The Engagement Plan
The Plan Series #2
by Elle Vaughn
Cover & Excerpt Reveal
Release Date: September 15, 2021
Cover Me Darling
Genre: Contemporary romance
Trope: Celebrity romance, angsty
HAS SERIAL BACHELOR ELLIOT FAULKNER FINALLY SETTLED DOWN?
A few short months ago, Elliot Faulkner was the very last man on earth Penny Reynolds would have ever wanted to fall for.
Elliot freaking Faulkner—he’s irritating, exasperating, arrogant, self-centered, egotistical… and she’s fallen hard for him. She can even see herself being happy with Elliot—if only he would give her room to breathe.
Sweet, beautiful, sharp-tongued Penny. Being tied down to one woman was once his worst nightmare. But now, Penny has become Elliot’s everything—the very air he breathes—his every thought. His obsession. But the way Penny reacts when Elliot asks her to marry him is crushing, causing him to question everything.
It’s happening—they’re falling apart. Before they even really had a chance, things are crumbling. The tighter Elliot holds on to Penny, the more he can feel her pulling away. It seems like the only thing keeping them together is their undeniable physical chemistry. But is that enough?
Penny Reynolds, please don’t ruin my life.
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I turned back around to find the guy from the front desk—Travis, I thought—standing just outside my door.
“Mother Mary and Joseph, was that who I thought it was?” he asked, his eyes locked on what I had to assume was Elliot walking down the hall.
He turned back to me, and suddenly his face lit up. “Oh my God. Penelope Reynolds. I guess I hadn’t had enough coffee this morning, and I didn’t put it together. I knew you looked familiar.”
I blushed and looked down at my feet. “Uh, yep.”
“So you two are really… together?” he asked, a look similar to Sadie’s washing over his face.
I rolled my eyes and shrugged. “Yeah, I guess we are.”
“Lord, that man is one tall drink of water,” Travis said with a lusty groan. Then his eyes snapped to me, and he looked sheepish. “Sorry.”
“Oh no.” I chuckled. “I have to agree.”
“So,” he continued in a hushed voice, entering my office and sliding into one of the empty chairs. “Tell me. Are the rumors true?”
I felt a familiar sensation settle in my stomach, and I replied with a croak. “What rumors?”
“That you were the one?”
“What do you mean?” My mouth felt dry and sticky now, the words hard to form.
“The one to make Elliot Faulkner, San Jose’s naughtiest playboy, change his ways? You were the one to make him settle down and find true love finally?”
I blinked at him. That was not at all what I had expected him to say. I was waiting for him to ask me about Darrel. Maybe the trailer park or the Rebel Knights. Or perhaps the reports that I was a mid-grade escort for a time. But not that. “Uh, well, I don’t know if I would put it that way, exactly.”
“Oh girl,” he said, waving his hand. “You don’t need to be modest. I mean, sweetheart, you’re gorgeous and must be smart and accomplished to have landed this job. He’s a lucky guy.”
I could feel that my face was still burning, and I fought off the urge to press my palms against my cheeks to soothe them. “Well… ”
“And,” he continued, reaching across the desk to grab my hand and squeeze it. “You’re kind of a badass. Even though I don’t exactly swing that way, I can see why he’d be so into you.”
I looked away. “Well, I’m sure you’ve seen the news…”
“About what happened? Of course.”
“They had some pretty colorful things to say about me.”
Travis grinned and released my hand, sitting back in the chair and crossing his legs. “Girl, my cousin Vanessa is a cast member of that soap opera, “All My Family,” and the tabloids said she sold cocaine out of her trailer in between takes. They also at one point said she secretly gave birth to twins that she gave up for adoption to a gay couple in Zimbabwe.”
Despite myself, I smiled.
“One look at you, and I can tell you didn’t do half the stuff they said you did.”
“I did do one thing they said I did,” I whispered.
Travis reached for my hand again. “And that sounds like a good story over an even better drink sometime. I can just tell we’re gonna be good friends.” Then his head turned to the door when he heard a voice. “Shoot, gotta go. See ya later, Penny.”
I smiled and shook my head, feeling grateful for a friend already. “See ya.”
After Travis made his exit, my mind began to travel back to Elliot. I knew he only wanted the best for me, but I needed to breathe. I needed my space, but Elliot wasn’t giving that to me very willingly. He wanted to be my savior, and I wasn’t always sure how to handle that.
Instead of deciding how exactly I was going to compartmentalize that issue today, I decided I was simply going to shove that to the side for now and start my day. At my new job. Something I was so grateful for. To Elliot for. Damn it, that son of a bitch. Feeling guilty, I dug my phone out of my purse and found his number. I decided to try to be a gracious girlfriend for a change and send him a nice text. Best day ever. Thank you so much.
I only had to wait a few short moments before I received a reply. All because of you. Proud of you, Penn.
There. I could be nice sometimes. Not a constant fucking train wreck. Not totally and entirely out of control. I knew in my heart that Elliot loved me as much I loved him. That his constant checking up on me and trying to help was him wanting to show his love. I knew that him wanting to take care of me was the only way he knew to show his affection. Yes, I understood all of that. And yet, something inside me was rebelling against all of it. Some deep-rooted insecurity, or maybe it was just plain fear, was fighting against it. And I was afraid that I would ruin everything between Elliot and me because of this. My only hope was to try to get over my shit and get myself sorted out before I pushed away the best thing to ever walk into my life.
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About the Author
Elle Vaughn is an avid book lover – especially romance novels. She’s the author of the Anna and Quinton novella series and is always working on a new story project. When she’s not lost in her character creations she can be found chasing around her toddler, being outside in the Colorado outdoors, gardening and attempting to cook for her family!
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