This Chick Read: The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon

Mercedes, Cora, and Noah were best friends since they were kids, but before Nora came there were just Mercedes and Noah. They had a special bond, but when they got older and Cora asked Mercedes if she were in love with Noah, Mercedes lied. She only lied because it was Cora that asked the question and because of that lie Mercedes had to step aside until the day it was up to her to pick up all the pieces.

If you are a fan of slow burn romance novels then you must read The Smallest Part. I read another blogger’s review and decided I’d give it a chance. I’d never read an Amy Harmon novel and I wasn’t sure if this synopsis appealed to me but I am so glad I picked up this book. It wasn’t at all what I expected and I really enjoyed how the story unfolded.

Cora was always troubled. She had a father who came home wounded from the war and committed suicide. Cora found the body and it left a lasting impression on her young mind. She always felt like she wasn’t enough and had very low self esteem. Even though she had two great best friends in Noah and Mercedes.

Noah was that male best friend that you always knew you loved. He was sweet, gentle and just an all around nice guy. He truly cared for both Cora and Mercedes and it wasn’t until he was older that his innocent feelings changed to something much more.

Mercedes was a hard worker, loyal friend, and was the backbone of their friendship. She would never betray a friend which is why she stepped aside when Cora declared her feelings for Noah. This book starts with Cora’s death and through flashbacks we see how their feelings were intertwined. How Mercedes and Noah always had just a little more feelings for each other and how that one moment deflected Noah towards Cora instead of Mercedes. It kind of killed me emotionally, but this was a really good book! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* The Smallest Part

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (7/8/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Heartache and Hope (Heartache Duet #1) by Jay McLean

First Sentence Read: “One minute you’re sipping on your first beer at your first bonfire party, wearing a hoody provided by a boy you’ve been crushing on for months.”

JUST STARTED

The Lemon Sisters by Jill Shalvis

First Sentence Read: Without warning, the helicopter dipped sharply, and Brooke Lemon’s stomach went along with it.”

Both of those first sentences were pretty thrilling, right? Now that you know what books I’ve been reading, share…

It’s Monday, what are you reading?

Thanks!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: June’19 Wrap Up!

Once again, another month has flown by and I find myself looking at the start of July. Wow! June weather was actually gorgeous being a little cooler than normal at the start of the month. Despite spending more time outside I got a lot of reading done! I read and listened to a total of 22 books which could be a record! However, some of those reviews are set for future months. Here are my top picks from my reviews in the month of June.

GREAT JUNE READS!

A Question of Holmes (Charlotte Holmes #4) by Brittany Cavallaro

“The conclusion to the mystery was satisfactory and the conclusion to the series although a little confusing, did fit the characters and how they grew throughout the series. Would I change anything if I could? Yes. Do I know what I’d change? Not really. That doesn’t really help does it? LOL. “

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

“This novel was one of my most anticipated reads for June. Did it live up to my expectations? It had a great meet cute, subtle humor, solid friendships, kooky best friend, and hot love interest. YEP! I wasn’t disappointed at all. “

Wherever She Goes by Kelley Armstrong

“As I read this novel I realized there were actually a few different mysteries I was trying to unravel. 1) Aubrey’s background 2) the missing child and 3) the reason why her relationship fell apart with her husband. Kelley Armstrong does a great job of intertwining all of these mysteries so that each reveal is intertwined with a personal reflection Aubrey has about her life. I loved how all of those ties bound the novel into one cohesive, solid piece of fiction.”

Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe

“..for those readers who are fans of a slow burn romance novel, you’re going to love how the relationship between our heroine and hero develops throughout this novel. By the time they get together you are so ready for it, and I mean that in the best way possible.”

THIS CHICKS SUNDAY COMMENTARY/BOOKISH DISCUSSION

I got hooked into a young adult series written by the writing duo Erin Watt called The Royals. Disclaimer time! Yes, I am a middle aged woman who reads YA novels. Sue me! I like them for many reasons, but mostly because they are pure escapism and when I’ve had a rotten day a sweet contemporary romance that’s lighthearted and fun does the trick! Plus I like that I can read them quickly! So, back to my subject. I got hooked into Erin Watt’s series the Royals. Definitely not a sweet romance, but a LOT of fun! It did get me thinking about whether YA readers ever stop and think “WHOA” this is not YA appropriate! Or if I’m just totally out of the loop on what young adults are experiencing nowadays. So I wrote this discussion post. If you haven’t had time to read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

What is YA Appropriate?

