Title: Click. Date. Repeat. Again
Series: Click. Date. Repeat. Series
Author: K.J. Farnham
Release Date: April 19th, 2017
Genre: women’s fiction
Tour Dates: April 19th – 23rd, 2017
Buy the Book:
Book Blurb: Never in her wildest dreams would Jess Mason ever imagine herself being a part of the online dating hype. Yet here she is smack-dab in the middle of it all. And she’s dated her fair share of online crazies to be a new connoisseur of all the weirdos out in the cyber world. After a slew of bad dates and pussy (cat that is) pictures, Jess knows that she needs to finally commit to something—or someone. And suddenly there he is, a man she can actually imagine herself with.
But when Jess is faced with an undeniable attraction to a handsome, unavailable co-worker, she’s conflicted about continuing her quest for Mr. Right-At-Her-Fingertips. Now, it’s feast or famine—and she’s not willing to starve. She certainly can’t have both–that wouldn’t be right. After all, that’s the “old Jess.” The new Jess is ready to start clicking with someone special and make a real love connection.
**This book is a spinoff of Click Date Repeat, so it can be read as a standalone.**
Online Dating Profile
Jess – 26
My Subscription was a Gift
Relationship Status: Never Married
Want kids: Undecided
Ethnicity: White / Caucasian
Body type: Curvy
Height: 5′ 4″
Politics: Middle of the Road
Smoke: Social Smoker
Drink: Social Drinker
Employment: Travel Industry
I’m not really sure what to say here, soooo . . . I like going to the movies, but no thanks to the popcorn. (Is anyone else annoyed when the kernels get stuck in your teeth?) I also like to read. Historical fiction novels are my favorite, and sci-fi is my least favorite. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, a good game of Scrabble, and wine (any variety) are my favorite pastimes. (Drinking wine is a pastime, right?) I’m not a fan of extreme exercise or all-consuming professional sports. If you’d like to know more, drop me a line!
“Lookin’ good, pretty lady,” I say, bringing my hands to my hips and turning right for a side view in the mirror. It never hurts to give yourself an ego boost, especially when there’s no one around to do it for you.
Mags, my lazy and overweight tabby, looks on from the bed behind me and meows as if I was talking to her. “What’s up, Mags?” I ask, swiveling back for another front view. She silently stares at my reflection, almost like she’s thinking the ten minutes of effort I’ve put into dolling myself up have been a waste of time. I don’t disagree.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I lament as I dip into a front shimmy and dig a hand into my bra cups to give each breast a boost. “Trust me, you’re not the only one who thinks online dating is a bad idea.” She curls into herself for a nap, seemingly satisfied to know we’re on the same page. “But I promised I’d give it a shot, and . . . I’m bored,” I mumble as I turn and reach over Mags to grab my purse off the bed.
When I open the bedroom door, my other furry roommate, Savannah, scurries in, brushing against my jet black pixie capris. She’s white and sheds like crazy.
“Seriously, Savannah?” I groan, rushing over to my dresser where a lint roller is always at the ready.
Checking the clock on my nightstand, I increase my rolling speed. If I don’t head out the door as soon as possible, I might be tempted to change my mind about this impromptu date.
I’m on my way to Tiki Time when my phone vibrates. It’s Chloe, my best friend, and the person who gifted me the three-month subscription to Yahoo! Personals for my birthday. I let the call go to voicemail and listen to her message as soon as I pull into a parking spot.
“Hey! Haven’t talked to you in a few days so I’m just calling to see what’s new. If you call back tonight, just make sure it’s not during Survivor, okay? Oh, and not after ten either . . . So, I guess just try to call sometime between eight and ten. Otherwise, I’ll call you tomorrow. I can’t believe you’re going on your first date! I need to hear all about this guy! Talk to you later. Bye!”
I delete Chloe’s message and chuckle at her excitement over my first date, which she thinks is tomorrow. Heck, when I emailed her about it last night, that’s what I thought too. But then I’d had a message from this new guy, Coordinates Kyle, waiting for me when I logged into my Personals account this afternoon.
