By Christiane France
A Hennessey Falls story. And part of the Second Chances Pax.
This new series revolves around a group of eating and drinking establishments in the fictional town of Hennessey Falls. The Replacement is the first and the main character is Noah Davidson, the owner of the Davidson Restaurant Group. The next book will feature Terry Miller, a secondary character from The Replacement, in the starring role.
When Noah loses his life partner to kidney failure, he needs a replacement to help run his restaurant business. After a couple of tryout failures, Noah interviews Gavin Murray. Gavin has everything needed to be the perfect general manager. He has the education, the experience, and the polish and sophistication required in a top executive. The only problem is that Noah finds him sexually attractive in a way that borders on obsession. He wants Gavin but he tells himself that he can’t have him. He’s still mourning Brett and he’s far from ready to move on with his life. If he had any sense he’d turn down Gavin’s application. Instead, he agrees to give Gavin a three-month trial period by convincing himself Gavin is his only option and business comes first.
I checked my watch. Ten minutes past three and I’d started to sweat. Another ten minutes went by, and then another ten.
At one minute past three-thirty Gavin came through the front door of Jenny’s, looking a tad flustered and with his shirt half out of his pants. “Sorry, Noah. I got held up in traffic. You ready to roll?”
A traffic jam? Oh, sure that was a great excuse. I wondered what he’d really been doing, then decided I didn’t want to know. If he was expecting me to ask how come he was running around town when he was supposed to be working, then he was in for a big disappointment. I was annoyed for being kept waiting, but I wasn’t about to inquire into anything, especially the reason for his ruffled appearance. It was none of my business. So I simply smiled, pushed back my chair and got to my feet. “Is it that time already?”
“It’s actually later than that. A little after three-thirty to be exact.” The look that accompanied his reply said he knew that I knew what time it was and probably to the fraction of a second.