For Tilly meeting up with her ex-husband is as traumatic as can be. Now her father has invited him in to their business, Tilly Teas, she is seeing far too much of him. He cheated on her and betrayed her in the worst possible way… but perhaps it was not entirely his fault.
Tilly starts to see things from Marsh’s point of view and that isn’t good, for either of them, especially as it seems he is involved with someone else. Talk about a storm in a teacup!
Published by Whiskey Creek Press
EBook formats ISBN: 978-1-61160-208-1
Trade paperback ISBN: 978-1-61160-511-2
Tilly’s Trials Excerpt
“I’ve made a list and I’ve a suggestion about what we should do.”
“I’m sorry?” Tilly faced Marsh Masterson across the desk. Glad she was sitting behind it she sat up really straight, shoulders pressed back. She had taken ages to choose the right outfit for the first day working with him. A dark blue suit and a deep mustard silk blouse, business-like and a whole wardrobe away from the smart casual gear she usually wore to work.
“There are a couple of Tilly cafes that aren’t working. I think it’s to do with the managers. They are letting down the brand.”
“And how do you know this?”
“I had a Customer survey taken. Your dad and I organized it before I came in. It was my suggestion of course. After all I wanted to know whether I was getting involved with a duck egg company, or not.”
“Charming vocabulary, I see you haven’t changed that much.” Of course, to carry on with his fowl imagery her rebuke was, water of a duck’s back, he would be impervious to insult. He always had been. He was a man so damn sure of himself.
As to his, with her father’s treacherous connivance, action in doing the survey, well that should not surprise her any, it was the way he worked, underhanded. Mum always paid a visit personally to the cafes, that way she knew what was working and what was not. He had to do it via a customer survey instead of being the customer himself.
He lounged back into the chair, crossing his long legs, as if he was waiting for an explosion. Well she would not give him that.
“Can I check them out?” she asked.
“Sure.” He slid the file across to her; his hand was very suntanned against the sparkling whiteness of his shirt cuff. His hands were large and capable. Once they had been scarred by hard work but a swift glance showed her they had softened. He no longer had to work on building sites to earn a crust.
Tilly would have found his rise from near poverty to having a fortune, admirable in anyone else, yet somehow she could not quite do that with him. There was no room in her heart for him to earn any credit from her!
Skimming the figures Tilly could see the huge discrepancies between the six Tilly Tea outlets he had underlined in red. How had she not noticed that? Tilly knew she wasn’t an idiot and had a sharp eye for business. But she had been grieving, she had thrown herself into work but somehow things had been slipping.
Although spending hours at the office, she had not been very productive. How many days did she merely sit and remember and grieve for her mother? Too many she guessed, judging by these figures.
“So what do you have in mind?” she asked, realizing that just then she did not know what she wanted to do about it.
“I think we should go and try them out. You can only trust surveys to a certain extent, the best business people go and look themselves. Of course we would have to be in disguise, or rather you would.”
So, he shot down her theory about him not being aware that the best way to assess a business was to turn up in person, albeit in a rather dramatic way.
“I suppose a lot of people do know me. Mum used to take me with her when she did that kind of thing.”
“I think you should go…”he hesitated, stroking his chin. “Really blond, lots of flowing hair, skimpy dress, like one of those girls in the celebrity magazine.” His eyes were crinkled but there was no smile on his face. It looked as if he were holding a laugh inside him.
“In your dreams!” she muttered. “Much as I know you like that type I have no intention of becoming your fantasy…”
“Don’t flatter yourself, Tilly I have no fantasies about you.”
“I didn’t say you had, I was just letting you know that I am aware of the kind of look that turns you on.”
At last he gave in allowing a rather crooked smile to invade his lips. It made her want to slap it right off his face.
Smug and self satisfied. That was what she called it.