On Tour with Prism Book Tours
By Liz Flaherty
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
August 1st 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming
Keep love at bay?
For Cass Gentry, coming home to Lake Miniagua, teenage half sister in tow, is bittersweet. But her half of the orchard she inherited awaits, and so does a fresh face—Luke Rossiter, her new business partner. Even though they butt heads in business, they share one key piece of common ground: refusing to ever fall in love again. But as their lives get bigger, that stance doesn’t feel like enough…
When Luke gets his first clue that Cass isn’t going to be a silent partner…
Cass beamed, her eyes lighting. The expression opened a place in him he’d thought was permanently closed. “I love the orchard, and I love everything you’ve done to it.”
Encouraged, he asked the question that had lingered uppermost in his mind since they’d toured the orchard earlier in the day. “Do you know what you’d like to do? Stay a silent partner like your mother was? Sell out? I don’t have the money, but having a financially savvy brother-in-law has ensured I have good credit.”
It was as if he’d slapped her. The light left her eyes and her beam faded to a polite smile. She started to speak, then stopped, turning her head to gaze out at the lake. Spangled with moonlight, starshine and colored lights on boats cruising the calm water, it was a good thing to look at. Calming and exhilarating at the same time.
What had he said? Whatever it was, she was neither acknowledging nor answering.
“I’d like to try the coffee-shop thing. I talked to Neely at the tearoom this morning, because that would be the most direct competition, and she thought it was a good idea.” She turned back to meet his eyes again, and he thought she looked defeated. He hoped he hadn’t caused that.
“In the round barn,” she specified. “It wouldn’t need to be a big shop. Maybe ten or twelve tables. Wi-Fi. Coffee and pastries in the morning. Soup and sandwiches at lunch. Just coffee and packaged things in the evening, unless it works out really well, in which case we could continue the lunch offerings.”
He hadn’t wanted her to be defeated, to feel like a stranger in a strange land. He also hadn’t expected—or wanted, his snarky inner voice muttered—her to want to things. She was being naïve. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t considered having a café on the premises, but it hadn’t seemed to be a viable use of resources. He’d been running the orchard for three years. She’d been at the lake for two days and had taken exactly one tour of the premises.
She also owned half the orchard. Exactly. There was no 51 percent or anything like that to give him a louder voice in negotiations. He wasn’t a proponent of loud voices anyway, but…well, he’d expected her to pick up where her mother left off. That amounted to cashing the checks, signing things that required both their names and exchanging Christmas cards.
“We could think about that,” he said slowly. “Maybe you could come up with some numbers.”
“I can do that. I’ve spent hours of many hundreds of days in coffee shops for the past fifteen years. I already know a lot and I know where to find out the rest. As far as numbers go―” she scrambled in her purse for a pen, wrote on a napkin and pushed it across the table “—I can invest that.”
Other Heartwarming Books
About the Author
Liz Flaherty was a little nervous about retiring from her day job, but making quilts, more family time, traveling at the mere mention of “why don’t we go...” and becoming a Harlequin Heartwarming author have made the past years more fun and exciting than she could ever have imagined.
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