Home > Plays Well With Others

Plays Well With Others
Author: Lauren Blakely





Am I fake dating my best friend? Hear me out...

So I'm throwing myself a breakup party, a glittery fete where I envision I'll lift a glass and celebrate being free and single again.

What I actually do: Drink too much champagne and blurt out to my best guy friend that I'd really like to get back on the horse.

But what I truly don't expect is Carter's answer - he volunteers as tribute.

With his sinful brown eyes and too-good-to-be-true body it'd be no hardship for me to say yes, though I certainly don't want him to feel obligated to, um, service me, just because my failed, loveless marriage was a s-e-x desert.

But since the charming and confident pro football star owes five public dates to his dating app sponsor, we make a deal to help each other out.

Pretty soon, our public how to date lessons turn into, ahem, very private ones. And I'm a star student, graduating quickly from flirty banter and lingering looks to toe-curling, sheet-grabbing, mind-blowing hours of physical education.

The problem? Turns out learning to date again feels a lot like the real thing. Can our friendship withstand all these late-night bedroom sessions?

Especially since I'm suddenly longing for my best friend and there’s nothing fake about my feelings...






By Lauren Blakely



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Did you know this book is also available in audio and paperback on all major retailers? Go to my website for links!









A Standalone in the How to Date series









Hi! Sometimes authors like certain names a lot. Like the name Rachel. Some eagle-eyed readers might recall that in The Boyfriend Comeback the character of Beck had an ex-girlfriend he remained friends with and her name was Rachel. When I went on to write The Good Guy Challenge, Two a Day and My So-Called Sex Life, I introduced a new Rachel as a sidekick of the various heroines. Now it’s new Rachel’s turn for her romance. But she’s not the same Rachel who was in The Boyfriend Comeback. I just forgot I’d used the name recently! Oops! In any case, enjoy Rachel Dumont’s romance! You don’t need to have read any of the other titles to enjoy this standalone.



Also, Carter plays professional football and the team names are fictitious and so is the name of the biggest game of the year.











Where are my lucky spatulas? I swear they were in this box in the corner of the kitchen. The one marked Very Important Things.

Because my baking supplies are vital. They’re therapy, dammit.


There’s a box next to the stove labeled VIP Things 1 and a box on the counter designated VIP Things 2.

Which one has my spatula in it? And why didn’t I label any of these things specifically?

Oh, right. Because I fled Los Angeles faster than a twelve-year-old could stack plastic cups on social media. That, too, was a Very Important Thing.

Now, I’m scrunched in with the boxes in the itty-bitty kitchen of my new townhome in San Francisco, hunting for the necessities of life—spatulas. How can I bake lemon cheesecake blueberry bars for my breakup party tomorrow night without them?

Think, Rachel, think.

I close my eyes, remembering the packing frenzy last week in my Venice Beach home, seeing clothes flying, hearing the screech of packing tape, feeling the skittering of my pulse. The ink was finally dry on my divorce papers, but the news of the birth of my ex’s newest child was still fresh in my head. I couldn’t spend any more time in Los Angeles with those painful memories chasing me wherever I went.

Ah! I remember now. I jammed the spatulas into the underwear compartment of my carry-on, in between my new Valentina lacy bra-and-panty set and the scorching-hot burgundy bustier, the one I’ve vowed to wear…someday.

Because someday soon is a fool’s wish.

I rush to the bedroom, unzip the suitcase, and grab the pretty little kitchen darlings from their place of honor next to the pretty little bedroom darlings.

“There you are,” I say, relieved, then I return to the kitchen and set the spatulas down on the counter, pushing aside Badly Labeled Box 2. I head to the pantry and grab the flour, sugar, and baking soda.

Thank you, Elodie, for stocking the pantry for me. You’re the best friend ever.

I’ll bake tonight, but I want to make sure I have everything I need ready now. Carter is coming by soon to help me move heavy objects.

Every gal should have a muscular and helpful guy like Carter to call on to lift things, move things, and carry things.

Also, his shoulder is quite nice to cry on. I’d give it a five out of five for sturdiness and absorbency.

As I sort my baking supplies, I review the day ahead. We’ll rearrange the living room so I can have a better view of California Street, and after that, I’ll spend the afternoon in my jewelry shop. Fable has been handling the shop while I’ve been absent, and while she’s great, business hasn’t been smashing while I’ve been flying up and down the coast of California, managing two shops. This evening, I’ll shut myself off from the world and devote the night to baking and, well, wine.

My shrink will be so proud. She’s always advocating self-care, and that sounds like baking and merlot to me.

Now that I have a plan for the day, my pulse starts to settle a skosh—then the doorbell rings.

Oh, shit. Is Carter here already? I glance down at my outfit and cringe. Three-day-old yoga pants and a white T-shirt with a red splotch design that says Of course it’s wine, Officer. The shirt is courtesy of my friend Hazel. But when I sniff myself, I find I’m desperately in need of a shower, and that’s courtesy of me.

I race to the window in my slippers, dodging a peace lily to peer from the second story to the stoop below. Oh! It’s the delivery guy from the wine shop.

“Coming!” I shout, even though he’s already trotting down the steps to the street. But wine gets lonely quickly, so I leave my townhome, rush down the stairs, and hold open the front door of the building to grab the box.

Tucking it under my arm, I spin around, when my feet go out from under me—


I wince. There must be grease, or powder, or something on the foyer floor. But I make a quick scan and the floor is pristine.

Great. I slipped on my own enthusiasm for discount wine. But hey, I shielded the wine from harm. The box is still safe and sound in my arm, so I get up, precious cargo in hand, and head up the stairs and back to my townhome, ass aching the whole way.

I set down the goods on the kitchen counter and check my phone. Twenty minutes. Just enough time to look presentable.

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