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The Game Changer – The Billionaires of Silicon Valley Prequel 3 by Melissa McClone


The Game Changer
The Billionaires of Silicon Forest Prequel 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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Romance is not part of her plan.
Maybe it’s time for a new plan…

Rachael Saunders, the Posh Planner, is ready to take her event planning business to the next level. Her handsome new client’s upcoming dinner party will help her do just that. Too bad the job isn’t exactly what it seems…

Billionaire Mason Reese never intended to throw a dinner party. But all his intentions went right out the window when he met the charming Rachael. Planning the party together gives him a perfect way to get to know her. He only hopes she’ll be able to forgive his deception if the truth comes out…

She isn’t looking for love. Neither is he. But meeting each other will be an absolute game changer for both of them.

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Attending Adam and Cambria’s wedding and having to join the other bachelors for the garter toss isn’t Mason Reese’s idea of a good time. He’s just glad he didn’t catch it, Kieran did. Of course Mason and Henry are going to come up with a plan there. We already know what happens with Kieran. Mason based his and Henry’s helping Kieran on what Mason believes is working for him.

Henry introduces Mason to Rachel at Adam’s wedding and circumstances throw the two together during the event clean-up. Mason makes what he thinks is a coffee date with Rachel but there is a total misunderstanding there.

This is a favorite scene.

His interest in her was just that— curiosity. It had nothing to do with Rachael’s warm smile or how her clear green eyes reminded him of the park where he used to play as a kid or that her laugh had become his new favorite sound.

Yep, Mason was acting like one of his mom’s curious cats.

Except he only had one life, not nine.

Time to get out of here.

“Mason.”

Recognizing Rachael’s voice behind him, his muscles tensed. So much for leaving. He’d spent too much time deciding what to do. He forced a grin before turning. “Hey.”

“Sorry, I’m late.”

Stray strands of hair from her ponytail framed her face perfectly. Her floral-print skirt fell above her knees, showing off her legs. The short-sleeved peach shirt complemented her complexion. Pink tinged her cheeks, suggesting she’d been hurrying.

Had she gotten prettier since Saturday night?

“I had to pick up something,” she added.

“I’m early.” The words rushed out.

Chill, Reese. Don’t act like Dash.

He opened the door, not wanting to make either of them suffer in the heat any longer. “After you.”

As she passed by, a citrus fragrance tickled his nose. Her shampoo? Soap? He hadn’t smelled that on Saturday night when they sat next to each other in the SUV.

Not that how she smelled mattered.

Mason forced his attention off her and onto the place. The shop wasn’t a massive franchise but a locally owned coffee house Rachael had suggested. He understood why. The cozy atmosphere with subdued lighting and soft instrumental jazz playing was an excellent setting for a first date. Mason joined her in line.

“What would you like?” they asked at the same time.

She laughed. “Let’s try that again. What do you want?”

Wait. Was she offering to buy his coffee? “This is my treat. I asked you to meet me.”

She studied the menu board. “Yes, but this is what I always do.”

Huh? He supposed some women might prefer paying, but he wasn’t used to that. Most expected him to pay, given his net worth. A few even hinted about the expensive gifts they wanted. But Rachael seemed genuine in her offer, so he would let her. “An iced coffee, please.”

“Anything to eat?”

“No, thanks. I had a late lunch with Kieran and Henry.”

“They both seem nice.”

“They are.” Henry had his moments, though.

Tonight, they would talk about getting Kieran together with Selah, who worked for Mason. If the two got married, there would be one less person in the bet.

Rachael stepped up to the counter and removed her wallet from the light-blue purse on her wrist. “One iced tea and an iced coffee for here.”

The barista, a woman with pink hair, rang up the order. “Someone will bring those to you in a few minutes.”

“Thanks.” Rachael handed over a twenty-dollar bill, placed two dollars into the tip jar, and tucked the change and receipt in her wallet. She glanced at him. “Let’s find a place to sit.”

The coffee house was quiet. Only a few tables were taken.

Mason noticed a small round table for two that was more secluded than the others and gave them some privacy. “How about the one in the corner?”

“Perfect.” She headed there and sat. “I hope you’ve had a wonderful week so far.”

“Fairly typical.” That meant crazy busy, but Mason thrived on that. “Did your baby shower go well?”

Rachael’s face lit up. “It did. The mother-to-be was so sweet, and everyone had fun.”

“You love what you do.”

She nodded. “Each client is special to me. It may sound corny, but I’m grateful to be a part of whatever event they’re celebrating.”

Once again, her genuineness struck him. “That’s sweet.”

“It’s also selfish. None of my family lives in Oregon, so it’s almost like being a member of someone else’s family for a few hours.”

Her wistful expression hit him hard. She must miss her family.

Whereas Mason managed a weekly call to his parents. He stared at the table, hoping to find something to snag his attention, but nothing was there. He shifted in the chair. “I rarely see my family, and they live in the same state.”

“It’s hard to make time when you’re so busy.”

He didn’t know if she was talking about him or herself. Perhaps both. He would rather they discuss her. “Do you work most weekends?”

“It depends on my client’s needs. This last weekend I worked both days. But I only have one this Saturday.”

A Saturday night date was out of the question. If— and that was a big if— he wanted to invite her out. Despite his freakout on the sidewalk, he kind of did. “So, you aren’t fully booked?”

“No. That gives me flexibility for clients like Cambria and Adam, who don’t have a lot of lead time.”

“That’s smart.” Mason was glad she’d fit the wedding in, or he would have never met her. “Henry says your business is going well.”

With a satisfied smile on her face, Rachael sat taller. “It is. We’re growing, but…”

“It’s never enough.”

“Exactly.”

Laughter lit her eyes, and his heart bumped. She was so beautiful.

“I have big dreams. Goals,” she added.

He never expected to be so captivated, but he was. That should bother him more than it did.

“I know how that goes.” Mason was glad he hadn’t left earlier. “And after you hit those initial ones, you want to reach for the next.”

She leaned slightly over the table. “Is that what you’re doing?”

He nodded. “But developing a follow-up to a popular product is… challenging.”

“That’s part of the appeal, right?”

“Guilty.” He half laughed. “Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against easy, and I love when things click into place, but much of the creative process happens when I’m trying to overcome obstacles and problems. That’s how I ended up developing TVT.”

“I love your app, and so does everyone I know. I’m glad you made it.”

His chest swelled. “Thank you. We’re working on an update now. It’ll be even better.”

The barista carried their drinks on a tray. She placed each on the table. “Enjoy.”

As he picked up his, the glass was cool against his palm. “Thanks for this.”

“My pleasure.” Rachael took a sip of hers. “I know you’re busy, and I don’t want to take too much of your time today. So, what kind of event are you having?”

He froze, holding his iced coffee halfway to his mouth. “Event?”

She nodded, which told him nothing. “I have brochures, and a few packages are listed on my website to give clients ideas, but most of my events are custom, which is why I love doing consultations like this. It helps me put together exactly what a client needs.”

Consultation. Client.

The word swirled inside his mind, mocking him.

She thought I invited her to talk about an event, not a date.

Mason almost laughed. He placed his drink on the table so he didn’t spill any.

No wonder she’d paid for his coffee.

Henry might be correct when he claimed Mason had no skills talking to women. He’d epically failed with Rachael.
Melissa McClone. The Game Changer (Kindle Locations 381-449). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Mason develops a whole dinner at a winery to get to know Rachel, and it’s working at least in his mind. They share a kiss or two and they are falling perhaps her more than him it’s hard to tell.

You have to know it’s going to fall apart, somehow. The way it does is quite ironic.

I really loved this book, there’s romance, tears, laughter and love.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

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Coming Soon!

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Melissa McCloneUSA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

The Kiss Catcher – Billionaires of Silicon Forest Prequel 2 by Melissa McClone


The Kiss Catcher
The Billionaires of Silicon Forest Prequel 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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Dating a coworker is never a good idea.
But…maybe this once,
she could make an exception?

Chief Product Officer Selah Burton is great at her job. Still, she never expected her boss to ask her to help a friend with his product launch. She didn’t think she’d be attracted to the handsome tech billionaire, either. Yet…here she is…

Kieran O’Neal finds Selah attractive, but he had no idea his friend would rope her into a project to give him an opportunity to get to know her. The ruse is not a good idea. But putting an end to it…well, that’s harder to do than he imagined…

When the truth is spilled, can Kieran convince Selah to take a shot at love with him for real—or will his deception chase her away for good?

The moment Kiernan sees Selah he’s attracted to her and wants to ask her out. Unfortunately for him his friends Mason, Selah’s boss, and Henry Davenport a notorious matchmaker are present at the time. Now Henry and Mason are going to interfere and heaven only knows what they’re going to come up with instead of the simple asking out.

Kiernan owns DigiSoftKO the company that provides project software that Mason’s company uses. When Mason calls him informing him Selah’s on her way, he’s flabbergasted. He literal has no time to think up a project for her to help on. That is until she hands him her list. A list of flaws in that program that if corrected would definitely boost it’s ranking to number 1 instead of 2.

