It’s time to reveal the cover for Take a Hike, book 3 in the Lovestruck series! Thanks to the incredible Leni Kauffman for the cover design and illustration.
What’s Take a Hike about?
Falling in love is an uphill battle.
Day-to-day life has grown stale for Raven Coleman, who prefers to fly by the seat of her pants than follow any set plan. So when she unexpectedly inherits an outdoor recreation and tour business in a charming small town, it’s exactly the kind of shakeup she has been asking the universe for.
Instead of selling Mountaintop Adventures right away, Raven decides to step in as the boss for the summer to determine if it’s a position she’d like to hold long-term. Unfortunately, her presence is not well received by the staff, particularly Silas Reynolds, the hardheaded archery instructor.
Silas once had big dreams, but life got in the way. Now he’s making the most of his situation. That is until the bubbly Raven thwarts his plan to buy Mountaintop Adventures. She has no industry experience or interest in the great outdoors but insists she can run the business.
The two butt heads immediately, but attraction and rapport soon soften their exchanges. Can Silas and Raven keep professional lines and their opposing goals intact? Or is love a force too strong to ignore?
So, without further ado, the Take a Hike cover:
Excerpt from chapter 1 of Take a Hike, by Mimi Grace
The decision-making part of the human brain is said not to fully develop until a person is twenty-five years old. This may explain why Raven Coleman, at nineteen, bought a one-way ticket to Paris to follow a guy she’d just met and fallen for at a music festival.
The relationship was a bust, as one can expect of something built on a foundation of booze and vibes. However, she still left the City of Love with pictures that needed cropping but were suitable for her social media feed. She also had the memories of visiting crowded landmarks, eating butter-laden pastries, and being entertained by bronze living statues who, despite provocation from tourists, did not break their poses.
It was those painted street performers Raven currently imitated, almost eight years later, as she stood stock-still holding a tray of hors d’oeuvres.
“Gruyère and crab palmiers,” Raven said to the guests reaching for the offerings.
It was a perfect summer evening for a garden party, but it was undercut by a general strangeness. As if everything was computer-generated.
A jazz band played lively music, but people weren’t dancing. It was also unlikely that anyone would get drunk or laugh louder than the clink of their cocktail glasses. And when she told a lady, “Oh my God, I love your earrings,” she apparently disrupted a simulation that required she be as charming as an insentient hologram. Her tendency to chat and flirt would not be rewarded here.
Once her tray was bare enough to warrant a refill, Raven crossed the lawn, passing a water fountain to a set of stone steps that led her into a galley kitchen bustling with the people responsible for making the party run smoothly.
Distinct voices were lost in the chaos, but the chef’s cut through. “If I ask for something sautéed, why in God’s name would you give it to me fried?”
Raven took a minute to massage a knot in her shoulder and confirm with other servers that the partygoer in burgundy shorts was indeed a creep. After a swig of water, she was ready with a fresh tray of food to serve.
Tail ends of conversations and harsh perfume followed her about the garden, and when summoned by a guest with a glance, she quickened her steps to deliver. “Grilled oysters with lime and ginger,” she would tell them, and she repeated this routine until another blip in the simulation changed the course of the evening.
A man tripped.
Perhaps on a raised stone or the toe of his fancy loafer. Regardless, the result was the same: the man reeled forward with his eyes bugged out and hands searching for leverage. To save the tray and herself from going down, Raven swung her body sharply out of reach. But in doing so, she transferred all that momentum to an unsuspecting woman, bumping her right into the basin of the water fountain.
Chatter and music came to an off-key halt as everyone turned to gape at the lady splashing in the shallow water.
Raven knew her fate even before the woman screamed and pointed at her.
“Off with her head!” the shrill noise seemed to demand, and minutes later, she was standing in front of her boss.
“I’ve got to let you go for today,” he said.
He looked sorry about it too. Not likely for her sake; rather, being one waitress down would disrupt the flow of service.
As she was quickly ushered to gather her belongings, she mouthed, “It’s okay, it’s fine,” to the other servers, who looked on as if she were actually being led to a guillotine. And maybe she’d feel that way too if her weekly horoscope hadn’t forewarned a shake-up in her working relationships.
A stone-faced security guard was the final checkpoint before Raven could exit the mansion, and while he searched her purse with the finesse of a burrowing mole, she said, “I’d have taken the chardonnay, but the bottles wouldn’t fit in there.”
The man slowly raised his head, pinning his eyes on Raven.
“Oh, not that face,” she said, laughing nervously. “I was kidding.”
TAKE A HIKE, on sale now!