wide on my pack, pulling me all the way up to him as he lowers his head.

And Andrew Mulroney kisses me.

"Forget it. You're ridiculous."

I'm grinning outright now, because that's two you're ridiculous-es this morning, and when he takes to repeating himself, I know I've successfully gotten under his skin.

Georgie: one. Andrew Mulroney, Esquire: zero

My world tilts sideways, just for a moment, and I don't know what to do with laughing, charming Andrew Mulroney.

Why can't I coax that from him?

And why do I want to?

The feeling I get when my skin touches his is anything but routine. It's ... electric isn't the right word; that's too sharp.

It just feels ... pivotal.

Get it together, Georgie.

I catch a glimpse of him as the doors shut, his expression utterly blank, and even as I want to know what he's thinking.

I want ... him.

He exhales. "I'm going to kill you."

"You don't send flowers to someone you're going to kill."

"Maybe they were for your funeral."

I beam up at him. "So, are we doing this?"

"Your funeral? God, I hope so."

His eyes bore into mine, angry and ... something else.

"I know why you're out here with me instead of in there with him," he says quietly.

"Let me go so I can go be with a guy who actually likes me."

"Not a chance," he growls.

Let's talk about five a.m. for a second. Also known as the worst hour of the day, am I right? Here's why: If you're awake to see five in the freaking morning, it means one of a few things, all of them heinous. Scenario one: You're on your way to the airport for an early morning flight. Heinous. Scenario two: You've been out all night, and now your vodka buzz is fading, and you're just sober enough to realize that the rest of your day will likely involve Excedrin, carbs, and indoor voices. Heinous. Scenario three: You've got a crap-ton on your mind, and you're lying awake in bed, staring at the ceiling, hating your life. Maybe hating yourself a little bit, I dunno, who am I to judge? Heinous. Now brace yourself, because scenario four is the most heinous of them all: You're awake at five a.m. because you're an uptight prick whose schedule is even more rigid than your posture, and your life is an endless string of working out, the corner office, repeat. You're also likely the type of person who subsists on protein shakes and kale smoothies, and you have been known to utter the phrase the body is a temple, thus solidifying what we already knew about you. You have no friends. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.

I don’t have to look at the clock to know what time it is. Five o’clock. On the dot. Not even bothering to turn around, I roll my eyes as my red nails tear off another piece of donut and pop it into my mouth. “Ramon, do you think you could talk to maintenance about adjusting the temp? It just got a little cold in here.”

I put on my widest, sparkliest smile, only because I know it drives him crazy. As always, I see a muscle in his jaw twitch as I flutter my eyelashes. “Good Morning Andrew,” I say sweetly. “Georgiana.” I resist the urge to roll my eyes. Only my late grandmother has ever called me that, and I’m pretty sure that’s because I was her namesake. Everyone else calls me Georgie.

I smile wider and push the box in Andrew’s direction. “Donut?” His lip curls. In case you haven’t already gotten a read on this guy, he’s the type that sneers at donuts. He lifts a boring black travel mug. “Already have my breakfast.” “Blended-up quinoa sprinkled with a few bits of spinach and pretension?” I ask. “Whey powder protein shake.” “Sounds immensely satisfying.” He takes a sip of the nastiness and watches me with cold brown eyes. “The body is a temple, Georgiana.” There it is. Full circle to my above commentary about what sort of people are up and about at five a.m.

He laughs at something she says, and my world tilts sideways, just for a moment. I don’t know what to do with laughing, smiling, charming Andrew Mulroney. Why can’t I coax that from him? Why do I want to?

“Miss me?” I ask, licking sugar off my finger, eager as ever to provoke him. “Don’t look too pleased with yourself, Georgiana,” he says in a bored voice. “They’ve been the most peaceful mornings I’ve had in months.” “You know what I think?” “Breathless with wondering.” “I think you’ve had too much peaceful in your life. I think peaceful has become synonymous with boring.” His face is unreadable. “Are you sure we’re talking about my life, Georgiana?”

“You’re the one who stole Dorothy’s slippers.” “Of the two of us, you’re the one who dresses for attention.” His eyes flick downward just slightly, lingering on the expanse of bare legs, modest by nightclub standards, but admittedly a little short by Grace Kelly’s elegance standards. I pop another donut in my mouth and smile. “It’s fine. I won’t tell a soul you checked me out.” “I wasn’t ---” He clears his throat. “Forget it. You’re ridiculous.” I’m grinning outright now, because that’s two you’re ridiculouses this morning, and when he takes to repeating himself, I know I’ve successfully gotten under his skin. Georgie, one; Andrew Mulroney, Esquire, zero.

