Read Online Books/Novels:
BRICK (Lords of Carnage MC)
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
When the walls come down, all bets are off.
Sassy, sexy, and hot-headed,
She can fight it all she wants,
She says she doesn’t need protecting.
Bossy, rugged, and hot as Hell.
He has no idea what I risked to get here, and I’m not about to tell him.
BRICK: LORDS OF CARNAGE MC is a completely standalone, steamy bad boy romance with guaranteed HEA, no cheating, and no cliffhanger! It’s also the third book in the Lords of Carnage MC series.
|Books by Author:|
“You don’t have kolaches?” the elderly man on the other side of the counter huffs at me.
A frown of confusion crosses my face. “What’s a kolache?” I ask him.
The man rolls his watery blue eyes. “All these baked goods,” he says disdainfully, nodding toward my display case. “And no kolaches.”
“I’m sorry.” I try for my most patient tone. “If you can explain to me what a kolache is, maybe I can point you to something in the case that would be similar.”
He scoffs. “Nothing similar in there.” He fixes me with a withering look, as though he’s half-expecting me to die of shame right on the spot. “I’ll just have a cup of black coffee with some creamer.”
“Sure, thing,” I say brightly, reaching for a cup. I fill it with hot, freshly brewed coffee and set it down on the counter. “There’s milk and cream in those carafes over there,” I say, pointing over toward the condiment bar, “so you can pour it in yourself.”
“You don’t have any Coffee Mate?” His face goes from sour to incredulous.
“No, I’m sorry, we don’t.” I try to make myself sound deeply apologetic. “There’s cream, two percent, and skim,” I tell him. “And refills are free! You can help yourself. Right next to the cream and milk.”
I don’t know why I was hoping that might brighten his mood, but it definitely does not.
He snorts. “Figures.”
I don’t even know what he means by that, but I’m not about to ask. Apparently, I have sunk to exactly the depths of immorality he expects from the owner of a fancy-schmancy coffee shop.
I ring him up, trying not to look apologetic or defensive when I tell him the total. It’s clear from his expression he thinks it’s an exorbitant amount to pay. Thankfully, though, he seems sick enough of me by now not to bother arguing. He pulls a crumpled bill out of his pants pocket and slides it toward me, then waits in silence until I give him his change. With a loud harrumph, he stalks off without leaving so much as a penny as a tip. Of course.
My dissatisfied customer hobbles to the condiment bar and gingerly pours in a thin trickle of skim milk, as though a single drop too much might just poison him. Then, he shoots me one last disdainful look, and goes over to join the two perfectly pleasant old men I served a few minutes earlier, who are occupying a nice sunny table by the window.
I take in a deep breath and slowly let it out, then plaster my best customer-service smile on my face and turn to the next person in line. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m remarkably thin-skinned when it comes to interactions like this. But, as I remind myself for the hundredth time, it’s par for the course in customer service jobs. You knew what you were getting into when you opened the Golden Cup, Syd. So suck it up, buttercup.
And it’s true. When I opened up the first and only full-service coffee shop in Tanner Springs, I figured I’d have more than a few customers on a learning curve at first. If I had any customers at all, that is. Fortunately, I seem to have been correct that the residents of this small town would welcome a new place to congregate over good coffee and homemade pastries. My worst fear was that no one would ever come into the shop, and that I’d spend my days wistfully looking out the window, watching all the money I’ve invested in this place spiral the drain. Thankfully, that has not come to pass.
But opening this shop hasn’t been without its bumps in the road. And one of the downsides has been that some of my older clientele — Grumpy Kolache Guy, for example — is more used to diner coffee. And diner prices. They can be a little tough to please, to say the least.
I busy myself with my morning tasks and helping other customers, noting with some satisfaction that Grumpy Guy helps himself to refills on coffee not once, but twice. The sour expression never leaves his face, though. I’ll be surprised if he ever comes back to my shop again after today.
The thought doesn’t exactly fill me with sadness.
It’s a little after seven-thirty in the morning when, right on schedule, the morning rush begins. Every weekday, Monday through Friday, there’s a sudden onslaught from now until almost eight-thirty. A steady stream of humanity files through the front door of the shop, each of them seeking to feed their caffeine and sugar addictions. There are professionally dressed adults hustling in on their way to work, and students on their way to high school before first bell. Many of them I recognize by now, and I do my best to remember details from past conversations and ask after their families. They seem to appreciate the attention, and I know the routine of our little morning chats is one of the reasons they’ll keep coming back for more.