Years ago, my husband's co-worker and his wife wanted to foster children because they hoped to adopt. For their first placement, they were called in the middle of the night to take in two young children who'd been given up so that the parents could go out and party. I don't think the biological parents realized they couldn't just get the kids back the next day. It took a year for the biological parents to complete the necessary parenting classes and other requirements to get their kids back.
During that time, the foster parents cared for those kids as if they were their own. Initially, the kids had some health issues because they weren't getting proper nutrition, and weren't used to an adult playing with them. It was an adjustment but by the end of that year, they were calling them mom and dad. Their biological parents didn't like their relationship with the foster parents, so when they got their kids back, they moved out of county so they wouldn't be able to foster their kids again.
The foster parents loved those kids, but they weren't able to adopt them. That stuck with me. I wanted it to be the background for one of my characters, but I wanted a different ending. Then I waited for the perfect character to come along--Remi. She didn't allow her past to dictate her future. Instead, she saw the good in everyone. Hence, the grumpy meets sunshine trope in Lucky Chance.
★★★★★ "There is something incredibly sweet and special about 𝗟𝗨𝗖𝗞𝗬 𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘. On the surface it’s a grumpy/sunshine, forbidden romance read but once you get into it, you realize it’s about a helluva lot more than that. Remi is a woman after my own heart. She’s been through a lot but maintains a level of positivity that is admirable. Colton is a tall glass of blue collar hotness that turns my book loving crank. I enjoyed watching them come together and could not get over how right it was and how sexy they were together. 𝗟𝗨𝗖𝗞𝗬 𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘 has made my Top Ten list of 2022!" Judy Ann Loves Books
When I got the call that there was a break-in at Remi’s Juice Shop, my heart raced out of control. I was worried for her. There’d always been something about Delilah’s younger sister, Remi, that got to me. I’ve always been protective of her, but there was an awareness there, too. Something I didn’t want to examine too closely.
Remi was bubbly and happy. Everything I wasn’t. It was irritating, yet I was drawn to her light. I wanted to understand how she could be so positive after she’d grown up in and out of the foster care system. Delilah was quieter and more reserved and almost never spoke about that time in their lives, content to be adopted by their foster parents.
Remi seemingly adjusted to their new home and parents, and my sense was Delilah was relieved to turn over the responsibility to their adoptive parents. Remi was happy-go-lucky but somewhat flighty.
As an adult, I worried not much had changed. I was continually giving her parking tickets for parking in no-parking zones. None of it seemed to faze her, at least not enough to change her parking habits. It made me worry for her safety, especially if someone was targeting her store. First with graffiti and now the break-in.
When we’d discussed the graffiti on her building, Remi had said it was art. She seemed to pull the positive out of any situation, even when we were kids. Someone had broken into her store, and I knew how desperation could affect someone. I didn’t want Remi to be one of the casualties.
Pushing open the door to Max’s Bar & Grill, I scanned the bar to see my friend’s familiar face behind it. He was talking to the redhead, Mallory, who managed the place when he wasn’t there.
“Hey, Colton,” Mallory greeted me when I approached.
I’d been stopping by in the evening more often since their break-in.
Max must have caught the expression on my face because he asked, “You want to talk in my office?”
I nodded and followed him. Closing the door behind us, Max took a seat behind his desk.
“Remi’s Juice Shop was broken into yesterday. We’re not sure of the timing because she didn’t have an alarm system.”
My irritation must have been evident in my tone because Max said, “She putting one in?”
“She said she was.” I’d be checking in to make sure. I remember Delilah mentioning that Remi tended to get sidetracked. When I’d get irritated that we were waiting on her or she was late for something, Delilah would say that Remi meant well.
“Whoever it was took some cash from the register. It wasn’t much.”
Max frowned. “I don’t like it.”
What we originally thought was an isolated incident with Max’s bar was most likely related to this second one.
He rested his elbows on the desk. “Any leads?”
“None. So far, he hasn’t left anything behind we can go on.”
Max raised a brow. “He’s not getting much unless he knows how to break into a safe. So, what does he want?”
“I don’t know, but I don’t like it. I don’t want tourists to think the downtown area is dangerous.” I didn’t want the store owners to feel unsafe.
“The last thing the town needs is a news article about a crime spree. It’s bad for tourism and business.”
“Chief wants me to get to the bottom of it and is increasing police presence downtown, especially around the shops and restaurants.”
“You think they’re linked, though.” It wasn’t a question.
“I can’t discount the possibility.” My instincts were telling me they were related.
“I’ll bring it up at the next Shops on Main meeting. It might be a good idea if you came by to talk about it. Remind everyone to be extra vigilant.”
“That’s not a bad idea.” Standing, I made my way to the door. “I wanted to make sure you were aware. If anything else happens, let me know.”
Following me, Max said, “Will do. I appreciate you looking out for us.”
“It’s my job.”
“It’s more than that, and you know it. You’re looking after the bar because we’re friends. And you know Remi.”
“I dated her sister in high school.” My jaw ached with how tight I ground my teeth together.
Max slipped into an easy smile. “She seems to get more than her fair share of parking tickets.”
“She parks in no-parking zones.”
He tipped his head to the side. “Parking isn’t exactly your patrol area, is it?”
I didn’t go out of my way to track her down, but I couldn’t help but notice her baby blue Volkswagen bug she insisted on parking wherever she felt like it. “She’s a little lawbreaker.”
Max grinned. It was a little too self-satisfied for my liking.
“She’s like a little sister.” My tone held a warning.
Max smiled wider. “Keep telling yourself that.”
I ignored him because Remi was my ex’s little sister. Even if I were attracted to her, she was off-limits
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