Unbelievable cover
Editions:eBook - Second Edition

Three ladies have one thing to say to love: “Make me.”

If You Believe
When a homeless man predicts she’ll meet her soul mate today, Aubrey only laughs and points to the name of her coffee shop: “Bean There, Done That.”

She’s sure sexy police chief Price Delacroix’s campaign to wear down her resistance is doomed to fail. Until her resident prophet spouts a new prediction: her soul mate’s life is in danger.

Believe in Me
Guardian angel Tori is holding up her end for her current client, but his soul mate’s angel is failing big time. Then a replacement steps in: Jericho, the man who broke her heart—and made her determined to never repeat her own guardian angel’s failures. Jericho’s not about to let Tori slip away again. But if he can’t convince her they’re destined to be together, they face an eternity of consequences…

Make Me Believe
Celia’s convinced there’ll be no “third time’s a charm” in the marriage department. She’ll scratch the occasional itch with the right man, but flirtatious firefighter Mason Delacroix is all wrong. Mason wants Celia, and he’s ready for something permanent. When their self-appointed guardian angels lock them in the basement, the ice starts to melt—and their long-denied chemistry explodes.

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


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.

Celia claimed that she didn’t want to settle down and that he was the marrying kind, but Aubrey just thought that meant she was being a pansy about it. She didn’t have to let it go far enough to be serious. Shag him and get it out of her system was Aubrey’s advice. Celia hadn’t taken the suggestion so far.

He arched a brow and grinned at Celia. “Don’t worry. I’m not here for you…this time.”

Her brown eyes narrowed to slits, and Aubrey thought she saw the barest flash of jealousy on the hairstylist’s face. “Who are you here for then? And why couldn’t it wait until after she left my salon?”

“Seeing you is the bonus, honey. I need to speak to Ms. Mathison.”

Pursing her lips at him, Aubrey lifted her eyebrows. “Oh, do not put me in the middle of the little hard-to-get games you two play.”

But his face fell into serious lines. “I’ve gone over every inch of your shop with the Fire Marshall, and we have questions about why the alarm and sprinkler system didn’t go off, because your building and system are up to code.”

“Oh.” She blinked, processing the abrupt change of topic. She’d been so focused on getting out of the fire that she hadn’t even thought about the sprinkler system—and now she felt completely stupid for not thinking about it. “Damn. That was an expensive system too. What the hell happened?”

“We think it was a malfunction. Nothing looked tampered with.” He nodded, total confidence radiating from his handsome face, and she finally got why everyone assumed he was a shoo-in to take over the fire department in the next few years. “However, Price wants to meet with you personally to take your report and go over the events of yesterday.”

Price Delacroix was the new Chief of Police and Mason’s older brother. He’d followed Mason to Cedarville a few months before. She hadn’t met him yet, but the buzz around town was that he was a hotshot ex-SWAT officer from L.A. and that he was as gorgeous as his brother. Not that she cared what he looked like right now. She needed to get her livelihood back up and running. A malfunctioning fire system was a glitch she didn’t need—not to mention how that piece of news was going to go over with her insurance company.

A headache began to pound, and she rubbed a hand over her forehead. “All right then. You’ll be in touch about this later, won’t you?”

“Count on it.” His broad shoulder lifted in a shrug. “I’m sorry about all of this, Aubrey.”

“Thanks.” She sighed, shrugging to stretch the tight muscles in her neck and arms. At least Susan was okay—her mother would pick her up and take her home later that day. All she’d had was a mild concussion after she’d tripped over her combat boots and cracked her head on the counter, spilling glaze all over the stove and starting the fire.

Bean There, Done That wasn’t quite as lucky as the two of them. The police had taped off Aubrey’s shop until an officer could come take her statement. She was meeting him in twenty minutes. Apparently, that meant she was meeting with the chief himself. She winced. A part of her didn’t want to see the mess she knew would be inside. It had looked bad enough from the outside this morning. Her shop was the refuge she’d used to get over the heartache of her divorce. Seeing it damaged and broken wasn’t something she relished, especially with this extra complication Mason just threw in her lap.

“Okay, honey. I need to go take care of this. Thank you, you’re a genius and my personal hair goddess.” She smacked a kiss on Celia’s cheek and handed her enough bills to pay for the new hairdo and a big tip.

Grinning, Celia gave her a quick hug. “Take care, babe. Call me if you need to ugly-cry over Bean There, Done That.”

Celia had come to pick her up from the hospital the day before, and she’d fussed and cosseted and basically made Aubrey feel better. They’d had a girls’ night in with bad movies and good takeout food. It had almost kept her mind off her crispy fried business. Almost.