Hey there Jess,
Great tagline. I’m curious…who gave you the gift of online dating? I recently moved to Milwaukee from Homewood, Illinois, so in my case, it was my nosey sister Eileen. So who was it for you? Your mom? A co-worker? A best friend who insists you’ll have more luck finding someone worthwhile online than in a sleazy bar? For the record, I have another nosey sister who thinks online dating is just as sleazy as meeting someone in a bar, and she’d much rather I meet a nice girl at church. Eileen swears this works though. She keeps sending me and nosey sister number two articles about the growing popularity of online dating, and I keep telling her popularity doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. Interested in testing the waters with me?
Kyle’s message was a nice change of pace compared to most of the other introductory messages I’ve received over the last two weeks. With the exception of two guys, the rest have been bland variations of one another. Something along the lines of, “I read your profile and you seem like: a nice person/the kind of woman I’m looking for/someone I could get along with.”
One of the first standouts caught my attention with a joke the day after I set up my account. It was actually pretty lame, but his unique approach won me over. We’ve been messaging back and forth ever since.
The other standout’s introductory message focused on his love for being one with nature when he hunts and fishes. Granted, things with hunter guy didn’t make it past two rounds of messages because he took offense to my asking if hunting with a rifle was kind of like cheating compared to using a bow. Touchy-touchy.
My luck getting past the first round of messages with most of the generic guys hasn’t been great. I’ve deleted a few snore-worthy conversations early on, and several guys have abandoned ship without explanation.
Entertained by Kyle’s message, I had clicked to view his profile.
Coordinates Kyle – 25
J.R.R. Tolkien anyone?
Relationship Status: Single
Want Kids: Yes
Ethnicity: White / Caucasian
Body type: Average
Height: 6’ 8″
My first thought had been, “Six foot eight? Holy shit!” Then I proceeded to think about the logistics of dating someone that tall. At five foot four, I’d have to crane my neck to look up at him when we talk, and I’d have to stand on my tiptoes to hug or kiss him. And what if we had sex?
I decided that could be interesting, so I messaged him back.
Thanks for the message. My tagline is a result of having a best friend who would probably get along great with your sister Eileen. Since online dating worked for her, she thinks everyone who’s single should give it a go.
Testing the waters together sounds like a plan. But I do have a pressing question first . . . Why is your screen name Coordinates Kyle?
Between loads of laundry and cleaning up around my apartment, we exchanged nearly a dozen messages apiece this afternoon. In the first message, Kyle revealed that he’s a mapmaker, hence his catchy screen name. After we cleared that up, the rest of our online conversation was a long string of questions and answers back and forth. Nothing too personal though. No ex talk, no deep dark secrets, and nothing about fetishes or kinky sexual fantasies (such as getting it on with someone who’s over a foot taller than you). Instead, we shared other basics like where we grew up, favorite food/color/movie/type of music, etc. I was enjoying the virtual conversation enough that the online-dating skeptic in me faded into my subconscious—for a little while anyway. Then, as I ate tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner, Coordinates Kyle messaged to see if I was up for a fufu drink.
“A fufu drink?” I replied.
“Yeah, you know, one of those drinks that looks all pretty and innocent but if you aren’t careful it’ll leave you passed out on the bathroom floor with your pants down?”
Actually . . . ahem . . . I’m quite familiar. Been there, done that.
“Tonight? Well, okay, sure . . . why not? You talked me into it. Why keep conversing via a computer screen and keyboard? Where did you have in mind?”
So here I am, two hours later, half a block down from Tiki Time, a cozy bar that specializes in ice cream drinks and exotic cocktails. Oddly placed, it’s located in a residential neighborhood on Milwaukee’s southeast side and nestled between single family homes. If it weren’t for the neon multicolored martini glass in the front window, passersby would never guess it’s a dimly lit, vintage cocktail lounge. Most women probably would have declined to meet someone for the first time in such an intimate setting, but Coordinate Kyle’s reason for choosing it seems totally legit. He’d recently seen an article in Milwaukee Magazine that listed Tiki Time as having one of the city’s most unique drink menus. Plus, I’m a sucker for liquored-up ice cream drinks.
