The Worst Best Man
by Mia Sosa
Published by Avon
Critically acclaimed author Mia Sosa delivers a sassy, steamy enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about a woman whose new job requires her to work side-by-side with the best man who ruined her wedding: her ex-fiancé's infuriating, irritating, annoyingly handsome brother. Perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory, Helen Hoang, and Sally Thorne!
A wedding planner left at the altar. Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s managed to make other people’s dreams come true as a top-tier wedding coordinator in DC. After impressing an influential guest, she’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials.
Tired of living in his older brother’s shadow, marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning—absolutely off-limits—ex-fiancée. And she loathes him.
If they can survive the next few weeks and nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own.
But even the best laid plans can go awry, and soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again...
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Rom-Com Feel Good
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa was a goodreads suggestion for me, and the first time I have read anything from Mia Sosa. I have to say, Goodreads does an awesome job with recommendations, because I LOVED this book. Finished it in a day!
There were many reasons why I loved this book. The romance was superb. Perfection, really. While one could argue that this was your classic enemy to lover type romance, I can only partially agree. The unique perspective of Max being the brother of her ex-fiance, the man who allegedly talks his brother out of the marriage the night before the wedding, gave her a valid reason to dislike him, and him a valid reason to want to make it up to her. Their chemistry from the start was OFF THE CHARTS, and throughout the book, the hilarious situations they got themselves in made an already awesome story some laughs. It is a classic rom-com, with INSANELY hot sex thrown in. Other things I loved: the Brazilian culture, and a different family dynamic.
Not only was the story amazing, but the characters were too. Lina and Max had a lot of depth to their characters, but their backstories were no overbearing. We got to know just enough to learn what makes them tick. Lina was a great female lead. Successful, driven, confidant, intelligent and witty, it's easy to see why Max falls for her. Speaking of Max, he could easily become my new book boyfriend. Sweet, funny, smart and kind. He could have easily ratted Lina out, and refuse to work with her after she started to prank him ... but he isn't that kind of guy. Their conversations with one another are hilarious, and add to a lot of laughs.
Seriously. I laughed A LOT!
The other characters were great too. Lina's crazy family was just amazing, and I loved when Lina trick's Max into meeting them. They weren't easy on him at first, but his logical speech, stating that obviously if his brother was willing to not marry her, it was for the best, and he was the wrong man for her any way, swayed them. Their welcoming party was not just them forgiving him, but them seeing the raw chemistry between Lina and Max. Max's best friend Dean was funny, and obviously a great friend, and I am excited to learn that there will be another book out early 2021 featuring Dean. As for Andrew, it was hard to see what Lina saw in him. He was boring and a jerk.
In conclusion, I totally, TOTALLY 100% recommend this book! Its so much fun to read, unpredictable, romantic, hot as sin and guaranteed to lighten your mood and make you smile. I can't wait to read more of Mia Sosa's novels. Enjoy!
Top 3 Favorite Moments
1. Lina pranking Max by tricking him into eating spicy peppers.
2. Lina tricking Max into a meeting with her angry family, and he ends up turning the tables and getting them to love him.
3. Max's fear of masterbating while thinking of Lina, so he bugs Dean.
4. (bonus) Their couples retreat session, and the resulting sex
5. (bonus) Andrew walking in on Lina and Max kissing
6. (bonus) When Max goes and fights for Lina
Where to Buy:
Lina: "So to sum up: You and Andrew got shit-faced last night, chatted about something you claim not to remember, based on that conversation he's decided not to marry me, and he doesn't have the decency to tell me any of this himself."
Max: "That's the sense I get, yes."
Lina: "He's a dick."
Max: "I won't argue with that."
Lina: "And you're an asshole."
Lina: "Where the hell are your eyebrows?"
Ian: "Ask these assholes. They're the ones who thought it would be hilarious to shave them off the night before my wedding."
Groomsman: "We were drunk. What can I say? Sorry, man."
