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I Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford #4)
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New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.
Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.
Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.
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ONE YEAR AGO
One thing nobody had warned Taylor Carr to be prepared for on her first day on a new job at the country’s top-selling men’s magazine?
The eye candy.
As in lots and lots of the hottest guys she’d ever seen, each one better-dressed and more charming than the last.
Now, Taylor liked to consider herself a no-nonsense kind of girl. She’d probably been called a ballbuster behind her back once or twice.
But here, amid the suit-wearing perfection that was the men of Oxford magazine, she felt a little, well . . .
Taylor had a type, and the polished, successful, clean-cut attractiveness of the Oxford guys checked all of her boxes.
It had started with her interview with the editor in chief. As far as male specimens went, it didn’t get much hotter than the green-eyed, dark-haired brand of tall, dark, and handsome that Alex Cassidy had going on.
But even if the title of boss hadn’t already marked him as off-limits, the gold wedding band had been a clear look but don’t touch.
However, it was becoming increasingly clear that Cassidy was the rule, not the exception. So far on her tour of the office, she’d met at least a half dozen guys who qualified as perfect tens in her book.
All of them very much unavailable.
Her new boss gave her a regretful look as he paused in their tour of the office. “I hate to do this on your first day, but you okay if I hand off the rest of your tour? I’ve got a meeting in five that I tried to get out of, but—”
Taylor waved her hand at Alex Cassidy. “Please. Don’t worry about it. Just point me toward someone who can show me the coffee, give me a couple of lunch recommendations, and I’ll have everything I need.”
The editor in chief had spent the past fifteen minutes taking her around the office, making introductions, doing the typical we’re like a family speech, although she had to admit that based on what she’d seen, it did feel a bit like a family.
She was going to like it here. She was determined to.
Cassidy smiled. “That I can do. And I know just the person.”
Taylor braced herself to meet another obnoxiously attractive man, but the small office Cassidy led her to belonged to a woman. A pretty twentysomething with blond hair, bright blue eyes, and a friendly smile.
“Brit, this is Taylor Carr. She’s starting today with the advertising team. Taylor, this is Brit Robbins, digital marketer extraordinaire.”
Brit smiled. “Welcome! Fab shoes,” she said with an approving look at Taylor’s Jimmy Choos.
“Annnnd, that’s my cue,” Cassidy joked, already backing out of the office. “You mind showing Taylor the rest of the office? Specifically, where she can find coffee?”
“Should I also tell her the coffee sucks because you won’t replace the machine?” Brit called after an already retreating Cassidy.
He didn’t respond, and Brit turned her attention back to Taylor, giving her a once-over that was unabashed but friendly. “So. Please don’t think me forward, but there’s a shocking lack of stylish women around this place. Any chance you want to be best friends and talk about boys?”
Taylor laughed in surprised pleasure. She had never been much of a girl’s girl. Growing up, she’d been almost painfully shy in a way that other kids interpreted as standoffish. By high school, her aunt’s icy demeanor had rubbed off on Taylor enough that the other girls’ avoidance of her hadn’t hurt—much.
College had gotten better. Sort of. She’d joined a sorority and learned how to play nice with the other girls, so to speak. She’d also learned that for every competitive, catty woman out there, there was another perfectly nice, loyal friend to be had.
Still, Taylor could count her really good female friends on one hand, and none of them lived in New York. She was definitely in the market for a local BFF.
Taylor leaned forward and lowered her voice to a whisper. “So I’m not the only one who noticed.”
“That we live in the headquarters of hot guys? No, trust me. I spent the first six months trying to remember to wipe away the drool. I was basically HR’s worst nightmare.”
“No dating among colleagues?”
Brit shrugged as she picked up her cellphone and gestured for Taylor to follow her down the hallway. “As far as I know, it’s not an official rule. I just know I lack the emotional maturity to handle a workplace romance.”
“Not even a holiday-party hookup?”
“Nah. But if Lincoln Mathis looked my way twice, I’d break all my own rules.”
“Yeah, I met him. He’s . . .” Taylor broke off, trying to figure out how to describe the black-haired, blue-eyed journalist Cassidy had introduced her to earlier.
“There are no words,” Brit finished for Taylor. “No words for someone that good-looking.”
“He got a girlfriend?”
Brit shrugged. “Not sure. He’s got a reputation as a ladies’ man, but so did most of the guys in the editorial group before they settled down.”