Published by Zebra Shout on April 24th 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
There's a very special kind of sweetness to life on Pine Cove Island . . .
Most families have a favorite recipe or two, handed down through generations. The Holloway women are a little different. Emma Holloway, like her grandmother before her, bakes wishes into her delicious cupcakes, granting the recipient comfort, sweet dreams, or any number of good things. It's a strange gift, but it brings only happiness. Until gorgeous, smooth-talking newcomer Hunter Kane strolls into her shop, Fairy Cakes--and Emma makes the mistake of selling him not one, but three Sweet Success cupcakes.
Hunter, it turns out, is opening a fancy new restaurant and bakery right on the waterfront--Emma's competition. To make matters worse, the town committee has decided to split the upcoming summer festival contract between the two, forcing Emma to work with her nemesis. But she can't afford to split her profits. The solution: create a recipe that will make Hunter leave town permanently.
The Holloway charms are powerful. But there are other kinds of magic in the world--like red-hot first kisses, secret glances, and the feeling that comes with falling truly, madly, inconveniently in love . . .
That half smile ghosted across his face again and he crossed his arms. It was a simple gesture of relaxed ease, but Emma didn’t buy it. There was a hunger in his dark green gaze that she remembered all too well. The lion was on high alert.
“What did you want to talk about?” he asked.
“It was wrong,” she blurted.
Hunter’s posture shifted slightly. “You think last night was a mistake.”
“Totally. I mean, I never do that kind of thing. Ever. I don’t know what I was thinking, you know?” Here came the babble. She always babbled when she was nervous. “But I know it’s not a good idea to mix my personal life with business. And you and I are just business, so I hope you understand it’s not going to happen again because, you know, I can’t really believe it even happened in the first place.”
His gaze was intense, like he was imagining the things they could do. The things they had done. A delicious shiver skittered up her spine. She forged ahead. “I mean, I just don’t think it should have happened at all. It was kind of crazy and well, contrary to what you may have heard, I’m not actually crazy. Weird, sure. But not reckless like that. At least I never have been in the past. So anyway, I would like to forget about it and, you know, just go on like before,” said the queen of Babble-on. “Normal and stuff.”
Hunter nodded once and glanced down at the floor. He seemed deep in thought, as if he was trying to make a decision.
Emma tried not to notice his muscular arms, crossed against his chest. Nothing sexy about those. Nope. La la la. She could hear the second hands ticking on the wall clock. Tick. Tick.
He pressed his lips together and she suddenly remembered the feel of them, warm and hot against the sensitive spot on her neck. Focus!
When he finally lifted his head, her knees almost buckled. The lion stared back, all wild and hungry and seductive, like he was about to lick zebra chops. He leaned closer.
She should probably back away.
He watched her beneath thick, dark lashes and lowered his gaze to her mouth.
Yup. Definitely backing away soon. She could almost feel the heat of his body on hers and her traitorous limbs ached with the desire to step closer.
His face hovered inches from hers, as if he was waiting for some sign.
Any second now, she would back away. Any second. Emma’s mouth opened on a tiny indrawn breath.
It seemed to be exactly what he was waiting for. The moment his lips touched hers, her limbs flooded with heat. Her body remembered him and was instantly ready.
He gripped her hips and lifted, pulling her flush against him. She wrapped her legs around his waist, completely lost in the kiss that spread like wildfire through her blood. He carried her to the back room, knocking over a bag of sugar on the way as he braced her up against the pantry wall. She gripped the edge of the shelf, sending stainless steel mixing bowls toppling to the floor. The two of them were like a hurricane, demolishing anything that got in the way, and she was helpless to do anything but hang on.
Emma suddenly wanted to feel his skin against hers. She grabbed the hem of his shirt and yanked it up, breaking away from their kiss just long enough to tear it over his head.
A low growl escaped him as he ran his hands up under her apron, sending a jolt of pure desire rocketing through her.
Screwed. She was so screwed. But in this moment, who cared?
She smiled against his mouth and licked his lips. If he was the hungry lion, then she was happy, slow-roasting zebra chops.
Copyright© 2018 Don’t Call Me Cupcake
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