A Time to Bake
A Time to Bake
Her college crush is now a widowed father. Will she get a second chance at love?
Alison with an entrepreneurial spirit, and a leap of faith, quits her job and buys a vintage bakery. When she hires the cute contractor to do the repairs, the building may not be the only thing he restores.
As a widower, Chad has his hands full with his son and overzealous matchmaking friends. Now he’s falling for Alison and envisioning a future with her. But he can’t forgive himself for the mistakes he’s made.
Will Alison let Chad’s past melt away any hope of a sweet ending?
*NOTE: This is an eBook edition that can be read on an electronic device, iPad, Tablet, Nook, Phone, Computer, Kindle, or in the BookFunnel App.
Alison stepped out of the Sunshine Realty office, phone in hand. The sunlight bounced off the screen, blinding her as she stepped into the street to cross to her car. The phone had dinged several times while she signed the contract on the small bakery she’d seen and wanted every time she’d driven through Silverton. But it wasn’t for sale. It sat abandoned, forlorn, waiting for someone to step in and love it. It was exactly what she’d been envisioning for years. And two weeks ago, she had spotted the For Sale sign in the window’s corner and knew in her heart this was the right time to buy the place she’d been dreaming about. Especially with rumors of more layoffs coming. Besides, there wasn’t any reason to stay in St. Louis, not since — A horn blared.
Her feet cemented onto the pavement. Her breath lodged itself in her lungs. Then she was airborne. Time slowed. Everything around her went silent. Shouldn’t she be experiencing some pain? Maybe it was shock?
No, someone, a man, had swept her up and now cradled her with muscular arms under her legs. Her own arms wrapped around his neck as if they were crossing the threshold of their new home. When had she done that? She glanced up to thank him.
His eyes were the color of her favorite dark chocolate expresso icing, and his dark eyelashes framed them so well. Longings she’d buried for years surfaced. Her breath caught.
“What’s wrong with you? Don’t you know it is dangerous to text and walk? Especially when you’re crossing a street? You could have been run over.”
Was he shaking or was it her?
A truck door slammed. Feet pounded and stopped next to them. “Hey, is she okay? I didn’t hit her, did I?” A young boy, he couldn’t be more than the legal age to drive, stared at her with wide eyes.
“I’m fine. You can put me down.” At last, she found her voice. “Thank you for saving me. You’re right. I shouldn’t have been looking at my phone. My mind was on work and—“ Her feet hit the ground. She swayed and caught hold of the man who had scooped her from certain death.
“You are not fine.” He steadied her, wrapping her in his arms.
The teenager paced and drug his hands down the sides of his face. “My dad is going to kill me. I wasn’t driving fast or checking my phone, either.” His face pale against his dark hair.
“You didn’t hit me. I’m unsteady because I suppose my brain is allowing me to realize how close I was to getting hurt, and now I understand how that would have affected you, too. I’m so sorry. Will you be okay? Should I call someone for you?”
“No. I’m hoping no one witnessed this. Dad will take away my driving privileges just because. I think I’ll take off if that’s okay. I mean, you are alright, and your boyfriend saved you.”
“He’s not my—just go.” There was no need to explain to him she did not know who the man standing next to her was or how he came to be in the exact spot at the time she needed him. The boy wasted no time and disappeared in a flash.
“Can I let go of you now?”
“Yes.” He released his grip, leaving an ache at the broken connection. She took a step back, surprised at the feeling of loss, then dismissed it as an overreaction to the situation. “It was kind of you to risk your own life.”
“He wasn’t going that fast. But I do not want to do that again, so put that phone away when you’re walking. It’s dangerous, and there’s nothing important enough that can’t wait to be read, watched, or texted until you’re not moving. Don’t make others responsible for your poor choices.”
“You sound like my dad.”
“Then I guess you’ve heard it before.”
Were his eyes even darker? And were those flecks of gold? Had they met? He looked like someone… maybe, but she had met so many people as a pharmaceutical rep. “I have. It’s just that my mind is so busy, I have trouble keeping up with what’s going on around me and at work. Which reminds me, I have messages that I have to reply to. Don’t worry, I’ll stay in one place until I’m finished.” She pointed to her black Charger. “In there, the motor on only for the air conditioning. I promise.”
“Good, because one rescue a day is all I can handle. Stay safe.” He nodded and walked away.
“Wait. I didn’t catch your name. How can I thank you?”
He said something else, but she didn’t catch it. One thing for sure, once she moved to Silverton, she would find out who he was and present him with a box of her best cupcakes, the chocolate ones that matched his eyes.
She was light as a feather.
Something about the woman wouldn’t leave him alone. Her lips had been close enough to kiss. He’d wanted to. And she was a stranger. What kind of messed up was that?
This had to be Deni’s fault. She’d pushed at him long enough that he’d weakened, and she’d got him to go on a date, a miserable one. And that must be the reason all the what-ifs that women bring to a man’s life had bubbled up in his brain. Like the one, he was thinking about now. What would her lips feel like? And did the sweet vanilla smell come from her hair or her lip gloss?
He hoped she was safe, paying more attention to her surroundings than her phone. Maybe he should have stuck around and made sure she returned her phone calls before starting her engine.
Turning up the radio, he tried to drown out the thoughts about her and the soft skin of her arms around his neck.