A Slice of Summer is now available! This is book #2 in my Silver Falls series which feature standalone romances featuring the Andrews family siblings. It's set in a quaint small town in Washington state with a fun cast of characters and a few dogs!
Here's the blurb:
First, he ghosted her. Now, he has a proposition…
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?
To read, click here!
The book received the following review from Publishers Weekly:
It was another busy night at the bakery. Taryn placed an éclair on a plate. She didn’t have to force a cheery mood. Not when tables on the patio and inside were packed on a Monday night.
This will work.
Taryn wiggled her toes before handing the dessert to a smiling customer. “Enjoy your éclair.”
For the first time that evening, no one stepped up to the counter. The lull let her take a break and a sip of water.
“They keep coming tonight,” Jayden whispered. “Not complaining, but we might need to add a person to this shift.”
Excellent customer service made a difference, according to Grandpa. But Taryn wouldn’t hire someone until she saw the numbers.
“If business keeps up next week, I’ll see who wants extra hours temporarily. If we sustain this level, we can make it permanent through summer.” Taryn removed her gloves. “You’ve worked long enough today. Go home to your lovely wife.”
“She’s on duty, and you need the help.”
Taryn recognized Callie coming from the back entrance and waved. “As soon as I can afford it, you’re getting a raise.”
“Good, because I deserve one.” With a wink, he headed into the kitchen.
Taryn smiled. “Welcome to Lawson’s Bakery.”
Callie’s complexion glowed. “The patio is amazing.”
“Thank you.” Taryn acknowledged Brandt and Margot, but she didn’t recognize the couple with them. The man, however, looked vaguely familiar. “I’m so happy with how it turned out.”
“The customers like it too,” Margot said.
As Taryn’s chest swelled with pride, she nodded. Now, all she needed was for her parents to acknowledge it. “That’s the best part.”
“Your brownies are the best.” Brandt stepped forward, putting his arm around Callie. “But the patio is a close second.”
“I don’t think you’ve met my parents, Tina and John Andrews.” Callie glanced at the man and woman. “Mom and Dad, this is Taryn Lawson, who makes the tastiest baked goods in the Pacific Northwest, if not the West Coast.”
“We ate a few of your desserts over Christmas, but tonight was our first time tasting your bread. Delicious.”
A thrill shot through Taryn. She stood taller. “Thanks. What can I get you?”
As they studied the evening specials on the board behind her, she readied her hand on the cash register. One by one, they ordered.
“Is that everything?” Taryn asked before she hit total.
“We should get Garrett something.” Margot’s voice softened. “He’s a sweetheart for sitting outside with the dogs.”
Wait. Was Garrett there? Taryn’s muscles bunched. She hadn’t expected him to return. Not when she’d told him she never wanted to see him again. Rude, yes, but given how he made her feel about herself… Still, the nerve of him coming tonight sent her blood boiling.
“Garrett loves molasses cookies,” Callie chimed in. “Isn’t that right, Taryn?”
Her hands balled. “Your brother had a cookie earlier. He doesn’t get a second one.”
Margot’s jaw dropped.
Brandt blew out a breath.
Mr. and Mrs. Andrews shared a look.
Taryn’s hands shook, but she didn’t care. Muscle memory allowed her to fill the order, and what common sense remained kept her from holding any baked good too hard. She didn’t glance up.
Instead, she moved like a robot, each motion programmed in and no extra steps. Plates sat on a tray. So did the drinks. She rang up the sale and even remembered to give two dog biscuits shaped like bones to Margot. “For Angus and Sadie.”
“Thanks, dear.” Concern filled Margot’s eyes.
Please don’t ask. Taryn pushed the tray forward on the counter. That was when she noticed Callie was missing. Probably off to warn her brother about the crazy baker who wouldn’t give him a cookie.
She plastered on a smile that was probably more deranged clown than cheerful. “Have a nice evening.”
Thankfully, no one else stepped up to order. Taryn hurried into the kitchen.
“Brecken,” she called to the rising high school senior. “Please take the front.”
He left the loaves of bread he was wrapping. “Sure thing, Boss.”
She headed to her office, plopped into her chair, and buried her face in her hands. “What is wrong with you?”
“I was about to ask you the same question.” Jayden touched her shoulder. “You, okay?”
Yes. No. She had no idea. “I made a fool of myself in front of Callie, Brandt, and their families.”
“Fool isn’t in your vocabulary.”
“It was tonight. And my picture is now being sent to dictionaries everywhere—online or print.”
“It can’t be that bad.”
Heat pooled in Taryn’s cheeks. “I told Callie her brother couldn’t have a cookie.”
Jayden’s jaw jutted forward. “He’s back?”
“That was my reaction.”
“That egotistical lawyer is the only fool.”
Taryn’s pulse rate returned to normal. “Thanks. I’ve never gotten so angry like that.”
“The guy triggered you. It happens.”
“I can’t believe this happened in front of customers, especially Callie and Margot.”
“But they have no idea what’s been going on.”
“That’s okay. This isn’t like you, but his appearance set you reeling, and Callie caught you off-guard.” Jayden sat on the edge of her desk. “So this thing with Garrett really affected you?”
“I wasn’t in love with him.” The words poured from her lips faster than runny ganache.
Jayden raised an eyebrow. His look suggested he didn’t believe her. “I didn’t say you were, but love at first sight is real. That’s how it was with Rachelle and me.”
“It wasn’t like that with us. Garrett and I had fun. We were getting closer, so I’d hoped it might turn into more eventually, but neither of us wanted a long-distance relationship. But when he ghosted me, it magnified how I was already feeling. Today and tonight brought up the emotions again.”
“About what?” Jayden asked.
“That I’m not enough. My parents keep implying I’m not smart enough to keep the bakery going, even though I’ve been doing it for years. Then, I wasn’t enough for Garrett to call me after he left, when he said he would. Now, given the downturn in business, I wonder if my mom and dad are right. And I don’t need Garrett Andrews reaffirming it for me.”
Jayden rubbed his neck. “That’s a lot to unpack.”
“It’s me, not Garrett. I’m taking out my emotions and insecurity on him.” She clasped her hands to keep from fidgeting. “Does that break it down for you better?”
“Yes, but love at first sight exists. That would explain why you took being ghosted so hard.”
“It would in a romantic, tragic movie of the week way, but a broken heart isn’t why I overreacted.” A heartbreak might be easier to deal with, too. “I… I hate being disregarded.”
Especially when her parents did the same thing to her.
“Fine. You’re not in love with him.” Jayden sounded relieved. “But Garrett’s in town, he’s your friend’s brother, and there aren’t many places to hide in Silver Falls. What are you going to do?”
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