Title: Another Mazzy Monday
Series: Tawnee Mountain #1
Author: Savannah Young and Sierra Avalon
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 6, 2015
When the wealthy and charming Drew Graham walks into the Tawnee Mountain Resort where I work and offers me a lucrative part-time job it sounds too good to be true. I just have to pretend to be his fiancée until he wins the election for Governor and then we can go our separate ways. It seems like an easy way to make a hundred thousand dollars…until his brother, Austin, returns from Europe and moves in with us. And I’m completely overwhelmed by my attraction to my fake fiancé’s rebellious younger brother.
Another Mazzy Monday
My brother hasn’t changed very much since I
left for Europe. He’s just a little more
of everything. Cocky, charismatic, and quite charming. Give him an audience, no
matter how small, and he’ll captivate them within minutes.
Not that I haven’t been accused of being
cocky myself. Okay, maybe I’ve been called an asshole on more than a few
occasions. But charming I am not. My brother is great at telling people exactly
what they want to hear. It’s a skill that will serve him very well in politics.
I’m more of a say-what’s-on-my-mind kind of guy. I’m always straightforward and
honest. I tell people what I think they need to hear even if they don’t want to
“Austin Graham,” my big brother says when
he finally spots me. He excuses himself from the small group of would-be
campaign donors and heads in my direction. “The rebel without a cause returns
to the roost.”
To my surprise my brother grabs me into a
hug. I reflexively look around the ballroom to see if there are any photographers
snapping shots of us. That’s the only reason I could see Drew giving me such a
warm greeting. We didn’t exactly part on the friendliest of terms when I left
“I take it Dad summoned you back to the
States to help with the campaign.”
is really a strong word. I get the impression I’m needed for publicity photos.
He says he wants to show the press that our family is strong and united. You
are running a family values campaign, aren’t you?”
My brother glares at me. Then after a few
moments of being at the center of his arctic stare he says, “Nice suit.”
“It should be. You probably paid top dollar
“I thought it looked familiar.”
“Suits and I don’t really get along.”
“I guess that means Dad hasn’t talked you
into getting a real job yet.”
“I’ve had plenty of real jobs all over Europe. Everything from milking cows to fixing
motorcycles. Whatever odd jobs people had in exchange for a hot meal and a warm
Drew shakes his head. “Sometimes it’s
difficult for me to believe we’re products of the same two parents.”
“You were there when I was born,” I remind
“And you were stubborn and willful from the
moment you took your first breath. Some things never change.”
“I need a drink,” I announce. Drew, always
being the perfect politician and everything his constituents want him to be
wrapped in a picture-perfect package, rarely drinks anything but water and
orange juice. I, on the other hand, imbibe on a regular basis.
“Maybe stick with one,” he suggests. “Nurse
it for a while.”
“Yes, Sir,” I give him a cheesy little fake
As I approach the bar I see a gorgeous
little blonde serving small cups of wine to several middle-aged women wearing
matching conservative navy blue suits and single strands of white pearls around
their necks. They all have their hair cut short and look like they’ll be
absolutely no fun even with a little wine in them.
Once the women of the blue suit brigade
have cups of wine in their hands they make their way over to my brother. As I
wait for the bartender to acknowledge me I’m a little hurt that she doesn’t
even glance up at me when she asks me what I want. Then I remember I’m wearing
one of my brother’s stuffy suits and that I probably look just like another one
of the conservative jackasses at the fundraising event.
This girl looks like someone who prefers a
more down-to-Earth kind of guy. If I had on my everyday attire: leather jacket,
well-worn jeans and black biker boots, I think I’d get her attention in a
“Beer,” I say, trying to will the blonde to
at least glance at me once. But to no avail. She’s all business, serving drinks
then taking the next person’s order.
“We’ve got Miller, Bud, and Coors.”
She nods and fills up one of the small cups
with beer. It’s not even the size of a Dixie cup. Maybe half as large. “Got
anything bigger than that?”
She shakes her head. “Sorry. It’s
complimentary. You can have as many as you like.”
I hold up the ridiculously small cup. It
would probably take about ten of these before I even felt a buzz. “Thanks.”
She nods, but she’s only half paying
attention to me. When I glance down at her name tag I see her name is Mazzy.
Unusual name. I’m completely intrigued. Not just because she’s beautiful with a
smoking hot body to match, but there’s something about her that’s different.
Most girls fall all over themselves to get
my attention when they figure out who my family is. Being from a wealthy and
well-connected family is like an aphrodisiac for most women. I look down to
make sure I’m still wearing my name tag and it’s definitely there. This girl
just hasn’t even bothered to take a look at it.
