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Ultimate Rom-Com Paperback Bundle

Ultimate Rom-Com Paperback Bundle

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  • 2,800 Pages
  • 66-68 Hours
  • 864k Words

Synopsis for Cooking Up a Kiss

I want the simple life—which means I’m staying far away from any and all bad boys.

Me and love? We aren’t friends. My ex broke my heart, and I can do without that again, thank you very much. So I’ve chosen as uncomplicated a life as I can find—working as a server at a small-town diner.

Except trouble just walked in, with a capital T.

Preacher, a retired football star, is six glorious feet of incredible good looks and a teasing smile that threatens to derail my plans. He pretends he's a confident playboy, but I can see through the ruse. It's an armor someone who's been hurt wears to protect themselves from more pain. I know it well… I wear a suit of my own.

Despite our instant connection and explosive chemistry—something I may have discovered with a few sort-of-accidental kisses—dating Preacher would mean anything but the life I want, nor does it offer safety. My still-mending heart needs some guarantees.

Even if I can convince Preacher to dismantle his armor, I’m not sure I can ever discard my own. If only falling in love were as innocent and easy as the first time. When I parted ways with romance, I swore there would be no exceptions.

Not even Preacher.

Except, I'm not sure I can face the possibility of a future without him. Can this broken heart bear to lose the man who just might be my forever?

Trixie and Preacher share some romantic canoodling (gasp!), but there's no buttering the biscuit in this romcom. This sweet, small-town romance will make you laugh, and the chemistry is explosive, but reader blushing is kept to a minimum as Preacher and Trixie find love again.

Fall in love with all the books in the small-town community of Button Blossom, each of which are hilarious, closed-door, sweet romances.

Look Inside for Cooking Up a Kiss


“That’s it. I’m shaving my head. This downpour has frazzled my hair to death.”

Raising my hand, I fingered the ends of my curly hair as I watched the rain pour outside. I was talking to myself again, which was only slightly worse than my hair behaving like a spoiled diva. My outburst didn’t exactly matter. No one was around to hear me bemoan my fickle locks. I’d given them the best I’d had that morning, stepping out of the shower with styling products blazing like guns in the wild west. When everything from holding mousse to detangling spray to curl cream wouldn’t tame my hair, I gave up and twisted my hair into an updo.

My hair rebelled, and I looked like a human dandelion after the yellow part turned fuzzy and had gone to seed.

Hair had never represented a person’s life so accurately as mine did. No matter how much I tried to control it, it would always do whatever it was gonna do.

Button Blossom had been having a stretch of thunderstorms over the past week, and the humidity was through the roof. Though I loved to sit on my front porch and watch the lightning flash, I was ready for a break from the deluge of rain. The flowers in my yard were hunched over, keeping their blossoms clenched tight so the petals wouldn’t blow away, and it might be ridiculous, but I was worried about my honeybees.

The three hives I kept sat at the corner of my front yard, and the worker bees wouldn’t have any trouble finding nectar except they wouldn’t be able to go out in the rain. As hard as it was coming down, one drop would send a tiny bee into a tailspin. My girls had enough honey stored up to last them another month or so before things got tight. It was more than their food stores, though. They were most likely itching to get to work. Like me, none of them enjoyed sitting around, twiddling their thumbs when there’s a to-do list to check off.

“I hope you’re okay, girls.”

I couldn’t break the trance of staring out the large windows outlining the front of The Crispy Crumpet. Running a finger along the gold chain around my neck, I occasionally stopped to fluff my hair.

Still frizzy.

I’d been waitressing at the diner since I moved to Button Blossom, and watched the same monotone gray clouds that refused to budge. Sheets of rain gushed until the gutters were full of miniature, raging rivers.

“Doesn’t look like it’s going to let up anytime soon.” Pontoon returned from the storage area with a bag of sweet onions. The stringent, slightly sweet smell of the onions wafted from the kitchen as soon as his knife sliced them into the makings of onion rings. “Sure has made for a slow lunch hour.”

“I wouldn’t want to be out in that weather.” The droplets of rain that clung to the windows gathered strength as they trickled down the window until they were heavy enough to streak down to the pavement. I watched for several seconds without blinking. “Not even to get a serving of your onion rings with a strawberry shake to wash it down.”

Pontoon, the head honcho who had opened the diner when Button Blossom was little more than a pinprick on a map, nodded. “Makes for good porch sitting weather.”