With the project born, Kiernan sets up a meeting with her on a Saturday at his favorite place. Little does he know all his hopes of dating Selah are about to come crashing down.

This is a favorite scene.

A server dressed in black with her hair in a high ponytail came to the table. “Are you ready to order, or will you be having the usual, Kieran?”

Selah found it interesting the server knew Kieran so well.

He nodded. “The chef’s choice and coffee cake.”

The server laughed. “So, the usual.”

Kieran handed her the menus. “Creature of habit.”

“Not really.” The server’s curious gaze traveled to Selah. “You’re not here with the guys.”

Selah waited for him to say this was a working meeting.

Instead, he grinned as if keeping a secret. “I’m not.”

“About time.” The server studied Selah for a moment before checking the carafe. “I’ll bring you more coffee.”

With that, she walked away.

Selah sipped her drink. “You come here a lot.”

He nodded. “But I’ve never brought a date.”

Date? Her muscles tensed, and each nerve ending shrieked. “This isn’t…”

“Or someone for a meeting.” The words rushed out. His eyes clouded with what appeared to be concern. “I hope I haven’t made you uncomfortable.”

The sincerity in his voice sent a sigh of relief to her lips. “No, and sorry if I overreacted. It’s a touchy subject for me. I dated a contract employee who worked at TVT. After that disaster, I promised myself I’d never break that rule again.”

His gaze narrowed. “I didn’t realize TVT has a fraternization policy.”

The memory of Axel’s betrayal and her hurt brought a shudder. “It’s not a company rule but a personal one.”

Kieran appeared to want to say something, but he sipped before lowering his cup. “Then, it’s a good thing this isn’t a date.”

His tone was harsher than usual. His coffee must have gone down wrong. Still, Selah was glad he understood. And why wouldn’t he?

It wasn’t as if someone like him would date a woman like her. She was an organizer and manager, a woman who got things done, not one who men dreamed of dating, especially a billionaire.

For the best.

Which logically made sense after Axel. She only wished her heart agreed.
Melissa McClone. The Kiss Catcher (Kindle Locations 564-584). Cardinal Press, LLC.

This whole thing blows up in so many ways. I laughed, sniffled and screamed at my kindle. These guys are so dang clueless at times.

This was a fun read with so many ups and downs and that simmer to sizzle romance that I love so very much!

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

The Chocolate Touch – Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 3 By Melissa McClone


The Chocolate Touch
Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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Chocolate expert Chantelle Cummings arrives in Marietta, Montana with two goals—sign copies of her new book and research a quaint local chocolate shop. When she meets a gorgeous guy passing out chocolate samples, her visit turns sweeter than she ever imagined. The man melts her heart, but her dream of working in France with her family makes her hesitant to pursue a romance.

Former Air Force captain York Parker has one month before embarking upon a consulting career. He never expected to be selling chocolates, but he’s happy to help his sister and her boss. He also likes spending time with sassy, pretty Chantelle. His new co-worker may have the chocolate touch, but he’d rather taste her decadent kisses… That is, until he learns the real reason she’s in town.

Will the truth harden his heart, or will love pave the way to a sweet future?

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York has just come back from the wonderful vacation in Fiji that Dustin won in ‘The Valentine Quest’. Before he moves on to the next phase of his life as a consultant he’s spending time with his sisters Dakota and Nevada. Always willing to lend a hand, he’s helping Dakota with chocolate samples and serving the signature hot chocolate at a book signing.

The author of the book, Chantelle is signing her latest book ‘The Chocolate Touch’ and she plans on visiting and sampling Sage’s chocolates at Copper Mountain Chocolates.

She’s getting some of those treats at her signing, but she needs to check it out closely if she’s going to recommend her Uncle Laurent pursue obtaining the recipes to add to their line. She’s also hoping that her Uncle will finally put her in the position of Chocolatier at her family’s business Delacroix Chocolates. Little does she know that relationship will threaten everything she’s worked for.

What starts as simply helping out becomes more when Portia goes into labor and the chocolate shop is short handed. York steps in along with Chantelle to take care of the customers while Sage and Dakota take care of Portia.

This is a favorite scene.

Standing next to the display case, Chantelle watched York clear the table without a wasted motion or word. He seemed…stressed. Not only that, but he scrubbed as if a contagion on the tabletop could wipe out mankind if he didn’t eradicate it first.

Worried, trying to keep busy, or a combination of the two?

She understood why he needed to keep himself busy because she couldn’t stop thinking about Portia, either. Chantelle hoped the young woman and her baby were okay. Like York, Chantelle needed to do something other than stand here.

“York,” she said finally. He stopped wiping and glanced her way.

He seemed to have forgotten she was there. “Chantelle. Sorry. I…wasn’t expecting this to happen. Dakota seemed worried, Portia looked scared, and I’m not sure what I should be doing.”

His honest words matched how Chantelle was feeling. The urge to reach out to him was strong, but the distance between them kept her from doing that. “Same here.”

“It’s my first day.”

“One you won’t forget.”

“That’s for sure.”

His smile returned full force and hit her like an unexpected gale. She took a step back. Swallowed. Might have been better for her if he continued to be wigged out, but she really liked that smile of his.

“I’m happy you’re here,” he added.

“Me, too.” And she was. Because of him.

Helping was something her parents had taught her to do. She’d grown up being taught the importance of lending a hand if she could. Yet, more was at play here. York Parker intrigued her, even if she knew better than to feel that way.

And she did know better.

But some things—like a second piece of chocolate—weren’t that bad for a person. She hoped that was the case with York.

“Should I put on an apron and stand behind the counter?” she asked.

“Oh, yeah. That would be good.”

He wiped the table again. If he kept that up, his next job would be to refinish the wood.

“Where are the aprons?” she asked.

He straightened. “In the back. Sorry. I keep thinking about…”

“Me, too.”

His gaze met hers, and he straightened. “There are clean aprons hanging by the cubbies. You can leave your purse and jacket inside one of them.”

“Will do.”

“The restroom is back there, too. Wouldn’t want you to have to wander around to find it.”

The amusement in his voice reminded her of two nights ago. He’d remembered what had happened at the bookstore. She hadn’t forgotten one second of their encounter.

She walked toward a door she assumed led to the back as it was where Sage and Dakota had disappeared into during the tasting last night.

Chantelle stepped into a small chocolate factory complete with an industrial-grade stove and roaster.

This was where the magic happened…

A rush of excitement flowed through her.

When she was younger, her mother had told her chocolate makers were magicians who used magic to create the most wonderful things to eat. After touring the Delacroix chocolate laboratory in Bayonne with her uncle, she knew her mother was correct. Seeing all the people working together, and the traditions created by her grandfather, had made the factory feel like home and the employees extended family.

Definitely magic.

But it wasn’t as simple as waving a magic wand, saying abracadabra, and pulling a piece of chocolate out of a hat. Each chocolatier had their own process, but the steps were similar. Cacao beans had to be roasted, cracked, and the nibs heated to remove the husk. But those were only a few of the steps. The process took days for chocolatiers like Sage to complete, but the results were worth the time and effort.

Quality over quantity.

The smells were sharper than out in the retail section. No doubt because the ingredients were stored here.

Inhaling, Chantelle captured the scents of cinnamon and vanilla bean. A hint of chili powder, too.

A potpourri of chocolatey goodness.

Excitement shot to her fingertips.

Her dad had once joked that chocolate ran through Delacroix veins. That seemed to be the case with her mother and uncle. Would it be true for her and her cousin?

The cubbies York had mentioned were against a wall. She placed her jacket and purse inside one. A wallet and phone filled another. It had to be York’s stuff. The rest were empty. As he’d said, the aprons were hanging right there, so she grabbed one.

After another glance around the mini-factory, she grinned. A satisfied feeling settled over her. The urge to take a photo or two for her report was strong, but she couldn’t without permission. Chocolatiers guarded their processes and recipes like state secrets.

Nothing in Chantelle’s reports would be considered confidential. Much of her research was done online prior to her visit. She then formed opinions based on what she saw, tasted, and the answers given to her questions. Once she decided, she gave a buy-or-pass recommendation to her uncle.

Still, she couldn’t believe her luck. Not only did she get to see a different side of Copper Mountain Chocolates, but she also had the chance to view the retail side of a chocolate shop from the other side of the counter. Getting customer-service experience was one of the steps on her uncle’s list.

She couldn’t wait. One afternoon helping in a shop wouldn’t count as enough experience, but it was a start.
McClone, Melissa. The Parker Family Trilogy : Love at the Chocolate Shop. Kindle Locations (6754-6793). Tule Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Now while I’m pretty sure Chantelle isn’t doing anything underhanded, it is very close to the line.

Then there’s also the sleuthing York’s doing to discover the anonymous benefactor.

There’s ups, downs, twists and turns as this story unfolds and romance blooms.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

The Valentine’s Quest – Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 2 by Melissa McClone


The Valentine’s Quest
Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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Keep your competition close…and your heart even closer.