As I make my way to the entrance, I laugh at the thought of how anxious Chloe was when she started online dating and met people for the first time. I think it was because the optimist in her thought there was a chance each guy could have turned out to be “the one.” I, on the other hand, don’t feel the slightest bit nervous. Instead, my mouth is simply salivating at the thought of the Vanilla Winter Russian I plan to order.
While I wait in line to speak with the hostess, I scan the foyer and bar area for Coordinates Kyle. At six foot eight, he should be easy to spot. While looking for him, my eyes adjust to Tiki Time’s hazy reddish glow. Not only are the floor and walls red, but the bar is also lined with fuzzy red fabric reminiscent of Muppet fur. Judging by the décor, you’d never suspect the brilliance of their drink menu.
I step forward as the people in front of me are led away by a server.
“Good evening. How many in your group tonight?” the mild mannered blonde hostess asks as she repositions black glasses atop her nose. They’re the kind of glasses people tend to wear as an accessory versus necessity. Her name tag says CORA.
“Just two. Me and . . .” I quickly scan the immediate area again. “I’m actually meeting a guy I met online.”
She smiles broadly and squeals, “How exciting!”
“Yeah, I guess,” I say, chuckling. “We just started messaging back and forth this afternoon, so hopefully he doesn’t turn out to be a closet whack job. Although, I’m sure the odds of that are probably pretty high, right? I mean, considering the type of people who are lurking about online.” I say lurking with little air quotes, laughing, but my laughter stops abruptly when I realize she’s no longer smiling.
“I met my fiancé online,” she says icily, raising her chin a tad.
Whoops. Once again, I’ve managed to offend a more sensitive soul by putting my foot in my mouth. I’m pretty used to it by this point in my life.
I give Cora a small apologetic shrug. “Well, I’m obviously not saying you or your boyfriend are whack jobs. Just that—”
“There’s no wait at this time. Would you like to be seated now or when your date arrives?” She cuts me off, her voice and demeanor aloof.
“I’ll wait,” I say, doing my best to stifle a grin. I can’t help but find it funny that she’s so offended. Chloe’s online dating statistics alone are proof that one in three matches are loony tunes, but I was mostly just trying to be funny. Chill out, lady.
I step aside to make way for the group of people behind me, and head to the end of the bar next to the window displaying the neon martini glass sign. No sooner do I lean against a wall when a noticeably tall man ducks through the entryway. I can’t see his face clearly due to the distance and the dim lighting, but what are the odds of another guy as tall as Kyle showing up at Tiki Time tonight? He looks around as the group in front of him starts following a server to their table and a path to the hostess clears.
“Coordinates Kyle?” I say, peeking over at Cora to see if she’s watching us. She is, of course, as she rapidly taps the cap of the pen she’s holding against the podium in front of her.
Kyle is all smiles when he looks down at me and extends a hand. “Jess. Awesome to meet you. Oh, and you can just call me Kyle.”
“Are you sure? I think Coordinates Kyle has a nice ring to it.”
I loosen my grip on his hand, expecting to pull back, but he maintains a light hold and says, “Yeah? Then by all means, feel free to keep calling me that.” His bright toothy grin returns, and he finally releases my hand.
I wonder if his teeth are really as white as they look or if it’s because of the dim lighting or his dark hair and olive complexion. Maybe a combination of the two?
“Are you ready to be seated?” Cora interrupts. I glance at Coordinates Kyle to see if he notices the glare she’s giving me. Judging by the way his smile has migrated over to her, I’m guessing he hasn’t.
“That would be great. Thanks,” he responds.
“So. You two met online,” Cora says. It’s a statement not a question.
“How’d you guess?” Kyle glances at me with a look of surprise.
Cora shrugs. “Oh, you know. A lot of couples come here on first dates. And lately, a lot of them have met through dating sites.”
“So, any guess as to whether this date will go smoothly or not? You know, since you witness couples like us so often?” He grins at me sideways. I grin back before both of our gazes migrate to Cora.
She stares at me, blinking a few times, before returning her attention to Kyle. “I’d limit my alcohol intake if I was you. She has quite the whack job vibe going on.”
Kyle laughs until he notices Cora’s deadpan expression. “Wait, are you serious?”
