Curses, spells, fairy tales...no thanks! Sakaria Thorpe prefers the reality of running a café over the nonsense of make believe. But is it really make believe?
When she finds herself cursed to be a shapeshifting cat, she becomes a believer. Good thing she’s able to fit shapeshifting into her schedule. Life’s fine until she discovers she will be cursed to be a cat forever if she doesn’t find a man to break the spell by midnight on Halloween.
Desmond Fields sticks to routines and cold hard facts. He falls for the beautiful but quirky Sakaria the minute he sees her behind the counter.
Now Sakaria must convince Des of the improbable, that the woman he’s falling for needs him to recognize her inner feline in order to break the spell. Time’s running out and Sakaria is getting desperate...will true love save the day?
Here, in front of him, was the fairy princess brought to life. Her skin was the color of toffee, the smooth creamy kind that you knew would melt in your mouth the second your tongue touched it. She had lush, full lips just begging to be kissed. He noticed that she tugged on the end of a braid, which reached well past her ample breasts that couldn’t be hidden by the Café Dolce apron she wore.
He couldn’t remember his order. His frozen brain struggled desperately to find the words to let this woman know what he wanted, but what he wanted at that very moment had nothing to do with baked goods or coffee. A part of him realized that he was staring much too long, but he couldn’t rouse himself from this state of incapacitation and inability to speak.
To make matters worse, she said nothing, merely stared back at him as he pleaded with his brain to send the right signals.
Finally, he opened his mouth. “Coffee, please.”
He’d bet she smelled like sugar and vanilla and cinnamon. He wanted to find out, pull her close and bury his nose in the crook of her neck.
She turned around to grab a white ceramic cup giving him a view of several more braids hanging down to the rounded swell of her bottom, accentuated by the apron ties. She turned back to him, cup held in one hand. No rings, no jewelry, he noticed. Good sign.
“For here or to go?”
To go, he told himself. You’ve got a meeting. “Here.”
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, as if she were smelling him. When she opened them they met his for a brief moment, and then darted away. “Would you like to try our Columbian coffee? It’s our featured coffee today.”
He would drink crankcase motor oil if she asked him. “Yes. That sounds good.”
She flashed him a brief smile. “Half and half and sugar are on the table. Would you like anything else?”
He watched her carefully pour the coffee in the cup, fascinated at her skill and dexterity. No one had that expert-coffee-pouring technique.
Did she ask him a question? “Excuse me?”
“Would you like anything else?”
Yes, he thought. But not here. He cleared his throat. “A bagel. Multigrain.”
“Cream cheese or butter?”
“Toasted?” He sounded like an idiot parrot. No. Toasted bagels were disgusting. The heat melted the cream cheese and made a huge, gloppy mess. Toasted bagels were the bane of the cream cheese world.
“Toasted,” she smiled a little and waved the bagel at him. “Do you want it toasted? You know, like in a toaster? Makes the bread warm and crunchy.”
She was teasing him, he realized, watching her brown eyes glimmer with amusement. He smiled in response, no, he grinned like a fool in response.
“Yes, toasted,” he told her, preparing to make a day of just standing at the counter watching her. “If that’s not a problem.”
“Of course not,” she said kindly, her full lips parting in a genuine smile. “If you’ll have a seat, I’ll bring it to you.”
Desmond chose a table in the middle of the near empty café. He hadn’t realized that most of the people behind him had gotten their food and left as he stood there fumbling over a simple order. He slowly took off his jacket and hung it carefully on the back of the chair before he sat down.
There was no doubt he was going to be late, but at this moment he didn’t care. The cafe was comfortable, with pleasant melodies emanating from the sound system. His eye for detail spied several pots of catnip placed here and there, usually tucked into some unobtrusive corner. He didn’t see a cat, but there must be one around somewhere. Why else would there be catnip?