sample sunday. in spite of it all.


The last Sample Sunday before, In Spite of It All is released on October 8th, and I can hardly wait for you guys to read it!

So while I wrap things up and get to the final edits, here’s another sample to let you know what’s in store. 🙂

(Note: Sample is copyrighted, unedited, and subject to change.)


Instead of dwelling on it all, I grabbed my phone, fully intending to burn some time with a little mindless social media scrolling. But my latest notifications on Twitter took the whole mindless part out of it once I saw who they were from.

@KelWats is now following you.

@KelWats: @TianaTheBarber Thank God for Google. 🙂

While my first instinct was to click on his page to see what kind of internet personality he had, I also knew that choice would mean I was already a little more invested than I should’ve been. I mean, he was just a… kind spirit. And now he was a client. It didn’t matter how many followers he had, or who he was tweeting to, or…

On second thought, I’ll just take a peek.

I clicked over to his profile, and the first thing I noticed was how many followers he had; almost quadruple the number I had when I thought I was actually pretty popular on social media. But then again, he was young. He had probably grown up completely immersed in fully developed social media life while it was something I had to learn.

His Twitter feed was mostly covered in retweets of people talking about how much fun they had at The Max. But as I continued to scroll, I noticed one original tweet.

@KelWats: When you lowkey crushin’ on somebody, but yo’ game is trash <<<

It had already amassed over 1,000 retweets, along with a bunch of replies from girls all swooning about how cute it was with their heart eye and blushing face emojis. But when I took a closer look at the tweet, specifically the time, I realized it was only a little while after he came into the shop to get his haircut.

This dude really thinks he’s slick…

I clicked the button to follow him back, then I went back to my mentions to send him a reply.

@TianaTheBarber: @KelWats Stalker, much? LOL

Since his tweet had been sent way earlier, I hardly expected to see a reply anytime soon. But as I continued scrolling through my timeline, one surprisingly came in.

@KelWats: @TianaTheBarber LOL nah, just persistent. Check your DM, princess.

My fingers couldn’t move fast enough as I clicked over from my notifications to my direct messages, and read whatever was so important that he had to send it privately. But I immediately recognized why he had sent it this way once I saw his phone number along with the message: “So you can check me later… ;)”

I smiled to myself, the hardest I had smiled in days, as I typed out a reply.

“You didn’t even give me a chance to Google you.”

I put my phone down to pull the leftover spaghetti from the fridge that Elliana and I could probably eat off of for at least another day or two, quickly dishing it up in a bowl for myself and on a Doc McStuffins plate for her. Then I popped it in the microwave and used the warm-up time as an opportunity to check my phone again for Kelvin’s reply.

“I’m not a huge fan of patience, princess.”

The microwave chimed just as I was gnawing on my lip, trying to bite back my stupid grin while I sent a reply of my own.

“Patience is a virtue, Kelvin.”

Again, I put my phone down to pull Elliana’s plate from the microwave, checking the temperature with my finger before popping it back in for a few more seconds. Then I returned to my phone just in time to see his latest message.

“So is persistence, Tiana.”

Hmm… you think so, huh?” I thought to myself as my thumbs hovered the screen trying to come up with a response.

But before I could craft something appropriate, a little voice from below whined, “I’m hungry.”

“Just give me two seconds, Elliana,” I told her, still trying to come up with something worth saying; something flirty without being overt. Something that said “I see you” without saying “I want you”, though both seemed to be running neck and neck for first place as the actual truth.

“One… two… three…”

I cut my eyes down, giving her the look so that I wouldn’t have to raise my voice when I told her, “Ellie. Don’t… do that. Just be patient, alright?”

“But I’m hungry,” she whined again, this time pouting with her little lips pushed out and her arms crossed. Any other time, the act would’ve earned her another scolding look. But this time, I couldn’t help but chuckle as I thought about the second patience VS. persistence situation I had managed to get myself into in a matter of minutes. 

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.)

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