Amanda Weaver is here today with an exclusive excerpt of her new book, The One I Love to Hate, release date March 18th.
But first, an intro to the book:
Three Italian-American sisters and their family bar in Brooklyn are at the heart of The Romano Sisters series. The best part of writing this series was being able to incorporate so much of what I love about my home borough into the books. Romano’s Bar, the Brooklyn Daily Post, Ému Coffee and Tea…they’re all based in Brooklyn reality.
Jessica, the youngest Romano sister, tells her story first. A journalist just starting out in her career, she’s scrappy and idealistic, and not afraid to take on the world outside her insular Brooklyn neighborhood. As I wrote her, I fell in love with Jess’s passion, her stubbornness, and her commitment to doing what’s right. I hope you love her as much as I do.
“What are you doing here?”
Alex Drake gave her a broad smile, all dazzling white teeth and carved-from-marble dimples. His star-power hadn’t lessened a bit since she’d last seen him.
“I’m applying for a mortgage, obviously. Isn’t that why everybody hangs out in coffee shops?”
So he was still the biggest smart-ass alive. That had been her very first impression of him when she encountered him in their Exploring Journalism class during freshman year, and it was still true. Well, truthfully, her very first impression had been that he was unbelievably hot. Then he’d taken a swipe at the perfectly valid point she’d just made, taking up an insupportable position just to be contrary, and the second impression erased the impact of the first. “No, I meant why are you in this coffee shop, annoying me?”
“I need coffee. And unfortunately this place is closest to the office.” Alex looked around at the reclaimed driftwood counters, the uncomfortable-looking galvanized steel stools, and the elk antlers mounted over the cash register. “Are there really no bodegas around here?”
She refused to admit that she’d been thinking the same thing. Then his words registered. The office…
She half-turned to face him. “Wait…are you working—?”
“At my father’s latest acquisition? Yes, I am. Thank you for your congratulations.” He didn’t have to look quite so delighted at her dismayed expression.
“I didn’t give them.”
“Aww, come on,” he teased “You know you’re jealous.”
The word sent a jolt through her system. Oh, she’d been plenty jealous of Alex in the past, but she was all done with that.
“I’m hardly jealous.” Like she’d ever work for Alex’s father, the Genghis Kahn of modern media. Never.
Alex pointed over her shoulder. “Line’s moving. Keep up, Jess.” The way he was grinning, you’d think he’d actually missed annoying her.
Hearing him call her that nickname again was like an ice-cold finger dragging down her spine. “It’s Jessica.” She scooted forward to put more space between them.
“Your friends call you Jess.” His phone pinged with a message so he didn’t see her scowl as he looked down to answer. His thumbs flew as he typed something—probably buying an island, or whatever it was rich people did on their phones.
“You’re not my friend.”
He looked up and grinned again, his perfectly tousled red-brown hair falling across his forehead. Stupid Alex and that stupid, bone-melting smile. “So mean. We’ve known each other for…what? Six years now?”
“Five and a half. That does not make us friends. It just means I had the misfortune of majoring in journalism at the same time you did. I’d have avoided it if I could.”
“Miss! The line?” The woman behind Alex was scowling at her over his shoulder.
Alex flashed a smile at the woman. “That’s my fault. I’m distracting her.”
The woman scowled at him, too. Well, at least there was one other female in New York who was immune to Alex Drake’s gold-plated charm. He turned back to Jess, still grinning. Ugh. It was unfair for anyone to be so attractive. He was tall and beautifully built, his body half the result of good genetics and half the result of years on the college swim team. His high, angular cheekbones, chiseled chin and jaw, sculpted lips, flawless teeth, and aquiline nose looked like they belonged on a Renaissance statue. And his bright green eyes scrunched up in the most disarming way when he smiled.
That smile could fool you. It made him seem like a wholesome boy-next-door, when really, Alex Drake had been born into a kind of privilege few could imagine. His father, Daniel Drake, owned Drake Media and had his fingers in every form of modern media, including a string of cable networks, several magazines, and a sizable collection of major websites. She’d heard he’d recently acquired the “news” website ClickNews, and it wasn’t until now that she made the connection. ClickNews had just moved their headquarters to a brand-new architectural atrocity here in Williamsburg.
Right across the street from the historic landmark housing the Brooklyn Daily Post.
She thought she’d finally left him behind at graduation, but here he was, popping up in her life again. How could it be so hard to avoid one arrogant rich boy in a city of eight million people?
Amanda has loved romance since she read that very first Kathleen E. Woodiwiss novel at fifteen. After a long detour into a career as a costume designer in theatre, she’s found her way back to romance, this time as a writer.
A native Floridian, Amanda transplanted to New York City many years ago and now considers Brooklyn home, along with her husband, daughter, two cats, and nowhere near enough space.
Contemporary romance titles include Always, Sky High, and This Book Will Change Your Life (Entangled). Historical romance titles include The Grantham Girls series (Carina Press); A Duchess in Name, A Common Scandal, and A Reluctant Betrothal.
Where you can find Amanda