Evie Mitchell eBook The Shake Up (EBOOK)
Evie Mitchell eBook The Shake Up (EBOOK)
Evie Mitchell eBook The Shake Up (EBOOK)
Evie Mitchell eBook The Shake Up (EBOOK)

The Shake Up (EBOOK)

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Her milkshake brought him to her bar... 

My milkshakes may bring all the boys to my bar, but that doesn’t mean they wanna hang around for dessert.
Despite being the perfect woman – attractive, confident and a world-class chef – I’m not marriage material. I’ve resigned myself to that fact. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want a man in my bed.
And Mac? Or should I say, Mac-Daddy? Well, he’s just the man I’m looking for.

Anika’s convinced this is a short-term thing between us. But what she doesn’t realize is she was mine from the first glance. If only I can convince her that we go together like salt and pepper, like meat and veg, like… well, you get the idea.
Brace, Anika, I’m about to shake up your world.

Warning: This book is inspired by burgers, eggplants and men who fight for what they want. So, get thee a man, some whipped cream, and settle in — this naughty little read will have you asking for seconds.

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"Wait, we're doing what?" I placed my knife on the cutting board, leaning heavily against the countertop as I stared at my younger sister in shock. "Say that again?"

Farrah sighed heavily, pinching the bridge of her nose as she repeated the bad news. "Kapil's booked a cruise for Mom and Dad. He expects us to split the cost."

"He did this without asking us?"

"Ani, when has our brother ever asked for permission?"

I blew out a breath, shaking my head. "That's true." I mentally tried to recall my bank balance, wondering where I'd find the cash.

"Maybe we can talk him out of it," I said desperately. "If we catch him—"

"It's already done, Ani." Farrah dropped her hands, pressing her palms to the countertop. “Our brother is an idiotic, inconsiderate dickwad. And now we have to pay for it."

"Or, and go with me here, we could just not," I said, holding my hands up in an exaggerated shrug. "We could let him just own this shit and go with what we originally planned.”

"So, we split a massage voucher between us while he gets them a goddamned cruise?"

I threw my hands up. "We're both poor, Farrah. He's a fucking stockbroker. His wife is head of her own law firm. They can afford to drop twenty thousand on a vacation."

"Technically, with the split between us, it would only be six-thousand, six hundred and sixty-six dollars.”

"Oh yes, that devil's number makes me feel all the better." I picked up my knife, returning to viciously hack at the zucchini I'd been dicing for dinner. "And I'll note that it's not split between four but three. I mean, what the fuck, Farrah?"

She shrugged. "Well, technically, Chavvi is only the daughter-in-law, so—"

"Nope," I gave a vicious thump of my knife, taking an unhealthy pleasure in how the zucchini pieces flew across the bench. "Don't excuse them. If they're gonna make this decision for us, then they deserve to take equal responsibility for the consequences." I paused, shaking my head hard enough to send my straight black hair flying. "They know we're both on a tight budget. This is a selfish play."

Unlike Kapil, who'd bailed out of Capricorn Cove at the first opportunity, Farrah and I were lifers. I'd bought into the local bar with a friend, Ella Bronze—soon-to-be Ella Larsson—while Farrah ran the local wildlife preserve in addition to being the town's mayor.

Her job didn't pay much (translation next to nothing), and I'd used most of my savings on the bar. I was slowly building up a nest egg to buy a house, but that would take time and certainly didn't need the dent this cruise would make.

I didn't regret investing in the Bronze Horseman with Ella. The bar had started to turn a tidy profit for both of us. But that didn't mean I had cash to just throw at my parents for their anniversary.

"Call him," I told her, laying the knife down on the counter and scooping the remnants of the decimated zucchini into a bowl. "We need to tell him exactly where he can shove his pompous, presumptuous ass.”

Farrah sighed, begrudgingly pulling her phone out as I began to aggressively grate a carrot. 

Stupid brother.

"He's not gonna like us calling him during the day," Farrah said, nervously twisting on her bar stool as she fiddled with the phone in her hand. 

“Tough titties,” I barked, beyond incensed by this ridiculous scenario. “He got us into this mess, he's getting us out."

The phone rang four times before he finally picked up.

"What?" Kapil asked, his tone brisk. "I'm busy."

"Well, hello to you too, brother," I called saccharinely, my body tensing.

Calm, Anika. You know he won't respond well to aggression.

"Anika," he greeted flatly. "What do you want?"

"We're just calling about Mom and Dad's gift," Farrah started, her voice soft and halting.

