Read Learning Curve (BBW Romance) Online

Authors: Adriana Hunter

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Learning Curve (BBW Romance)

BOOK: Learning Curve (BBW Romance)
10.89Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Adriana Hunter
http://www.AdrianaHunter.com

 

Copyright © 2012: Adriana
Hunter

Sweet Dreams
Publishing

 

 

Smashwords
Edition

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 reader. If
you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not
purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com
and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work
of this author.

 

 

Susie Cartwright walked into the hospital
wearing pale green scrubs, a smile on her face, and carrying a
jaunt in her step. She flashed that smile to everyone who passed by
her like a warrior holding a shield aloft—to the receptionist, to
the various people walking or milling about in the halls, and to
her co-workers in the locker room.

She kept her smile fixed firmly in place as
she made her rounds, as she talked to patients, monitored vitals,
administered prescription doses. Even when she was chattering in
ICU with the severely ill she didn’t let up at all, her
cheerfulness almost stoic in nature.

When it was time for her break, she kept the
smile on even then as she walked into the break room. Seating
herself at one of the small, round tables, she pulled a sandwich
from the paper lunch bag she’d brought up and wondered how she was
going to keep the smile on between bites.

Her best friend, Callie, entered the room,
her scrubs bright pink, and her blond ponytail flouncing behind as
she took the seat opposite her.


Well look at you, Ms.
Cheerful! Everyone’s been talking about how happy you look today. I
take it that your date went well last night?”

The smile plummeted faster than the blink of
an eye, and Callie’s blue eyes widened as Susie’s face crumpled.
She quickly ducked her head down; out of the sight of the other
medical staff sharing the break room with them, but not before
Callie saw the tears shimmering in her green eyes.


He stood me up, Callie,”
she whispered as Callie dug a Kleenex from her purse to hand to her
friend.


I’m so sorry,” Callie
soothed, stroking the back of her friend’s hand. “What an
asshole.”


It’s the third time this
month,” Susie said bitterly, dashing tears away with her Kleenex.
“I’m completely hopeless. I’ll never find a decent man. At least
not until I lose forty pounds or so.”


Don’t say that,” Callie
admonished, gripping Susie’s hand tightly now. “You’re funny,
smart, and beautiful. There are tons of men out there looking for a
woman with the inner spirit you have.”

Susie finished wiping her face, then pulled
out her compact and began to fix the eye makeup she’d smudged.
Callie noticed her face was a bit pale beneath the blush she’d
applied earlier. “But none of them are looking for a size eighteen,
are they?” She shook her head, chestnut curls bouncing around her
round face. “I was there for several hours. By the time I gave it
up the waiters were giving me sympathetic looks and I’d gone
through two bottles of red. I just feel so worthless.”


Where are you finding
these men?” Callie wanted to know. “There are plenty of men who
like their women with a little more meat on their
bones.”


I’ve been going to the
clubs with Shannon,” Susie admitted, referring to one of her other
friends.

Callie frowned. “A meat market? Seriously?”
She shook her head in disgust. “Listen, I have an idea about how
you just might be able to meet the kind of man that you deserve.
Why don’t you come over to my place after work tonight?”

Susie sighed. “I don’t know, Callie. I’m
pretty hopeless at this point.”


It’s never too late to
find love, honey,” Callie insisted, digging out her make up bag.
“Now, let’s get you cleaned up.”

 

****

 


An online dating site?
Are you serious?”


C’mon, Susie,” Callie
cajoled as she guided Susie to the chair in front of her computer
desk. “You don’t have to sound so horrified.”


What do you mean?” Susie
demanded as Callie fired up the Internet browser. “Haven’t you
heard all the stories about serial killers and rapists who stalk
the Internet for their victims?”

Callie rolled her eyes. “The statistics on
that kind of thing are virtually unheard of on the more reputable
dating sites.”


But what’s the point? How
is this any different than meeting guys in bars?” Susie asked as
Callie typed in the domain for a popular dating service.


Because in an online
setting, potential partners are looking for personality, not just a
size. You’ll have the opportunity to actually talk to someone, and
the two of you will have to learn about each other. The idea is
that you’ll get a feel for the guy and decide whether or not it’s
worth it to set up a face-to-face meeting.”

Susie bit her bottom lip. “Personality, huh.
Okay, what do I got to lose?”


This one looks
interesting,” Susie said aloud as she clicked on a dating category.
“Singles Hookup. ‘One in Five Relationships start online’,” she
read aloud. “Huh. I had no idea.”

