When Beth Cho is tasked with interviewing elusive musician Tristan Harty, it’s hate at first sight. Despite his sapphire eyes and lithe frame, he’s got to be the most infuriating man on the planet.
Tristan Harty is already sick of reporters and this one is proving no different. Sure, she might be adorable with her ebony hair and big brown eyes. But her incessant need to dig into his past is dragging on his last nerve.
The bickering duo vow never to meet again, but Mother Nature has other plans for them, trapping them in a Vermont cabin via a blizzard. The more Beth learns about the aristocratic Tristan, the harder it is for her to keep her professional distance, just as Tristan discovers a familiar heart beating in the beautiful reporter’s heart.
But what happens when the snowstorm’s over, and the melted Tristan and enamored Beth are free to leave? Can their reluctant attraction bloom into a deeper love with the thaw of their judgmental ice. Pride & Pancakes is a sweet yet steamy contemporary story inspired by Pride & Prejudice.
In this excerpt, Tristan and Beth have been trapped in the cabin for a day. Their bickering has softened and he’s offered to teach her how to play the guitar.
A single note echoed from the guitar, humming out through the fire-lit air. Beth’s face cracked into a cheesy grin. She wanted to leap up and crow about managing one note, but the teacher wasn’t finished.
“Here, this is the next one.” He guided her finger lower down the neck and Tristan nodded. Giving another swipe of her thumb made a higher note erupt from the guitar in her lap. Before its reverberations vanished, he called, “Quick, repeat the same moves as before.”
Beth struggled to remember where her finger went, swiping at the strings in the hope it was close enough. When the familiar note rang through, she glanced up at him. “Am I playing a song?”
“Of course,” he snorted as if there was no doubt. “Okay, now you have to move it, ah…” The teacher, her only port in this confounding storm, clouded over. Tristan peered closer to the strings as if he’d never seen them before, and winced.
“Sorry, I…I’ve never really done it in a mirror-reverse situation. Um…” He popped his lips, trying to buy for time while switching around the moves for her. “Ah! I know.”
The hands that’d been fussing over her fingers suddenly wrapped around Beth’s waist. Her jaw dropped, but she gave in to him spinning her on the couch. With almost no force, he pulled her between his thighs. She sat up rod straight, uncertain what he was going to do next.
Slowly, warm palms slipped over the tops of hers. No way he could see the strings with her body blocking his view. But he seemed to know where they were even while the guitar was sitting in her lap. “How about I lead?” Tristan’s warm words tickled against the back of her neck.
She should refuse. Leap to her feet, thank him for the lesson and return to her work. Keep up that necessary professional distance that’d seemed so easy before. It was just a day back that she’d wanted to pluck out his eyes, and now his body was curled around hers.
Nodding, Beth tried to lick her chapped lips. A single whisper made it through her chattering jaw. “Yes.”
Fingers, acrobatic, nimble and toned, smoothed over the back of hers. They outflanked Beth’s thinner digits, but Tristan didn’t overpower hers. He guided without force, pressing her back to the strings where she began.
The same notes rang out as before, Beth’s fingers supplying the music but Tristan creating it. He puffed a single letter to match each note, the warm breath knocking in her hair. “G-A-G-E.”
Upon repeating the sequence, Beth’s brain overpowered her body lost in the taut muscles pressing against all of her. “Is this Silent Night?”
“You found me out.” He shifted her hands lower down the guitar which brought out the higher notes. “Did you know that—”
“It was originally composed for the guitar due to the church’s pipe organ being broken?” Beth interrupted. The music stopped and he slid his chin across her shoulder to focus upon her. “What?” she said. “Everyone knows that about Silent Night.”
His chuckle not only puffed against her ear and cheek but rumbled his chest up against her back. “Fair enough, you win the esoteric knowledge crown.” All the while his hands kept moving hers, the song reaching its end before returning for another verse. The music glided around them, stripped to its core in the crackle of firelight.
She listened to not only the notes, his G-A-G-E resuming their tumble, but the pop of logs shedding their summer bark to the fire. Heat enveloped her body, his foot curling back in on the couch until his leg fully matched hers. His forearms molded atop hers, Beth watching from below her lashes how his biceps flexed with the musical movements.
Reviews for Pride & Pancakes
The author does a wonderful job of putting a modern twist on a beloved classic. There is witty dialogue and plenty of humor along the way and you can’t help but fall in love with Beth and Tristan’s story. The characters were well developed and they really took the time to get to know each other. I am looking forward to the next installment of Mint’s “Happily Ever Austen” series.Asra S — Pride & Pancakes Five Star Review
I absolutely adored these main characters and I loved how they took the time to get to know each other first before taking their relationship to the next level. Definitely a change from the usual rushed into relationships. I really enjoyed reading this book and I could not put it down. Fantastic read and highly recommended.Neisha — Pride & Pancakes
“Timeless gets a makeover and breezes it’s way into your heart. Mint does Austen proud with a modern twist to an old classic. Pride & Pancakes crosses stereotypes with humor and heart that will stay with you, no matter how many times you read Beth & Tristan’s tango into love.”Isha C — Pride & Pancakes