“Thanks. I hope I don’t need to ugly-cry, but…thanks.” Aubrey tugged her purse strap over her shoulder, walked outside, and looked both ways before crossing the street to the town square.

A park dominated the square, with manicured pathways, public art, and playgrounds dotting the open space. One corner of the square had been converted into a dog park the year before, which had sparked more controversy than the last presidential election.

The shops that faced the square were the most desirable commercial real estate in Cedarville. Aubrey and Celia each occupied one of those spaces. Celia’s salon, Occam’s Razor, was on the opposite side of the park from Bean There, Done That.

Aubrey jogged along a path through the square, already fishing in her pocket for some change for Jericho. She couldn’t see him through the trees yet, but he was always there. He was as reliable as rain in the Pacific Northwest. And there he was, his scraggly hat coming into view. His boom box blasted out old ’70s rock today—a major improvement over yesterday’s ear grinding noise. He smiled when he spotted her. “Hey, Aubrey! Sorry about your shop.”

Sudden tears smarted her eyes, and she had to stare up at the sky for a minute to keep them from falling. How bad would it be in there? She swallowed and dropped the coins into his coffee can. “Mornin’, Jericho.”

“Are you all right?” Concern swam in his grey eyes, and he snatched off his hat to crumple it between his filthy hands. His hair stood up in ragged silver patches. “I didn’t mean to make you cry.”

“Don’t worry about it.” She folded her arms over her T-shirt and sniffled.

He laced his fingers together over his flat belly. “Well, I believe everything happens for a reason. There’s a logic to this happening.”

Her mouth dropped open, and for probably the first time in her life, she had no idea what to say. She sputtered for a long moment, just staring at the crazy man. “Whose logic are we talking about?”

“The Man Upstairs, of course.”

Shaking her head, she continued to stare as if he’d grown a second head. “You amaze me, Jericho. You’re sitting there on a park bench—homeless—and you’re talking about how everything is right with the world.”

“What do you believe in, Aubrey?” His silver gaze sharpened as he focused on her face. She felt pinned in place, a bug in a high school science lab.

Narrowing her eyes, she refused to feel uncomfortable. His religion was not her issue—and she didn’t have to agree with him. Besides, how many people got everything is sunshiny because of God speeches from hobos? It was unreal. She was having a seriously weird couple of days. “Are you trying to convert me, Jericho?”

He chuckled. “I asked what you believe in. I don’t need to convert anyone. My faith is what it is.”

“Okay. Fine.” She jammed her fists down on her hips. “What’s the reason my shop caught fire?”

“That’s easy.” A contented smile washed over his face and the intense moment was gone. He whistled a little tune. His voice was just this side of dreamy when he said, “So you could meet your soul mate today.”

She rolled her eyes and spun away. Why was she debating with a nut-ball? She was going to have to start questioning her own sanity. Soul mate? Riiiiight. She didn’t believe in soul mates. She’d given up on love a long time ago. Been there, done that. She’d named her shop that for a reason. It was her motto. Scott was the only man she’d ever imagined coming close to being a soul mate. And he’d made sure she didn’t have any illusions left after the divorce about how much she had lacked as a wife and life partner. Love? Soul mates? She snorted.

A big, muscular man leaned against the side of a Dodge Charger outside her shop. His gaze followed her as she left Jericho and walked over to meet him. That had to be Chief Delacroix. He looked too much like Mason to be anyone else. In a town as small as Cedarville, she could identify everyone who lived here on sight. And this man had never been in her coffee shop while she was working. A shame, too. He certainly was pretty to look at—even better looking than Mason, and that was saying something.

He looked her over, assessing her. Something sparked in his green gaze but was masked in a professional demeanor before she could decide what it was. “Mrs. Mathison?”

“It’s Ms. and call me Aubrey.” She offered her hand for him to shake.

“Price Delacroix.” He had a world-weary cynicism in his eyes that made her look twice. Everything about the man made her come back for a second helping. Emerald eyes, tanned skin, dark hair, muscles that rippled under his shirt and slacks. Yum.

When his large hand engulfed hers, a shiver of pure sex went down her spine. Oh, baby. She swallowed and tried to come up with something intelligent to say. “The new police chief. From L.A.”

“Yes, ma’am.” She winced at the ma’am. Jesus, she wasn’t that old.

He jerked his chin towards the coffee shop, indicating that she should precede him. She fished around for her keys and headed for the side door. The heat from his big body embraced her, and she felt crowded up against the door. Her hormones made it clear they wouldn’t mind a bit more crowding. She cleared her throat. “So, what brings you to Cedarville?”

