I can’t wait until July to publish my debut romance novel, “A Second Chance”. This novel is a contemporary romance telling the story of Lucian Pereli, a recently released ex-con looking for a fresh start, and Raina Carstens, owner of the Black Cat Café and best friend to Lucian’s brother. When Raina hires Lucian to work at her café, she begins to realize her life is about to become much more complicated.
I’m hoping to do a number of teasers leading up to publication date, and this is the first! Below is a small excerpt from my novel! Enjoy!
“I can start today.”
It was an admirable offer, but Raina wasn’t so sure. Lucian looked exhausted, and he was dressed in too fine of clothes. Even as he said the words, she could see the slight look of regret on his face. She was happy to see he was eager, but…
“No dice,” Bailey spoke up. “I have to train you up front first, and I have this paper due tomorrow about the cultural renaissance of England. It would be really awesome if you could wait until tomorrow. That way I could use my downtime today to work on it. Would that be cool?”
Raina steeled her nerves, not letting her face betray her thoughts. She knew it was a lie, but Lucian seemed to buy it. Raina added, “We can get you a couple aprons and extra shirts. Come with me.” Lucian followed her behind the counter in silence. He was a towering presence. Even so, he wasn’t overwhelming like some. “You can wash these and have a few back-ups. We make a lot of messes around here, so if you start running low on non-stained ones, just let me know.”
“I will.” He paused, looking her in the eye, his face solemn. “Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I know I come with a bit of drama, but I’ll work hard. I won’t waste this chance.”
“Of course.” He seemed easy to talk with, even when he was being serious. “I wouldn’t have given you the job if I had any doubts of that. You did well! Just, don’t stress so much in the future.”
“Will do, Miss Carstens.”
“Raina, please. I hate being called ‘miss.’ Makes me feel like I’m in trouble.”
Lucian chuckled, taking the shirts. “Well, you just hired me, so maybe you are in trouble.”
Raina couldn’t help laughing. It sounded a little flirty, but she let it go. He was sweet—at least he seemed so.
“The paperwork will get done tonight,” Grayden said, casually leaning against the counter. Bailey must have let him in when they’d been in the back. “I can drop him off on my way in tomorrow, pick up my usual order.”
“Sounds like a plan. I’ll see you both tomorrow.” Her hands ran down her shirt, straightening it as Lucian exited the café with his brother. Raina gave a little wave as they left. She waited until they had crossed the street before speaking, not wanting to be overheard. “That paper was due last week, Bailey. You had me read it, twice. Why’d you lie?”
Bailey let out a sigh, leaning against the counter smugly. “He seems nice, and frankly he looked dead on his feet. Figured I’d throw him a bone. I don’t think he would have said no otherwise.”
“Yeah, and like hell was he going to work in those shoes. No traction. Two minutes in he’d have broken a leg.” Carter chimed in, pulling Bailey back into conversation and leaving Raina to her thoughts. She smiled at how easily everyone was taking to their new hire. It looked like Lucian was part of their little family now. Hopefully he was prepared for the chaos that came with it.