Read We Are Made of Stardust - Peaches Monroe #1 Online
Authors: Mimi Strong
She's a sassy bookstore manager, he's a famous actor. This Notting Hill-inspired New Adult romance is outrageous, funny, and full of sex, sex, sex.
Peaches Monroe, age 22, is a plus-sized beauty who spends quiet days with books, in the small town of Beaverdale, Washington.
One Saturday afternoon, she's balancing precariously on a chair, in a bridesmaid dress, when a handsome dark-haired man comes running into the bookstore. He knocks Peaches over, she lands in his muscular arms. They lock gazes, and ...
She recognizes him.
As the sexy vampire heartthrob she watches on TV once a week.
Peaches and Dalton Deangelo are completely wrong for each other. He's only in town temporarily, working on an indie movie. She should stay away. He should stay away, too.
But they're drawn to each other. Dalton claims it's because they're made from the same stardust. He says a lot of dramatic things, but it's his carbohydrate-free perfect body and sexy touch that turns Peaches to Jell-O.
NEW ADULT ROMANCE / Contemporary Romance / Erotic Romance
Full-length novel of 89,000 words.
New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
This is Book #1 of a multi-novel of the Peaches Monroe series.
I'm not the fun girl in my group of friends. That would be Shayla, entertaining everyone with her stories about the restaurant she manages, and all the young people who work there and fornicate like forest bunnies after hours.
I'm the girl you ask to come over and give your cat his daily pills while you're on vacation. And, by the way, I don't like the way your cat looks at me. Like even he knows I'm the dull one. One of these days, I'm going to drink some wine and flash my boobs at your cat—really give him something to think about.
If there’s one part of me that’s a little bit fun, it’s my big mouth, which receives and broadcasts messages from some place other than my brain. My mouth cannot be silenced. If you want to get on my bad side, try to
me. Just try.
Besides my mouth, the rest of me is well behaved. Most Saturday nights, I’m snuggled in bed with my laptop, indulging my shopping fantasies. I rarely dance on tables, or even stand on chairs. I keep my feet on the ground and my eyes wide open at all times.
The Saturday I met the mouth-wateringly delicious Dalton Deangelo, however, I was standing on a chair. I broke my own rules and paid the consequences.
Want a visual?
Picture me as a luscious piece of fruit, with ample, dimpled thighs peeking out from under a peach-colored dress. That's right—picture a pleasantly chubby, blond girl in her early twenties, teetering back and forth on an old wooden stool, inside a bookstore. I was applying packing tape to a vent along the ceiling, hoping to put an end to the maddening cupcake scent wafting in from the bakery in the same building.
The bells on the door jingled, and someone came rushing into the bookstore, breathing heavily, as though being chased.
I had only seconds to register the fact I was in danger, but not enough time to cry out a warning.
He was looking over his shoulder, not at where he was going. His hard, manly body impacted the soft thighs of yours truly, and I capsized like an organza-covered cruise ship, straight into his arms.
This stranger held me, and as I turned to meet his green eyes, I wondered if perhaps I'd died and gone to heaven. The light from the window made his dark brown hair glow like amber, a honey-hued halo around the face of my angel.
And then, he opened his mouth and said the most captivating thing: “What kind of an idiot stands on a stool when there's a perfectly good ladder available?”
“Ladders are overrated.”
He grinned, still holding me in those amazingly strong arms. “You're a fun girl, aren't you?”
I squirmed. “Not at all. I'm afraid I've made the wrong impression on you.”
I glanced around, glad the two of us were alone in the little shop. My employee was due to show up at any moment, though, and it would ruin my authority as Boss to be seen held in a handsome man's arms. “You can just set me down anywhere,” I said, even though I didn't
to be set down.
I’m not some little waif who gets picked up all the time, and I wanted him to keep holding me in his arms, like a kitten. He could even pat my head and I'd meow and purr for him.
But the moment didn’t last forever. My sandal-clad feet touched the ground, and just like that, I was evicted from heaven.
I gazed at the square-jawed stranger, wondering what captivating thing he might say next. Why was he so familiar? He couldn’t be from town, because I would have noticed him.
“Do you have a bathroom?” he asked.
“For customers only.”
We were facing each other, near the New Arrivals table, and he grabbed a book without looking.
“I'm buying this,” he said.
It was a book for ladies with bladder control issues, and included instructions for kegel muscle exercises.
“The bathroom's at the back, through the bead curtain and on the right. The light switch is in the last place you'd expect it to be.”
He raised one sexy, dark eyebrow. That face. Why
he look so familiar? He was a stranger, yet I felt instantly comfortable with him, as though I'd known him for years.
“Should I take a flashlight?” he asked. “To find the light switch?”
“Just grope around in the dark until you get lucky.”
