Release Day! As the Ice Melts (Book 2)

Book 2 in the Love for the Seasons series is now out! But seriously, if you haven’t read the first book, you really should. Yes, this can be read as a stand alone, but Marcus appears as a side character in #1, so why wouldn’t you read it?

 

Ice 400

Here’s the blurb:

As hearts begin to thaw, a betrayal of trust threatens to put out the flames.

When Marcus McDonald receives a formal warning from his employer, he knows it’s time to tuck tail and head home to Manchester. His medical condition forces him to keep people at arm’s length, and it wouldn’t be the first time his temperament has landed him in trouble.

All Adam Radney wants is some time to paint, but his father’s death, leaving Adam and his mum up to their ears in debt, means taking on two jobs. Working at the family’s run-down Manchester fish and chip shop, Adam is confronted by a new, surly face in town and instantly dislikes the icy newcomer. So what if he pushes all of Adam’s hot buttons?

When the ice melts and things heat up between Marcus and Adam, Adam thinks all his dreams have come true. With Marcus’s help, new customers arrive and the chip shop starts to flourish, easing Adam’s mind. But when Adam puts all his trust in Marcus on the busiest night the shop has seen in years, thing go awry and it leaves Adam with more questions than answers.

And an excerpt:

THERE WAS a lull in the evening’s trade, and we had only two customers waiting, and five phone orders to wrap up. I wasn’t worried. There was always a small break between the times people ate their dinner. Some liked it later than others.

I’d been watching a guy through the glass front door who’d been standing outside the shop. He’d glanced at the faded sign in the window then walked away. Now he was back, looking up and down the street, before eyeing the sign again. I wondered if he was going to enter or not.

“Mum. Do you know who that is?” I asked, nodding my head towards the door.

Mum frowned. “No. Doesn’t look like a regular. What do you think he’s doing?”

“I have no idea.” I was hoping he wasn’t trying to get up the nerve to rob us.

The guy walked away again, only to return five minutes later, and this time he actually entered the shop.

He shook his hoodie off and stomped his feet on the mat, dislodging the dirt and ice from his pricey-looking black boots. If he’d been a criminal, he wouldn’t have taken the time to dust off. I couldn’t see where he’d be hiding a weapon, either; his dark blue jeans were practically painted on.

Maybe he was lost. If he was I would’ve loved to help him find his way. This guy tweaked all my buttons, and I couldn’t help but take in his lean form, slim hips, and dishevelled dark blond hair. Designer stubble on a pretty face and I was pretty much a goner.

His icy, blue eyes met mine, and his plump lips pulled into a tight line as he approached the counter.

“Are you Rodney?” he practically snapped at me.

I bristled. Who did he think he was? “Who’s asking?”

“Gran told me to go to the chippie around the block and order her usual, only double. At first I thought she was having me on, but I’ve walked around two blocks and you’re the only chip shop around. She said Rodney would know what her normal order was, ’cause I have no fucking idea. So again, are you Rodney?”

“Did you read the sign?”

“I can’t bloody see the sign, the paint’s all faded. You should do something about that, you know. People will think you’re a run-down drug house or something, which is why I’ve been wandering the streets for the past half hour. Do you know how cold it is?”

Mr Shithead glanced around the shop with a look of disgust. The shop needed a lick of paint, and not just the sign in the window. The wallpaper was peeling, and no matter how many times Mum and I scrubbed the floor, it was always going to be a stained mess.

I reined in my temper. “Gran, you say. From Forbes Road?”

“You know Gran?”

“Obviously.”

He looked down his nose at me, which was quite a feat considering our height difference. “Well, I know you’re not her grandson. How do you know her?”

I bristled again. What an arsehole. “How do you think? She comes in every week and orders the same each time. We all love Gran here. And just how do you know her?” I was hoping he hadn’t just robbed the poor lady blind on her way here. She always walked the same route at the same time of night, so she’d be easy prey for a thug who knew what he was doing.

“Because I’m her grandson. Unlike you.”

“Ahh, you must be Mark.” It was hard to picture. Gran was lovely and sweet, the way most doting grandmothers were. She told it like it was, but she was never rude. This guy couldn’t possibly have been related to her.

His eyes flashed in obvious annoyance. “Marcus. How do you know?”

“You haven’t been listening, have you?” You dumbarse. “Gran comes in each week. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know her a bit. She speaks about you a lot.” I gave him a not-so-subtle once-over. “Some big shot in London, apparently.”

“Well, Rod.” Marcus sniffed. “Gran would like her usual, only doubled. How long will it take?”

“Who’s paying?”

“What?”

“Who’s paying? You or Gran?”

“Me. Why?”

“That’ll be ten quid.”

Marcus’s eyebrows drew together. He pulled his wallet from his back pocket and searched through the large stash of bills, seemingly looking for a tenner. He handed me a five.

“And the rest of it. That’s only a fiver.”

Marcus’s features went from frustrated arsehole to red and embarrassed in a nanosecond. He pulled a twenty out, handed it to me without a word, and then sat down to wait for his order.

I left it till he sat on the farthest chair from me before I asked, “Did you not want your change?”

Marcus came over and I handed him his notes. He wouldn’t look at me, and it appeared all his bravado had fled. He seemed vulnerable and exposed, and I had the distinct feeling he would’ve slunk out if he didn’t have to wait for his food. Without looking at the money, he stuffed it back into his wallet. I could’ve given him anything and he wouldn’t have known

If you liked that, here’s where you can read more:

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