He picked up humming a sporadic tune, and his low voice was like chocolate—rich and irresistibly sweet. Pontoon was my boss, yes, but in a place that was hundreds of miles from where I grew up, he’s one of the few I consider family, sort of like a cross between the fun uncle and the best grandpa anyone could ever ask for. My circle has been growing as I’ve come to know and love the people of Button Blossom, but an entire town couldn’t fill the gaping hole in my heart that I’ve been trying to outrun. Sorrow had burned a nasty scar into the flesh, and no matter what I tried to do to soothe it, it would never completely go away.

At the end of the day, when I lock my front door and slump down on my couch, weary from the day’s work, it was just me.


Maybe I ought to needlepoint that and hang it above my mantel. Owning a label is supposed to make it sting less when it’s true, right?

So far, I hadn’t figured out how to avoid cringing internally when I thought about the u-turn my life had taken, and when I thought things were going so well…

I grabbed a stack of napkins and rolled hot silverware, fresh from the dishwasher, into them. “I need to wash my car.”

“Might as well let Mother Nature do that today,” Pontoon answered with a chuckle and a shake of his head. “Otherwise, you can tear up your money and throw it to the wind, ‘cause there’s no way you’re driving home without getting muddy all over again.”

He was right. I wouldn’t go to the car wash today unless I see some serious blue sky. I lived frugally, and rolling through the car wash only to have to tiptoe home through streets that would flick mud onto the undercarriage of my Camaro would be a waste. Except, it was Tuesday, and Tuesdays have always been the day I washed the Camaro, ever since I could call it mine. It was a ritual. A small reminder that if something was worth taking care of, a person ought to take measures and sacrifice to keep it in good working order.

A bitterness seeped into me—a big swallow of cough syrup. I flinched. It left a foul taste in my mouth. No amount of bubble gum or sucking mints would ever get rid of it. It was deeper than that. It was an anger within me that poisoned my past and tainted what once was a bright future. Though I try to do my best to conceal, ignore, and suppress it with my sunshiny personality and equally bright smile, it’s always there.

Cankers on the soul don’t heal like they might in the flesh. They don’t have to follow any rules because those kinds of wounds live outside of the physical realm.

“Ugh, I want to go home and take a nap,” I complained.

Pontoon’s smile was devious. “There’s a stack of bagged potatoes in the storage room that might make a decent makeshift bed.”

Laughing was therapeutic, and I swore I shed fifty pounds off my shoulders. “Thanks, but pass. All this rain… I haven’t seen the sunshine in forever. How is anyone supposed to be chipper when even the sky is so somber? It literally looks like the earth is weeping.”

“Guess everyone needs a good cry once in a while, including Mother Earth.” The back doorbell buzzed and Pontoon put down his knife. “That must be the delivery truck. I’m going to go help him so he doesn’t get soaked. You okay up here by yourself?”

I pointedly looked around at the empty restaurant. “I think I’ll manage.”

Pontoon tucked his chin to laugh. “If anyone shows up, give me a holler. I’ll scrounge them up a meal. Otherwise, I’ll be in the back, getting things inventoried and unpacked.”

“Don’t have too much fun without me.”

“I would never.”

I heard the swinging door from the kitchen to the storage area. The exterior door’s hinges whined in protest, and I heard the faint sound of Pontoon greeting the delivery guy. Keeping busy to avoid losing my mind, I continued to wrap utensils, intent on filling the entire tote since there wasn’t much else to do. Having already scrubbed the coffee pots and washed the fingerprints off the front door, I considered flipping the chairs over and scraping any gum I might find off of them.

Then again, I wasn’t that bored.

Figuring I didn’t have to exist in monotony, I turned up the radio and started singing along with the music. I was sure if anyone heard me, their ears would bleed at how off-key I sang, but if a gal couldn’t belt out a tune when she was alone, then when could she?

The real trouble began when I started dancing.

Shifting from one foot to the other, I might not have good pitch, but it was a well-known and universally accepted truth that I had rhythm. Soon, I was shaking my hips and whipping my head like I was in an 80s hair band, even with most of my hair still pinned closely to my scalp.

At least the loose strands were living up to their fullest potential.

Closing my eyes, I imagined I was on stage, holding the final note—still off-key—while the crowd surrounding me went rabid. In a sea of thousands of ardent admirers, I’d wager anyone in the public eye never felt lonesome. Not when they had adoring fans who would follow them anywhere.