When Nevada Parker travels to Marietta, Montana, she anticipates enough peace and quiet to finish her PhD dissertation. Cupidville turns out to be anything but quiet. In fact, it looks like Valentine’s Day—her least favorite holiday—exploded all over the small town.

Among the sea of red hearts, “Be Mine” signs, and pink, pink, pink, Nevada spots a flyer for a multi-day race called The Valentine Quest. The grand prize—a luxury tropical vacation—would be the perfect welcome-home gift for her brother who’s leaving the military.

Dustin Decker sure could use a break from giving city slickers sleigh rides—and from the now ex-girlfriend who issued an ultimatum. Even with a bum knee from his bull riding days, the race’s grand prize is as good as his—until he realizes he needs a partner for some of the more complicated tasks.

He makes a strategic pact with the prim, bookish Nevada. But with a kiss, their unlikely alliance turns into something more…and soon racing isn’t the only thing on their minds. As the finish line nears, they must decide if the grand prize is worth more than what they’ve found together…or if one of them will walk away empty handed—and broken hearted.

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I purchased this as the Parker Family Trilogy and I’m reviewing them individually.

I realize these are holiday based but I was in the mood for sweet. In this one Nevada Parker has come to Marietta, Montana for the quiet of her sister Dakota’s home and town to finish her dissertation. She’s also teaching three days a week in Boseman. She’s bringing Dakota her boots, since the weather report was wrong again, when she manages to slip. A man helps her up but her glasses are smeared and she can’t see him. He hands her a handkerchief to dry them, tells her to keep it and leaves after ascertaining she’s okay.

You’ll recall Dakota works at Copper Mountain Chocolates and as Nevada drinks her hot chocolate, a man enters. Now he recognizes her, but she doesn’t him, because her glasses were so smeared. Dustin introduces himself and the conversation turns to the upcoming Valentine’s Quest. A surprise all inclusive vacation to Fiji is the new grand prize and the quest has been getting more interest.

Dustin is entering the Quest, he wants the vacation and is determined to win it. Nevada decides the vacation would be perfect for her brother York, as he leaves the Air Force and transitions to civilian life. What Dustin and Nevada don’t expect is that the other contestants are couples which puts them as individuals at a disadvantage. It’s then Dustin comes with the idea to partner up until the last challenge.

This is a favorite scene.

Dustin glanced around.

“Sizing up the competition?” she asked.

“Nice spot for doing that.” His gaze sharpened with what looked like respect. “But you already knew that.”

She shrugged, even though he was correct about why she’d picked this table. Although she preferred the term observing—a more pleasant word to her.

He scanned the crowd again. “These couples and pairs put individual competitors at a disadvantage.”

“Having a teammate isn’t against the rules.”

“No,” he said. “But we need to level the playing field.”

“How?”

“By helping each other out.”

It was her turn to stare at him. “I thought you had this won.”

“Yes, but it’s called hedging one’s bets.” The way his gaze hardened told her how serious he was. “We stand a better chance if we work together against the other pairs.”

She considered his words. “You mean form an alliance like they do on those reality TV shows?”

“You watch those?” He sounded surprised.

“I have. On occasion,” she clarified.

Shows like that were a guilty pleasure. One few knew about, not even Dakota or York.

“A strategic alliance is exactly what I’m talking about,” he said. “We bring different strengths to the quest.”

That was true. Physical versus cerebral. “There’s only one prize.”

“We work together until we near the finish line, and it’s down to you and me. Then we’re on our own.”

His plan had merit. She might do better with a partner. Especially one who was physically stronger than her.

The corners of his mouth curved upward in a charming—dare she say alluring?—grin.

Her heart thudded.

Not the reaction she expected, nor wanted, to have.

“What do you say?” he asked.

No! Her gut instinct wanted her to scream that. If for no other reason than the way his smile made her feel warm all over. Except…

For York. For York. For York.

Her original goal was to win for her brother. Competing on her own would be harder, and maybe, a little of Dustin’s confidence would rub off on her. She could use some.

Amusement filled his gaze. “You want to say yes.”

The man was so darn cocky, but a part of her did want to say that. Which made the other part of her want to say no.

Think.

She had to be logical about this, which was all Dustin was being, and not let emotion get the best of her.

One deep breath followed another. “Okay.”

His smile spread. “Great.”

She hoped she didn’t regret this.

Sage Carrigan O’Dell, the owner of the chocolate shop, and three men—Tim and two who were older—stood in the front of the standing-room only crowd. More people had arrived, and the shop was jam-packed. Still, Nevada had trouble concentrating on anyone except Dustin.

Forming an alliance meant they were using each other to win the quest.

Nothing more.

All she had to do was ignore the way her gaze kept being drawn to his face. How hard could that be?

The crowd quieted.

Nevada forced her attention on the four sponsors standing in front.

“Welcome to the Valentine Quest.” Sage had long, red hair and a welcoming smile. Dakota spoke highly of working for the lovely woman. “The race will begin after this kickoff meeting and continues through this Saturday and Sunday, and next Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The final event will be held in the afternoon on Valentine’s Day, so you’ll have plenty of time for romance afterward.”

Competitors laughed, but not Nevada. That Tuesday would be just another day.

“On each of the seven days, you’ll perform tasks that earn you points,” Sage continued. “Those points will be tallied on Valentine’s Day to determine who wins the grand prize—a luxury, all-inclusive vacation package to Fiji.”

The participants clapped and cheered.

Nevada sipped her hot cocoa. This wasn’t a summer camp activity. She wanted that vacation, but she also didn’t want to embarrass herself.

“Good move not to get caught up in the rah-rah atmosphere,” Dustin said in a quiet voice. “We can’t allow ourselves to be distracted.”

Then she’d better not stare into his blue eyes. Those distracted her, but he was correct.

Someone here—hopefully her, not him—would walk away with the prize. Everyone else would end up with nothing.

“The quest will be full of different kinds of challenges,” Sage said. “The most important thing is to have fun.”

“No,” Dustin whispered. “The most important thing is to win.”

Nevada found herself nodding. Teaming with him would be good for her.
McClone, Melissa. The Parker Family Trilogy : Love at the Chocolate Shop. Kindle Locations (3552-3592). Tule Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Now these two are very different and as partners that does work. Neither of them has any intention of falling in love. But you know how that goes.

Lots of fun, with laughter, tears, both happy and sad, plus the romance.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

A Thankful Heart – Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 1 by Melissa McClone


A Thankful Heart
Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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Chocolate is better than men, and so are dogs. At least, that’s what Dakota Parker tells herself as she mends her broken heart and finds forever homes for rescue animals. So far, so good. She can indulge her love of chocolate where she works while her foster dogs provide her with the unconditional love she craves. What more does she need?

Seattle architect Bryce Grayson is counting the days until he can return home to the big city with his father in tow. That is if he can convince his dad to leave Montana. Bryce’s escape plan, however, goes astray when he meets Dakota. Her sweet kisses put the chocolate she sells to shame. Maybe he should be the one to move to Marietta, but could he be happy living in such a small town?

He has until Thanksgiving to decide.

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I bought this as The Parker Family Trilogy and I’m reviewing them individually.

Dakota Parker works at at Copper Mountain Chocolates and volunteers at Whiskers and Paw Pals animal rescue in Marietta, Montana. She’s fostering two dogs and a rat at the moment and has also written a proposal to get all the animals adopted by Christmas. The rescue director Lori Donavan thinks it’s too simplistic and the timeline unrealistic. She put a lot into that proposal so Lori’s words hurt. An interesting twist to her day is when a stranger comes in refuses the sample and claims he doesn’t like chocolate, yet purchases some of the top sellers. The man was gorgeous but paid cash so she couldn’t learn his name from a credit card.

Bryce Greyson has come to town to help his father and stay until after Thanksgiving. He’s hoping over that time to convince his father to move to Seattle. He doesn’t like being so far away from his father and now with those two broken legs it proves his point his dad shouldn’t be alone.

Dakota was stopping by to see how Walt was doing and bring him some chocolates. That’s when she first meets Bryce recognizing him from his stop at the chocolate shop. It’s while they were all talking that Dakota gets an emergency call from the shelter. A pipe broke and they need to get the animals out. Walt wants to go but Bryce and Dakota both squash that idea and instead Bryce would be going to see what he could do.

This is just one of my favorite scenes.

Amid the barks and meows, a whimpering sounded.

Oh, no. Someone was unhappy. Most likely afraid due to their new surroundings. She needed to find out who ASAP.

Clipboard in hand, Dakota followed the sound. The whimpers grew louder. She was getting closer, but she noticed none of the dogs near her looked happy.

Molly, a poodle mix, faced the back of the crate as if in a time out, but she wasn’t making a sound. She was a lap dog who loved being petted and brushed. The dog hadn’t gotten along with her owner’s new boyfriend, so Molly had been surrendered. A generous donation had been made for the dog’s care, but that hadn’t helped the dog understand why she’d been left.

