Authors: Jean C. Joachim
Tags: #love story, #contemporary romance, #romantic story, #sexy romance, #sexy love story, #spicy romance, #story about love, #contemporary love story, #spicy love story
The Dating List
Jean C. Joachim
Copyright © 2012 Jean C. Joachim
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A Moonlight Books novel
The Dating List
Copyright © 2012 Jean C. Joachim
First E-book Publication: October 2012
Cover design by Jean C. Joachim
Edited by Katherine Tate
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This literary work may
not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in
part, without express written permission. All characters and events
in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons
living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Other Books by Jean Joachim
The Marriage List
The Love List
The Moonlight Series
Moonlight and Roses
Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights
April's Kiss in the Moonlight
Under the Midnight Moon
The Now and Forever Series
Now and Forever, Callie's Story
Now and Forever 1, a Love Story
Now and Forever 2, the Book of Danny
Now and Forever 3, Blind Love
Now and Forever 4
(coming in 2013)
The Renovated Heart
The Lost & Found Series
Love Lost & Found
(book 2 coming 2013)
To Marilyn Reisse Lee
A woman who knows a lot about love as a
loving wife, mother and my dearest friend for many years.
Acknowledgement: With many thanks to my
supportive friends, especially Sandy Sullivan, Dawne Prochilo, and
Lisa George, my family, Larry Joachim and Sally Joachim Gallagher,
my editor, Kate Tate and most of all to my readers, who urged me to
write this book.
The Dating List
Jean C. Joachim
Copyright © 2012
The Dating List
is the third book in The List
series of New York Nights novels. In the first book,
the reader met Grey Andrews, a man who has
worked hard, invested well and is now independently wealthy. He has
achieved his financial goals so it's on to the next goal, finding a
super-special woman to share his lifestyle with.
While drinking beer with his three closest friends
from college, he discovers that they all lack one different but
major factor in their married lives. This one factor missing in
each man's wife is something Grey wants to avoid in his future
mate. During dinner with his younger sister, the apple of his eye,
he shares his worry he'll end up unhappily hitched to the wrong
woman. His sister helps him compose a marriage "list" – comprised
of the three qualities he refuses to compromise on in a future
After three years of endless, fruitless searching, he
stumbles upon Carrie, a beautiful woman, at a writer's conference.
Although she starts off annoyed at him, he presses forward to
explore her suitability as a wife. She fits his marriage list to a
tee. The only problem, she has a life of her own and though he's a
seductive suitor, she will have to make a choice — her career or
The second book in the series,
The Love List,
details Grey's love journey further. Having never had a serious
relationship before, Grey is ignorant of the give-and-take involved
when living with a woman. He doesn't know what he can expect from
Carrie and what he should offer of himself in return. A huge
blow-up alerts Carrie to Grey's inexperience as part of a couple.
He needs instruction on how to be in love. Thus
a love list.
While Grey is learning how to love, he attempts the
next step: bringing her into his family. Though his sisters married
without any apparent difficulty, it seems acceptance of Grey's
plans by his parents and siblings is not as quickly
To heal little brother, Colin's, feelings of neglect,
Grey and Carrie invite him to stay with them for the second half of
Christmas vacation. That is where our story begins.
The Dating List,
Colin's story and
the next chapter in the love story of Carrie and Grey.
New York City, the last week of December
Colin Andrews whipped open the front door of his
brother's townhouse in Manhattan, revealing the most beautiful
woman he'd ever seen on the other side.
"Do you always answer the door half naked in winter?"
Her beauty robbed him of words. All he could do was
emit a low whistle.
Where did this angel come from?
"I'd know those hazel eyes anywhere. You must be
Grey's brother." She said, stepping closer.
His eyes widened as he stared. Clothed in a soft,
rose-colored, quilted jacket the lovely, petite woman took his
breath away. The white ermine trim on the hood emphasized the rich
mahogany of her hair, framing her delicate oval face. Her eyes, the
color of honey, glowed as they looked up at him. His lips parted
but no sound came out.
Finally he squeaked out a response that he hoped
while his gaze wandered over her face,
settling on her luscious, kissable pink lips. Glowing skin with an
attractive blush and the hint of tiny laugh lines topped off her
perfection. She was, without a doubt, the most stunning woman ever
to walk into his life.
"Name?" She asked. Merriment danced in eyes
highlighted by artfully smudged black liner and fringed with black
"Colin," he breathed.
