In the sizzling new novel of Renita Pizzitola’s Crush series, Felicity knows that “Summer Boys” are only good for one thing. But what if hooking up with the right guy could lead to a fresh tart?
Like most of the residents of her dead-end beach town, Felicity Daniels doesn’t know what she wants from her future. Instead of college, she’s waiting tables at the local grille where she’s more likely to run into the guy who was the love of her life—until one decision changed everything. Now as this year’s tourist season kicks in to high gear, Felicity realizes that whatever she wants isn’t going to be found here.
Mason Hayes is the quintessential Summer Boy: hot, impulsive, and born without strings attached. While in town helping with the family fishing charter, he plans to have a little fun—and hopefully get over a certain girl. He’s never had a long-term relationship, but when he meets Felicity, he wonders if he’s found the girl who could change that.
With her heart still in repair, Felicity’s happy to have a distraction like Mason, but her best friend thinks he could also be her ticket out of this town. What’s the harm in using him to escape more than just her boredom? After all, he is just a Summer Boy, and they never stick around. But after one kiss, Felicity wonders if only one summer with Mason will ever really be enough.
“Felicity. Table five is yours.” Eddie rushed past, dumping some menus on the hostess stand before grabbing a water pitcher.
Our normal hostess had called in, and my best friend, Isla, wasn’t scheduled to come in until four. That left the restaurant owner seating guests while the rest of us covered the tables during the busy Saturday lunch rush.
With my notepad tucked into the small black apron tied around my waist, I headed to table five. It was the crew from John’s Charter Boats. If I had to have a large party, this was one I didn’t mind.
“Hey, John, how’s your shoulder doing?” I placed my hand on his back, careful of the sling straps. “Colby told me you had surgery.”
“Eh, it’s okay. Hardest part is being stuck on dry land. ’Bout to lose my mind over at the Bait ’n’ Tackle.”
“Well, here’s to a quick recovery. Dinnertime will be dead without your boat bringing in the day’s catch.”
He shrugged his uninjured shoulder. “Got my nephew here in the meantime.” He gestured down the table. “Colby will be showing Mason the ropes.”
He said something else, praising their abilities to fill his shoes, but his voice drowned into the background. My gaze had locked onto his nephew, who also happened to be the hot guy from last night.
He’d had his chin tilted down as he studied the menu, but at the mention of his name he lifted his gaze. It darted from his uncle to me. He tossed his overgrown hair from his eyes and smiled.
I returned the smile then shifted my gaze. “Y’all ready to order?”
I circled the table, adding the personal touch these men—and my tip jar—loved, but when I got to Mason, I locked up. It was easy to turn on the charm with a bunch of old married guys, or even the ones my age who ate up any attention, but Mason . . . Something about the way he looked at me made my face flush and heart rate kick into high gear. It was as if he wasn’t just looking at me, but studying me, trying to figure something out. His gaze tracked me as I made my way around the table . . . and I kind of liked it.
When I finally got to him, I couldn’t make eye contact. With my pen pressed to the notepad, I concentrated on writing his order instead of staring into his eyes.
“What can I get you?” My gaze flicked up, which I instantly regretted because now that I could see his eyes in better lighting, I couldn’t help but notice how gorgeous they were. Dark in color with even darker lashes.
“What’s good here?” he asked with a little smile aimed at me.
I rattled off the house specialties. “Fried shrimp. Grilled snapper—”
With an adorable smirk, he lowered his voice and leaned toward me. “I don’t like seafood.”
Around here that was sacrilegious. And a sin I committed daily. I grinned back. “The cheeseburger is pretty popular.”
His gaze dipped to my mouth and he nodded. “I’ll take that.” Then for the love of God, he winked. “Our secret.”
I laughed, but it wasn’t a laugh. It was a weird girlish giggle. Oh my God. I cleared my throat, praying Colby hadn’t heard my reaction to his cousin, and moved down the table.
After I’d gotten the last order, I darted off to grab their drinks . . . and avoid making a further idiot of myself.
As I filled glasses with ice, I snuck a peek at Mason, who was leaning over to talk with Colby. He tilted his chin slightly in my direction, and I quickly looked away. But curiosity got the best of me and I glanced back. Colby’s gaze met mine, then he frowned and shook his head.
What was that about? Had Colby seen me checking out Mason? Were they discussing it?
Geez, I needed to pull it together. The last thing I wanted was Colby ragging on me about his cousin.
I hiked the tray over my shoulder and carried it back to the table. While avoiding eye contact with Mason and Colby, I passed out the drinks, assured everyone their food would be out soon then took off.
After checking on my other tables, I stepped outside to get some air. Everything about this job had felt very suffocating lately. Of course, Mason definitely added a little spark to my day, but eventually that would fade. Summer Boys were a temporary fix to my long-term boredom.
I leaned against the wall and stared at the water. If I ever did leave Port Lucia, this view would be the one thing I’d miss. I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds around me, trying to find the soft crashing of waves that always calmed me. I peeled each layer of noise away, one by one, searching for the one I needed. Seagulls. A boat horn. The wind. And . . . footsteps?
My eyes snapped open as Mason rounded the corner.
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t know anyone was out here.” He waved his phone. “Just needed to make a call.”
“Go ahead. I’m heading back inside.” I pushed off the wall and turned to go.
“Wait. Enjoy your break. She probably wouldn’t have answered, anyway.”
I glanced at the phone. She? Figures he’d have a girlfriend.
“My mom always lets her calls go to voicemail.” He shoved his phone in his pocket.
“Hey, Felicity?” One of the other waiters leaned his head out the side door. “Table nine is asking for you.”
“Let them know I’m on my way.” I turned back to Mason and hitched my thumb in the direction of the door, in an awkward see-you-later, then spun around and headed inside.
“See you around . . . Felicity.”
I turned back.
The corner of his mouth tugged up and, call me crazy, but I was pretty sure he was flirting.
“Yeah,” I mumbled and stepped inside.
As I passed the window, I glanced out. His gaze shifted to the ground, a smile still affixed to his lips. He shook his head and rubbed his neck, almost like in disbelief . . . or guilt? Maybe that call wasn’t going to be to his mom after all. Nice save on his part though.
That was the one downside to Summer Boys; it was hard to know for sure when they were truly single. Except this one happened to be related to a good friend of mine. Unfortunately I couldn’t come out and ask Colby about Mason’s relationship status without him knowing I was interested. But I had my ways of getting the answers I needed. And if all went well . . . Hello, Mason; goodbye, summer boredom.
Renita Pizzitola is the author of New
Adult contemporary romance and Young Adult fantasy. When not writing, she can
be found feeding her caramel macchiato addiction and reading just about
anything she can get her hands on. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband
and two children.