The Lucky in Love Collection by Lauren Blakely



I’m most definitely a planner, but I never planned to be a good girl.

Honestly, I didn’t even think twice about good girls versus naughty ones. I always figured with sex and love, you could have it all.

That’s what we’re taught as women, right?

You can be prim and proper during the day and wild and daring at night. Or the other way around. Whatever floats your banana boat.

But somehow over the years, I inadvertently landed on the “nice” half of the divide, so squarely in the good-girl camp I’m practically the poster child of oh-so-sweet, and I can’t seem to get a crack at the other side.

Only, I keep peeking over the fence, peering, wondering.

What if the grass is greener? What if I’m missing out on something better in the bedroom and, by extension, something better in life and love?

There’s only one way to find out.


The trouble is, when it -comes time to woman up and make a request for what I want to try at the ice cream stand of sexual flavors and favors, I wind up with so much more than I bargained for.

More than I’m ready for . . .

And with so much more to lose than I ever expected.

Guess I’m about to learn if it’s better to be naughty or to be nice.



A year ago

You can never go wrong with cheese.

Or crackers, for that matter.

Add in grapes, hummus, olives, Marcona almonds, and strawberries, and you’re good to go.

Plus, wine. Because . . . wine.

As I tug the corners of a red-and-white checkered blanket neatly across the grass, I’m 100 percent pleased with the spread.

Wicker picnic basket with adorable handles? Check.

Tasty food and treats? Check.

And the woman he wants? Double check.

Plus, I’m wearing his favorite outfit.

Well, David probably prefers me in heels and lingerie, on account of being male and all. But I’m surrounded by bushes, bugs, and trees, and you can’t wear heels on a hiking trail.

If I did, I’d be a complete nitwit.

Generally, I try to avoid nitwittery, partial or complete.

And I try to embrace looking pretty for my man. That’s why I’m sporting a dress, since he likes dresses and the easy access they afford. This summery blue number with white polka dots has a cute breast-hugging bodice and a skirt that’s the right length. Navy-blue Converse sneakers complete the casual but cute look.

Picnic couture, I like to call it.

A platoon of butterflies flaps around in my chest, but I don’t let them wind me up or worry me. Taking a deep, calming breath, I remind myself that I have fantastic plans to take our relationship to the next level, and I have a good feeling David wants the same. He’s given me every indication we’re on the same page.

Well, every indication, bar asking me himself, but the number of times he’s remarked on how helpful it would be to have a toothbrush, deodorant, and the farm-fresh eggs he likes for breakfast at my place are indication enough.

How could he not want to move in together?

We’re simpatico, like mornings and coffee, movies and popcorn.

Moving in together is the next step on the path to “I do.” Today, I plan to let him know that’s what I envision for us—sharing a place, sharing a life, and eventually sharing a name.

One step at a time, but the first one starts with something along the lines of:

Would you like to move in with me because I picked up those coffee filters you like so much and I’d be happy to make you a cup of joe every morning?

I already have the filters on the kitchen counter, ready for his coffee-loving heart.

Checking my phone for the time, I bounce on my toes in excitement. He’ll be here any minute.

I whistle a short tune.

Fine, he’ll be here in one more minute.

I peek inside the basket once more. A perfect spread for a Sunday lunch here along Silver Phoenix Lake, the water reflecting the bright sun and the birds chirping in the trees.

Another minute ticks by, and I smooth my hand along my skirt and double-check the wineglasses. The crisp sauvignon blanc I picked out is delish for today’s festivities. I happen to be fantastic at wine pairings, and I know this one is ideal.

I stand, crunch across the twigs and grass to the trail, and peer down the path.

No sign of David.

No matter. He’ll be here soon. I return to the blanket. I shield my eyes as I look to the sky, reminding myself to enjoy the view, to savor the great outdoors.