Authors: Marie Rochelle
Published by Phaze Books
By Marie Rochelle
Alpha Male Incorporated: Under Your Protection
Alpha Male Incorporated: Access Granted
A Taste of Love: Richard
Closer to You: Lee
My Deepest Love: Zack
More Than Friends: Brad
Caught 2: Ajana’s Return
All the Fixin’
Crossing the Railroad
A Rancher’s Promise
The Men of CCD: Slow Seduction
The Men of CCD: Loving True
The Men of CCD: Help Wanted
Hunks: Too Hot to Touch
Hunks: Opposite Attraction
Hunks: Pulled Over
Me & Mrs. Jones
Taken by Storm
Roped Into You
So Much Better
Bikers & Bars: Dante’s Way
This is an explicit and erotic novel
intended for the enjoyment
of adult readers. Please keep
out of the hands of children.
Copyright © 2013 by Marie Rochelle
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Edited by Judy Bagshaw
Cover Art © 2013 by Skyla Dawn Cameron
First Edition August 2013
An imprint of Celeritas Unlimited LLC
6457 Glenway Ave., #109
Cincinnati, OH 45211
All rights reserved under the International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher, Celeritas Unlimited LLC, 6457 Glenway Avenue, #109, Cincinnati, Ohio 45211, [email protected]
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
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Production by Phaze Books
Phaze Books is a division of Celeritas Unlimited LLC
To Jonathan W.,
Thank for you making Saturday mornings so
magical for me.
“I can’t believe that woman actually moved next door to my business,” Jensen Lowe complained, glaring out of his office window at the dark blue car parked on the street. “It has taken me years to build up my client list. I’m not about to have everything ruined because of her.”
“Don’t you think that you’re overacting just a little? Do you really believe her small business is going to take away all of our clients?” his brother argued. “Neither one of you are doing the same thing so neither one should interfere with the other. Just leave it alone.”
Turning away from the window, Jensen gave his baby brother, Casper, a disapproving glance. “Why aren’t you more upset about Sinful? Don’t you know what she is going to do to us or don’t you care?”
Casper propped his feet on the edge of his desk because he knew how much his brother hated it. Sometimes, Jensen wondered how he and his brother were even related because they were so dissimilar from each other. He planned for the future while Casper didn’t see past the moment he was living in each and every day.
“Yes, I care about Fitness 24 but I highly doubt anyone here will get sidetracked by our new neighbor’s bakery. So why don’t you calm down and just let her do her thing?” Casper sighed. “I mean it’s a little shop. I actually think it’s pretty cute. I noticed some treats through the window and they did look enticing.”
Coming across the room, Jensen knocked his brother’s feet off his clean desk. “How about you let me handle this? You need to get downstairs to your next class before you’re late again. I’ve gotten several complaints from clients last week about you.”
Sighing, Casper got up from his seat. “No one in my class should have run and told you anything about me. I know how to do my job and if I didn’t they wouldn’t keep coming back three days a week,” he complained. “It wasn’t like I was an hour late; I mean it was only like five minutes late. Why were they acting like the world is coming to an end or something?”
“Your regulars aren’t paying to stand there and stare at the walls while you take your sweet time doing whatever you were doing. They want to spend the entire hour learning kickboxing and nothing else,” Jensen replied. “You keep asking for a bigger place to teach them, but how can I trust you with it? You aren’t the most responsible person in the world.”
Jensen pondered how much longer he could put up with his brother’s immature attitude about life and their family business. He truly had about enough dealing with Casper’s constant mistakes and screw ups over the last several weeks. He could hardly count on his sibling to be there for him anymore. It was like he was going solo with Fitness 24 instead of it being a partnership.
“God Jensen, take a breath and calm down. You’re making life way too hard on yourself. Get out of this office more and live a little. Why don’t you start teaching another class to burn off all of that energy? Because I know you aren’t about to get a girlfriend since you haven’t been out on a real date in over two years,” Casper said, watching him. “I thought Chloe was a snot and bitch, but she got you out of this office. You need to get a woman or at least a female with benefits. You are way too tense to be so young.”
