Title: A Chance To Choose
Author: Jeannie Sharpe
Genre: Christian Romantic Mystery
The life as a baker had been his dream since college, but a deep void surfaced every morning when he looked at himself in the mirror. How come, at 29, had he not been able to find the woman of his dreams? Not only did his boss, Chloe Livingston, owner of Camden Bake Shop irritate him about dating, he received a plane ticket in the mail to London from an old fling. From bad to worse, Ben’s next few days are filled with turmoil when he had to travel back home, to Virginia. Does he get the chance to go to London? With three woman, all of a sudden within arm’s reach, who does Ben choose?
Ben’s feet pounded along the busy sidewalk as he nudged his way past a mingling crowd who’d paused at the front of the café where the Tori lookalike had entered. With little to no regard of the surrounding patrons, he casually eased across the charming restaurant and parked at the only vacant stool at the bar. Through scrutinizing eyes, he checked out everyone seated. Full of diners, but none of them were her. The woman who wore a brilliant green satin coat, would, at once, be visible when discovered. The man with the classic blue suit and brown penny loafers would mesh with the rest. A fanatic himself over shoes, he could seek them out but snickered under his breath knowing that wasn’t possible. He rubbed his unshaven face as he continued his survey the space. Seeing neither, he crisscrossed through the mass spotting an adjoining room. It also was crammed to the max with people.
Bingo! The green coat. He drew close and strained to see the woman in the dim light. His brow squeezed as he studied the woman oblivious to anybody except the fellow with the perfect shoes. What is that guy doing? The slim built man with striking black curly hair, leaned across his dinner menu and kissed her. Ben’s mouth tightened when her familiar face came into view. Her beauty was the same as he recalled, but maybe she was a little slimmer. He caught a glimpse of her majestic eyes, her best feature. With a strained breath, he ran his hand down the front of his sports coat, loomed upon their table, pulled out a vacant chair and sat in front of her. “Good evening, Tori.”
“Hello.” She smiled at the man glaring back at her.
“Do you remember me?” Her brown resplendent eyes clawed at him like talons.
“No, I’m sorry. Am I supposed to know you?”
Ben clinched his teeth to kill the outcry ready to burst forth and leaned close. “I’m Ben Matney.”
Tori jumped, reached for him and squeezed his neck. “Ben, why didn’t you call me?” Tori quickly returned to her chair and put her hand on blue suit’s arm.
Ben humiliatingly felt the scrutiny he was under and grew helpless by the second as he shifted his attention to the man sitting across from her. “Who is this?”
“I’m her fiancé, George Stanley.” He stood and palmed Ben’s hand. “It’s nice to meet you.”
At a loss of words, Ben remained silent as the blood drained from his face. His misery, so acute, a sick feeling crushed at his stomach. He held it at bay as his body temperature started to rise.
“I’ll explain.” Tori hurried around George and seized Ben’s shoulders. “I wanted you to come to London to find out if you’d work in my uncle’s bar and grille. He needs a chef and as I understand it, you’ve been down on your luck.”
“Down on my what? We haven’t spoken in nine years.” He stood, gripped an empty chair behind him and awkwardly stepped backward. “You have no clue what kind of life I’ve had or my employment status.” He bit at his lip until it throbbed, then excused himself past a waitress.
“Ben, please come back and talk with us. We have a proposal to offer.” She bumped her way through the tightly fitted table and chairs and grabbed ahold of his jacket.
“Who is we?” He gazed at her boyfriend five feet away.
“George and me. We’re the managers of my uncle’s place. We haven’t had a suitable cook in three months. You’d be fantastic.”
His mouth flew open. “You want me to be your Chef?”
“You’d make a crazy salary, I mean huge.”
A chill spiked his spine. “So, me coming to London had nothing to do with our relationship? I’m appalled and...” he crept closer, “I am not interested.” He turned to go. “I have an excellent job in the states.”
“You work at a bakery for God’s sake. There’s no real money in that.” She stepped between him and the exit. “I realize I brought you here under false pretenses, but will you hear us out?”
Stunned and more sickened, he spun around, repeated the words ‘not interested’ and stared a hole through her. “I love my job in Camden and will not move here.” He covered his face with trembling hands and gave vent to the agony he was struggling to hide. Exhaling and demanding to rid his anger, with slow intention, he let out his instantaneous views. “You make me sick.” He swallowed hard, lifted his chin and boldly met her gaze. “I will not, repeat, will not, work for your uncle, for you or your boyfriend.”
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Share a holiday family tradition:
One thing my husband I like to do is on the day after Thanksgiving, we jump in my husband’s truck gather up our dogs, allowing them to go along and start looking for a Christmas Tree Lot that has uncut trees. We search and search and finally when we find the right one, we cut it down, grab a cup of hot chocolate and sing Christmas carols on the way home.
Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood:
A Chance To Choose is a great book to cuddle up with and read when you have nothing else to do or if you just like to read, its’ a great book to read. Enjoy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate to boot.
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Runs December 1 – 31
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Love to write. I am trying to give readers the same feelings I felt when reading Karen Kingsbury and Debbie Macomber's books. Having two books out, The Baker's Husband and Her Preacher's Daughter. I'm reaching the finish of my third book in the Second Chances Series. Thank you for taking the time to read my bio. I am married with two children, have two dogs and want to have a writing career sometime in the near future. With your help my dreams can come true. God Bless You!
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