“You’ll be inside soon. I promise.”

Molly didn’t move. The only time she perked up was when someone held her.

Poor baby.

If Dakota had been faced with the same decision, she would have dumped the guy and kept Molly. Dogs were the best judge of character. None of her foster dogs had liked Craig or her other ex-boyfriends, either. The men had blamed the animals and the rescue for taking too much of her time. She would have to remember to trust the animals’ judgment the next time she dated.

The whimpering stopped.

That didn’t mean all was well. She needed to find the dog.

The next crate contained Fred, who’d come to them from a high-kill shelter in Southern California. The Dachshund mix trembled, even though he wore a sweater that a volunteer had knitted for him. Fred was another Lonely Heart animal. He’d lived at the rescue for over a year.

“You look dapper, Fred, but it’s colder than you’re used to. You won’t be outside much longer.”

The whimpering sounded again.

Who was that?

She spotted the crate—Maverick, a Border collie whose owner, a retired rancher from Livingston, had entered an assisted living center two weeks ago. Pets weren’t allowed in the facility. With no other family around, Maverick had no place to go, so he’d ended up at Whiskers and Paw Pals.

She kneeled in front of the crate’s door.

Maverick’s head hung low. Being in the rescue was hard enough after having a huge ranch to roam. She had no doubt he hated being locked in this hard-sided crate.

Dakota stuck her fingers through the door’s grate. “I can’t let you out, honey. This is the safest place for you right now.” She touched his fur with her fingertips. “You’re going to spend tonight somewhere else. Maybe tomorrow, too, but you’ll be back before you know it. If not, I’ll come visit. I promise.”

Maverick rubbed his muzzle against her fingers.

Her heart squeezed. The dog was seven, well behaved, and loved kids and cats. Dakota was surprised he was still at the rescue, but adoptions had been slow lately, which was why they were so full.

“You’re such a good boy.” Touching Maverick seemed to calm him. “You’ll find a new home soon.”

Maverick’s ears perked.

“What is it?”

“The dog likes you,” Bryce said. She recognized his voice this time.

“This is Maverick.” She kept her fingers between the grating. “He likes everyone.”

Too bad she couldn’t say the same about Bryce. Okay, that wasn’t nice. The man had brought her pizza. 

Dakota focused her attention on Maverick, who pressed against her fingers. He wanted to be on her lap, but she couldn’t let him out. Instead, she petted him as best she could.

“There’s pizza left,” Bryce said.

She glanced over her shoulder. Her gaze stared right at his pant zipper. She gulped. Not the view she expected or wanted.

Dakota faced the dog.

Maverick pressed his wet nose against her fingers.

She leaned closer to the crate and whispered, “Be right back.”

Dakota stood. “Thanks, but one slice was enough.”

Bryce gave the dog a cursory glance—one that matched his eye roll when Walt had talked about volunteering at the rescue.

Whether he liked animals or not was unimportant. He was here. Sure, his father had told him to come, but Bryce had construction knowledge. Maybe he knew the status of the building.

“How bad is the damage inside?” She asked the question that had been weighing on her mind and her heart.

Bryce didn’t say anything.

“That bad?” she asked.

He rubbed his chin. “A major pipe broke and affected both floors. We don’t know the extent of the water damage yet, but if this hadn’t been discovered until the morning, it would have been much worse.”

“A volunteer had stopped by to give animals their medications and clean.” Dakota glanced at the building. “Seems like a lot of activity inside.”

He nodded. “The water and electricity have been shut off, and plumbers have been draining the pipes while furniture and other things are being moved out of the affected rooms. The insurance agent stopped by, too.”

“One of the blessings of living in a small town.”

“The rescue’s director, Lori, said mold can affect an animal’s health so a professional water restoration company has been called in. They’ll work through the night. We’ll have a better idea of the damage tomorrow.”

“Will the animals be able to return then?”

“No.”

The one word brought Dakota’s worst fears to life. A tennis-ball-sized lump of panic lodged in her throat. She swallowed. That didn’t help. “They’ll be able to return, right?”

“I hope so.”

She crossed her arms over her chest, as if that could protect her, the animals, and the building. “You don’t sound hopeful.”

“It’s hard to say what will happen. The inside is a real mess.” His words increased her worry. “Tomorrow, we meet with the claims adjustor.” “We?” “Since my father can’t be here, I’ve offered to help in his place. Lori asked me to attend the meeting and walk-thru. Though she seems capable enough to handle things herself.”

“Lori is. I call her a pet-saving superhero.” The director spoke what was on her mind, but she would do anything to help any animal, whether they were part of her group or not. “The rescue is her life, but she knows to ask for help when she needs it.”

“Happy to do whatever I can.”

Was he? Dakota wanted to believe him, but trusting was hard for her. Especially someone she had just met.

Maverick whimpered, and she stuck her fingers through the grate again. He quieted.

People with headlamps walked into the shelter.

That made her wonder…hope… “If the electricity’s off, maybe the inside isn’t as bad as it appears tonight. Things could look better in the daylight.”

“That’s one way to look at the situation.” His tone suggested he thought it was the wrong way.

She raised her chin. “What can I say? I’m an optimist.”

“I consider myself a realist because I know better than to get my hopes up.”
McClone, Melissa. The Parker Family Trilogy : Love at the Chocolate Shop. Kindle Locations (618-671). Tule Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Of course Bryce sticks his foot in his mouth yet again. It’s a habit of his.

In spite of his father’s protests, Bryce still insists Walt would be better off in Seattle.

He gets talked into helping Dakota in redoing her proposal to meet the requirements of a challenge set by a very generous donor and even helps with the set up of the adoption events.

These two have chemistry but there’s a lot to overcome for a happily ever after.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

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Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

The Gold Digger – The Billionaires of Silicon Forest: Prequel 1 by Melissa McClone


The Gold Digger
The Billionaires of Silicon Forest: Prequel 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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A real estate agent, a billionaire, and a mudslide…
On the bright side, not much else could go wrong, right?

Real estate agent Cambria Baker needs to make a sale, or she’ll be homeless. So, when her broker asks her to do a showing on Mount Hood, Cambria jumps at the chance. The only problem? The buyer is as gruff as he is gorgeous and not impressed with her or the dilapidated cabin.

Tech billionaire Adam Zeile wants to build the perfect mountain lodge where he can forget about work and the women who are only interested in his net worth. He’s excited to see a property with a dream view, but the beautiful real estate agent’s eagerness to make the sale raises his suspicions.

When a mudslide traps them in the cabin, they must put aside their differences. As mutual respect grows into attraction, an unforgettable kiss changes everything. But can their newfound connection last once they’re rescued? Or are they better off burying it and saying goodbye?

In the middle of a torrential rainfall, Adam Zeile and his friend Henry Davenport were heading out to look at a property. According to Henry the other interested buyers wouldn’t come out in the storm so it was Adam’s best change to purchase the property if it meets his specifications. One particular photo had caught his eye and if the view was the same he would buy it.

Unfortunately Henry had a meeting to attend so he left Adam at the property with the promise take a look at it when he got back. Adam was hopeful this would be the perfect property and even though the agent Cambria Baker was honest about the condition of the cabin he only needed to see the view. Once he had it was off, this was not the place for him.

While he was waiting for Henry to return, Cambria cleaned up the snack she had prepared and changed into clothing more appropriate for the weather.

This is a favorite scene.

A protectiveness welled up inside him, which was stupid when he was the one who’d made her feel bad. The least he could do was not make her wait.

“Go ahead and lock up the cabin.” He was still damp from when he arrived. A little more rain wouldn’t hurt him. “I’ll wait outside.”

Her forehead wrinkled. “Listen to the rain. It’s pouring again. You’ll get soaked out there.”

“My friend will be here soon,” he countered. “You should get on the road, given the weather.”

An uncomfortable silence descended.

Come on, Henry. Adam shifted his weight between his feet.

A noise sounded.

Henry and Frank must be here. Adam blew out a breath before opening the door, but no SUV was parked next to the other car.

Rain pelted the ground, and water poured like a sheet from the roof. But the noise he’d heard became louder— rumbled.

Her face paled.

Adrenaline surged. “Earthquake?”

“Slide.” Cambria pushed him aside, slammed the door, and grabbed his hand with her free one. “Upstairs!”

The rumble turned into a roar— deafening and frightening and all-consuming.

The bag on her shoulder swung and nearly took him out, but he stayed upright.

As she ran up the stairs and into the bathroom, she never let go of him. “Get in the tub.”

Adam’s pulse raced. He shouldn’t be winded, but his breaths came fast. “Isn’t that for a tornado?”

Cambria released his hand and climbed into the bathtub. She flashed him a stop-being-stupid look.

The rumbling continued.

He didn’t need to be told twice and got in next to her. “We should be safe here,” she reassured him.

Something crashed into the house with an earsplitting blast. The cabin shook.

She gasped.

Adam bounced against the wall and then fell. He held back a shout.