Two guys are now standing behind me so I
know I have to let her serve them, but I don’t want to move from this spot. I
just want to look at her for a few seconds more. I like watching the way she
moves. She seems so carefree and comfortable in her body. As carefree as I like
to pretend to be I know I’m really just a mass of insecurities and compensative
“Anything else?” she asks.
number, I want to say, but what’s the point. I don’t plan on being in New
Jersey any longer than I have to. I promised my dad I’d stay through the
election and that’s it. Then my backpack and I are off to Asia.
I take my ridiculous little cup of beer and
head off in search of someone I might find even remotely interesting to talk
As luck would have it I run into my mother
and her league of women voters. They’re all wearing the same conservative blue
suits as the blue suit brigade who were ordering wine in front of me at the bar
and they each have a tiny American flag displayed prominently on their lapels.
As soon as my mother spots me a look of disgust overtakes her face. She can’t
seem to control it whenever she sees me and I’m not sure she wants to. She’s
even less thrilled with me than my father and she usually has no trouble
expressing that displeasure to me. My only saving grace is that I know she
won’t rail at me in front of her supporters. She’s much too shrewd for that.
She’ll do her best to pretend I’m the perfect son in front of potential donors
and wait to condemn me in private.
I’m so glad I’ll be staying at the lake
house. My mother won’t consider venturing out to Northern New Jersey this late
in the season. When it’s less than seventy degrees she has no interest in the
“Austin,” my mother says as she approaches
and places a quick peck on my cheek. “So glad you could make it.”
The other women in her small group are all
smiling and eyeballing me, even though they’re all my mother’s age or older.
I down the rest of my beer and stare into
the empty cup. “I think I need a refill.”
My mother expresses her displeasure with a
harrumph, but then quickly replaces her grimace with a broad smile. Hers isn’t
as rehearsed as my father’s or brother’s, but it’s equally phony.
“When you come back, Mrs. Lexington has an
opening in her firm that might be of interest to you and she’s already said
she’d love to talk to you about it.”
“Great,” I lie as I loosen my tie. I’m
already feeling trapped and the stupid material around my neck isn’t helping
matters any. I can’t even remember the last time I wore a tie.
As I hurry back towards the bar I’m glad to
see that Mazzy doesn’t have any other customers. She’s all mine, at least for a
I order two beers and down them both
double-fisted. When I look up I imagine that Mazzy will have a look of horror
on her face, but all I see is puzzlement. As if she’s looking at a creature
from a brand new species.
By the time I order my fourth miniature
beer I have just enough liquid courage to actually start a conversation with
her. It’s not that I generally have a hard time conversing with women. On the
contrary, I’m generally quite smooth with the opposite sex. But I feel
different in this monkey suit and a political fundraiser is definitely not my
native habitat. I’m used to picking up women at dive bars or neighborhood pubs.
The more relaxed and casual the atmosphere the better.
There’s absolutely nothing relaxed or
casual about my present circumstances. But at least the beers have taken the
“Mazzy is an unusual name,” I say as she
hands me my beer.
She just gives me a polite nod in return.
“Do you live around here?” As soon as the
words leave my lips I realize it’s a ridiculous question. I’m sure she doesn’t
commute very far for a job as a bartender.
“I’ve lived in Old Town my whole life.” Her
clipped tone leads me to believe that she has little interest in talking to me.
Not that I blame her. If I ran into me in this setting wearing this suit I
wouldn’t want to talk to me either.
“Know of any good bars around here.” I hold
up the small cup. “These tiny cups aren’t really doing it for me.”
That remark elicits the tiniest of smiles.
At least it’s a start.
“Try Haymakers. It’s the only bar in Old
Town. Do you like country music?”
I shrug. “I’m more of a rock-and-roll kind
“Haymakers is definitely a country bar. I
used to work there.”
“Maybe I’ll check it out.” I’ll be staying
at my family’s lake house, which isn’t too far from Old Town. I’m sure I’ll go
stir crazy after a while and will need some kind of escape. “Thanks for the
“If you tell them that Mazzy sent you they
might even give you a free beer.”
“Free is good.” I give her my sexiest
smile, but it doesn’t seem to make much of an impact. I realize that maybe
she’s just being nice so I’ll give her a good tip. I reach into my pocket, pull
out a five dollar bill and add it to the mostly singles lining the tip jar.
“Thanks,” she says and when she finally
looks me in the eye I feel a little flash of something. I’m not quite sure what
it is, but my entire body reacts to it. I put my beer on the end of the bar for
a moment and put my hands in my pockets in an effort to lower the flag that’s
starting to rise in my pants.
“Haymakers,” I repeat. “I’m definitely
going to check it out.”
“Only bar in town. You can’t miss it.”
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Mueller Bryson writes under four pen names. This is her first novel co-written by two of them.
Savannah Young's stories take place in fictional Old Town, which is very much like the rural Northwest New Jersey town in which she grew up. She is the author of the four-book Wilde brother's Old Town Country Romance series.
Sierra Avalon's stories have a little sass and lots of spice. She is the author of Always Rayne, which is the first book in the Always, Sometimes, Never series.