ANOTHER MAZZY MONDAY
Authors: Savannah Young & Sierra Avalon
Series: Tawnee Mountain #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
~ SYNOPSIS ~
When the wealthy and charming Drew Graham walks into the Tawnee Mountain Resort where I work and offers me a lucrative part-time job it sounds too good to be true. I just have to pretend to be his fiancÃ©e until he wins the election for governor and then we can go our separate ways. It seems like an easy way to make a hundred thousand dollarsâ¦until his younger brother, Austin, returns from Europe and moves in with us. And Iâm completely overwhelmed by my attraction to him.
~ PURCHASE ~
~ TEASER ~
~ EXCERPT ~
My brother hasnât changed very much since I left for Europe. Heâs just a little more of everything. Cocky, charismatic, and quite charming. Give him an audience, no matter how small, and heâll captivate them within minutes.
Not that I havenât been accused of being cocky myself. Okay, maybe Iâve been called an asshole on more than a few occasions. But charming I am not. My brother is great at telling people exactly what they want to hear. Itâs a skill that will serve him very well in politics. Iâm more of a say-whatâs-on-my-mind kind of guy. Iâm always straightforward and honest. I tell people what I think they need to hear even if they donât want to hear it.
âAustin Graham,â my big brother says when he finally spots me. He excuses himself from the small group of would-be campaign donors and heads in my direction. âThe rebel without a cause returns to the roost.â
To my surprise my brother grabs me into a hug. I reflexively look around the ballroom to see if there are any photographers snapping shots of us. Thatâs the only reason I could see Drew giving me such a warm greeting. We didnât exactly part on the friendliest of terms when I left the country.
âI take it Dad summoned you back to the States to help with the campaign.â
âHelp is really a strong word. I get the impression Iâm needed for publicity photos. He says he wants to show the press that our family is strong and united. You are running a family values campaign, arenât you?â
My brother glares at me. Then after a few moments of being at the center of his arctic stare he says, âNice suit.â
âIt should be. You probably paid top dollar for it.â
âI thought it looked familiar.â
âSuits and I donât really get along.â
âI guess that means Dad hasnât talked you into getting a real job yet.â
âIâve had plenty of real jobs all over Europe. Everything from milking cows to fixing motorcycles. Whatever odd jobs people had in exchange for a hot meal and a warm bed.â
Drew shakes his head. âSometimes itâs difficult for me to believe weâre products of the same two parents.â
âYou were there when I was born,â I remind him.
âAnd you were stubborn and willful from the moment you took your first breath. Some things never change.â
âI need a drink,â I announce. Drew, always being the perfect politician and everything his constituents want him to be wrapped in a picture-perfect package, rarely drinks anything but water and orange juice. I, on the other hand, imbibe on a regular basis.
âMaybe stick with one,â he suggests. âNurse it for a while.â
âYes, Sir,â I give him a cheesy little fake salute.
As I approach the bar I see a gorgeous little blonde serving small cups of wine to several middle-aged women wearing matching conservative navy blue suits and single strands of white pearls around their necks. They all have their hair cut short and look like theyâll be absolutely no fun even with a little wine in them.
Once the women of the blue suit brigade have cups of wine in their hands they make their way over to my brother. As I wait for the bartender to acknowledge me Iâm a little hurt that she doesnât even glance up at me when she asks me what I want. Then I remember Iâm wearing one of my brotherâs stuffy suits and that I probably look just like another one of the conservative jackasses at the fundraising event.
This girl looks like someone who prefers a more down-to-Earth kind of guy. If I had on my everyday attire: leather jacket, well-worn jeans and black biker boots, I think Iâd get her attention in a heartbeat.
âBeer,â I say, trying to will the blonde to at least glance at me once. But to no avail. Sheâs all business, serving drinks then taking the next personâs order.
âWeâve got Miller, Bud, and Coors.â
She nods and fills up one of the small cups with beer. Itâs not even the size of a Dixie cup. Maybe half as large. âGot anything bigger than that?â
She shakes her head. âSorry. Itâs complimentary. You can have as many as you like.â
I hold up the ridiculously small cup. It would probably take about ten of these before I even felt a buzz. âThanks.â
She nods, but sheâs only half paying attention to me. When I glance down at her name tag I see her name is Mazzy. Unusual name. Iâm completely intrigued. Not just because sheâs beautiful with a smoking hot body to match, but thereâs something about her thatâs different.
Most girls fall all over themselves to get my attention when they figure out who my family is. Being from a wealthy and well-connected family is like an aphrodisiac for most women. I look down to make sure Iâm still wearing my name tag and itâs definitely there. This girl just hasnât even bothered to take a look at it.
Two guys are now standing behind me so I know I have to let her serve them, but I donât want to move from this spot. I just want to look at her for a few seconds more. I like watching the way she moves. She seems so carefree and comfortable in her body. As carefree as I like to pretend to be I know Iâm really just a mass of insecurities and compensative tactics.