Cambria curled in a ball, so he covered her with his body. He had no idea what was happening, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to know.

His heart pounded, threatening to explode, but that didn’t drown out the horrible sounds of breaking glass and splintering wood.

Is this how it ends?

He imagined his mom, dad, brother, and sister. A carousel of his friends followed.

Adam gulped in air as if it might be his last breath. Images of the future he wouldn’t have filled his mind— a wife, kids, and a forever kind of love.

“I think it’s over,” a quiet voice said from underneath him.

He straightened so that Cambria could sit up.

She was correct. Everything had stopped, but he had no sense of time or how long they’d been in the bathroom.

Her face was paler than before. Her lower lip quivered.

Adam touched her shoulder. “It’ll be okay.”

She raised an eyebrow. “And you know this how?”

Her sarcastic tone surprised him.

“I don’t.” Tired of cowering, he stood and found his footing in the tub. “But we’re alive. I wasn’t sure if we would be by the time everything stopped. And you look like you needed to hear it.”

She didn’t disagree. Nor did she say anything.

“Thanks for getting me upstairs. I had no idea what was happening.” Adam didn’t know the extent of damage on the first floor, but he assumed— hoped— the immediate danger had passed. “How did you know to run upstairs?”

“My grandpa was on our neighborhood’s Community Emergency Response Team. He stopped when he and my grandma moved into an assisted living center, but now he’s the head of the CERT he formed there. He taught my brother and me what to do in different, um, situations.”

Her voice shook, and her hands trembled.

Was she afraid or in shock? Perhaps both?

Adam hadn’t taken a first aid class in years. His security team included a medic, so he hadn’t needed to remember anything and didn’t. “You okay?”

She nodded. “Delayed reaction.”

That was a relief.

“You should check on your friend,” she added.

Henry and Frank.

Adam’s heart dropped. As he yanked out his phone and hit call, he held his breath.

One ring. Two…

“Are you okay?” Henry asked in a breathless rush.

Tears pricked the back of Adam’s eyelids. He exhaled, letting his tension go, and cleared his throat. “If by okay you mean standing in the bathtub on the second floor, then yes, I’m okay. What about you and Frank?”

“If we’d been two minutes earlier, we would have been caught in the mudslide.”

“Mudslide,” Adam repeated so Cambria would know she’d been correct. Not that he’d doubted her. She’d taken action while he stood frozen, unable to make sense of what was happening. “Something hit the house, but we haven’t been downstairs to see what. How bad is it where you are?”

“The road is covered with mud. There’s no way to pick you up.”

Adam let the news sink in. “But you and Frank—”

“We’re fine.” He needed to hear that again. “How long do you think cleanup will take?”

“Frank is on the phone with someone. But I doubt it’ll be fast. With this weather, calling in a helicopter isn’t an option.”

That meant… Adam scrubbed his face. “So, I’m stuck.”

“Yes, but at least you’re not alone.”
Melissa McClone. The Gold Digger (Kindle Locations 215-266). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Lots of mud, damage to the cabin and no way to get out until either the weather or the road is cleared.

Sparks begin to fly between them even as Cambria’s world starts falling apart more than it already had.

A wonderful romance that is fun and playful in difficult circumstances.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

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Coming Soon!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

A Slice of Summer – Silver Falls Book 2 by Melissa McClone


A Slice of Summer
Silver Falls Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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Taryn Lawson needs more customers in her bakery to prove she’s capable of taking over the family business. The summer fair is the perfect opportunity to jump-start her vision with a specialized booth showcasing her creative desserts. Despite her fierce work ethic, she needs help to build her booth in time. Unfortunately, the only person available is the handsome attorney who played with her heart last Christmas.

Trial attorney Garrett Andrews regrets not contacting the pretty baker he dated during his last holiday vacation. But he had his reasons and is finally ready to make amends. When he returns to town for his sister’s wedding, Garrett gets his second chance when Taryn needs help building her booth.

Working together reignites the spark, but Taryn is aware the clock is ticking. Will they realize what they have is special before it’s too late, or will their second chance at love once again slip through their fingers?

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Taryn Lawson planned ahead for her summer fair booth. Everything just needed to be put together or so she thought. Only when she goes to get everything out, it’s all moldy, wet, warped all ruined. To top it off, someone she really doesn’t want to see shows up acting like he just left yesterday, instead of six months ago then ghosting her.

Garrett didn’t mean to ghost Taryn but circumstances kept him from contacting her. Then it just seemed awkward. he needs to get back into Taryn’s good graces at the very least, since they will both be at his sister’s wedding. After Taryn refuses to send out a cookie for him when his family comes for desert on the patio, Callie convinces him has to do something to smooth things over.

This is a favorite scene.

The office door opened.

Taryn didn’t look over her shoulder. “I’ll be out in a minute, Jayden.” “It’s not Jayden.” Garrett’s voice slithered along her spine. Chills followed. Her hands balled into fists.

What’s he doing here?

“Are you okay?” Concern sounded in his voice.

All she wanted was for him to leave. “I’m fine.”

Not a lie. She would be— eventually.

“Can we talk?” he asked.

“Now isn’t a good time.” She kept her voice steady, even though her insides twisted worse than a silicone fondant rope mold.

“There probably won’t be one.”

She would give him that, but that didn’t mean she had to speak with him.

Callie called Garrett the egotistical attorney, but the doggy daycare owner was proud of her second oldest brother. Taryn had never seen the cocky side of him but hearing him describe his work showed his stubborn streak. He fought relentlessly for his client’s innocence. If Garrett wanted to talk to her, he would keep returning until she agreed.

“If not for me,” he added. “For Callie.”

Guilt coated Taryn’s mouth like icky-tasting cold medicine. She hadn’t considered her friend, who was already stressed about the upcoming wedding. Callie didn’t need anyone else adding to that.

Taryn swiveled in her chair to face him. “Talk.”

“I owe you an apology.” His voice was gruff, and Garrett cleared his throat. “I said I’d call, but I received death threats.”

Six months after ghosting her, this was what he’d come up with. She scoffed. “Sure you did.”

His nostrils flared. “Why would I lie?”

She shrugged. “I’m guessing Callie asked you to talk to me. Death threats sound like a convenient, albeit out-there excuse, even for a lawyer from L.A.”

Garrett blew out a breath. He removed his cell phone from his pocket, tapped on the screen, and held the phone toward her.

A sharp, loud sound made her cringe. Two more quickly followed.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“Gunshots left on my voicemail the day I returned from Silver Falls. A creepy letter arrived at my office the next day. That evening, I came home to a message on my bathroom mirror written in blood. Someone slipped past the doorman and lobby security and broke into my condo.” His nostrils flared again. “Not an excuse.”

“I…” She didn’t know what to say. “This kind of stuff happens on TV.”

“And in real life. At least in mine.” He didn’t miss a beat. “I went dark. That was the only way to keep myself and those close to me safe until the police found who threatened me.”

That was the last thing Taryn expected to hear. “Thanks for thinking of my safety.”

“I should have told you what was going on.”

She would give him the benefit of the doubt. “You had other things on your mind. It must have been scary.”

“It was difficult.” His words came out slow as if he had to force each one. He hadn’t spoken like that in December. “I wouldn’t call threats an occupational hazard as a trial attorney, but this guy didn’t threaten only me. I didn’t want anyone… hurt because of me.”

“Especially your family.”

He nodded once.

“Is everything okay now?” she asked.

“The police arrested him. He was sloppy. Left so many trails of evidence it made the case a slam dunk. But once everything was resolved, so much time had passed. It would have been strange, awkward, to call you then. I’m sorry.”

His apology sounded sincere, and the situation must have been frightening. At least he was safe. His family, too. Though she might have erased the message with the gunshots, not carry it around like evidence or a badge of honor.

Still, holding a grudge made no sense. Other than at Callie and Brandt’s wedding, they wouldn’t see each other. “Apology accepted.”

“Thank you.” Garrett rubbed his neck. “I never meant to lead you on. I thought we agreed about not being interested in a relationship. I’m sorry if I gave you the wrong idea about us.”

Oh, no. Taryn needed this to stop before it went any further. “I agreed with you and feel the same as I did then, but I didn’t appreciate being ghosted with what’s been going on in my life. I wasn’t in love with you or heartbroken. We had fun, but we barely knew each other. I was upset over being dismissed so easily.”

“Oh.” Garrett shifted his weight between his feet.

Her mouth was so dry it was as if she’d forgotten to add eggs to a cake mixture. “Anything else?”

His features relaxed. So did his posture. “No.”

“Enjoy dessert with your family.”

He opened his mouth before closing it.

“What?” she asked.

“Nothing.” He rocked back on his heels. “I’ll see you around.”

Not if Taryn could help it.
Melissa McClone. A Slice of Summer (Kindle Locations 596-639). The Tule Publishing Group, LLC.