I couldn’t even keep a husband for more than a few years before he dropped me like a mic at the end of a snarky comment.

Pretending like my ex, Gary, wasn’t part of my life, I let loose for the finale. With one final jerk of my body at the song’s cutoff, I knocked into the utensil tote first with my elbow, and finished the job with my hip, sending the entire thing careening onto the checkered tiled floor.

Silverware flew like the feathers off a startled duck.

When the clattering finally ceased, I clenched my jaw, surveying the damage. Holding still, I was careful not to move so I wouldn’t step on any utensils. Eating off a fork that had wonky tines as wavy as a nightcrawler was in my top five most annoying experiences. If I crushed a fork, there was no way I’d be able to serve it to my customers. My conscience wouldn’t allow it.

Where my elbow hit the tote, my joint ached, but the padding over my hips had served its purpose, because it was just fine. All of it was an afterthought to the pulse of annoyance hammering at my temples.

It’s the week of gray skies taking a toll on you, Trixie. Take a deep breath. Relax. This too shall pass.

Ignoring the thought of waste—all that time spent mummifying silverware in napkins, to the silverware I’d have to rewash—I drew in another calming breath.

A lesser waitress might’ve looked around to see if anyone had witnessed the travesty, and put the silverware back in the tote. Not me.

“Well,” my hands found my waist, and I pinned a smile on my face when all I wanted to do was coil my hands into fists and shake them until my tantrum passed, “I suppose this makes the day more interesting.”

Sometimes, lying to myself made it feel like it was true.

Bending to flip over the tote, I went first for the utensils that had slid under the counter. The sooner I finished crawling on my hands and knees, the better. If I got the worst of it over with, then picking up the rest wouldn’t seem so bad.

Halfway down to the floor, I felt a sharp tug on my scalp.


I halted. The distinct sensation of hairs being plucked from their roots had stopped me. By what was the mystery. Gingerly, I turned my head, hoping to free myself. I was being careful, but the same sensation of a sharp yank threatened to detach a chunk of scalp. Needling my fingers through my abundant blonde curls, it didn’t take long to figure out my predicament—I’d gotten myself snarled around a drawer pull.

Laughing with little commitment at my clumsiness, I tried straightening up to my original standing position, assuming if I returned in the direction I’d crouched down, I’d be able to untangle my hair via the route it’d previously taken.



The more I tried, the tighter my hair wound around the drawer, almost like it was gripping the knob, refusing to let go. Every hair follicle in the vicinity screamed in agony, and I could feel each and every root rip out, one by one.

“Pontoon?” I shouted, my voice a pitch higher than usual. “A little help?”

I held my breath, trying to listen around my elevating alarm. No answer. Of course not. How could he hear me over the radio? I’d purposefully cranked the music loud enough that Pontoon and the delivery guy wouldn’t hear me karaoking. For all they knew, my desperate yelps for help were part of the music, if they could even hear them at all.

Precariously balanced on my feet—not quite squatted down far enough to rest on my knees, yet not high enough to straighten my legs and hinge at my hips—my thighs started burning, reminding me of all the days I hadn’t gone to the gym.

Which was exactly zero times in the last decade, give or take. I was competitive, but never claimed to be athletic. Not like my baby sister, Oakley, who spent hours of her day running. To what? Hopefully, an Olympic gold in the future. The gym was unnecessary, I’d decided. I spent all my time on my feet at work, anyway. Hoisting trays of food and rushing to fill orders for eight hours, and sometimes more, every day, then puttering around my yard the rest of the evening had to count for something.

When I get out of this, I’ve earned a guilt-free piece of pie for all the calories my flexed thighs are burning.

Ready to concede I was going to have to grit my teeth and tear myself free, thus living with a bald spot, there was a pause in the radio long enough that I heard the bell at the front door jingle. It was delicate, sort of like how I imagined Tinker Bell might sound if she was flitting around the room when she was in a good mood. Usually, the sound of the bell brought a smile and a sense of purpose to my time at the diner.

Waitressing was hardly glamorous, but it was all about brightening someone else’s day. I know I appreciated it when someone offered to lighten my load by getting me fed and cleaning up after me. I wasn’t claiming I was a saint, but every day, I performed simple acts of service for anyone who walked into the diner and sat at one of my tables.

