Mid Week Tease: Coming Home

midweekteaseGood morning. Hard to believe we’re halfway through October. I mentioned some time ago that I not only publish books under my own name, I co-author books with an extremely talented Canadian author from Newfoundland, Misty Cail, and we write under the name Misty Matthews.

Today, Secret Cravings Publishing is releasing our book, Coming Home. It’s Book One of the Taking a Chance on Love series. This book was previously published, but has since undergone a complete makeover, one which has increased its Christmas appeal, since we’ve expanded on the holiday aspects of the story as well as on the characters and their relationship to the people of Chance and one another.  Coming Home will be available on Amazon within a few days. For now, it can be purchased from the SCP bookstore. I hope you enjoy this week’s tease.

About Coming Home:

Home is where the heart is.

Motorcycle riding, attorney Alana Stewart is a far cry from the shy, teenager who left Chance determined never to look back. Family obligations force her to return to the town that only holds bad memories for her. A stop at her former sanctuary brings an unexpected surprise…the new manager just might be what she needs to get her through the holidays.

When sexy, leather-clad Alana walks into the bookstore, Connor Tate, has a feeling he may be in for the ride of his life. Despite the fact that their lives are headed in different directions, they are drawn to one another. Connor is determined to prove to Alana that Chance isn’t the place she remembers, but will his efforts fail when she discovers he hasn’t told her the whole truth about himself? Can they trust each other enough to take a chance on love?

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This week’s tease:

Coming Home coverGone was the shy, skinny girl in glasses the other kids teased and the town folks ignored. If she had been recognized, no doubt one of the concerned citizens was on the phone right now setting her mother straight. Mom probably wouldn’t be impressed she’d made a familiar stop on the way home, but what else was new?

Alana smiled wryly. Well, they may not have noticed me then, but it looks like they’re seeing me now.

Those on the street craned their necks, and she felt their gazes following her as she sauntered over to Tate’s Bookstore, helmet hanging casually from her hand the way another woman’s purse might. Someone inside the bookstore looked out the front window, probably as curious as the others were, but they quickly pulled back as she approached.

Alana stood on the sidewalk admiring her old hangout, letting the past claim her before pushing the brass handle to open the door. The antique bell tinkled, announcing her arrival just as it had years ago. Memories of the hours spent in this place washed over her. The familiar aroma of old books, a scent she loved, surrounded her. Eagerly, she stepped forward, anxious to see Mr. Tate again. They’d spent hours together discussing her favorite books.

Sadness filled her. Things had changed. No matter what he’d been doing, Mr. Tate had always come at the sound of the bell. Another thought struck her. Perhaps he didn’t own the bookstore anymore. It was common practice for new owners to keep a business’s original name. Goodwill was a marketable commodity these days.

“Hello, is anyone here?” Her voice echoed in the emptiness of the shop.

A touch nervous—the insecurity of the past catching up with her—she moved deeper into the store, and started when a man cleared his throat. Looking in the direction of the sound, she was pleasantly surprised when a stranger stepped out from between two rows of shelves. The man was most definitely not the one she’d expected.

Dressed in jeans that hugged him in all the right places, a white T-shirt, and a gray and black striped sweater vest, he took her breath away. Clean shaven with striking green eyes peering at her from behind large black framed glasses, he was gorgeous.  His look was totally geek-chic and it drew her as no other did. Even though she never acted on the yearning guys like that sometimes evoked in her, she could appreciate a masterpiece when she saw it. His expensive, spicy, tantalizing cologne aroused a sudden desire that pulsed through her.

Usually shy around males, a holdover from her teen years, she stared at him openly. The man was pure eye candy, and she loved candy! From the way he stood, she could tell there was a toned and fit body hidden under his clothes. Finding herself wishing she could see more of it, she felt her cheeks grow hot at the implication of her thoughts.

The man seemed vaguely familiar, and she rattled her brain trying to place him, but try as she might, she couldn’t imagine anyone she knew back then looking like this today. Had she seen this god before, she’d certainly have remembered him.

“Can I help you?” His bold gaze took in every inch of her. The look on his face said he liked what he saw.

“I was looking for Mr. Tate. Is he around?” she asked, amazed her voice sounded normal when her heart was beating so fast he must surely hear it.

“I’m sorry. Dad isn’t here right now. Is there something I can do for you?”

Lots! Her brain screamed as her raging hormones threatened to take over and destroy what little common sense she had left. Peering at him closely, she tried to zone in on the familiarity she’d sensed. Dad? It hit her.

Holy crap! Connor Tate.

He’d changed so much she hadn’t recognized him, which was crazy since she’d had a huge crush on him in high school. While she’d never been the girl who ogled the captain of the football team, she’d liked the smart guy—the one who carried books around and wanted to learn things the way she did. Mesmerized, her eyes searched his face for a sign of recognition. Gone was his acne and hundred-pound weakling scrawny frame. Instead, she stared at perfection. Her brain screamed at her to say something—anything.

“It’s Connor, right?” she asked as if seeing him again wasn’t flooding her with memories, not all of them pleasant. “I’m sorry I missed him. Where is he?”

“My parents are visiting my sister in Florida. They travel a lot these days.”

“That’s wonderful. I’ll bet he’s having a grand time. He always wanted to travel.”

Mr. Tate had spoken about all the places in the world he’d like to visit, and since she’d assumed she’d never get out of Chance, she’d traveled in her books while the shop had kept her friend’s feet firmly planted in Chance.

“You know my father?” His voice was tinged with curiosity and confusion.

“I do.” Alana smiled. “We were really good friends when I was growing up in Chance. This place was like my second home.”

“Alana Stewart?”

Surprised he knew her name, she nodded. “Guilty as charged, your honor.”

“I heard through the rumor mill you were coming home; you’re a lawyer now, right?” Connor looked her up and down again.

“Corporate, specializing in litigation,” she added. “Nothing gets by the small-town gossips, does it?” Her voice was laced with sarcasm, and she was unable to keep her disdain from coming through clearly. She was sure he noticed her tone, but to his credit, he didn’t comment.

“Did you want something? Or did you stop by just to see my father?”

“Well, I did, but I might as well pick up a new novel or two to read while I’m home. I feel naked without a book on the go.”

Now, don’t forget to visit the other teasers:

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7 thoughts on “Mid Week Tease: Coming Home

  1. Congrats on the re-release, Susanne! My favorite part was right here, “Can I help you?” His bold gaze took in every inch of her. The look on his face said he liked what he saw.
    And he’s smart!!!!!

  2. Oh, how I love it when people we didn’t think were gorgeous turn out like Connor and Alana.
    “I feel naked without a book on the go.”
    I can’t help thinking that statement was meant to capture Connor’s imagination! She already has the hots for him. Now, I wonder if Connor’s interest is stirred. Sweet tease.

  3. Revisiting your past can be so difficult, can’t it? Especially when your childhood/teen years are not as you’d like them to be. The story intrigues me and I really enjoyed your snippet. Thank you!

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