Lina: "Sorry? That's all you've got? There's a bride out there who's been dreaming about this day for months. She wants it to be perfect. She wants to remember it for years to come. Now she'll remember it as the day she married a man with the skin of a newborn hamster above his eyes. And 'sorry' is all you have to say?"
Lina: "Best of all, you could add P-O-C-K-E-T-S."
Natalia: "Don't spell shit out this early in the morning, Lina. I can't deal."
Lina: "Pockets, bitch. Pockets."
I bend down and lift the tablecloth, scanning the floor.
Lina: "What's the matter? Did you drop something?"
Max: "No, I'm looking for the other people who are going to help you eat your meal."
Lina: Eat, Max. It's the wisest thing you can do right now."
Max: "This is fascinating, really. I never imagined you'd enjoy playing games. Rounds out your winning personality quite nicely."
Lina: "You know nothing about my personality."
Max: "Today's been a crash course on what makes you tick, so I know plenty. I also know you wanted to marry my brother at one point. I can figure out your Myers-Briggs personality type based on that info alone. ISTJ. Insensitive. Stubborn -"
Lina: "What's the matter, Max? Is coming up with an insightful comeback beyond your skill set?"
Max: "I. S. T. J. Insensitive. Stubborn. Twisted. And -"
Lina: "Don't you dare say it, Max. Call me a jerk and I'll force-feed you that entire bowl of peppers."
Max: "I'd never call you a jerk. Besides, that's a noun. No, the million-dollar word is ... juvenile."
Lina stills, a vein in her forehead popping out like a tiny alien. Then she growls at me. Literally growls. And it's the most perfect sound I've ever heard in my life. Eliciting that response from her is so fucking satisfying - and for some unfathomable reason, I want to do it again and again.
Lina: "Want to try?"
Max: "No, I can't. My tongue's out of commission."
My gaze dips to his mouth. It's a nice mouth. Not that it matters.
Max: "It's out of commission for eating things."
His eyes bug out.
Max: "For eating foods."
Lina: "Yeah, I get it, Max."
Jaslene: "When I said you should be petty, I was thinking you'd be more subtle."
Lina: "The peppers were too much?"
Jasline: "Yes, Lina, yes. It's as though someone told you to flirt and you decided to flash your tits instead."
I snap my brows together and pretend to be confused.
Lina: "Flashing your tits isn't flirting?"
Max takes a spot next to me and leans close to my ear.
Max: "Unless someone requests it, flashing your tits is just as bad as sending unsolicited dick pics."
Oh God. I hate him. An if there's any justice in this world, this class will teach me how to kick his ass.
Lina: "What do you say? Want to ginga with me?"
Max pretends to clutch his nonexistent pearls.
Max: "Don't you think that's being a little forward? I mean, we barely know each other. Shouldn't we go on a date or something first?"
Max: *snorts* "Your cozy is my awkward."
Lina: "Oh good. It's not just me."
Lina: "I'm in full control of the situation."
Max: "Some people eat cake. Others eat their words."
Lina: "Is that a threat of some kind, Max?"
He places a palm on his chest and scoffs.
Max: "I'd never."
Lina: "You remember Andrew, right? The guy who dumped me on our wedding day? Well, this is his brother. The one who encouraged him to do the dumping. Anyway, let's all sit. We have a wedding intervention to attend to."
Everyone's attention shifts to me, the schmuck who's unsteady on his feet.
She shoots. She scores. I'm dead.
I can picture my single-sentence epitaph now: He never saw it coming.
Lina: "Max, it's true there are no do-overs in life, but we can move on from here. I'd like us to be friends."
Max: "I'd like that, too."
Lina: "And I hope there isn't any doubt about this, but your ex-girlfriend was wrong. You're a great guy - in your own right. Don't let anyone tell you differently.
Text Message Exchange between Max and Dean:
M: Can I stop by? Need to talk.
D: We're talking now.
M: We're texting.
D: R u ok?
M: I'm fine.
D: Is this a booty call?
M: Fuck you. Can I come over or not?
