I’m smiling so big this week as readers react to Penn. He’s a handful, that’s for sure! 


Chapter One



“How hard is it, Penn?” 

Dane’s keys hit the table. They skid into the salt shaker, sending it rattling around the tabletop. A raised brow that is some kind of warning is shot my direction before he turns and signals for a coffee. 

“Well,” I say, as Claire approaches the table, “I probably shouldn’t answer that. I am a gentleman, after all.”

“You are not.” Claire side-eyes me as she sits a mug down in front of Dane. “You and the word gentleman should never be used in the same sentence.”

“But you just did.”

She rolls her eyes. “Want me to accidentally-on-purpose miss the cup and pour this piping hot liquid on your lap?”

“You’ve tried that before. I’m too quick.”

Claire snorts, her lips twisting into an amused smile. “I heard that about you.”

My jaw drops in mock horror. 

“Will you two stop it? You fight like brother and sister,” Dane says. 

“That would make Claire’s dreams awkward.”

Her head whips to mine, her eyes narrowed for my benefit. There’s a comeback on the tip of her tongue. I lean forward as if I’m waiting on her reply. She laughs instead.  

“I hate you,” she says before turning to Dane. “Do you want anything to eat?”

“No. Thanks. Just trying to track this jackass down all morning.” He jams a thumb my way.

“Yeah, well, good luck now that you’ve found him. He’s sat in here all morning giving me hell,” Claire says. “If you need anything else, let me know.”

Claire walks away, swaying her hips a little for my benefit. It’s appreciated. I’d much, much rather think about her hips than whatever it is Dane’s going to rope me into. 

He sips his coffee beside me like it’s another morning at the Dogwood Café. The table of farmers by the door probably think it’s just Madden Carpentry having some breakfast before we find Matt, my best friend and Dane’s younger brother, and get to work. 

But it’s not. 

Something is brewing over there and I don’t know what it is. What I do know is that Dane doesn’t start blowing up my phone at six in the morning on an actual work day, let alone my first vacation day in two years. 

Yeah. Something is up and I’m not going to like it.


See what I mean? Ha!

If you’d like to read more about Penn and this small-town bunch, check out Trouble. It’s live now on Amazon, in KU, and on Audible. (The audio is sooooo good!)

And, of course, let me know what you think if you read or listen! ☺