The Virgin Rule Book (Rules of Love #1) by Lauren Blakely

“That’s crazy. What kind of man is intimidated by a successful woman?”

“Let me share a few gems.” I count off on my fingers. “One, a well-known hedge fund owner said thanks but no thanks to a second date because he prefers to have the biggest wallet in the room. Two, a land developer said he had no interest in seeing me again as long as my title remained CEO. Three, a personal injury attorney, who has a gazillion dollars because he sues everyone and wins, said one date with me was enough to remind him he wants to wear the pants in his house. And this after I wore a skirt on our date too. My cute red pencil skirt with white polka dots. It was fashionable and adorable.”

Her nose crinkles. “And he didn’t deserve it. Any man meeting you while you’re wearing that should thank the goddesses of luck for even giving him a shot at a brilliant, bold babe.”

“Three Bs? Whoa.”

She gives an approving nod. “You’re B cubed, and some man someday will recognize your exponential awesomeness. Then you can bestow upon him your red-and-white polka dots and he’ll fall to his knees in gratitude.”

I crack up at the image she paints. But soon my laughter fades and my shoulders slump again. “Maybe someday.”

I’m back to latent frustration, topped with a dollop of where-did-I-go-wrong. Samantha’s note was like a shot of un-confidence. “And look, I know this is a mega first world problem. Don’t cry for me, Argentina, and all that. But it seems men don’t want to date a woman who makes more than they do, or who is used to ordering men around. I have fifty-three guys on my active roster, but sheesh, it’s not like I’m a dominatrix.” I screw up the corner of my lips in a rueful half smile. “At least, I don’t think so. You probably need to have sex to be a dominatrix. But even so, I’m pretty sure I’m not.”

“Nothing wrong with it if you are,” Scarlett says. “But I don’t think you’re one either.”

“Exactly. I’m a virgin.” It’s not a secret with Scarlett. This isn’t my woe-is-my-lonely-hymen speech. My friend knows me, knows why I’ve waited. My virginity isn’t an albatross, simply a choice that I made. “But I wasn’t using a matchmaker to ditch my V card. I was using one because I wanted some companionship. But alas, I’ll be heading to the West Coast virginity intact, and that’s fine.”

“Of course it’s fine. You’ll be ready when you’re ready.”

Since it seems to be my confessional hour, I sweep my hand out to indicate the scarves in the bedroom and the shoes beyond. “So that’s why I have all this stuff. I went a little shopping crazy in the last year. Every time I was dateless, every time a date flopped, every time Samantha emailed to say she was ‘still working on it,’ I bought shoes. Or scarves. Or sweaters.” I dip my head, frowning. “I’m the worst.”

Scarlett wraps her arms around me. “You’re not the worst. But I think you’re particularly stressed out today over everything going on—the move, your dad’s legacy, and your expensive, elite matchmaker being a useless twit.”

She’s right. Moving is stressful in itself, but add in my belief that this was my dad’s dying wish and my dating woes, and I’m extra twisted and tangled up.

I don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for me. I’m an heiress after all. I have wealth and material riches, and I’m very grateful for that. But I want to do right by my dad.

I want to do right by the fans.

And someday, yes, I want what my parents had—love, happiness, respect, partnership.

The trouble is, all those desires are slamming together like carnival bumper cars.

And that was before Samantha’s smackdown made me a woman on edge.

I’m uprooting my life from Las Vegas. Not only do I feel it’s what my father would have wanted, it’s what I want. My father’s biggest regret was moving the team away from his hometown. He missed the San Francisco fans, and he wanted his wife—my mom—to be happy. Her entire family is from the Bay Area, so he vowed to return the team there so she could be near her brother and sisters again.

Then, he fell ill so I’m finishing the job for him. The job of bringing the Hawks home. After he died, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to move it back, so I kept the team in Vegas. But when I saw my mom at my brother’s engagement party, everything clicked. And I knew it was time to get out the U-Haul.