On the Surface Read online Nikki Ash (Imperfect Love #3)

Categories Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports Tags Authors: Series: Imperfect Love Series by Nikki Ash
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Total pages in book: 101
Estimated words: 95326 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 477(@200wpm)___ 381(@250wpm)___ 318(@300wpm)
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Read Online Books/Novels:

On the Surface (Imperfect Love #3)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Nikki Ash

Language:
English
Book Information:

People see what they want to see. They only view what’s on the surface, and they’re easy to fool. I let them see on the outside that I’m a successful businesswoman. My clothes are designer, my makeup flawless, and I live in a high-rise condo in Lennox Hills. They see perfection, not what lies beneath the surface.
The real me, the one I keep hidden is a broken-hearted woman who uses the makeup to hide her tears. The expensive clothing covers a heart once shattered by love. The walls of my expensive home shelter a lonely woman who hides the fact that deep down she wants to be loved. A woman who is too scared to risk her fragile heart.
For ten years, I’ve managed to hide behind the image of perfection. Only letting people see what’s on the surface. Until I ran into him.
Now, every raw emotion, every shattered piece of my heart that I buried long ago is exposed outside the protective walls of my high-rise condo. No matter how hard I try, I can’t keep the walls from crumbling. He sees me beyond the image that I’ve created. He says he can handle what’s below the surface, but can I?
On The Surface is book three in the Imperfect Love series but can be read as a complete standalone.
Books in Series:

Imperfect Love Series by Nikki Ash

Books by Author:

Nikki Ash



One

Celeste

“Two weeks until I’m finally Mrs. Shaw.” Olivia squeals loud enough that the patrons sitting at the table next to us look over. Her hands clasp together in excitement as her eyes run along everyone at the table and land on her fiancé, Nicholas Shaw, who is known to most as the newly retired quarterback from the New York Brewers. To me, though, he’s my childhood best friend. Despite our four-year age difference, I’ve spent the last two decades following Nick around while he’s chased his dream of playing pro ball, and I’ve chased mine of becoming a model. There was even a short span of time when we almost got married—a stupid decision on both our parts, stemmed from a teenage pact in a moment of weakness.

Of course, that was all before he met Olivia, who swooped in with her sweet and adorable self and stole his heart—while simultaneously winning me over and becoming one of the few people I call a friend. She and Nick are expecting their second baby in September. Their son, Reed, is eighteen months old, and at home with his grandparents tonight.

In response to what Olivia says, Nick snakes his arm around her shoulders in a protective manner and pulls her into his side with a wide grin. His lips press against hers softly in a loving gesture, and I’m almost positive they’ve just given me a cavity from all the sweetness that’s radiating off them.

“Which means a bachelorette party is in order!” Olivia’s best friend, Giselle, states. She’s also pregnant—due in November—and someone I consider a friend. Her husband, Killian Blake—who is a receiver for the Brewers—also wraps his arm around his wife and pulls her in for a kiss. Only theirs is more intense, more passionate. I can’t help but watch as things between them become heated. It’s one of those kisses where you want to look away to give them their privacy, but you can’t stop watching. Yep! I’ve definitely got a cavity, maybe two. It isn’t until Nick clears his throat that they come up for air. Giselle’s face is bright red—not sure if it’s out of embarrassment over their public display of affection, or if she’s turned on—either way, she’s completely captivated by her husband.

“Oh, I don’t know.” Olivia’s nose scrunches up, and she shakes her head. “I’m half-baked.” She points to her protruding belly. “And you’re pregnant too.” She eyes Giselle. “The only person who’ll actually get to party is Celeste!” She laughs, shooting me a soft smile.

My gaze goes to my—and I use the term loosely—boyfriend, Chad Vacanti. Chad is forty-five years old and the VP for the investment banking firm he’s a partner in. We met at a function we were both attending and hit it off. Shortly after, I left for the UK to promote my clothing line that went international. Apparently, he had some business over there as well and reached out. We spent several weeks together—when we weren’t both working eighteen-hour days—and decided to keep things going when we returned. It’s worked out well for both of us—giving us someone to attend functions with and get lost in after long days of work. He’s a lot like me and knows the score, so there aren’t any hurt feelings. Chad’s nearly twenty years my senior, which is the way I prefer it. Older men tend to have their shit together and are far more mature than the guys my age.

“And it will stay that way,” I say with conviction in response to Olivia’s comment. Chad looks up from his phone as I finish saying the words, completely focused on work and having no clue what the conversation is about.

“What will stay what way?” he questions—apparently he’s somewhat good at multitasking—good to know he at least hears me when I speak.

“My getting pregnant.” His eyes go wide in fear, completely misunderstanding. “That I won’t be getting pregnant anytime soon,” I clarify, and he lets out a harsh sigh of relief, as if having a baby with me would be the absolute worst thing in the world. It’s not as if I would want to have kids with him—or with anyone for that matter—but Jesus, does he have to look so relieved?

Taking a bite of my shrimp salad, I try to ignore the four pairs of eyes staring at me—not including Chad’s, as his are already back on his phone. It’s no secret I’m the odd one out in our group of friends. Unlike Olivia and Giselle, who are both happily doing their part to add to the ever-growing human race, I have no desire to ever procreate. I have one goal in this life: to make something of myself. Which I happen to think I’m doing a damn good job at. I’ve learned over the years that independence is the key to a woman’s success. While Chad is decent in bed and someone I can talk business with, he’ll never be anything more than that. I don’t need him—or any man for that matter. I push back the thoughts of the one guy I allowed myself to need and how that turned out…with my heart broken and my future nearly destroyed.


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