Rhett and Magnolia are here! Hell yeah!
This story is soft and sweet, hard and bitter, and hotter than a firecracker on the fourth of July.
If you've read any of my books, you know to expect, a curvy heroine, a hero who can't live without her, struggles, humor, and maybe even a few tears on the way to happily-ever-after. If you haven't, well... hold on to the pages, you're in for a ride with Hello Heartbreaker.
Get your sneak peak into the first chapter below!
I STEPPED over a box in the kitchen to get to the coffee pot, already full of golden-brown liquid. “Cam, you are a lifesaver,” I said to my best friend, who was already sitting at the table and eating breakfast in her scrubs.
She sent a cheeky wink my way. “Knew you’d need it for your first day at work!”
“And every other day too,” I said, pouring myself a cup. “I don’t understand you early birds, but my inner night owl salutes you.” I held up the mug in cheers to her before bringing it to my lips. The aromatic liquid burned and brought me to life simultaneously.
“How’d you sleep?” she asked as I rummaged through the fridge for some yogurt and then dug through a card‐board box to find a spoon.
“Like shit,” I admitted. With a clatter of stainless steel, I finally found a spoon and sat across from her. “I’m so nervous.”
She brushed aside her blond fringe and looked up at me. “Don’t be.”
I arched an eyebrow. “Right. Because I didn’t just quit my job and move back to my hometown for a chance to prove I’m worthy of owning the salon.”
“You know Rhonda. She never had kids. That place is like her baby. A baby we both know you’re going to take amazing care of.” Cam was so confident in me. Until she frowned. “Do you think you’ll see him today?”
“Who?” I asked, even though we both knew who she was talking about.
She gave me a look.
I let out a sigh and set my spoon in the yogurt container. “I’m sure he cuts his own hair, and I have no plans to visit the diner until news of us moving back has died down. I swear, everywhere I go it’s like a family reunion with all my long-lost relatives dying to tell me how happy they are I’m home. And asking why I’m still single.”
Cam winked. “I don’t mind the attention.”
Of course she didn’t. She had been the one always getting me out of the house when we moved to Austin after graduation. She made tons of friends in nursing school while I was more focused on work and tending to my broken heart. “You can have all the attention,” I said, finishing my yogurt and getting up from the table. “Don’t want to be late.”
“I’ll see you after my shift,” she said. “Remember, your dad’s coming over to help us put the furniture together and my mom’s helping us decorate after.”
“Please be careful with my—”
“Precious metal art,” she finished with a smile. “I know; we will.”
I put my hands together and shook them in the air. “Thank you.”
I started walking toward the door, and Cam said, “Keys!” She lifted a flap of a box near the table and pulled out my key chain with the wire art sunflower.
“How did they get in there?” I asked. She shrugged, tossing them my way.
“The retirement home is lucky to have you,” I said with a grin.
“Don’t I know it. Good luck today!”
With a wave, I was out the door, driving from our little rental house to Rhonda’s, the only salon in Cottonwood Falls. It was a cute brick building on Main Street with painted teal trim and a sign overhead with swirling cursive font.
My heart swelled at the sight, realizing I could be mere months away from reaching my dream of owning my own salon. After a dozen years working in the city but getting nowhere with my ultimate goal, Rhonda called like an answered prayer. She said she wanted to retire, but she wouldn’t be letting go of her salon unless she could pass it to someone she trusted to take care of this town’s needs. If I could work there for six months and treat her clients well, I could buy it for myself. Make my own stamp on this town.
The place that had built me.
The place where I’d first fallen in love.
And the place where my heart had been so broken, I never thought I’d recover or even want to come back.
I could see young me all over this town, cruising Main Street with him. Wearing his jersey to football games. Getting shakes at the diner for our very first date. Holding hands in the movie theater. Giving him all of my firsts, all of myself... And I remember the small-town skyline in my rear-view mirror as I drove away.
I took a breath. I could handle being here. I wasn’t the eighteen-year-old me with her faith shaken and tears in her eyes anymore. I was a grown woman with hopes, dreams, notches in her bedpost and a future ahead of her. I could own a business, live closer to my dad, enjoy time with my friends. Finally reach my dreams.
Getting out of my car, I walked to the front door of the salon, just in time to see Rhonda flip the sign from “Sorry, we’re closed” to “Come in, we’re open!”
She waved at me through the glass, her eyes crinkling with her smile. Her permed brown hair was piled atop her head with a clip, and her lips were painted with bright red lipstick to compliment her cheetah print blouse and teal-blue glasses frames. She always did have flair.
The bell on the door jingled as she opened it and said, “Come here, you!” She pulled me into her arms, and I grinned, hugging her back and basking in the familiar smell of her perfume.
Rhonda was like a second mom to me after my own mom left Dad and me, giving me work at the salon to sweep up hair, stock products, make sure everyone had what they needed. The money had been helpful, but the work gave me a much-needed distraction while it felt like my world was falling apart.
“It’s so good to see you,” I said into her shoulder.
“You too.” Her smile turned to a scowl as she pulled away. “It’s been too long since you’ve been home. A phone call every month wasn’t near enough Maggie time for me.”
I gave her a guilty shrug along with a smile. “Guess I’ll have to make up for lost time.”
She put her arm around me, pulling me close. “Good girl. Now let me show you around.”
For the next half hour, she showed me how she’d rearranged and updated the shop over the years, made sure I was familiar with the payment system and scheduling software, and then glanced at the windows. “Oh, it looks like your first appointment is here.”
I followed her gaze, expecting to see an older woman from the community. Instead, I saw him. Rhett Griffen walked down the sidewalk toward the salon in all his six-foot, two-inch glory. His jeans hugged his legs like God himself painted them there. His T-shirt wrapped around thick biceps and hung loose around his waist. But best, or possibly worst, of all were his hazel eyes, staring right at me, stealing all the breath from my lungs.
“Oh, hell no,” I said.
Rhonda turned and stared at me like I’d kicked a kitten. “Language, dear.”
“Sorry, it’s just—you know our history. Are you sure you don’t want to take him?” I asked.
With a knowing look, she said, “This is a test, Maggie. Can you take care of every client in this town the way I would? If not, I’m afraid I’m not sure what you’re doing here.”
I gritted my teeth together. This six-month trial period wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. Rhonda was going to make me work for this opportunity. I took a deep breath as he approached the door. “Of course I can take care of him.”
Scissors would help.
Hello Heartbreaker is a second chance romance with a reformed player, a determined curvy heroine, and enough spice to fill the whole cabinet ;). Get your copy today.