Genres: African American Romance, Contemporary, Small town romance
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on Amazon
Falling in love in a small town is tricky.
Falling in love with the man who's putting you out of business is trickier.
Leslie Baker, owner of Potter Lake’s original hometown beauty shop, the Curl & Dye, has a muscular, handsome, 6’4” problem. Her college sweetheart, former basketball superstar Kade “KC” Cavanaugh, is back in Potter Lake following his NBA retirement and the business he’s opened, a slick and shiny co-ed salon on the other side of Potter Lake, directly competes with Curl & Dye.
KC is all too eager to pick things up where they left off fifteen years ago, but Leslie can’t forget how he pushed her away after an intimate encounter, then dropped out of college and left her behind for the bright lights of professional ball.
Though she won’t admit it, time and maturity have eaten away at Leslie's anger and her long-buried attraction to Kade Cavanaugh has resurfaced.
With a vengeance.
Now there is a larger problem: Leslie and KC find themselves in the center of a city wide drama, and with both sides of Potter Lake at war and their livelihoods at stake, the two have to stop sniping at each other and start working together.
And maybe, in the process, forget the past and revive a budding romance that was very special...a very long time ago.
Well, howdy. *tips hat*
Today is #WIPWednesday but, gloriously, I do not have a WIP. Yesterday I decided that aside from a fun story for the fanfiction archive, I am done writing for publication for the year. I am tired, my brain is tired, I would have loved to publish four books this year, but my miiiiiiiiinds tellin’ me nooooooo.
The more I sit with the decision, the more at peace I feel. I was publishing maybe two books a year and taking long breaks, during which I engaged in a lot of navel gazing and screwing around. Shooting for 4 books this year wasn’t decided until August, when I had only pubbed one book so far. I pushed Leslie’s out in September and then turned around and did the holiday short in November. And I did make my goal of not sitting around being a lazy bones between releases.
Aannyway, none of that matters today because it’s still #WIPWednesday so I wanted to share a snippet from Curl & Dye with ya’ll. If you haven’t read it and need some convincing, look no further than Reading Romance In Color’s review of Curl & Dye. She enjoyed the small town but still black centered dynamic and the grown & sexy aspect of KC and Leslie’s relationship. Speakin’ of grown & sexy:
Just when I didn’t need his big head to show up, I heard KC’s voice, faint but getting louder as he approached. He and Kendrick were joking with each other on their way back from the park. They couldn’t see us, but I felt like we were eavesdropping.
I stayed quiet, practically holding my breath so he couldn’t hear me breathing, until they stomped up the front porch steps and went into the house. I heaved a sigh, and tossed back the last swallow of wine.
“Hit me,” I ordered, holding out my glass. She poured, giving me about half a glass more. I needed it for this confession I was about to dump on her. I licked my lips and inhaled a deep, fortifying breath before I blurted, “So…KC kissed me.”
Tamera’s blank stare lasted for a few beats. “Uh….when did this happen?”
“Today. Tonight. Before I came over here.”
“Like… a kiss, kiss? Or just a kiss?”
“Uhm… a kiss, kiss. There was tongue.”
“Oh.” She blinked, seeming confused. “And… that’s why your head is in the clouds and you’re acting dickmatized?”
“Okay, then. And… you kissed him back.”
“Who just stands there while they’re being kissed?”
“I mean…” Tamera reached for her wine glass and took a few sips. “So. How, exactly, did his lips end up on you, again? Did he trip and fall into your face?”
My glass hit the tabletop with a thunk and pushed my chair back from the table. “Thanks for the wine and snacks and the Thursday Night Snark, Tamera. I have a long day tomorrow, so—”
“Leslie— okay, I’m sorry.” Tamera grabbed my arm and dug one of her talons into my skin. “Please, please stay. Talk to me.”
“Are you done being a sarcastic bitch?”
She had the nerve to pause before answering, “Mostly. Yes. Why did he kiss you? And how do you feel about it?”
“Well, we were talking. I brought up when we slept together. I said I thought we had a good time and I thought he did, too. But then he treated me like it was the worst thing to ever happen to him.”
“Okay. And then he said…”
“Do you remember KC talking about his mom’s illness in Sports Illustrated right after he went pro?”
Tamera shrugged and shook her head. She’d never followed him all that closely. I had to hide that I knew his every move. “She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis right when we started our sophomore year. The bills were already piling up by the time he found out. Going pro helped pay her medical bills. Still helps pay her medical bills.”
Her lips formed a perfect ‘O’ as she began to understand. He didn’t withdraw from Healy over a couple of hours of sweaty, awkward co-ed sex. It really had nothing to do with me.
“When I was leaving, he stopped me and… kissed me. He said it was an apology for making me think he didn’t like being with me, because he did. And…”
“And? There’s more? Did ya’ll screw in the parking lot?”
I glared at Tamera, nervously rubbing my neck because her question threw my imagination into overdrive and…I really needed to take the edge off. “He said he wouldn’t mind being with me again.”
Tamera was so quiet for so long that I looked up, just to see if I could tell by her expression where her thought train was running. She was staring at some spot above me, her head tilted to the right. I recognized that head tilt and sighed.
“He….” She began, a finger already in the air. “Kade Cavanaugh, that is, said he wouldn’t mind being with you again. And you’re all twisted up about this?”
“I’m not twisted up. It was the last thing I expected to hear from him. I’m… I’m a little out of sorts, is all.”
“So… you know I just have to be honest, right?” I nodded, accepting my fate and halfway regretting even telling her about the kiss. “You need to think with your brain and not your inner hot in the ass, I have a crush on KC, college girl, mkay? He’s a tall, handsome, rich, sexy tatooed muthafuckah. Ya’ll have history. That means it’s so much easier for you to fall for him again. You realize this, right?”
Slowly, I bobbed my head. I did not want to know this, but I did.
“But Leslie… don’t let any part of your brain accept that mediocre, I wouldn’t mind bullshit. You are a gorgeous, smart, resourceful, successful entrepreneur who happens to be lit as hell. Many, many men wouldn’t mind having sex with you. Do you care what the hell random men want?”
I shook my head. No. I did not.
“If you’re gonna give him the cat, make sure it’s because he can’t get the cat off his mind. Not just because an ex-NBA baller, as fine as that muthafuckah is, wouldn’t mind sleeping with you. You just told me last week that you ain’t no damn Kade Cavanaugh groupie. So don’t act like one.”