Cora ignores him as she hands two menus to the server who’s just arrived at her side. “Right this way,” the petite brunette says loudly above the voices of the people who’ve arrived behind us. Resisting the urge to even look at Cora, I follow the server, tugging gently on Coordinates Kyle’s sleeve to make sure he follows too.
Seconds later, Kyle and I are scooting into a cozy arc-shaped booth next to the bathrooms. Our server places menus on the table in front of us. “I’ll give you a few minutes to decide,” she says as she retrieves a pen and order pad from her apron before scurrying off to a table across the room.
“I can’t believe the hostess said that!” Kyle’s expression is two parts concerned and one part amused. I like the combination. It tells me he’s probably a compassionate, non-confrontational guy.
“Actually, I might have unintentionally offended her before you arrived,” I say raising an eyebrow.
He nods slowly and smirks. “Okay, let’s hear it.”
So I tell Coordinates Kyle about the ridiculous reason for the hostess’ rude comment, and we have a good laugh over it. Then we discuss how it wasn’t the least bit rude of me to call most online daters whack jobs, yet it was definitely rude of her to call me the exact same thing. The discussion makes me feel a certain sense of camaraderie with him.
Every time someone goes in or out of the bathroom, our faces are illuminated by the glow of fluorescent lighting. This allows me to get a good look at Kyle, and I like what I see. He’s the perfect example of tall, dark and handsome. Plus, he has the sexiest dimple on his left cheek, and a laid back demeanor that complements my own.
By the time our drinks arrive, we’ve moved on to discussing details about his job as a cartographer and mine as a flight attendant. Then when our next drink (a fish bowl drink for two) arrives, we move on to talking about old TV shows we used to watch when we were kids. I have no idea what led us to the topic, but to me, it’s evidence that the date is going well. After all, “Different Strokes” was a favorite of his too, and his Arnold impression is spot-on. Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout Willis?
By the time we’re about halfway through our fishbowl, our conversation takes a more serious turn. Kyle begins telling me about his most recent relationship, which ended a few months ago when he decided to move to Milwaukee for his current job. Apparently, he was blindsided by the abrupt breakup.
“So you dated exclusively for a year, and she broke up with you just like that?” I ask.
“Just like that,” Kyle responds with a nod as he rolls up a sleeve of his navy and lime green checkered button down shirt. I can’t remember the body type he listed on his profile, but his forearm is nice and toned. It makes me wonder what the rest of his body looks like.
“She didn’t even entertain the thought of getting a teaching job in Milwaukee and moving with you?”
He shakes his head and begins rolling up his other sleeve. “Nope.”
“No mention of trying the long distance thing or waiting to see if you could eventually find a job closer to Homewood? Homewood isn’t even that far from here.” I’m being more nosey than usual, but something seems off about this break up. Not with Kyle, but with this ex of his. I can’t help but wonder if she was looking for a reason to end things with him.
Kyle finishes the sip he’s taking from our rum-laden fishbowl and shakes his head again. “She just said it was the perfect opportunity for us to take a break.” I sigh with a heavy heart over the glint of sadness in his eyes. “Anyway,” he continues, “Enough about me. What about you? When did your last relationship end?”
“It’s complicated,” I say as I automatically reach for the emerald gemstone dangling between my cleavage.
“Try me.” He props his elbows on the table and rests his chin on his laced fingers. The pose makes me think of the therapist I used to see after my parents got divorced, and suddenly I’m overcome by an urge to spill my guts.
So I give him the Cliffs Notes of my on-again-off-again relationship with my ex, Ned.
“Wow, that guy sounds like a total douchebag.” Kyle says.
On one hand, I feel a sense of retribution upon hearing his assessment of Ned. But on the other, I feel a sliver of guilt. After all, I did leave out certain details that might not have painted me in the best light, including the fact that I just broke down and slept with Ned a few days ago.
Oh well, no need to tell him everything. “I’m certainly no saint,” I respond. “But yeah, he’s a rather large douche.”
Sighing sympathetically, he grabs his straw from our nearly empty fishbowl and holds it up, prompting me to do the same with mine. “Here’s to forgetting about our asshole exes and to all the whack jobs that are going to help us do it.”
