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Chasin' Jason

Chasin' Jason

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Chasin' Jason

Bewertungen:
4/5 (10 Bewertungen)
Länge:
127 Seiten
1 Stunde
Freigegeben:
Nov 17, 2020
ISBN:
9781094414997
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

Jason Valentine is all that Luna Lloyd can think about. Once a week, the enchanting entrepreneur stops into Luna’s printing shop, Copy Cats, to make copies, mail promotional materials and check his reflection in the mirror. Against her better judgement, Luna does a deep dive into Jason’s online presence, only to find herself becoming more infatuated with her enchanting out-of-reach customer every day.

Armin is Luna’s best friend and the owner of Barks Books, the used book shop and café next door. He harbors a secret crush on his friend and business neighbor, but hides his feelings behind a cup of coffee and a stack of books. Armin knows that Jason is all wrong for Luna, but he tries to be a good friend and keep his opinions to himself just the same.

When Luna finally works up the nerves to talk to the mysterious, hunky Jason, she gets more than she bargains for, and finds herself invited to one of his events. Of course, she asks Armin to come along as her wingman, which only makes him loathe his romantic rival even more. Comedy ensues as Luna chases after the man of her dreams with Armin right at her heels, only to find that the true love of her life might have been right in front of her face all along.

Freigegeben:
Nov 17, 2020
ISBN:
9781094414997
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Wendy Dalrymple crafts highly consumable, short and sweet romances inspired by everyday people. When she’s not writing happily-ever-afters, you can find her camping with her family, painting (bad) wall art, and trying to grow as many pineapples as possible. Keep up with Wendy at www.wendydalrymple.com!

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Buchvorschau

Chasin' Jason - Wendy Dalrymple

Chapter One

Luna Lloyd rested her chin in her palms and stared out the double front windows into the University Mall parking lot. She exhaled heavily, blowing her dark, too-long bangs out of her eyes and noting that it was probably time to trim them again. It was nearing two p.m. on a Tuesday — the slow and sleepy time of day when few customers came into her store — and her eyelids threatened to slam shut as she languished behind the register. Luna tugged at the hem of her floral wrap dress as she watched the sun-dappled palms swaying in the mini-mall parking lot. Sunny winter afternoons spent stuck inside gave her cause to daydream that she was anywhere else in the world: Ibiza, Playa del Carmen, Honolulu. At that moment, and during most other moments of the day, Luna wanted to be anywhere but behind the dusty front counter of Copy Cats.

Just as Luna’s lashes were beginning to droop, Nicodemus, her four-year-old polydactyl tuxedo cat, jumped on the counter demanding attention. Archimedes, his brown-and-black-striped brother, lounged lazily in the front window, occasionally batting at a lizard on the other side of the glass. Their mother, a six-year-old calico named Persephone, had made a bed out of an empty copy-paper box at Luna’s feet. The feline coworkers were part of the kitschy appeal of the specialty same-day copy-service center that Luna’s family had run for the last thirty years. If it weren’t for their location near the Ringling School of Art, and for their famous multi-toed cats, Luna was certain that her family business would have gone bust ages ago.

At two o’clock on the nose, the bell rang over her front door, as it always did Monday through Friday. The familiar lanky silhouette of Armin, her nearest neighbor at the University Mall, darkened the front door with two cups of coffee in hand. Armin owned and operated Barks Books, a combination used-book store and coffee shop that catered to dog lovers. Four-legged friends were welcome in his establishment as long as they got along with his German shepherd, Sirius.

Armin’s long-sleeved button-down was half untucked from his too-big khakis, and his dark, curly hair tumbled into his glasses as he tried to keep the cups from spilling. It was a charming, harried aesthetic that only Armin could pull off with style. A blast of chilly wind blew in behind him, making Luna doubly grateful for her daily coffee delivery.

I was all out of hazelnut. I hope French vanilla is okay, he said, carefully handing over her cup.

Thanks, Luna said, taking an appreciative sniff. You’re just in time. I was about to fall over and die.

I also finally got that travel book you were looking for… the one about the woman who backpacked the PCT?

Armin pulled a paperback from his messenger bag and a mess of receipts, empty chewing-gum packets, and a full bag of dog treats fell to the floor. Armin scrambled to collect his things as Luna admired the pre-loved book cover.

This is great! Luna said, flipping through the pages. How much?

On the house, he said. You printed up all of those fliers for the book club last week. I still owe you."

Oh yeah, book club…. Luna looked up sheepishly over her coffee. I forgot.

It’s okay, you don’t have to come. I just wanted to invite you. Armin shrugged.

Sorry. She winced. "I did finally finish 1984 though. That one was a doozy."

Yeah, but it was good, right? Armin said. Pretty relevant for our times.

Luna lifted the lid of her cup to let off some steam and checked the temperature before gratefully chugging the coffee. Armin’s own cup of coffee was forgotten as Nicodemus pawed at him for attention. He scooped the tubby cat up like a baby, nuzzled him, and scratched under his chin.