Of course he messes that apology up after it’s accepted. At least they both knew where they stood now, or do they…

He learns about her problem with the booth while helping Margot chose desserts at the bakery for Callie’s rehearsal dinner. Since he does have some construction experience he has to offer to help.

The booth isn’t the only thing that’s going wrong for Taryn’s bakery and she’s afraid that her father would sell if she can’t turn a profit. The new bakery in Summit was not only undercutting her price wise but also somehow offering the same new items she’s been coming up with.

Lots of joy with the wedding coming, some suspense with the bakery and an unpleasant surprise with the booth.

The attraction between her and Garrett once again sparks but will it be enough this time around?

I love the way this story unfolds, and the slow simmer to the relationship.

I can’t wait to see what comes next for Silver Falls.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Some Christmas In July! The Christmas Window – Silver Falls Book 1 by Melissa McClone


The Christmas Window
Silver Falls Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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A matchmaking aunt
wants her nephew to find love
under the mistletoe…

All doggy daycare owner Callie Andrews wants for Christmas is to win first prize this year. The annual window display competition is a huge event in Silver Falls, and she’s determined to showcase her success when her family visits her small town. It’s time for her parents and three older brothers to realize the “baby” of the family is thriving on her own.

The last thing Brandt Winslow wants to do is rehash the past, but returning home to Silver Falls means confronting the reason he left. His vacation, however, takes an unexpected turn when his well-meaning aunt meddles in his love life, and he finds himself caught up in her misguided efforts at matchmaking.

Despite their reluctance at being paired up, Callie and Brandt discover the holidays are full of surprises…and romance. But is the magic of Christmas strong enough to keep the couple together through the new year?

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With the second book in this series coming out in just a few days, I thought I’d go back and read the first one. Of course it’s July and the story is Christmas, but seriously what is better than Christmas in July?

Callie Andrews has a successful doggie day care business in Silver Falls. She started it after careful research and this is the first year her family is coming to visit. She’s also planning the perfect Holiday window to win this year’s competition. She wants to show her family this is a serious business not just her ‘playing’ with dogs as they see it.

Brandt Winslow has come home to Silver Falls to spend time with his Aunt Margot. He’s taking a break from his computer consulting business. It’s been six years since he’s been back and he’s looking forward to spending Christmas here. If he can just keep the reason he left out of his mind it would be perfect.

Of course his Aunt Margot has plans for him, and one of those includes him getting to know Callie. She starts by having him walk her dogs to the doggy day care. Unfortunately he doesn’t make a good impression. Not really his fault but the tone of his advice on one of the window decorations rubs Callie the wrong way.

The second part of Margot’s plan is for Callie to give Brandt a walking tour to show him all the things that have changed over the years.

This is a favorite scene during that tour.

“So how does this ice cream parlor compare to the old one?” he asked.

Callie looked around as if to see who was nearby.

The closest person was on the other side of the street.

“Better.”

“Why is that?”

“This new place serves the same cones, bowls, sundaes, and milkshakes, but they also offer frozen yogurt where you pick the toppings. Oh, and ice cream cakes they’ll decorate however you want.”

“Not only a welcome addition to First Avenue but also an improvement.”

“Yes, on both counts.”

His rich laughter wrapped around her heart. That was the last place she wanted anything associated with him to be near, so she took a step to her left to put distance between them.

“You must be a connoisseur given how much you know about this place,” he said.

“I pay close attention when sugar is involved, but I make a point to learn about each business in town.”

Callie didn’t tell him how she’d studied—okay, stalked—each business on First Avenue online before coming to Silver Falls to visit the doggy daycare in person. Buying Wags and Tails hadn’t been a lark as her family thought. The shop hadn’t been the first one she’d visited, either. She’d passed on two other dog-related businesses in other towns for various reasons.

“I stay on top of what’s happening with our monthly First Avenue Business Association meetings,” she continued. “There’s a mixer with refreshments, and that’s where I tasted one of the ice cream cakes for the first time. Delicious, and I’ve been buying them ever since.”

“I forgot about those meetings.” Brandt faced Callie. “Does my aunt attend?”

Guess he didn’t know everything about Margot. Callie bit back a grin. “Always, because she’s on the board.”

“I had no idea, but I’m not surprised. My aunt likes being involved.” A strange expression crossed Brandt’s face. Not surprise, but almost…concern. “She’s not working as many hours at the quilt shop, but she hasn’t mentioned her plans for the future.”

The way his voice trailed off ramped up the worry on his face. There might have been a twinge of guilt in there, too. From staying away so long? Callie shouldn’t want to know, but she did.

“Having a full-time manager gives Margot flexibility with the quilt shop. Lyndsey is a perfect fit. Customers adore her. Not quite as much as they do your aunt, but a close second.”

Margot had been cutting back for a couple of years now. If Lyndsey ended up buying the place, no one would be surprised, but maybe Brandt didn’t know that yet.

Callie continued. “Margot doesn’t need to teach any classes, but she enjoys passing on her love of quilting. Though if you ask her, she says she teaches to get Angus and Sadie out of the house so they can interact with other dogs.”

That made him laugh. His entire body relaxed. “That sounds like Aunt Margot. Angus and Sadie are the children she never had.”

Callie had a feeling Brandt was, too, but she kept that to herself. “Ready to keep going?”

He nodded.

As he fell in step next to her, he shortened his stride, which she appreciated. “Your aunt is a wonderful woman. I got to know her better when I took the Quilting 101 class.”

\His eyes widened. “You quilt?”

“I wouldn’t call what I do quilting.” Callie had struggled. Big time. “But I had fun, made friends, and learned the quilt shop is gossip central in Silver Falls. If everyone doesn’t know your business there, then something is wrong.”

Brandt grimaced. “When I lived here, I hated the lack of privacy.”

She shrugged. “I must be getting used to it.”

His hands burrowed deeper into his coat. “I never did.”

People talking about others was unavoidable here. “Then it’s a good thing you left, because that’s part of small-town life.”

He started to say something but then closed his mouth. Taking a few steps, he stopped and turned to her. His gaze appeared full of questions. “Why Silver Falls?”

She hadn’t been expecting that one. “Excuse me?”

“Why did you move to Silver Falls? Wags and Tails?”

She nodded as they continued forward. “I wanted to work with animals, but I wasn’t sure in what capacity.” She kept quiet about all the jobs she’d tried—pet sitter, dog walker, obedience trainer, and rescue volunteer. That she’d been saving her money since her first job at sixteen, living frugally, and making sure she had strong credit to be able to qualify for a business loan. “I saw an ad online for a doggy daycare that was for sale. I’d never heard of Silver Falls, but I emailed the owner for more information. The rest, as they say, is history.”

He jerked to a stop. “You just upped and moved here?”

His flippant tone bunched her muscles. Taking a breath, she counted back from ten.

“Far from it.” She kept her voice calm, even though part of her wanted to yell. “I visited the town, met the owner, and shadowed him for three days. But as soon as I arrived, I knew.”

“Knew what?” Brandt’s breath hung on the air. The temperature must be dropping again.

“That Silver Falls was home.” Thinking about the day she arrived in town made her feel warm and fuzzy. “I made an offer on the business before I left.”

He eyed her warily. “You were that certain?”

“Nervous, yes, but I had no doubt,” she admitted.

“Things haven’t always gone as smoothly as I hoped. I have a great staff now, but getting to that point wasn’t easy. Running a new business isn’t, either. But I knew I was making the right decision from the beginning.”

Despite what her family thought of her moving away and buying the doggy daycare.

“I had that same kind of certainty once.” He moved at a slow pace, taking in each and every store window.

“Gave up my personal life. Threw my heart and soul into making the start-up I’d founded with my best friend a success.”

“That’s what I’ve been doing. Must be one of the occupational hazards of owning a business.”

“True, but I didn’t realize that until everything was…gone.”

Gone suggested he didn’t have a choice in the matter. The way his jaw tensed was the second clue he hadn’t.

A weight pressed down on Callie’s chest. She hated being nosy, but she couldn’t help herself. “What happened, if you don’t mind me asking?”

He shrugged. “My partner didn’t view the business the same as me. He wanted…out.”

Callie waited to see if Brandt said more—like where this had happened or when. Margot had never mentioned mentioned anything other than saying she had a nephew who was into computers and used to live here.

He remained silent. Not something he wanted to share.

She understood, except…

Her throat thickened with emotion.

She’d been quick to lump Brandt into the same category as her family. Maybe she needed to reexamine her first impression of him, instead of assuming the worst when he’d offered her advice about the waterfall. He might have been trying to help—given what had happened at his apartment building—rather than telling her what to do.

“I’m sorry.” Callie felt bad for his business and how she’d acted yesterday. “Hearing what happened to you, however, makes me relieved I didn’t take on a partner when I purchased Wags and Tails.”

Her brothers had offered to be silent partners. Her parents, too. But Callie had followed her gut. A good move, in hindsight. Sure, she worked longer hours and owed more to the bank, but not answering to anyone but herself was worth the extra time and loan payments.

