What I Did On My Summer Vacation(Harlequin Blaze)(4)

By: Thea Devine & Debbi Rawlins & Samantha Hunter

I couldn’t help it if I wanted some dessert. The problem is the best grab-and-go dessert is cake, and that always crumbles when you take a bite.

Kind of like relationships. All voluptuous, seductive and yummy to look at, and nothing substantial underneath.

That cake analogy did it for me.

I need someone substantial to sink my teeth into.

I mean—something. Something substantial.

On the other hand, sometimes cake melts in your mouth—

Check that. I am not allowed to think like that.

Crash and burn, remember. It never works out, no matter how high you fly.

Okay. It’s the first of July. Perfect. I am now officially on The Guy Diet.

The first thing I did was order myself up a platter of healthy exercise regimen.

Since I walk a lot, I haven’t needed a specific exercise program. Now to keep myself occupied and entertained, I decided that twice a week I would bike ride in Riverside Park plus do a weekend walk, as well.

I planned to live a simpler life: forget dressing up, forget makeup. Forget my usual haunts. No clubs. No bars. No drinking, no sex, no dates.

Yeah, on the surface, that sounds like a really fun summer.

On the other hand, there might be a method to this madness. If I wasn’t at the usual places, I wouldn’t meet and sleep with the usual grab-and-go guys. If I reverted to the jeans-and-T-shirt-clad, minimal-makeup me, I’d learn to appreciate myself all over again, and maybe then the right guy would appreciate me, too.

Whoa…how long is this going to take?

Say…one week?

I’m girding myself, can’t you tell?

It’ll probably be easier than I think.

So I went bike riding.

I like Riverside Park; it runs right along the Hudson River so you have that great view of the water while you’re riding, walking, running.

Downside: pretty much everyone who’s not in Central Park is riding, walking or running there every evening. If I wanted to avoid bare-chested guys and sexy six-packs, I should have gone bike riding in the subway.

The testosterone level was off the charts.

Not a good move to be moving your muscles while bemoaning lost opportunities. Exercise is good for the thighs, the soul and the mind. If I let myself think about sweaty bodies, I’ll backside.

I mean backslide.

Paula was watching all this with a skeptical eye. She’d gone with me Saturday morning just out of curiosity. Paula never exercises except on the dance floor, so this was a great sacrifice on her part.

“The Guy Diet is never going to work. The guys are too tempting.”

They sure had tempted her. Paula had met a week’s worth of dates on that walk. Because she didn’t walk, she stopped and talked to every guy who looked single and likely and took cards as if they were hundred-dollar bills.

I shrugged. “So? What would be the point if it’s the same old strut?”

“You know what the point is.”

I’d been on The Guy Diet for exactly three days. Paula was not making it any easier with her salacious jokes.

“And besides, what would happen if you met someone?” Paula went on. “What if there were this one perfect guy who wanted right then, right there to be the perfect person in your life?”

“You’re joking, right?”

“What if?” Paula pressed me. Probably because it was Saturday night and, unusual for her, she had nowhere to go, no date, nothing to do but harangue me.

So I’d made dinner, one of my grab-and-go specialties—fast fajitas, with top blade steaks, fresh veggies and the usual accompaniments.

Love those little top blade steaks.

The point? That damned point. What if?

“It’s inconceivable. And besides food is better than sex right now.”

“You think? Nothing is better than—”

“The usual? No, anything is better than sex with a get-it-up-and-go guy.”

“You protest too much.”

“And you can’t tell quality from quantity anymore. It’s just one big-bang theory with you.”

Ouch. I should not have been so blunt with Paula.

However, since I had transmogrified myself by virtue of The Guy Diet, I figured I had become pure in thought, deed and body.

“Saint Lo,” Paula muttered sarcastically. “You’re really going to drive us all crazy with this, aren’t you?”

“No, I’m just giving up guys. Not your problem.”

“Oh, you think you’re not going to get cranky like the rest of us on a diet?”

“I will have lost a minimum of 170 pounds this first week by not having contact with a guy. I’ll be all sweetness and light.”


“I’m praying for a devil to tempt you beyond all reason,” Paula said.

“That, too,” I murmured. “Finish the steak.”

“Full speed ahead and damn the fajitas?” she retorted.

“I’ll find a movie. In or out?”

Oops…sorry I said that.

“That was a movie,” I said defensively.

Paula raised one brow. “In and Out was the title. In and…”

I can’t get away from it. “Don’t go there.”

“I’m already there,” Paula said lightly. “And for the record, I always prefer in.”

Also By Thea Devine & Debbi Rawlins & Samantha Hunter

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