I ran through all the other possible solutions to my predicament in the blink of an eye—my phone was on the counter, so I couldn’t call anyone for help, and as painful as it would be to rip out my hair, I bet my stubborn coif would have enough strength to hold my weight, buoyed by the extra product I’d put in that morning.

I just need a pair of scissors…

I eyeballed a nearby butter knife. It might take a few minutes of frantic sawing, but I bet I could do it. Plus, I had enough hair to cover up a thinned spot. A couple of months of strategic styling and no one would be the wiser.


The steady, if accelerated, beating of my heart revved.

That voice didn’t come from one of my regulars, though there was a ghost of familiarity to it. I wished it were Maren or Remi or Hudson, three of my very best friends, whom I would have gratefully called to my rescue. But the greeting had come from a man, and without knowing positively who I was asking for help, I was reticent.

“Anybody here?” he said.

I bit my lip hard enough I cut off the blood flow. Pinching closed my eyes, I wondered if this was all an odd nightmare that had one of those hidden Freudian meanings applicable to my life.

Ping! Ping!

Another duo of hairs were sacrificed to my inability to hold still.

“Ow!” I hissed as quietly as I could through my clamped jaw. Having my hair torn out was as good as pinching myself to wake up.

Sadly, nothing changed. This was real life.

While I mentally sorted through a few men whose voices were equally deep as the mystery customer who’d just waltzed through the door, I still couldn’t place who he was. As my mind raced, panic took precedence. I wasn’t sure, at that moment, I would have recognized my own mother calling my name.

“Is now a bad time?” My customer chuckled, and it raised goosebumps along my arms.

Something about a man laughing always got me. I liked a man who didn’t take life too seriously. Who was it, who had a velvety smooth voice and whose laughter sent chills through me?

Ah ha!

His laughter is what gave away his identity. We’d only met once when he’d come in late a few weeks ago, ordering a calorically dense, greasy meal that didn’t seem like his typical fare. His physique was, for lack of a better description, so gloriously perfect. As we chatted while he ate what I brought him from the kitchen, he laughed freely and pretended he was unhampered by anything in this world, but I could discern through the strawberry shake in which he tried to drown his sorrows that he was wounded.

We were kindred spirits in that way.

Both in our unseen trauma and belief that little in life couldn’t be improved with a strawberry shake.

What was his name? Peter? No. It was something ironic, countering the bad boy persona he exuded… Paxton? Plutarch? Pascal? No, Preacher.

That was it!

No one would ever be likely to let him stand behind a pulpit and testify with his leather jacket, come-hither eyes, and wicked smile.

I had a choice to make—either pretend I wasn’t here, and let him be disappointed, which hopefully would propel him to leave…

Or, I could be an adult and say something.

Make up your mind! The longer you don’t answer, the weirder it’ll be.

My left foot started going to sleep and my knees ached from my pseudo crouch, trying to save my hair from total annihilation. Shifting my weight, I accidentally kicked a fork. The darn thing scraped and clattered along the tile floor, screeching like I’d tried to murder it.

Unsurprisingly, two feet appeared in front of me. The decision was made for me. Preacher wore a pair of oiled leather boots. Size thirteens, if I had to guess. His jeans were a dark wash and had a spattering of raindrops soaked into them.

And that’s about all I could get from my limited field of view as a refresher of his appearance.

The blaring volume of the radio faded, with the assumption he’d found the volume and turned it down. There was that laugh again. Not derisive, like a playground bully who’d pushed a smaller kid into a mud puddle, but an amused one.

Amused at my expense.

I wasn’t entirely certain how I felt about that. Jerks could take many forms. There may have been cause to reconsider my stance on a man laughing, depending on why he was chuckling.

“Having some trouble?” he asked.

Since my face was turned to the floor, I went ahead and rolled my eyes. No need to put on pretenses for someone who wouldn’t be offended by what he didn’t see. “I seem to have gotten my hair tangled around this darn drawer pull.”

Preacher hmm-ed. “Yes, it does seem that way.”

“If you wouldn’t mind getting me my scissors, I’d be grateful. There’s a pair in the cup by the register. They have a purple handle.”

“Uh, no.”

“No?” My face flushed with searing heat. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would refuse to help someone who was clearly in a predicament. “I’m sorry, mister, but did I hear you right?”

