Repelling the Shark

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A Thursday teaser from Book 5 of The Date Shark Series

By DelSheree Gladden

Piper’s expression pinched in confusion. “What the hell is a date shark service?”

It was a challenge not to laugh at her reaction, but Leo didn’t want to embarrass her. He was so used to discussing the date shark thing amongst his friends, he often forgot what a novel concept it was to most people.

“It’s basically a dating coach service.”

Her expression soured even more. “I’m not sure you’re qualified for that. Not if you and Legs are any indicator.”

“Katheryn and I had an understanding from the beginning. It worked well for us for a long time,” he argued, his tone a little more clipped than he meant for it to be.

“Clearly,” Piper said.

Her sarcasm annoyed Leo, but he brushed it off. “Actually, it was Eli’s business originally. When he met Leila, he eventually gave it up for her and Guy took over. I got roped into helping out.”

“But you don’t like it…”

Leo sighed. “It’s not always bad, but…it’s not something I would choose to do.”

“Then why not just tell Guy to find someone else?” Piper asked.

It wasn’t said with any attitude or unkind tone. She really didn’t seem to understand why he would do something he hated for his friend. It made Leo wonder whether she’d ever had someone in her life willing to sacrifice for her like that.

“He’s my friend,” Leo said simply. The expression on her face made it clear that wasn’t a good enough answer, so he expounded. “When I stepped in to help, Guy’s wife Charlotte was in the middle of chemo and she’d had a really bad scare earlier in her treatment and almost died.”

“So why are you still doing it?”

“I don’t know, to be honest. It’s just not that big of a deal most of the time. I rarely have to actually fill in for him when he’s gone, which is a few days every couple of months at the most.”

Piper pursed her lips. “So, what exactly do you have to do this time?”

“Take the client out to dinner and coach her through the meal, mainly trying to curb embarrassing or shocking behaviors so she doesn’t run off her upcoming date before the drinks are served,” he explained. He could only hope that was the worst of it.

“What kind of behaviors?” she asked with an interested gleam in her eyes.

Leo thought back to that last date and shivered. “She tried to feed me her chewed up food…like a mother bird does for her chicks.”

Piper gagged and she pulled back from the table. “Please tell me you’re joking.”

He shook his head. “Once, a woman brought thirteen porcelain dolls with her and tried to seat them all in their own chairs at our table. I was barely able to talk her into letting them share the two available seats without her bursting into tears and having a complete meltdown.”

After staring at him for several long seconds, Piper asked, “How did she get all thirteen dolls to the restaurant in the first place?”

“Specially designed, huge pieces of luggage with built-in doll compartments.”

Piper snorted and covered her mouth, but it didn’t do much to hide her snickering. “I’m sorry,” she said between laughs. “I know these women need help and I shouldn’t laugh, but…”

Leo chuckled. “I can’t help it either, sometimes. There was this guy once…”

“You date guys, too?” she asked, intrigued again.

“Not personally, but I don’t mind working with male clients. Sabine used to handle them, but she hated being a date shark and quit once she got her visa worked out.”

Piper crossed her arms and looked at him with an oddly pleased half-smile. “Go on. The guy you took out?”

“I couldn’t keep him seated at the table. Every time I took my attention off him, he would start introducing himself to the others diners and trying to kiss each one…on the mouth.”

Pressing her lips together to keep from laughing again, Piper shook her head. When she could manage words without the laughter, she asked, “Why?”

“It was a combination of affective and compulsion issues. He was referred to counseling and seems to be making progress.”

“Thank goodness,” she said. “Kissing everyone you see is a good way to get a punch in the mouth, or worse.”

Repelling the Shark

The Date Shark, Book 5

Simple and easy falls apart when secrets revealed require making promises and opening up to the possibilities of hurt and hope.

Leo Bailey has so far escaped the curse of the date shark business. He fills in when needed, but has held onto his casual relationships and family emergency-free existence. hover

Marriage and family are a vague idea for the future, but he’s not ready to give up the freedom of being single and answering only to himself.

When Piper Moretti witnesses the demise of yet another of Leo’s friends-with-benefits relationship, she doesn’t think much of it. She has a long list of more pressing responsibilities and headaches to occupy her mind.

Friends, and the strings that go with them, are at the bottom of her priority list.

When a date shark client who tops the list of bizarre behavior Leo has seen, his half-joking request for rescue drags Piper into the chaos and into Leo’s life.

Neither one wants more than a simple, no-stress friendship. Secrets and surprises force them to admit neither one is nearly as in control of their futures as they think they are.

Helping each other means getting involved, making promises, and opening themselves up to the hurt and hope they’re both terrified to face.

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DelSheree Gladden

DelSheree Gladden

was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool. Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their cousins close by. When not writing novels, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and working at the local newspaper.

DelSheree has several bestselling young adult series, including Invisible, which was part of the USA Today Bestselling box set, Pandora. DelSheree also has several contemporary romance and paranormal new adult series. Her writing is as varied as her reading interests.

Check out her latest books. Get updates and sneak peeks of new projects!

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