Do you enjoy Clean Romance with a dash of humor and intrigue? If so, this is the book for you. Let your friends know and help me get the word out!Here's the link.
Garrett Murphy is used to rejection. As a child, he was rejected by his mother and as a man he was rejected by Jane Kendall. Going without love has turned Garrett into a man who doesn't trust in a woman's heart. So when he meets Rayne Nyman, she's too good to be true. She's beautiful, talented and sweet. She also happens to be a world renowned pianist. He knows there's no way she'd ever want to stay in Fircest with him when she could be living the life she was born to. Rayne is determined to prove him wrong and show him that love can be forever but when she comes under fire and her life is put in danger,she might not have the chance.
88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
Falling for Rayne is the first book in Shannon's new series but it is not the first book set in Fircrest. This is actually book #7. So start with book one in the Love and Dessert Trilogy: You Belong With Me because you'll want to meet the women of Belinda's Bakery. Then work you way through that series followed by the Love and Trust series. Then read this one. It's just better that way. I'd fallen in love with Garrett before even picking up this book.
Garrett was one of my favorite side characters in the first 2 series set in Fircrest. In fact when I finished Tough Love I emailed Shannon asking if Garrett would get his own story. She replied that he would...
My next trilogy is called Love and Flowers and it will be based on Garrett and his brothers. Never fear, I wouldn't leave him hanging.
As soon as I saw Falling for Rayne was available I borrowed it from the Kindle Lending Library. Shannon is a master at writing characters that I can't help but fall in love with. Her books are all squeaky clean and yet full of romance. They all follow a similar pattern but I like that I know what to expect and know that I am going to get the happily ever after that I want. That's the reason I pick up these books. Garrett and Rayne had great chemistry and I loved their interactions.
I'm looking forward to the next two books in the series as I love the new characters who have been introduced.
If you love clean romance check out Shannon's books.
Gripping and vibrant from sentence one!! Readers come across books that are riveting from the start and others that take awhile to get into…Guymon immediately captures hearts with this full of life, clean romance about hope, trust and renewed faith in happy endings!! I especially enjoyed the uniqueness of how Garrett is the one who finally discovers what he’s looking for in Rayne vs. the customary story where the female has to unearth her ‘dream’ guy.
Characters are easy to support and connect with, which makes for an exciting lead in for what is to come. Because the characterization feels so real the storyline comes to life making the time invested well worth it! Guymon is straight to the point in this novel with remarkable plot that links previous characters who add to the flow of the story. Counting down to Book 2!
Falling for Rayne is A-MAZ-ING!! I absolutely LOVED it!!
Garrett has been a favorite of mine since the Love and Dessert trilogy and I was absolutely THRILLED to find out that he was going to get his own series with his very own HEA!! If anyone deserves one it's definitely him!! And of course Rayne does too!! She is completely PERFECT for him!! I just have to say that she was one determined little firecracker and I loved it!! They both kind of had a crappy childhood but being together makes them want to live... be happy... and just enjoy life! And seeing Rayne enjoying the little things in life just made my heart smile!! I'm always saying it's the little things that matter the most! :)
I'm loving all the characters in this series already! Ivy... Cleo... Becket... Asher... I am SO excited for their stories! I have my thoughts on how things are going to work out and I'm secretly hoping I'm right... ;) Hehe. I foresee twists... turns... and secrets... ;)
And the little added mystery?! Very intrigued and also have a few suspicions... I don't want to give anything away but I think it's going to be a bit surprising to see how it all ends. Graham and Liam are just creepy and I know we haven't seen the last of them... *shivers*
Shannon... you are AMAZING!! Once again you sucked me in and I just could not stop reading once I was finally able to do so!! I already want to re-read this book again!! And the other series for the 3rd time this year!! ;) Hehe. And after reading this book I have to say that Falling for Rayne was indeed the PERFECT title!! I cannot wait to read the next book in this series... let the adventures continue!! ;)
For 5 days,(9/22/14 - 9/26/14) I'm offering I Belong With You book 2 in the Love and Dessert Trilogy for FREE on Kindle! Here's the link. If you enjoyed it, let your friends know. I'm working on my newest trilogy, Love and Weddings. I'll keep you posted on updates and sneak peeks.
