Life in the small town of Emerald Springs, Washington, is anything but slow and peaceful. An old feud between former business partners Whitman and Sanders keeps competition on a high burner, fueling resentment, renewing rivalries … and love. Now someone is trying to bring down Emerald Tea Farm, and it’s up to both families to protect their future while still wrangling over the past.
Chad Whitman loves his family, but he’s not entirely sure he shares their responsible, deliberate outlook on life. Where’s the excitement and passion in that? Running the family diner has been moderately fulfilling, but with his father retiring from the tea farming business, he needs to get a direction.
After being unfairly fired from her dream job, Jen Chavez picks up her worst nightmare in the parking lot—a rich guy she thought was just another pretty face. She has no intention of turning out like her mother, latching on to wealthy men for self-worth and survival. She doesn’t need a man. She needs a job.
Chad decides turning the diner into a microbrewery will provide the excitement his life lacks, and he knows just the person to help him with the job. But hiring Jen as a consultant to the project has its drawbacks. He has a reputation for messing around with the wrong women, and his family is watching his every move. As days pass, his desire to open a top-notch microbrewery is matched only by his desire for Jen. Can they overcome their backgrounds to make this microbrewery a dream big enough for both of them?
by Elley Arden
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Elley Arden is a born and bred Pennsylvanian who has lived as far west as Utah and as far north as Wisconsin. She drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness. Elley writes provocative, emotional, contemporary romances, where Mr. Not-My-Type ends up being Mr. Right. For a complete list of Elley’s books, visit www.elleyarden.com.
An excerpt from Chad’s Chance:
Chad bent over and lifted the glass jug of beer. Her fierce protection of the item reminded him of where he first saw her.
“You’re the brewmaster, aren’t you?”
An agonizing sound stuck in her throat and she shook her head. “Not anymore.”
She sidestepped him. Her boots made the silliest thud, thud, squeak against the pavement, and her ass swung like a porch swing in a windstorm.
He jogged after her. Had she been fired? It would explain the tears.
“Hey, you’re upset. Let me help.”
Her initial glance could’ve frozen Puget Sound, but then she looked at the growler in his hand again, and her striking features softened.
“Okay. You want to help? You can give me that,” she said, coming to a stop behind his Jeep.
With her sculpted eyebrows lifted and her lips pursed, she looked serious, like they were negotiating something much more valuable than a twenty-dollar growler of beer. He didn’t know how old she was, twenty-five maybe, but the shadows in her eyes told him life experience made up for whatever she lacked in age.
Whether it was a good idea or not, he wanted to help her lighten up.
Looking at the beer, Chad shrugged. “I don’t know. You’re asking a lot. I drove all the way to Seattle for this beer.” Not exactly true. He was leaving things out, like the part about how he actually came to Seattle at Billy’s invitation to meet his baby. Then again, he left out the part about wanting this beer when he offered to take Billy to dinner in the first place. In this case, what the other didn’t know didn’t matter … especially if it ended up in a good time.
An odd smile lifted one side of her mouth. “Really?”
That half-smile lit a flame. Chad hitched his free thumb in his jean pocket and grinned through a blast of body heat hot enough to cause beads of sweat on his back. “Really. It’s the best honey ale I’ve ever tasted.”
She nodded, sniffed, and glanced above him. Then she smiled—big and bold. When she looked at him again, the tip of her tongue touched the tip of her snow-white teeth. “It is, isn’t it?”
Zap! His brain primed his body with all sorts of bad ideas, and she stood there smiling at him with a twinkle in her sultry eyes like she was game for every damn one.
A reasonable man would give her the beer and walk away, but not a cooped-up risk-taker like Chad.
“We could share it,” he said, knowing he could be reading her wrong. Maybe she wasn’t interested. Maybe …
She snatched the growler out of his hand. “Follow me.”