Vanilla with a Twist (One Scoop or Two)
Contemporary Romance, Sweet romance
Date Published: 5.20.2020
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Tandy Blakemore spends her days running her New England ice cream parlor, single-parenting her teenaged son, and trying to keep her head above financial water. No easy feat when the shop’s machinery is aging and her son is thinking about college. Tandy hasn’t had a day off in a decade and wonders if she’ll ever be able to live a worry-free life.
Engineer Deacon Withers is on an enforced vacation in the tiny seaside town of Beacher’s Cove. Overworked, stressed, and lonely, he walks into Tandy’s shop for a midday ice cream cone and gets embroiled in helping her fix a broken piece of equipment.
Can the budding friendship that follows help fix their broken spirits and lead to love?
Before she recognized his intent, Deacon pulled her to his chest, his arms winding around her waist to hold her in place against him. The slow, steady thrum of his heart against her ear went a long way in soothing her frayed nerves and worried thoughts. Without thinking she shouldn’t, she melted into him. She slid her own arms around his waist, crossed them, and pressed in even closer.
Every hard, muscled, and toned inch of him was heaven. Tandy felt comforted and protected in his embrace, two things she hadn’t felt in a lifetime.
“Tell me what’s troubling you.” The deep, soothing pitch in his tone had her shoulders relaxing along with the rest of her.
What would it cost her to divulge the worries she had about money, or her fears all she’d built could be taken away with one bad earnings’ season, one financial disaster, or even that her future seemed precarious at best? Her pride? Heck, that had gone out the proverbial window seventeen years ago. Her sense of fierce independence? She was starting to think being independent had more drawbacks than benefits.
She’d spent her entire adult life depending on no one but herself. How would it feel to lean on someone like she was doing right now with Deacon? And not merely physically, but emotionally, too? How would it feel to know you had a partner, someone who had your back through lean times, and one who’d bolster you up when things looked bleak? Who’d celebrate your victories and hold your hand during your defeats? What would it be like to lose yourself, to forget all your troubles and worries with a man? To feel safe and protected and, yes, even loved and cherished?
Tandy had never experienced any of those things. And standing within Deacon’s arms, his chest rising and falling with each calm breath, his heart beating beneath his shirt, and the solid, warm, comforting feel of his arms wrapped around her made her realize how much she’d longed for them.
A simple shift and she slid her arms up the solid wall of his chest.
His brows folded together, his mouth no longer smiling as he stared down at her, concern now dancing across his expression. “Tandy?”
She wet her lips and steeled herself for what she wanted to say. How do you ask a man, and a stranger to boot, to take you away from everything worrisome in your life, even if it’s only for a few minutes?
“Can I ask you something?”
He nodded. “Sure.”
She returned his nod. The right words wouldn’t form, though, so she thought to show him what she truly wanted. The man must possess telepathic powers, because as she rose on her sneaker-clad toes, her gaze locked with his, Deacon dipped his head and tightened his hold around her waist. The black in his pupils dilated, all but obliterating the startling blue.
When their lips were a sigh away from touching, the back door slammed shut.
“Mom? Are you in here?”
About the Author
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!
Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, she brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.
A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, Peggy is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go “What??!”