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How it All Began
Fiona West

Publication date: October 24, 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Trust is like car keys: easy to lose and hard to get anywhere without it…

Evan only intended to strike up a casual conversation with the stunning blonde with Goldie Hawn looks–now he finds himself trying to cross paths with her on campus every chance he gets. But his water polo teammate appears to have damaged his chances with Farrah before he could even ask her out.

Farrah’s been out with players from the water polo team before–and it’s always ended in tears. The handsome medical student who wants to help her get revenge says he’s not like them…but there’s only one way to know for sure.

Will a trip to his hometown seal the deal or prove this player’s all washed up?

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Who is that?” Cat asked, peering out the front window as she pinned the foil in Mrs. Bergstein’s hair. “And what do I have to do to get my fingers in that hair?”

“I love his cut,” Daisy said. “Don’t you just love it? I wonder who did it.”

“Forget his cut. Look at his jaw. And those arms. I bet those could keep me warm all night.”

Farrah smiled to herself as she swept her area, but said nothing. He’d put some kind of product in it that was making it look even more tousled than she’d intended, and it was definitely working for him. She’d have to find out what he’d used. Farrah glanced at the clock: it was 3:55. She took off her apron and washed her hands in the sink; they were feeling rough. She really needed to invest in some gloves or something if she was going to be holding hands with this guy more in the near future…and it seemed like a real possibility. More nerves bubbled in her stomach as she checked herself in the mirror, fluffing her hair.

“I’m off. See you all Monday.”

“Wait,” Cat said, “is that…are you…that stud muffin is yours?” she called after her as the door swung shut. “Farrah!”

“Hi,” she greeted Evan shyly, and he grinned.

“I think your boss was trying to get your attention…”

Farrah waved a hand. “She’s fine. They’ll just hound me for details on Monday, anyway, and I’ll have more to tell them then.” She leaned forward, hesitated, then gave him a peck on the cheek, if only to stake her claim with the other stylists. Mine. And yes, I gave him a bodacious haircut. His sunglasses reflected her smile back.

“In that case, ready to go? Turns out the shop is just down the street.”

“Sure!” He held out his arm, and she took it gladly as they started off. They walked in pleasant silence for a few minutes until Evan dropped her arm and turned to her.

“Okay, I can’t take it anymore. Was it Hairway to Heaven?”

Farrah blinked. “What?”

“Your name! The better name for the salon! Was it Hairway to Heaven? Or maybe Whole Lotta Styling Going On?”

She snickered. “What? No!”

“The Braidy Bunch?”

Farrah rolled her eyes and resumed walking. “That is the worst pun I’ve ever heard.”

“Oh, I’ve got lots more. Vanity Hair? Blown Away? Ahead of Hair Time?”

“Stop,” Farrah giggled, but she grabbed his arm and pulled him close, matching his long strides. But the man just kept going.

“A Cut Above. Fringe Benefits. Thy Kingdom Comb.”

The giggles were now uncontrollable, and she felt tears of laughter at the corners of her eyes.

“Curl up ‘n Dye! Mane Attraction! A Cut Above!”

“You already did that one,” Farrah wheezed, holding her stomach, barely able to get the words out for laughing so hard.

“Well, I can’t help it! I have to know! Please, please put me out of my misery and—”

“All right, all right,” she said, wiping the tears from her face, aware that her mascara was now running. “My goodness. It’s…” She’d never told anyone her plans for the salon, not even her mom, and she told her pretty much everything. But Evan wasn’t going to judge her, she didn’t think. And hopefully, he’d be kind if he didn’t like it.

“It’s Shear Brilliance,” she said, just as they came to a stop outside a bridal shop.

Evan stared at her for a long moment, blinking slowly, then finally said, “That is genius.”

“You really like it?”

“No, I adore it. It’s perfect. Far better than what I came up with. You’ve got a flair for this, Farrah. And it’s going to look great printed on your business cards when you give Harry a stack for his friends.”

Farrah rolled her eyes as she pulled open the front door. “You never stop, do you?”

Evan grinned. “You should see me in the off-season when I don’t have water polo to tire me out. I’m like a human pinball machine.”

Author Bio:

Fiona West lives in the Pacific Northwest. Writing romance is her favorite thing, followed closely by reading, knitting and drinking tea while looking out the window. When she’s not doing those things, she’s spending time with her husband and two kids. Her debut novel, The Ex-Princess, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was named one of their Best Books of 2019. The first book in her contemporary romance series, Could Be Something Good, also received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Find out more about Fiona at or sign up for her newsletter at

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