Starting the week off with something short & super sweet. Enjoy!
By Lisa Hahn
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Fern Taylor has sworn off men for good. After her boyfriend abandons her and their infant daughter, she knows that no one can be trusted with her heart or her family. She has kept busy raising her precocious little girl and selling her handmade wares at the natural foods grocery store she runs with her tight-knit family. As far as Fern is concerned, her life is so full there’s no room for a man in it.
That is, until she meets Adam Price. At the recommendation of his colleagues at the local community college, he stops by the Taylor Family Store for lunch one afternoon. And while he enjoyed their homemade cuisine, it is the store’s cute and cranky owner that keeps him coming back day after day.
Despite herself, Fern can’t resist her growing attraction to the handsome professor, especially when she sees how good he is with her daughter. Once she decides to give Adam an honest chance, Fern comes dangerously close to falling for him. But when she uncovers a link between their pasts, Fern is faced with an impossible decision: protect the life she built for her and her daughter, or take a chance on the one guy in six years who has swept her off her feet.
“So how’s the kidney bean and quinoa salad?”
I froze at the sound of Adam’s deep, sexy voice, my hand mid-swipe as I cleaned the counter. Keeping my chin dipped down, I glanced up at him through my eyelashes and hoped the look I gave him was enough to convey my annoyance at his presence. After the ambush from Mom and Fawn the night before, the last thing I needed was for one of them to see that Adam had come back again. “It’s good. Would you like me to get you a container so you can be on your way?”
Adam pressed his hand over his heart, feigning offense. “But Fern, I only just got here. You can’t want me to leave yet.”
I gave the rag I was holding a quick squeeze before tossing it to the side. I hated that he was right. There was a small part of me that wanted Adam to stay for a little bit longer, just so I could ogle him. The sleeves of his blue and white plaid shirt were rolled up to his elbows, exposing his exquisitely sculpted forearms. And it didn’t hurt that the blue in his shirt really made his eyes pop. I couldn’t imagine how the poor girls in his classes held it together in front of him. “How much quinoa salad do you want?”
“A quarter of a pound.” His mouth quirked up at one corner. He was clearly amused by the effect he had on me.
I grabbed a plastic container from the stack. “No problem.”
“No problem, huh? Fern, did you know that was the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me?” he asked, leaning his well-defined forearm on the display case.
His sudden closeness caused every nerve in my body to go on high alert. Distracted by the way his muscles flexed right in my line of sight, I dropped a giant spoonful of quinoa down the side of the container. “Of course,” I muttered under my breath.
Adam leaned in even closer. “I’m sorry. I’m not distracting you, am I?” From his cocked eyebrow and the smirk on his face, I could tell he already knew the answer to his question.
My cheeks flushed, and I wished I could run back into the kitchen and hide. I hated that there was a member of the opposite sex who had the power to get me so flustered. Hurriedly, I scooped a couple spoonfuls of quinoa into the container before crushing the lid on. “I’m fine.” I looked up and flashed Adam a bitchy, tightlipped smile, ready to slam down his container. My hand froze in mid-air when I saw one the candles I’d boxed up the night before sitting on the counter, and I could feel a look of bewilderment replace my scowl.
“This candle smells incredible.” Adam picked up the Mason jar, unscrewed the lid, and sniffed it. “I heard you make these.”
With a sigh, I rested my hand on my hip. “Let me guess. Fawn told you.” My sister was stocking shelves in the home and beauty aisle, which made her the obvious culprit.
He twisted the lid back on and nodded. “You have a lot of talents, Fern Taylor.”
Lisa Hahn writes contemporary and new adult romance. She’s interested in characters that are smart, sincere, and somewhat artistically inclined. Her and her husband currently reside in Northern New Jersey with their cat and two dogs. In addition to writing, Lisa likes yoga, fitness, veganism, and professional wrestling.
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