Character Blog Hop Thanks to my cute friend and amazing author, Karey White, who tagged me in this character blog hop!
For the character blog hop, readers get to jump around to discover characters we have recently written about or are currently writing about. You can find Karey's character post here. First, a little about Karey:
I am the oldest of eleven children, born to parents who were either saints or crazy, maybe both. They thought we were all capable of being professional athletes or broadway stars. They weren't right, of course, but they did help us have self-confidence.
I have the greatest family. A patient husband who makes me laugh and four clever, good-looking children--two boys and two girls. I adore them all. Through the years I've been a student, a teacher, a secretary, a clothing designer and seamstress, a wedding cake maker, a crafter, a scrapbooker, a cook, a homework helper (until they pass me in math, somewhere around the third grade), and a fan at my children's sporting events. Before I die, I'd either like to be a great housekeeper or have the money to hire a maid.
I've been writing since Jr. High, when I was hired by a county newspaper to do a Happenings column about our little town of about 300 people. I got paid by the word so every week I called every family in town and got their news. It wasn't high-brow journalism but the column earned me a little spending money. On our way to Aspen, CO, my sister, my two oldest kids and I were hit head-on by a drunk driver in a stolen car. Although we suffered serious injuries, we all survived.
Candy isn't worth eating unless it's chocolate. (See's are the best.) When I was a child, my family bought and renovated an old school-house. It was a wonderful place to live in spite of the bats that flew over our heads at night.
I've been told that my naturally curly hair doesn't get longer, it gets bigger. I've always liked game shows. Everything from Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy to the reality-style game shows like Amazing Race, Survivor, and Top Chef.
Nothing makes me happier than being with family and friends eating good food, sharing good conversation and a few laughs. That might be why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
I chose Cleo. She's the main character in A Passion for Cleo, Book 3 in the Love and Flowers Trilogy.
When and where is the story set?
The series takes place in Fircrest, Washington and this is a contemporary Romance.
What should we know about your character?
Cleo has a heart of gold. She's the first one in line to help those she loves. She's fiercely protective and kind, but a little bit sassy too. She fell for the wrong guy once, so she's a little gun shy about Tai Matafeo.
What is the main conflict?
My Love and Flowers Trilogy centers around the fact that someone wants to kill Rayne and Ivy Nyman. Cleo was hired on as their body guard, but because of her injuries in a car accident, has to step aside for Tai Matafeo and Sharon, a police officer to take over. Falling in love was not part of the job description.
What is your character's personal goal?
I think Cleo's personal goal is to find her home and her heart - her place in the world. She's an adventurous girl who isn't afraid to see the world but she had to decide whether or not to go back to San Diego or stay in Fircrest with her new friends. And since she's never been in love before, she's a little unsure of her feelings for Tai. Is she just grateful to him for everything he's done for her? Or do her feelings fun deeper?
Is there a working title, and where can we find out more about it?
A Passion for Cleo just came out on Kindle and it's available in paperback too. You can find it for purchase here.
And now I'm tagging the one and only Kim Krey.
Writing Romance That's Clean Without Losing the Steam! Author of the Sweet Montana Bride Series. I'm a reader of good, clean romance, a lover of family time and Diet Coke, and the ultimate hater of laundry. You can find out more here.
5+ Stars!!! I am in heaven!!! I absolutely LOVED A Passion For Cleo!!! And I hate to admit it but this one is now my new favorite book in the Love and Flowers Trilogy!! Gotta love those strong finishes to an AWESOME series!!
Our amazing heroine, Cleo, is a fun loving, adventurer who will do everything she can to help her family and friends anytime they need it. She is such an easy going person who is confident and full of life!
Cleo's life gets thrown off balance when she is shot and later gets in a horrific car crash that leaves her wheelchair bound and later stuck on crutches. She can no longer protect Rayne and Ivy and starts to have doubts about her life and about love.
