If You Believe cover
Part of the Unbelievable series:
Editions:eBook - Second Edition

When it comes to her love life, the name of Aubrey Mathison’s coffee shop says it all: “Bean There, Done That”. There’s only one harmless man in her life right now—the homeless one parked outside the shop. Except the crazy things he says keep coming true.

She has to laugh at “You’ll meet your soul mate today”, though. Divorce taught her that men as gorgeous as sexy police chief Price Delacroix are not to be trusted. She’s totally up for a one-night stand, but more than that? No, thanks.

Price bears his own scars from the past, but he knows instantly that Aubrey is his. How to convince her he wants more than to be her personal jungle gym? Cut her off. That means no more mattress gymnastics—until she starts seeing things his way.

Aubrey is just as determined Price’s campaign to wear down her resistance is going to fail, no matter how wickedly determined he is. Until her resident prophet spouts a new prediction: her soul mate’s life is in danger.

Note: This book was previously published and has been revised from its original release.

Imprint: CJ Books

Cedarville, Oregon

“The end is near!” the grubby man shouted at Aubrey as she walked past. He waved a big sign that said the same thing in fire engine red letters.

The end of what though? The world? America? Poverty? The bad song blasting out of his boom box? She was hoping for that last one as she dumped some change into the rusted coffee can next to him.

“Hi, Jericho.” She gave him a wide berth. The homeless guy was certifiably nuts, but harmless, and she’d been forking whatever change she had in her pockets into his can for a couple of months. Every day since he’d parked his unwashed self on the park bench across from her coffee shop Bean There, Done That.

“Howdy, Aubrey!” Jericho gave her a gap-tooth grin before he sobered abruptly, his eyes taking on a weird intensity. “Beware of fire today.”


She blinked at him, chills crawling over her skin at the weird statement. Opening her mouth to ask what the hell he was babbling about, she stopped. He’d already started humming along with the radio. Yep, the man was definitely not playing with a full deck.

“Yeah, okay. Thanks, Jericho.” She waved as she jogged across the street through the early morning fog.

A wave of deep satisfaction rolled through her when she approached the front of her shop. It’d been open for over three years and business was booming. She’d moved to Cedarville from Portland after her divorce was final because she’d needed a change of pace, a change of place. She’d caught her ex screwing one of the waitresses at the restaurant they’d owned, so she screwed him in the divorce settlement. Was she bitter? Oh, yeah. Almost eight years as Mrs. Scott Roberts had gotten her nothing except a broken heart and broken dreams.

Scott had cured her of any girlish longings for love and commitment. Now she kept it light and fun with the men she dated. She’d found it was easier for everyone that way. No one got hurt, especially not her.

Unlocking the side entrance, she turned off the security system and went through the routine of opening up the shop. After the chaos and rush of being the head pastry chef at a trendy restaurant in Portland, Bean There, Done That was nirvana. The mornings were her alone time, when the whole world came down to this Zen place with just her, the ovens, and the smell of baking pastries and fresh brewed coffee.

Susan would be in soon to help Aubrey with the morning rush, but this time was all Aubrey’s. The time flew by and before she knew it, Susan’s massive combat boots were tromping into the kitchen. Glancing up, Aubrey stifled a snort. Over the boots, Susan wore a lacy black Victorian style dress. “Heya, Aubrey.”

The only dress code for employees was that they wear a black outfit with the black and green Bean There, Done That apron over it. Susan liked to take the uniform to the next level. “Morning.”

The younger woman checked the daily menu Aubrey had written on the chalkboard out front and then took the chairs off the tables to set up for the day. Thirty minutes until they opened. They worked in companionable silence. One of the reasons she had Susan on the morning shift was that she didn’t chatter.

Wiping a last bit of flour off her hands, Aubrey turned to Susan before walking into the back room. “I’ll grab the last batch of lemon cakes out of the oven if you watch the glaze on the stove.”

“Sure thing, boss lady.” Susan’s braids bobbed when she nodded.

Just as Aubrey flipped off the ovens and pulled out the hot pans, a shriek came from the front. Her heart seized in terror before it leaped into a gallop. Slapping the pans onto the cooling racks, she raced for the other room. Flames danced across the stovetop, and Susan lay in a crumpled heap on the floor. “Susan!”

A customer wandered in the door, and Aubrey rounded on him like a madwoman. “Do you have a cell phone?”

