THE BOOKWORM’S GUIDE TO DATING by Emma Hart The chalkboard was now covered in dust and big, block letters that said, “ʙᴏᴏᴋs ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴡᴀʏ,” with an arrow that, when the sign was outside, would point to the bookstore, and another that would point toward the mountain trails in the other direction accompanied by, “ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴡᴀʏ, ʙᴇᴀʀs. ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅɴ’ᴛ ʀɪsᴋ ɪᴛ.” I chuckled to myself as I got up to stretch my legs. It was super cute, and I hoped it would make the tourists laugh so they’d come inside and give me their money. No, really. I did. I flipped the board around and bent forward to stretch out my tight back muscles. I felt as though I’d been stapled to a wooden board for hours. I was too old for this. “Not the first thing you expect to see in a bookstore.” I jolted at the sound of Josh’s voice, straightening back up so quickly I think I pulled something. “You’re not treading your building site dirt all over my store.” He held up his hands. “Even if I had come from work, I think you’ve got the dust covered.” A glance at the floor confirmed the truth. There was chalk dust everywhere. “Oops.” “What are you doing? Drawing a hopscotch on the floor?” “No, don’t be stupid. I’m doing the new outdoor sign. Look.” I turned it so he could read the side I’d already done. A laugh burst out of him. “Well, at least nobody can accuse you of not being factually accurate.” I clicked my tongue and tapped my temple. “What do you need?” I asked, grabbing the dustpan and brush from behind the register. “Uh, Grandma said she wanted that new book.” “Oh, well, that narrows it down.” “Don’t be snarky.” “I’m always snarky,” I replied. “Do you know who wrote it?” He stared at me. “Damn it, Josh. Do you know how many new books we get in every single week? We got twenty-five this week alone.” “Shit. Okay. Hold on.” He pulled his phone out of his pocket, tapped the screen, then held it out in front of him. “This is going one of two ways.” I grinned and tipped the chalk dust into the little trash can. “Hello? Joshua? Is that you?” “Yes, Grandma, move the phone from your ear and you’ll see it. Yep, there you go.” “Ooh, hello, handsome boy!” I grinned, wiggling my eyebrows. Handsome

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