Four years after Roman Kincaid was catapulted into stardom as a country-western singer and A-list movie star, he is burned out: exhausted by a grueling schedule, drained by the ceaseless demands of producers and managers, weary of meeting the needs of others at the expense of his own. Leaving a sold-out show in Phoenix, he rents a car and drives north and east, landing in the Painted Desert town of Rainbow Rock.
Nearly three years after leaving her old life behind, Lottie Beale is feeding people and baking pies, managing the Kachina Café and tending secrets of her own. When circumstances conspire to give two attractive people some time alone together amid the world-class vistas of the Four Corners, they discover more than either had bargained for.
~EXCERPT~They stood four feet apart on the bare new flooring of the Kachina, the air between them sizzling. The moment was interrupted when one of Gilbert’s workmen came down the stairs and announced, “That there shower should be workin’ for ya now.” He looked from Roman to Lottie and back again, said “Scuse me, folks,” and went right back up the stairs.
Lottie smiled. “I think we startled him.”
“Hm… reckon so.” The moment passed. “So what’s in this new pie of yours?”
Glad for the reprieve, Lottie grabbed her purse and jacket and started for the door as she answered, “Some of the ingredients are secret, of course. That is, I could tell you, but then I’d have to—”
“Kill me? That’s a little extreme, isn’t it?” He held the door for her.
“Not at all. You see, I take my pies very seriously.”
“Um, yeah. I can see that.” He helped her into the cab of his truck and came around to sit behind the wheel. “So what ingredients aren’t secret?”
“This pie is basically a salted caramel cream, but I’ve added some slivers of dark, semi-sweet chocolate and a special flavoring. I think you’ll like it.”
“I have all day to anticipate, don’t I?”
“That can only make it better.”
“I’m sure it will.”
Desires and promises both spoken and unspoken hung between them as they turned northward.
Author Susan Aylworth
Susan Aylworth started her first book when she was nine. "It was called Buff, The Proud Stallion. I wrote eight whole pages." For her fifth grade career day, she stated her ambition to become "a rich and famous author." Decades later, she is pleased to have achieved the 'author' part of that goal. A former university professor, she enjoys researching backgrounds and careers for her novels. "It's one way to live many lives at once." She lives in northern California with her husband of 45 years and two spoiled cats.