Read Hope Entangles: A New Adult Romantic Comedy (Book 2 of 3) Online

Authors: Alice Bello

Tags: #romantic comedy, #contemporary, #new adult

Hope Entangles: A New Adult Romantic Comedy (Book 2 of 3)

BOOK: Hope Entangles: A New Adult Romantic Comedy (Book 2 of 3)
6.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Hope Jones did a
thing. She betrayed the man she was falling in love with just to
keep her job, and is crippled with guilt.


But now she has a problematic new
neighbor who’s more than just a pain in the ass, a new addiction to
breakfast breads, and she has to try and teach a teenager how to


Will she be able to do all
this, get past the darkness in her past that comes calling, and
still save her job…


Hope Entangles

A New Adult Romantic Comedy
(Book 2 of 3)


Alice Bello


Copyright, 2013

Smashwords Edition

Cover Image,

Edited by the amazing Stephanie T. Lott (aka

This ebook is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to
other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If
you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not
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and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work
of this author.


Chapter One


FOR THE LAST WEEK I’ve lived on home
delivery: Chinese, Indian, Tai, Armenian, and Greek food. That and
a pity bag of Krispy Creams Bette brought over after I’d been
incommunicado for three days straight. Just not pizza…or Hot Dog
Shop…or Mexican…or ribs or ice cream or anything else that would
remind me of Jake.

I cringed at all the delectable foods I
might never get to eat again, almost as much as I cringed at the
sight of myself in the mirror, or the thought of leaving the house.
Or the absolutely miserable prospect of ever running into Jake

Jake was handsome. Jake was
sexy as hell. Jake was wonderful in so many ways… and I’d betrayed
him. After a whirlwind of rapid-fire dates, more food than could be
reasonably digested by a normal human, and the hottest sex known to
man—and a Jimmy Buffet concert—I’d found myself losing my job as a
romance cover photographer and used an accidentally snapped photo
of us making love to appease my boss and the
bestselling author.

I kept my job but lost the man. I’d
betrayed him.

I sat on my couch, wadded up tissues
scattered over every available surface, my kitty litter box
neglected to the point where Clive refused to use it, and I hadn’t
taken a shower in three days.

I was a steaming hot mess.

And I think I’d gained five

Not that I was too worried about the
weight. I’d read long ago that a woman’s body changed chemistry
every seven years. I’d gained… a few pounds two years ago—which
coincided with the end of my last relationship. So I was pretty
sure these five pounds wouldn’t stick, and my still youthful
metabolism would burn through it in no time; though I’d pulled on
some sweats two days ago instead of breaking out my fat

I’d gone through every hidden stash of
candy I had, and was polishing off the last of it: a box of Good
and Plenty’s. I absently wondered if the Armenian delivery guy
could be persuaded to pick up some Milk Duds and a twelve pack of
root beer.

Dirty Dancing
was playing on my flat screen TV, and Patrick
Swayze had just said, “
Nobody puts Baby in
a corner.”
My eyes were still red and sore
from sobbing over
. I had about sixty seconds before Johnny said Baby’s real
name, and then I’d be a weeping, dripping, soggy mess

I really needed to get some
more comedies in my DVD collection. And maybe something non-romance
related. Maybe
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking
, or maybe
The Hangover
. But that would mean
leaving my house, wearing something other than my Hello Kitty
pajamas, and maybe taking a shower.

So that

Johnny said the line, Baby’s
mother told the father to sit down, and I dissolved into tears. I
grabbed the Puffs and swiped at my eyes so I could see Patrick and
Jennifer Gray dance to
I Had the Time of My
. I blew my nose to the beat, since I
snot-up something awful when I cry. They danced beautifully
together, and were just…
. Love in all its glory… or at
least in all its Hollywood produced, Diane Warren enhanced

I blubbered and cheered when they did
“The Lift.”

Maybe that was why I actually picked my
cell phone up when it rang and answered it without checking who it
was. I’d been letting everything non-work-related go to

Yes?” I cried out, sobbing
pitifully, phlegm rattling, sounding like I was on the verge of a
nervous breakdown… which I couldn’t rule out.

Miss Jones?” a wary, almost
familiar female voice asked.

I cleared my throat, wiped my nose and
swiped at my eyes. “This is Hope Jones.”

Oh good,” the voice relaxed
and sweetened. “I was afraid I’d gotten the wrong number from

Drew? My mind stalled… and then I
suddenly remembered.


Oh good, you

Dimples, pretty as the day was long. I
sniffled, remembering how seemingly in love the two of them

Are you alright, Miss

I shook it off. “Call me Hope, please.”
I grabbed another tissue. “So what can I do for you?”

Well, I was wondering if
you still wanted to take me out practice driving… you know, for my
driver’s license test.”

I closed my eyes and let my head fall
back on the couch. I pushed my palm into my forehead. Driving… with
an inexperienced nineteen year old… in the heat. I didn’t want to
move off the couch, not to mention go outside and play driver’s
education in my air-conditioning challenged Taurus.

