Evie Mitchell Sweet Cover Kink in the Road (Ebook)
Evie Mitchell Steamy Cover Kink in the Road (Ebook)
Evie Mitchell Kink in the Road (Ebook)

Kink in the Road (Ebook)

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NOTE: This book is available on PREORDER and will be sent to your inboxes on 12 August 2024. 
The best things in life come in threes

In a small island town where single women are rarer than a unicorn sighting, I've always been the odd woman out. As the town's go-to grease monkey, I’m more "bro" than "babe", which is great for finding friends and not-so-useful in my search for love.

In an effort to draw women to our small town, our matchmaker mayor decides to play Cupid with a singles weekend—only I'm left playing wallflower rather than bell of the ball.

That is until Aiden and Finn, the smokin' hot pub owners I've been crushing on, admit they don’t see me as the town’s perpetual little sister….

"Kink in the Road" is a steamy, romantic romp that'll have you believing in the power of love, laughter, and a well-oiled…machine. Afterall, the best things in life come in threes!

“We have a woman problem.”

The words were so startling—especially coming from our pioneering, feminist mayor—that I dropped my rachet. 

“Indeed we do,” my father agreed. 

I jerked, clonking my head on the underside of the car I’d been repairing. Grunting back a curse, I rubbed the rising welt as I strained to hear their conversation.

“The census results don’t lie,” the mayor continued. “There are fifty men for every woman on this island. And while I’m sure there are a portion who aren’t interested in marriage, or the opposite sex, or having a family for that matter, there will be a portion who are.”

I glanced around the tyre of the vehicle I was currently under to see my dad nodding. Dressed in an old and dirt-stained boiler suit not dissimilar to my own, he leaned against the office door, sharing a cup of coffee with our mayor. 

Agatha Dorante, in contrast, looked ready to walk into the boardroom of a Fortune 500 company. While they both had a shock of silver hair, Mayor Dorante’s lay in a tightly contained bob, while Dad’s flew about in wispy tufts. 

The mayor—dressed in a burgundy silk button-up dress that she’d paired with black heels and pearls—seemed immune to the chaos of our workshop. 

Our apprentice bustled in and out while our office manager handed over keys and issued invoices. 

“If I know anything, Agatha, I know you have a plan.”

She nodded. “Singles weekends.”

I thumped the rachet against the car’s undercarriage for effect, but all my attention had become hyper-focused on their conversation. 

“You think that’ll work?”

“I’ve already had over fifty women sign up.”

Dad whistled low. “Well shoot, that’s promising.”

“I’m going to need help to wrangle the visitors over the weekend. Can I count on you?”

Dad ran a hand through his hair, leaving a trail of grease and muck. “This is our busy season, you know. What with spring approaching and all.”

The small village of Three Peak Ridge sat at the northern tip of the northernmost island of the Isle of Astipia. With a population of less than five thousand people, the island had attracted few migrants over the years due to its wicked winters and tightly held land. It was, however, a popular tourist destination for foodies looking to try farm-to-table fare, or our local seafood delicacies. 

Many of our young people inherited their businesses—either the farms or the boats—though some worked to capture the energy generated by our powerful waterfalls and strong ocean currents for the hydroelectric company, using that energy to pump power to the mainland. 

Others worked for the island’s second biggest employer, the distillery, making whiskey, gin, and vodka of all kinds. We were famous for our alcohol and rugged beauty—drawing tourists by the thousands each year. 

But few stayed. And even fewer of those who did stay were single women. 

Agatha pushed Dad again. “Please, Bruce. If not you, then surely Riley could be spared.”

I started. 

“Ry? Well now, there’s a thought.”

I could practically see the ancient cogs turning in my father’s mind. 

No, no, no, no, no—

“Riley could do with some women friends.” He shook his head in a gesture that had become all too familiar. “Poor love. All these men and not a one who sees her as anything but a sister.”

Done with eavesdropping on conversations I knew better than to listen to, I turned back to my work, determined to get this stubborn engine finished before dinner time.

Alas, despite my efforts, their voices carried across the cool concrete floor toward me. 

“We’re hosting a series of four events over the weekend—with a free day on the Sunday for further mingling. Friday night is a welcome cocktail hour at the pub. On Saturday, we’ll host an extended brunch on the green, followed by a series of outdoor activities such as a treasure hunt, a walking tour, and so forth. Saturday evening is a cookout with some more socializing activities. Sunday will be a sit-down brunch then free time.” The mayor rubbed her hands together. “It’s going to work, Bruce. I can feel it.” 

I tried and failed not to roll my eyes as I began to scrub at decades of ancient grease and thick, rich mud from the axel of old Bob’s car. 

Really, Bob. A car wash wouldn’t have killed you. 

“And you want Ry for what?” Dad asked. 

“We need service staff. I know Riley has helped at the pub a few times over the years.” 

A fat clump of muck cracked away, hitting me in the face. 

Thanks, Bob. 

Considering I’d been under this car for the last three hours, I didn’t want to know how much gunk might be covering my body. 