I also like to look forward into the upcoming month to see what releases I’m really looking forward to, as well as take a look back at what I did in the previous month. Here are those two posts!

My 5 Most Anticipated July’19 Releases

May’19 Wrap Up!

WHAT’S ON TAP FOR JULY!

July is going to be a catch up month for me. I don’t have any ARC’s that need to be read for this month so I’m actually going to be proactive and get some of my August ARC’ read, and I don’t know, maybe get some reviews done in advance? Novel concept, I know! LOL. Actually, I did overextend myself on a few August release dates, so this is a really good thing. What I’m more excited about is that I get to read something because I want to read it. I can catch up on my Kindle Unlimited as well as some books I’ve checked out from the library. Exciting! LOL.

I did get tagged for my Mid Year Book Freak Out and will be writing that post soon and I’m really looking forward to looking back at the first six months. I read soooo many great books!

What am I looking forward to reading the most in July? If you read my 5 most Anticipated releases post you already know.

I’m not sure how it’s even possible that TWO Ilona Andrews books are being released back to back. If you’re a fan, this is book #4 in the series and it’s Maud’s story. I can’t wait!!

Do you have an opinion on my What is YA Appropriate post? I’d love to hear it!

What’s your most anticipated July’19 release? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next month!

Deb

This Chick Read: #Moonstruck (#Lovestruck #2) by Sariah Wilson

Maisy Harrison has one rule, never date a musician. When she meets Ryan De Luna backstage at one of his concerts she’s surprised at their electricity but is determined to follow that rule and gives him some sass instead of the love he is used to receiving. Intrigued, Ryan looks her up and see’s that she and her band Yesterday have covered one of his more popular songs and he comments on the link, giving their video a huge push into the millions viewed. When he tracks her down at watches them play at their gig he offers them the opening act on his current tour. Too hard to pass up, Maisy finds herself living in temptations reach, her resolve weakening.

From the synopsis above you’d think this was all sex, love, and rock and roll, right? It is, kind of, but it’s the heart and emotion that drive this novel, not the sex. #Moonstruck is a “slow burn” romance. Meaning, that the relationship is fully developed before love hits the pages. You really get to know both Maisy and Ryan and like them a lot before their relationship hits romance status. What’s truly different about this novel is that there’s a ton of backstory regarding why Maisy thinks she should not get into a relationship with a musician, and some it is kind of heartbreaking.

I really liked all of the characters in this book. There was something really wholesome about all of them, which is a complete departure for a rock and roll romance! The banter between she and her brothers (her other band members) were really fun and full of love. Maisy’s sass was one of the things I loved about her the most.

At times I wondered if this was an Inspirational Christian novel, and even though there was a lot of self inspection, it didn’t cross into religion at all. Maisy was just trying to figure things out, herself included and Ryan was patient enough to believe she was worth the wait. It was so refreshing!

If you are a fan of slow burners, then you should definitely read this novel. It’s my first by this author and I have to admit I’m intrigued. Are they all this good without bringing the act of sex into the story? I’m definitely going to find out! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I love Sariah Wilson’s writing and her characters. I love that there is chemistry, passion and a fairly normal feel to the people within her books. I love that there are sexy men who do not instantly want to jump into a woman’s underwear (and that it doesn’t happen) and that her books are full of humour, witty comments and fierce women.” Book Addict Rambles

“#Moonstruck is delightfully entertaining with banter and sizzle. Sariah Wilson definitely dials up the heat and tension with this fake relationship. Ms. Wilson developed a great cast of characters in Maisy’s siblings and friends with a cameo of Zoe and Chase from #Starstruck. ” Harlequin Junkie

Click this link to purchase!* Moonstruck (A #Lovestruck Novel)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (7/1/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Sapphire Flames: A Hidden Legacy novel by Ilona Andrews

First Sentence Read: “I was swimming through the warm water of the Gulf when someone knocked on the sky.”

JUST STARTED

No More Secrets: A Small Town Love Story (Blue Moon #1) by Lucy Score

First Sentence Read: “Summer Lentz hefted her suitcase and laptop bag into the trunk of her snappy little rental car.”

