Friday, January 30, 2015

Coast to Coast Reviews: VEGAS follows you Sadie Grubor

VEGAS follows you home

by Sadie Grubor

Oliva Harlow, owner of Harlows cakes, is a single mother to a little boy named Alex. Olivia just finished a huge job event and her friends begged her to get away for weekend. So the trip was planned and Vegas was on the agenda with the girls for the weekend
It is said" What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!"
Olivia Harlow ended up married to Damon Knyght billionaire, but does not remember it happening

Olivia wanted the marriage to Damion to be annulled, but Damion won't have it. He forces himself into Olivia's life in a stalker way...but WHY? The truth comes out and now everything changes in a blink of an eye.
The emotional pull is strong between Damion and Olivia. The tragedy both Damion and Olivia have experienced in the past plays a big role in how they want to protect themselves from ever being hurt again.
Will Olivia and Damion stay married after the truth comes out? Will they fall in love with each other? Will their past heartache hinder them from ever having a relationship?

I was drawn into Olivia and Damion's story from the beginning.
This was a great read and I very much enjoyed it. There is a lot of emotions at play. I did not give away a lot in this review because I felt it would ruined the awe factor of the read!



"We are going to Vegas. We are going to Vegas!" They used the damn Blue's Clues theme music to their


Olivia Harlow

It's a trip with friends. A single girl's celebratory getaway. Olivia Harlow finishes the biggest job she's

been offered since starting Harlow Cakes, her custom and specialty cake shop and bakery. So, it's a

Vegas weekend for Olivia, the level headed, single mother, with her life scheduled.

There is no way she could guess what would happen and who would follow her home.

Damon Knyght

His search is over. After rising up from the ashes of his life and the pain, he found them. Now that he has

them, there is no letting go.


"Olivia!" Mercedes shouted as she emerged from the office on the furthest side of the kitchen.

"Yeah?" I replied, quietly, my attention focused on creating the complicated ribbon pattern for

the wedding cake I needed to finish today.

"You'll never guess the call I just had." She stopped just before crashing into my worktable.

"Ced, if you don't calm down, I'm going to ask you take three steps away from this cake before I

end up wearing all five tiers of it."

Sarah, my baking assistant, giggled from my right.

Mercedes put her hands up and took two steps back.

"But, Liv, seriously, you just got the job of a lifetime!" She vibrated with excitement.

Securing the last ribbon detail, I straightened and stretched out my spine, the three pops

accentuating relief. Taking a deep breath, I focused on Ced and the topic at hand.

"What are you talking about?"

"Okay, so, I was going over the books and the upcoming schedule. Because, as you know, since

we were featured on that reality wedding show, our business has completely increased, and if I don't

keep on top of the books and schedule, things just get hectic crazy around here. And when things are

hectic crazy around here you get gar-um-pee."

Known for her ability to complete full conversations in one breath and without another person

actually participating, if I didn't interrupt, we would be here for a while.

"Ced, take a breath and circle back to the phone call."

"Oh," she blinked rapidly, "yeah, thanks. As I was saying, I got a call requesting you to prepare

desserts and a cake for over two thousand people." Ced's eyes twinkled with excitement. "Two

thousand people, Olivia! Do you realize how big this is?"

"Wait, a wedding with two thousand people? Is it some celebrity?"

Sara started to go over the cake details with iridescent sugar powder, giving the ribbons a glossy


"No, no, not a celebrity. It's a corporate function." She lifted a notepad I hadn't noticed her

holding. "Vivianne Lachlan will be arriving to discuss the details with you personally, but they want you

to prepare all the desserts and the large cake for their company function. They are even going to pay the

traveling costs."

"Didn't you tell her we account for travel and delivery costs in the fees?"

"Of course I did." She may as well have said Duh! "But we've never had flight costs before, so I

figured we would—"

"Wait, flight costs? Why am I flying somewhere?"

"It's in New York," Ced responded. "They want you to come to New York and prepare everything

there. Hotel and travel expenses will be handled by Miss Lachlan and her employer."

"Whoa, Ced, I don't fly to other states to work. We can't do it. Call her back and apologize for

the misunderstanding." I began cleaning up the icing bags.

"Are you crazy, Liv?" Mercedes stepped back up to the table. "This job will be enough money to

pay for half of this year’s expenses. You will retain a large profit margin this year," Mercedes argued.

From Mercedes appearance — her rainbow-dyed shag hair, purple-blue contacts, and standard

vintage-inspired style, along with her A.D.D. — you would never guess the girl was a numbers genius.