Andrew watched them a moment longer, making sure that Ramon’s grip was enough to prevent Georgiana from falling on her face. Once she made it to the elevator, Andrew started to turn away to get on with his day, but then he heard his name. He glanced back and saw Georgiana waving at him happily, much as she had with the cab driver. Don’t wave back. For the love of God, man, don’t -- Andrew lifted his hand, just briefly, in acknowledgment. Damn. She really was the most ridiculous creature. He carefully hid his smile until he was back outside.

He’s already on his feet, extending a hand down to me. I know it’s just a gentlemanly gesture to help me up, but my stomach flutters a little all the same. I give him a carefree smile as I place my palm in his, as though I’ve done this millions of times with millions of guys, which I sort of have. But the feeling I get when my skin touches his is anything but routine. It’s...electric isn’t quite the right word; that’s too sharp. It just feels...pivotal. Get it together, Georgie.

“If anyone comes looking for me, take a message, would you? Let them know that I am unavailable because I’m off being ridiculous.” Andrew Mulroney, Esquire, doesn’t say a word, not as I stab the elevator’s up button, not after I step into the safety of the elevator itself. I catch a glimpse of him as the doors shut, his expression utterly blank, and even as I hate him, I want to know what he’s thinking. I want...him.

Perfectly ridiculous. There’s just two words. No name, but then, I don’t need one. The ridiculous is a calling card of sorts. Although it’s not the ridiculous that has me smiling a little bit. It’s the perfectly. Perfectly ridiculous.

Scratch that. He’d only be okay with her coming home from a night out so long as her night hadn’t involved another man… Andrew blew out a breath and tried to get a hold of himself and focus on Charles’s polite small talk. What the hell was up with him? Since when did he care how Georgiana Watkins spent her time And since when did her morning appearances seem so vital to his very existance?

“You’re late today,” I say, offering him a bite of my donut. He ignores the donut. “Says the woman who didn’t show at all yesterday.” “Someone’s keeping track.” “Someone’s playing games. I don’t like games, Georgiana.” “Which is why you need to play them, Andy.” He blinks. “It’s Andrew.” “Hmm. How about Drew?” “No.” The word is a growl. “Georgiana.” “Yes, Andy?” He exhales, “I’m going to kill you.” I can’t help the laugh. “See, I don’t think so.” “Don’t you?” “Nope,” I say, sucking sugar off my thumb, “You don’t send flowers to someone you’re going to kill.” “Maybe they were for your funeral.” I beam up at him. “So are we doing this?” “Your funeral? God, I hope so.”

Andrew glances down at me with a speculative look. “You have a bad habit of misinterpreting everything I say about you for the worst. Why do you think that is?” “Oh, I don’t know,” I say breezily. “Maybe because you hate me? And because I’ve never seen you smile. Like, ever.” He inhales for patience and punches the elevator button with an impatient finger. “You’re ridiculous.” “But perfectly ridiculous. Right?”

“Andrew!” He’s already several steps away from the building, but he halts when he hears me say his name. His body is tense, as though he’s willing himself to keep walking, but like me, maybe he’s not entirely in control of his body, because he turns around. “What the hell?” I snap, striding toward him with as much purpose as I can in strappy Saint Laurent platforms. I’m grateful for the extra height when we come nearly toe-to-toe. It allows me to ensure his scowl at least a little closer to eye level than usual, given our height difference. “What?” he snaps back. “What was that?” I ask, gesturing with my head toward the building. “You can’t even be civil?” “We’re never civil,” he counters. His eyes are angry, and that pisses me off. He doesn’t get to be angry. I’ve been nothing but nice to him, and i'm sick to death of being treated like trash. “I don’t need a hug, but I at least deserve to have my presence acknowledged,” I say, lifting my chin. His gaze ranks over me, taking in the shorter-than-usual blue dress. “What, Brady’s slobbering attention isn’t enough for you? You need the entire male population to kill the ground you flounce on, is that is? Because you can count me out.” “Quit being an ass,” I hiss, placing a hand on his chest and shoving. He doesn’t so much as rock backward. “What is it with you? I thought we were making progress on Friday. I thought we were on the verge of… His eyes narrow. “On the verge of what?” “Of being friends!” “I don’t need friends, Georgiana. Not friends like you.”