Published by Createspace Independent Pub on Expected July 2014
Genres: contemporary, Love & Romance, New Adult
Zoe Tawn is about to finish her bachelor’s degree and start a PhD program in quantitative psychology. Yet her friends don’t think she’s quite ready to graduate: she still hasn’t played her v-card. Zoe’s friends don’t know her v-card was played years ago; she doesn’t talk about that crap. She does agree that dating would make her a more well-rounded individual, however, so she tries, and realizes the dating game isn’t for her: she’s a geek, not a flirt.
Zoe decides to utilize her strengths with the mantra “Smart is the new sexy” and develops a predictive model for companionship to replace those outdated compatibility questionnaires. Her model goes viral in no time, so her friends secretly enter her profile into it. When a match comes back, it shocks them all: it’s Wesley Williams, the twentysomething CEO billionaire of Quantitative Solutions, where Zoe is doing an internship. Zoe insists the error in her model must be unacceptably high until she gets an email requesting she stop by Mr. Williams’ office at her earliest convenience…
“So what can I do for you, Mr. Williams?” It seemed like the right question to ask, an appropriate, business-like question. We needed to get on track.
“Please, call me Wes.”
So they really did call him Wes. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling. “Then please call me Zoe.”
He gave me another genuine smile that had my stomach fluttering again in a way that wasn’t at all businesslike.
“Zoe.” How did he manage to make my name sound sexy? I blinked, trying to clear my head as he continued talking. “I guess it’s best we’re on a first-name basis.” Did he actually look me up and down? If he did, he was quick. “Since we’re a perfect match.”
If my cheeks felt warm before, then they were now flaming. “Oh, that.” A quick laugh escaped. “I-”
What the hell could I say? Why hadn’t I just followed Lena’s and Talen’s advice and gone out on another date with Elliott? He may not have had Wes’ presence- okay, few guys did- but I was on even ground with Elliott. We were both students. With Wes, I felt like whatever water I was treading was in danger of sucking me under at any moment. If I’d gone out with Elliott again, I never would have created that damn model, and I wouldn’t be sitting here in this crazy situation right now.
“We- I didn’t really think-” I was as flustered as a high school girl. “I didn’t think you- I didn’t think it was you who actually, you know, participated.” Especially since he was dating a supermodel.
Wes chuckled himself. Were his cheeks growing rather pink? “We’re really excited about our new Lifestyle Division. Whenever we hear about something that could be beneficial, it gets our attention.” If pink had tinged his cheeks, it had faded. He gave me a shrug. “Everyone’s looking for love.”
He was looking for love? Was he bored with that vapid model? I mean, Molly Kress was gorgeous, no question about it, but listening to a thirty second sound bite of hers made it clear she wasn’t all that bright. But since when did guys care what was in a woman’s head? He could talk to his friends for intelligent conversation. Wasn’t that how most guys thought?
I forced myself to exhale as I smiled back and pressed my shoulders down. It was time for me to get myself together. “It’s only the first version of the model.” At least I knew about the model since I’d created it. There was no way to make an ass of myself discussing it. “I still have some modifications to make.” That was clear, given some of the matches.
Wes leaned forward. The interest in his eyes seemed genuine. “That’s when the real fun begins.”
I couldn’t believe he said that. He actually got it. “Yes, it is.” I realized I was leaning forward myself. “People are providing feedback on how their matches are going, so I’ll have additional data for the modifications.”
“You built in a mechanism for feedback?” Wes sounded impressed.
I couldn’t hold back a grin. “Of course. It’s the most efficient way to improve the model.”
His eyes shone. “You have an exceptional skill at model development, Zoe.” If the table hadn’t been between us, we would have been almost touching with the way we were both leaning in. I could smell a hint of his aftershave and see just how clean-shaven he was. I wondered if the skin on his chin was as smooth as it looked, or maybe it was just a little rough?
Where the hell did that thought come from? I’d never wondered how another guy’s- or anyone’s- face felt before. I needed to say something. Now. “Well, I- I really like it.” A warm and fuzzy feeling seemed to be fogging my brain, even though I didn’t typically feel warm and fuzzy. His compliment felt as good as a perfect score on an exam. I felt like I needed to say something more, something better than that I really liked it. “I like the challenge.”
Were his eyes sparkling? “Intellectual stimulation is the best kind, isn’t it?”
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