D: Sure, come on over.
Max: "I had inappropriate thoughts about Lina."
Dean: "Just thoughts?"
Max: "Just thoughts."
Dean: "What's the problem, then? We all have inappropriate thoughts from time to time. It's called being human.
Max: "Thoughts are one thing, but what if I do more?"
Dean: "What does that mean?"
Several seconds later, his jaw goes slack and he falls over in laughter.
Dean: "Oh damn. You're scared you're going to think about her as you jerk off?"
Max: "It's not funny. I'm trash. Complete trash."
Dean: "What set you off this time?"
Max: "She was dancing at her family's shop, oblivious to the fact that I was watching her. And Dean, I'm telling you, I was fucking mesmerized."
I whimper at the memory of the way she moved her ass and hips in the middle of that store.
Max: "Christ, she was going to be my sister-in-law at one point."
Dean: "But she isn't your sister-in-law now, so calm the fuck down."
Max: "Tell me what to do."
Dean: "Is she showing any signs that she's feeling the same way? Is this a two-way thing?"
Max: "I'm not even sure she likes me. As a person, I mean. She said we could be friends. Said I was a great guy. I felt like I'd won the lottery. Freaked me the fuck out. To her, though, it's nothing. She tolerates me, probably for the sake of this big-deal job she wants to get. I mean, she wanted to marry my brother. She couldn't possibly be interested in me."
Dean: "Then tie your hands behind your back and go the fuck to sleep. My couch is your couch. Sheets and blankets in the hall closet. We can talk more tomorrow. Good night."
Max tries to settle down, but just ends up fantasizing about Lina again. He drags his comforter down the hall and knock's on Dean's door.
Max: "Let me stay in here tonight. Your bed is huge. It'll guarantee I won't ... you know ... and I promise to stay on my side."
Dean: "Jesus Christ. Are you incapable of self-control? Anything I've ever owed you is repaid tonight. Understood?"
Dean: "And if I sense any rocking motion, I will shove your ass onto the floor and permanently ban you from visiting me."
Max: "No problem. Thanks, man."
Dean: "Fuck off. You need to figure your shit out, because this is not going to be a regular thing."
Max: "I know."
Max: "I'm going to be honest here and tell you I fucking hate that Andrew knows your secrets. He doesn't deserve to."
Lina: "So, what? You think you do?"
Max: "I'd take better care of them."
Lina: "I like it, actually. Just as long as we emphasize that I do way more than pass out glass slippers. Oh, and if we need a tagline, I vote for 'Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Bitch.' A little truth in advertising never hurts, and it has a nice ring to it, don't you think?"
Max just stares at me.
Lina: "What's wrong?"
Max: "Who are you?"
I exit the car. Before I close the driver's-side door, I bend down and wink at him.
Lina: "Ah, Max. That's for me to know and for you to find out."
Not to be outdone, he winks right back at me.
Max: "You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to the search."
Max: "Battery's dead."
Lina: "No shit, Sherlock."
Max: "You're the one who insisted on taking the banana cab for its last hurrah, so don't get snippy with me, woman."
Lina: "What is your problem?"
Max: "You. You are my problem. And I wish to God that wasn't the case."
Max: "If I could reach my phone and take a photo of this, I would. I never imagined I'd see you like this. Never."
Lina: "Need I remind you, Max, that you're standing in a big plastic ball?"
Max: "The operative word here is standing. Which isn't what you're doing right now. Just so you know, you look like a T. rex that's been tipped over."
Max: "You can't defeat us!"
Lina: "This is our house, bitches. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!"
Max: "Too far, Lina. Too far."
Lina: Honestly, I'm hoping you'll be the worst sex I've ever had. That would solve a mountain of problem."
Max: "Because then you can walk away easily?"
Max: "So what you're saying is, if the sex between us is incredible, you'll be disappointed?"
Lina: "Perverse, right?"
Max: "Then there's just one thing left for you to do."
Lina: "What's that?"
