A steamy new romance where opposites attract and being different leads to falling in love is coming next week from Claudia Burgoa, and I have a sneak peek for you.
I’m more terrified by the number of neatly stacked papers that Amber brings with her in the front seat of the car than the chicken.
“So, this… chick.” I tilt my head toward the hen. “Does she have a name? I mean, if we’re going to share the same space for a few days, we should at least know each other well.” I pet her the way Leyla, my sister-in-law, taught me when she had me helping her in the barn.
Maybe when we get to the West Coast, we can swing by Oregon and get this chicken a playdate with Leyla’s chicks. I immediately erase that thought because that would imply hanging out with my brothers.
“Her name is Hennifer Aniston,” she answers as she settles her in the back seat of the roomy SUV I’d picked up for our trip this morning.
“Okay, that covers Henny, but what’s all that?” I point at the papers.
“Our itinerary,” she says and opens the folder to reveal a spreadsheet.
My jaw slacks. Is she kidding me? The times are color-coded.
She color-coded every single thing that’s going to happen from the moment we leave town until we end this.
I don’t think so.
“For what? Seventh grade?” I ask her incredulously. “We’re driving, not trying to get from fourth period English to fifth period PE—no time for lunch breaks.”
She presses her lips together and looks at me with eyes blazing. It’s way too early in the morning for this expression. I kind of wish I wasn’t driving just so I could have snuck a shot of vodka into my espresso this morning.
That reminds me of the peace offering I brought. I tilt my head toward the cupholder. “There’s your coffee, Princess.”
She gives me a suspicious look. “Listen, it’s very important that we stay on schedule so I can get back in time for the Reynolds case. I’ve planned out everything, so we have enough time for each stop and activity.”
I arch an eyebrow. What’s next, one minute to pee, but make sure to spend thirty seconds of that washing your hands thoroughly?
“Where did you get these arbitrary times?”
She huffs and glares at me. Those cinnamon eyes are turning red, like her hair. “I researched online for optimal times. I also found convenient gas and restroom stops that will be efficient for us, so we don’t have to worry about running out of gas.”
I was kidding about the bathroom breaks, but apparently she took those under consideration too.
“Usually, I just watch the little gas tank indicator for that,” I say dryly, but it seems to fly right past her.
She shuffles her papers for a minute and pulls out two pages stapled together. It’s an old-school Google Maps printout. Then there’s a map that I’m pretty sure belonged to my grandfather. It’s like we don’t have at least five different devices between the two of us that could navigate. Plus, the navigation system attached to the car. I take them from her hesitantly.
Is she for real?
“Um, why would we need this?” I ask.
She hands it to me. “Our first destination.”
It’s step-by-step directions to Hershey, Pennsylvania, our destination for today. She’s even made a handwritten note for a gas station in between steps six and seven, which is 252 miles away from her apartment and the perfect place to stop for gas. “We both have our phones and about a million other ways to get GPS.”
“We should be prepared to lose signal,” she says as if it’s the most reasonable thing in the world.
This trip can’t get any more ridiculous even if we tried. Her chicken is inside a cat carrier buckled into the back seat. We have a scrapbook that has our entire schedule for the next two weeks. And… we’re going to Hershey. God help me.
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