Stepping Up: Book Six in the Who's Your Daddy series by Rhonda Marks 0000-00-00 00:00:00

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by Rhonda Marks
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Stepping Up: Book Six in the Who's Your Daddy series by Rhonda Marks
Rhonda Marks
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Mortgage Specialist Vance Ryan is tasked with finding out whether a small diner in Devinne should be foreclosed upon. What he doesn’t expect is to become enchanted with one of the diner’s owners.
Summer Hughes is stressed out trying to keep her family’s business afloat. After one fateful evening, another complication is added to the already teetering pile. One that will make an appearance in nine months.
Will Vance step up and make things right with Summer?
“So we’re flirting with the customers now?” Ginny Frelic, cook extraordinaire pinned her boss with a pointed stare.
Summer Hughes stuck her tongue out at her and whirled around to grab a couple slices of bread for the BLT. After inserting it in the toaster, she faced Ginny, hand on hip. “I was just being friendly, that’s all.”
“Friendly my foot. I may be old, but I remember what flirting looks like.”
Summer suppressed a smile and made herself busy gathering other ingredients. Since she and Ginny were the only ones on duty tonight, she wanted to help the cook out as much as possible.
“I need to do whatever I can to make our customers comfortable.”
“Uh-huh, Ginny replied, her tone indicating she didn’t believe a word Summer had uttered. “Just watch yourself, okay.”
“You worry too much, Ginny.”
“That’s part of my job description, missy. I’ll always look out for you. I made that promise to your mama, God rest her soul.”
Summer swallowed hard and willed away the tears pricking the back of her eyes. She didn’t know what she’d do without her late mother’s best friend. Many a day, Ginny’s encouragement kept her from throwing in the towel and closing the diner.
But how could she do that anyway? Catherine’s had been her mother’s dream. Eleanor Hughes had been one of a kind. Strong in every way. Guilt sliced through Summer thinking about how her mother encouraged her to pursue her dream of becoming a Broadway actress. Her senior year in high school, her dad fell ill, and Summer thought her dream was dead. No way could she abandon her family and the diner. But her mother insisted she go, and she did. Maybe if she hadn’t and stayed to help Mama and Spring run this place, her mother would still be here.
“Your beau’s dinner is ready,” Ginny teased as she handed her the plate.
“He’s not my beau,” Summer hissed as she headed out into the dining room.
Her eyes lit up as she watched him watching her. She’d never been particularly attracted to white men, but for him she’d make an exception. What would it feel like to run her hands through that silky blond hair? And a taste of those kissable lips? A shiver slid down her spine at the thought of kissing them. Get it together, Summer. The guy is not interested in you that way. He probably flirts with all women.
“Here you go,” she said as she placed his meal in front of him. She then noticed he didn’t have a drink. “I’m sorry. I forgot to get your drink order.”
“That’s alright. Do you have lemonade?”
“Sure do. Coming right up.” Summer walked over to the drink area and poured the largest glass she could find full of Ginny’s delicious lemonade.
“How come I can’t get a glass like that?” Henry Wilson whined as she set the glass down on the counter.
Summer turned to him and gave him the evilest look she could muster. “Now Henry, stop telling tales. You and I both know you drink twice as much pop with all the free refills we give you.”
Henry sheepishly lowered his head and turned his attention back to his meal. Satisfied that he’d been properly chastised, Summer checked on her other guests before retiring back into the kitchen.
From there she had a perfect angle to watch that handsome fellow eat his dinner. The way he bit into that sandwich made her knees weak. And she’d never seen a man’s Adam apple move like that when he gulped down his drink.
“You gonna stand there all evening getting off on that man or are you going to work?” Somehow Ginny had sneaked up on her and was standing there with the silliest grin on h

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