Sapphire Flames was everything I could’ve imagined and it’s been so hard to choose my next book! Truthfully I started a different book, the second in a series where I loved the first book and it just didn’t feel right, so I put it down. I haven’t started No More Secrets yet, but LOVED the last novel of Lucy Score’s I read so I have high hopes I’ll be able to get into this one!

It’s the start of a new week, What are YOU reading?

Share in the comments below….

Have a great week reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe

Maddie Hanson was jilted at the altar six months ago. Living in her hometown of Orion surrounded by her friends, she is spending her time trying to bring her bookstore to life while at the same time waiting for her first book to be released. When her publisher sends out ARC’s of her book, she reads a not so nice review by a blogger named “Silver Fox” and retaliates in anger at his questioning her lack of romantic experience. This comment spurs Maddie to look at her past decisions and the men surrounding her to try to find her own real life romance hero.

Dating By The Book is a trip down memory lane of several novels that I and other bibliophiles love. Each man in Maddie’s life representing a hero in one of the novels her book club is reading. A club that is in fact filled with men; her high school boyfriend Dylan, lifelong friend Max, and dependable customer Charlie. Each of whom could be a romantic interest in the likes of Rhett from Gone with the Wind, Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, and Rochester from Jane Eyre. Let’s not forget about the mysterious Silver Fox who develops into an email pal giving solid advice about life, love, and plot points in her novel. I couldn’t help but picture Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan from You’ve Got Mail each time her mail chimed!

Maddie’s journey to find passion and love was intertwined with her need to get her second book finished in time. Each lesson she learns about herself is written into her book, reminding me that each author puts her heart and soul into their novel, regardless of how well that novel is received. Luckily, that’s not a problem with Dating By the Book. Even if it didn’t have all of the literary references to hold my interest the story itself made sense and took me on a journey. It’s one of those books that can be taken as a life lesson to the person who reads it, or it can be tossed into a bag for their summer vacation. Both to be revered and enjoyed.

If you have read Mary Ann Marlowe’s two previous novels, Some Kind of Magic and Crazy Kind of Love you will be happy to hear that she does also have a rock star in this book. Is he the man of Maddie’s dreams? Well, he has a lot of competition, that’s for sure! Even with that familiarity, I was happy to see the author try something a little different in this novel which reads more as a Women’s Fiction novel than a Contemporary Romance. Also, for those readers who are fans of a slow burn romance novel, you’re going to love how the relationship between our heroine and hero develops throughout this novel. By the time they get together you are so ready for it, and I mean that in the best way possible.

It’s summertime and there are so many good books out there to read and not enough time to get to all of them. My recommendation is that Dating by the Book is worth moving up on your TBR pile, putting in your bag when you hit the beach, or digging out of your purse sitting on the train to work in the morning. It’s fun, but it also makes you think about your own choices in life, love and literature.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a free copy of this book from the author for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“What didn’t really jive with me was the overall chaotic feeling of the characters and storyline. There was just a bit too much going on for my taste. I never fully connected with the main character or any of her love interests and, because of that, there was no one I was rooting for her to end up with.” The Oxford Comma Momma

“…I felt this book in my soul.” A Scholar Review

Click this link to purchase!* Dating by the Book

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick’s Audio Review: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

Calla Fletcher was born in the wilds of Alaska but raised in the bustle of Toronto after her mother couldn’t handle the extremities of living an Alaskan life. Now 26 years old and having never met her father Wren, Calla gets a call out of the blue telling her that her father has been diagnosed with an illness. After much trepidation, she flies to Alaska to meet him and get to know him over one week. Can this city girl live the Simple Wild? Her father’s right hand man, bush pilot Jonah doesn’t think so and can’t wait to see her gone. Wanting to prove to herself, and him, Calla makes some big adjustments that see’s her getting closer to her father, but also making friends (and maybe something more) with Jonah, both of which will make leaving Alaska that much harder.

I listened to the Audio book narrated by Rebekkah Ross and was pretty thankful that I listened mostly at night with a big box of tissues at my side. Rebekkah voiced Calla perfectly and did a great job with all of the other characters as well!

I think for most people who live in a big city it was pretty easy to visualize how different an Alaskan setting would be for a girl like Calla. Growing up in a social media world, cell phone in hand, and able to order take out or a pair of shoes is a much different lifestyle than those living in the Wilds of Alaska. Internet is dicey, daylight hours are either 24/7 or zero to none, and beauty products don’t make the news. The growth in Calla from the beginning of her trip to her last day was enormous. She noticed and no longer allowed herself to be defined by those things and I really liked her more for that.

