Along Came Charlie Read Online S.L. Scott

Categories Genre: Contemporary, Funny, Insta-Love Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 99
Estimated words: 93806 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 469(@200wpm)___ 375(@250wpm)___ 313(@300wpm)

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author S.L. Scott brings the charm and romance, smiles and laughs to Along Came Charlie. This friends-to-more novel is packed with heartfelt emotion reminiscent of the best of chick lit of the past with a modern twist for today’s readers.


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Chapter 1

Charlie Barrow


My day starts with an irritation that some might see as an omen of things to come. Others might see it as a minor speed bump. I see it as another hassle in a gigantic series of agitations, but a hassle all the same. My life seems to be filled with aggravations these days.

The toothbrush drops, and I watch as it bounces off the sink and straight into the toilet. With a frustrated sigh, I lean forward and spit the toothpaste out, realizing now that I only got to my bottom left molars before my grip slipped and the toothbrush went down.

I look at the blue stick floating in the middle of the toilet, mocking me as it drifts around. Pinching it between my fingers, I rescue the toothbrush from the cold porcelain bowl. My life isn’t that bad to argue whether I should keep it or not. I toss the brush without a second thought and finish getting dressed for work.

I spill my coffee—er, I mean, when a guy running into the Coffee Hut hits me with his shoulder, thus causing the coffee to bubble through the little spout on the lid and land on my shirt, I chalk it up to another annoying mishap in this stage of my life. After the coffee incident and ToothGate this morning, I need to pay closer attention to the world around me. These tedious little occurrences are still new to me, but they all add up to a large amount of unnecessary aggravation. I’ve always believed that it’s the little things that make up your life. The bigger events just connect them. This is a philosophy I live by now.

I arrive at Smith & Allen, an auction house representing property from private estates and corporate collections. It’s regarded as “preeminent in the marketplace of quality masterpieces, antiques, and antiquities.” That’s what’s written in the brochure. I’ve been known to believe in such greatness before, but today won’t be one of those days.

I make my way through the maze of cubicles to my own little sectioned-off gray area and find a large manila envelope crowding my tiny, tidy desk. I set my coffee down and toss my purse in the bottom right drawer, kicking the cabinet closed.

“Red or green?” Rachel Russo asks. She’s my friend, coworker, and all-around party girl.

“Green.” I keep my voice flat, trying to maintain a straight face while I tease since I’m clueless as to why she’s asking me about colors.

I slide my jacket down my arms. Catching it in my hand, I hang it on the hook attached to the half wall that divides our cubicles. When I sit, my chair does a slow bounce, adjusting to the weight it’s now holding, and I slide my body forward.

“You don’t even know why I’m asking.”

I don’t have to look at her to know she’s pouting. I can hear it in her tone. I give in and play along. “What’s it for?”

“Tonight. We’re going out. So my va-va-va-voom red dress, or my green-means-go-home-with-me dress?”

I can’t hold back the laughter no matter how hard I try. “You’re ridiculous.”

“And on the market. So which one?”

“On the market? What happened to Paolo?” I stand, leaning forward so no one overhears our personal conversation.

“He went back to Rome.”

“Since when? Weren’t you supposed to see him last night?”

“Yes, and I did, right before he left for the airport. I gave him his going away gift.”

“Do I even entertain the question?”

“Yes.” Her response is laced with giddiness.

“What was his gift?”

“Me, him, naked on his balcony with a bottle of red wine.”

My mouth drops open. Okay, I didn’t expect that. “Rachel! He has a second-floor walk-up that overlooks the street.”

She shrugs as if public nudity is common. Well, maybe it is in New York, but still. “It was a fantasy of his, and I enjoyed it. I look good in the nude. Remember when I modeled for a sculpting class? I got asked out by three of the students.”

“That doesn’t count.” I roll my eyes. “One was the teacher—the very female teacher—one wore bifocals and was older than your grandfather—”

“And the other was Paolo.”

I plop back down in my seat. “Point taken. Are you going to miss him?”

“I gave him the best night of his life so he misses me. See how that works? I predict no more than a month before he’s knocking on my New York City door again.”

“And by door, I’m guessing you mean your . . . shall we call it your flower?”

“Yes, my flower will bring him right back to me.”

I’m already laughing when I add, “Unless he’s tending to someone else’s garden.”

“Never,” she says, sitting back on her side of the divider. “Sounds to me like you’re jealous,” she sing songs.

“All the time.” I always enjoy a good morning-time exchange.