Trying It All

A Naked Men Novel

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The Naked Men don’t have anything to hide. Now the sexy control freak in this “purely delightful group of buddies” (Publishers Weekly, starred review of Wanting It All) meets his match: a free spirit who’s as beautiful as she is reckless.

Order. Attention to detail. Never leaving anything to chance. These are the qualities that make Riley Ness such a terrific federal agent . . . and a pain in the ass to everyone else. The only time Riley lets loose is when he’s hanging out with his closest pals. So when he’s thrown together with gorgeous, flighty Summer Sheridan, Riley’s brain tells him she’s a ticking time bomb—but his body doesn’t want to play by the rules.

Riley has to be the most irritating man Summer has ever met. The brooding hunk thinks he needs to teach her a few lessons about real life, while she’d rather show him how to enjoy it. But her BFF’s all but engaged to Riley’s best friend, and besides, their intense physical chemistry is all too real. Summer just needs Riley to try to meet her halfway and take a chance with the one thing that matters: his heart.

Catch all of USA Today bestselling author Christi Barth’s charming Naked Men novels:
RISKING IT ALL | WANTING IT ALL | GIVING IT ALL | TRYING IT ALL

Praise for Trying It All

“The novel is filled with moments of humor and searing sexual tension, and its lighthearted approach to life-altering events adds depth and breadth to the passion.”Publishers Weekly

“Fun and entertaining yet complicated and emotional, not to mention supremely satisfying, Trying It All is a fantastic addition to Christi Barth’s Naked Men series.”—Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

“Christi Barth is a master of making sexual chemistry leap off the page. Trying It All is a book you’ll wish you could step right into, with a hero you’ll want to claim for your next book boyfriend.”New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne

“Sigh-worthy! Barth delivers rich, distinctive characters, and a story that grips your heart.”—Jessica Lemmon, author of Eye Candy

“For those who want a hate to love romance, I recommend Trying It All by Christi Barth. It is the fourth in the Naked Men series, all of which I highly recommend, and although it can be read as standalone, with this series it is best to start at the beginning to get the full background and friendships.”—Harlequin Junkie

“I wish I had been able to sit down and read this straight through because I didn’t want to put it down. Unfortunately, I had to stop to get some sleep. I’m really looking forward to reading the next book which I hope will be about Josh, the last Naked Man standing.”—Xtreme Delusions (five stars)

“I always enjoy my visits with The Naked Men!”—Thoughts of a Blonde

Praise for Christi Barth

“I loved this book! It’s smart, funny, and sexy with a great cast of characters. I can’t wait to read all the Naked Men books!”USA Today bestselling author Kelly Jamieson, on Wanting It All

“Barth writes the perfect blend of humor, pathos, and romance.”Library Journal

Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Under the Cover

An excerpt from Trying It All

Riley looked at her, at Summer, and then at the back room. “Can I talk to you? Alone?”

“You mean as though you’d taken the time to schedule an appointment? In advance? At a mutually convenient location, instead of ambushing me in my very public place of business?”

Shit. “Yes.”

He’d thought doing it at her work would be easier than asking her to go someplace. Had thought dropping in would keep it short and, yes, casual. Low-key. In other words, everything Riley thought, the way he approached it, was the opposite of how Summer did. Exactly like, oh, every single other conversation they’d ever had.

At least kissing appeared to be off the table. Which was a relief.

Mostly.

With a sigh, Summer braced her hands on the counter and leaned forward. “Elisa, I added another set of dresses to the photo shoot list. Possibilities, anyway. Before you leave tonight, please photograph and upload them all. Then send email reminders to the models who still need to send us their measurements. And also set up a poll to see which of those three dates works best for them to come by and do fittings.” Then she stalked to the front of the store, clearly not caring one iota if Riley followed her or not.

He did. But slower. Taking it all in like he hadn’t when joking around with Griffin. It was bigger than he’d expected. The exposed brick walls kept the history of the neighborhood while giving it a hip feel. She’d capitalized on the sunlight pouring in the front wall of windows by painting everything white. Shelves, racks, even antique-looking armoires were whitewashed in a way that made him think of a beach house. It left the color of the clothes as the focal point. Smart; even Riley, with his basic navy, white, and black closet, could see that. It was in a prime location, right on Georgetown’s main shopping and restaurant street. Tourists, college students, and locals all undoubtedly strolled by at least a couple of times a week.