I am a sucker for great father daughter stories and this one was just wonderful. Wren, Calla’s father, was a very quiet, humble man who had let his life and family get away from him. After 12 years of not talking to his daughter I loved how he slowly showed his emotions for her and they grew closer in gradual moments. For me, it was this relationship that made the book so great. Jonah was awesome too, don’t get me wrong. He and Calla’s bitter feud and funny dialog kept the pace of the book from dragging and brought in comic moments that were really needed. He also had an inner heart of gold that made the end of the book special, but it was Calla’s growing love for her father that just touched my heart.

Sometimes a book just fits with your needs at that time and The Simple Wild was the perfect book for me at this time in my life. Not to be overly dramatic or anything, it just hit all the right notes for me and I’m not sure if it would have even a few years ago. I couldn’t help but give this a five rating because of that. Oh, and I wasn’t joking about the tissues. Keep them on hand! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“K.A. Tucker is the queen of subtle romances. I love how she slowly weaves them into her stories and builds them up to the point where the sexual tension becomes explosive. Jonah and Calla’s banter was entertaining as hell and I loved the pranks they pulled on one another. These light-hearted moments definitely balanced out the heavier moments in this book.” The Romance Corner

“Ultimately, this wasn’t just a romance book but a beautiful story on a girl learning that family can come from any setting. That, in the end, it’s not about where you are, but who you’re bringing with you along for the ride (I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true)!” Taylor Talks Books

Click this link to purchase!* The Simple Wild: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (6/17/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Kingdom of Exiles (Beast Charmer #1) by Maxym M. Martineau

First Sentence Read: “By the time evening fell, three things were certain: the gelatinous chunks of lamb were absolute shit, my beady-eyed client was hankering for more than the beasts in my possession, and someone was watching me.”

JUST STARTED

Rock Bottom Girl by Lucy Score

First Sentence Read: “Downsized, broke, and dumped, 38-year-old Marley sneaks home to her childhood bedroom in the town she couldn’t wait to escape twenty years ago.”

After an epic fantasy my fall back to cleanse the palate is a contemporary romance! I love sports themed romances and soccer was my game. This rom-com looks really cute! I hope it lives up to my expectations!

What are you reading today?

Deb

Blog Tour! Rules We’re Meant to Break by Natalie Williamson (Excerpt)

I’m excited to be a part of the blog tour for Natalie Williamson’s young adult novel Rules We’re Meant to Break! This dramatic sounding synopsis makes it sound like a one night read!

Synopsis: Honest and full of heart, this clever contemporary romance debut deftly combines utterly relatable family drama with all the sweetness and uncertainty that comes with falling in love.

Rule #1: Don’t get attached.

Amber lives by strict rules to survive her mother’s love life: Always keep your eyes on the horizon and never get close to anyone connected to Mom’s boyfriends.

But after they move in with Kevin, the latest of her mom’s “soul mates,” the rules become increasingly difficult to follow. Kevin’s daughter, Cammie, keeps acting like Amber’s friend, even though she’s definitely not. And Jordan—star basketball player, hottest boy in school, and Cammie’s best friend—keeps showing up at the most inconvenient moments.

Amber has reasons for every one of her rules, and following them is the only way to protect her heart when her mom inevitably moves on. But as she spends more time with Kevin, his daughter, and especially Jordan, she starts to wonder if the rules might be worth breaking this time.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, Rules We’re Meant to Break is a charming, heartachingly real story of family and young love by debut author Natalie Williamson.

Here’s a sample excerpt of the novel, enjoy!

A little while later Hannah comes out to join me, food and smoothies for both of us in hand. “Thanks,” I say, taking mine from her and immediately digging in to my sandwich. 

“Of course,” she says, sliding in across from me. The restaurant is a lot quieter now, and the line that was snaking to the door when I got here is now completely gone. “Ugh, my feet are killing me.” 

“Busy morning?” 

She nods, reaching for her spoon and taking a bite of soup. “Totally wild. The post-church crowd always is though.” 

“Amen,” I say, and we both laugh. 

Then Hannah’s grin fades and she levels me with an expectant look. “So. How’d it go yesterday?” 

And there it is. I’m surprised it took her this long to bring it up. 

“Fine.” I reach for my sandwich again. “My room’s pretty big, and it’s on the opposite side of the house from Cammie’s, so that’s a bonus.” 