Callie smiled. “You’d be surprised at just
how popular online dating is.”

Susie filled in the account information,
indicating that she was a woman seeking a man, the age range she
was searching for, and her local zip code. She gasped when the page
loaded, featuring a ton of guys living in her city.


Oh God, Callie.” Susie
placed a hand to her trembling lips. “These guys all look so
gorgeous. What the heck would they want with me?”


You know, Susie, you need
to change your way of thinking,” Callie patted her other hand but
the look on her face indicated her annoyance. “You hate how people
judge you based on your size, yet you’re judging these guys based
on their looks assuming just because they are good looking that
they are only interested in skinny girls. Maybe they’re looking for
a genuine woman and don’t care about whether they are a size one or
a size twenty.”

Susie nodded. Although she couldn’t imagine
that any of these beautiful men would have trouble finding a woman,
she knew it was futile to argue with Callie. She still believed in
true love, after all, and what did Susie really know about men? She
certainly hadn’t had much success with figuring them out.

They spent a good thirty minutes filling out
the personality questionnaire, a brief bio, Susie’s likes and
dislikes, and an email address for men to contact her at if they
were interested. Suzie debated setting up a separate email address
exclusively for the site, but since she didn’t think she would get
any responses, figured it wasn’t worth it. She would just end up
checking an empty email box for weeks until she went insane.

When it asked her to upload a profile
picture, she bit her lower lip nervously, but Callie patted her
hand again. “You don’t have to put up one of yourself if you don’t
feel comfortable.”

They settled on a nice image of a pale pink
rose with dewy petals. Susie thought it looked healthy, bursting
with life and sensuality—exactly the kind of image she wanted to
get across.


Alright, girlie,” Callie
said once it was done. “Click the ‘finish’ button.”

She hesitated only briefly before doing so,
and then let out the breath she’d been holding and smiled widely.
“That wasn’t so bad.”


We’re done. Now let’s
crash on the couch with some popcorn and a movie, and wait for
those emails to roll in!”

 

****

Ryan Marshall sighed, slumping into his
couch and loosening the tie from beneath the color of his
button-down shirt. His blazer was somewhere on the floor by his
shoes, marring the perfection of his brand-new, luxury apartment,
and he didn’t care. He just wanted to sit for a while and do
absolutely nothing.

Being a corporate executive was anything but
easy, but Ryan loved the job. He’d fought hard to climb that
ladder, fueled by ambition and the desire to be in charge, to use
his vision and innovation to expand a company with his own hands.
He had a great job, a flush bank account, and some pretty damn good
friends, too.

But when he set foot in
his apartment, when he was alone, he wished he had a woman in his
life. Someone who he could sit down with at the dinner table and
talk to—not just to unload his worries, but for real, stimulating
conversation. Someone who could entertain and fascinate, someone
who was sweet and endearing.
Someone
real.

It was unbelievable just how hard it was for
a man in his position to find a woman like that. Most women, when
they heard about who he was and what he did, put on the smile and
simper, and he could practically see the dollar signs flashing in
their greedy eyes. He’d tried to remedy that by dating women of
similar financial status, like models or female corporate
executives, but the former were too air-headed, and the latter too
shark-like or busy with their careers to commit to a
relationship.

Didn’t you sign up for that online dating
site last night? Single Hookups, or whatever?

Sighing, he reached down to where he’d left
his briefcase on the floor and pulled out his iPad. It had been a
long shot, but maybe he might be able to find someone who would be
able to see past the dollar signs.

Logging on, he scrolled through the women in
his area, glancing over profile pictures and bios, dismissing many.
Too many of them sounded the same, as if all the women downloaded
some kind of dating template somewhere. Fake, fake, and fake.

He was about to give up for the evening when
the image of a flower caught his eye. Frowning, he scrolled back
up—sure enough, it was a rose. The name underneath the picture read
‘Susie Cartwright’ and her age was listed as twenty-seven. Only
three years younger.

Intrigued, he clicked on the link and was
taken to her page. Her profile layout was simple—lavender, with a
sprig of pastel flowers splashed into the upper corner. She was a
nurse at a local hospital, enjoyed hiking and beach walks, movie
nights, and holding hands. Her bio came across as bubbly and
cheerful—she seemed like a bright, happy, easygoing girl.

It’s perfect,
he thought, clicking on the ‘email’ icon.
Exactly the kind of girl I’m looking
for.

BOOK: Learning Curve (BBW Romance)
10.89Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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