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then call off your appointments because you’ve have a Sweet Engagement planned!
- Second Chance Romance
- Divorcee/Returning home
- Small Town Romance
An artist recognizes beauty. A divorcee recognizes honesty. Will either of them recognize love?
Cassandra Olsen came to Sweet Blooms with a secret and some baggage after a messy divorce. She’s not interested in her old life or making the same mistakes again.
Evan Sparrow works with his hands making wooden toys for kids. He’s a man who is accustomed to being alone, but he’s ready for that to change. With a secret he's never shared, will anyone accept him? His wooden creations drew Cassandra’s attention first, but his sincerity and patience are what will draw her heart. He’ll have to win her over, and she’ll have to decide if she can trust him.
If you like stories about overcoming fear, and love that heals all wounds , then call off your appointments because you have a Sweet Engagement planned!
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Intro into Chapter One
Intro into Chapter One
need to talk to Evan.”
Olsen had heard the words from her friend Skye O’Malley at the store where she
worked. The words had sounded ominous, her friend was acting fidgety and no
matter how she pressed, Skye wouldn’t
Sparrow. She couldn’t even say his name without getting flutterings in her
stomach. What she needed to do was concentrate
on the mechanic who was trying to tell her what was wrong with her car.
Kelly, the resident Sweet Blooms mechanic, was a decent guy. He was five foot
ten, towering over Cassandra’s five foot
seven. Bobby looked like he’d stepped right out of the dictionary’s definition
of how every mechanic should look like. He was dressed in overalls stained with
oil. His pockets were sagging from the tools in them, and normally he had a patient smile when he explained things to
her. They had been at it for twenty minutes, and
Cassandra could tell his patience was just about up.
let’s try this one more time. I’m sure I’ll get it this time,” Cassandra said
in an upbeat, encouraging tone. Obviously, it was the wrong tone because Bobby
course, Ms. Olsen,” he said with forced patience.
what you’re telling me is there are pistons in my engine.”
the reason why my car was smoking was because
one of those pistons popped out. Right?”
nodded. “Ms. Olsen, it didn’t just pop out. It came out through the engine
nodded her head. She had heard this part
of the story for the last twenty minutes. “I hear you. So what I’m saying is
this: if you know what came out, get a replacement, put it back, and then patch
up the block so I can get my car back.”
it was possible, Bobby turned three shades of red and told Cassandra to wait in
front of the store, and he would return.
Cassandra did as he asked. She knew whatever was wrong with the car was bad,
but she loved this car. It was the only thing she had taken with her from her
it was taking way too long for Bobby to write up an estimate on what the
problem was, she went towards the back
room and saw Bobby coming towards her with a phone in hand. He handed Cassandra
the phone and nodded for her to take it.
asked the deep baritone on the other end. And the flutterings started before he
was even on the last “a.” She knew she needed to talk to him, but what
was Bobby thinking to call Evan?
she asked. As if she didn’t know who it was. “I’m not sure why Bobby called you
interrupted her. “He didn’t call for me. He actually called for Robert. He
didn’t know that Robert and Delilah decided to leave early to celebrate their
engagement before coming back to get married.”
Well, I’m sorry to interrupt you. I’ll
just let -”
no interruption at all. I needed to talk to you.”
there were those ominous words that Cassandra had been running from. She
couldn’t blame this on Evan. Those were the words her ex had said to her right
before he explained that the tryst he had engaged in with his personal
assistant hadn’t meant a thing.
what was it?” Cassandra asked as she braced herself for the worst.
tell you when I see you.”
you see me?”
I’m on my way.”
was completely confused. “Why are you on the way? And why can’t you just tell
coming to get you because you don’t have a ride.”
know that. That’s why I’m here with Bobby, so he can fix my car!” Cassandra
said, frustration seeping into her voice.
need you to listen to me.”
recognized that calm tone Evan was using. It was the same tone Bobby had been
using on her during her stay here at the garage. She was sure that if Evan
could hear what he sounded like, he would see why she was offended. Deciding to
hear him out before she told him she already understood the situation,
Cassandra took a deep breath and let it out.
told me you had a piston shoot through your engine block.”
a deep breath and calling on all of her meditative mantras she remembered from
back in the day when she did yoga, she replied, “Yes, that’s what he said.”
want to make sure you understand what that means.”
told me the piston went through the block,” she reiterated slowly.
you probably understand, but let me say it my way so you get the whole picture,
oil is like blood in a car.”
it,” Cassandra said, looking at her
shoes. She needed a new pair.
engine is like the human heart, and it
it.” After all of this, she would treat
herself to a new pair while they fixed the car.
chambers in the heart are like pistons.”
heard what Evan said, and she stopped
looking at her shoes.
she said more slowly than before.
human heart is held in place by a muscle, and let’s just say that’s the engine
Cassandra was beginning to understand what was being said, and she looked for a
seat. The realization must have shown on
her face because Bobby provided a chair out of nowhere and patted her shoulder.
the piston going out of the engine block is like a chamber of the heart that
has popped out through the muscle that surrounds the heart.”
no,” Cassandra moaned. “There’s no way to fix my baby, is there?”
“Well, the good news is the engine isn’t like
the human heart. It’s a lot easier to get a new engine. It’s not the cheapest
thing to get, and you need to decide if
you want to get a new engine or buy a new car. I would tell you to get a new
baby is gone?” Cassandra moaned.
on my way.” Cassandra didn’t hear him hang up the phone. She didn’t really
notice when Bobby took the phone from her grasp either. She was too wrapped up
in the fact that the last thing she had bought with her own money was gone. It
was the car she had gotten when she found out she passed the CPA exam. It was a source of inspiration whenever she
thought she wasn’t good at anything.
Soon Evan showed up to help. It figured when she had a low
moment she would be faced with him. “Thanks,”
she said. “You didn’t really need to come –”
Sparrow was just as impressive as the toys he carved. He had a beard that was always trim and tidy. Cassandra
wasn’t sure, but she thought the only
shirts the man owned were white tee shirts and how he worked all day and always
kept them clean was a mystery to her.
Evan had shown up, the general consensus was that Evan gave new meaning to
country strong and American made. On top of his physically fit body, trimmed
beard, and brown sable eyes, the air of country fresh seemed to follow him
around. Plus, he had the added benefit of being a nice person.
had been bowled over by his gentlemanly behavior when he’d invited her to an outing a couple of weeks ago. He’d held the
door for her, and he never rushed her.
Evan lived on the edge of town in what was called by the town’s people the swampies.
Cassandra wasn’t from Sweet Blooms, but
she could tell there was more to the name swampies than anyone wanted to explain.
people used the expression one of the
good guys, Cassandra was sure you’d see Evan’s face there. Everyone in the
town would agree Evan was patient, polite and not hard to look at either.
corner of his mouth was lifted just enough to see his pearly white teeth. “I’ve
come to save you.”
statement broke Cassandra out of her meanderings. “I’m glad you’re doing the
neighborly thing, but this is in no way saving me. I stopped believing in white
knights when I was five.”
sides of his perfect mouth turned up and became a smile. “You’re welcome, princess,”
he said, holding out his hand. “Your carriage awaits.”
smiled at him, rolled her eyes, and then walked past him to his truck. When she looked over her shoulder, she saw
what had been a smile was now a full-fledged
grin. He made her remember that simple things were the best to be grateful for.
you for coming, Evan, and for explaining
it to me. If you could drop me at my place,
I’d appreciate it,” Cassandra asked.
Evan nodded, and both of them got into his truck. After Evan had
turned the key and started the truck,
Cassandra turned towards him and asked the question that was hanging in the air
like the proverbial elephant.
Evan, what is it that you need to talk to me about?”
* * *
tightened his hands around the steering wheel. He’d worked for hours practicing
what to say to Cassandra. He had tortured his friend Tom into listening to him
explain what the bracelet meant and how he had thought she was on the same
they were in the car going to her place, and
there was no mood. There was no ambiance,
even though Tom had stated he was sure that Evan needed it. According to Tom, city women were different. Tom was a soon-to-be dad, but
he had dated a city woman a time or two, and
he was always confused when dealing with them.
Evan had been able to choose the place,
it surely would not have been in his truck after her favorite car had died.
Evan pulled himself together and tried to think about
what it was that he could say to her now.
do you know about the traditions in Sweet Blooms?” he asked instead.
“Umm, I’ve been here
for more than a year. We’ve been
out a couple of times. You’ve given me a gift even. I can’t say we’ve ever
discussed Sweet Blooms traditions. What has that got to do with what you wanted
to talk about anyway?”
think I want to answer the question tomorrow, if you’ll go out with me?” Evan was driving and couldn’t see her
you get to Morris Street, why don’t you turn there so I can see if everything
is okay with my neighbor?”
cleared his throat. “I’m not familiar with that road. Can you just let me know
when it’s coming up, and I’ll turn
laughed and shook her head. “You’re not familiar with that road? It’s the main
road through a third of the town,” she said incredulously.
shrugged. “I’m a recent transplant to driving through the town.”
right; you lived on the outskirts of town
before you came to represent the guild.”
waited for the prejudice and bias to color her voice, but it never came. He should have known better than to expect that
sort of behavior from Cassandra. One more clue that she wasn’t Sweet Blooms
you going to tell me about where you grew up?” she asked quietly.
smiled. It was good that she was curious about him. Right now, he needed some
signs that he hadn’t imagined the attraction between them and that she wanted
to be in a relationship with him. As far as he was concerned, questions were
going to answer any questions you want tomorrow.”
you passed Morris.”
sorry. I thought you lived down this road. I was so focused on you that I
shook her head and smiled. “How can I get upset with that? When a man says the reason he didn’t do something was because a woman was too much of a distraction,
he gets a pass.”
brought them to the front of the house. Cassandra pushed open the door and then
turned back to him. “Until tomorrow then?”
come for you tomorrow, and we’ll talk and
a deal,” Cassandra said.
“It’s a date,” Evan