“I suppose I can spare her for one weekend. Ry,” he called. “Take tomorrow off. You’re going to help with the singles weekend.”

I gritted my teeth at his assumption that I didn’t have anything better to do with my time.

Why does everyone assume I wouldn’t be interested in attending as a participant? Am I not a woman? Am I not worthy of love? 

“Okay,” I responded, frustrated and hurt but unwilling to allow them to hear that in my voice. 

The mayor left and Dad returned to work on a tractor that we needed to get finish. 

I ignored his cheerful whistle and took out my frustration on the stubborn vehicle. 

I’d read a news article recently about small towns in America where women were outnumbered by men. The article had talked about how women felt unsafe. That wasn’t how I felt in this town. Not even close. Our men had been raised to respect women. 

It’d started when I was five and my mother passed away. Dad had tried his best, but he’d been a wreck, barely able to function after her loss. 

Without asking, the town had stepped in, rallying around one of their own in our time of need. 

Food had appeared in our fridge and freezer. Friends would “stop by for a cup of tea” only to clean our house and sort our laundry. I’d been whisked away to sleepovers and playdates with the boys who’d taught me to dig up worms and where the best spots were for finding lizards and frogs. 

Slowly Dad and I had come out of our grief, but the town’s determination to take care of us had lingered far into my early adulthood. 

When I’d graduated high school, I’d decided to leave the island for a few years to attend college. That gap had opened my eyes to the world—and the delights of men who didn’t view me as a little sister. 

But my heart and soul would always be in this land. There wouldn’t be another place for me—this was where I was born, and it would be where I remained until my last breath. 

When the first machines had reached the shores of our island, my many-greats-grandparents had seen their chance to leave the cold and dangerous waters of the fishing industry behind. Through grit and determination, they’d forged their own path, establishing our mechanic shop and building our legacy. 

A legacy I feared might die with me if I couldn’t convince at least one man to look at me with something besides friendship. 

Giving up on Bob’s wreck, I slid from under the car. “Dad, I’m calling it a night. You need me to stick around?”

He popped his head out from behind his office door and I could see he was already washed and ready to head home. 

“No, love. You want to join me for a meal?”

I shook my head. “I’ll get something from the pub.”

“I’ll see you Monday. Say hi to those boys for me.”

I nodded, knowing without asking who he meant. Tourist season wouldn’t begin for another few weeks, which meant that the locals had the pub to ourselves—at least for the moment. 

I cleaned the workshop, clearing the grime and grease that always defined a day’s work. Each night the workshop went from chaos to calm coordination, each tool meticulously checked and returned to its place. It had become my habit to do so, a habit that had been ingrained in me from the cradle. 

Take care of your tools, and your tools will take care of you, my grandfather had always said. And while that remained true, a clean shop also helped customers gain a sense of confidence in our expertise and service. 

I finished cleaning and moved into the staff-only bathroom at the rear of our big workshop. We’d upgraded our premises a few years back, building a bigger and better garage so we could service more of the giant farm machines that the locals had begun to use. Along with that change had come heated concrete floors, better ventilation, and a new staff area including a bathroom with a shower. 

In a town this size, one would assume we wouldn’t have much work. But between the hydroelectrical plant, the tourists, and the agricultural customers, we made a tidy profit. 

I caught sight of myself in the mirror of the bathroom and sighed. Dirt and grime peppered my face, highlighting my blue-green eyes. My blonde hair had slipped out of my ponytail and formed knots and dreads caked with dirt. Grease smeared my overalls, and I had a thick layer of dirt under my nails. 

“And I wonder why no one wants to date me.”

I might have a pretty face under all the grime, but one could hardly look past the dirt, my height, and my stature. I was no dainty fae, but a mountainous maid built for lean winters and bountiful summers. My wide shoulders, large breasts, and generous hips were a testament to the generations of strong women who had birthed my line. 

Those traits might have helped my family in the past, but they did nothing to advance our DNA now. Alas, the men of this town did not seem to find me attractive. 

“Their loss.” 

Grumbling quietly, I cleaned up as best I could then locked the shop and walked the short road down into the village proper. 

Early blooms of lavender, lilac and jasmine guided my path down the cobblestoned road and into our village center, their perfume light and sweet. The colors of the blooms reflected in the setting sky—a horizon of oranges, purples and pinks. I paused at the top of the hill, admiring the evening sky. 

The cool breeze from the ocean brushed across my face, teasing my hair while salt touched my lips. 

My frustration—an emotion I had acknowledged but refused to unpack—eased, leaving behind a bittersweet ache. 

I wanted. I ached with want. A want for a partner to share sunsets like these. A want to fulfill dreams of travel and laughter, of shared memories and thoughts. 

A want to love and be loved in return. 

I kicked a pebble on the sidewalk, blowing out a long breath as I passed the trim cottages and sprawling gardens that lined our main street.  

“Off home, are we?” Mr. Murdock asked, breaking my melancholy thoughts. 

I forced a smile, stopping to lean against his garden fence, and admire his freshly trimmed roses. “Yes.”

“Bert? Where are you—oh! Hello there, Riley!”

I lifted my hand in greeting to Mrs. Murdock, who stood at the door with her other husband, Roger. The Murdocks were a typical family for our small town. Throuples had abounded for centuries as the women persisted. The government had even ruled polygamous marriages legal for anyone who married and lived on our small island, such was the recognition of our situation.

And yet I can’t land a date.  

“It’ll be dark soon. Best be getting home.” Bert clipped a small rose from his bush, gently removing the thorns before handing it to me. “Go with kindness, darling.” 

I accepted the flower and returned the greeting, tucking the bud in my hair as I set off for the pub.

I lived in a small cottage at the back of the pub. I’d moved in with Dad upon returning to the island, but my childhood home had become too much for us to manage, and I had needed my own space. After agonizing over the decision, we’d decided neither of us needed a house with eight rooms—or the electricity bill that came with heating it. 

A newcomer and his partner had moved to the island with the intent of opening a bed and breakfast. While our island may be small, real estate was at a premium and there had been a lovely profit for Dad upon the close of sale. He’d purchased a small cottage close to town, placed most of it in his retirement fund then handed me the rest. 

It now sat in a bank account accruing while I considered what to do with it. 

My first thought had been to buy a house, but I’d quickly dismissed that idea, content to rent until the right place came along. 

The two-bedroom cottage had originally been a small stable for the pub. The previous owner of the pub had converted it into a storage shed, and the current owners had converted that into a tidy little rental. 

I adored my small home, appreciating the care that had been taken to lovely restore the original stonework and preserve the wooden beams. The cottage had a small courtyard with a high stone wall that removed it from view of the pub, giving me the appearance of privacy. 

I pushed through my small gate and walked under the overgrown wisteria and ivy that grew over the arbor beside my house, to the back door in the stone wall that opened to the rear of the pub parking lot. A scant eight steps later, and I was pushing open the heavy wooden door of the ancient pub. 

Built before most of the village had even been a thought, the pub had gone through many generations of hands before the most recent publican had passed away, willing the entire thing to a distant cousin.

And it was that distant cousin—and his friend—that had me visiting far too many a night. 

I tucked my hands in the pockets of my overalls and headed to the bar. Like a beacon, my senses immediately identified where the two men were. Aiden manned the bar, his smile flashing as he joked with locals. Meanwhile, Finn stood at the pass, controlling the kitchen with his brisk efficiency. 

I slid onto my usual bar stool and waited for Aiden to make his way down to me, taking the time to observe the men. 

Aiden with his dark hair and green flashing eyes would have made a charming pirate—sailing the seven seas and seducing each and every lass or lad who caught his eye. 

Unlike Aiden, whose tattoos painted beautiful stories across his skin, Finn had no visible tattoos or body piercings—though tiny scars marked his arms and across his hands, marks from a career spent with knives and hot metal. Finn kept his sandy-brown hair cropped close to his head, and I knew from experience that his stunning blue eyes could flash with fire. Both stood either at my height or a fraction taller. 

Aiden had inherited the pub, and its raft of issues and financial pitfalls. Enter Finn. They’d pooled their money, investing their time and effort into the pub, clawing it back slowly from the brink of financial ruin to build it into something special. 

Aiden interrupted my musing by placing a glass of non-alcoholic cider in front of me. 

“Hard day?” he asked, in his usual charming way. 

“Long day,” I responded, forcing myself to shove away my shimmering flit of attraction. “You?”

He shrugged. “We’re busy preparing for the singles weekend.” He flicked a lock of dark hair out of his eyes then placed his forearms on the bar, leaning toward me as his green eyes danced with mischief. “You attending that?”

I grimaced. “Apparently.”

His eyebrows rose. “Really?”

My gaze darted to Finn, who stood at the pass watching us as his hands automatically assembled plates of steak with thick cut fries and fresh grilled vegetables. 

“The mayor roped me in.” I sighed, glancing down at my hands. “Seems I’m to help you and Finn out here.”

“You’re unhappy with hanging out with our lovely selves?”

His question reignited frustrated needy ache in my chest. 

“No, it’s fine, it’s—” I forced myself to stop speaking, biting the inside of my cheek to keep the words from spilling out. 

“It’s?” he prompted, his green gaze searching mine. 

“Nothing.” I turned away, lifting my beer. “Gonna go play some pool.”

He placed a hand on my arm, halting me as I tried to slide from the stool. “Are you okay?” 

For some strange reason, the care in his voice broke through my hardened exterior, hitting the vulnerable woman underneath. 

No, I wanted to say. I’m lonely.

Tears burned the back of my eyes, and a lump clogged my throat. 

I want, I burn, I need. 

I forced a laugh, pulling my hand from his. “I’m fine.” I nodded at the bar. “And you have patrons waiting.”

I stepped away, ignoring the way his gaze seemed to burn into my back. 

Taking a long drag of my drink, I glanced over at the pass to see Finn staring at me, his gaze narrowed. 

Forcing a reassuring smile, I turned away from him and moved to the pool tables. 

Those boys aren’t for the likes of you.

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