Appearances were deceiving. In fact, Mercedes Welch graduated valedictorian at Carnegie Mellon

University in Mathematical Sciences. She had been dating one of the instructors at my Pittsburgh

Culinary School when I met her. Mercedes had and always would be one of the most interesting people

in my life.

"I'm not going to leave Alex and go to New York. You know—"

"I believe it would be worth your while to accept."

Snapping my attention toward the unfamiliar voice, I allowed myself a moment to absorb the

unexpected visitor. A very tall, thin woman with sleek, dark brown hair wrapped smartly into a bun atop

her head, stood at the doorway between the kitchen and storefront of my bakery. Her skin, fair and

flawless, contrasted with her dark eyes. Beside her stood Mrs. Dorn, a woman I'd hired a few years back

to run the storefront.

"I'm so sorry, Olivia. She said you were expecting her, but she wouldn't wait at the consultation

table." Mrs. Dorn turned her apologetic eyes from me and glared at the corporate woman next to her.

"It's fine, Mrs. Dorn. She was expected. Thank you." Forcing a smile in the new woman's

direction, I turned to Sarah. "Can you finish this up and get Greg to help you carry the cake to the


Sarah nodded and I turned back to the tall woman. A woman whose put-together, pristine

appearance had me wiping my hands on my oversized, worn, and food-color-stained jeans. As if that

would fancy up the old band t-shirt and knotted red mess held on my head by a bandana. I refused to

wear a hairnet like a lunch lady.

"I'm sorry, Miss…"

"Lachlan." She stepped forward with her hand held out for me.

I met her halfway between my table and the door, taking her hand and shaking it.

Mrs. Dorn retreated to the front of the shop.

"Miss Lachlan, there's been a misunderstanding. I don't travel. I can send a team from the shop

to put together—"

"I'm afraid Mr. Knyght is requesting you be on site to handle things," she said, matter-of-factly,

as she reached into the leather bag at her side. Pulling out an envelope, she handed it to me. "You will

be well compensated. Oh, and this does not include the travel. B.I.G. will make all flight and hotel

accommodations on your behalf.

Slipping the check from out of the envelope, I read the amount three times to be sure my vision

wasn't doubling. It held far more zeros than I'd ever seen in person. For a moment, my greedy side

wanted to drop to my knees and thank the woman, but my realistic nature tampered down the impulse.

"I'm flattered to be so in demand, but I'm afraid it just simply isn't possible." Handing the check

back to the shocked corporate woman, her dark eyes grew wide with what looked like worry.

"Olivia," Ced hissed, stepping in front of me, "are you crazy?" Giving me her back, she turned

toward Miss Lachlan. "Give us a moment, please?"

Grabbing my arm, she pulled me across the kitchen and into her small office. In a hush, she

began her reprimand.

"Are you an idiot? You'd have to be to pass up this opportunity." She sighed heavily, grabbing

the financial breakdown she must have created while on the phone with Miss Lachlan earlier. "Do you

see this?" She held the clipboard in front of me. "This is a ton of money for the bakery, you, and Alex."

She put her hand up, halting my protest.

"You can go to New York, take Sarah and Greg with you. You have Emily so groomed that

between her, Mrs. Dorn, and Jeff, we can take care of the bakery. I'll call some of students at the

culinary school to do some temp work if needed."

Before I could try to protest again, she put her hand over my mouth.

"I will stay and take care of Alex. We haven't had any Auntie Cedie time lately. Everything will be

perfectly fine for one day and night."

A light tap on the half-closed door interrupted our discussion.

"Miss Harlow?" Reaching out, I pushed the door all the way open. Miss Corporate Ladder stood

there looking haughty. "I just got off the phone with my employer." She raised the cell phone she held in

her left hand. "He is prepared to double the offer."

"She'll do it," Ced blurted.

"Excellent." Miss Lachlan held out the same envelope holding the check.

"Mercedes," I hissed.

She covered my mouth with her hand once more and took the check with her other. I pushed

her hand from my mouth.

"The other half of the payment will be given after you have completed the job." She pulled more

papers from her bag. "Now, we need to discuss the details."

After all this damn time and effort, she's turning down the offer. It's enough money to give her

business a major gain at the end of the fiscal year. I should know, I've seen her financial records. I

clenched my free hand into a fist.

"Vivianne, offer whatever she wants," I growled through clenched teeth.

