Today is the first day of my Sizzlin’ Summer Solstice Sale! I’ve decided to offer my latest release, For Everly, for just 99 cents between today and Sunday the 23rd. This is the season for hot summer reads, so I hope you’ll pick it up and spread the word!
In the spirit of the big sale, I’d like to share a previously unreleased excerpt from the book. I hope you enjoy it! If you do, the links to purchase the books are at the end of the post. Happy reading!
Excerpt from For Everly
Everly felt Cole’s gaze on her as she greeted the new guests at table eighteen. She couldn’t say she had ever actually felt her pulse in her neck before then. Her heart beat so wildly in her chest that she could feel it with every breath.
Cole Parker was sitting in her station.
She couldn’t decide what amazed her more…that a super-hot Major League ballplayer was sitting in her station, or that she had been friends with his brother for a couple of years without knowing of their relationship. Wyatt would have some answering to do when she next worked with him. He loved to talk baseball with her, but he’d never mentioned the connection.
Of course, she wasn’t exactly one to go into her personal life during school and work time either. She couldn’t be too hard on him.
Passing Wyatt as he returned to his table, she smiled at him and headed to get table eighteen’s drinks. Once she was out of sight of the diners, she pulled the payment folder from table nineteen out of her apron pocket. She feared they had walked without paying, but Rowan forbade the servers to look in the folders until they were in the back of the house, not wanting the guests to be offended.
Five crisp one hundred dollar bills sat on top of the signed credit card slip. Everly stared down at them for a full minute. She picked them up and verified that they looked and felt genuine. Then she realized the credit card slip was signed in a feminine hand with the words, “If I could tip negatively, I would,” written across the gratuity line.
Clearly, Blondie hadn’t left her the largest tip of her life.
Following a hunch, Everly eased her head just beyond the etched glass barrier that separated her from view of the dining room. Cole met her gaze.
She knew in an instant that he had left the tip.
Stepping back behind the barrier, she stuffed the money into her pocket. Now wasn’t the time to wrestle with how she felt about the fact that Cole Parker had just given her a five hundred dollar tip…and she fully intended to keep it.
She made a decent amount of money in other tips, too. By the time her shift ended and the restaurant was empty of customers, she knew she’d be able to pay for her grandpa’s in-home nurse for another week and possibly cover her car insurance to boot. It was a good night despite the wretched guest at table nineteen.
And soon she was going to meet with Wyatt and his little brother. As she collected salt and pepper containers from the tables and carried them to the back for refilling, she wondered what they wanted to discuss with her.
“Everly, I’m gonna give you a pass on side work tonight.”
She looked up upon hearing the New York-Italian accent and spotted Rowan Ferullo as he emerged from the kitchen wearing an apron. Although he had hired the best staff in the city to run his restaurant, he often had a hand in the kitchen. Everyone affectionately called him a fireplug. He stood only an inch or two taller than Everly’s own five-foot, nine-inch height and didn’t carry an ounce of fat on his wide frame. There was no need for a bouncer with Rowan in the house.
“Thanks boss,” she said.
“No, thank you for dealin’ with Lady of Bel-frickin’-Aire. I still wish you’d a let me ban her from my place of business.”
“That would have only made her night complete. This way, she gets to burn by knowing we weren’t at all affected by her behavior.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Rowan’s dark eyes crinkled with mischief. “But just let her try comin’ back in here.”
Everly smiled. She could admit to herself that she’d pay money to see that woman try to go head-to-head with her boss. Blondie had no idea what she’d escaped thanks to Everly’s intervention.
“Go on back to my office,” Rowan said. “Wyatt and Cole are in there waitin’ for you. Wy’s bein’ very secretive about all this. Maybe he’s tryin’ to hook you two up, eh?”
He laughed when Everly’s face started burning. Then he turned and headed back into the kitchen.
Everly stopped to get her coat and purse before heading back to Rowan’s office. She considered his words. Could Wyatt be playing matchmaker? Why would he need to do that? Cole surely had access to all kinds of women. Wyatt knew that she didn’t have a social life. School, work, and caring for her grandpa took up her time.
Good Lord. Was he setting her up with Cole?
She paused outside the office door and tried to decide how she felt about that possibility. Insulted? Flattered? Horrified? Giddy?
Her pulse thrummed as she knocked once and then opened the door. Wyatt turned from where he stood looking out a window and smiled at her. She’d always found his smile delightful and engaging, the perfect complement to his Prince Charming looks. Now she found herself wondering what that smile masked.
Glancing at the small couch in the ten by ten office, she saw Cole sprawled across both cushions, his long legs stretched halfway into the middle of the room. His dark hair was more tousled than it had been when he first arrived. She found herself thinking he must be grateful he could wear a ball cap over it half the year so he didn’t have to style it. His dark suit jacket was folded over the arm of the couch and his white shirt sleeves had been rolled up enough to reveal his muscular forearms.
Her mouth went dry. She supposed that was better than drooling, which is what she was doing in her mind.
Okay, she thought, taking a deep breath. Remember you’ve dealt with some of the worst life can hand you. You can handle anything.
Then she squared her shoulders and pulled the door closed behind her, bracing herself for whatever Wyatt had up his sleeve.
~ ~ ~
Buy For Everly for 99 cents on: