ABOUT THE BOOK
Series: Left at the Crossroads #2
Author: Sue Brown
Length: 43,000 words/139 Pages
Release Date: April 15, 2015
Blurb: Little Mowbury is a sleepy
English village deep in the Cotswolds. The kind of village where you’re only a
local if your lineage can be traced back to the dinosaurs. Where you can find
everything in the single village shop from morning newspapers to dry-cleaning,
and getting your shoes mended. And, of course, where everybody knows everybody
else’s business. It’s easy to find… you can’t miss it… just ask anyone and
they’ll tell you… “It’s left at the crossroads.”
Eighteen months ago Jason Havers lost the love of
his life and it’s time to move on. Applying for the position of chef in a
sleepy country pub, a million miles away from his previous life, may well be
the fresh start he needs. His new employers immediately take him under their
wing and before long he finds himself with a passel of new friends and a job he
loves. What he doesn’t expect is Tom, a gorgeous midwife, who stirs up feelings
he’s not ready to deal with.
But when someone from his previous life turns up in
Little Mowbury, will Jason be able to keep them from revealing the secret he’s
been keeping from those he’s come to love?
Jason Havers drove down the narrow village street
looking for the Thatcher’s Arms. The farmer’s directions to Little Mowbury had
been clear enough, even if he had mumbled into his beard; turn left at the
crossroads and keep driving.
“But when the hell am I meant to stop?” Jason
muttered. He’d reached Little Mowbury and he still hadn’t found the bloody pub.
He’d left plenty of time to find the place, not wanting to be late for the job
interview, but there had been congestion on the motorway. The stupid satnav had
given up with a mile and a half to go, leaving him cursing at the useless piece
of technology and driving through unmarked country lanes for twenty minutes
until he found a human who could give him directions. Now he had ten minutes to
find the pub before he could kiss the interview goodbye. “It’s on the left,” he
muttered. “On the left.”
Something out of the corner of his right eye
caught his attention and he slammed on the brakes, missing the man who’d
stepped out in front of him by a hair’s breath. The bloke actually had the gall
to glare at him and give him the finger before he disappeared into one of the
pounding, Jason sat back in the driver’s seat and stared after the arsehole. He
shook his head in disbelief and said sarcastically, “Welcome to Little Mowbury,
A loud honk behind him made Jason jump and he
cursed as he stalled the engine before he finally managed to get the car
started again. Waving his apology to the car behind, he pulled away and there
it was, fifty yards down the road opposite the village green. A typical English
village pub with a thatched roof, wooden tables outside and large hanging
the car at the edge of the green and jogged towards the pub. Then he stopped
and squinted at the ridge of the roof, grinning as he spied the thatched duck
perched on the top. He had three minutes before eleven o’clock. Not good but at
least he wasn’t late. He paused in the doorway of the Thatcher’s Arms, his eyes
adjusting to the dark interior after the brightness of the late morning
“Come in, son. You’re making the place look
Still blind from the sun, Jason moved towards the
voice, which he discovered as he drew closer, belonged to an elderly lady who
stood behind the bar.
“What can I get you?” she asked, looking at him
expectantly. Her huge, dangling earrings rattled as she talked. Jason tried not
to focus on them, but better to look at the earrings than her impressive chest
which was really distracting, even for him.
“Uh… I’m Jason.”
She looked at him with a blank expression.
“Jason Havers. I’m here to interview for the
chef’s position. We spoke on the phone?”
Her expression had moved on from blank to puzzled
and Jason’s mind raced as he wondered whether he’d got the wrong day or time,
or even the wrong fucking pub.
beamed at him as she leaned on the bar. “Sorry, luv, I completely forgot. It’s
been manic here this morning. We’ve only just cleared the breakfast crowd and
we’ve got to get ready for lunch. Colin, he’s my hubby, isn’t feeling too
chipper this morning and Rich, the other chef, has had to go to the dentist.
I’m Maggie Mason.” She shook Jason’s hand. He resisted the desire to wince and
flex his fingers as she let it go. For an elderly woman she had a bloody firm
looked around him. The bar was half-full but he could see the tables hadn’t
been bussed and there were dirty glasses at one end of the bar. “Can I help? I
can give you a hand with the lunch. That is, if you want me to, I mean….”
Maggie nodded and handed him an apron. “If you
want a baptism by fire, you’re on. I’ll interview you as we go. Do you mind
clearing the tables?”
dirty plates at that end of the bar and I’ll take ‘em through to the kitchen.”
Although Jason was a chef by trade, he’d done
most of the jobs required in restaurants and pubs. He started at one end of the
bar and worked down, removing the remains of the breakfasts and cleaning the
tables. As Jason worked he was conscious of the other customers staring and
whispering about him. Maggie grinned at him as he delivered the dirty plates.
“Are the locals giving you a hard time?”
Jason smirked. “They just want to know about the
new boy in town.” He tilted his head at the two old gents sat in the snug.
Maggie scowled at them but it was more
affectionate than fierce and the old guys raised their pint glasses in response.