Enter Tai. *sigh* I just have to say that I absolutely LOVE him!! Tai is hired to help protect the girls and in the process he's able to get to know Cleo on a more personal level. He's sweet, funny, loyal, gorgeous and just AMAZING!! And the best part?!?! He actually SEES Cleo for who she is on the inside and doesn't care that she's battered, bruised, in a wheelchair, on crutches... he sees her and KNOWS that she is beautiful!! His only problem is convincing her that the way he feels is REAL!!
You see our dear, sweet Asher has put those doubts about love in Cleo's head. He tells her she only has a hero worship for Tai and that he only sees her as a victim... someone who needs to be saved. I swear I wanted to slap him the first half of the book! Enter Meredith... yes... I said Meredith... who helps Cleo to help Asher see that he needs to GROW UP and STOP being such a spoiled little brat who thinks he's entitled to everything being handed to him on a golden platter!! And believe it or not folks... Asher indeed starts to grow up a little. Granted he still has a ways to go BUT he's started the process!! Wahoo!!
And I just have to mention Pule!! Oh my goodness!! I love him!! There is definitely more to his story and I am crossing my fingers and hoping he'll get his HEA!! There is a part in the book between him and Cleo that brought tears to my eyes... *sigh* He's just another lost soul who needs some lovin!!
Anyway... back to Cleo and Tai! *sigh* I totally LOVE these two! The first I Love You's were perfect! And meeting the Matafeo's?! Cleo really showed that she will do ANYTHING for the people that she loves!! She was a real trooper!! AND she got a cupcake named after her!! How awesome is that?!?! Lol. You are just going to have to read the story to find out WHY!! It's HILARIOUS... I promise!! ;)
And then the craziness comes!! Oh my heck!! The way the whole story with Rayne and Ivy was wrapped up was fabulous!! There was a bit of suspense that I was NOT expecting! I kept changing positions while reading and just couldn't sit still! I had a feeling about who was behind everything but was still surprised in the end.
A Passion for Cleo was just FANTABULOUS!! I LOVED every minute of it!! I laughed out loud, I got teary eyed, I got angry and of course I fell in love all over again with ALL of our Fircrest friends!!
Shannon you have an AMAZING talent and I am SO glad that you are willing to share it with all of us!! I can't WAIT to see what you have in store for the next series!! And yes... I am one of those crazy fans who lives for the next book! What can I say! I love what I love! ;)
Once again Shannon has delivered another amazing book filled with strong characters, action, heartfelt romance, and a writing style that makes you not want to put it down till you flat out run out of pages.
As the final book in this trilogy, you finally get Cleo's story, as well as a resolution to the overall plot for all three "Love and Flowers" books.
You will also get to spend time with a few more of the side characters from the other books, and while this trilogy wraps up well, you can't wait to see where she will go with the next set.
If you have been following the exploits in Fircrest, you will not be disappointed with this one either.
Block out some time, and get comfortable, You are not going to want to put it down once you start.
Just finished this latest outstanding work by Shannon Guymon! What a great story and adventure. I am not into spoiler reviews, so here is my best shot. I have loved Cleo throughout this series, she is a devoted and loving friend. I like a female character who is strong and motivated by goodness. Cleo is all of these. She so deserved her own happily ever after. I love Tai he is a straight forward no nonsense kind of guy. Like the others in the Matafeo family Tai lives life to the fullest with all the love he has. It is a great book with everything we have come to expect from a Shannon Guymon novel. Love and friendship and family. But this has an added element of suspense I wasn't expecting. Loved this book from beginning to end. I couldn't put it down. Way to go Shannon, I can't wait to see what you have in store for us next.
Okay my friends, I know this day has been a long time coming but I'm here to announce the title and show you the awesome cover for Cleo's book. Everyone was so kind with their title suggestions but I've decided to go with: A Passion For Cleo. I couldn't see where anyone had suggested that, but if you did, send me a screen shot and I'll send you a free e-book.
What do you think of the cover?
Do you know how hard it is to get a cover with a hot Samoan guy and a blond? Not easy people, but I think this cover does Cleo's story justice. And yes, the cover tells you which guy she goes for. Poor Asher. So the next question I'm sure you have is - When will the book be live?? Good question. The book is done, but it's going through the editing process right now. So I'm hoping for sometime next week. I know! I'm sorry it's not live right now, but I want you to be happy in the end so we're all just going to have to be patient. Also, while I have you here, check out this amazing review for Dreaming of Ivy. LOVE it!
5.0 out of 5 starsIvy finds out who she is!, August 21, 2014
I gave this book 5 stars because it is everything I want in a summer read. It is believable, has characters with real problems--that are trying hard to work them out. This book deals with PTSD, OCD, Eating Disorders just to name a few. I do love how Shannon deals with these problems in the context of the story. She tries to bring them front and center--so the characters will get the help they want and need. She does an amazing job of keeping it real---not so real you think you are reading your Psyc textbook. But the audience's understanding of these mental illnesses is broadened. The more we know the more we understand and the more we understand the better we can interact with someone suffering. So all of that just lets me understand the characters a little better. I have come to love Ivy--she has a great sense of humor, to her credit. She is working hard at what she wants to become. Amazing Beckett has his own set of behaviors he needs to come to terms with, as in real life we all have work to do! I like that about Shannon's characters, they are like us with all our insecurities and imperfections--we work on them just as Shannon's characters do. Could one be written about me?? or you?? or any normal person?? Makes on wonder. This 2nd book in the trilogy introduces some new players, Graham whom I had pegged for the villain from page one--now I am not so sure! The more I know about Asher the less I like him. I do love Kai the new bodyguard. What I really want to know is who are the bad guys???? Summer is almost over Shannon so chain yourself to your writing desk and give us book 3, I need it! And by the way you are awesome Shannon!!
Yeah, that's not happening. But the good news is: I'm super close! I still don't have a title for my book yet, so if you have any ideas, please pass them along. The person who comes up with the title gets a free copy if that's an incentive. And because I'm feeling guilty and I don't want you guys to be mad at me, here is the first chapter. Tell me what you think!
Cleo stared at her crutches and then
slowly leaned them against the wall. She could do this. She took a few careful,
slow steps around her room and felt the immediate ache. The cast on her leg was
coming off later that afternoon, but her pelvis would take longer to heal.
She’d need to take things slow. Very slow
and use her crutches to keep her weight off.
Cleo frowned and shuffled back
towards her crutches. No use being stupid and pushing herself and then having
to add more time on to her recovery. She
slipped her crutches under her arms and walked over to the window. The crew was out early today pouring the
cement for the lap pool Rayne and Ivy were so excited about. If had been her, she’d have gone for the all-out
family sized pool so they could have a party or something. Maybe grill some
burgers and dogs. That way they could invite
the landscaping crew over, she thought with a grin.
She was about to go out of her mind
with boredom. Cleo sighed and pushed her
long blond hair over her shoulder. Now
that she wasn’t actually guarding Rayne and Ivy, she felt completely
useless. Her life back in San Diego had
been busy, fun and exciting. Now that she was out of commission, she felt like
a dying slug. A useless, dying slug
at that. With Sharon and Tai watching
over Rayne and Ivy, she might as well go home.
She knew Rayne was still paying her,
but that didn’t sit well with her at all.
She was being paid for doing nothing.
Rayne had politely and very firmly insisted though. When she’d tried to talk to
Ivy about it, Ivy had just held up her hand with a glare and said that since
she’d been injured while on duty, they would take care of her and she didn’t
want to hear another word about it.
That was one thing the Nyman
sister’s had in common. Stubbornness. Well, that and the ability to attract
incredibly gorgeous men. Cleo sighed and leaned her head against the cool glass
window and felt the self-pity wrap around her.
But who could blame her? Watching Garrett fall for Rayne had been sweet
and romantic. But then watching Asher and Becket fight over Ivy had made her
feel a little pathetic.
She was happy for Ivy. Ecstatic
really. Sort of. Becket was beautiful and so perfect for her. And she really was glad that Ivy was finally
finding a little bit of happy to hold onto. Poor kid deserved it after being
raised the way she had. But the fact was, she
had liked Asher. A lot. And watching Asher make a fool of himself over Ivy had
done a lot of damage to her self-confidence.
She’d grown up being independent,
athletic and surrounded by boys always fighting for her attention. She’d gotten
so used to boys making fools of themselves over her, that when the one boy she
did want, didn’t want her back, she wasn’t sure how to handle it.
That, on top of the accident, and
here she was feeling unattractive, unwanted and left out. Since Rayne had come back married to Garrett,
all the excitement now surrounded Ivy’s upcoming wedding. Both Ivy and Becket
wanted to keep it small and intimate which made sense since neither one had any
family to speak of. Becket was inviting his grandmother and Ivy just wanted
her, Rayne and Garrett and all of the friends they’d made since moving to
Cleo winced, wondering how Asher was
going to take the news that he wasn’t invited to the wedding. Probably not
well. He wasn’t taking anything well
lately. When he’d found out Ivy was
going back to Becket, he’d fired her from the band and even Garrett had been
disgusted by that.
Things had been very awkward between
the two brothers lately and she wasn’t sure what was going on, but whatever it
was, it was bothering Rayne. Rayne lived
with Garrett at his house now that they was married, but she still ended up at
their house with her and Ivy most days so she could be with her flowers and her
Cleo sighed and stood up, moving
towards her door. Her bedroom was now on
the main floor so she wouldn’t have to deal with the stairs. She nudged her door open with her toe and
walked down the narrow hallway to the kitchen where she could hear someone
already up and making breakfast. She
hoped it was Tai. That man could cook like a dream.
Cleo smiled and knew that Tai did
everything well. He was the perfect
guy. Too perfect for her, that was for
sure. Most of the guys she dated back in
California had been hipsters that would come to her yoga classes and ask her
out for dates involving Kombucha and something with Kale. Most of them had beards, wore plaid and were
against using deodorant for some reason. But she always enjoyed their company
and at least they were never boring.
Now Tai, he was the opposite of
boring. She walked through the doorway and paused as a grin lit up her face.
Tai was making his famous egg sandwiches they all adored and was wearing one of
Rayne’s grandmother’s old, lacy yellow aprons. He looked darling.
Cleo shook her head, trying to get
rid of the stray, slightly inappropriate thought. It wasn’t a good idea to entertain ideas
about their favorite body guard.
Although the man was a seasoned flirt, he’d never once made a serious play
for her. She frowned slightly as she
studied the tall, strong Samoan man who had become an important member of their
household in such a short time. His
light brown skin, black hair and strong bone structure could send unsuspecting
women into shock. She’d seen it. Heck, she’d experienced it. She still experienced it. But he treated
all women the same. He flirted with them all and did his best to make every
woman he came in contact with feel beautiful and special.
True, he went the extra mile with
her. She knew Rayne and Ivy thought Tai liked her but she knew the truth. He
was just trying to make her feel better. She
was a pity flirt. Cleo felt slightly sick to her stomach at the thought,
but pasted a bright smile on her face as she moved further into the kitchen. It
wouldn’t do to have him turn around and find her staring at him with yearning
in her eyes. Nope, not her. She had
too much pride for that.
“How did you know I was craving one
of your egg sandwiches?” she asked lightly as Tai turned around and grinned at
her, his eyes lighting up and crinkling at the edges.
“Because you always crave my egg
sandwiches. And you’re just in time for the first one. Have a seat, Beautiful
and let me serve you,” he said solicitously as he brought a plate over to the
Cleo blushed and shook her head.
“You’re ruining me for all other men, Tai. You’re going to have to start acting
like a cocky jerk soon or I’m going to start a fan club,” she said, smiling at
Tai laughed. “Is that so? Are you
finally declaring your feelings for me, Cleo?” he asked, his warm brown eyes,
now melting as they looked down at her.
Cleo cleared her throat and bit her
lip. She loved flirting with Tai. She lived for it, to be honest. It was the
highlight of her depressing life right now, but he could always out-flirt her
and sometimes she was left tongue tied.
“Let’s just say if you keep making
me egg sandwiches every morning, you’re going to have to get a restraining
order,” she said, very proud of her comeback.
Tai smiled crookedly at her and
pulled a chair up, sitting down next to her while she took the first delicious
bite. “A restraining order, huh? Now, why would I want to restrain you?” he
asked, his voice going low and deep.
Cleo choked on her bite and stared
at Tai, her eyes watering as she grabbed her glass of milk. Tai grinned at her and stood up as Ivy walked
in, looking refreshed and happy.
“Tai! I love you, I love you, I love
you,” she shouted, hugging him hard as he began making her an egg sandwich too.
“See Cleo, now that’s how to express
your feelings. See how easy it is?” he said over his shoulder.
Cleo laughed lightly and took a big
bite to hide her embarrassment. Ivy narrowed her eyes and glanced between her
and Tai suspiciously.
“Is our little Cleo having feelings
that I should know about?” Ivy asked as she poured herself some orange juice.
Tai nodded his head as he slipped
two pieces of toast into the toaster. “You’ll have to ask Cleo. The only thing
she’ll admit to is having feelings strong enough to warrant a restraining
order. I find that kind of vague myself. I’m the type of man who appreciates
the direct approach. What does Becket
like, Ivy? Does he like it when you’re mysterious, or does he appreciate it
more when you just come out and say, hey
Becket, I love you. You’re amazing.”
Ivy grinned, sighing happily as she
sat down next to Cleo and kicked her feet up on the opposite chair. “You know
Becket. He likes things short and to the point. I absolutely love that man,”
she said with feeling, as she closed her eyes and tilted her head back.
“You better be talking about me.”
Cleo whipped her head around at the
low, gruff voice that could only be Becket’s and laughed as Ivy turned red.
“I thought you were going to be
working in Tacoma today,” Ivy said, standing up and walking into her fiancé’s
Becket leaned down and kissed her,
his lips still turned up in a smile. “I was, but Garrett texted me and wanted
to meet me here.”
Tai brought over Ivy’s sandwich and
gestured to the backyard. “He’s out in back talking to the concrete guys. And
uh, Asher’s out there too,” he added, sounding grim.
Cleo winced and took another bite as
she watched Becket’s smile fade and his eyes turn hard. She never wanted Becket
to look at her like that. It sent chills up her spine. If she were Asher, she’d be very careful
about making Becket mad. Asher had done
his best to come in between Becket and Ivy and Becket hadn’t appreciated it at
all. Ivy had told her that Becket was
planning on quitting Murphy’s Landscaping just as soon as Garrett could find
another crew to take over the heavy jobs.
“I’ll just head out then,” he said
quietly and touched Ivy on the cheek before walking out the backdoor.
Ivy frowned and shook her head.
“Let’s all say a prayer for Asher’s life right now.”
Tai bowed his head along with Ivy so
Cleo did the same although she refused to pray for Asher. He deserved whatever Becket wanted to do with
him. The idiot.
Ivy sighed and took a bite of her
sandwich, immediately smiling. “Oh this is amazing, Tai. You should open up a
diner. I swear you’d be a success in less than a month if you had these on the
Tai grinned and shrugged as he
turned back to make himself one. “I’ve actually thought about it. My dad wants me to take over the construction
company when he retires in ten years but it’s not my thing. It doesn’t bring me
all the joy that cooking does.”
Cleo smiled and took a sip of her
milk. “I didn’t know you wanted to be a
chef like Kam. That’s great.”
Tai shook his head. “Nah, not like
Kam. Like me. He’s all about fine dining. I’m all about
comfort food that makes people happy.”
Ivy licked her lips. “Tai’s Diner. I like the sound of that. You should seriously think about it.”
Tai shrugged and slipped two more
pieces of bread in the toaster.
“Actually, with all of the money I’m earning guarding you and Rayne, I’m
getting pretty close to having a down payment.
I’d still need a small business loan, but yeah, I’m thinking about it.”
Cleo and Ivy shared gleeful glances
and high fived each other. Ivy cleared
her throat and crossed her legs nonchalantly. “You know, I hear those small
business loans can be a pain to get.
What if you had a financial backer though who didn’t make you jump
through twenty-million hoops?”
Tai sighed. “Yeah and tell the
Easter Bunny and Santa Clause I said hi. It’s going to be hard, but I think I
have a chance.”
Ivy threw a dish towel at Tai’s back
and he turned around in surprise. “What?”
Ivy laughed. “I could be your financial backer!”