The first thing that hit her when she opened the door was the stench. Acrid. Smothering. Disgusting. Her business always smelled of coffee and baked goods. Now it made her stomach turn. She swallowed the lump in her throat.

“I wanted a change of pace.” His gaze swept the room where she kept most of the industrial size ovens and cooling racks. An enormous stainless steel prep table dominated the middle of the space. Through a swinging door opposite the side entrance was the main room where the fire had happened. Even from here she could see damage. Smoke and soot had stained the ceiling. Black dust covered everything. The swinging door was twisted and warped from heat.

“Burnout, huh?” She grabbed on to the conversation with the police chief for dear life. Anything to keep from thinking about how long this was going to close her shop for repairs. She turned her back on the damage and faced him. A lot of city people moved to Cedarville to get away from the high pressure of city life. She should know—she was one of them.

“Something like that.” That cynical gaze swept down her body, and she saw what kind of assessment he was doing. Sexual, carnal.

Heat followed in the wake of his gaze. Her fingers tightened into fists. What was wrong with her? Her livelihood was trashed and she was getting turned on over some guy she’d just met. Then again, if her business was in shambles, wringing herself out with a pretty man was a nice distraction. A slow smile curled her lips, and she gave him a very thorough and obvious once-over. “Married?”

“I was once. I’m divorced. You?” He crossed his arms over his chest, and she could see the delineation of his toned muscles through his dress shirt.

She shook her head. “Same. Kids?”


“Me neither.” So you could meet your soul mate today. Jericho’s words came back to her in a quick rush, but she pushed the thought away. Soul mate? Yeah, right. Bedmate? We might have a winner here. She grinned.

He arched a brow, but smiled back. Man, he had a killer smile. A flash of white teeth and the sexiest dimples she’d ever seen. His expression said he knew exactly what she was thinking, and he more than reciprocated, but his voice was all business. He pulled a pad of paper and pen out of his suit jacket. “I’m here to take your statement. About the fire.”

She nodded and forced herself to face the destruction. It was just as bad as it had been, and she swayed a little as the details bombarded her again. Strong arms caught her, tugged her against a broad chest. She leaned against him, buried her nose in his chest and inhaled the scent of him and his spicy cologne, and let herself be weak for a moment longer. But the feel of his hard planes molding to her softer curves sent a shock of lust through her that curled her toes. One of his hands stroked up her spine and bracketed the nape of her neck, tilting her head back until she looked him in the eyes. They really were the most incredible shade of green. Her body reacted, loosening some muscles, tightening others as it prepared for sex. She could feel the impressive length of his erection riding against her belly. Moisture flooded her core, and her inner muscles clenched. Her nipples hardened while the rest of her melted against him, a throb of utter want going through her. His gaze sharpened, focusing on her lips and she was certain he was going to kiss her. The heat reflected in his eyes was enough to burn.


The word jolted her back to reality. She was standing in her burned-out building ready to shove a man she’d only just met against the nearest wall and jump his bones. What was the matter with her?

“Are you all right, Ms. Mathison?” His voice was a harsh rasp, showing that he was as affected by this as she was. It was a very small comfort. His grip on her eased, and her hormones whimpered at the loss of contact. His tone gentled. “Aubrey?”

Forcing herself to pull away, she shoved a hand through her newly shortened hair and waved the other in a vague circle that encompassed the room. “I—I’m fine. Sorry about that. It’s shocking seeing it like this.”

“It’s hard to see something you love in shambles.” He squeezed her shoulder gently before stepping away. “Are you ready?”

She swallowed and nodded. Somehow it was bearable with him there as a solid, steady presence. It emanated from the man—rock-solid, dependable, a man who’d seen it all and still held people’s hands when their lives fell apart. Like he had with her. It was odd to know so much about him in just those few moments of interaction, but somehow she was certain she wasn’t wrong. She could understand why they’d hired him as police chief.

Working their way through the shop, she explained the details of what happened the day before. What she could remember of it. Some of it was a confused blur of chaos, heat, and panic. She doubted she’d ever remember all of what happened clearly. Her throat was parched and swollen from all the talking when she came to a halt beside the stove. “So, are we done here?”

“Yes.” He tucked his pen and paper back in his jacket. “You can pick up the report this afternoon.”

“Thanks.” Then she’d have to make sure it got to her insurance agency, schedule some estimates for repairs, close down until the repairs were complete and they got the horrible stink out of her shop. A headache hammered behind her eyes when she started making a list of everything she had to do, and she shoved all thought of the delicious Chief Delacroix from her mind. She had bigger things to deal with.

If Jericho was right, and the Big Man Upstairs did this on purpose, she was ready to kick Him in the shins for it.