The Bakery Romance Series – Three bakers meet at a food conference, becoming long-distance friends. Each baker faces trials and tribulations, testing their faith in God.
Shades of Chocolate, Book 2 in The Bakery Romance Series, is now available for pre-order! Below is the first scene from the novel:
The navy-blue uniformed security guard grinned at Toni, holding a pink, heart-shaped cupcake in his hand. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
She returned his smile, snuggling beneath the fabulous winter cape that her fiancé Brian had gotten for her last birthday. “Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too.” She took a deep breathe, trying to calm her racing heart. “I’m here to see Brian Carter.”
The guard nodded. “Go on up. His admin told me you’d be stopping by for lunch.”
“Thanks.” Toni’s high-heeled black patent leather shoes tapped against the waxed floor as she strolled toward the elevator. She entered, pressing the button for the third floor. She took deep breaths, clutching the handle of her picnic basket. “I’ve got to make it through this lunch.” She closed her eyes, the cool interior of the carpeted elevator bringing her a shred of comfort. Hopefully, her surprise Valentine’s Day lunch with Brian would give them a chance to talk about the problems they’d been having.
She stepped out of the elevator, going toward the double oak doors that led to Brian’s office. She slowly opened the door, giving a sharp cry. Brian clutched his secretary, Gia, in his arms, kissing her! He moaned, opening his eyes, spotting Toni in the doorway. He dropped his arms, his light brown skin reddening.
“Toni—” he started toward her.
What in the world? This had to be a dream. She froze, unable to move. She finally backed up, slamming into the wall behind her, still staring at Brian. She opened her mouth, but, she couldn’t speak. She glanced at Gia, who grinned, her eyes sparkling. Her blouse was unbuttoned and Toni spotted the lacy pattern of her bra. Finally finding her voice, Toni groaned, closing her eyes, her heart pounding.
She swallowed as Brian approached, the tangy scent of his cologne surrounded her. She’d usually found joy in Brian’s scent, but now, the nauseous odor of his aftershave just made her sick. He reached for her.
“Don’t touch me!”
“Baby, just give me a minute to explain.” His deep voice filled the room, and Toni looked away, backing toward the door. Gia buttoned her blouse, grabbed her pantyhose from the floor and rushed from the office.
The chocolate muffin she’d eaten an hour ago swirled in her stomach. A sour taste filled her mouth. Have mercy, she was going to puke. The picnic basket slipped from her sweaty, shaky hands and chicken and chocolate pie exploded from the container onto Brian’s immaculate beige carpet. Her pink-enveloped Valentine’s Day card tumbled from the basket, landing on top of the pie. The intermingled scents of chicken and chocolate filled her nose, the food making her stomach cramp. She pressed her fingers to her quivering mouth. A sour taste filled her tongue.
Vomit exploded from her lips, right onto Brian’s fancy leather shoes. Blackness swirled around her, and she blinked. She couldn’t faint, not right now. She needed to give Brian a piece of her mind. She glanced at him. His nut-brown skin reddened as he glanced at his shoes, refusing to look at her. Did he really care more about his shoes than he did their relationship?
She rushed from the room.
His voice sounded behind her but, she couldn’t stop. She ran to her car, got in, tried to put the keys into the ignition, but, she dropped them. She couldn’t drive, not like this. Her phone buzzed, but, she ignored it. Leaning against the steering wheel, she cried, her entire body shaking.