Olivia, a café owner and cook, never regretted forsaking her dreams to finish raising her sisters after the death of their parents. Now grown, they’ve moved out of the house, leaving Olivia free to pick up where she left off – if she can find the courage to start over.
Mason is a Boston police detective recuperating from a tragic incident that left his partner dead. All he wants is to heal and get back to the job of hunting the killer down. The last thing on his mind is romance.
Despite their mutual attraction, finding love wasn’t in either of their plans. But as their relationship heats up, events begin to happen that make Olivia realize she’s drawn a far more sinister kind of attention. Suddenly, she finds herself fighting not only for her dreams, but for her very life.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I got the idea to write this book from a number of influences at play in my life. First off, I’m the oldest sibling of three, just like my main character. (However, I have a brother and sisters, whereas Olivia has two younger sisters.) I wanted to be able to share the closeness and joy that comes with having a good relationship with siblings.
Olivia is at a crossroads in her life. She’s faced with the decision of whether or not to pursue her dreams or settle for the path she finds herself on. I think a lot of people have woken up one day and wondered how they ended up where they are. The question then becomes, what to do about it? Whether they make a change and pursue what they’ve given up, or recommit to what they have and are satisfied with where they’re life has taken them – either choice can be difficult and valuable.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Honestly? They just sort of popped in my head one day. I would say Olivia is probably the closest of the three sisters to myself. However, even then, I’m a terrible cook and she dreams of becoming a well established chef.
An hour later, they were walking in her front door. He chuckled as he juggled the cute, reusable nylon bags of food. “I don’t think I’ve ever been to the grocery store quite like that before.”
She cocked her head at him as she made her way into the kitchen, and started unloading her finds. “What do you mean?”
“Well, first off, when I go to the grocery store, I don’t get personally greeted by the manager.”
She laughed and took a moment to admire the small pumpkin she set on the counter. “Herb? Of course he’s happy to see me. I certainly spend enough time and money in his store.”
“But the real difference was that it was like an adventure. I’ve never stepped down half those aisles before. I know I’ve never bought a whole pumpkin for the purpose of actually cooking it instead of carving it.”
“It’s just a little one.” She shrugged and turned to put her eggs in the fridge. “What can I say? You just got to see me in my version of a toy store.”
“It was nice.” He stepped around the kitchen island and reached for her hand, tugging her into his arms.
She looked up at him and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Hey, I figure if you’re going to be my bodyguard, I might as well feed you properly.”
He bent his head down and began to nibble on her ear. Little shivers raced down her neck and she tilted her head to give him better access. “Mmm, I’m starting to feel very hungry.”
The way his voice had roughened and thickened with desire caused her to melt a little more. She struggled to keep her senses with his mouth trailing down her neck. “Mason…” Was her voice really that breathy? It should be illegal the way this man addled her brains with a kiss.
She gave a little laugh that somehow became a moan as she felt his tongue dip into the hollow of her neck. “Mason…if you want dinner at all tonight, I need to start putting things together…”
He raised his head and looked her in the eyes. Reluctantly, he loosened his hold on her and leaned his forehead against hers. He sighed. “I suppose I should call my sister and let her know I’m staying here tonight anyway.” He carefully released her, but not before giving her a final kiss on the lips.
Self-consciously, she tucked her hair behind her ear and moved to pull out her cutting board. “Go ahead and make your call. I’m just going to get this pumpkin in the oven and start making the pasta for tonight.”
“Wait, you’re going to make pasta?”
“Oh yeah! It’s not that hard, and it tastes so much better. Just wait. You’ll see.” Now that they were back on the subject of food, she was feeling more confident again. She didn’t know what it was about him, but somehow he always had her feeling slightly off-balance and on edge.
“You’re going to spoil me.”
“Pretty much. I guarantee you’ll never be satisfied with store bought again.”
He just grinned at her and went to make his call in the living room.
Left to her own devices, Olivia quartered and scraped her pumpkin, placed the pieces on the baking sheet, and popped them in the oven. Then she grabbed a mixing bowl and began making the pasta dough. She knew she’d have to let it sit for about half an hour before she could cut it.
After rolling it into a nice round ball and putting the dough back into the mixing bowl, she began working on the various root vegetables. She was so lost in the familiar rhythms of cooking that she didn’t even notice him standing in the doorway.
“You know you hum when you cook?”
Startled, she nearly dropped the knife she’d been rinsing at the sink. “I’m sorry?”
“When you cook, you hum. I never noticed before. Probably because it’s usually too loud at the café, and you’re tucked back behind that kitchen pass-thru window.”
She could feel her cheeks warm. She hadn’t realized that he’d been watching so closely. He moved further into the kitchen and took a seat at the island. “You have this easy confidence about you when you’re cooking. You seem to flow…it’s very graceful.”
He laughed. “Ah hell, now I’ve done it. I wasn’t trying to make you self-conscious. Just telling you I like to watch you work. It’s obvious you love what you do.”
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