Life lesson from Grady Buchanan: If you’re going to fall in love with the untouchable girl in town, don’t hire her as your only employee.
Even after he bungled the interview with Magnolia MacIntyre, he knew better than to hire her. The list of why it’s a bad idea is a long one.
Her father could ruin his fledgling business.
She is completely overqualified.
And he’s attracted to her.
What does Grady do? He offers her the job.
Magnolia knew better than to take it. Normally, she’d make the safe choice, and working for Grady is anything but.
He’s new in town–and entirely too charming.
Her dad will be furious.
She hates the outdoors and working for an outdoor adventure company is not exactly the right fit.
What does she do? She says yes on the spot.
Grady and Magnolia will have to prove to everyone in their life that they’re not crazy. And prove to each other that the list of why it’s a bad idea should be tossed out the window.
For these two opposites, sometimes doing the wrong thing is exactly right.
‘Steal My Magnolia’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #3 in the Love At First Sight series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe.
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Baking Me Crazy
Batter of Wits
"This is Grady."
There was silence on the other end. I pulled the phone away from my face to make sure I'd answered.
"Hello?" I said.
I heard a deep breath before she spoke. "Hi, I'm here, sorry."
My head tilted to the side when I heard her voice. It was soft and low with the curling accent that I'd gotten used to in the past month and a half. But it ... I shook my head ... something about it made the hairs lift slightly on my arms.
"Did you mean to call my number?" I asked carefully.
Inexplicably, I found myself holding my breath waiting for her to answer.
"I heard you're looking for help. Administrative help," she clarified.
My head went back. "Did you?"
She was quiet for a second. "Small town," she explained. "People talk."
I laughed under my breath. "So I'm learning."
It made me shake my head. The darknet had nothing on the Green Valley information pipeline. "So," I continued, "tell me a little bit about yourself."
"Of course." For the second time since I picked up, she let out an audible breath. "I have my BS in Business Administration, an MBA from Vanderbilt, and other than college, I've lived in Green Valley my whole life."
Scratching the side of my face, I glanced around at the horrific state of the office and tried to imagine someone with an MBA wanting anything to do with it. My face was bent in a grimace
"I've spent the past five years as an office administrator for my ..." She paused. "For a local business, and I'm looking to change things up. Fresh start."
I sat up slowly. "I can understand wanting a fresh start. That's why I'm here."
"I know. I, umm, I heard that. In town." She stumbled slightly over her words, and I smiled. "I'm not very outdoorsy, and I know that's what you'll be doing, but I'm the most organized person you'll ever meet. My label maker is my favorite accessory, and I have lists for my to-do lists. And I know every single business owner from here to Maryville."
I laughed. "You sound like you're already in your interview."
She laughed too, and I grimaced when my chest tightened. It caused a strong enough physical sensation that I glanced down at my body, like it was separate from me somehow.
"I can come in and fill out an application, if you'd like," she said.
I laughed under my breath. "If I had applications, I'd say yes." I glanced around the mess surrounding me. "But ... I'm not quite that prepared yet."
"That's also why you need someone who knows how to get an office up and running."
"That's true," I agreed. "Can you come in tomorrow so we can talk a little bit more? Since I don't have an application."
"That would be great," she said firmly. The stumbling was gone. I found myself wondering how old she was. What she looked like.
If I had a calendar, I would've glanced at it. But that was also buried in a stack of papers.
"How does nine sound? Do you need the address?"
"Sounds perfect," she answered. "And uh, no, thank you. I know where to find you."
I shook my head.
"Small town," we said in unison. She laughed, and my smile took up my whole damn face.
"Then I'll see you at nine tomorrow ..." My voice trailed off. "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name. I'm still working on my Southern manners."
She laughed. My chest did that thing again. It wasn't the heavy press of panic. It was a lightening. A lifting of whatever pressure I'd been feeling before she called.
She spoke slowly, like she was thinking carefully about her answer. "You can call me Lia."
About Karla Sorensen
Karla Sorensen has been an avid reader her entire life, preferring stories with a happily-ever-after over just about any other kind. And considering she has an entire line item in her budget for books, she realized it might just be cheaper to write her own stories. It doesn’t take much to keep her happy…a book, a really big glass of wine, and at least thirty minutes of complete silence every day. She still keeps her toes in the world of health care marketing, where she made her living pre-babies. Now she stays home, writing and mommy-ing full time (this translates to almost every day being a ‘pajama day’ at the Sorensen household…don’t judge). She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two exceptionally adorable sons and big, shaggy rescue dog.
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