The cheerfulness in my tone was burning faster than a candle lit at both ends. Soon, it’d be nothing more than black char, and when I got to that point, I couldn’t be responsible for the words bounding off my tongue, even if they were wrapped in sweet sayings that sounded innocent but in actuality had teeth.

“I won’t get the scissors. That would be like asking me to chuck a rock through a stained glass window.”

My scalp throbbed at the point of contact. I tried to find the deeper meaning in his analogy. I drew a blank. “I beg your pardon? Stained glass?”

Preacher chuckled again, and it stepped on the gas pedal powering my heart. “I’m not stupid. No man in their right mind would butcher a woman’s hair, even if it was to get her out of a tricky situation. If you’ll let me, I’ll help you sort this out.”

I cautiously shifted on my feet, hoping to relieve the ache in my lower back. It worked briefly, but the move inevitably siphoned the pain to other joints instead. “You want to untangle my hair? With what? Your hands?”

“I’ve been told they’re one of my best assets.”

The cockiness in his tone undoubtedly transferred to a smile on his face. One I couldn’t see, and he knew it. “I’m not sure…”

“Alright.” The way he drew back a step, scraping his sole across the floor slowly, demonstrated his hesitation. “I’ll leave you to it.”

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When a Hollywood bachelor moves in next door and finds every excuse to help fix things around your farm...but you have a past that needs fixing first. 

Or you’re kicked out of your apartment for having a puppy and a hot single dad neighbor proposes to give you both a roof over your head.  

Or a bad boy ex-football star walks into your diner, but you have a strict "no-more-bad-boys" policy.

📖“Count down from three?” Trixie’s voice trembled. Her bravery and resolve wouldn’t let her back down, and I admired her for that.

I did the honors. “Three. Two. One. Jump!”

We took two running steps and Trixie barely eked out a scream as we started free-falling. My stomach pushed the rest of my innards up into my throat, and a shock of adrenaline pushed its way through my circulatory system. We hit the water with a magnificent splash, and the cold took my breath away.

Trixie bobbed up next to me. A brief moment of panic overtook her, and she clung to my body like I was a buoyant lifesaver.

“Hey. It’s okay. You’re fine.” I moved a strand of soaked hair out of her eyes so she could see better. “We did it.”

She blinked, and a slow smile spread her lips. It was like watching the sun rise as her joy transformed her face. “I can’t believe I did that!”

“I’m proud of you.”

I raked a hand through my hair and licked my lips. Her gaze dropped to my mouth. It fluttered back up to my eyes. With her arms still wrapped around my neck, we were inches away from one another.

“I’m not going to kiss you,” she blurted.

Wondering if my thoughts were running in a neon banner across my forehead, I kept my expression serious. “Fine. Then don’t kiss me.”


Trixie was still quivering. From the shock of the chilly water or leftover adrenaline or fear about what might come next, I couldn’t say.

I thought you weren’t looking for a serious relationship.

She brushed her lips across mine in the fastest, yet somehow hottest kiss of my life.

Shocked by her brazenness, I stared at her, unable to think of a single coherent thing to say.

“I’m also not keen on anyone telling me what I can and can’t do,” she said.

Nothing wrong with having a little fun, right?

Kissing Trixie? Now that was definitely fun.📖

Fall in love again and again with this charming 12-book romantic comedy ebook bundle and get over 50% off! This is a deal you won't find anywhere else.

✓ celebrity heroes

✓ second chance romance

✓ marriage of convenience

✓ small towns

✓ single parents

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  • Lassoed into Love: It isn’t easy being adored by the hunky Hollywood bachelor who's my new neighbor.
  • Hankering for Home: This marriage will be a convenient business arrangement and nothing more.
  • Fixing to Flirt: My new remodeling client is about to get the upgrade of his life.
  • Cooking Up a Kiss: I want the simple life—which means I’m staying far away from any and all bad boys.
  • Hogging the Hunk: My heart’s a mess, but a charming veterinarian might have all the right remedies.
  • Written in the Stars: There's no such thing as a second chance.
  • How a Star Shines: Bodyguards ruin all the fun.
  • See a Star Rise: Cheating boyfriends are the worst.
  • Shoot for the Stars: He’s not my type, except he kind of is.
  • Written in the Stars: There's no such thing as a second chance.
  • Falling for the Star: Plans are meant to be trashed.
  • Wish on a Star: Fame and fortune should be good enough for him.
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