Brandt’s nostrils flared. “I wouldn’t go into business with anyone again. I never want to be in another partnership.”

His tone was firm but haunted. She wondered if he meant a business partner or a personal one, too. Whatever had happened still hurt him. Maybe that was why she wanted to bring back the light to his eyes and the smile to his lips.

Could she?

Worth a try.
McClone, Melissa. The Christmas Window: A Small-Town Holiday Romance. Kindle Locations (974-1039). Tule Publishing. Kindle Edition.

In spite of her resolve not to like Brandt he does start to break down her walls as she realizes he really isn’t like her brothers.

Then of course there has to be a bit of a confrontation with his ex-partner Nick. One that truly gives more insight to the self-centeredness of the man.

Brandt’s more than a little upset that Callie is friends with him then on top of everything there’s a problem at Wags and Tails that threatens all of Callie’s holiday plans,

Full of fun, intriguing, romance and plenty of Christmas spirit.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Tiaras & Teacups – Berry Lake Cupcake Posse Book 2 by Melissa McClone


Tiaras & Teacups
Berry Lake Cupcake Posse Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Sometimes the sweetest beginnings
come from bitter endings…

Juliet Monroe’s comfortable world has been turned upside down. She’s struggling to leave her trophy wife identity behind and make ends meet as a full-time event planner. When her handsome new neighbor needs to throw the perfect birthday party for his niece, Juliet offers her services. If she pulls this off, maybe she can get her life back on track. But to do so, she’ll need the help of the Cupcake Posse. Too bad her friends are grappling with problems of their own:

Missy’s recovering from injuries; Nell’s trying to thwart her mother’s matchmaking efforts; Selena’s husband wants her to work less when she needs to do more; and Bria’s facing obstacles she never anticipated trying to save her late aunt’s bakery.

Join the Cupcake Posse as they work together to navigate the difficulties of life, loss, and love. They continue to rely on each other, never losing sight of the importance of friendship and family, but will that be enough to save the Berry Lake Cupcake Shop?

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When we left Juliet in Cupcakes and Crumbs she had just come home from her first Tea Party event. She was surprised to find her husband Ezra was home even more so with the bombshell he dropped.

From the moment Ezra was introduced I didn’t like him at all, he’s a pompous jerk after all. As this book opens he just proves my point. He not only informs Juliet that Remy is pregnant and he would be marrying her, but has the audacity to expect her to stay as nanny and housekeeper. While Juliet is stunned, she certainly isn’t going to stay, she’s got friends here in Berry Lake, she’d get through whatever Ezra throws at her.

Bria and Selena had returned to their respective homes, Missy is getting closer to being discharged from the hospital and trying to bribe Nell with cupcakes that won’t hasten the process.

Big changes await Bria as she returns to her life in San Diego and she finds herself in a position to make some decisions she might have put off.

Selena is as always a rock, with her hockey star husband Logan Trembley and their routines.

Juliet needs to get out of the house quickly and start her life without Ezra but first she needs to contact her friends.

This is a favorite scene.

She opened her eyes, blinking until her vision adjusted to the sunlight streaming in the room through the open blinds.

Not alone.

Two critical words, but ones she wouldn’t forget. She grabbed her phone from the nightstand and typed a message for the Cupcake Posse group chat, set up a week ago to help them stay connected. They’d needed something with Bria and Selena living elsewhere. But who knew in less than twenty-four hours after saying goodbye Juliet’s life would implode? She wanted to believe their vow to be there for each other was true, but Ezra hadn’t honored his vows. Why should her friends?

Here goes nothing.

She took a breath before hitting send.

Juliet: Ezra told me yesterday Remy is pregnant. He’s the father. I needed time to process last night. Now, I need to figure out what to do. I have to visit my grandmother and ask if I can move into the Huckleberry Inn. I want out of here ASAP.

Juliet exhaled. No matter how Grandma reacted, her friends would have her back. At least, she hoped so.

Doubts, however, surfaced, ready to take her out like a rogue wave on the coast. After nearly fifteen years apart, the five of them had reunited last week. Sure, they picked up right where they left off as if they still worked at the Berry Lake Cupcake Shop and Elise Landon was alive. But what did that mean today and tomorrow and every day after that?

A vow was only words. The intention behind it was what mattered.

She waited, staring at her cell phone as if she could wish a reply into existence. But people might be busy or not have their phones with them.

Dots formed on the screen.

Someone was replying.

Her hands trembled, so she tightened her grip on the phone.

Nell: I’m so sorry. But I don’t think you want to move out of the house voluntarily. Not sure why, but I remember hearing that. I can call the Carpenters. They handle all kinds of cases.

Juliet: Thanks, but you don’t have to ask him. I signed a prenup, and even if I hadn’t, I couldn’t afford to keep this house. Ezra wants me to move into the room above the garage and be his and Remy’s maid and nanny. I need to get away from him. Today!

Nell: You’re welcome to stay with me. I’m fostering a cat. Not sure if you’re allergic.

Missy: Hugs. My place is small, and Mario and Peach are there, but we can all fit.

Bria: Those are great offers, but stay at Aunt Elise’s house. The spare key is under the painted rock near the front porch. You’ll need food. I got rid of everything in the kitchen before I left.

Selena: Move into Elise’s place. I’ll call a top divorce attorney I know. She’ll get the prenup tossed out.

Not alone.

Juliet’s breath hitched, and tears— relieved ones this time— welled in her eyes.

Her hands shook, but she typed and sent another message.

Juliet: I appreciate the offers Missy and Nell, but Elise’s house is within walking distance to work and my grandmother’s. I’m not sure if the car is in my name or not, but knowing Ezra, it isn’t.

Bria: Elise signed over her car to me when she stopped driving. The insurance is up to date. Use it. The keys are in the top drawer in the kitchen.

Juliet: Thanks.

And thank you, Elise.

The woman, who’d been her former boss fifteen years ago, had a lightning-fast temper, but she loved as fiercely whether family, friend, or customer.

More dots appeared on Juliet’s screen.

Missy: I’ll be out of the hospital this afternoon, but I can’t do much to help now.

Selena: Your job is to recover, Missy. We’ll pick up the slack until you’re better.

Nell: Yes, we will, so hang up, Missy. You’re not supposed to be staring at screens with a concussion.

Nell: I’m at work, but I’ll grab groceries when I get off and bring them to Elise’s.

Selena: I’ll come to Berry Lake this weekend. If Ezra cleaned out your bank account, text me, and I’ll send money ASAP.

Uh-oh. Juliet hadn’t considered their money. She opened the banking app on her phone and did a double-take at the balances in the two accounts. Only $ 150 remained in their checking account and $ 25 in their savings.

As her heart sank, her shoulders drooped. “Why, Ezra?”

On Saturday, there’d been over ten thousand dollars in each account when she’d taken out her weekly allowance for groceries.

Her muscles bunched. All she wanted to do was scream. Instead, she dropped the phone onto the bed.

Okay, until this past week, he’d been the only one earning a paycheck. She kept him fed, clothed, and the house clean, which made her… his glorified maid and nanny.

Ugh. Juliet buried her face against her hands before straightening.

She needed to stop pretending life was a fairytale. That storybook had ended years ago.

Why wouldn’t Ezra drain their accounts?

The man had cheated and gotten another woman pregnant.

A rat, remember?

At least she had a withdrawal slip with the amounts that had been in both. After three deep breaths, she picked up her phone and typed.

Juliet: I need a good divorce attorney, Selena, so please pass on my number to your friend or give me hers. Ezra cleaned out the bank accounts, but I have some cash to tide me over.

Juliet: Feel better, Missy. You can help me later. And Nell, milk, eggs, cheese, butter, and bread would be great. I want to lie low for a few days.

Bria: If you have questions about the house or car, text or call me.

Juliet: You guys are the best friends ever. I don’t know what I’d do without you. Last night was a nightmare, but I don’t feel so lost anymore.

Selena: You aren’t.

Bria: We promised to be there for each other.

Nell: We sure did.

Missy: Cupcake Posse forever!

Nell: Off the phone, Missy, or I’ll talk to your doctor again.

Laughter bubbled over. Something Juliet never expected to experience this morning. But wasn’t that why she texted her friends? So she wouldn’t have to face this by herself?

Their offers, however, left her stunned but oh so grateful for their friendship and them.
Melissa McClone. Tiaras & Teacups (Kindle Locations 685-773). Cardinal Press, LLC.

With the wheels in motion for her divorce Juliet with help from Charlene, Sabine, her husband Max, and Sheridan with her husband, Michael helping getting Juliet moved into Elise’s house goes quickly and efficiently. There was of course a confrontation with Ezra but that was to be expected.

There’s a lot that happens in this book, a new neighbor for Juliet, Roman the new veterinarian and his daughter, more Nell and Gage with the addition of the paramedic Welles, more of Brie and Dalton too. Some never ending drama with Ezra, Remy and even Juliet’s grandmother Penelope Jones gets in the act.

