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Today I am so pleased to welcome Allison Temple to Joyfully Jay. Allison has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, My Not-So-Super Blind Date. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

 

Excerpt

Behind my hand, Jasper smiles widely, and I realize what I’ve done. In another life, he might kiss my hand. Oh my god. What if he has kissed my hand already? If you can kiss on the first date, surely we’ve kissed on the sixtieth? And I don’t remember?

I can’t cope with that. It’s too much. To have kissed someone who looks like Jasper and not remember it is worse than—Well, okay, that’s not true. Getting killed in quick succession by an environmentally friendly transit vehicle and a supervillain are worse than forgetting about kissing a cute guy. So much worse.

“Start at the beginning,” I say, trying to slow my breathing.

“Alyssa said we should meet.”

“Alyssa? What does she have to do with any of this?”

“You said to start at the beginning. Alyssa and I went to medical school together. She and your friend Clarissa thought—”

“This is about the date?” My voice rises. “I don’t care about who thought we would be good together. I care about the fact that I died last night and the night before, and yet here we are. And anyway, medical school? I thought you were some kind of goon, not a doctor?”

His lips thin. “I dropped out.”

Great, so he’s a slacker as well as a criminal. What a waste of a cute face.

“Jasper. Focus.” I may be talking to myself on that last part. “Why is this happening?”

“I don’t know!” For the first time, his boyish enthusiasm cracks. He balls his fists up on the dash, and I shrink away, waiting for him to punch something, but instead he turns to me, eyes desperate. “Why would I know any more than you do? Alyssa said I should meet you. I did. It was fine. Eventually you said you had to get back to work. I stuck around, had a couple more drinks. Then I went home and fell asleep, and when I woke up, I was on the sidewalk outside the diner again.”

“And?” I say, ignoring the bit about how our first date—whenever that was—was only fine. Of course it was. That’s the best I could hope for. Right up until the time loop kicked in. No one could predict that part.

Jasper shakes his head. “And you were inside. And you left again. And I went home again. And then it happened . . . again. It always happens.”

“Sixty times?” I ask.

“Sixty-one now.”

I glare at him because now that I am once more alive and breathing, what he’s saying sounds too implausible to be true.
I say, “Have you ever considered standing me up? Maybe if we don’t meet then—”

His laugh is dark. Angry. “Oh, trust me. I tried that. Repeatedly. It didn’t help. I’d get on with my life—”

“Henching around? Terrorizing women and children?” I say sweetly, which earns me a narrow squint that gets my blood pumping. Maybe the “good dude” persona he puts out only goes so far. I always do love an argument. If Jasper could give as good as he gets, maybe we would have had a shot if it weren’t for all of . . . this. I want to fight about whether paper straws were ever going to do anything to stop climate change. Not who is responsible for a date that won’t end.

“I get on with my life,” he says again slowly. “And then at some point, whether I’m awake or asleep, at home or at . . . somewhere else—”

I snort. “Don’t sanitize it for my sake.” When the world goes back to normal, making sure he pays for his crimes is first on my to-do list. I may not work at SPAM anymore, but I still have connections. Jasper will be sorry we ever met.

“Whatever I’m doing, suddenly I’m on the sidewalk again, heading toward the diner.”

It’s a lie. Has to be. The last two months, I’ve been working. The only people I’ve seen are the board members, the engineering team, Ezekiel, and Clarissa. And while some days no doubt blend together, they’ve all been different.

“If what you’re saying is true, then why do you remember and I don’t?”

The anger drains out of him. He’s back to being the guy I saw coming through the diner. He’d make a charming bartender or an appealing stranger at a party. Too bad about his career choices. As a doctor, his powers would be unstoppable. Even if he dropped out of med school, he could at least play a convincing doctor on TV. He’d have a funny nickname like Doctor Steamy. Mister McSexy.

Focus, Morgan. The alluring henchman doesn’t get sexy nicknames. He gets evil ones. McSneaky. McStab-You-While-You’re-Sleeping.

In fact, what he gets is a pained look on his face. Jasper says, “It has to be you. Every time you die, the day starts over.”

My fingers slide to my chest. It still aches. My other hand goes to my ribs, then my hip, snapped from the impact of the bus. They don’t hurt much today, but yesterday I could barely think from the pain. What pains and injuries have I already forgotten? Never mind forgotten kisses. This is a far more important question.

On a shaky breath, I say, “Are you telling me I’ve died sixty times?”

His cocky grin is back, a little more sheepish than before. “I think so? I wasn’t there for a lot of them. You really don’t seem to like me.”

I jab a finger into his chest. “You knew what was happening and you didn’t do anything?”

He blinks. “I saved you from the bus yesterday.”

But not from Indigo. And how many busses before that?

I nearly tell Jasper to get out of my car, but he has more information than I do, and it’s not like I can go home and search “How do I stay alive so I can escape a blind date that’s really a time loop?” on the internet.

Jasper’s picking imaginary lint off his jeans and pretending not to look at me. He’s about as subtle as a bag of hammers, but I guess we’re a team now. The fastest way to extricate ourselves is to use what Jasper knows and to do my best not to die anymore.

Easy peasy, right?

Copyright 2024, Allison Temple.


Blurb

I’m Morgan Murray. You probably haven’t heard of me. With a raft of allergies and powers that won’t do more than charge a phone, I never lived up to my super family’s super expectations. It’s okay. I’m used to being overlooked.

But there’s only so much disappointment one man can take, and finding out the cute guy on my blind date is a henchman for the city’s most notorious crime boss? That’s one letdown too many. This date is over before it even starts.

Or is it?

In the meet cute that won’t end, Jasper and I are stuck in a time loop and the only way out is deadly. Good and evil may be relative terms, but if we can’t escape, we may find out that love is forever…and ever.

My Not-So-Super Blind Date is part of the Subpar Heroes multi-author MM romance series.


Bio

Allison lives in Toronto with her very patient husband and the world’s cutest team of rescue pets. She tries to split her time between writing, exploring Toronto’s parks, and traveling anywhere that has good wine. Tragically, this leaves no time to clean the house.

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