Title A Whirl With My Mocha-Chocolate Swirl
Author Dalia Dupris
Genre Contemporary Romance
Publisher The Wild Rose Press
Rebecca Layton returns to her beachside hometown of Sunnyville, California, determined to explore the possibility of rekindling her past relationship with the love of her life, Raymond Colton. She's devastated to discover that he has moved on and is now engaged.
Raymond Colton harbors resentment towards Rebecca for abandoning him to pursue her dreams of life in the big city. Now she's back and more beautiful than ever. But Raymond's heart has been broken more than once and risking more heartache with Rebecca isn't a gamble he's willing to take.
When Rebecca agrees to use her marketing expertise to help Raymond's father salvage his failing family business--Colton's Ice Creamery--she and Raymond are thrown together, and old flames are ignited. Can they heal the wounds from their past and embrace the possibility of a brighter tomorrow?
“Leah Ann is headed directly for us.” She puckers her lips and looks at me sympathetically. “She’s actually quite nice, and, well, I hope this won’t be awkward.”
“I’m sure it won’t be,” I lie, even as I silently vow not to stare at the infamous engagement ring that the whole town seems to be gushing over.
“Hello, Leah Ann,” Cindy greets her guest, eyes anxiously darting in my direction. “You remember Rebecca.”
“Definitely.” Leah Ann’s voice hasn’t changed since high school. It’s still as soft and sweet as ever. How can I compete with that alluring tone that’s like a siren call for most men? Then again, come to think of it, I’m not competing. My ex is hers. Not her fault. My bad. I left, so there we go.
“It’s good to see you again, Rebecca.”
“You too,” I say with all the sincerity I can muster, while I involuntarily zero in on her jumbo-sized rose quartz crystal. Forcing my stunned gaze away from her delicate fingers, I pretend not to be crestfallen at the physical evidence of her betrothal to the man I love. “I didn’t know you had moved back to town.” Focusing on her distinctive hazel eyes doesn’t make me feel any better. If there were any way I could slink out the exit door without Cindy noticing, I’d be out of here, but, of course, I can’t ditch my best friend at her bridal shower.
“I always loved Sunnyville,” she says while tossing her auburn curls over her shoulder. “After completing my education degree, I was lucky enough to land a job at the elementary school.”
“So lucky.” I nod. “And in so many ways.”
“I will leave you two to get reacquainted.” Cindy appears distracted. She’s peering at Sam, who’s frantically waving to her from the opposite end of the spacious room. “Sam needs me.”
Cindy departs to check on her fiancé, and Leah Anne continues to regale me with stories about the delights of teaching kindergarteners. It all makes sense now—why she isn’t uncomfortable around me—she’d left before Raymond and I had started dating. However, childish it may be, I can’t help wondering if he likes her more than he ever cared for me. Heck, even I like her. She’s gorgeous, smart, and loves kids.
She smiles, and I wonder what toothpaste she uses to get her teeth that white. She’s signaling someone to join us. Moments later, Raymond, looking as awkward and uncomfortable as I feel, saunters over to where we are standing near the punch bowl.. He always did look good in blue, and tonight is no exception.
“Rebecca, you probably know Raymond.” She reaches for his hand, and I inwardly wince. “After all, you two graduated from Sunnyville High. Let’s see…” She bats her incredibly long eyelashes. “I was only at Sunnyville for about three months before we had to move. Did you know each other?”
Raymond has yet to acknowledge my presence, and I can’t stop staring at him. He grunts and clears his throat before finally glancing in my direction. “Yeah, we knew each other.”
“Right, what he said.” Did I really just say that? I’ve lost the power to articulate a coherent sentence as I notice that the room seems eerily silent. I’m probably imagining that people are not-so-discreetly listening in.
“Rebecca and I were close way back in middle school, right?” She runs a perfectly manicured hand through those silky tresses.
“Yep.” I ball my hands into fists, quickly covering the unpolished, slightly nibbled-on nails. The sight of a beautiful woman clinging to Raymond’s arm has stifled my ability to speak and, oddly enough, stimulated my appetite. “Food,” I say, pointing to a cluster of tables directly across from us.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FGLDXV1
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08FGLDXV1
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08FGLDXV1
I’m one of the authors participating in the Read a Book Month Giveaway and you can win an e-copy of Orange Blossoms-Love Blooms by Dalia Dupris.