EVERYTHING’S BETTER WITH LISA BY LUCY EDEN
Lisa Betancourt has been my neighbor for months, but I didn’t know she existed until the night she threatened me with a baseball bat. To be fair, I kinda had it coming. That was also the night my entire life changed—my biological mother passed away suddenly and mysteriously, leaving behind a surprise baby. The moment I laid eyes on CJ’s chubby face, I knew I would do anything for him. What I didn’t know was how to take care of him. Fortunately, Lisa turned out to be my salvation in more ways than one. She stepped in and changed everything. The more time I spend with her, the more I hope the change can be permanent. Unfortunately, the pressure at work and unraveling the mystery of my mother’s past makes me wonder how that could be possible…
Cole Simmons lives in the brownstone next to mine and was an insensitive jerk, or at least I thought he was until he got custody of his baby brother, who’s just as adorable as he is. As the oldest child in a big family, I couldn’t resist stepping in to help when I realized my handsome neighbor was in over his head when it came to babies, though I’ve learned the hard way that handsome men can’t always be trusted. I moved to New York to start a new life, adjust to my new normal and heal from a bad divorce. Unfortunately, my heart didn’t get the memo, and the more time I spent with Cole and the impossibly sweet CJ, the more I start to wonder if my neighbor isn’t the only one in over his head…
This full-length novel can be read as a standalone but is the third book in the Everything’s Better series. You’ll see friends from Everything’s Better with You, Everything’s Better with Kimberly & Cherishing the Goddess. Cole & Lisa’s love story is chock full of Enemies to Lovers, Single Parent, Secret Baby (or two), Nanny (no power imbalance) & Fake Engagement goodness and is safe with NO cheating.
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GETTING TO KNOW LUCY EDEN’S WORLD FOR EVERYTHING’S BETTER WITH LUCY
What inspired Everything’s Better with Lisa?
Everything’s Better with Lisa was inspired by two movies: The Jerk (1980), the hilarious and endearing story of a white man raised in a Black family who leaves home to find his way in the world, and Como Agua Para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) (1993), the story of two soulmates forced apart by their families but find ways express their love for each other.
I’ve also read some fascinating articles about “non-traditional” adoptions and wanted to explore the subject. Lisa, the female protagonist, has PCOS which affects 10% of women worldwide, and I wanted to write a story of a character living with PCOS while also confronting misconceptions about fertility and childbirth. I try to make my stories as relatable and real as possible and hopefully also fun.
There are a lot of tropes in EBWL, including fake engagement, secret babies, and enemies to lovers. Exploring and twisting popular romance tropes is an interesting way to tell a story. Romance readers (myself included) are smart, discerning and know exactly what we want in a good story, but we also want to be entertained. It’s a delicate dance trying to keep readers on their toes while not seeking to reinvent the wheel.
Cole is featured prominently in the second book in the Everything’s Better series, Everything’s Better with Kimberly and was a fan favorite. I got a lot of requests for his story. I hope Cole & Lisa’s love story is worth the wait!
If Everything’s Better with Lisa were a movie, who would you cast in the parts? Tell us why. We love details!
Definitely Jack Reynor as Cole. He has Cole’s blue eyes & lopsided grin. He also has the same easygoing and nurturing vibe, but will easily fight to protect the ones he loves. He reminds me of a tree.
Naya Rivera as Lisa. She’s beautiful, smart and fierce. Naya has a gorgeous singing voice, a must for anyone playing Lisa. She also has experience playing a former high school cheerleader.
Inspiring Settings for Everything’s Better with Lisa
Most of the scenes take place in Cole’s historic Harlem brownstone. This is where an exhausted Cole would have laid his head in Lisa’s lap after a long day at the office.
A few scenes take place in gorgeous San Juan, Puerto Rico, a place very special to Lisa and her family. It’s beautiful, fun and colorful; both in scenery and personality. Everyone should visit at least once.
3. The Sterling Beachfront Paradise is inspired by The Crane Resort in Barbados, a place I love to visit and has featured prominently in three of my books, so far. When Cole was taking care of Lisa, this is the bedroom where the “Olympic-caliber spooning” would have taken place.
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“Lisa,” he whispered.
“Yes, Cole?” I blinked up at him and took a step closer, his hand still resting on mine.
“I wanna kiss you. Can I kiss you?” he asked.
I giggled causing him to pull away.
I’d never been asked for a kiss before. It was adorable, silly but also somehow incredibly sexy.
“What?” he asked. I could see the look of apprehension on his face.
“Are you as good at seducing as you are at apologizing?” I reached up and stroked his cheek. I was suddenly wide awake. I swore I meant to say kissing but the word seducing came out instead. I would have been happy with a kiss but seduction sounded so much better. I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I’d been seduced.
“I’m very good at seducing.” He scooped me under my thighs and lifted me onto the kitchen island like I was a doll, making his lips more accessible. “I’m a little out of practice.” He swept my hair over my shoulder, exposing my neck, and gently pressing his lips to the soft skin below my ear. I moaned, though I wasn’t sure I meant to and Cole’s body, at least one part of his body, responded.
“Good,” I sighed. “I’m a little out practice, too.” I wrapped my legs around his waist and pressed my body into his. He was rock hard and I found myself was grinding my hips into his erection. The fact that we were both wearing thin pajamas made me feel every contour of his dick and I was flashing back to my thoughts upon seeing him earlier today pushing the stroller. Why were men with babies so fucking sexy?
He kissed his way down my neck and gently lowered me onto the countertop until I was fully reclining with my hair hanging over the other side. He lifted the hem of my shirt and pressed his lips into my soft belly and swirled his tongue into and her around my navel.
His head traveled below my belly button and I gasped.
“Cole, what are you doing?” I asked as his lips traveled to places no one’s lips had been before.
“I told you I wanted to kiss you.” He shot me a mischievous smile and slowly stroked the skin under the elastic of my pajama pants, soothing the indentation marks of the waistband. “I didn’t say where I wanted to kiss you.”
“Oh,” I whispered. “I thought you meant…” I trailed off and tucked my bottom lip between my teeth. He smiled, leaned forward and pressed his lips to mine. Then he planted a kiss on my nose, then my cheek before tenderly sucking my earlobe between his teeth and nibbling. I moaned again.
“Well, now that you know what I meant, do you want me to stop?” he whispered in my ear. My body was pulsating heat in a current that traveled up and down my arms before settled in place where Cole was eager to visit.
“No,” I half sighed, half moaned while shaking my head, causing his lips to brush the shell of my ear. “Don’t stop.”
“Good.” He let out a soft chuckle and began to make his way down my body, again hooking his fingers into the waistband of my pajamas and my panties, slowly pulling them over my thighs, ghosting a kiss or a lick on every inch of newly revealed flesh. “Because I’m just getting started.”
ABOUT LUCY EDEN
Lucy Eden is the nom de plume of an romance obsessed author who writes the kind of romance she loves to read. She’s a sucker for alphas with a soft gooey center, over the top romantic gestures, strong & smart MCs, humor, love at first sight (or pretty damn close), happily ever afters & of course, dirty & steamy love scenes.
When Lucy isn’t writing, she’s busy reading—or listening to—every book she can get her hands on— romance or otherwise.
She lives & loves in New York with her husband, two children, a turtle & a Yorkshire Terrier.