He nodded, staring blankly from her to the fire. “Then go outside and call 911.”

Reality seemed to hit him. He jerked his cell out of his pocket, spun, and bolted for the door. She turned back to Susan.

“Oh. God.” OhGodOhGodOhGod. Sweat ran in rivulets down Aubrey’s face, her heart pounding so hard she thought it might explode.

The fire hit a dishtowel that had flopped onto the floor near Susan. No time to grab the fire extinguisher. Dropping to her hands and knees, Aubrey crawled as fast as she could to Susan’s side, wrapped an arm around her, and slid her as far away from the flames as possible. The heat rolled over Aubrey, drying her eyes out while every instinct inside her screamed to run. To escape the danger. But she couldn’t leave the younger woman.

Aubrey hacked and wheezed as the smoke got thicker. Jesus, she needed to get the fire extinguisher. Staggering to her feet, she snatched the bright red canister off the wall. The smoke seemed to follow her, and when she spun she realized that the ends of her hair were on fire. Terror exploded through her and she frantically slapped the flames out, her shriek dissolving into a whistling cough as the smoke burned her throat. A sob bubbled up, but she ripped the pin out of the extinguisher and hosed the stove down with white foam. It went everywhere, all over the stove, her, the counters, her, the floor, her. Smoke boiled up while the flames slowly died out.

Whooping sounded in the air as the whole fire department, an ambulance, and a police car rolled up to the front of the shop. Thank God. Tears streamed from her eyes, as much from relief and residual fear as from the acrid smoke. Her lungs burned like she’d sucked the flames down her throat. She sank to her knees beside Susan and closed her eyes. No way was she leaving Susan alone in here, even if the fire was out.

The firefighters bundled both women up and got them out, slapping an oxygen mask on Aubrey in the process. Smoke inhalation, they said. Yeah, she could believe it. She grabbed one fireman’s sleeve. Fire damage and the mask made her sound like Darth Vader. “Will she be okay?”

Mason Delacroix. She knew this man. He ordered a black coffee every day at noon. He nodded down at her. “Yeah. She seems to be doing all right. Looks like she’s waking up. We’ll know more when they get her to Cedarville General.”

Aubrey clamored into the ambulance beside Susan, ignoring the protest from one of the paramedics. What was he going to do, toss her out? They both knew she was going to have to get checked out by a doctor anyway. This way it was one trip for Susan and Aubrey.

Only then did it occur to her that her business was trashed. A million details bounced through her head, but she couldn’t focus on one of them. Police reports, insurance claims, cleaning up the mess. God, what a mess. It was too much for her right now. Her thoughts slid away, so she closed her eyes and let herself rest. Just for a moment. Weariness dragged at her very bones, and she hung on to Susan’s hand as the ambulance sped through the normally quiet streets of her little town.


“How’s that?” Celia Occam, Aubrey’s flamboyant best-friend-cum-hairstylist, spun the chair around so she could look at herself. Today Celia wore ragged blue jeans and ropes of black pearls. Somehow she pulled it off. With style.

She’d cut the scorched ends off Aubrey’s long hair. Instead of the waist length, flat mahogany sheet she usually wore, Celia had layered it up to Aubrey’s bra strap and thrown some highlights in. It made her look younger than thirty-four and set off the grey-blue of her eyes. She turned her head to get a peek at the back. “Nice. Very nice.”

“I know.” Twirling the silver cape away from Aubrey’s shoulders, Celia brushed a few stray hairs off her shirt.

“Yeah, you’ve just been waiting for an excuse to do whatever you want to my hair.” Aubrey’s voice came out a smoky drawl. Her throat still ached a bit from the smoke, but the doctor said she would be fine in no time.

“Heck, yeah, girlfriend.” Celia smirked, and Aubrey rolled her eyes in return.

The bell over the door tinkled, and both Celia and Aubrey turned towards it to see who was coming in. Celia groaned and closed her eyes before offering the newcomer a glare. Aubrey bit her lip to hide a grin that might get her scalped bald. Mason Delacroix was the bane of Celia’s existence. He asked her out at least once a week. Aubrey had no idea why her friend kept turning him down. He was a firefighter, built like a Greek god, and had a Vin Diesel thing going on with his shaved head. If that wasn’t enough, his green eyes always had a twinkle of wicked mischief in them. The man was beyond good-looking. If he wasn’t so into her best friend, Aubrey would ask him out herself.