“They’re the worst of the lot. Never tell them your business. It’ll be all
round the village before you’ve had a chance to breathe.
“You’re the one who flaps her mouth, Maggie May.”
An elderly man with an amazing amount of snow-white hair wrapped his arms
around Maggie and tugged him against her.
but didn’t try to move away from him. “Jason, this is my husband, Colin. Ignore
everything he says. I’m the one in charge.”
Colin shook Jason’s hand. “Pleased to meet you,
Jason. We just let Maggie think she’s in charge—for a quiet life.”
understand,” Jason assured him then winked at Maggie, who burst out laughing.
“I like him. I think we’ll keep him.”
haven’t tried my cooking yet,” Jason pointed out.
looked at her watch. “You’d better get in the kitchen. Rich did the preparation
before he left.”
Colin frowned at his wife. “I thought he was here
for an interview?”
decided to make it a practical interview. He offered to help clear up.”
son. The kitchen is all yours. I’ll show you round.” As Jason followed Colin he
noticed the man shuffled one of his feet. Colin saw his gaze and shrugged. “I
had a stroke the end of last year. I’m fine now but I still struggle walking
why you’re looking for another chef?”
been great. He’s picked up most of the shifts, but he’s found a girl in
Southampton and he wants to spend more time with her. We agreed to split his
Jason frowned. “So the job isn’t full-time?” He
couldn’t afford to work part-time. Not now he was on his own.
“It is, but split over breakfast, lunch and
dinner. You’ll have more than enough to do.” Colin opened the door to the
“Wow.” Jason blinked as he looked at the
stainless steel kitchen. He was hard put not to drool as he gazed around. “This
Colin said. “We replaced it just before my stroke.”
orders, boys.” Maggie handed them to Jason, ignoring Colin’s outstretched hand.
“Three mixed grills and hold the bacon on one of them.”
Colin limped to the fridge. “I’ll give you a hand
if you want.”
Jason was about to protest he was fine on his
own, but realised this was part of his interview. “Sounds good to me.”
They worked efficiently together with Colin
holding back as Jason got the hang of the kitchen. Colin nodded in approval as
he plated the order then Jason delivered the food to a family sitting in one
corner of the bar.
at them all. “Who wants the no bacon?”
A teenage girl with soft curls and large eyes
smiled shyly at him. “That’s mine.”
The man with her looked at his plate. “This looks
amazing.” His stomach rumbled audibly and he blushed as his wife scolded him.
grinned at them. “That’s what I like to hear. You’re my very first customers.
As he walked past Maggie she handed him more
orders. “It’s Thursday, so it’s liver and bacon day. Don’t forget the extra
gravy for Deano Wells.”
Jason ruffled through the orders. “How will I
know which one is his?”
usually the only one who orders liver and bacon,” Colin said drily.
shrugged. “We look after our customers.”
has her favourites and they get whatever they want,” Colin said as they
retreated to the kitchen. “I just shut up and do as I’m told.”
“Bollocks,” Maggie yelled behind them.
“I’ll make sure to do the same thing.” Jason
deliberately raised his voice and smirked at Colin when Maggie responded with a
“You’ll do just fine here,” Colin said.
really hoped so because he hadn’t got nearly enough of this kitchen. “Tell me
that at the end of the lunch session.”
Jason worked hard for a couple of hours until the
rush died off. He was clearing up the last of the dishes when Maggie came in
and handed him an envelope.
“What’s this?” He opened it to see a few ten
“Your pay for today. You came for an interview,
not to manage the kitchen. The job is yours if you want it.”
He cheered inside, but there were practical
details to sort out. “I’ll need to find somewhere to stay. I couldn’t do this
journey every day.”
Maggie pursed her lips before she said, “There’s
a room upstairs if you want it. We used to run a B&B but after Colin’s
stroke it became too much. There’s a room and a private bathroom.”
Jason hesitated for only a second. Although
Maggie didn’t know it, this was the answer to his prayers. He had the chance to
get away and make a fresh start. Away from David, and away from all the friends
who looked at him as though he was broken. Those that had even bothered to
“When do you want me to start?” He beamed at her
and she grinned back.
“You can start Monday, but Saturday is Cricket
Day for the village. Why don’t you stay Friday night and meet everyone before
you start work?”
Jason opened his mouth to say it was too soon
then closed it again. “Sure. I’ll drive over tomorrow evening, Mrs. Mason.”
Maggie held out her hand. “Welcome to the family,
son. Call me Maggie.”
He dried his hand and shook it. “Thanks, Maggie.
This means a lot to me.”
welcome. Now finish cleaning those dishes.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sue Brown is owned by
her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she be found
haunting coffee shops to feed her coffee addiction. She spends hours people-watching
instead of typing. She feeds the plot bunnies, not the word count.
Sue discovered M/M
erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite
television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late
to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was
brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction
Win a copy of Lisa Worrall’s
‘Un-expected’ and 3 runners up will get to pick any one of Sue Brown’s books!