Falling for the Bartender (Missed Opportunities Romance) Read Online Leigh Jenkins

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 75
Estimated words: 68511 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 343(@200wpm)___ 274(@250wpm)___ 228(@300wpm)
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Expert:

When I spotted the hot bartender next door, I didn’t intend to start an actual fire!
My first night in France and I nearly burn down my new café…
Cue my door being knocked down and me being tossed over the (very broad) shoulders of a hot mystery man.
Turns out he’s the hunky owner of the Aussie bar next door!
I refuse to be distracted – I’ve got cakes to bake and a TV Queen to impress.
Doesn’t help that Zander is strong, capable, kind and entirely too easy on the eyes.
But maybe a girl CAN have her cake and eat it too…

Full Book:

Chapter 1

Bad weather was rolling in; at least, that’s what it said on the app. In a couple of hours, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was going to get kicked in the butt by heavy rain with a dash of thunder and lightning sprinkled on top. This was probably why the gym was half empty on an otherwise perfectly normal Thursday evening.

The threat of bad weather didn’t matter to Regina Elvey. Today was cardio day, and she was already here, so here she would stay until she was satisfied with her workout. She grasped the handlebars of the treadmill tighter and stubbornly kicked the speed up a notch. As she did so, her bum knee protested, sending daggers of pain up into her thigh and down into her shin.

She grimaced. She wasn’t going that fast; for sure, she wasn’t up to running speed, and probably would never go beyond a trot again, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to try. Four years ago, a bad tackle on the hockey field had shattered her chances of a pro career and left her with enough metal in her right leg to set off alarms at the airport, but that didn’t mean she was letting herself off easy. Five days a week she forced herself through a brutal routine at the gym, whether it was spin class, weights, swimming or the treadmill. On the other two days, she did yoga and stretching for flexibility, ensuring that her body didn’t spasm or seize up on her. And every minute of every workout was murder.

The impending rain certainly made it worse. Regina was beginning to feel like those mountain folk in corny old movies, the kind who sat in their rockers on their front porch and said things like, “Dang knee’s acting up. Rain’s a-comin’. Yup.”

The thought made her grin. She wondered whether her knee would win if she went head to head against the guy on the local news channel. Surely, she stood a fifty-fifty chance of being right, just like he did!

Rain or no rain, she wasn’t budging from the gym until after she’d tortured herself adequately. To make things worse, the gym’s receptionists—all three of them—were unabashed Queenie Abara Minions, and every darn evening all the TVs in the gym were set to the ridiculously popular national talk show that was followed by millions, not just here in the United States, but around the world. Above Regina’s head, there were not one or two, but three large screens from which the loud, brash, attention-craving woman held court.

Why not the sports channel, Regina wondered. Soccer, tennis—even cricket. Yeah, she’d take in a cricket match in a pinch, although sometimes the rules escaped her. What the heck was a googly, anyway?

Or why not one of those awesome cooking shows? Those she watched for hours, especially the ones about baking. She could narrate the timeline of almost every episode of The Great British Bake Off, season by season, including who lost, who won, and who left the set in tears. Now, that was a show worth watching! If there was one thing that Regina was as passionate about as she was about sport, it was baking.

But no. Tonight, like every night, the resplendently attired African American superstar was holding court, majestic as ever, and her entire studio audience clung to her every word. She was yelling about something or other—always with the yelling, that woman! Her anniversary, it seemed like. Probably going to celebrate with another one of her celebrity-riddled bashes, Regina thought. She admitted that she tuned in to Queenie whenever she threw a party, because the show host had a sweet tooth and devoted an entire table to an array of exquisitely decorated cakes and pastries. That, she wouldn’t mind watching.

With her usual over-the-top, infectious glee, Queenie was saying, “My show will have been on the air for ten years. And in all that time, I’ve been extremely fortunate. I know that’s the work of the Lord in my life, because I have been blessed and…?”

“Highly favored!” the audience squealed.

Regina rolled her eyes. That woman had her audience eating out of her hand. She could convince them to hurl themselves off a cliff like lemmings if she wanted to.


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