But I’d said I’d do it, hadn’t

I cringed as I said, “Sure. We can do

There was the shrill cry of
a highly caffeinated Justin Beiber fan that was probably Darla
being very,

Oh thank you,
thank you!
” Another shrill
blast from the phone. “I’ll be there in an hour. I’ll bring Gyros
for lunch!”

And Darla disconnected.

I sat there, probably bleeding from one
ear, stunned and confused.

What just

I sat there for a few

What the
just happened?!?!

Oh crap! She was coming over in an


I could always call her back and beg
off because I didn’t feel well. I could always say I had the flu.
People would leave you alone if they thought you were contagious,
and I’d probably sounded especially ill over the phone.

But then I looked around at my stale,
depressing, tissue littered living room. It wasn’t a living room
anymore… it was a tomb.

I blew my nose one last time, grabbed
the trashcan by the end table and got rid of every last tissue. I
trudged up the stairs, took a much needed shower, put on some clean
clothes—my usual jeans and t-shirt combo—and pulled my hair back in
a ponytail.

A little Visine and my blood shot eyes
turned a lovely shade of pink.

So I rummaged through some drawers
until I found a pair of sunglasses. I was waiting on my porch when
my next door neighbor Bette drove up in her Cadillac Deville. She
parked in her driveway and got out of the car, dropping her own
shades down her perfectly straight nose, piercing me with one hell
of a haughty stare.

I was afraid you’d died.”
She grabbed her shopping bags: two from Macy’s, one from Saks Fifth
Avenue, one from Home Depot, and a Piggly Wiggly sack. She was
nothing if not an eclectic shopper.

Sorry to

She smiled, I smiled back. It actually
made me feel better to force that smile out.

So, does this mean you’re
back in the land of the living, or did you burn out on your little
Patrick Swayze movie marathon?”

I gave her a hard stare, but it was
lost behind my sunglasses. It still creeped me out that she had spy
equipment and wasn’t shy about using it.

I like Patrick Swayze,” I
blurted out, “and so do you!” I knew she had an autographed photo
of the star from a promotional stint he was doing for
To Wong Fu: Thanks for Everything Julie

She stuck out her tongue at
me. “I was just glad you didn’t pull out
Road House
. I mean, he was sex on a
stick in that one, but it was the nastiest movie I’ve ever

I held up my hands as she advanced onto
my porch. “I can’t handle the tearing throats out thing, so no
worries there.”

Good.” Bette set down her
shopping bags and took her shades off with a flourish. “So how are
you doing? Have you heard from him? Did you call him?”

I bit my lip and forced myself not to
cry. I bit down harder.

Oh honey, I’m sorry... ”
Bette said, coming over and sitting beside me, wrapping a
protective arm over my shoulders. “You know me; I have this unholy
curiosity that can’t be quenched.”

I laughed…and sniffled. Good lord, this
was getting ridiculous!

I’m fine,” I said and
glanced out at the sunny street. “And no, he hasn’t—and he

You don’t know that,” she
said softly.

I looked her straight in the eye. “I
betrayed him, Bette.”

She gave me a sad little smile and then
rolled her eyes. “That’s what relationships are all about. You fuck
up, you get mad, you get miserable and then you make

I leaned over on her shoulder and
sighed, blinking away tears I refused to let flow. “But we never
got to the having a relationship phase. There’s nothing between us
to hold on to, nothing to glue us together.”

Bette harrumphed. “Glue is overrated. I
prefer to use rope or duct tape.”

I laughed through my impending tears.
“Leave it to you to boil down my problems and answer them with a
bondage reference.”

She patted my head with her manicured
hand. “That’s what I’m here for.”

I took a breath to say something, but
then the roar of a truck engine and the squeal of tires shattered
the quiet, meaningful moment. Drew’s truck flew down my street,
made a U turn and stopped with a screech of tires and a cloud of
burnt rubber in front of my house.

My god,” Bette

I looked up and watched as the two love
birds kissed goodbye… it took nearly two minutes, and I was
surprised Darla still had her clothes on when she pried herself off
Drew and finally got out of the truck. She blew Drew a kiss and
gave a little wave, and then he burned rubber, revving up his truck
and barreling down the street like his hair was on fire.

Darla sashayed up my walkway and
trotted up the steps. As usual, she didn’t have an ounce of makeup
on and still looked like a beauty queen. She wore a blue blouse
that brought out her eyes, and plunged just low enough to bring out
the creamy loveliness of her cleavage. Her jeans were tight enough
to hug her curvy hips, and the way she walked, even in sneakers,
made those hips sway like she was a supermodel.

She leveled Bette and me with sparkling
blue eyes and a mega watt smile. And she had the cutest dimples I’d
ever seen.

Hey Miss Jones… I mean
Hope.” She then steered her smile over to Bette. “Hi,” she said,
extending her hand. “I’m Darla.”

BOOK: Hope Entangles: A New Adult Romantic Comedy (Book 2 of 3)
6.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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