I do love introducing you to authors new to me! Meet Mia Heintzelman! Mia is a polka-dot-wearing, horror movie lover, who always has a book and a to-do list in her purse. She writes fun, unforgettable, more-than-just-laughs romance about strong women and men with enough heart to fall for them. When she isn’t busy writing fictional happily-ever-afters, she is likely reading, playing board games, or eating sweets.
She currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband and two children.
Her new book, The Friendship Contract is Book 1 in the Terms and Conditions series and the excerpt sent me right to Amazon to grab the book. Check it out below!
The Friendship Contract
The terms are as follows:
1. Find the bright side when your best friend (the woman you’ve secretly been in love with for 10+ years) finds an engagement ring in her live-in boyfriend’s gym bag.
2. When she discovers the ring isn’t for her, and you volunteer to mop up her tears, don’t freak out if you accidentally share a world-shattering kiss.
3. Remember she’s your best friend and law firm partner…and a hopeless romantic. Being her rebound isn’t worth risking the only family you have.
4. Immediately—rationally—draw up a no-strings agreement, stipulating equal opportunity orgasms. Under no circumstances is PDA or catching (further) feelings allowed.
5. If while adding a wedding plus-one clause, the doorbell rings and it’s a moving company with all her belongings, and now you’re going to be roommates, shower. The colder, the better.
In consideration of the mutual promises set forth herein, both parties agree that if at any time while forced to live and work together they find themselves falling in love, they will re-read the fine print.
Fine Print: Do not fall in love.
This contract shall be binding and may not be modified in any manner unless in writing and signed by both parties.
“We’re close. Some would say we’re more family than friends, and one of us, me, is receiving support from the other: you. It makes sense that a kiss would complicate matters between two single adults who care tremendously for one another. Except…” I’m on a roll, rambling, but based on Damon’s deadpan face, the jury seems to be still out. “Now, we’re friends, roommates, wedding dates, and in a handful of hours, hotel bed buddies.”
Even I wince at what sounds like fresh hell coming from my mouth.
Damon’s lips twitch, but he fans his hand out for me to continue.
I hold up my palms against the air. “Fine, that sounds bad, but you get the point. Our friendship just got put to the test in multiple ways. So, my proposal is—” I stop myself, shaking my head, feeling a brand-new aversion to that word, then start again. “My solution is—”
“A friendship contract?” Damon’s attention shifts to my journal, reading the title I’ve jotted down.
“Yes,” I say, lowering my chin and squaring my shoulders to him before I look up. “It won’t be like a business deal or anything. But you must admit, we know contracts and compliance. We abide by them, we enforce. It only makes sense to draw up rules to keep us focused on what matters…” But even as I say it, an idea springs to mind that could rightly solve everything.
“Whatever you’re thinking, it’s scaring me,” D mutters.
I press my fingers to my lips, focusing on the vision forming in my head.
At first, I thought we’d put together some rules about creating a pillow barrier between us in the hotel bed. He’d agree not to share longing stares or check out at my ass when he thinks I’m not looking, and I’d avoid rubbing it on his morning wood. But this…it would accomplish all of that while keeping Aaron and Piper in the spotlight.
And build my case.
“Before you say anything, hear me out.” I take a deep breath. “What if we pretended to be dating?”
For a second, it’s not clear whether Damon hears me because he stares at me blankly again. But then his brow creases like he’s just realized that’s the whole idea and I’m not playing a horrible prank on him.
“What…” He stops himself, screwing his lips to the side, I’m guessing considering his next line of questioning. “I get how that’ll distract from the Kyle and Trish situation. I’m just failing to understand how it’s a solution for our friends and roommates complication.”
In my mind, it couldn’t be clearer. But how do I explain this to him in a way that doesn’t make him feel like he’s being used? Even more.
I tilt my head to either side, acknowledging his perspective.
“If the other night proved anything, it’s that we have off-the-charts chemistry, right?” I ask, marking a series of bullet points beneath the title. “So, finally getting together is completely believable. My family already loves you. They’d be ecstatic for us, which means they wouldn’t give a second thought to the Kyle mess.”
Plus, I get to build an unobstructed case for love on a trial basis.
“And us?” Damon asks.
“We tell them that Kyle and I broke up, that you and I realized how good we were together, so I moved in with you.” Not an outright lie. “Beyond that, we dance, eat cake, and celebrate all the wedding festivities.”
All humor fades from his expression.
“Simple as that, huh? Open-and-shut case.” He stares at me with that far-off look he sometimes gives me, like he’s subliminally telling me the simplest decisions are the ones that always end with the most at stake.
The earnest, pleading look in his eyes melts me, and I know rules aren’t optional.