Today I am so pleased to welcome Katy James to Joyfully Jay. Katy has come to talk to us about her latest release, Too Much Man. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

 

Excerpt

In this excerpt Gavin, a hockey superstar recently retired due to injury, heads to the local coffee shop for some caffeine to help with a hangover, only to find the attractive woman behind the counter less than attentive. By the time she takes his order, he’s had enough…

 

She pointed a finger at the large menu board over the counter, the one he hadn’t even noticed.

“We have a large selection of coffee drinks, hot and iced. Espresso, cappuccino, latte, Americano, smoothie blends with coffee…”

He grimaced, his headache like a pickaxe to the brain.

“Fine,” he barked. “I get it.”

She smiled, one of those tight, plastic smiles people offered when they really didn’t want to smile at all. It was the smile he gave to reporters when they asked about a bad game. The smile you gave to people who were a problem.

She leaned forward to prop her elbows on the counter, looking up at him from beneath those lashes. Her shirt gapped at the top, revealing firm, full breasts.

Jesus Christ, he might be permanently injured but he wasn’t dead. He grimaced. Someone this maddening shouldn’t be so attractive.

Her eyebrows rose slightly higher, and she grinned. A real grin, one that invited him to join in, if he felt so moved.

He didn’t.

“Coffee virgin?” she asked.

If he had been drinking the coffee he was less and less motivated to buy, he would have choked on it.

“What?”

She was still smiling, and he had the feeling she was laughing at him. Anger bubbled dangerously close to the surface. He wasn’t a fucking joke. He might not be king of the ice anymore, but he wasn’t a joke. He’d endured months of condescending doctors and too-patient nurses who treated him as if he wasn’t a grown man who could take care of himself. That was bad enough. He didn’t need the additional humiliation of this woman laughing at him. He didn’t need her fake smile or patronizing attitude. He just wanted to place his order and get the hell out of here.

Another young woman ducked behind the counter and leaned against the back wall, watching him. She looked familiar, but he was too annoyed to figure out why.

“Sometimes people get a little overwhelmed by the choices, it’s totally understandable,” the first woman was saying. She spoke patiently, but he was well past patience.

“Look, lady,” he bit out, and immediately realized his mistake. He knew better than to lady a woman.

Her smile dropped immediately. “Plain coffee it is. I’m guessing a large.”

Without waiting for confirmation, she filled an enormous cup with steaming liquid and placed it on the counter in front of him.

“New customer special, no charge.”

And with that, she turned her back on him again and began doing…something coffee related, probably.

He stared at her blankly for several seconds, until the other woman gave him a questioning look.

“Do you need anything else?” she asked in a soft voice.

“What? No.” He scowled at himself. What the hell was wrong with him? What was wrong with them? Was he really that hungover, or was this shop a special place in hell? Had he drunk himself to death last night, and this was his eternal punishment?

“Thanks,” he made himself say as he turned away.

He grabbed a plastic lid, raised his eyes to the heavens, and took a large gulp of coffee.

Jesus fucking Christ.

He forced the mouthful of hot liquid down, but damn…that was disgusting. Bitter, biting, all but undrinkable. It was like licking the bottom of a pan he’d let burn on the stove.

“God, that’s awful,” he croaked. His eyes were squeezed shut as he tried to will the taste out of his mouth.

After a moment he opened his eyes to find both women behind the counter watching him. The seated one looked sympathetic to his plight, but the one with pink hair was openly laughing at him now, which only stoked his rage back to a fiery burn.

“Too hot?” his coffee nemesis asked pleasantly.

He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, not caring what he looked like at this point.

“That is revolting,” he coughed out. “How can anyone drink this?”

Again, her eyebrows lifted, but she no longer looked amused. “The best coffee in the Philly area?” she asked. “Oh, somehow people seem to choke it down. Maybe it’s not the coffee, but you who are the problem.”


Blurb

A grumpy former hockey player and a bisexual coffee-shop owner refuse to commit—to themselves or each other—in this fun, flirty debut

Piper Welborn has created a warm, welcoming space for all in her queer-inclusive coffee shop, even if the long hours came at the cost of her love life. But she’s not ready to welcome one man in particular—a grumpy, muscular former hockey player. His smoldering presence is a temptation and a challenge to her long-standing vow not to date cis men.

Gavin Williams has no business starting a relationship, least of all with a woman he’s not sure even likes him. He can’t resist the Friendly Bean’s hot, pink-haired owner, but a casual fling is all he can commit to. He’s hoping to leave town for the next stage in his career…if he ever gets the call with the job offer.

A friends-with-benefits arrangement is perfect for them both—but neither is ready for the feelings that hit. When the post-hockey life Gavin always dreamed of is suddenly within his grasp, they’ll both have to make a choice: hold tight to what they thought life should look like, or work together to build something new.

Firebirds

Book 1: Too Much Man


Bio

Katy James lives outside of Philadelphia, and when she’s not writing works as an archivist and rare book librarian. She writes charming and sexy romance stories that get to the heart of falling in love and finding one’s place in today’s world, and where the happily-ever-afters are satisfying, empowering, and available to everyone. Too Much Man is her debut novel.

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