His grin went from sly to overjoyed. “It's been a while since a hot girl's said that to me.”
Something devious took hold of me, and I said, “Would you like me to draw you a map?”
He glanced over to the window of the shop, where the outlines of people approaching could be seen.
Serious now, he said, “I'm trying to shake someone. If anyone asks for me, tell them I'm not here.” He picked up the bladder-control book, still holding my eyes with his gaze. “I'm going to get started reading my new book, and I'll pay for everything when I come out, I promise.”
There was a ruckus of some sort happening just outside the front door, and people running back and forth. I saw some flashes of a camera, and then someone whizzed by with a big video camera on his shoulder.
When I turned back, Mr. Chin Dimple was already gone, to the back of the shop. I heard him curse the darkness for a few seconds, then say “Eureka!” when the light went on.
“That was odd,” I muttered to myself as I picked up the fallen stool and returned it to behind the counter.
A moment later, the front door crashed open, and a significant portion of a TV crew came rushing into Peachtree Books.
A woman with lofty, copper red hair and heavy makeup gave me a disappointed, disgusted look. “It's just a girl,” she said.
I put on my professional smile and said sweetly, “Something I can help you with?”
The woman turned her back to me and asked her heavily-panting crew, “He wouldn't come in here, would he? I doubt he's ever read a book.”
The cameraman chuckled. “Meat puppets don't need to read.”
One of the other guys, holding a boom mike, said to the cameraman, “You're just jealous 'cause you're not a pretty boy with screaming fangirls.”
The copper-haired woman with all the attitude took another look over my pride and joy, my bookstore, with her upper lip curved up in a sneer. “I thought all the bookstores were closed,” she said.
Even though I knew not to argue with people of apparent low intelligence, I said, “You're standing inside a bookstore now, so unless this is a dream, we can conclude that not all the bookstores are closed.”
“Simple logic.” I flashed her my biggest grin. “Would you like to purchase some books today? We have some excellent beach reads.”
The crew was already backing up, jingling the bells on the door, and moving back out to the sidewalk. The woman wrinkled her nose and sniffed the air contemptuously. “Thanks for nothing,” she said as she backed out through the door.
Just as the door was closing, I thought of the perfect comeback. I called out, “The novels probably have too many words for you, but we do have some nice coffee table books!”
The door clicked shut, my perfect insult wasted on an empty store.
She'd really gotten under my skin, though. I couldn't be sure, but she looked exactly like a girl I went to high school with, Brie, who'd always walk up to girls and ask where they bought some article of clothing. When the unwitting victim would answer, she'd smirk and say, “Good to know,” and her dumb stuck-up friends would all laugh and laugh. She wasn’t my friend, but in a small town like Beaverdale, she was hard to avoid.
Something made a noise at the back of the shop, and I jumped in alarm.
The man came walking up, weaving his way around tall shelves crammed with books and topped with overgrown houseplants thriving under the skylight.
I held my hand to my chest, the fabric of my bridesmaid dress crinkly. “You scared me.”
His voice deep and sexy now that he seemed more relaxed, he said, “Did you already forget about me?”
“I was distracted by Little Miss Snobbypants with the film crew.”
He held up the book. “This is very informative. What do I owe you?”
I felt myself blushing under his sexy stare, so I started doing busy-work with my hands on the store's counter, stacking the Post-It notepads, putting away the passport stamp, and straightening the pens in the decorated tin can holder Kyle made for the grand re-opening of Peachtree Books after the Big Split.
“You don't really have to buy that book,” I said. “I'm sure your bladder control is just fine, and men don't have kegel muscles.”
“They don't? Well, that's not fair.”
I stared up at his beautiful green eyes, crinkled at the sides with a smile. My own eyes are blue, and they disappear more than crinkle.
Casually, I asked, “So, are you a criminal, or a celebrity?”
“Depends on who you ask.”
“You look familiar.”
His eyes traveled down my body, and I tried to suck in my gut even more, but I was already strapped into two pairs of Spanx, and my organs had nowhere left to go.
With a sexy growl to his voice, he said, “Do you always dress so fancy at work?”
“I'm going to a wedding in half an hour.”
“A wedding!” He took two steps back and gave me an appraising look, his arms crossed. He looked equally dressy, in sharply-creased gray trousers and an expensive-looking dress shirt, rolled up at the cuffs to reveal muscular arms with a smattering of dark hairs. Even his forearms looked familiar, almost as though I'd spent countless hours staring at them.
He continued, “That's a shame you're getting married, because I would have liked to ask you on a date.”
This caused me to laugh and gasp for air. “I'm not getting married, I'm a bridesmaid.”
“Ah.” He nodded. “And this is all happening shortly, so I guess I should be getting on my way.”
I glanced at the door while mentally willing him to stay.
Stay for a few more minutes?