Also smart. Smarter than he’d come close to giving her credit for being.

Her skirt snapped against his leg, she whirled around so fast. “Well? You’ve got my attention. But you’re going to have to work pretty hard to keep it. I’m busy.”

Riley finished his three-sixty scope of the store. The five of them were the only ones in there. Not a customer in sight. His eyebrows shot up. “Oh yeah, I can see that.”

It was a total dick move. Riley knew it before his mouth closed on the last word. The wrong thing to say. The wrong time to say it. The worst part? He didn’t mean to be vicious. Poking at Summer had become . . . a habit. One he needed to, if not break, then at least take a break from. It was the whole reason he’d come here.

Although she had every right to storm off, she held her ground. The only clue Summer was biting back annoyance was the way she lifted her chin. “We close in ten minutes. It’s the dog days of summer. And a Tuesday. Do I need to pull out my business plan to show you the graph of optimal clusters of days of the week, months, and times of day that people spend money in this store?”

“Do you really have that?” Graphs were a weakness of Riley’s. Right up there with craft beer and Brazilian swimsuit models. Which, come to think of it, Summer kind of resembled, what with her big eyes, long dark hair, and endless legs. And . . . now he was picturing her in a bikini.

Shit.

Summer gaped at him as though he’d asked her if she’d ever seen the Jefferson Memorial. “Of course I do. There’s a lease that has to get paid on this space every month. Employees to pay—as well as taxes. Advertising. I don’t just play dress-up all day.”

While not a multimillionaire business god like Knox, Riley could run some computations in his head. And he figured that the amount she had to pay in overhead for this prime spot, along with everything else she mentioned, proved that Summer had to be pulling in a nice profit. Which meant she had to be a pretty darned savvy businesswoman. It was a side of her he’d never even glimpsed before.

It also meant he’d misjudged her. Judged at face value, anyway. Seeing as how it was an extraordinarily pretty face—that was usually frowning or glaring at him—yeah, he’d pitched the attitude right back without a second thought.

Well, it was time for that second thought. And an apology.

Riley unbuttoned his sport coat to shove his hands into his pockets. He didn’t enjoy eating crow. But he had the balls to do it when necessary. “Look, Summer, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have made that dig.”

A single dark eyebrow arched upward. “Which one?”

Wouldn’t give him an inch, huh? Well, he’d do the same thing if someone hassled him in his office at the NTSB. Just because her job wasn’t life-and-death like his didn’t make it unimportant. “Let’s go with, oh, eighty-two percent of them.”

She cocked her head. “Why not one hundred percent?”

“Because the rest were, no doubt, either defensive from you sticking a verbal shiv in me or deserved.”

Apologizing was one thing. Totally folding? No way.

“So you’re sorry for calling me reckless?”

“Nope. I stick by that one. You’re an admitted jaywalker, after all.”

Her posture relaxed. Not all the way. But Riley could tell he was getting through to her. “Why don’t you give me an example of the eighty-two percent you regret?”

Fair enough. “The comments about playing dress-up all day. Those were out of line.”

Summer nodded her acknowledgment. Or agreement. Maybe both. “I’d call them mean-spirited, not out of line.” She ran a hand down a white skirt all poofed out and hanging in the window. “As it happens, I've got lots of experience playing with dresses.”

“Still have a Barbie collection, hidden next to the SoCo?” He hooked a thumb toward the back room with a grin.

“Never had a Barbie.” Summer sounded wistful. “No time for dolls when I was growing up. Or cartoons. Or really any of the fun things that are supposed to be childhood necessities.”

Funny. He could totally relate. Who would’ve expected that? “Me neither. My parents always said that time spent playing could be time spent learning.”

Summer snorted. “That sounds like something the Puritans would’ve cross-stitched onto a pillow.”

“Wow.” Riley hinged forward to whisper, “Did you peek in my bedroom last time you were at the house?”

“Very funny.”

- About the author -

USA Today bestselling author Christi Barth earned a master’s degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Barth lives in Maryland with her husband.

More from Christi Barth

Trying It All

A Naked Men Novel

Trying It All

— Published by Loveswept —