"Sir? Are you sure about this? I mean, I can arrange—"

"Don't question me! Double the offer! Give her the initial check and she will receive the other

half upon completion of the job. Don't fuck this up, Vivianne!" I slammed my desk phone down and

moved to the small bar in my oversized office.

As I poured the whiskey into the chilled tumbler, I caught a glimpse of the silver frame turned

over on the bar. Knowing the absolute torture I would be putting myself through, I slid my fingers across

the cool silver and picked it up. Inhaling deeply, I flipped it over and looked at him. Tightness in my lungs

suffocated me. I slammed the frame back to the bar and the glass shattered from the force, scattering

across the lacquered wood. Grasping a tumbler and filling it halfway with whiskey, I tossed back the

aged smoothness in one swig.

"M-Mister Knyght?" My secretary's timid voice carried across my vast office from the partially

opened doorway.

"Yes?" I replied, my voice gravelly. I cleared my throat.

"Is, uh…is everything okay, sir?" She fidgeted, well aware of my temper.

"Yes," I answered, curtly. "Could you please have housekeeping clean the glass near my bar?"

"Of course, sir." She smiled and turned to tend to the task.

"Don't let them touch the picture frame!"

She snapped her head around quickly.

"Y-yes, sir," she said, continuing her retreat.

Sitting back into the chair at my desk, I impatiently waited for another call from Vivianne. This

time, it had better be a confirmation of Olivia Harlow taking the job.

When the intercom buzzed, I grabbed the phone.

"Is it Vivianne?"

"No, sir. It's your brother." My secretary's voice wavered.

"Send him through," I said with a disappointed sigh.

Our father, Damon Senior, remarried after he and my mother divorced. I had been two. He

wanted a housewife and my mother, much too independent and intelligent to waste away in a house

with multiple children, refused to comply with his desires.

The conflict brought about the divorce. Luckily for me, my parents worked hard to remain civil

with one another, mostly for the sake of the public eye. With my father being a world-renowned

surgeon and my mother residing as the CEO of B.I.G., they needed to keep a certain level of

professionalism, even in their private lives.

Damon Senior remarried about six months after the divorce and soon produced Hugh with his

wife, Heidi. She is much younger than my father and more than content to be a trophy housewife. Her

dependence on him also made his affairs easier for him to get away with.

The phone buzzed again. "Hugh?" I answered.

"Good morning, Damon," he greeted in his usual pleasant tone.

"So, to what do I owe this call? We didn't have a call set up, did we?" Scanning my calendar, I

saw nothing.

"No, I'm just calling to let you know Scarlett and I have finally set a date."

Settling back against my chair, I took a deep breath and smiled.

"That is…great news. So, when are you finally going to make an honest woman of her?"

"I heard that!" Scarlett's charming voice in the background revealed that she was in my

brother's office. I chuckled.

Scarlett started with B.I.G. as an intern during her last year of college. The impression she had in

the department with her imaginative and out of the box marketing skills was clear from the beginning.

The impression she left on my brother was also clear from the beginning.

Hugh was still enamored by her intelligence and beauty. There was no denying Scarlett's

physical appeal to men and, to be honest, even certain women. Scarlett stands at about five-foot-six,

but her height means nothing when you’re matched up against the ferocity of her presentations and

campaigns. Scarlett is a natural force, only enhanced by her golden blonde hair, porcelain skin,

hypnotizing crystal blue eyes, which were most often framed in black rimmed glasses, and her hourglass

figure. Her relationship with Hugh only manifested after I pulled her into my office and demanded she

go out with my brother at least once before I killed him. From that moment forward, they've been


"Anyhow," she feigned annoyance, "we will be getting married near my family's hometown in


"Sounds like a good idea." Realizing that would put me close to Pittsburgh, a smile crossed my


"So, you won't object to traveling and standing as my best man?" Hugh rejoined the


"I couldn't be more thrilled to do just that." My brother meant a lot to me and he just gave me

reason to be in Pennsylvania.

"Are you sure it—"

"Scarlett," Hugh hissed.

Knowing exactly what she’s referring to, I sighed.

"It's fine." I stiffened in my seat. "We can discuss more about this later." The buzz of my

intercom interrupted the direction the call had taken. "I need to get this." I hung up without a goodbye

and hit the button. "Yes?"

"Sorry, sir, but it’s Miss Lachlan."

"Send her through," I quipped, impatiently.

The phone beeped. "Well?!"

"She agreed to the double payment and will be—"

"Excellent! Good work, Vivianne!" A happiness I hadn't felt in years filled me.

