Title: The Swiss Mishap
Author: Amey Zeigler
Genre: Romantic Comedy
For the last twelve years, more than half her life, Lainey Peterson has prepared to design, create, and produce quality chocolate bars. But when she discovers her chocolate internship at Switzerland's prestigious Alpine Foods has been canceled, she vows to do whatever it takes to get to Chocolate.
Yves Claremont, a young, ambitious department chair, would sacrifice everything to rise to vice president at Alpine Foods and redeem his father's name. Impressed with Lainey's resume and charming determination, Yves offers her an internship in his Pet Care department, promising a recommendation for Chocolate if she does well.
Lainey is drawn to the enigmatic and passionate Yves Claremont. He cannot deny his growing attraction to her. But inter-office relationships are strictly forbidden by Alpine Foods, and a perceptive co-worker, jealous of Yves' success, will undermine Yves and Lainey any way he can.
Marie Claire consulted her notes. “We left a message with Nadine Hart.”
“What?” Her best friend received a phone call canceling her internship and didn’t tell her? Why?
Nadine was so not getting any souvenir chocolate.
“C’est dommage. Le département de chocolat cannot you take.”
Marie Claire’s bluntness quickened Lainey’s heartbeat. Heat radiated from her face, her heartbeat pulsed into her head. Her brow lifted off her skull. Please, don’t pass out, she silently prayed. She didn’t want to know how hard the granite floor was. “Why not?”
“Bad economy, vous voyez,” she said. “Their budget was cut dernière minute. There is no money. You have to return home.”
“But I’ve come so far.” She couldn’t return home, not when she was in the lobby. Not when she could almost smell the chocolate. She closed her eyes, breathing deeply, hoping to stop the train wreck inside her head. All she envisioned was the image of her beaming parents waving goodbye as she bustled through security. What would their expressions be if she returned home tomorrow? “What am I going to do?” she asked.
Marie Claire shrugged with a pained expression on her face.
Chocolate! Lainey needed chocolate!
Her tongue lolled in her mouth, craving a molten blob of chocolatey goodness to soothe her spirits and calm her heart, but the delayed flights depleted her choco-stash. There was nothing left—zilch, nada, rien du tout.
“Is there somewhere else I can work? Some other department? Some other job?” She would mop floors, empty trash cans, anything at Alpine Foods. She didn’t say this aloud. It wasn’t the best bargaining chip to appear too needy. Maybe she could wander the lobby with a sign around her neck, “Will work for chocolate.” Her nose tingled. She sneezed. She always sneezed right before she cried. “Please. I’m willing to do anything.”
Marie Claire handed her a scented tissue, biting her lip, her eyebrows peaked with sympathy. She patted Lainey’s hand. “Wait. I see what I can do. Maybe one of the other departments can you take.” She lifted the phone at the reception desk, dialed a number, and spoke in such rapid French Lainey couldn’t keep up.
Lainey bit her lip. Cheer up, Lainey. Lots of things went wrong in foreign travel. At least she had her luggage. She hugged her carry-on to her chest. And she didn’t die during the flight. A bit of turbulence maybe. Okay, she might’ve wet herself in the bathroom as the plane rocked. But over all, it was an uneventful trip across the Atlantic. And Marie Claire was going to see what she could do. There were many things to be grateful for.
Her tummy rumbled, reminding her for the umpteenth time she hadn’t eaten much but chocolate in over twenty-four hours. And did she hear a whistling sound or were her ears ringing?
She swooped her shoulder-length hair behind her ear and rubbed her thighs. They were not rail thin. More rounded and well fed.
Marie Claire hung up, a huge grin on her face. “I sent your CV to Eve Claremont. Eve agrees to you give interview. Her English communication is trés bien...better than mine.”
Madame Claremont will interview her? A nervous shiver filled her horribly stressed body. Just then, the door opened again.
Out came a pencil-thin woman in a pencil-line skirt, with pencil-lined eyebrows. Behind her trailed a gorgeous man in a suit—if one could say a man was gorgeous—with dark, serious eyes and angular features. He consulted his phone. Lainey was glad he didn’t glance at her. He was the type of guy who would make her blush if he caught her staring at him.
Just then, his gaze met hers, an intense, meaningful stare. Blushing, she ignored him giving her a once-over and focused instead on the woman. Legs shaking, gratitude swelling her heart, Lainey stood and held out her hand. “Thank you for taking the time to interview me, Madame Claremont.”
The woman’s too-big eyes widened in disdain. Lainey might wither right on the granite. Should she have said it in French, not English? Was it rude of her to greet someone in English in a foreign country?
The ringing in Lainey’s ears grew louder. Voices sounded strangely far away. She was just about to repeat herself in French when the woman eyed the man behind her. In fact, everyone stared at him. Their gazes met. His eyes were even darker than her own chocolate brown, and his eyebrows raised in surprise.
“I am Yves Claremont,” he said in English.
In French, “Yves” sounded like “Eve.”
Heat flashed Lainey’s face. The ringing in her ears increased into deafening numbness. M. Claremont’s gorgeous features disappeared into darkness.
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What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?
I love relationships. I think they’re messy and complicated. I learned a lot about relationships with my Communication degree. I love showing human nature and why people get into and get out of relationships.
Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:
I love learning people’s love languages because true romance is learning how to love people how they want to be loved.
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Runs February 1 – 28, 2021.
Drawing will be held on March 1, 2021.
Amey loves writing about different places because she grew up moving all around the United States. In her books, she explores the whole world. She is also the author of Baker’s Dozen, a Romantic Suspense Mystery. The Swiss Mishap, a romantic comedy, won a Swoony for 2019’s Best New Adult Contemporary Romance and won third place in the Book Buyer’s Best Contest.
She lives with her husband and three children near Austin, TX. Follow her on BookBub, IG or Twitter @ameyzeigler and sign up for her newsletter at www.ameyzeigler.com
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