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Cookies and Cream

Sweet Magic

Author(s): Antoinette Turner

Book one in the Sweet Magic series.

What better reason to move across a whole country than to start a dream job while being closer to your last remaining relative?

Kerra Ryan, Marketing Manager and self-proclaimed cookie addict, moves across county to be near her gran and start her dream job. Declan Quinn, witch and owner of Decadence Biscuit Factory, has a new employee he can’t seem to keep his hands off. But Declan carries a secret. He carries one of three Fates, an ancient and powerful essence, cursed to be passed down through countless Quinn generations. What neither Kerra nor Declan realize is she holds another.

As Declan helps Kerra understand the power she holds within, they find themselves fighting an unnatural attraction while battling two conniving parents and another witch hell bent on killing them.

Can they find a way to rid themselves of their destiny or will Fate show them the way to something sweeter?  

Excerpt


Declan Quinn noted the unfamiliar car as he all but rolled impatiently through the gates to his factory. Already thoroughly frustrated, the slow driver ahead of him did nothing to calm his nerves.

He figured it was one of his older customers wanting to take a tour. He looked at his watch. They didn’t start for another hour. He was proud of the health and safety standards for both food and employees at Decadence, and customers were always welcome. Except when he was stuck behind one. He huffed out a breath as the two of them continued their crawl down the lane.

He frowned as he wondered if the driver was purposely going slowly. He quickly dismissed the idea.

If there was one thing he abhorred it was being late for a meeting, even if it was with one of his own staff. A phone call to his home from his vice president and the project manager earlier, warning him of impending problems on his second manufacturing plant, had distracted him. There would be serious decisions to make on the viability of the site.

As soon as there was space available Declan nipped around the little blue sedan and punched the accelerator. “Slow old woman driver,” he grumbled to himself as he passed the car, noting a blur of light hair in a bun.

He was still sitting in the car five minutes later as the only other occupant of the parking lot walked by. He hadn’t seen the woman coming toward him, but he watched the back view with a mix of surprise and blatant admiration as the lush curves swept past. His body automatically tightened at the graceful, feminine sight.

Pale golden hair piled high with just a few smaller tendrils left to tangle at the back of a long, slender neck. A perfect hourglass figure neatly packaged into a firm white shirt and figure-hugging gray pinstriped skirt that fell to just above the knee, hinting at a long, supple back and curvaceous bottom. He followed the pair of long, shapely legs down to…his eyes widened in shock at a wicked pair of red sky-high heels.

The whole prim ensemble immediately turned to spice. Surprised at how fast the tension rose in his body, he now understood the delay at the security gate. This was nobody’s grandmother. If he’d still been a teenager he would have called up the wind to flutter her skirt just to see if her panties matched those shoes. But he wasn’t a teenager, he silently reprimanded himself, he was a businessman and a man of authority. Pity.

He was so enthralled by the view he almost forgot he was stuck on the phone with one of the most powerful men in the business world. He was brought out of his thoughts quickly and with force.

“Declan! Are you bloody well listening to me?”

The frustration he heard in his friend’s voice was heightened by the surround sound speakers in the car. “Of course, Michael, you were explaining you wanted to be trounced yet again. Saturday week at the club suit? I’ll have my secretary book a court.” Declan continued to watch the woman’s silhouette until it disappeared into the building. His eyes narrowed. “As to the other matter, my new marketing manager starts today. She should be eminently capable of blending our products into your advertising campaign.”

“New marketing manager? Who did you poach her from?”

The piqued interest in Michael’s voice made Declan wary. “I didn’t. She applied for the position when we advertised, something about moving to be with family. She has done some outstanding work for the company she previously worked for.”

“I can’t see you hiring an unqualified. Where did you say she worked previously?”

Silence danced around the car for a moment. “I didn’t and I wouldn’t take kindly to having my new employee poached from under my nose.”

“Would I do such a thing?” Michael laughed a little ruefully.

Declan could almost see the man’s rakish grin as he sat at a huge mahogany desk in the penthouse suite of his twenty-five-story office building.

“I will personally see to it that she is brought up to speed, and we’ll have a proposal to you within two weeks. Now if you don’t mind, old man, I’m dreadfully late for a meeting.” Declan swiped a harried hand through his thick black hair before the strands settled haphazardly again.

“That about covers everything. Feel free to bring that leggy brunette from the newspaper with you next Saturday. I’m sure she’d love to see a real tennis pro in action. I’d be happy to give her a few pointers.” The competition between the two of them constant and never malicious.

I’m sure Amy would appreciate help with her backhand, but I’m afraid she won’t be joining us on Saturday, or any other day, for that matter.” Declan’s voice was firm, although he knew his friend wouldn’t pry. Much to his disgust, his so-called reputation for short-term relationships was legendary. “But feel free to bring that beautiful wife of yours. I’m sure Lisa could use the company of a handsome, charming man. She must surely be sick of yours by now?” Declan enjoyed the amused chuckle he heard down the phone line.

“I may do that. Lisa was only just saying we hadn’t seen you in ages.”

“Pining for me again, is she?” Declan sighed dramatically, knowing he wasn’t stirring his friend’s ire in the least.

Michael and Lisa Stapleton had been married for almost forty years, long before Michael had turned his little corner store into one of the largest conglomerates in the country. Even Declan with his cynical view on women and marriage had to admit the couple were still deeply in love.

“Your reputation makes me nervous when you’re around my wife, Deek,” Michael muttered.

“Well, I have told her repeatedly I’m available any time she wants to try someone younger,” he teased unmercifully.

“Lucky for me the woman’s not fickle, but I think she has a prior engagement on Saturday. I just have to organize it first,” Michael said wryly, laughing as he hung up the phone. Declan couldn’t help but smile as the line went dead.

The man was thirty years his senior, but Declan admired both his energy and business acumen. He was also one of the few men he trusted in the cutthroat world of retail. He climbed from the car and headed toward the factory, surprised when his mind wandered firmly back to the identity of the mystery women in red heels.

He was suddenly looking forward to meeting his new marketing manager. 

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-0-99167-958-4
Genre: Paranormal
Date Published: 07/10/2013
Publisher: Forever More Publishing

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