PRELUDE, SNEAK PEEK BOX SET
Abbie 1, Charlotte 1, Ariana 1
A Prelude to a kiss (or three)...
This box set collection gives us a sneak peek into the lives of three of Raven Harbor's newest heroines.
ABBIE Dutton needs a life. Her dream was once to trade her barista apron up for a career behind her camera. But a girl needs balance and cameras don't kiss back. Will the hot new rock star in her life tip her scales?
CHARLOTTE Bannon cannot live by baking bread alone. And though she's never had a problem leavening the tools in her sex life, she's tired of the let down when all the heat goes out of the love oven. That's until she meets Nikos. Is he the Greek god to match her goddess?
ARIANA Moon might have the world on a string: money, secure job and the love of the family who saved her, but the man she loves is yanking her chain and things are about to get complicated. Then a stranger crosses her path, and what she doesn't realize is that he may be the key to her freedom.
This brand new series of steamy short reads from Amy Chanel takes us deeper into the lives and stories of new characters and their romantic worlds that run parallel the heroes and villains in the Raven Harbor Novels series. Follow their unfolding stories.
More Raven Harbor Lane coming soon!
READ A SNEAK PEEK of PRELUDE... Abbie, Book 1
A demon mewled from a pair of vampire-red lips, wrenching Abbigail Dutton out of her sleepy Sunday morning routine. Then five color-matched talons thrust a to-go cup forward.
“THIS is not what I ordered.” The owner of the hemoglobin manicure glowered and plunked the cup down on the granite counter. “Fix it.”
Abbie took as deep a breath as she could, clenching her teeth while spreading her mouth into her best facsimile of a smile. It was a skill she’d acquired for the job.
“I’m terribly sorry, ma’am. How may I better fulfill your wishes?” Her response was straight out of The Jonz customer service handbook. As always, working the morning shift was an unimaginable pleasure.
“What the hell did you do to it?”
The solitaire on Miss Platinum’s snapping fingers temporarily blinded Abbie. She blinked to regain her vision. “What was it you ordered, ma’am?” her words trickled with syrup.
“A soy mochaccino,” she answered, lifting her artfully sculpted nose over a pout.
Abbie marveled at how the scalpel had left no surgical scar. Peeling her eyes away she popped the cup’s lid. It did indeed look and smell like a soy mochaccino.
“Look,” Snooty Blonde paused to squint at her name tag, “Abbigail,” curling her lip and climbing a notch higher on her superiority perch. “I’m not sure why I have to tell you how to do your job, but this is so obviously wrong. You put chocolate on it! And if you think I’d put chocolate in this…” The woman preened, sweeping a hand down her body like a spokesmodel. Same surgeon? “…you must be out of your freaking mind.”
Abbie proceeded with experienced caution. “It does seem to be a soy mochaccino, but—”
“Duh!” Vampira cut her off. “Because I ordered a soy Mo-Ca-Chee-No.” Light ricocheted off 5 flawless carats as her perfect fingernails clacked testily on the counter, “Maybe you don’t speak English, so I’ll translate. I wanted expresso with the teeniest drop of foam.”
Knowing nothing good would come of pointing out there was no ‘x’ in espresso, and that both espresso and mochaccino were Italian words, Abbie treaded sweetly. “You meant a soy macchiato then, ma’am?”
The blonde dropped her jaw. “Excuse me, but I’m the customer! Are you trying to correct me?”
Here we go.
“I should report you, you rude little bitch! It’s not my fault you’re an idiot. Forget it.”
Abbie straightened stiffly, gathering every last thread of self-restraint and prepared to deliver another apology from the company manual. But the disgruntled woman had already flicked the to-go cup with her talons and stomped away.
When she made a lunge to steady the cup as it wobbled precariously toward the counter’s edge, Abbie heard a snicker behind her. She turned and punched Keiran in the arm, but he only laughed louder.
“Don’t let them get to you, Abbie. You know how they are.”
She so did. It was nearly four years since she’d been hired at The Jonz for the summer barista position. And her daily reward was an ad nauseum parade of self-entitled, designer-draped 20 & 30-somethings with a serious mean-streak. Four irretrievable years of her life. The most annoying part was that Abbie knew she was capable of so much better. Hadn’t she’d managed to pull off a fine arts degree in 3 years?
Not so hard when you have no social life, Abbie.
Dear Jesus. Why she hadn’t gotten her ass in gear long ago and gotten a real job in the city made her want to bang her head against the wall.
It was true that her very first week on the job she’d been dazzled by the famous faces that frequented the place. At first blush, her job at The Jonz had been a major coup. She’d been 17 and just out of high school. Her friends were acid green with envy when she’d hit pay-dirt, getting picked in the first round of auditions. Yup. Auditions. Head shots.
She’d allowed her best friend Charlotte to talk her into applying, and at the time it seemed like a ridiculous and futile pantomime. She wasn’t an actor or a model, and when she stood side by side with her stilt-legged, photogenic fellow applicants she felt invisible. And besides all that, why would someone want a job where beauty was the number one requirement? She’d found it demeaning – that was until she’d gotten the call that she’d been selected, upon which her ego stuck out its chest and her vanity assured her it was fate. Magically the whole thing had become flattering.
That didn’t last.
She’d always told herself that once out of college it would be obvious how life would go. She’d intern at a museum in the city – or even Venice! Naturally that would be followed by a job with a prestigious art gallery where she’d spend her days surrounded by priceless art during the week, and have weekends to herself in the company of her camera, photographing the beauty around her, even following her bliss in travels around the world.
But what happened instead, that last spring before graduation, was that the umpteen resumes she’d sent out were rewarded one by one with ‘No thank yous’. Each knocking a few more stars out of her eyes. And with every day that passed and every day closer to summer’s end, her panic grew as the light guttered on her brilliant escape plan.
Then the week before Labor Day, the time of year when the majority of the staff was laid off, she came face to face with the stark truth of her situation. No one in the art world wanted her. The week passed slower than a funeral procession. She was despondent. Not only did she have no job to go to but nowhere to live. She’d given up her sublet in town expecting she’d have the means to move wherever her new chosen career was going to take her. And now she wouldn't even have the money to pay rent. Her last resort wasn’t an option. Move back in with her parents? They’d relocated to Iowa. Not in a billion years.
Then unexpectedly her boss (a nice grandfatherly man), took her aside. He told her that since she didn’t have a job to go to, he’d let her stay on. He told her he’d make her an assistant manager and offered her a raise. She knew he was trying to be kind and that he felt sorry for her. But she was demoralized, and the walls began to close in. In her view his offer was tantamount to being condemned. But she finally accepted out of desperation, staying on to work through the winter. She told herself that this was just a minor blip and if she kept at it, she would find a job in her field. She was still holding onto that glimmer of hope.
But deep down, part of her did want to stay. And it wasn’t the money she’d come back to work at The Jonz every summer for. No. She had a secret reason that not even Charlotte knew. And if Abbie would simply swim across her own profound strait of denial, she’d land on the cold and rocky beach of truth. There she’d have to admit that she was sabotaging her own art career. That the real reason she’d been holding herself back was a certain regular customer, a man a few years older than she was. It had been love at first sight.
He hadn’t been in since last October. He’d told her he’d be spending the winter traveling for work in the southern hemisphere; that he worked professionally as a photographer. His smile was burned into her brain. His last words to her were an undiminishing echo in her head: “I’ll see you in April.” Those words had sustained her through the past six months. She’d nearly lived on them. And any day now could be the day he’d walk back into her life – well, back into the café – and she already had plans for him.
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