Read A Little Combustible Chemistry Online

Authors: Violet Duke

Tags: #Romance

A Little Combustible Chemistry

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright © 2014 Violet Duke

Book Description

Other Titles by the Author

Dedication

Note to Readers

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

About the Author

 

 

A LITTLE COMBUSTIBLE CHEMISTRY

 

Short Prequel Novella

TO

LOVE, CHOCOLATE, AND BEER

 

 

BY

 

VIOLET DUKE

 

 

Smashwords Edition

COPYRIGHT © 201
4
VIOLET DUKE

 

Smashwords Edition

 

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, this book and any portion thereof may not be reproduced, scanned, transferred, or distributed in any print or electronic form without the express written permission of the author. Participation in any aspect of piracy of copyrighted materials, inclusive of the obtainment of this book through non-retail or other unauthorized means, is in actionable violation of the author’s rights.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, media, brands, places, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and registered trademark owners of all branded names referenced without TM, SM, or (R) symbols due to formatting constraints, and is not claiming ownership of or collaboration with said trademark brands. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or events is purely coincidental.

 

Copyedits by Mickey Reed Editing and Danielle Romero Editing Services

Cover design by Violet Duke

 

Ebook ISBN:
1941198902

Ebook ISBN-13: 978-1-941198-90-2

B
OOK
D
ESCRIPTION

 

(A Prequel Novella to LOVE, CHOCOLATE, AND BEER)

 

Man, oh man, was he in trouble…

 

If the girl-next-door-had an unpredictable, feisty twin sister, this woman would be her. Though she’d doused it quickly, a sizzling, ultra-feminine awareness had flared in her eyes in that brief moment they’d met his, along with a sweet blush she’d fought with adorably, stubborn defiance. Damn, she was cute. And intriguing. With that quiet, kitten gaze of hers still mulishly refusing to look his way again, she was drawing him in, hook, line, and sinker.

 

Holy Hefeweizen…

 

It was bad enough that the faint scent of one of her dark ales was lingering on his lips in that sexier-than-sin sort of way, but candying it atop steamy eyes and a gentlemanly sweet center to boot was just plain unfair. He was cowboy-in-the-city sexy with a laughing smile and all sorts of promised temptations radiating from him. And he always smelled like chocolate. With his scorching hot gaze, he was completely lethal to everything that kept her tame.

 

The night Luke and Dani met, they
really
should have gotten each other’s last names. More importantly? Each other’s occupations.

 

See how the chocolate vs. beer throwdown between chocolatier Luke Bradford and beer brewing beauty Dani Dobson gets started in this prequel to LOVE, CHOCOLATE, AND BEER.

O
THER
T
ITLES
B
Y
T
HE
A
UTHOR

NICE GIRL TO LOVE (Serial Romance) Series

RESISTING THE BAD BOY, Book #1

FALLING FOR THE GOOD GUY, Book #2

CHOOSING THE RIGHT MAN, Book #3

NICE GIRL TO LOVE

(The Complete Three-Book Collection)

FINDING THE RIGHT GIRL

(A Nice
GUY
to Love spin-off novel)

 

CACTUS CREEK Series

A LITTLE COMBUSTIBLE CHEMISTRY

-- Available Now --

LOVE, CHOCOLATE, AND BEER

-- Available Now --

LOVE, SIDEARMS, AND ARMBARS

Coming May 2014

A LITTLE FUTILE RESISTANCE

Coming July 2014

LOVE, ENDZONES, AND SIDELINES

Coming September 2014

A LITTLE HOLIDAY MEDDLING

Coming November 2014

DEDICATION

 

For all my friends in the mainland who made sure I didn’t study the entire time while completing my doctorate.

 

When I think beer, I think of you.

 

Love you guys!

N
OTE
T
O
R
EADERS

 

This is a short prequel novella to the novel

LOVE, CHOCOLATE, AND BEER

Available Now

 

 

This is the story of what exactly happened between Luke and Dani the first night they met and how the chocolate vs beer throwdown came to be.

 

I wrote this fun, short precursor to Love, Chocolate, and Beer as a free gift to all of you for being such wonderful fans. Enjoy!

 
 
 
 
 
CHAPTER ONE

 

 


DANI!
We’re running low on top shelf tequila; I’ve been promising the cooks indecent favors so they’ll run back to keep my red ale line on tap; and seriously, what does a girl need to do to get more ice? Where’s that new barback and why the hell isn’t he doing his job?!”

Rushing back from the brewery, Dani Dobson swooped under a waiter's tray of food and hustled over to keep her brewpub’s best bartender from indulging in a little frustration-releasing attack on a now petrified barback and his apparently twice-forewarned bro-globes.

Not that she could fire the nutty hothead either way.

Aside from being her best friend, Xoey was a veritable bartending rockstar in these parts, a wild, glorious fun-magnet adored by all, replaceable by none.

Good lord, she could sell warm beer on a hot day
. Seeing Xoey dial up the flirt-tending and begin basically grifting customers into switching up to pricier liquors, Dani knew the excess of empty liquor bottles on the shelves was the reason why. Cringing, she quickly sent a waiter to assist the new barback with his restocking duties before she jumped in to help catch them up on drink orders. “Give the poor guy a break, Xo. It’s been a busy week.”

“Oh please.” Xoey snorted. “You hired me during Mardi Gras
.
I handled it just fine.”


Ha!
Only because the tightly bound twins on your chest were mesmerizing the men into sucking up all the drink orders you botched.”

“Slander!” she cried back with an indignant smile dipped. “It wasn’t
just
the men.”

Amidst the resulting four-guy pile up that crashed into the bar at that declaration, it was the droll PSA one of them made on the dangers of driving with a stick near Xoey that caused a riot of laughter all around. Amplified further when another went down on drunken knee to ask for Xoey’s hand in marriage.

Dani chuckled. She loved this new crowd that had started coming into Ocotillos lately. They were a tad younger and rowdier than she was used to but the whole brewpub seemed to feed off their energy. That was reward enough for all the social media plugging she’d been doing the past few months, a collective undertaking by the area’s entire motley crew business community to draw more folks to their little town of Cactus Creek.

Her custom-made heaven on earth.

While not without its addictive charms, Cactus Creek was...well, unique. Water-strewn desert backdrops and equally atypical residents made the town a far cry from the quaint tourist spots touted on Arizona billboards. Fancy lattes with warm slices of Americana they were not; hell, the only antiques they sold were antique arms. Instead, they boasted funky craft beers, oddball novelty shops, and down-home fusion eateries where culinary references to ‘the south’ were usually of a country between Mexico and Chile. More fun than sleepy, and comfy without being colonial, the only reason the town was often mislabeled ‘eclectically historic’ was because its stubborn-ass residents had kept all their favorite parts while still growing up with the times.

Over the years, most of Dani’s time and money had gone to nurturing the same process of selective evolution for her brewpub as well. Sure, Ocotillos was now drastically cooler than the simple tavern with a simple name her dad had run it as, but its beer remained constant. Just as Dobson as the blood in her veins, born and bred exactly as her dad had taught her to brew.

Speaking of… Dani finished tying on one of the new bartending half-aprons Xoey had designed for them, all the while sending a belated apology over to the photo of her father on the wall for not having thought to put a leash on Xoey’s creativity.

The girl was quite the dirty slogan savant.

Then again, it probably would’ve made him laugh his ass off
, she mused, a wry grin tweaking her lips at the thought. As if in confirmation, his jolly photo smiled back at her, mirroring the image she held onto of him in her mind.

It had been over three years now. Three years, but a part of her still expected to see him striding in that brewery door with the unconditionally doting smile he’d always had on reserve just for her.

She missed having someone love her like that.

The sudden burst of applause trickling down from the terrace had Dani silently cursing and ducking out from the bar—and her memories. She raced up the stairs to the rooftop deck she’d built a few summers ago, bobbing and weaving through the cram-packed sea of weekend Romeos on the prowl, trendy nine-to-fivers partying their hard week away, and co-ed clusters blithely kicking off the start of their winter break with a bang.

Thankfully, the musicians had thrown in an adlib bit to give her time to hop on stage and snag the mic. “
Let’s hear it again for Rylan Grey and his band, everyone
!” she hollered, drawing forth a fresh wave of raucous hoots from the crowd. “Okay, it’s time for me to feed these guys, so until they start their next set, the band break power hour starts right now: half price on tonight’s food specials and BOGO on all your beers!”

Another round of merriment echoed into the night just as Rylan swallowed her up in his customary post-set bear hug. She planted a laughing kiss on his cheek and high-fived the rest of his guys, Vanna-Whiting her smartphone screen proudly for the single ones. “Tweets from girls wanting to jump you all right here on my deck? I’d say your fan base is evolving very nicely.”

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