Author: Kari Lemor
Publisher: Rycon Publishing
Release Date: October 18, 2021
Genre: Sweet holiday romance
The bell above the door tinkled and Kelsey glanced up from the shelf she was stacking jars of local jam on. She loved being able to sell the wares of people who lived in and around town. It worked out for all involved as town folks loved supporting each other.
The navy wool beanie she’d gotten used to seeing appeared above the shelf next to her. Zack grinned down at her.
“Trying to hide and get out of our date tonight?”
Could she? When they’d made arrangements a few days ago to go skating after work, she hadn’t thought anything of it. But now that the time had come, a tiny flutter of nervousness skittered around her stomach.
“Would it work?” Her flip tongue always got the better of her.
“Nope. You said you closed the shop at four on Sunday. So we’ve got plenty of time to skate. I need to get in shape if I plan to infiltrate one of the morning hockey games. Are you almost ready to go?”
“I just need to neaten up this shelf and make sure none of the mix and match candy got mixed up.”
Zack peered into the half wooden barrels at the individually wrapped sweets. “I can do that. Finish up the shelves, and we can go.”
She pointed to the door. “Do you mind flipping the open sign to closed, please?”
He did as asked, then poked through the wooden barrels while she straightened the shelves. It had been a busy weekend and she’d need to contact her suppliers to refill the stock. That always made her feel great when she sold local goods.
“Let me just lock up the back and grab my skates. Do you have a pair?”
“There was an old pair of mine hanging in the barn at my parents’ house. Not sure how sharp they are, but I won’t be going for any hat tricks today, so maybe I’ll be fine.”
Kelsey gave the back room a quick check, made sure the doors were locked, then took her skates, coat, mittens, scarf, and hat. The weather had warmed up to the mid-thirties today, but with the sun going down any second, it would get chillier.
As she entered the store front, Zack backed away from the glass case he’d been drooling over.
“Do you want something before we go? Are you hungry?”
“Haven’t really had anything since lunch. I didn’t want to be late getting here. But I can wait until after we skate. No sense having you open up the register again now that it’s shut down.”
Kelsey laughed and scooped two red velvet cupcakes from the case, then closed it again. “Here. I remember you liked these. It’s on the house.”
“I’ll pay you back later.” The cupcake was gone in four bites.
“You can pay me back with a cup of hot chocolate after we skate. The Boy Scouts sell it by the bandstand.” She took a bite of her own cupcake. He had good taste. The red velvet ones were amazing.
“It’s a deal. Finish that up so we can go.”
Kelsey took her time eating the rest, savoring it, then licking the frosting from her lips. Zack stared at her and his expression was interesting, but she couldn’t quite interpret it. Most likely she had chocolate stuck to the corner of her mouth. She grabbed a napkin and did a thorough wipe. Having a dirty face while seeing other people from town would be embarrassing.
“Am I all clean now?” She smiled at Zack, and he nodded, then tipped his chin at her.
“How about me?”
There was a tiny fleck of cake crumb snagged in the bristle on his chin, so she reached up and brushed it away. The scruff felt good scraping her fingers, but she pulled them away as fast as she could. This was a fake relationship, and it wouldn’t do to start enjoying touching Zack in any way.
About the Book:
Faking it has never been so sweet.
When Zachary Donahue breezes back into town for his sister’s wedding, he finds himself the unwilling target of her matchmaking. He’s partnered with her best friend, Kelsey, his biggest childhood crush.
Bridesmaid, Kelsey Ramos, isn’t interested in being set up with her friend’s annoying older brother who used to put frogs and snakes in her backpack. She liked the frogs better than she liked Zack.
To ensure the bride focuses on her wedding, not them, Kelsey and Zack will have to pretend they’re dating. But when Christmas magic hits the air, there’s no telling which way the sweet wind will blow.
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09GJQGKBX/
Author contact links:
Visit Kari Lemor at https://www.karilemor.com