Searching For Beautiful by Jennifer Probst
Searching For, #3
(May 26, 2015, Gallery Books)
Genevieve MacKenzie has her life completely under control. About to wed the charming Chief doctor at the local hospital, she’s an up-and-coming surgeon with everything she could ever want. Until an escape through the church window on the day of her wedding sends her life into a tailspin…and flings her right into her best friend’s arms.
When Wolfe catches his best friend falling out a window on her wedding day, he doesn’t ask questions. He whisks her away, determined to watch over her and discover the truth behind her desperate escape. But when his feelings turn more than platonic, he realizes he may risk his most important relationship in order to protect his damaged heart, and the woman he loves.
Can Genevieve and Wolfe’s friendship turn into something deeper—or is it already too late for true love?
He strode over to the receptionist desk, where those
wide navy blue eyes looked seemingly innocent. He was
used to seeing her in scrubs or jeans, so the sexy, black lace
top and flash of bare leg from her skirt threw him off for a
moment. Her usual ponytail had been replaced by curls flying
free over her shoulders. Chestnut waves flopped over
one eye, which looked annoying but damn seductive. Flirty.
Definitely not like the Gen he knew.
He laid both palms flat on the desk and leaned over. “I
think the better question is, what are you doing here?”
She gave a pout. Was she wearing lipstick? He
wouldn’t have pegged her to wear a bold color, but the
rich, coffee-colored lipstick clung to her mouth and
tempted a man to try a sip.
What the hell was he thinking?
“You’re in a mood. I work here now.”
His temper rose another notch. “You’re a doctor. Why
aren’t you at the hospital?”
She shifted in the chair. “I quit.”
He turned. “I’m going to kill the son of a bitch. Wait
Wolfe earned a few steps before she scrambled and
skid ahead of him, blocking his exit. “Kate already tried
twice. Listen, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, but it’s for the best.
There was an incident and I realized I won’t be able to
“Why didn’t you tell me? I get a text saying you’re
working late, then staying at Kate’s. You refuse to answer
my calls, and when I finally get in touch with Kate, she says
you’re not with her. Crap, Gen, you gave me a heart attack!
I’m stuck at the convention with a bunch of suits and
couldn’t get to you. What incident?”
“A patient thing. I needed some time alone and didn’t
want to bother anyone.”
Wolfe gritted his teeth and prayed for calm. “You’re
not a bother. You’re my friend.”
Her face softened and she grabbed his arms. Her fingers
lay directly over the thin leather that covered his
wrists, but the heat from her touch still burned. “I know.
You have to understand how I’ve been feeling lately. Like
a whiny, pitying, weak female. Suddenly I’m doing all
these crazy things and I broke. I’m better now, but thank
Her patronizing words made him more enraged. He
still wasn’t sure why. Her self-imposed isolation drove him
nuts, but the thought of her turning to someone else was
much worse. He wanted to shake her until she understood
how important she was. “You’re not better. I refuse to let
that asshole push you out when you were born to be a surgeon.
You can’t work at a matchmaking agency. It’s totally
The softness disappeared and turned to fire. She practically
growled like a she-cat. “Who the heck are you to
judge me or Kinnections! Did you suddenly turn into a
snob, O playboy-turned-millionaire hotel magnate?”
Wolfe fought the instinctual urge to flush. “Don’t be ridiculous.
I’m just saying you were meant to save lives, not
She sniffed like it was a reasonable argument. “I disagree.
This may be my true calling after all. I’m tired of
stress and medicine and decisions that are life-and-death.
I’m going to have fun. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even find
Irritation scraped him like a Brillo pad. “You’ll get
bored of this place in a week.”
She stuck out her tongue. Was she serious? “No, I
won’t. And I’m not quitting till I help make a great match
for someone. I need to be around magic and hope. Hey,
want to sign up? Kate says if I get clients on my own I get a
He stared at her. “Are you kidding me? No, I’m not
signing up for Kinnections. Listen, I’ll help you get transferred
to another hospital. I can make some calls—I know
some guy in Albany who’s high up the ladder. You can’t
leave your residency when you worked so hard. We’ll fix
“There’s nothing to fix. This is my job now and you’ll
have to get used to it.” The phone rang and she brightened.
“Gotta get that.”
Wolfe watched her run to the phone and lean over the
desk. The skirt stretched over her full rear, rode up her
thighs, and left her indecent. She wobbled a bit on threeinch
stilettos till she found her balance. For God’s sake, she
never wore heels. Had Kennedy gotten ahold of her? Why
was it so hot in here?
He dragged his fingers through his hair and listened to
her chirp about some upcoming mixer at the Purple Haze.
She gave a low little laugh that sounded suspiciously like a
giggle. Oh yeah. Kennedy had definitely done something
horrible to her. She hung up, wiggled back around, and
tugged down the indecent minuscule fabric that constituted
office wear. Even her perfume was different. The lingering
sweet scent of peach mixed with a sharp citrus and
musk that tantalized. Was she working here to find dates
for herself? No, that wouldn’t be like her at all. She used to
say she needed months to get over a relationship. A broken
engagement would take at least a year.