"It's too much," I said, cutting to the chase. "We can't afford it. Farrah and I are on tight budgets, and you made this decision without asking. We're happy to pay a little toward it, but a three-way split isn't gonna happen."

"So, you think their fortieth anniversary isn't the time to splurge on them?" he scoffed.

"That's not at all what I said," I absently picked up my knife, twirling it in my hand. "We're happy to contribute to a joint gift. But neither of us can afford this cruise."

There was a pause. "Then get a loan."

Farrah's gaze locked on mine, her eyes wide and terrified.

"That's unacceptable."

I could feel his scorn dripping down the line. "If you'd both made something of yourself, this wouldn't be an issue."

And if you weren't such an ass, we wouldn't be in this predicament.

I made a mental note to look up voodoo dolls on Etsy.

"Kapil," Farrah started, her tone pleading. "What if we agreed to pay five thousand towards it between Anika and me? Yes, that means you and Chavvi need to take on the bulk of it, but you really should have asked us before committing us to such a large financial investment. You wouldn't do that to your clients, you shouldn't have done that to your sisters."

There was a pause as his pea-sized brain tried to process her gentle rebuke.

It was rare, but my meek sister sometimes dealt killing blows.

"Fine, we'll take on the bulk of it – but you need to tell Mom and Dad that."

In unison, Farrah and I rolled our eyes.

"Sure," I answered with a shrug. "When do you need the money by?"

"End of next month."

We both choked.

"N-n-next month?" Farah repeated. "You need five grand by next month?"

My gaze flew to the calendar magnet stuck on my fridge, rapidly calculating the days. Fifty-four days to raise two-and-a-half thousand.



"Look, I don't have time for this. If you need anything, call my PA." He hung up, the call disconnecting.

Farrah slowly reached for her phone, switched it off and tucked it back into her pocket. Silence dominated the room as we tried to process what had just happened.

"I could… get another job.”

I shook my head. "You're already working two jobs, babe. You shouldn't need to do more. Just ask the town to pay you a wage."

Our town’s population had been minuscule for so long that there’d been no money to pay the mayor a wage. But as work from home grew more common and people decided they wanted to move to smaller, more affordable towns,  Capricorn Cove had experienced a population explosion.

But some of the old ways stuck – including the one where the mayor did all the duties without seeing a dime.

Farrah bit her lip, shaking her head. "The re-election is coming up, and Dawson Hobbs is running. He wants to undo the protections for the wildlife preserve and bulldoze it to make room for condos and a resort." She blew out a long breath, the gust catching one of her curls and sending it flying. "The last thing I can do is ask for payment. He'll find a way to use it against me."

I wracked my brains for answers. "We might have some extra shifts at the bar I could get you. I’ll have to ask Ella, but we could try."

She smiled, but it was thin and strained. "Thanks." 

Farrah jumped off the stool, pressing her hands to her lower back and arching. "I need to get back. We’re on hatchling watch tonight.”

Hatchling watch involved spending most of the night walking up and down the coastline looking for baby turtles as they emerged from their buried clutch. When the little cuties appeared, Farah would tag a few for scientific purposes before helping them and others crawl down the beach and into the waves. Her life revolved around their protection and while I loved that she had found her passion, I just wished it paid more than the pittance she accepted. 

"Wait," I turned, finding my purse to pull a voucher free. "At least use this since there's no point in giving it to the parentals now."

She took it, her lips curling into a wry smile. "You sure?"

"Positive," I pulled my younger sister close, wrapping her into a hug while silently cursing my brother for the additional pressure he'd placed on Farrah's shoulders. "We'll work it out."

"I know. We always do."

She left, and I returned to the kitchen, suddenly not in the mood to make the zucchini slice I'd been planning for dinner. 

You need a pick me up.

I glanced at the clock, noting the time. It was my rostered night off and normally I’d be crashed out on the sofa binging all the shows I’d missed while pulling the late shifts. It was exactly what I’d planned before Farah had arrived with news delivered straight from the devil. 

I tapped my nails on my granite countertop, considering my options. 

Stay home and let Kapil ruin my viewing of The Last of Us with his pigheadedness or go out and work off this angst with a Pedro Pascal stand in?

If I rushed then it was still early enough that I could head to the city before the pickings got slim I’d be left with the drunks and creeps. 

A one-night stand with a willing man I’ll never see again? 

I grinned, reaching for my fridge door to store the zucchini. 

Just what the chef ordered.

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