“That’s good,” Hannah says, still watching me carefully. She knows how much I’ve been dreading this weekend, and even though we got into a fight over me not wanting her to help with the move, she still wants to make sure I’m okay about it. Hannah has a big heart. It’s one of the many reasons I’ve kept her around so long. “Was she there at all? Cammie, I mean.” 

I shake my head. “It was supposed to be her weekend with Kevin too. At least that’s what Mom said.” 

“Awkward,” Hannah says.

“Tell me about it.”

Honestly, Cammie is the part of this whole move that’s been stressing me out the most. Kevin is the fifth guy since my dad that we’ve lived with, the third who has kids of his own. But he’s the first person my mom has dated who has a kid that goes to my school, and when you add in the fact that Cammie and I are only a year apart and that her parents’ divorce was Big News last year, awkward doesn’t even begin to describe it. 

“Well,” Hannah says, because there’s really nothing else to say about this whole situation that we haven’t covered ad nauseam in the last few weeks. “Is the unpacking going okay at least?” 

I think of the maze of boxes I had to navigate this morning when I was trying to find my work clothes, and of the judgmental look Buffy gave me when I tripped over a stack of books on my way to get her more water from the bathroom. No way am I telling Hannah this though. It’d make her worry more, and she already does enough of that where I’m concerned. “Yeah. I mean, it’s slow. But it’s coming along.” 

“Good,” she says, smiling now. “You know I’m always game to help if you need it, right?” 

This last part comes out a little uncertain, and I get this prickle of guilt that she’s still so clearly worried about our fight. 

“I know you are. It’s just, you know the rules, Han, and you know why they matter more than ever now. I don’t want to mess with the status quo this early in the game.”  

She nods, her smile fading a little even as a grim sort of under- standing settles over her face. “Of course,” she says quickly. “I get it.” 

Desperate for a change of subject, I reach for my smoothie, take a long drink, and then say the first thing that pops into my head. “Did you know Jordan Baugh lives in Harper Ridge?” 

“What!” Hannah sits up straighter in her seat. “How did I not know this? How do you know this?” 

“I saw him while I was walking Buffy last night,” I admit. “His house is next door to The Castle.” 

“No shit?” she says, her expression gleeful. “Maybe he can be, like, your escape plan if things get too weird at home. You can walk Buffy over to his house all the time.” 

“I think you’re getting a little ahead of yourself, Han. I don’t even really know him.” 

“Yeah, but you’ve always wanted to get to know him.” She waggles her eyebrows at me. “So this new proximity can be your in.” 

I shake my head at her, but I’m fighting a smile now. And I can’t help picturing Jordan how I saw him last night, lit up from behind, his expression earnest as he watched me leave. “Maybe.” 

If you’d like to purchase this novel please click the link!

Rules We’re Meant to Break

This Chick Read: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Budding screenwriter Annie Cassidy dreams of writing the next great romantic comedy. Her best memories from her childhood are watching rom-com’s like Sleepless in Seattle or When Harry Met Sally with her now deceased mother. Sitting in their local coffee shop working on her screenplay, Annie learns that a rom-com will be filmed in their neighborhood starring cocky Drew Danforth. Despite being disappointed in their choice of lead actor (no similarities to Tom Hanks at all!), Annie gets a part time job as the Director’s assistant, for the first time immersing herself in the movie making world. A world that soon makes her wonder if she isn’t starring in her own rom-com with a rather unlikely leading man.

Waiting for Tom Hanks is a really cute romantic comedy mixing moments of hilarity while also mining the depths of our characters hearts. There are tons of comparisons to our favorite romantic comedies and every man Annie meets is compared to her favorite leading characters played by actor Tom Hanks. Hence the title of the book. The author walked a fine line between overplaying those two comparisons but somehow I accepted every mention.

The romance between Annie and Drew was antagonistic at first due to Annie’s misconception about Drew’s lack of Tom Hanks-like attributes. I enjoyed their clever dialog and found myself rooting for Drew early on but sat patiently reading until Annie got past her misconceptions.

Part of what made this novel so enjoyable was the cast of characters. Annie’s kooky best friend, her Dungeons & Dragons playing uncle, and the nutty director of the movie all added depth and fun to their scenes, as well as helped round out Annie’s character. Through her interactions with them the reader is able to see her as more of a sympathetic character because at first she is rather mean to Drew and that could’ve been hard to overlook.