“Amen,” I say as we tap straws. Then we proceed to polish off the rest of our drink, which now consists mostly of rum and melted ice.
“This is me,” I say to Kyle, stopping next to my car.
He turns to face me and says, “I had a lot of fun tonight.”
“Me too,” I say, nodding and smiling. In fact, I had such a great time that I wouldn’t mind continuing the date back at my place. But I’m trying not to steer things in that direction for a change.
He stares at me intently, giving off the vibe that the contemplative wheels in his mind are turning. Should he kiss me or not? “Would you—” Hiccup. “Excuse me. Would you like to—” Hiccup. “Shit. This is embarrass—” Hiccup. “—ing.”
Poor Kyle takes a deep breath and holds it in as an attempt to rid himself of this sudden bout of hiccups. Me? I’m laughing so hard I can barely breathe, but I’m also wondering what he was going to ask.
He exhales slowly and then waits a moment before attempting to speak. “Okay, I think they’re gone. So, would you like to—” Hiccup. “Damn it. I can’t—” Hiccup. “—believe this!” He rolls his eyes. Then he hiccups again.
“I’m so sorry for laughing,” I say as I clutch my belly.
“Don’t be. People always—” Hiccup. “—laugh when this happens to me.”
“Always? How often does this happen to you?”
He slowly exhales another breath he’d been holding. Then, looking embarrassed, he rubs his brow before answering. “I guess it’s—” Hiccup. “—not always, but sometimes when—” Hiccup. “—I’m nervous.”
This tidbit sends me into another fit of laughter. Except now I’m not just laughing at his hiccups. I’m also laughing because I’d almost forgotten how I met Kyle, aka Coordinates Kyle. It figures that he suffers from this bizarre hiccupping condition.
“So-can-I-see-you-again?” He quickly slurs the words together just to get them all out before another . . . Hiccup.
There’s an uncomfortable silence as I imagine what it would be like to make out with Kyle. Would he become nervous and hiccup in my mouth? Would we ever even make it to first base? Or would he be too busy trying to cure a hiccup attack? Then my mind shifts to how much I enjoyed his company—tonight and earlier when we were messaging back and forth. I think about the sad look on his face when he told me about his ex dumping him on the day he accepted his job here in Milwaukee. I think about how attentively he listened as I revealed choice tidbits about my relationship with Ned. I think about the adorable dimple in his left cheek and his overall attractiveness. I also have a lot of questions about this hiccup issue of his.
Shifting his weight awkwardly from one foot to the other, Kyle waits for my response.
“Sure, sounds good,” I say as I stand on my tippy toes and lean in for a goodbye hug.
Say Hello to author K.J. Farnham!
K. J. Farnham writes contemporary fiction for women and young adults. A former educator who grew up in the Milwaukee area, she now lives in Western Wisconsin with her husband and three children. When not keeping up with her kids, she can usually be found reading or writing. Beach outings, coffee, acoustic music, and road trips are among her favorite things. She currently has several projects in the works!
It’s a Series:
If you haven’t checked out book 1 in the series you should!
Title: Click. Date. Repeat.
Series: Click. Date. Repeat. Series
Author: K.J. Farnham
Release Date: August 21st, 2014
Genre: women’s fiction
Buy the Book:
These days, finding love online is as commonplace as ordering that coveted sweater. But back in 2003, the whole concept of internet dating was still quite new, with a stigma attached to it that meant those who were willing to test the waters faced a fair amount of skepticism from friends and family.
Such is the case for Chloe Thompson, a restless 20-something tired of the typical dating scene and curious about what she might find inside her parents’ computer. With two serious but failed relationships behind her, Chloe isn’t even entirely sure what she’s looking for. She just knows that whatever it is, she wants to find it.
Chloe’s foray into online dating involves a head-first dive into a world of matches, ice breakers and the occasional offer of dick pics, all while Chloe strives to shake herself of the ex who just refuses to disappear. Will she simultaneously find herself and “the one” online, or will the ever-growing pile of humorous and downright disastrous dates only prove her friends and family right? There’s only one way to find out…
Click. Date. Repeat.