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Meg’s Motivation by Katrina Kylie is a Toasty Reads pick #99cents #99c #romance #wholesome #giveaway
Title: Meg’s Motivation
Author: Katrina Kylie
Genre: Small-town contemporary romance/ Christian romance/ sweet and clean romance
It was only a silly dare. It wasn’t supposed to change everything…
As the eldest sister, Meg Trudy feels the full weight of responsibility of running the family orchard after the death of her beloved father. To her utter dismay, she discovers the three-generation business isn’t doing as well as she supposed, and to make matters worse, her father’s safe contains secrets he has kept locked up for years. Unknowing of the financial ruin practically knocking at their door, the other Trudy sisters dare Meg to kiss a handsome stranger who just might be the key to turning their plum orchard around.
When an anonymous client asks travel blogger Morris to write an incriminating article - and pays ridiculous money to do so - Morris arrives at Damson Acres determined to perform his work with a hard heart. He hadn't, however, been counting on a woman like Meg. As the deadline looms, he must decide if his conscience will allow him to take the money and run or throw it all away and follow his heart. Is Meg’s motivation enough to hold her family and legacy together? Find out in this first-in-series guaranteed to tug at your heart strings and leave you desperate for more.
“Hi, Meg,” Lizzie greeted, sliding into the café chair beside her with a pulled pork sandwich of her own. Meg’s youngest sister just turned nineteen. Her white-blonde hair had always reminded Meg of an angel. Unlike their middle sister, Halle, who plopped into her chair wearing a wicked grin.
Meg groaned, knowing that mayhem was sure to follow. “What are you up to this time, Halle? Nothing too horrible, I hope?”
Halle smirked and took a bite of her sugar cookie, the only thing she was eating for lunch, apparently. “You’ve been working so much lately, Meg, and I know just the thing to cheer you up… something that will get your heart pumping.” She said that last part with dramatic eyebrows.
Yep, she was definitely up to something. Meg’s only wish was that she wasn’t part of the scheme.
“I don’t need to get my heart pumping. I do that in the morning during kickboxing.”
“Not that kind of pumping,” Halle said with a roll of her eyes. “I’m talking about a nervous/excited sort of pumping. You’re such a homebody lately. Have you even left Damson Acres in the past two weeks? Do you remember what it feels like to have a little fun?”
Mentally, Meg conceded. Once. She’d only left Damson Acres once in the past two weeks, and that was a bank run for the family business. But she wasn’t about to admit that to Halle. “I have fun,” she insisted. “I know you both know that I know how to have a good time… right, Lizzie?”
Taking a big bite of her sandwich, Lizzie shrugged and kept her gaze trained on her food. Meg’s eyes narrowed. It couldn’t be clearer that her baby sister was avoiding taking sides.
Halle noticed, too, judging by the snort.
“Alright… so I’ve been working a lot lately. Is that anything to be ashamed of?”
“It is when you’re twenty-five and single. You should be enjoying these years, Meg. There will be plenty of time for working your life away later.”
“But there’s so much that needs to be done, and mom…”
“Mom wouldn’t want you to organize your life around the job.” Halle finished firmly. She didn’t need to extrapolate; Meg and Lizzie both knew she was referring to their workaholic dad. He’d worked so hard right up until his heart attack four months ago. Thinking about it brought a tightness to Meg’s chest and a smothering blanket of melancholy over the sisters.
Glancing at Lizzie’s misty eyes, Meg exhaled a breath. “Maybe you’re right.”
“Great. Now here’s what I had in mind. Do you see that hunk-a-yummy over there?”
Feigning disinterest, Meg peeked discreetly over her shoulder, whispering, “You mean the guy with the laptop?” Of course, she’d noticed him. With a face like his it was impossible not to notice. Her heart picked up its pace just from the brief look, his broad, lean shoulders leaving little to the imagination of the muscle beneath his leather jacket. What could Halle possibly dream up involving that delicious-looking man? Her throat went dry just thinking about it.
“Yep. I dare you to go over there and give him a smooch right on the lips.”
Meg stared in disbelief. What would Halle think of next? “I can’t do that! You don’t even know that guy! What if he’s married or has some rare, transmittable disease or something?”
“He’s not wearing a ring,” Lizzie observed, perking up.
“Oh, come on…” grumbled Meg, “not you, too.”
“We understand if you’re just too…adult for this, Meg. Clearly your days of youthful playfulness are disappointingly over and I’ve proven my point that you’ve grown… boring.” Halle busied herself looking at her fingernails.
Meg darted a look at the handsome stranger again. He wouldn’t be terrible to kiss.
She was not boring, and maybe… maybe she did need a little more excitement in her life. Even if she didn’t, she wanted to prove herself to her sisters. Before fear could get the best of her, she took a big swallow of lemonade and stood abruptly, savoring the astonished looks on her sisters’ faces even more than the sugary drink.
Oh boy. Now that she was facing the man himself, the lemonade was doing little to moisten her mouth, which suddenly felt as dry as the Sahara Desert. Pressing her lips together, she focused on his thick, straight hair, the small cleft in his stubbled chin, and, when she arrived at his table, the surprise in his hazel eyes as he tilted his head to look up at her. Thank heaven I applied body spray this morning. It’s now or never!
Heart bounding through her ribs, Meg smiled shakily down at him. Before she could rationalize this craziness, she gripped his chin and planted a wet kiss on his smooth lips. The stranger held so still a Roman statue would be proud. He smelled fresh and masculine, like laundry soap and deodorant and something else she couldn’t put a name to. In that one perfectly senseless moment, all the stimuli in the café ceased. It had been a long time since she’d kissed a man. Too long. Why had she waited so long? As she pulled back, dazed, she smiled at the poor victim of a man, savoring the contact in that millisecond before embarrassment zipped in like a power surge to ruin it.
Just walk away, Meg… turn around and walk away.
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Katrina Kylie is a Utah, USA native who loves all things horses, chocolate, and romance. She and her husband claim four rambunctious kids, a puppy, and six chickens. You can expect a sweet happily-ever-after from each of her books.
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