Joy by Suzette D. Harrison
Need a delicious mix of Comedy, Drama, Romance & God? Good! My Joy was made for you!
Joy Matthews isn’t afraid of risks. She’s quit her Fortune 500 job and enrolled in culinary school, chasing her dream. Joy wants her own couture cake boutique. Pursuing her dream by day, Joy pays the bills working nights at The Hourglass—an exclusive gentlemen’s club catering to patrons who enjoy a little extra fine on a woman’s frame. Joy’s catching up to her dream when a chance encounter reconnects her with Quinton Daley, a childhood friend. Mutual attraction throws the proverbial wrench in Joy’s relationship-phobic, happily agnostic life.
A goal-oriented woman who ‘doesn’t do men with Bible breath,’ Joy sees in Quinton a whole lot of what she likes but doesn’t need. Tall, chocolate-skinned, and born-again, Quinton’s Christianity poses a risk even the tenacious Joy isn’t willing to take. Quinton Daley isn’t fazed. He’s a man of faith who’ll willingly wait on Joy to come to God…and to him. When love and lust heat up, Joy and Quinton face a predicament. Will they indulge? Or abstain? Join this wild mix of custom cakes, a saved, sanctified and sexy man, and an obsessed patron from The Hourglass who’s determined to make Joy’s life a sticky mess. It’s a recipe for a read that’s wickedly witty and delicious.
“Standing Ovation…BRAVO! BRAVO! A round of applause for Ms. Harrison. She truly out did herself with My Joy. My emotions, curiosity, and imagination remained on an all-time high throughout the story. With the way Ms. Harrison penned this story I felt like I was one of the girls and definitely had to put in my two cents. My Joy is a delightful page-turner until the very end. It will have you completely engaged. Excellent job, Ms. Harrison!” –W. Parks Brigham, Author of Sweet Romance
EXCERPT: My Joy by Suzette D. Harrison
I was bent over rifling through the icebox, as Ma’Deen would say, looking for something to drink when I found a beautiful wine bag with a bottle in it.
Bottle in hand, I straightened and looked back at Que who was busy eyeballing my behind.
Born-again or not, per that brother’s face, he liked the big ol’ booty he beheld.
If chocolate brothers could blush!
“What?” He had the nerve to sit there with that one-dimpled grin, looking guiltless like I hadn’t caught him jocking my junk.
Bottle in hand, I ignored it and let him save face. “Why is there wine in the refrigerator?”
“For reprobates like you who need communion.” Quinton found his own joke extremely funny. “It was a welcome gift from Advocate Advantage,” he explained, starting in on a second slice of cheesecake. “I like mine chilled so I put it in there for a special occasion, like the grand re-opening. But I think here and now’s about right.”
“You can’t drink this.” I put the bottle back in the refrigerator and grabbed myself an apple juice.
“Because?” Que challenged.
“You’re saved.” I reclaimed my barstool and popped the top off my drink.
“Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding,” Que countered. “If He didn’t want me to have it He wouldn’t have made it.”
“Water systems were unsanitary back then. Jesus probably did it for purification purposes, not to justify you guzzling.”
“Well, alright then, Miss Bible Scholar and Baker Extraordinaire! Miss Matthews, you are unquestionably talented,” Que complimented, pointing at his plate and what was left of his cheesecake. “If you ever go in business for yourself, I’ll be first in line.”
I hadn’t divulged my working towards that precise goal. Call it crazy, but I was protective of the dream. Still, I felt I’d find it truly easy to share that truth with Que eventually. “Thanks. Now can I get a slice or not?”
“Not.” Quinton shook his head, all the while chewing. “This has been discussed already, woman. You! Made this cheesecake. For me.”
“Are you aware that cheesecake deprivation is the leading cause of kitchen-based killings?”
Chuckling, Que scooped up enough to barely classify as a taste. “Here! Don’t say I never gave you nothing.” He grudgingly extended his fork towards me.
“That is not romantic,” I complained.
“Do you need it to be?”
Just like that, the air shifted. Got to crackling. Setting off a synergistic sexual attraction that friends shouldn’t feel.
Admittedly, no set-off was needed.
The sexual pull between Que and I seemed always active and simmering. Easier to skirt on the phone. Much more difficult to do sitting in the company of this man, the embodiment of saved, sanctified, and sexy.
I grabbed my own utensil and pierced that cheesecake, totally ignoring Que’s offering.
I did not need to taste a fork that’d touched that man’s luscious lips.
I was chewing while talking like my mother never taught me table manners, and I was raised by wolves. “What’s so special…or right about here and now?”
Que’s raised eyebrow let me know I was clear as quicksand.
“When I asked about the wine you said it was being saved for a special occasion and that here and now fit the bill.” Was I rambling? Like a dumbstruck teenager? “What makes cheesecake at the counter of what used to be a soup kitchen—though beautifully restored…inside at least—remotely special or extraordinary?”
That one simple word dipped way down in my soul and touched something that hadn’t been. Touched. In a long time. If ever.
If I felt a pull before, I felt something breaking down then: resistance.
Maybe there was an earthquake eating up that concrete foundation like crackers. Forcing the center of the room to cave in on itself, pushing everything to the middle. Or was that Quinton and I leaning towards each other like we meant for our mouths to merge?
“There’s whipped cream on your…” I whispered, unable to finish when mere centimeters from those thick, pretty lips.
Quinton smiled real sexy. “Bon appétit, my lady.”
Thank you. And, yes, please.
Honey. That. Man. Can. Kiss!
That man kissed like he laughed and ate. Deceptively slow. Leisurely. With concentrated intensity and mind-numbing energy.
Freaked-out fool, friends don’t lip-lock with friends!
My head was picketing. My hormones were happy. And humming.
I’d take hormones over head for $600, Alec. Any day. All day.
( Continued… )
© 2017 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Suzette D. Harrison. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
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About the Author
Suzette D. Harrison, a native Californian and the middle of three daughters, grew up in a home where reading was required, not requested. Her literary “career” began in junior high school with the publishing of her poetry. While Mrs. Harrison pays homage to Alex Haley, Gloria Naylor, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison as legends who inspired her creativity, it was Dr. Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings that unleashed her writing. The award-winning author of Taffy is a wife and mother who holds a culinary degree in Pastry & Baking. Mrs. Harrison is currently cooking up her next novel…in between batches of cookies.