Now available from Devine Destinies Books!
"An exceptional writer with a flair for humor." --Romance Reviews Today
Can a single mom find happiness on a blind date--or at least dinner with a male who can cut up his own food? Cassie and Mike believe they're "in like" not "in love." But when down-on-his-luck Mike is evicted, Cassie takes him in. Mike starts fixing everything from window screens to broken hearts. Will Cassie let him fix hers?
Cassie groaned. It was the same old story. She abandoned her work and turned around to confront her friendly torturer.
“You’re not going to try to fix me up again, are you, Angel? I’ve told you how I enjoy being single. I’ve only been divorced for five years. I’ve got a lot of living of my own to do, thank you very much.”
Angelina rolled her eyes and stuck out her tongue. “Yes, yes, I know. I’ve heard the ‘I am woman, hear me roar’ speech before. But you deserve to be loved by a good man and loved well, Cassie Stubinski. Why don’t you think so?”
Cassie breathed a long sigh then retreated into her work once more, carefully placing the final rosette onto the waxed paper-lined tray. “Sorry for being so bitchy, Angel. Must be the PMS as my ex was always reminding me.”
“Oh, no, it’s okay. I know why you act bitchy. You’re lonely. Please, won’t you consider dating again? It’s been what—a year since you last went out? Remember that I told you all about this really terrific guy named Mike—”
“Who works with Paco at the airport and would be just perfect for me. I know, I know.” Cassie smiled and nodded at her impractical matchmaker. What did a twenty-two year old girl know about perfection? And Paco, Angelina’s dream man, the self-proclaimed stud of the tarmac, wasn’t noted for his expert advice, either.
The hurt expression in Angelina’s big brown eyes really got to her, however.
“Mike sounds like a really nice guy,” Cassie said gently, “but I just don’t think I’m the type of woman he wants to date, if you know what I mean.”
“No, I don’t know what you mean,” Angelina snapped, banging her sponge down on the counter. “You’re a great looking chick with a wonderful sense of humor. What else would a man want?”
Someone who possesses a positive checking account balance? Cassie was about to quip but changed her mind and said instead, “Well, for starters he might want to date someone his own age.”
“So he’s three or four years younger than you. No big deal.”
Cassie defiantly crossed her arms across her ample bosom and leaned back against the metal counter top, conceding Angelina was probably right on that point.
“Okay then. You told me this guy has never been married or had a family before. Some men don’t like dating divorcees with young kids.”
Angelina bit her lip in thought then smiled. “But he and his girlfriend lived together for five years before they broke up so it’s like he’s been through a divorce himself.”
“Possibly. I—I just don’t know.” Cassie looked away. “Let’s be reasonable, Angel. Why in the world would a young, good-looking guy want to date a fat has-been like me?”
“You’re not fat!” Angelina shouted. She blushed upon noticing the elderly woman waiting at the counter. “Oh, excuse me, ma’am. May I help you?”
As Angelina packaged doughnuts for her customer, Cassie gathered her thoughts while she collected her utensils.
Maybe she was lonely. It would explain her short temper lately when dealing with her co-workers and her sons. The boys were growing up so fast—maybe too fast—without a father figure in their lives. Maybe she should go out on one of those D word type of things.
“Oh, what’s the use,” Cassie muttered, filling the sink with soapy water. She had to be realistic. No one wanted to date a thirty-four year old divorcee who had exploded from a size ten to a size sixteen over the past five years even if she did possess a good sense of humor, uncommonly green eyes and a rather attractive shade of auburn hair. Jack had stolen the best years of her life—and her figure. And all she really had to show for it was the dilapidated house she had received in the divorce settlement and the fatiguing, day-to-day struggle to make ends meet for herself and the boys.
She jumped as she scalded her hand while rinsing out the frosting nozzle “Ow! I’m an complete idiot today.”
Stepping back from the sink, Cassie felt a blister forming in the red patch glistening on her palm. Somehow, though, the pain of her flesh was minimal compared to the pain she felt in her heart. She was growing older, heavier, and lonelier by the second, and she had to face facts. At least on a date she could have a nice dinner with a male who didn’t need his mother to cut up his food for him… She dried her hands and threw down her dish towel as Angelina returned from the counter to their work area.
“All right, all right,” she said, surrendering. “You win, Angel. Fix me up with this Mike person.”
Yeah, I know--I posted more than six paragraphs. But the excerpt flowed so nicely. Forgive me. ;)
The Fixer Uppers is available in all e-formats--including Kindle--from Devine Destinies Books.