GENRE: Contemporary Romance
The first time I saw Gabe in my sensual cupcake bakery, I had no idea who he was. All I knew was chiseled perfection like him could never really want a girl like me. That didn’t stop me from craving and lusting after everything I could never have. Success.
And I was trapped in a twisted frenemy relationship with my douche bag ex fiancee. I never would have dreamed who Gabe really was, what he wanted and why he wanted it.
My f*cked up family taught me a lot. Take rather than give. Anything. Everything.
Ally made me feel clean. Whole. I’d do anything to have her and even more to keep her. In spite of my past but more importantly … because of it.
I took her tenuous control and worshiped her killer curves. I never suspected she’d steal my heart.
I slurped down the dregs of my cocoa and carried the mug through to my new kitchen. Sure, most of the stuff was second hand, but it was still my kitchen and I’d scrubbed and polished until you could see your reflection mirrored in the stainless steel.
I trailed my fingers over the countertops, the Kenwood K-mix, and eyed the shelves with pride. I put up most of them myself, wielding my cordless drill. The work had taken my mind off Matthew.
Rinsing out my mug, I yawned and shrugged my shoulders as exhaustion threatened to overtake me. I glanced at the staircase in the back, beside the door to the pantry, knowing I’d get to use them soon.
The wooden steps led upstairs, to my tiny apartment above. Time to get a little rest. It was already past nine and I’d be up at the butt crack of dawn to get baking. I actually tingled with excitement at the thought. Tomorrow was a Red Velvet Rapture kind of a day.
I strolled up the stairs and smiled at my cat, Codsworth, curled up on the sectional I’d pushed against one wall. He’d adapted nicely to the change too. I stroked him behind the ears, then headed to the bedroom and settled on the edge of my queen bed. What was the use of a king-size when there was no one to share it with?
I brushed my teeth and glanced in the mirror at the green eyes staring back. My porcelain complexion held on to the dark circles of my recent fatigue and I resembled a raccoon. Too many long nights. Turning to the side, I sighed as I took in the curvy body I’d always resented because it would never be thin and stylish. Probably needed to lay off the taste testing in the kitchen. I rinsed, splashed cold water on my face and then tied my long, wavy blonde hair up in a ponytail holder. The book I’d started months ago and still hadn’t finished beckoned to me from my nightstand. Maybe just one chapter.
I shook my head, then rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. Or, was it stinging? I stopped and sniffed. A strange smell burned my nostrils and coated the back of my throat. Kind of like an open campfire. Did the neighbors have a chimney or a fireplace or something? Were they burning trash? I hurried over to the window and opened it, then peered out into the alley. Nope, no smoke billowing into the night sky above.
So where had it—?
“Oh, shit,” I murmured “Son of a bitch. No, no, no, no.”
I darted out of the bedroom, past Codsworth and down the stairs. The smell of burning intensified and as I got closer, the heat brought a new flush to my already scorching cheeks. I burst into the kitchen, praying to God for a miracle but my bubbling nausea told a different tale.
One of the ovens had caught fire!
Colleen Charles is the pen name of Tami Stark, #1 Bestselling Author on Amazon.
Colleen Charles held a leadership position for a fortune 500 company for 26 years while writing suspenseful romance by night. Thrilled that she’s now able to write full time, she can’t wait to spend more time connecting with her readers. She’s also a certified life coach and a Reiki Master. She loves reading and writing stories that entertain and sweep women away from their everyday life. Colleen has shown and bred Arabian horses for over 30 years and lives in the Midwest with her human and furry families. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering for underprivileged girls and homeless pets.
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