Happy Sample Sunday!
I’m super excited to finally be able to share a little something from my next release, In Spite of it All, a spin-off book from Love at First Spite featuring our favorite little brother Kelvin Watson. 🙂
Release date coming soon. ❤
(Note: Sample copyrighted, unedited, and subject to change.)
I knew I should’ve stayed my ass at home…
That was all I kept thinking as I watched my sister Kyra dance her way through the crowd, being the life of the party while I sat at the bar nursing a Long Island. The drink was made way too strong for my tastes, so I was hoping the melted ice would help water it down a bit.
But it didn’t.
In fact, my face was scrunched in response to the burn when a voice over my shoulder said, “If you don’t like it, I can have Hope make you another one.”
I turned around in my barstool to see who the voice had come from, and… damn, I shouldn’t have turned around.
“Um… you’re fine. I mean, it’s fine. No big deal, really,” I told him, trying to recover as I forced another sip and attempted to mask my reaction. Though I could tell I hadn’t done a good job once the man’s eyebrow piqued.
“You sure? I mean, if that sour ass face you just made was any indication of how you felt about it, I’d guess it’s a big deal.”
“I said it’s fine,” I snapped, surprising myself and obviously him too as he held his hands up and took a step back.
“Alright, alright. My bad, shorty. Just wanna make sure you good, you know?”
This time I was a little quieter when I replied, “I… appreciate that.”
“Yeah? You do? Cause I can’t really tell.”
I wasn’t sure why he was pressing so hard, but his efforts seemed genuine enough for me to feel bad about being rude.
So I released a sigh, straightening up in my chair as I told him, “I’m sorry. It’s just… it’s been a long night.”
The phrase didn’t even seem sufficient considering it had been much longer than just one night. More like a week of nights… a year of nights… a life of nights.
But instead of accepting my reason – no matter how inaccurate – and moving along, the man made himself comfortable in the empty barstool next to me, leaning against the bar top for extra support.
“Yeah? Wanna talk about it?” he asked, licking his lips and forcing me to sit up even straighter thanks to my immediate response down below.
“Here? With you? Nah, not really,” I answered shaking my head and taking another grueling sip of my Long Island.
And again, what I thought would be enough for him to give up only seemed to encourage him as he insisted, “Just consider me your counselor, shorty. My ears work like a charm.”
Since crying out to a stranger wasn’t exactly in the plans for the night, I attempted to let him down easy when I replied, “While I’m sure they do and I appreciate the offer, I’d rather not go there.”
He sat back, offering me the slightest sense of relief until he filled it all back in plus overflow when he said, “Damn, so it must be some man problems if you trippin’ like that.”
“What? How do you even… damn, you’re good.”
I couldn’t believe I had gotten tricked into admission, definitely turning me into the stereotypical broken hearted girl drinking her sorrows away at the bar. But then again, now that it was out in the open, I was relieved in a different way.
His smile was pleasantly arrogant as he insisted, “Now tell me what happened. Who I gotta fuck up for my new friend?”
“Your new friend? You don’t even know my name,” I told him, turning my head out to the crowd so he wouldn’t catch me blushing like a boy-crazy school girl. I mean, he didn’t even know my name and I didn’t know his. Yet here I was, already falling victim to his pretty boy charm like I hadn’t been down this road a thousand times before.
When will you learn, girl?
The sexy curious gaze he gave certainly didn’t help my cause when he replied, “Let me guess then. Shonda? Camille? Taylor?”
He sighed, snapping his fingers as if it had just been on the tip of his tongue when I filled in the blank. “Tiana. Like the princess. I’m Kelvin. Like the frog.”
“The frog’s name in that movie was not Kelvin,” I told him laughing both at him and at how many times I had watched that damn movie with Elliana to even know he was wrong.
“But at least it got you to laugh, right?” he asked, to which I could only bite my bottom lip and nod to agree.
“So tell me, princess. Who got you trippin’? Your man, right?”
“My ex,” I corrected, still in disbelief that I was actually doing this with a stranger. But I suppose it was better to get it all off of my chest to someone who didn’t have any connection to the circumstances; completely opposite of Kyra who did nothing but judge me.
“Ahhh, one of those situations, huh? What’d he do? Textin’ other females or some stupid shit like that?”
God, I wish it was that simple…
This time it was me sighing, faced with the reality of the situation once again when I replied, “Nah. He… he got someone else pregnant.”
I was honestly surprised that he looked so shocked when he asked, “Yo, you serious?” Watching me nod before adding on, “Wow, man. Niggas ain’t shit.”
“Tell me about it,” I groaned, finishing off the drink that suddenly didn’t taste so bad now that I had drank the whole thing.
Once I sat the glass down, my hand lingering against the bar top, Kelvin covered his hand with mine. And while my heart practically took off sprinting, I tried to focus on his words when he said, “You know what, princess? At least you got rid of his lame ass and lived to tell me about it. That’s gotta be worth something, right?”
“Yeah. I guess that’s one way to think about it,” I said, still mostly distracted by his warm palm until he used it to pat my hand reassuringly.
“You sure you don’t want that new drink?” he asked, pulling his hand away and standing up from his seat.
And from the sickest part of my head, the part desperate with need to keep him around for just a little while longer, I answered, “You know what? On second thought, I will take one.”
Love is not on the drink menu.
At least not for Tiana St. Patrick as she nurses the broken heart caused by her ex after their sudden, unexpected, yet incredibly necessary break-up.
But when a generous stranger offers to jumpstart her healing process, and doubles down with a chance encounter at her business, she can’t help but wonder if his presence is worth something more than just a helping hand even though he seems to be exactly the type of guy she should be avoiding at all costs.
Kelvin Watson is a man on a mission. Between the lounge he co-owns with his big brother, and the ladies that frequent it, it’s no secret that he has plenty to keep himself busy.
Still, when a particular patron catches his eye and then manages to ease her way into his heart with her easygoing vibe and natural charm, he can’t help himself in pushing for something more. And when more turns into a discovery of past indiscretions, present reservations, and future obstacles, Tiana and Kelvin find themselves attempting to navigate their budding romance, in spite of it all.
(Note: This book is a spin-off of, Love at First Spite. While it can be read as a standalone, it does contain major spoilers for that title.)