The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins - Romance>Contemporary
What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise?
Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now--a mere three weeks later--Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there...or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn't easier said than done.
Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States--and leave Charlie behind.
In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience--and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancé, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn't easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love....
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For a guy who taught mechanical engineering at a fourth-rate college in the middle of nowhere, Tom Barlow was packing them in.
At the university where he'd last taught, there'd been an actual engineering school, and his students were genuinely interested in the subject matter. Here, though, at tiny Wickham College, four of the original six attendees had stumbled into class, having left registration until too late, only taking mechanical engineering because it still had open slots. Two had seemed genuinely interested, until one, the girl, transferred to Carnegie Mellon.
But then, by the end of the second week, he suddenly had thirty-six students jammed into the little classroom. Each one of these new students was female, ranging in age from eighteen to possibly fifty-five. Suddenly, an astonishing array of girls and women had decided that mechanical engineering (whatever that was) had become their new passion in life.
The clothes were a bit of a problem. Tight, trashy, low-cut, low-riding, inappropriate. Tom tended to teach to the wall in the back of the room, not wanting to make eye contact with the hungry gazes of seventy-eight percent of his class.
He tried not to leave time for questions, as the Barbarian Horde, as he thought of them, tended to be inappropriate. Are you single? How old are you? Where 'd you come from? Do you like foreign films/sushi/girls?
Then again, he needed this job. "Any questions?" he asked. Dozens of hands shot up. "Yes, Mr. Kearns," he said gratefully to the one student in the class who was there out of interest in the subject.
According to his file, Jacob Kearns had been kicked out of MIT for doing drugs. He seemed on the straight and narrow now, at least, but Wickham College was a hundred steps down academically. Then again, Tom knew all about shooting himself in the foot, career-wise.
"Dr. Barlow, with the hovercraft project, I was wondering how you'd calculate the escape velocity?"
"Good question. The escape velocity is the speed at which the kinetic energy of your object, along with its gravitational potential energy, is zero. Make sense?" The Barbarian Horde (those who were listening) looked confused.
"Definitely," Jacob said. "Thanks."
Thirty seconds to the bell. "Listen up," he said. "Your homework is to read chapters six and seven in your texts and answer all the study questions at the end of both as well as pass in your term project proposals. Those of you who flunked the hovercraft estimates have to do them again." Hopefully, he could break the Horde with a ridiculous workload. "Anything else?"
A hand went up. One of the Barbarians, of course. "Yes?" he said briskly.
"Are you British?" she asked, getting a ripple of giggles from a third of the class, whose mental age appeared to be twelve.
"I've answered that in a previous class. Any other questions that pertain to mechanical engineering, then? No? Great. Cheerio."
"Oh, my God, he said 'Cheerio,'" said a blonde dressed like a Cockney prostitute.
The bell rang, and the Barbarian Horde surged toward his desk. "Mr. Kearns, please stay a minute," Tom said.
Seven female students clustered around him. "So do you think I could, like, work for an architect or something?" one asked.
"I've no idea," he answered.
"I mean, after this class." She lowered her gaze to his mouth. Crikey. Made him want to shower.
"Pass the class first, then apply and see," he said.
"Do you want to hang out at the pub,...
The Perfect Match
By: Kristan Higgins