He didn’t need or want any kind of advice from his lack of commitment brother. It wasn’t any of Casper’s concern when he decided to start dating again. So, it would be for the best if he stayed out of his personal life and stuck to what he knew the best which was much
“Casper, you need to go and I do mean right this second before I say something I will regret later,” Jensen warned.
“Alright, I’m gone but don’t bother our new neighbor. She had a right to move next door. There isn’t a law against it even if you think there should be. Please don’t make it out to be more than it is.” Turning around, Casper walked out of the room, but left his unwanted advice lingering behind.
Jensen blew off what his brother told him and then strolled back over to the huge bay window. He caught his neighbor as she went back to the trunk of her car. She grabbed more and more boxes from the trunk and carried them into the bakery next door. He still couldn’t comprehend why the asshole property owner wouldn’t sell the empty space to him, but sold it to someone like her.
What was this guy’s deal anyway? Did the guy have a problem with him or something?
How would anyone at Fitness 24 succeed with this woman next door selling those high calorie treats? So many people would be too tempted not to break the rules.
His new neighbor had been open for almost six months, but he might be able to ‘convince’ her into finding a new location. Hell, he would even offer to buy the rest of the lease from her. He was planning to offer her so much money that she wouldn’t be able to turn him down for any reason.
Knowing he wasn’t going to get anything done unless he confronted Little Miss Sugar and Spice, Jensen eased away from the window and then walked out of his office door praying luck would be on his side.
Dipping the spoon into the batter, Maymi Monroe tasted her grandmother’s recipe for red velvet cupcakes one last time to make sure it gave her memories from her childhood. She wasn’t about to bake and put anything in the display case if it wasn’t totally satisfying for her customers.
The flavors were beyond perfection. She knew her grandmother would be so proud of her. Maymi laid the spoon to the side and picked up the ice cream scoop which belonged to her late grandmother. She wanted to do everything she could to keep the memory of her alive in her heart and mind.
She started filling up the paper-lined cupcake pans and was halfway through when the bell chimed above the entrance door. More and more, she was beginning to realize that she really needed to hire a morning person to work the counter. A majority of her money went right back into the business and supplies so much that all she could afford was a part-time woman student to work in the afternoons.
“Hello, is anyone here?” a voice called out.
“I’m coming,” Maymi hollered, wiping her hands on her apron. She hurried out of the kitchen door and literally stopped in her tracks when her eyes landed on the man standing there waiting for her.
those three well-known words couldn’t begin to even describe the hunk staring at her.
Short, jet-black hair covered his head, showing off his strong face along with his chiseled jaw line. The slight shadow of his beard gave him an even more striking look, but it didn’t take away from the hint of a dimple in his chin.
He stood there as if he prided himself on his good looks. She couldn’t deny how acutely aware she was of this guy’s beautifully proportioned body. He had an innately captivating presence that seemed to fill her entire bakery.
Maymi was surprised to find a guy like him inside of her shop. He didn’t look like he did anything but work out and eat protein bars. Why would he step out of the gym and walk inside here? However, if he had a sweet tooth, she wasn’t about to turn away a sale, not with the mortgage she had to pay on this place.
His tawny brown eyes raked over her body then came back up to study her face. Maymi couldn’t help but wonder why he was staring at her so intently. He was coming off as a little defensive and for the life of her she couldn’t figure out the reason why. This was the first time she had even laid eyes on him. She hadn’t done anything to him.
“Hi, I’m Maymi Monroe. May I help you with something, sir?” She smiled, walking closer to the glass display counter.
“I own the gym next door and I came over here to see how you got this place instead of me,” the guy questioned, his tone harsh. “I offered the realtor a huge sum of money and I constantly got shot down. How did someone like you get a yes from that jerk?”
At first, Maymi glanced around looking for a hidden camera because she sure in the hell better be getting punk’d since this guy better not be seriously asking how someone ‘like her’ got this shop.
Was he out of his damn mind?