Max: "Prepare to be disappointed."
Outside, I circle the car and inspect it with a mother's touch.
Lina: "My baby's all right."
Max: "For now."
Lina: "And TJ cleaned it, too."
Max: "It needs all the help it can get."
Lina: "Okay, you know what? This car is getting you home, so you may want to treat it with kindness."
He shakes his head at me, his lips curled in feigned disgust, but before he climbs into the car, I hear him whisper,
Max: "Sorry, banana cab."
Lina: "Max and I went to Virginia to check out a wedding venue, my car battery died, there was no room at the inn, we bickered, a person who was running a couples retreat overheard us and invited us to participate in counseling, we accepted, faking that we were a couple so we could take the only available room, and then we had sex. That's it. That's what happened. Oh, we also might have agreed to continue seeing each other on a non-permanent basis. Questions?"
Rey: "Straights make everything unnecessarily complicated. Good luck. Use condoms. I'm out."
Text messages between Lina and Max:
L: I like it when you're in business mode. Makes me want to visit you in your office so I can role-play as your assistant I'd take excellent dicktation.
M: That can be arranged. I have a lot of dicktation to give you.
M: Are you sexting me???
M: Be still my beating cock.
Max: "I came here to spend time with you. And if that means we talk about something that's bothering you, then I don't have a problem with that. Keeping it casual doesn't mean I won't care about you as a person. That would be impossible. And I suspect it would be impossible for you, too. I mean, I get the sense you don't share what's bugging you with just anyone. So thank you for letting me be more than just anyone."
What's even more perfect? Keeping Lina off-balance. Because I don't want to be in this alone. Welcome to the I'm-Into-You-and-Don't-Know-What-to-Do-About-It Club, Ms. Santos. We've been expecting you.
Max: "Baby, you're crying. Let me help."
Lina: "How can you help, Max? I fucked this up all by myself."
He's quiet for a moment. Then he's talking to someone else.
Max: "We just need a minute, okay? She's having a menstrual crisis."
Lina: "Did you just say I'm having a mental crisis?"
Max: "No, I'd never joke about that. I said menstrual. I only have a vague idea what that could entail, but she seemed to understand and backed away."
I snort. Even when I'm having a "menstrual crisis" he makes me laugh."
Max: "Did you just laugh? See? I'm helping already."
Max: "So brave. Still a badass, tears and all."
Lina: "Out there, yes. In here? This is not the look of a badass."
Max: "Thing is, there's no single way to be a badass. Your mother and aunts coming here and making new lives for themselves? Badass. My mother running her own firm even after she and my father divorced? Badass. You facing obstacles in your path and reinventing yourself in the process? Badass. There's toom for different kinds of greatness. Even if you cry doing it. Hell, especially if you cry doing it."
Lina: "It's not that simple and you know it."
Max: "You're right. I do know it. Or I know it now. Because you made me see that it's complicated. I just need you to understand that I think you're amazing and strong, and yes, a fucking badass. I can't control what other people think, but I know what I know."
Lina: "Max, I need to get out of bed. Max."
He doesn't budge.
Lina: "Max, there's marble cake with buttercream frosting in the kitchen."
Max: "What? There is? Did you just lie to me about cake to wake me up?"
Lina: "I did. Sorry."
Max: "Noted. But vengeance shall be mine."
Lina: "Thanks for always being there, Mae."
Mae: "Just remember one thing."
Mae: "If you ever put me in a nursing home, I will haunt you from the grave."
Sammy: "Max, there's someone here who claims the two of you are best friends. He also says you've been doing a poor job playing your part in the relationship."
Dean: "I've been trying to figure out why I haven't heard from you in a week and a half. It's cook if we don't see each other every day, of course, but we do have a weekly basketball engagement - which is my only form of exercise, but the way, and for the first time in forever you were a no-show. So I was trying to figure out what might be occupying your time. And a light-bulb went off. He's spending a lot of time with Lina, working diligently on the Cartwright proposal, I thought. Then I asked myself, 'Self, if Max is spending a lot of time with Lina, what's a possible scenario that would lead Max to ignore his best friend?' And it came to me: Max and Lina are doing the horizontal samba."
