Sweet Surrender: A MacKenzie Family Novella
(The MacKenzie Family #13.75)
by Liliana Hart
Published December 13th 2016 by Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated
It’s been twelve years since Liza Carmichael stepped foot in Surrender, but after her great aunt’s death she has no choice but to return and settle her estate. Which includes the corner bakery that’s been a staple in Surrender for more than fifty years.
After twenty-five years on the job, Lieutenant Grant Boone finds himself at loose ends now that he’s retired. He’s gotten a number of job offers—one from MacKenzie Security—but he's burned out and jaded, and the last thing he wants to do is carry the burden of another badge and weapon. He almost turns down the invitation from his good friend Cooper MacKenzie to stay as their guest for a few weeks while he’s deciding what to do with the rest of his life. But he packs his bag and heads to Surrender anyway.
The only thing Boone knows is that his future plans don’t include Liza Carmichael. She’s bossy, temperamental, and the confections she bakes are sweet enough to tempt a saint. Thank God he’s never pretended to be one. But after he gets one taste of Liza and things start heating up in the kitchen, he realizes how delicious new beginnings can be.
“Hey, there,” she said, not taking her gaze off of the stranger. “What can I do for you?”
“A loaded question, if I’ve ever heard one,” he said.
“Oh, for the love of God,” Cooper interrupted. “I want a bear claw and a fresh cup of coffee. You make it better than what I can do at the sheriff’s office.”
“You got it, Sheriff,” she said, going to get his order. Her gaze still strayed to the stranger as she worked.
“What about you, cowboy? What do you want?”
“I’m swearing off donuts,” he said in a slow drawl.
Cooper snorted out a laugh, but she ignored him.
“That’s a damned shame,” she said, feeling herself go hot all over. “I don’t think you’ve ever tasted one of my donuts. They’ll melt in your mouth.”
Good Lord, what was she doing? She was practically seducing this man in her great aunt’s bakery. She’d never be able to look Cooper MacKenzie in the eye again. But she couldn’t seem to help herself. And from the heat in his dark brown eyes, he didn’t seem to mind.
“How can I resist such a temptation?”
“Oh, I’m sure you could if you put your mind to it,” she said.
“Why would I want to do that?” he asked.
“I’m standing right here,” Cooper said. “Just waiting for my coffee and bear claw. It’s nothing really. Don’t mind me.”
“I never do,” the stranger said.
“You’re not from around here,” she said.
He shrugged and took out his wallet to pay. “Neither are you.”
“Guilty,” she said, putting their purchases in a brown bag since she hadn’t opened the boxes yet. “I’m Canadian.” She reached for the money and their hands touched. She felt the sizzle all the way to her toes and their gazes locked.
“Still standing here,” Cooper said.
“You have a name?” she asked.
“Grant Boone. I’m visiting from Detroit.”
She nodded. “I figured you were from somewhere in that region. The Midwestern accent without the patience or courtesies.”
“That’s so un-Canadian of you,” he said.
“I’ve lived in New York the past couple of years.”
“That’ll do it. I enjoy a woman with an attitude every now and then.”
“That’s a shame,” she said. “My attitude is pretty much like this all the time. I’ve got it on good authority that I’m a real pain in the ass.”
About Liliana Hart:
Liliana Hart is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author in both the mystery and romance genres. After starting her first novel her freshman year of college, she immediately became addicted to writing and knew she’d found what she was meant to do with her life. She has no idea why she majored in music.
Liliana is an avid reader and a believer in all things romance. Her books are filled with witty dialogue, steamy sex, and the all-important happily-ever-afters her romantic soul craves. Since self-publishing in June of 2011, she’s sold more than 1.2 million ebooks all over the world. http://lilianahart.com/
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