Ross, Charmaine: Four-Leaf Clover
By Charmaine Ross
Clover Loveday has worked hard to get her café Four-Leaf Clover up and running, her ticket out of an increasingly alarming financial situation and her dream come true. When she literally falls off her ladder into the arms of national bakery chain Upper Crust owner, sexy-as-sin Liam Sinclair, who owns the new bakery being built just across the road, she decides that no matter how nauseated she is about the idea, it is best keep your enemy close, rather than leave things to fate.
Liam has never put too much thought into the competition when he opens a new outlet, other than taking their customers and strengthening the Upper Crust brand. But here in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, Clover Loveday’s cafe is a little too close for comfort, and Clover Loveday a little too good-looking. So Liam asks his PA to put together a Fact Sheet about his new competition. He has a business to run, a father to please, and hundreds of people to keep in jobs. Surely information can keep an unwanted strong sexual pull at bay…
A sexy, caffeinated, satisfying story about unexpected temptations, forgiveness, and putting love before money.
‘I thought this might happen.’ The voice was bemused, and also very male. So deep and warm it clung to her bones.
Which was absolutely ridiculous. She blinked away the spots and looked into a pair of striking eyes. What she thought was just light brown was now more sienna, with streaks of cinnamon spearing the inky iris. The eyes were keenly intelligent, and she felt as though she were under an intense spotlight. Maybe it was the way they didn’t flicker from her face, or that they held a sprinkling of disapproval, but his gaze also irritated her.
‘What sort of a man frightens a woman who’s up a ladder?’ She couldn’t help the words that tumbled out.
The eyes widened, his brows arching high. ‘Why was this woman up a ladder?’
‘A woman who needs to gets things done!’ She sounded more snappish than she wanted, but the amused way in which he watched her fuelled her aggravation.
His lips turned up slightly at the edges. ‘And how does this woman plan to get things done when she’s sprawled across the floor?’
‘I wasn’t about to sprawl across the floor, as you put it, until you barged through the door and yelled at me.’ She narrowed her eyes, trying to be her most severe, which she probably wasn’t doing a very good job of. Her friend, and now waitress, Holly said she was about as frightening as a wombat, even when she’d fully lost it. Which rarely happened. And it was this infuriating man’s fault she’d now lost her usual good humour.
‘I didn’t barge through the door, and I certainly didn’t yell at you. I was just trying to get you to be careful.’
‘What? By startling me so much I fell off the ladder?’
‘You shouldn’t have been up there, especially in boots like those.’ He indicated her boots with a tip of his head. She noticed how ruffled his hair was. Spiking in all directions, as though he’d just run his hands through it.
‘There’s nothing wrong with my boots.’ She’d got them at the Beggar’s Bazaar at the end of Main Street on a sale. Black leather cowboy boots, floral patterns imprinted into the leather and practical flat heels. She loved these boots the moment she’d seen them and after she’d finally plucked up the courage, and the savings, to buy them, she’d worn them just about every day since.
His eyes flowed from her ankles to her thighs. His gaze was as intimate as a touch and as though hypnotised, she watched his eyes travel to hers.
‘No. There’s not.’
I live in Upwey, a very leafy suburb of outer Melbourne. I can hear most Melbournians say, ‘Where?’ Think Puffing Billy, the hills and inexcusably steep driveways and you’re there. We have a house with room for the kids to play in the backyard, the cat to sleep wherever and the husband to lounge on a bean-bag in front of the telly. I love romance because it adds so much to the story. Everyone needs a little love to take them away.
Learn more about Charmaine Ross at www.charmaineross.com
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