âAnything else?â she asks.
Your number, I want to say, but whatâs the point. I donât plan on being in New Jersey any longer than I have to. I promised my dad Iâd stay through the election and thatâs it. Then my backpack and I are off to Asia.
I take my ridiculous little cup of beer and head off in search of someone I might find even remotely interesting to talk to.
As luck would have it I run into my mother and her league of women voters. Theyâre all wearing the same conservative blue suits as the blue suit brigade who were ordering wine in front of me at the bar and they each have a tiny American flag displayed prominently on their lapels. As soon as my mother spots me a look of disgust overtakes her face. She canât seem to control it whenever she sees me and Iâm not sure she wants to. Sheâs even less thrilled with me than my father and she usually has no trouble expressing that displeasure to me. My only saving grace is that I know she wonât rail at me in front of her supporters. Sheâs much too shrewd for that. Sheâll do her best to pretend Iâm the perfect son in front of potential donors and wait to condemn me in private.
Iâm so glad Iâll be staying at the lake house. My mother wonât consider venturing out to Northern New Jersey this late in the season. When itâs less than seventy degrees she has no interest in the lake house.
âAustin,â my mother says as she approaches and places a quick peck on my cheek. âSo glad you could make it.â
The other women in her small group are all smiling and eyeballing me, even though theyâre all my motherâs age or older.
I down the rest of my beer and stare into the empty cup. âI think I need a refill.â
My mother expresses her displeasure with a harrumph, but then quickly replaces her grimace with a broad smile. Hers isnât as rehearsed as my fatherâs or brotherâs, but itâs equally phony.
âWhen you come back, Mrs. Lexington has an opening in her firm that might be of interest to you and sheâs already said sheâd love to talk to you about it.â
âGreat,â I lie as I loosen my tie. Iâm already feeling trapped and the stupid material around my neck isnât helping matters any. I canât even remember the last time I wore a tie.
As I hurry back towards the bar Iâm glad to see that Mazzy doesnât have any other customers. Sheâs all mine, at least for a few minutes.
I order two beers and down them both double-fisted. When I look up I imagine that Mazzy will have a look of horror on her face, but all I see is puzzlement. As if sheâs looking at a creature from a brand new species.
By the time I order my fourth miniature beer I have just enough liquid courage to actually start a conversation with her. Itâs not that I generally have a hard time conversing with women. On the contrary, Iâm generally quite smooth with the opposite sex. But I feel different in this monkey suit and a political fundraiser is definitely not my native habitat. Iâm used to picking up women at dive bars or neighborhood pubs. The more relaxed and casual the atmosphere the better.
Thereâs absolutely nothing relaxed or casual about my present circumstances. But at least the beers have taken the edge off.
âMazzy is an unusual name,â I say as she hands me my beer.
She just gives me a polite nod in return.
âDo you live around here?â As soon as the words leave my lips I realize itâs a ridiculous question. Iâm sure she doesnât commute very far for a job as a bartender.
âIâve lived in Old Town my whole life.â Her clipped tone leads me to believe that she has little interest in talking to me. Not that I blame her. If I ran into me in this setting wearing this suit I wouldnât want to talk to me either.
âKnow of any good bars around here.â I hold up the small cup. âThese tiny cups arenât really doing it for me.â
That remark elicits the tiniest of smiles. At least itâs a start.
âTry Haymakers. Itâs the only bar in Old Town. Do you like country music?â
I shrug. âIâm more of a rock-and-roll kind of guy.â
âHaymakers is definitely a country bar. I used to work there.â
âMaybe Iâll check it out.â Iâll be staying at my familyâs lake house, which isnât too far from Old Town. Iâm sure Iâll go stir crazy after a while and will need some kind of escape. âThanks for the recommendation.â
âIf you tell them that Mazzy sent you they might even give you a free beer.â
âFree is good.â I give her my sexiest smile, but it doesnât seem to make much of an impact. I realize that maybe sheâs just being nice so Iâll give her a good tip. I reach into my pocket, pull out a five dollar bill and add it to the mostly singles lining the tip jar.
âThanks,â she says and when she finally looks me in the eye I feel a little flash of something. Iâm not quite sure what it is, but my entire body reacts to it. I put my beer on the end of the bar for a moment and put my hands in my pockets in an effort to lower the flag thatâs starting to rise in my pants.
âHaymakers,â I repeat. âIâm definitely going to check it out.â
âOnly bar in town. You canât miss it.â
~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~
Romance novelist Savannah Young grew up in rural northwest New Jersey in a place very similar to the fictional Old Town, which is featured in her books. When she's not at her computer creating spicy stories, Savannah is traveling to exotic locales or spending time with her husband and their bloodhounds.
SIERRA AVALON writes contemporary romance novels with a little sass and lots of spice. She lives in a small town outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and their bloodhounds.
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