On Tour with Prism Book Tours
She wants a temporary fake romance
Can he make it real…and forever?
Driving across the country in an RV with her terminally ill godmother was not Daphne Merlotte’s idea. Nor was crashing the RV into a small-town coffee shop, nearly hitting local good guy Mel Greene. Now Daphne will do anything to keep her godmother from continuing the trip–even asking Mel to be her fake boyfriend. But there’s nothing fake about Mel’s intentions–he wants a real romance!
(Mel’s sister, Connie, has disrupted his meticulous plans to have a quiet breakfast with Daphne who has had to take sudden and—to his way of thinking—welcome refuge at his apartment.)
“Do you want breakfast?”
Daphne looked up. “If that’s not too much trouble.”
“No trouble at all.” He poured so much truth into that statement, it came out soft and mushy. Daphne colored.
“Well, I really should be going,” Connie said, and Mel didn’t disagree. At least, not until she reached his door.
“Wait.” When Connie paused, hand on the doorknob, Mel found himself at a loss for how to discuss the next delicate issue, given that the subject was right there and probably pretending that she couldn’t hear every single word. What was he thinking? Daphne ought to be included. “Daphne. I wondered if Connie might help you, uh—” he swept his hand up and down his front “—get out of my clothes.”
Daphne colored again, not prettily as she had before, but a beet red. Connie groaned. “Not now… I don’t mean what you’re wearing… Just for later.”
Daphne slipped from her chair and padded over to them. Mel looked down. Her toes were painted a bubblegum blue. She touched his arm. “I can take it from here.”
He scuttled back into the kitchen, trying not to listen to their conversation. He rattled silverware and banged shut drawers as loudly as Connie had ever done.
When their voices rose into goodbyes, Mel darted to the door and pulled out his wallet. “Here,” he said to Connie and wadded a bunch of twenties and fifties into her hand. “To cover it.”
“Holy Toledo,” she said. “I’m going to Walmart, not Rodeo Drive.”
“Bring back the change, then,” he said, and closed the door more or less in her face. “I’ll repay you,” Daphne said.
“I’m sure you will.” It didn’t matter if she did or didn’t. Like how he never cared if Seth or Connie ever paid him back. In exchange, he got a seat at the family table, the gift of being an uncle for his birthday and phone calls out of the blue to see how he was doing.
Taking a seat at the table, Daphne said, “If it’s any consolation, Connie has found a way to extract payment from me by way of community service.”
“Not surprising. What is she having you do?”
Daphne set down her coffee cup. “Be Mrs. Claus at her Christmas-in-the-Summer event.”
Mel set down his fork. Of all the sneaky… “Connie can be persuasive, but you don’t have to do it.”
“But I want to.”
“That’s what I mean. She’ll make you want to.”
“Mel.” She pressed her palms flat on the table. “I want to be your Mrs. Claus, if you’ll have me.”
A thought sprang to mind. “Does that mean you’re staying in town at least until then?”
“As long as Fran turns up safe and sound.”
Two more weeks. It might as well be a whole new lease on life. She was proposing marriage to him as a big-bellied, red-nosed man. It was a start to them dating for real. He took a doughnut and placed it on her ring finger. “I will.”
Other Books in the Series
About the Author
M. K. Stelmack writes contemporary romances set in Spirit Lake which is closely based on the small town in Alberta, Canada, where she lives with pets who outnumber the humans three to one, and where dust bunnies run unchecked. She aims to tell stories that don’t shy away from the tough questions but still leave readers feeling uplifted. She is the author of two previous Harlequin Heartwarming titles, A Roof Over Their Heads and Building a Family. She loves hearing from readers. Find her at her website or on Facebook
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