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Author Lorana Hoopes

Life in a Small Town Signed Paperback

Life in a Small Town Signed Paperback

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What happens in a small town....Affects everyone!

From enemies to lovers, second chances, and prime romances, the short stories in this book will give you hours of enjoyment.

Kirsten and Tristan show that first impressions don't have to be lasting ones when they learn to work together in Small Town Dreams.

Molly and Dillon prove that second chances do exist, especially when true love is involved in Small Town Second Chances.

Tess and Samuel show that people can change for the better when faced with extraordinary circumstances in Small Town Rivals.

And Tabitha and Jamison prove that love can happen even in your fifties in Small Town Life.

USA Today Best selling author Lorana Hoopes has created a small town you will love with characters you'll want more of. Grab all four of these clean short stories in this bundle collection today.

First Chapter

Kirsten

“I can’t believe it’s finally done,” I say with a sigh to my best friend Molly as I look around the quaint space. It’s been a long few weeks, but finally my coffee shop is open. I’ve dreamed of opening one for as long as I can remember.

“It’s perfect,” Molly says as she inserts a clip in her short blond hair to keep it out of her face. Then she dons her apron and shoots me a thumbs up sign. 

I flip the closed sign to open and unlock the door. There isn’t a long line out the door, but there are a few customers, and I believe in my bones there will be more. The old ‘if you build it, they will come’ belief. After all, even Small Town, USA needs a good coffee shop. We haven’t had anything except the drudge the family restaurant down the street passes off as coffee for as long as I can remember.

“Welcome to Perk Up.” I greet the customers with a smile and a little card that gives them a free cup of coffee. Molly and I both figured people would be more likely to try something new if we let them have a free taste, and we are both confident that once tasted - our coffee will sell itself.

The customers smile at me and take a card before filing in line to order with Molly. She’s proficient and soon the patrons are sitting at tables around the room. Grins and laughter abound as they sip their coffees, and Molly and I exchange a knowing look. Success! Then suddenly a loud pounding sound fills the air. Smiles shift to grimaces and flinches, and I see money flying out the door. 

“Don’t worry, folks,” I say as I head for the door, “I’ll go see what the racket is and get them to stop.” 

I step out of the door and turn left. The building next to us had been for sale at the same time the one I bought was. I had hoped to purchase both of them but just hadn’t had the money. It appeared now that someone else had bought the building, and they weren’t a quiet neighbor.

The noise inside the building grows even larger as I pull open the door. A man clad in a pair of loose-fitting blue jeans and a tank top stands near a counter, a sledgehammer in his hand. Another stands off to the side, but he appears to be scraping the walls – probably not the source of the noise, so I don’t pay him much attention. 

Music blares from an old boom box that sits on a table in the middle of the room. “Hello?” I holler, but neither man appears to hear me, and Thor swings the sledgehammer again, sending another loud bang and pieces of wood flying into the air.

Irritation flooding my veins, I march over to the boom box and flick the switch to turn the music off. His head turns my direction, and my breath catches at the fierce look in his eyes. 

“Who are you and what are you doing?” His voice is deep and velvety and contains the smallest trace of anger.

I place my hands on my hips and thrust my chin out. He intimidates me, but I’m not about to let him see that. “I’m Kirsten Johnson, and I own the coffee shop next door. We just opened this morning and your demolition is disturbing my customers.”

He sets the sledgehammer down and saunters my direction - slowly and full of swagger. Confidence oozes off him with every step, and I force myself not to take a step back. He stops inches from me. I can feel the heat radiating off of him and smell the scent of sweat mixing with his soap – a woodsy scent that reminds me of camping in the woods. His stormy grey eyes rake over me before returning to my gaze. “I’m not sure how that’s my problem.”

I force a tight smile on my lips and gather my courage. Please let my voice sound steady. “It’s your problem because we are neighbors and the walls are thin. Surely, you can work on something else until we close and then return to the destruction of your building.”

His eyes narrow and lightning flashes in their depths. “You want me to stop my demolition which will delay my construction and my opening until you are closed each day?”

Okay, when he says it like that, it does sound demanding. “Well, maybe not stop completely but quiet down some. The loud bangs are scaring my patrons.”

“It’s a coffee shop. They can take it to go.” He leans down next to me and flicks the radio back on before walking back to his sledgehammer.

My mouth drops open in anger, frustration, confusion. I don’t usually have a problem convincing people to be civil, but then again, most people are civil to begin with. This man obviously has no manners. I glare at his back before clicking the music off again. Then I march out of his building before he can say another word.

* * *

Tristan

I glance up as the music stops. If Dillon is trying to mess with my stations again, I might have to clock him. I can’t stand his country music, and he can’t stand my rock, but I won the toss up today. However, it’s not Dillon who has turned the music off but a curvy brunette with fire for eyes.

“Who are you and what are you doing?” 

She places her hands on her hips and tilts her chin up probably to make her appear taller than her five-foot frame. “I’m Kirsten Johnson, and I own the coffee shop next door. We just opened this morning and your demolition is disturbing my customers.”

I set down the sledgehammer as I step in her direction. Nearly a foot taller than her, I tower over her, and I see her stiffen so as not to step back. She’s a firecracker, I’ll give her that much, but I can read the hesitation in her eyes. “I’m not sure how that’s my problem.”

Her lips pull into a smug, condescending smile. “It’s your problem because we are neighbors and the walls are thin. Surely, you can work on something else until we close and then return to your destruction of your building.”

Wow, she has some nerve. “You want me to stop my demolition which will delay my construction and my opening until you are closed each day?”

Her lips part as if she’s about to speak and then her bottom lip folds under her teeth. The shifting of her eyes tell me she realizes how snotty she sounded. “Well, maybe not stop completely but quiet down some. The loud bangs are scaring my patrons.”

“It’s a coffee shop. They can take it to go.” I lean close to her, close enough to catch the sweet scent of vanilla radiating off her, and flick the radio back on. Her mouth drops open, and I resist the urge to close it for her. 

Dillon has been watching the whole exchange with a silent smirk, and I flash him a wink as I return to the sledgehammer and pick it back up. I know she will turn the music off again, and when she does, I glance up to see a defiant smile on her face as if she thinks she’s won, but she has no idea who she’s dealing with. I can play these games all day. Her heels click as she marches across the cement floor, and I admire the view as she leaves. Her dark hair curls around her shoulders, and her hips sway as she leaves though I doubt she knows she swings them. When the door closes, I cross to the radio, turn it back on, and then turn the volume up for good measure.  

“Really?” Dillon shouts over the music. “You have to turn it up?”

I shrug. I’m not a jerk. Not really, but I’m also not the type of guy to let a pretty woman walk all over me simply because she’s pretty. I’ve done that enough in my life, and I’m done. With a smile, I return to demolishing the old counter knowing she is probably fuming next door. I can almost picture the smoke coming out of her ears with each pound of the hammer. Sadly, the counter is the last thing that needs to be taken down. Had she just waited half an hour, the noise would probably have stopped. Now, I’ll have to find new ways to annoy her. There’s no way I’m giving her the satisfaction of thinking she won just because I was almost done.

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Lorana Hoopes

Lorana Hoopes is a USA Today Best Selling Author and now an Award Winning Author as well. She's had two books earn a Page Turner Award Finalist badge and she recently won the Reader's Favorite Book Award for Romantic Suspense.