Tai stared at her in surprise, his
eyes going wide with hope but then he shook his head. “No, Ivy. I don’t want to take advantage of our friendship. You’ve
already done too much for me as it is. You pay me way too much and you know it.”
Ivy snorted and took another bite. “It’s
done. But I will insist that you name something on the menu after me and
Becket. And maybe our first child too,” she added thoughtfully.
Tai laughed and shook his head. He
began to say something else but stopped as he stared at something out the
“That doesn’t look good,” he said,
moving the hot pan off the burner.
Cleo and Ivy frowned at each other
before Ivy jumped out of her chair and hurried to Tai’s side, going up on her
tippy toes to see what he was looking at.
Cleo grabbed her crutches and moved
slowly toward the door. “Forget the window.
I’m going to find out what’s going on,” she said and opened the back
door and walked out onto the back porch where she was immediately surrounding
by the dogs.
Within seconds, Tai and Ivy were
standing next to her. The concrete crew
had been given a break and were making their way to the trucks. Right next to the pool, where the newly
poured cement was gleaming and smooth, stood Garrett, Asher and Becket. And
none of them looked happy.
“This has been brewing for weeks,”
Tai said under his breath.
Cleo nodded her head. “I hope Becket
punches Asher,” she said jokingly, although she wasn’t sure she was joking.
Ivy bit her lip and held onto her
arm. “I hate this,” she whispered
Cleo shushed her so she could hear
what was being said. Garrett was shaking his head and put his hands on his
“I didn’t want to do this here, but
the office is being painted this week.
I’ve been thinking for the past few weeks about everything that Becket
has told me about what happened while Rayne and I were gone. And Asher, I’ve listened to your side of
things too,” he added quickly as Asher’s face turned red and his mouth
Becket held up his hands. “Forget it,
Garrett. I already know what you’re
going to say. I knew what you were going to say when I told Asher it was him or
me. I’ve already moved on, like I told you. I’m just sticking around until you
can find a new crew.”
Garrett glared at the ground and
shook his head. “Shut up, Beck.”
Ivy gasped lightly and covered her
mouth with her hand. Cleo winced and looked up at Tai. Tai glanced at her
worriedly and his hand went for his cellphone.
“Man, if I have to call the cops, this is going to suck,” he whispered.
Becket froze, his hands turning into
fists by his side as Asher ran a hand through his hair. “Garrett, I don’t even know
why I’m even here. Fire him and be done with it. Why make it into a big
production? So what, Becket wants to leave? Who
cares? It’s not like we need him.
There are three other companies we can sub out our big work to. Good
riddance I say,” he said coldly, glaring at Becket.
Ivy groaned and hid her face in
Cleo’s shoulder. “Please tell me when it’s over,” she whispered.
Cleo swallowed sickly at the look on
Becket’s face. Murderous would be putting it kindly.
Garrett shook his head and pointed
at Asher. “You can shut up, too.”
Asher stared at his brother in
shock. “Excuse me?”
Garrett looked down at his feet for
a second and then sighed loudly. “I’ve listened to you both. I’ve talked to Ivy
and Cleo and Tai about everything and from what it sounds like Asher, you’re
the one in the wrong here.”
Becket’s look of stunned surprise
almost perfectly matched Asher’s look of shock.
“You can’t be serious,” Asher
sputtered, pointing at Becket. “He stole
Ivy from me. He’s never respected me and he didn’t even
care that I loved her. He just walked right in and stole her from me. How can
you take his side, Garrett?” Asher asked, his voice wavering.
Garrett stared at his younger
brother with sadness. “All I can hear you saying is me, me me. Asher, you’re the one who didn’t respect Becket. You’re
the one who didn’t respect Ivy’s feelings. You’re the one who has to go. I love
you, Ash. But I’m giving you two weeks’ notice. That’s plenty of time to line
up a new job. I’ll put in a good word for you and ask around. I’m sure
Cleo’s mouth fell open as she stared
at the scene in front of her. No one had seen that coming. Least of all Asher.
Asher’s face had gone pale and she could see even from a distance that his
hands were shaking. This was not good.
you joking?” Asher demanded, his voice rising as his shock was quickly
turning to anger. “I’m your brother! He’s nothing. He’s just a friend. How can you turn your back on me?”
