MaiTai'dUpWhat’s the recipe for a Mai Tai? Take one former Miss Golden State, one hot veterinarian, 20 rescue pit bulls, moonlight, a stack of old records with Frank Sinatra crooning about the strangers in the night, and shake well! Don’t miss the latest installment in New York Times bestselling author Alice Clayton’s Cocktail Series, MAI TAI’D UP! It’s on sale 12/2, and since we know that seems eons away, read below for a little sneak peek of the sexy, humorous, and oh-so-fun adventure Alice is known for!  

Lucas came in the front door of the animal hospital with a bag over his shoulder and a cup of coffee in his hand. “Hey, Chloe,” he said, smiling and stopping just a few inches from me. “Morning, Marge.”

“Hey, Lucas, how’s your day going?” I asked, turning from Marge slightly to look at him, which meant looking up at him. Fudge, this guy was tall; it surprised me almost every time I was around him. “I see you got your scrubs washed in time for work today.”

“I’m barely here on time; I overslept. You wore me out yesterday.” He groaned, rotating his shoulders a bit.

“Me!” I exclaimed, massaging his left shoulder. “You’re the one that wanted to keep going; I was good after twenty minutes. Especially once I found that sweet spot.” I smiled.

“Yeah, but admit it. You loved it.”

“Oh, yeah. Totally worth the soreness today. But next time we should stretch afterward.”

“Agreed. By the way, you left this in the back of my truck yesterday,” he said, pulling my bikini top out of the bag on his shoulder.

“Oh, thanks, that was thoughtful. I wondered where that went.”

Marge’s head exploded in a cloud of Jean Naté confetti. “What the . . . But when did . . . Now wait just a—”

The two of us grinned at each other, perfectly aware of what we’d just said and how it sounded.

“See you tonight?” I asked, and he gave me a slow nod.

“Wouldn’t miss it,” he murmured, his voice low and full of promise. “You headed home now?”

“Mm-hmm.” I nodded also, just as slowly. I pursed my lips. He licked his. Marge sighed dreamily, and I had to cough to cover up a laugh. “Walk me to my car?”

“I thought you’d never ask.” Setting his bag and coffee on the front desk, he guided me out the front door with his hand in the small of my back. Not pushing, just the warmth of his skin telling me which way to go.

“See ya, Marge,” I called over my shoulder, then rested my head on his bicep for good measure. We could hear her sputtering halfway out into the parking lot. “I think we just made her day,” I cackled, collapsing against the side of the clinic.

“I don’t know how you kept it together. I thought for sure I was going to lose it when you started in with the sweet spot.”

“Well, that’s typically when everyone loses it,” I quipped, and he groaned. We took a moment to compose ourselves, and then started to walk over to my car.

“So, tonight?”

“What about tonight?” I asked, wiping a tear from my eye, still chuckling a bit.

“Pretty sure you just insinuated back there that we had plans for tonight.”

“I did?”

“You said, and I quote, ‘see you tonight,’ ” he said. “In a very Marilyn Monroe voice too, which was a nice touch, by the way,” he said.

“Oh, yeah, I guess I did,” I mused. “Well, we don’t really have to do anything. It was mainly for effect, just to mess with her a bit.”

“While I always love an opportunity to mess with Marge, I’d hate to make us liars. What time should I come over?”

“Come over?”

“You said it, sister. Now you plan it,” he replied, pointing at me. “It’ll be hard to top paddleboarding, but try.”

There was that twinkle again. You’d think a guy that twinkles as much as he does wouldn’t get to me, but boy . . . this guy’s twinkle had some voodoo magic.

“I can’t promise anything as elaborate as paddleboarding, but how about dinner? Should be a nice night; we could grill and sit out on the patio?”

“Done. Six thirty?”


And with that, a plan was made. And he was keeping his promise: those nights and weekends were getting filled.

Speaking of getting filled . . .

No one was speaking of getting filled!