Juliet also gets a couple of housemates, Charlene brings Butterscotch, Elise’s cat to Juliet thinking the cat would much rather be in his own home than her condo. Then Mrs. Vernon a friend of her grandmother’s brings her dog Lulu. She’s going into assisted living and the dog can’t come with her. An interesting development that includes Roman.

I loved this book so very much. There is so much growth with each of these characters. I really can’t wait for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

New Series! Cupcakes and Crumbs – Berry Lake Cupcake Posse Book 1 By Melissa McClone


Cupcakes and Crumbs
Berry Lake Cupcake Posse Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

blurb-fall-cornucopia

After life takes five women on different paths, a death brings them home. But friendship might not be enough to keep them together.

When Bria Landon and her estranged father each inherit fifty percent of a small-town cupcake shop, her dad hires her worst enemy, and first love, to turn the place into a soulless franchise…or sell it.

To save her aunt’s legacy, Bria needs the help of people who love the bakery as much as she does—her old friends who worked there fifteen years ago. Except each woman is dealing with her own problem.

Juliet fears her marriage is about to crumble. She’s in panic mode, trying to prove she’s more than a trophy wife.

Since her husband’s death nine years ago, working in the cupcake shop has saved Missy. Now, she might lose the job she loves.

Despite Nell’s insistence she’s happy being single, her meddling mom won’t stop playing matchmaker.

And life coach Selena has found fame and fortune fixing everyone else’s lives. Something, however, is missing in hers, and she hasn’t a clue what it might be.

They want to believe their friendship can overcome anything. But as the Berry Lake Cupcake Posse reunite to save their beloved cupcake shop, they soon discover the undertaking will bring more trouble than they expected.

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In this first book of the series we get to meet the individuals that make up the Berry Lake Cupcake Posse. This isn’t newly formed, rather it was a name given to the group when they worked at the cupcake shop together years ago.

As this book opens Elise Landon, the owner of the Berry Lake Cupcake Shop has lost her battle with Cancer. Her niece Bria has been with her, caring for her and keeping the business running. It’s Elise’s birthday and Bria isn’t sure if the employees would want to continue the usual birthday celebration at the shop. First we meet Missy Hanford, she never left Berry Lake and is now the baker and manager of the Cupcake shop. As Bria looks at the old photo of ‘the posse’ she remembers them all, Nell Culpepper is now a nurse at the local hospital, Juliet Monroe recently moved back with her wealthy husband, and Selena T, is a successful life coach married to a professional hockey player but lives in Seattle.

We get to see a lot of each of these women but the main story is Bria and the fate of the Cupcake shop. It seems Elise has left half of the coffee shop to her brother, Bria’s father. Bria has many conversations about this turn of events, including a get together of the cupcake posse. These woman need to come together more often and promise to do so, we also get a closer look at Juliet’s marriage which isn’t what she pretends it is.

A big turning point in the story is the meeting Bria has with her father the day after the will is read. He brings in a consultant, a real estate consultant. Dalton Dwyer, the man who when they were seniors in high school, broke her heart and caused his friends and others to bully her for the rest of the year.

This is a favorite scene.

Bria had only picked at her food until Dalton arrived. No way would she be able to eat more now. With her stomach churning so much, Bria felt physically ill. She pushed her plate toward the server. “I am.”

As soon as the server picked up the plates, Dalton removed two glossy folders.

Not to be outdone, Bria pulled out her analysis and gave it to her dad. “I didn’t know my father had hired anyone, so I only made one copy.”

Her dad laughed. “You both came prepared.”

She placed her hand on top of her knee to keep it from bouncing. “That’s what this meeting is about.”

“I put together the options we discussed to bring Bria up to date.” He handed her a folder. “See what you think.”

Bria opened it and nearly gasped at the table of contents. This information wasn’t something thrown together after a quick phone call with her dad yesterday. She closed the cover. “How long have you been working on this?”

“Almost two months.”

She’d had no reason to doubt what Charlene had said, but Dalton’s answer was proof. The fact her father had hired a guy before mentioning anything to her was an added betrayal.

Oh, Aunt Elise, he’s played you and me.

As Bria’s temper shot into the red zone, she took a breath and then stared at her father. “Why did you act surprised when Marc read the will? You knew Aunt Elise left you half of the cupcake shop, yet pretended as if you didn’t.”

Her father shrugged. “I realized you didn’t know, or you would have reached out before.”

“Before?”

“Before Elise died.”

Bria balled her fists. “I would have never discussed that before Aunt Elise was gone. I only talked about the cupcake shop with Missy after Elise went into hospice. It would have been inappropriate.”

Her father’s face went blank. “Someone needs to be reasonable about the cupcake shop.”

“Reasonable?” She lowered her voice and opened the folder. “Franchise opportunities. Building sale assessment. Nowhere do I see anything that says continue running the cupcake shop as Aunt Elise wanted.”

“Elise didn’t want to sell the shop?” Dalton asked, sounding surprised.

“No,” Bria said sharply. “She wanted Missy Hanford to manage and upgrade the shop. If you look at my analysis, you’ll see a breakdown of the costs as well as projected profits. It’s doable, and we’d both receive a decent monthly income after expenses.”

Dalton skimmed the pages she’d provided, but his face remained neutral. “You never mentioned keeping the cupcake shop, Brian.”

Her dad’s face flushed. “Elise is dead. Bria and I don’t live in Berry Lake. We can’t keep the cupcake shop operating as it is today. Besides, the value is in the building.”

Bria wanted to know her father’s intentions. Well, he’d laid them out as clear as the water in Berry Lake come springtime. It was as she feared— he didn’t care about the shop and her aunt’s legacy— but that didn’t stop her stomach from sinking and her aching heart to feel as if it had been used as a punching bag.

Dalton stared over her report. “Your father told me keeping the shop wasn’t an option.”

Of course, he did. “It’s the only option for me.”

Her dad rolled his eyes. “Be reasonable, Bria.”

“I am one hundred percent reasonable.” She kept her voice even. “You’re almost sixty. Social security payments will only go so far. You don’t have a 401K, but do you have a Roth IRA or a SEP? We can structure profit payments any way you want. Monthly or weekly, even.”

“I’d rather have my proceeds from selling the building, invest it, and double my money.”

So typical. “You could lose it all.”

His chin jutted forward. “That’s a chance I’m willing to take.”

Bria sat back in her chair. “I wonder what Elise would say.”

Her father did a double take. “Excuse me?”

“According to Charlene Culpepper, the only reason Elise left you fifty percent was to bring us closer.”

“She may have mentioned that.”

“You’re the one who called her and suggested she do this. It was you. Not her.”

Fear flashed in her father’s eyes, but a second later, he was back in control, sipping his coffee.

Bria had to get this out. “How can you talk about selling and investing and being okay with losing what she spent her life creating? Do you think she would have rewritten her will if she thought you would sell the building or franchise the bakery?”

A vein ticced at his jaw.

Bria didn’t expect him to answer. “You’ve ignored everything Elise wanted you to do. Instead of reaching out to me two months ago, you hired the one person I never wanted to see again. You act as if you’re doing this for me when it’s only about you.”

Dalton shifted, appearing uncomfortable. “Bria—”

“I’m sorry my father dragged you into this.” She looked at her father. “Aunt Elise wanted Missy to keep the cupcake shop going, and that’s what I will make sure happens with or without you.”

Her father’s face hardened. “Fifty percent of the cupcake shop belongs to me.”

“It will, but it doesn’t yet,” she countered.

“I have an idea.” Dalton flashed a tight smile. “Why don’t I review your numbers with your dad? In the meantime, gather up any blueprints or proposals you have on the upgrades Elise intended to make. We can meet tomorrow to discuss everything. Say at two o’clock at the cupcake shop?”

Bria had no idea where the plans were, but maybe Missy knew. “Fine.”

“Read what Dalton gave you.” Tight lines formed around her father’s mouth.

Her father handed her his report. Now she had two of them.

“It’s only polite after the work he put into this,” her father added.

A waste of time, too, but… “I can do that.”

“We’ll see you tomorrow,” her dad said.

Bria shoved the shiny folder into her laptop bag, left the other one for her dad, removed a twenty from her purse, and tossed it onto the table. She had no idea what kind of game her father was playing or what Dalton’s role in this was, but she didn’t trust either of them. No matter what it took, she would protect her aunt’s legacy from both men.
Melissa McClone. Cupcakes & Crumbs (Kindle Locations 2181-2241). Cardinal Press, LLC.

So much happens in this book, and it really takes off after that meeting. Dalton himself proves to be a surprise but there is so much more going on especially with Juliet and her husband.

Lot’s of laughter, tears, suspense and family drama in this book. I also have to wonder about Dalton and Bria as they start getting close again.

There are other couples we see in this book as well. Jenny and Dare, Hope and Josh, Sheridan and Michael they are all in the Indigo Bay Books. Links below.

I really can’t wait for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Coming Soon!

Tiaras & Teapots

Melissa’s Books In Indigo Bay
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!