Garrett ran a hand over his short
hair and stared miserably at his brother. “I thought I had raised you to be a
man Asher, but you blame all of your problems on everyone else. You can’t go
through life not taking responsibility for your actions. I wouldn’t be a good
brother if I let you stay and let Becket walk. It wouldn’t be fair. This is the
only honorable thing to do, Ash. I know someday you’ll understand.”
Asher’s mouth moved, but no words
came out. After a minute he shook his head. “I’m your brother,” he whispered.
Garrett finally looked at Becket and
smiled slightly. “Yeah, and I’m lucky to have two. Becket’s just as much my
brother as you are.”
Cleo watched as Asher turned and walked
away without another word, disappearing around the side of the house. She saw a
glimpse of his face and felt her heart ache at the pain she saw there. Ivy’s
grip on her arm had her turning back to Garrett and Becket just in time to see
Garrett pull Becket into a big hug.
Becket pounded Garrett on the back and surprised her by wiping something
from under his eye.
Tai smiled slightly and put his arm
around Ivy’s shoulder. “That was actually kind of beautiful,” he said softly.
Ivy sniffed and nodded her head.
Cleo grinned as the two men hugged each other again and Garrett slapped Becket
on the back.
“You’re hiring the new accountant
though, not me,” Garrett said, his
voice sounding rough.
Becket nodded his head. “I know this
guy. You’ll love him. His name is Pule Matafeo.”
Garrett erupted in a shout of
laughter and Becket grinned as the men walked towards the trucks.
Cleo glanced at Tai and noticed his
wince. “I’m guessing that was a joke.”
Tai sighed and opened the back door
for them. “Yeah, I picked up on that,” he said dryly as they went back to their
They finished their breakfast
quietly as each of them thought over what they’d witnessed. Cleo finally broke the silence and pushed her
“So what do you think Asher is going
to do? And more importantly, will this ruin his relationship with Garrett?” she
asked, looking back and forth between Ivy and Tai.
Tai shrugged and looked at Ivy.
“It’ll be hard at first but after Asher gets a new job and things calm down I
bet he and Garrett work things out. Garrett loves that guy more than his life.
He’s doing the right thing, but yeah, Asher’s going to be mad for a while.”
Ivy nodded her head, sighing loudly
as she finished her juice. “That guy can
hold a grudge. I mean, he fired me from the band and hasn’t spoken to me
since. I hate that he’s hurting, but
honestly? He really needs to grow up.
Maybe this is exactly what he needs to open his eyes.”
Cleo pursed her lips. “Well, from
what I just saw out there, it’s going to take decades.”
Ivy frowned at that but then sat up
straight, her eyes going big and round. “Not unless we speed things up.”
Tai raised an eyebrow. “Watch out,
Cleo. She has that look on her face.”
Cleo winced. “Ivy, just stay out of
it. This is between Garrett and Asher. This is none of our business.”
Ivy shook her head. “They’re family
now. Come on Tai, if you had a brother who needed help, or even Pule, wouldn’t
you step in and help things along?”
Tai stood up and picked up their
dishes. “We’re talking Matafeos and Murphys here. Two different families. Too
different to compare, sweetheart.”
Ivy laughed and stood up as Rayne
walked in looking tense. Rayne put her purse on the table and collapsed in
Ivy’s vacated chair.
“Garrett just told me outside that
he fired Asher,” she said, sounding shocked.
Cleo reached over and patted her
hand. “We know. We saw the whole thing from the back porch. Sweetie, it’s going
to be okay. Asher will calm down eventually and things will go back to normal.”
Rayne bit her lip and looked at Ivy.
“I know Garrett did the right thing, but it’s killing him,” she whispered.
Ivy walked over and hugged Rayne.
“First things first. You need one of Tai’s egg sandwiches. And then, I’ll tell
you my plan.”
Cleo groaned and leaned her head on
her arms. “Ivy, not everything can be cured with Belinda’s cupcakes.”
Ivy grinned. “You’re right. Forget
the cupcakes. We’re going to use our secret weapon. You.”