“Sure you don’t want to help me earn some more
money?” She gave him a wink. “You’d be a hot commodity
with the women.”
Ugh, he refused to be embarrassed. “No. I can get my
“Fine. At least I’ll get something for signing myself up.”
He opened his mouth, then shut it. Opened it again.
“What are you talking about?”
Gen grinned. “I’m going to be a new client of Kinnections!”
“You just broke up with David. You’re always bitching
about people needing months in between serious relationships
in order to heal. Remember that time I broke up with
Allie, and you made me cancel my date the next weekend?
You forced me to be celibate for two whole weeks!”
She rolled her eyes and cocked a hip out. The black top
shifted and he caught a fragment of lace peeking from her
shoulder. Huh? He had it on authority she only wore cotton
underwear. “You needed to suffer. You broke her heart.”
“I did not. She knew up front what the deal was.”
“It’s still wrong. Claiming there’s no strings doesn’t
mean things can’t change. She fell for you, and you walked
away without trying.”
This time he did flush. “I explain to every woman I’m
not interested in long-term—you know that. You always
praised me for being honest and up front.”
“Well, I’m changing my mind. I think it’s crappy. You
need to begin looking at the future. Why don’t we be clients
together? We can double date!”
Wolfe wondered if he had had something bad for
breakfast or if he really wanted to vomit. The image of
them at a dinner table with two strangers was painful. She
was giving him a headache.
“I’m happy the way things are. And I think the last
thing you need is another emotional upheaval with some
guy. Take a break from dating. Maybe you can learn a
She glared. “Am I eighty years old? No, I need to get
my feet wet again. David almost broke something in me,
and I want it back.”
Crap. When she put it like that, he’d do anything to
help her. “Sweetheart, don’t you want to find healing within
yourself rather than from outside sources?”
Her eyes widened. “Wow. You’re getting really deep.
Usually, I’d agree with you, but I’m tired of feeling afraid
and unsure. I want to be brave and take a leap into the unknown.
Does that make sense?”
Yeah, it did. He didn’t understand why the thought of
her diving back into dating bothered him so much. Usually
they’d trade war stories and he’d help her get fixed up.
What suddenly changed? Crankiness stirred so he changed
the subject. “Why are you wearing that?”
“Huh? A skirt?”
“You hate fancy clothes. Did Kennedy try to do something
She stared at him like he’d sprouted horns. “You’re acting
really weird, dude. Did you work too hard at the seminar?
How was it?”
“Fine.” He didn’t want to talk about work, or endless
meetings, or sales figures. “I think we should talk more
about this. How about we go to dinner tonight? I’ll pick
you up at seven.”
She crossed her arms in front of her chest. “As long as
you promise not to try and change my mind.”
“I can’t promise you that. But I’ll buy you a burger.”
Gen shook her head. “Fine. I’m easy. See you tonight.”
He watched her walk back to the desk and slide into
the chair, crossing her legs. The smooth expanse of white
skin blinded him for a moment. She always joked about
not having a drop of her Italian blood heritage since she
burned so easily and never tanned. But there was something
about all that gorgeous naked flesh, soft and pure,
that made his fingers curl to touch her.
Wolfe turned his back on her and his startling thoughts.
He needed a cold shower and a nap. Lately he was beginning
to wonder if the past three months of celibacy had
been such a smart move. The break seemed like a good
idea. He’d been tired of the delicate game of seduction
lately, and how fast his partners seemed to get attached. Almost
like they looked at him as a challenge to break down.
If only they’d realize there was nothing inside that
hadn’t already been broken.
Still, sex might take the edge off. The last thing he
needed was lustful thoughts over his best friend. She was
the only healthy relationship with a female he’d ever been
able to maintain. He refused to screw up the best thing that
ever happened to him due to a surge of testosterone.
Wolfe made the drive back to his place in Manhattan.
His penthouse apartment had tons of security, luxury, and
every amenity he could think of. The parquet floors and
high ceilings were elegant, but his furnishings were spartan
and masculine. Dark wood, glass, extensive computers and
media, and bare walls. He barely slept here, finding it more
convenient to stay at Purity, where he kept a tight rein on
Wolfe took a quick shower, changed, and put on a pot
of coffee. Maybe he’d relax, watch a baseball game on television,
then get some more work done. All in all, it had
been a tough couple of days and he needed a break. Dinner
with Gen would put him in a better mood. They’d get
back to their usual buddy routine, and he’d begin working
on finding a new sex companion who had nothing to do
When the doorman buzzed and said a uniformed officer
needed to see him, Wolfe got a bad feeling.
He was handed the temporary restraining order on behalf
of a Dr. David Riscetti, who accused him of harassment
and a host of other sins.
His bad feeling was right on. As usual.
He glanced through the papers. Wolfe had to give the
son of a bitch credit. He was playing a chess game, and he
was a great player. Wolfe cared less about himself, as long
as David stayed away from Gen. Unfortunately, his spidey
senses were tingling again, as if he was missing a piece in
an elaborate puzzle being put together.
Yeah. All in all, it was a shitty day.
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Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.
She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at http://www.jenniferprobst.com.