The French Kiss Read Online Lauren Landish

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 144
Estimated words: 133138 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 666(@200wpm)___ 533(@250wpm)___ 444(@300wpm)
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What’s the best way to win a dream opportunity working with one of the top fashion houses in Paris?
Well, it’s definitely not bursting through the wrong door during a weird ice-breaker game and twerking, ass to face, in front of the sexiest man alive.
Take my word for it.
Simon Corbin.
He’s the face of House Corbin, which means his jaw can cut glass, his eyes are dreamy, and his body is built for sin. Every woman wants him and every man wants to be him. But he’s also an executive who can send me right back home before the competition even begins.
Except he doesn’t.
Instead, he shows me the city, revealing himself in the process. And Simon is full of deep secrets, naughty fantasies, and forbidden passion.
If I let this fire ignite between us, will it burn my whole world down around me, leaving my fashion dreams in ruins?

FULL BOOK START HERE:

CHAPTER 1

AUTUMN

“Excuse me!”

I bump and swerve through the crowd of people also crossing the street with the light, faking left but then, seeing a hole to the right, I dodge that way instead. “Excuse me . . . pardon me . . . coming through, please.”

Despite the overly practiced manners that would make my small-town mother proud, I get stuck behind a man in a suit with a phone pressed to his ear. “No, unacceptable. Call him back and tell him to be in my office within the next hour or there’ll be hell to pay,” he says snootily, sounding like the worst thing he’s capable of doing is making someone persona non grata at the country club in Martha’s Vineyard.

I’m sure the phone call is significant to him, but nothing is as important as my getting to work on time, this morning of all mornings. I don’t make it a habit of running late, another politeness Mom ingrained in me at an early age—on time is late, early is on time—but today is critical. My boss, Nora Jacobs, has a video conference with Jacqueline Corbin, Madame of the renowned House Corbin.

If there’s a hierarchy of fashion houses, Jacqueline sits on a bejeweled throne at the tippiest, toppiest point. For someone like her to request a meeting with Nora, who sits solidly in the wide and populous middle of the fashion designer pyramid, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, even if we have no idea what it’s about and had to sign non-disclosure agreements before they’d put Nora on Jacqueline’s calendar.

So I will not be late. No matter what it takes.

I press my red-painted lips together, steeling my spine and sending a silent apology to my mother who will probably feel the disruption in the atmosphere when I drop the niceties of my upbringing and go with my more recent training as a New York City transplant. “I said . . . excuse me, but what I meant was . . . get out of the way.”

I elbow my way past the guy, secretly taking twisted delight in the grunt of surprise he lets out. “Hey!” he grumbles. And then, seeing me, his tone changes. “Heyyy!”

I know what he sees—a young, attractive woman with flaming red-orange hair, pale skin dotted with freckles, and curves that belong on someone several inches taller. I’ve been called everything from a leprechaun to a fairy when people are feeling kind, or a fire crotch or Oompa Loompa when they’re not. Best guess? This guy is leaning toward the former and not particularly upset at my aggressive passing move.

I’m already hustling on, my red heels clicking and clacking down the street, adding to the symphony of city noises. It used to bother me, the constant whirlwind of activity in the bustling streets, buzzing and beeping cars, yelling pedestrians, and crowded sidewalks. But now, the energy of it all is what keeps me moving. The entire city is just . . . alive.

Like my spirit.

I came to life the day I arrived in the Big Apple for school at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I’d applied secretly, knowing my mother would think my big dreams were ridiculous. She’s always been supportive of me, but her world view is limited to the next county over from our small town in Massachusetts, where the biggest event of the year is the Fall Apple Festival. The pinnacle of the festival? The Apple-Sauce-ing, as in a relay where teams race to bob for apples, peel them, boil them, and smush them into applesauce. Whoever gets a full cup of applesauce first, wins. My mother was Apple Sauce Queen three years in a row in her early twenties, and she wanted me to carry on her legacy.

I think I rolled my eyes dozens of times at her through my teen years as she tried to impart her racing wisdom while I was spread out on my bedroom floor, making patterns for the outrageous outfits I would create for myself. “Autumn, are you listening? You have to twist as you smush to get the most sauce with each press.”


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