I swear, he likes you better than me, Luna said, shaking her head.

He’s a good judge of character. Aren’t you? Armin purred to the indifferent cat.

Armin placed Nicodemus back down on the countertop as his eyes trailed to the corkboard over the ten-cent photocopy machine. There was a new flier nestled among the various art shows, for-sale signs, and book-club listings.

Manifest Vision? What’s that? Armin plucked the paper from the board and made a face.

You’ve never heard of Jason Valentine? Luna said, lighting up.

No.

Armin sniffed, eyeing the square-jawed, suit-clad businessman in the center of the ad. He adjusted his glasses and pinned the flier back onto the board. The grinning, successful-looking man featured front and center on the photocopy sported ice-blue eyes and coal-black hair that paired well with the expensive suit he was wearing. He was the perfect picture of success.

Jason Valentine is a local celebrity! Oh, and he’s gorgeous. He comes in here about once a week to run copies for his seminars and events. He left this one in the printer last time and I just figured I would hang it up.

‘Manifest Your Destiny’… ‘The Power Is in You’… what is he, some kind of snake-oil salesman? Armin scoffed.

"No, he’s a motivational speaker. A genius, actually," she said, crossing her arms. Armin threw her a knowing look.

You’ve got a pretty big crush on this guy, don’t you?

Maybe a little. Okay, maybe a lot. He just… he inspires me to want to get out there, you know? I want to do more with my life than help art students make last-minute copies for school projects every day.

Luna’s parents had gifted the job of running the family business to her nearly a year prior, a situation that was intended to be mutually beneficial. The agreement was designed in such a way that Luna would have a steady job after having gotten laid off, while her parents could take some time off to live out of their camper and hop from one jam-band festival to the next. It was a situation that was supposed to give Luna a foundation to build toward her future, but with every passing day, she felt more and more imprisoned by the printers and photocopiers and computers that cocooned her.

You don’t need to listen to some fakey guru to do something different with your life, Lu, Armin said. I feel stuck in this sad little mini mall sometimes too, but I know it’s not forever.

Seriously, Armin, I don’t know how you do it. I think if I have to sit in this store for the rest of my life I’ll go mad.

Armin shrugged. I have a plan. Barks Books isn’t the end of the line for me.

"Well, I don’t have a plan, Luna said, picking at her nails. A heavy silence fell between them and Armin sighed deeply through his nose. Or any other options, for that matter."

Armin scrunched up his face sympathetically. It was a conversation they’d had before.

I’m going to head back to the store; I’ve got Jade covering for me.

Okay, Luna said, assuming her position behind the counter again. Thanks for the book. And the coffee. I probably wouldn’t make it to eight o’clock every night if it weren’t for your life-saving lattes.

Glad to do it, Armin said, reaching out to give Nicodemus one last scratch. And Lu, I really mean it. It’s good of you to try and keep all of this alive, he said, gesturing at the store around them. But Copy Cats isn’t your only option. You don’t need some motivational speaker to tell you how to live your life.

Noted, she said, giving him a weak smile. See you later?

You bet. He waved and turned to exit the store, glancing one last time at the corkboard.

The rest of the day droned on as it usually did on those nondescript Tuesdays. Luna marked the passage of time by watching the same beam of light creep across the floor as she sketched in her notebook. Around four p.m. she helped two graphic-design students print out a poster-size image for a group project, and later, around five, a little girl wandered into the shop just to pet Archimedes. Near six a woman with multicolored locs and a nose ring printed up a dozen copies of her poetry and assembled them guerilla-style with the shop’s self-serve spiral binder. She tore off one of her poems and tacked it to the corkboard before she left, right next to the Manifest Vision flier. It was a poem about freedom. Luna took it as a sign.

Luna stretched and admired the dress she had designed for Persephone, a lacy white recreation of the dress Audrey Hepburn wore in My Fair Lady, complete with oversize hat. She had just about decided to give up on the day and close early when the bell rang over her front door again. Luna didn’t even bother to look up from her sketching, assuming that it was her book-loving coffee-shop pal from next door.

I’m just about to close, Armin, she called out. You wanna go get some sushi or something?

I was just wondering if I could use your copy machine?

Luna froze and gripped her charcoal pencil tightly. She had heard that voice before. That deep, velvety baritone brimming with authority and wisdom. She had heard it every night as she went to bed, listening to his podcast on vision quests and mood boards. Luna willed herself to turn around and come face-to-face with none other than Jason Valentine.

Hi! she chirped, her voice high and shrill. She cleared her throat and cringed internally. Yeah, of course. I’m sorry, I thought you were someone else.

Great, he said, flashing her a million-dollar smile, two rows

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  • (4/5)

    2 Leute fanden das hilfreich

    It was a really sweet read and I spent the majority of it wanting to smack Luna for being so oblivious.

    2 Leute fanden das hilfreich