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& Giveaway by author Rachelle Ayala
What do Feliciano Lopez and Zhang-Yuqi have in common? Hmmm... only in my imagination. They are inspiring me to write a new interracial romance between a Chinese-American business student and a jazzy-bluesy guitarist who works as a barista making latte hearts and volunteers at a community garden to feed the homeless. The pair meet in Berkeley when Carina needs a last minute room for her summer internship at a bulge-bracket investment bank.
“Show off.” Carina Chen blew at the foam on her cappuccino. She couldn’t help glaring at the shaggy haired barista as he explained the art of milk frothing to a gaggle of college girls. Hair flipping and eyelashes fluttering, they oohed and ahhed nonstop as he spun the milk underneath the steam nozzle. When he poured the espresso and layered the milk to perfection, they squealed as if they were in the middle of a group orgasm.
Carina had no time for such nonsense. She had gotten her cup from the female barista whose line was much shorter. Serving coffee did not require sleek muscles and gem-blue eyes.
“Yummy.” Her friend Sheila sipped her latte. “I come just to watch the show. Wonder which one he’ll take home tonight.”
“Only one?” Carina swirled her drink, then tapped the table for Sheila’s attention. “I know this is last minute, but you said you have a friend who needs a sublet. I’m really in a bind. Is there any chance you can hook me up?”
Sheila slowly tore her gaze from the demonstration of coffee-making prowess and licked her lips. “Yeah, let’s wait for his break, and I’ll introduce you.”
Carina looked toward the espresso machines. “Him? Never mind. I’m not sure I could stomach the guy. He’s gotta be full of himself.”
“Why not? Dylan’s really nice. I’ve known him since eighth grade.” Sheila’s eyes wandered back to the front counter and lingered. “Although he’s filled out quite a bit since then. You have to admit, he’s hotter than the Sahara.”
“That’s exactly my point.” Carina watched him hand a steaming mug to a perky blond co-ed. His mischievous smile did funny things to her insides and it wasn’t even directed at her. “I need a quiet place to crash after my eighteen-hour days, not some bachelor’s pad with nightly orgies. I can imagine the revolving door on his bedroom. No thanks.”
Despite her hasty denial, warm flutters bubbled in her belly when he stepped out from behind the counter. He was broad-shouldered, but not bulky, and he moved with the easy grace of a mountain lion as he collected the empties. Heck, the man probably boosted Abercrombie & Fitch’s stock price two full points each time he bent over to wipe a table.
“Well, you could at least meet the guy before you pass judgment.” Sheila folded her arms on the table and leaned in.
“Look, the important thing is, he has a great apartment off Shattuck. It’s close to the BART, and it’s available. You can’t afford to be choosy. Besides,” she added with a sly smile, “an orgy or two might do you some good.”
While Carina struggled to close her gaping mouth, Sheila raised a hand to wave him over.
If you made it this far, a great big thanks! Check out the Pinterest Board I made for my new series - Jewells in Love and enter my Knowing Vera Giveaway.
Knowing Vera, a thrilling romantic suspense and cross-cultural family drama, released September 6 on Amazon.
Excellent and exciting read! – Cate Beauman
The tension just ups and ups! Well, done. – H. Elliston
Vera’s dating Zach, casually, not committed, when she finds out her long-departed father is the killer of Zach’s mother many years ago.
Meanwhile, Zach reevaluates his life after a tragic accident and realizes he's falling in love with Vera.
Can their timing be so wrong? Vera knows the relationship is doomed, but she cannot resist the tugging of her heart and Zach's panty-melting grin.
Caught in a web of family secrets and hidden agendas, Vera and Zach must depend on each other for survival. A dangerous killer is on the loose, and Vera must find the truth, wherever that leads, even if it’s shocking news for Zach.
From the Author:
Vera Custodio is possibly my most favorite character. I never planned on making her a heroine, but she grew on me. In Broken Build, she first appears as the sister of a dead man, and then as the flirt enticing Dave Jewell with her pancit malabon. From there, she grew to be Maryanne Torres’ best friend in Hidden Under Her Heart. She met Zach Spencer, a playboy triathlete, and succumbed to his charms, but under her terms. Since she was a side character, she had several bad traits she had to grow out of to become a true heroine. She was a flirt, had trouble keeping her panties on, and dropped boyfriends like used nail extensions. But she was also caring, loyal, and a darn good cook. When Zach Spencer suffers a crippling injury, I knew Vera would be the perfect woman for him. But first, she has to overcome the mystery in her past and open her heart enough to trust. And that’s the theme of Knowing Vera.
So, download Knowing Vera for 99c, kick up your heels and enter my awesome Giveaway, featuring the all NEW Improved Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, a paperback, and giftcard.
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