One Bossy Dare: An Enemies to Lovers Romance

One Bossy Dare: An Enemies to Lovers Romance

Nicole Snow

About the Book

It was one little dare with razor-sharp teeth梬ork for him.

Yes, he's a fire-breathing grump and gazillionaire bachelor.

Yes, I just gave him an ego check he'll never forget.

Yes, he's still offering me the job dreams are made of.

But Cole Lancaster is the stuff of bossy nightmares.

Too handsome for real life. Big Coffee kingpin. Guarded papa bear.

His precious daughter is the only reason he ever stops grumping for five seconds.

I'm sure I can deal with his scowls and cutting glances for one huge payday.

Only, sometimes your best assumptions are dead wrong.

Like the business trip to paradise that shows me a different Cole.

A man with a beating heart and a billion-dollar smile.

A master of soul-stealing kisses.

A mess of secrets that leave me reeling.

I wish my taste in men didn't match my coffee.

Strong, steamy, and unspeakably complicated.

When I took the job, I didn't know the risks.

What if one crazy dare means falling in love?


Shut The Cup Up (Eliza)

Some people imagine their life has a soundtrack.

A background score of meaningful songs to pulse and highlight and push along every drama that touches their lives.

Not me. My life has always had a smell trailing it like sweet perfume, and I wouldn抰 trade it for the world.

I never get down to business until I抦 adrift in coffee-scented heaven.

揟hanks for letting me in early, Wayne. It抯 easier to focus before you抮e officially open.?I brush a thick strand of dark hair out of my eye.

揂nytime, Eliza. I抦 a sucker for good company.?Wayne slides a steaming cup of Wired Cup抯 latest brew across the counter, picks up a dish towel, and swipes it across the gleaming espresso machine.

It抯 a comforting, familiar routine I抳e watched a hundred times.

Bringing the cup to my mouth, I slowly take a sip. This isn抰 just chasing a caffeine high. Ever since I had my grandmother抯 stovetop insta-coffee, this is my waking ritual.

揇ark roast.?I take another small sip, smacking my lips. ?..with notes of cacao??

揅lose! It抯 a Sumatran roast,?he tells me, scratching his thick beard.

揌eated at one eighty??

He gives me a derisive look. Obviously, lady, what kind of newbie punk do you think I am? He doesn抰 even have to say it for me to hear him thinking out loud.

When it comes to coffee, it takes one to know one.

I narrow my eyes at him anyway.

揙h, you抮e serious? Yes, all our drinks in this class are heated at one eighty. Company policy.?

揟hat抯 what I thought. This is just...well, better than the usual. I can taste the layers. It抯 pretty decent棓 I pause, giving him an exaggerated shrug. 揊or a chain, anyway.?

Wayne throws his head back and barks a laugh.

揅offee snob. I knew I kept you around for some reason.?

I smile. 揑抦 not. You know how open-minded I am. Good brews are like fingerprints梩hey give a time, a place, a memory. You never know where you抣l find yourself until that next cup. Magic.?

揝hit, lady, don抰 put me on a pedestal. I抦 no coffee wizard, just a guy making a living.?He starts organizing tall bottles of flavored syrups on the back counter.

When Wayne looks back at me, there抯 a grimace on his face.

揑t抯 like the evening crew never even works,?he mutters. 揑f you want magic, you won抰 find it in this crapsack. Maybe try Sweeter Grind. Their coffee slaps and I hear those big-ass cinnamon rolls they抳e got are to die for.?

I raise my eyebrows. 揇ude. You抮e not supposed to be pimping the competition.?

揈h, they don抰 pay me enough not to. But listen, I can抰 talk as much as I抎 like today. I have this meeting soon with management. I抦 probably gonna get a second asshole ripped in my skin if I don抰 get this place in shipshape. Evening crew always makes us look bad.?

I nod politely and take another long pull from my perfectly decent brew.

I understand.

What you抮e seeing is what Wired Cup has done best for decades梘ood, easy, reliable coffee without any frills or hipster wackiness. It抯 entrenched as the second strongest coffee chain in Seattle for a reason.

The people are a lot like the coffee, too.

Wayne, for instance. He抯 a good barista梐lways remembers my coffee order and graciously gives me this quiet space to think and breathe and experiment梑ut he takes his job seriously. He抯 almost like a battle-hardened soldier who抯 numb to the daily grind.

I抎 better leave him be. Grabbing the hot cup with one hand and my purse with the other, I slink over to a table against the wall where I抣l be out of the way.

My handbag swings off my elbow, big enough to command its own zip code, banging my hip with every step. As soon as I sit, I let it tumble to the floor and pull out a notebook and pen, along with a small mason jar that holds the goods.

I know.

It isn抰 polite to bring other drinks into a place like this梟ot even beverages I made.

Good thing Wayne doesn抰 care.

And Wired Cup is just corporate enough not to make any moral muscles twitch.

I discreetly open the mason jar holding my latest blend for research and take a long, thoughtful sip of the dark, potent liquid inside.

Hello, flavor town.

Population: me.

I抦 legit proud of how my fire-roasted coffee tastes smoother than velvet, and it抯 about a hundred times stronger than the Wired Cup offering. Smoky, loud, and intense enough to make my toes scrunch up in my shoes.


I抦 either way too addicted to playing coffee chemist or in desperate need of getting laid.

My eyes fall to the Wired Cup brew again. Their new featured flavor is definitely good, for a chain. But there抯 still something too generic about it.

I pull out a water bottle to clear my palate and then sip from the paper cup for comparison.

Yep. Hints of cacao, faint as a whisper.

That抯 the big difference between this new 揻eatured flavor?and their usual drip. The cacao is nice and smooth for a dark roast, playing at being mocha-lite. But you抎 better believe the average person still needs two cups of this to get through a morning. I抦 sure I抎 need four.

It gives me an idea, though...

S抦ores coffee.

If I combined my latest creation with just the right sweetness, it could actually work.

I抳e been working on this campfire brew for months, ever since a guy in a homeless camp introduced me to the original version. It gives the beans a unique buzz no chain like Wired Cup could ever replicate if they ever even worked up the appetite for risk.

What if a little cacao is the missing ingredient I need to make this a mouth-gasm?

I smile. A few cacao beans added to the campfire blend, plus caramelized sugar and vanilla. Pair it with a cookie from a Belgian chocolatier to stand in for a graham cracker.

Hell. Yes.

My muse is on fire today. Even if the coffee doesn抰 work梐nd let抯 face it, some of my concoctions are pretty out-there梚t won抰 be hard to find tasters in this town with Belgian cookies attached.

I take a hefty swig from the mason jar, trying not to moan.

So good.

It tastes like a summer camping trip with old-school coffee brewed by a couple of hot lumberjacks in flannel. As a s抦ores coffee, it could be devastatingly awesome.

I just need to work on the name.


Meh, it抯 a work in progress.

But it is a summer morning. A peaceful one.

I don抰 have any deadlines staring me in the face, so I抦 not desperate for caffeine to be functional. And the Wired Cup brew is still warm. I go to the condiment bar, drop in sugar and cream, and sit down to savor the warm coffee with a few add-ins to change the taste.

It抯 not Eliza Angelo campfire good, but it抯 nice enough.

I start jotting down notes in my worn black leather journal that holds the last three years of my coffee recipes. Someday, my pretties will live for a bigger audience than yours truly and a gaggle of tasters.