Author: Kerry Lockhart
Publisher: Keen Jean Books, LLC
Release Date: August 24, 2023
Series: Fast Love series #1
Genre: LGBTQ+ Romance, Comedy
The Los Angeles Airport resembled a circus that featured fake boobs, toned bodies, and too many hipster hats. Julia detangled her glasses off the top of her head, catching a few brunette strands in the hinges before stuffing them into her bag. Characters of all sorts aimlessly wandered in and out of overpriced emporiums with their faces glued to their phones. Rarely did people make eye contact unrelated to a celebrity spotting. Why were there so many damn pretty people in the airport? Did they think they were auditioning for a movie? Or worse, reality TV?
Julia gripped the arm of her assistant, Sandy Holiday, as they made their way through the plethora of bodies. So much more than a writer’s assistant, the Korean-American photographer had dropped into Julia’s life at her first book signing. They’d formed an immediate bond over margaritas and their disgust for Satan’s playthings, the flip-flop. He’d soon graduated from part-time gofer to full-time confidant, psychoanalyst, enabler, and best friend.
They trudged along with Sandy, shouldering through with his bag of camera equipment on his thick frame. He stood a couple of inches taller than Julia, not entirely a difficult feat considering her five-foot-four height. He blew his ebony bangs out of his eyes. “Okay, explain to me why you’re on the fence about your sister’s wedding? Or does your twitchiness have more to do with what’s going on with Lady McDeath and you?”
“It’s fine. Everything is fine. It’s this contract renegotiation stuff, so our work and personal relationship are in a weird place. Also, please stop calling my fiancée that name.”
A stylish older woman with Chanel sunglasses and overarching eyebrows accompanied by a young man with a ridiculous Greek god physique shot Julia a glare. The pair of sour, judge-y faces that looked like they hadn’t uttered the word carbohydrate, much less smelled a carb in either of their lifetimes, kept staring at them.
Frazzled and in a state of sensory overload, she couldn’t keep from shouting at the gawkers, “Go eat a bagel!”
Sandy clutched her elbow. “Have you gone completely batsh*t cray cray?” He smirked at the couple. “Sorry. She should be medicated, inebriated, or maybe put down.”
The couple sped up and disappeared.
“That’s one way to introduce yourself to the gorgeous people of LA.” Sandy stopped walking. “What’s up?”
“Between the wedding, bickering with Nicole, my writer’s block, and my fledgling novel—what do you mean, what’s up? Is it not obvious!?” Her hands flapped in the air, her entire body vibrating with nervous energy.
With his head sinking into his body, he smiled at a few people giving them the side-eye. “I’m not with an escaped lunatic. She’s a queer historical romance author. Perfectly normal,” he assured them. Gently, he rested his hands on her shoulders. “We’re making a stop.” He took her bag, adding it to his other shoulder, then spun her around, steering her toward Molly Malone’s Irish Pub.
“What about our bags?”
“It’s LA. I’m sure there’ll be a delay long enough for you to chill the f**k out.”
There was nothing remotely Irish about the too-modern bar with its open concept, bright lights, and multiple big-screen televisions. The bar was full of day drinkers watching SportsCenter, eating pretzels, and enjoying overpriced drinks. Once they settled at the crowded bar, she had one shot of Bushmills down while he nursed his first appletini. The whiskey finally released the edge she teetered on. Her shoulders relaxed, dropping from her ears. Because of her diminutive size, the forty percent alcohol level hit her like a slap to the face. At this moment, being a cheap date had its advantages.
“All better?” He patted her arm.
Her head bounced up and down. She inhaled and released a breath. “All right. You know I visited PJ last—”
He made a rolling motion with his hand for her to get to the point as he sipped his drink.
She slid a bowl of pretzels out of reach. “My sister and Aiden wanted to take me someplace LA glamorous, so they dragged me to Sky Bar.”
“You hate those types of places.” He tore into the apple slice garnish, nibbling it with squirrel-like bites as he listened to her rant about her night out with her sister and her questionable fiancé.
* * *
Just before the onslaught of caffeine deprivation, Bobbi slid her tall frame into the only vacant space at the Irish-themed bar and flagged down the bartender to order coffee. An instant pang of regret hit her about throwing away her breakfast in anger after a message from her ex, Taylor. Neither the woman nor the gesture had been worth the waste of food. She scanned the lackluster bar menu and opted for a quick snack. When Bobbi reached across the bar to grab the bowl of pretzels, the person next to her shifted. As she turned, her breasts accidentally squished into the arm of the woman beside her.
“Excuse me?” The blue-eyed stunner shot Bobbi a raised eyebrow.
“Oh, you mind?” Bobbi held up a pretzel and stepped back, removing her chest with as much grace as she could muster.
The cheeks of the smaller woman blazed red. She cleared her throat as she lifted her gaze from Bobbi’s cleavage. “It’s eleven o’clock in the morning.”
I might be low on caffeine, but I’m certain she checked me out. Bobbi glanced around. “Are you the pretzel police?” she whispered as the corners of her mouth lifted.
The bartender slid a coffee and sugar her way. Normally, Bobbi skipped sugar, but since surviving the small commuter plane ride, which rattled like her first stock car—held together with glue and duct tape—she indulged. Her gaze traveled to the feisty brunette sitting next to her in a pair of ripped-knee jeans. Smooth peach skin peeked through the shredded gap, flawless except for a vertical scar on the left knee. The small imperfection tugged at her heart. She had plenty of injuries herself from accidents over the years. Bobbi had a hunch a good story was behind that mark.
“Or are you busting me for eating a snack food?” she asked, somehow compelled to interact with this intriguing stranger. Maybe even get under her skin a bit. “That’s not ginger ale in your shot glass.”
“Wrong. I always drink ginger ale . . . in very tiny doses.”
“Sure, you do.” Bobbi let the corner of her mouth rise in a taunt.
About the Book:
A witty and lighthearted queer romantic comedy about instant attraction and taking a risk—with caution flags along the way.
Escaping her writer’s block and crumbling engagement, historical romance novelist Julia Shaw heads to Los Angeles as maid-of-honor in her sister’s hasty wedding. Her brief flirtation with a charismatic stock car driver, Bobbi Yoshida-Barnes, at the airport bar, promises to be the highlight of her trip.
But the irresistibly charming Bobbi is the best woman at the same wedding. The two are firing on all cylinders until they disagree on the wisdom of their siblings’ plans to marry. While Julia plots to derail the ceremony, Bobbi needs the wedding to go off without a hitch or lose her race car sponsorship.
In a race against Bobbi’s career demands and Julia’s agent threatening to destroy her, can love cross the finish line first?
Fast Love is the first book in the Fast Love queer romantic comedy series. Kerry Lockhart’s delightful debut has sparkly female characters, an adorable floppy-haired dog, a big romantic gesture—and drag queen sumo wrestlers thrown in for good measure. Get your motor running for this hilarious tale of love at first banter.
About the Author:
Kerry Lockhart is a queer author with the heart of a wanderer. A Wisconsin expat, she has lived in six different states in the USA. When she’s not writing, she reads, explores record stores, downhill skis, and discovers new hiking trails with her dog, Watson. She holds a master’s degree in screenwriting and loves to revisit classic films, particularly those directed by Hitchcock or featuring Hepburn. To find out which Hepburn, follow Kerry at kerrylockhart.com.
Interested in learning more about Kerry and her books? Join her mailing list at https://kerrylockhart.com/newsletter/