"It's cold out here, Colin. Do you think I could come
in?" She raised her eyebrows as a small smile played with her
Her words snapped him out of his reverie. He looked
down to see a large red suitcase standing next to the diminutive
woman. From male instinct, he picked up the suitcase, placed it
inside next to the door and stepped back.
"Carrie's friend, Leah," she said, offering her
small, white leather-gloved hand to him after she stepped across
the threshold of the house, closing the door behind her.
He took her hand, squeezed it a touch too hard,
causing her to wince, then let go. He watched her gaze move down
from his dark brown hair to his hazel eyes, and lower until it
rested on his bare chest. The deepening of the blush on her cheeks
made him aware he had not finished dressing before answering the
door. He crossed his arms over his chest.
"Excuse me," he mumbled as he made a hasty exit,
taking the stairs two at a time to the second floor landing. The
last sound to reach his ears before he closed the door to his room
was the tinkle of Leah's laugh.
A few minutes later, Colin left his room sporting a
red plaid flannel shirt, jeans, Grey's piney aftershave and freshly
combed hair. As he descended the last two steps, he saw Leah
settled into a corner of the sofa; her slim legs encased in black
suede boots were crossed. He stopped in the kitchen to grab a beer.
After popping the top he plopped down on the sofa next to her. His
older brother, Grey, dumped another log on the fire in the
fireplace, sending sparks flying out to smash against the black
mesh screen then disintegrate.
Carrie, Grey's slim fiancée, bounced into the room
carrying a small pile of folded laundry.
"Housekeeper's day off?" Colin asked.
"You're looking at him," Grey said, closing the
screen across the fireplace.
"You do the laundry?" Colin raised his eyebrows.
"Yep. Carrie cooks, our housekeeper cleans, so I have
to do something besides shovel snow."
"Wait till I tell Jenna," Colin teased.
"I'll bust your head! I'll never hear the end of it.
Our sister, Jenna, is the most awful tease and I'm her favorite
victim," Grey said, turning toward Leah.
"Homus domesticus…Carrie you tamed the wild
"Oh?" She tossed her streaked, shoulder-length blonde
hair. "Was he a wild beast? Tell me all about it."
Colin blushed and shook his head.
"No way. I like living."
"Good answer, Punk," his older brother said.
Carrie put on a pot of coffee. Grey joined her in the
kitchen, stopping to grab four mugs. Before long the sweet smell of
brewing coffee filled the first floor of the elegant townhouse.
"Are you staying with us this visit Leah?"
"I'm bunking in at Nina and Clint's place again.
They're upstate for the holiday."
"Thanks. It's cold out. By the way…I've got good
"Oh? Give," Carrie said as she put the top down on
the coffeemaker and turned to face her friend.
Leah got up to retrieve a small portfolio from the
outside pocket of her suitcase. Colin's gaze followed her,
traveling up her leggings. When she bent slightly to unzip the
pocket his eyes traced the outline of her behind, nicely rounded
but not out of proportion to the rest of her slim frame. His tongue
felt thick, his fingers twitched slightly at the mental image of
running them along the smooth skin of her bare bottom.
"Remember I told you I did some drawings of
lingerie…" She flopped the portfolio on the kitchen island
countertop. Colin left the sofa to join the others. He placed his
empty beer bottle in the kitchen sink then wandered over to see
what the women were fussing over.
"This is our cue to leave, Colin. Two women, the word
"Your funeral. I'm going to see if there is a game
on. Any game," Grey said, disappearing through the den door that
opened onto the kitchen.
Leah flashed Colin a warm smile before unzipping the
small case. A small zing flew across his nerve endings.
"Hurry! I'm dying to see these," Carrie said,
shifting her weight from foot to foot.
Her friend took out three single sheets of drawing
paper with sketches on them. "I made these from the historical
romance I was reading. What do you think?"
Carrie picked up the first sheet and examined the
first sheet but Colin kept his gaze on Leah, who stood, chewing her
lip. He wanted to do a lot more to that lip. Colin moved back.
Being six foot two made it easy to look over Carrie's shoulder as
she was only five foot six. He saw a stylized drawing of a woman
with long legs, wearing a lacy number that looked like a
"The material is soft…it just looks like a corset but
it isn't hard, no whalebone. Silk and lace and it hangs down a
whisker below her…" Leah looked over at Colin, then back at