This novel was one of my most anticipated reads for June. Did it live up to my expectations? It had a great meet cute, subtle humor, solid friendships, kooky best friend, and hot love interest. YEP! I wasn’t disappointed at all. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a free copy of this book through NetGalleyfor my honest review and it was honest.

Click here to purchase!* Waiting for Tom Hanks

Blog post Copyright Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

Want to read an excerpt?

I blink a few times, staring straight into Drew Danforth’s face. It’s like when you’re a kid and there’s a solar eclipse, and all the teachers are like, “Don’t look directly into the sun! You’ll destroy your retinas!” but there’s always that one kid (Johnny Berger, in our class) who can’t stop staring.

In this situation, I’m Johnny Berger. And I guess Drew Danforth is the sun.

“Are you okay?” he asks again, enunciating his words even more as if me understanding him is the problem. His brown eyes, I notice, are flecked with tiny bits of gold, which is something you can’t see when you watch him on TV. His hair is just as voluminous as it seems in pictures, but in person, I have the almost overwhelming urge to touch it, to reach out and pull on that one lock of hair that hangs over his forehead.

“She’s not responding.” He turns to Chloe. “Is something wrong?”

“She’s French,” Chloe says without missing a beat. “She only speaks French.”

“I’m not French,” I say, breaking my silence. Chloe and Drew’s heads swivel to look at me.

“I’m sorry about your coat,” I whisper, then I run toward Nick’s.

Chloe bursts in the door behind me, the bell jingling in her wake. “I’m not French?” she screeches. “Those are the first words you spoke to Drew Danforth? Really?”

“Well then, why did you tell him I was French?” I shout, ignoring the curious stares of everyone working on their laptops and the calming melody of whatever Nick put on to replace the Doobies.

“I don’t know!” She throws her hands in the air. “You weren’t talking, so I thought I’d give you an interesting backstory!”

I put my hands over my face. “This is ridiculous.”

“No,” Chloe says, grabbing me by the shoulders. “This is your meet-cute, and now you need to go back out there and find him and say something that isn’t a negation of your Frenchness or an apology for destroying his probably very expensive coat.”

“Meet what?”

Nick stares at us from behind the counter, a dishtowel in his hand.

“A meet-cute,” Chloe stands up straight, shoulders back, as if she’s delivering a Romantic Comedy 101 lecture to Nick and his patrons, “is the quirky, adorable, cute way the hero and heroine of a romantic comedy meet.”

Everyone stares at her blankly.

“Or hero and hero. Or heroine and heroine. Not to be heteronormative,” she clarifies.

“Like how me and Martha met at her wedding,” Gary says.

Chloe thinks about it. “I don’t know that I would necessarily call that one a meet-cute, but sure, Gary.”

“Did you just make that up?” Nick asks, arms crossed.

I shake my head. “No. It’s a thing.”

“Watch a romantic comedy, dude,” Tobin says.

Nick rolls his eyes.

“Anyway,” Chloe continues, “Annie straight up ran into Drew Danforth and spilled a cup of coffee all over his coat, which is, like, the cutest of meets.”

“That doesn’t sound very cute,” Nick says skeptically, rubbing the scruff on his chin. “Was it still hot?”

“Scalding,” I say, sinking into my chair and resting my head on the table.

“Sounds like a meet painful,” says Gary, and a few people laugh.

“Thanks,” I mutter. “I’m so glad you all find my embarrassment entertaining.”

“Annie!” Chloe sits down across from me as a customer walks in and the rest of the shop stops paying attention to us. “This isn’t embarrassing. This is merely a story I’ll tell in my toast at your wedding to Drew.”

I lift my head to look at her. “I hate to break this to you, but I don’t think he’s my Tom Hanks. I think he’s just a famous guy with a possible third-degree burn on his chest. And now my first day on set is going to be super awkward because I accidentally assaulted the lead actor with a beverage.”

Chloe’s about to say something, but then a song starts and she closes her mouth, looking up toward the speakers. “I swear to God, I told Nick not to play any more Bon Iver. It makes people look up their exes on Instagram, not buy coffee. I’m gonna go put on some Hall and Oates.”

As she walks away, I rest my head on the table again. As if it wasn’t embarrassing enough to have my uncle get me a job on set, now I have to deal with this.

*Amazon Associate