Max: "It's the horizontal mambo, dipshit."
Dean: "First of all, she's Brazilian American, so we're going with the samba. I looked that shit up. Second of all, that's all you have to say?"
Max: "If I want to be in this relationship, I need to tell her, don't you think?"
Mom: "Tell whom what? Are you dating someone and didn't even tell me?"
Max: "Mom, I love you. And I promise I'll explain. But I need to do something before I chicken out."
She cups my chin and grins.
Mom: "Well, look at you. Someone's smitten."
Natalia: "The girls -"
Lina: "Call them your 'women' if you must. Or your 'ladies,' although I'm not a fan of that one, either. But breasts aren't girls. Tits is okay. And please refrain from calling anything a 'girly part.'"
Natalia: "Well, okay. When Paolo sees my tits his dick is going to burst."
Good news: I didn't cry in front of him even though I desperately wanted to.
Bad news: Judging by ho much it hurts to see him leave, I think I'm already in love.
Max drunk at a bar with Dean:
Dean: "You ready, buddy?"
Max: "I'm going up there."
Dean: "Up where?"
Max: "There. I need to get some stuff off my c hest. Poetry or something. Yeah, a poem."
Dean: "You think this'll help, huh?"
Max: "I'm sure of it."
Her name is Lina
Lina, Lina, Lina, Lina
Where's Lina now?
Why did I let her go?
Lina, Lina, Lina, Lina
She moves like a dance
Laughs like a bell
Would never ...
Uh, drop my penny into a well
Sometimes so serious
Makes her mysterious.
Lina's my heart
Should have known it from the start
She's wonderful said my mother"
Audience member: "Aww"
Max: "Only problem is
She was engaged to my brother."
Audience Member: "Oh damn."
Dean: "M, you were like Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer up there. Classic. But I'm starting to think this thing with Lina isn't going to just disappear because you want it to."
Max: "I want to talk about the fact that I've been a pigheaded fool."
Lina: "Go on. The floor is yours."
Max: "I told you that I couldn't be your second choice. Said there was too much history between Andrew and me to get past it. But I was wrong. Totally and completely wrong. It doesn't matter if I'm your first or hundredth choice as long as I'm the right choice. And I am, Lina. I swear it. I'll scale your walls to show you how much I care. And I'll take every vulnerable part of you and handle it with care. I fucked up. I know this. But if you let me, I'll spend the rest of my days proving to you that I'm your person. Because I love you. Let me in again, baby. Let me be the one who'll have your back. The one who'll never judge you. The one who'll adore you, and get you to let loose. The one who'll only make you cry for the sappiest reasons."
Lina: "I'll be honest: You've always scared me. By putting my trust in you and in our relationship, I'm exposing myself to the kind of hurt that I won't recover from easily. But I think you've earned that place, and I'm ready to take that leap. Because you've challenged me to think about the shield around my heart and who deserves to get past it. I'm certain that you're my safe space. That I can be exactly who I am with you, and you won't judge me for it. You'll actually love me for it. And I want to be that safe space for you, too. When you've had a terrible day, or something's gone wrong, I want you to think of me and my arms as your place of comfort. Because I love you, Max, and I want to be with you, too. And just so we're clear, you're neither my first choice nor my second choice. You're my only choice."
The sound of someone sniffling pulls us apart. I turn to see my mother, Ta Viviane, and Tia Izabel by the steel door. Tia Izabel dabs her eyes with a handkerchief. My mother, who's wearing a triumphant smile, puts her hand out in front of Tia Viviane. My aunt grumbles while she fishes inside her purse, then she slaps a twenty-dollar bill in my mother's hand. My mouth falls open.
Lina: "Mae, you were betting on me?"
Mae: "No, never, filha. I was betting on Max."
Max: "Your mother's a smart woman."