I thought it might help my readers decide, if they had a short excerpt from each book.
Shopping for Love
“I hate rain!” The young woman in the parking lot yelled. She stood in one spot, face to the sky, stamping her feet in a puddle.
I watched her for several moments before approaching her. A man has to be cautious about walking up to a woman, in a mall parking lot. He can get a face full of pepper spray or a tazer to the nads. Especially, I might add, a man who looks like me. I have a dozen tattoos, body piercings, a shaved head, goatee and several earrings in both ears. I’m also rather muscular. In short, I’m potentially a little scary. Standing at least eight feet away, I cleared my throat. The woman was soaked and shivering, dressed in a lightweight woman’s suit with a skirt. I was in bluejeans and denim jacket. The rain didn’t bother me.
“Ma’am? Are you in need of assistance? I can get the mall security.”
“I can’t find my car!” She started to cry. Her makeup was a wreck, mascara running down her cheeks in black rivulets. Her hair lay in sleek, wispy curls giving her a waif like, little girl lost look. It was so wet, I couldn’t tell the color.
“Let’s get out of the rain,” I suggested. “I’ll find a security guard and see what we can do.”
It took very little persuasion to lead her back into the mall. Careful to keep my distance, I took her to the hair salon just inside the doors. They fetched towels and called security. I brought the young woman a cup of coffee from the staff lounge and sat with her. She shivered and held her coffee like a lifeline. I talked to her quietly to calm her down.
Mall security showed up about 20 minutes later. They stood around scratching themselves a lot. After a few prompts from me, they got the important information, and went to look for her car. While they were gone, the ladies in the salon offered to do the woman’s hair and makeup for free.
The security officers started with the place she said she had parked, but there was another car in the space. After wandering around for about 45 minutes, they decided to check the rest of the lot. They came up empty.
“I’m sorry, Miss Woodstone, it seems to be gone.”
“Gone? Gone!” She was upset and indignant. Who could blame her?
“We’ll call the police and report it stolen,” I said quietly in an effort to calm her again.
“We can take care of that for you, sir,” Bob the security guard said.
“Maybe it was towed,” Jim the other guard added.
Bob went to the phone and made the call to the city police. “They’re sending someone right over, Miss Woodstone.”
“Are you hungry?” I asked her.
“I’m fine. I just ate. The coffee’s good,” she replied and smiled. She had a beautiful smile, like raindrops in sunshine. “Thank you so much for your help, Mister?”
“Baker. Chase Baker. You’re welcome, Miss Woodstone.”
We chatted a little while longer, being very formal. The police came in all businesslike, getting her information again, and did a massive search of the parking lot. They came up with nothing, too. We went out to join them in the lot when the rain stopped.
“I’m afraid it truly has been stolen, Miss Woodstone,” one officer told her kindly.
© Dellani Oakes 2019