This summer, ice cream entrepreneur Carly Redd’s only focus is expanding her business—until she’s coerced into attending her ex’s engagement party. Showing up without a date is unthinkable. She reluctantly agrees to be escorted by her brother’s co-worker, although doing so breaks her rule of not dating firefighters. The daughter of the town’s fire chief should wear a Do Not Touch sign, but firefighter Noah Harding’s interest blazed the moment he saw Carly. Agreeing to be her fake boyfriend is a no-brainer, but convincing Carly to trust him with her heart is harder than extinguishing a fire. Overstepping the platonic-only rule is as dangerous as fire and ice swirling into a tempting combustion.
The premise and research for this story were so much fun because who doesn’t like ice cream!
In my story, Cherry Red, the heroine, Carly Redd, creates new flavours of ice cream. While going to college, she worked as a bartender. She blended her knowledge of ice cream and alcohol and came up with several favourites for her adult customers.
While anyone can make their own ice cream float, it is important to pair the right flavour of ice cream with the equivalent beverage.
Here is one of Carly’s most requested ice cream creations.
1-1/2 cups champagne
1/2 cup no-pulp orange juice
1 cup vanilla ice cream
Shaved chocolate (optional)
Maraschino cherries (a must)
Pour 6 tablespoons champagne and 2 tablespoons orange juice into a 6-ounce champagne flute. Stir in 1/4 cup vanilla ice cream. Add a sprinkle of chocolate shavings. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Top with remaining chocolate shavings and cherries.
Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where the summers are too short, and the winters are too long. She writes contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When not working on her next book, she can be found with her husband, her daughter, and her yellow Labrador.
“This might seem like a strange question, especially since we’ve just met, but would you be interested in going out for a coffee? Or an ice cream?” Noah rested an arm on the bar.
Carly glanced down at her jeans and black T-shirt embroidered with the company name and logo…a cluster of red cherries. In a room full of women all dolled up in fancy—and some a bit scanty—dresses, why would this incredibly handsome man ask her on a date? “I appreciate the offer, but I’m not interested…”
Noah raised a brow. “I know you like ice cream, so is it the coffee, or me?”
“What? No. I mean, yes.” She took a second to collect her scrambled thoughts. “I like coffee. I just don’t hang out with firefighters.” Not that he was a real firefighter. Did impersonators count in her rules of men to avoid? She never dated a stripper, but she wasn’t sure she could have a relationship with a guy who was paid to take off his clothes and have other women fawn over him. Not that the guy asked her on a date…just a simple coffee. His frown made her feel badly. “I’m sorry. It’s nothing personal.”
“Burnt in the past? No pun intended.” He smiled.
She couldn’t help but smile back. “Something like that.”
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