First chapter is up!! Happy reading guys!!!
Park Haerim flicked her dark fringe out of her eyes and peered through her vintage glasses at her laptop screen before madly scribbling notes on the yellow legal pad under the mouse.
“I’ll eat my shoes if you’re even a day under forty,” she mumbled at the photo of a man grinning inanely back at her from the Dating by Numbers website. Undeterred, the man, also known by the username StudMuffin33 kept on smiling as if the dauntingly athletic profile was so appealing any women would let the age-fib slip.
Favourite movie: The Fast and the Furious
Who’d Play You in the Movie of Your Life: Won Bin
Looking for: An open-minded lady with a twinkle in her eye
Good Lord. Mouse hover and click.
The photo of the next guy gave her such a fright she flinched. BirdLover28 had an explosion of hair, wore a grimace rather than a smile and had a chicken on his shoulder. A live one.
Favourite TV show: The Big Bang Theory
Sundays are for: Garage sales
Celebrity crush: Kim Tae Hee
Looking for: Fun in all the wrong places
Alas, Haerim would not be partaking of said fun. For, even though it had been several months since she’d been booted back into the dating pool, she wasn’t online looking for The One. Or a ‘Saturday Night Special’ as one possibility had so gallantly offered.
Her account with Dating by Numbers was research, pure and simple. She and her business partner, Jimin—together known as SassyStats—had been hired by the site to collate a fun statistical analysis of online dating. In order to do the best job possible, she’d jumped from an aeroplane for a piece on adrenaline junkies. Dived with sharks for a study on phobias. In comparison, creating a dating profile was cushy.
Haerim lifted her foot onto a chair, wrapped an arm around her woolly-tights-clad knee, and, chewing on the end of a pen, shook her head at the dozen more possibilities in her inbox. Research or not, it was actually pretty flattering.
With her wavy dark hair, her mother’s fair skin, eyes that were kind of brown and a lean frame that puberty had pretty much ignored, under the right lighting, with humidity low, she could just about pull off cute. The idea that so many guys had considered her for a follow up email was a marvel.
If she had known this was the response she’d get, she’d have signed up long ago! She’d met Donghwan in a pub, and look how that had turned out.
There he’d sat hunched in his old coat, looking so dark and mysterious, with pen smudges on his fingertips. He’d looked as if he needed a warm meal and a hug. Turned out he’d needed her mobile phone, her TV, her computers, her appliances and more. In recompense he’d left her a nasty note, a huge debt and his dog.
Haerim glanced over at Shakespeare, the big, wiry Airedale currently lying on his back, legs in the air and snoring on the dinky old armchair in the corner of her office.
With a sigh, she slid her feet back to the floor and shifted the legal pad an inch. She and Shakespeare might have discovered a bona fide fondness for one another, but she’d never get used to the angry red envelopes that fell through her mail-slot on a weekly basis. Never wanted to. The only way to make them go away is to work. And work some more. And then, when night fell and her bed was beckoning, get back to work.
Mouse hover and click.
Haerim lifted her hand off the mouse, ready to take notes on the next candidate, but at the sight of him her hand wobbled pointlessly in mid-air.
She might, in fact, have gasped at the sight, because Shakespeare suddenly snorted, his legs twitching like an up-ended spider before settling back into a dream-filled sleep.
Gorgeous didn’t even begin to describe the man. Drop-dead, take-your-breath-away gorgeous came a tiny bit closer. The shot was candid, with the man looking over the photographer’s shoulder. Dark hair in contrast to his fair skin and thin lips curved in a small smile. Sleeves of a pale business shirt neatly rolled up and beautiful pianist fingers clutching a briefcase. And a pair of dark, beautiful eyes with just a hint of mischief in them.
How does a man like that not have someone in his life? she wondered. Though, considering the fibs the other men had told, she couldn’t count on it!
He did look resolute, as if he wouldn’t be used to hearing the word no, so maybe he was plain mean. Or into cross-stitching. Or he had halitosis. Or really gnarly toenails. Or maybe he was looking for something even more outrageous than ‘fun in all the wrong places.’
Intrigue levels rising, Haerim wriggled the blood back into her fingers and scrolled to the mini-profile that had been sent out with the guy’s initial contact.
Favourite book: Catch-22
Drink of choice: Double Expresso
Thing you say the most: Next
Looking for: A wedding date, no strings
Pretty much bang-on to his picture, which was an anomaly unto itself. And Haerim did love an anomaly. That love had sent her from pure statistics into research in the first place. That moment reminded her why, as a seed of an idea sprang to life inside her mind.
Straightening up, she flicked through a pile of rando