Vivianne went over the logistics and details, but I didn't care. All that mattered was that I had

found them. She would be within my grasp in just a few, agonizing days.

The day of the corporate party arrived and I couldn't get through the workday quick enough. I

planned to cut out of the office early, dress, and find Miss Harlow before the party began, but a last

minute disaster with one of our larger clients made it impossible. My only hope was to get to her before

too many people arrived.

Arriving at the venue, I groaned at how many others arrived early. There were board members

and employees I had no other option but to greet and speak with. After all, this party was in celebration

of the company and its employees.

Finally getting through the throng of people, I arrived at the kitchen. Upon entering, I was

greeted by a tall, dark skinned man, eyeing me skeptically.

"Hello, I'm Damon Knyght, CEO of B.I.G." Holding out my hand, I eyed him up. Who was this man

to her? Employee? Lover?

His eyes widened. He quickly wiped his hand before holding it out. "It's a pleasure to meet you,

Mr. Knyght."

"I just wanted to come back and see…thank Miss Harlow for traveling out here for us this

evening. I know it was an inconvenience for—"

The man's brow furrowed.

"Is there a problem?"

"I'm sorry, Mr. Knyght." Turning, I came face to face with a tall, thin brunette with large blue

eyes. "Liv…Miss Harlow had to get back to Pittsburgh." She twisted her fingers in her apron nervously.

Looking back at the tall, dark man, I realized they were both awaiting my reaction.

"I see," I said, biting back my anger — my fury. She wasn't there. "Well, please thank her for

me." Forcing a smile and a nod, I left the kitchen.

Reaching inside my dark suit jacket, I pulled out my phone and dialed.

"Yes, Mr. Knyght?" Vivianne's voice always reminded me of what a loyal dog would sound like if

a dog could speak.

"Why is Miss Harlow gone already?" I growled.

Vivianne always tried to please and take care of everything, but she would never make amends

with me. Not unless she finally resigned from her position and went far, far away.

"I, uh, wasn't aware she was required to stay once the job was finished. Her assistants stayed to

help out during the—"

"Goddamn it, Vivianne! Where is she?"

"Uh…um…" Vivianne stuttered.

I shouldn't be taking this out on her, but she's ruined everything. She'd always been a thorn in

my side. If it weren't for my mother, I would've dropped Vivianne from the payroll years ago.

"Let me find out if she's left yet, Mr. Knyght. I will call—"

"Where are you?!" I returned to the large crowd of employees and business associates and

scanned the room for her dark hair.

"I'm about to walk out the front entrance to make the call privately, sir."

"I'll meet you there. Don't move!" I ended the call and snaked my way through the crowd.

A few stops to talk and a couple of handshakes later, I was out the front door. Vivianne stood,

leaning her forehead against the stone wall of the building. I cleared my throat. She jumped.

"Sir, she's already on a plane back to Pittsburgh." Tears formed in her eyes as she took in the

tension of my body. She knew how angry I was.

"I'm leaving." Turning to the valet, I growled, "Get my car."

His eyes widened and he moved quickly to locate my vehicle.

"Sir, you have to make your speech. You can't just—"

"Have Hugh do it. I have some business to attend."

Before she could say anything more, my car appeared. Tipping the valet for his fast work, I slid

behind the wheel of the sleek, midnight blue car, spinning the tires as I pulled away.

Pulling out my private cell phone, I dialed.


"Mitch, its Damon. I need you to locate someone for me. In fact, I need you to find out as much

as you can about this person and I need everything as soon as you get it."

"Anything and everything?" He wanted reassurance.


"Does this have anything to do with our prior contract?"



"Olivia Harlow."

"So, you found her." He wasn't asking, Mitch was stating a fact. "I'll get what I can, but you have

to give me some time, Damon. Pennsylvania is a bit out of my jurisdiction and there is only so much a

computer can give me. I may have to contact a few people—"

"Just keep my name out of it and do what you have to do. We both know money isn't an issue." I

ended the call and tossed the phone on the passenger seat. With a heavy sigh, I sped home to bury

myself in whiskey and memories I'd rather escape.

The day after the New York job, Mercedes recruited Felicity to convince me to celebrate the

opportunity. Felicity Valiente, an event planner who had grown to be a close friend after so many jobs

brought us together over the years, towered over Mercedes at almost six feet tall in her heels. Today,

she wore her long, thick, dark hair in a braid over her shoulder. The turquoise wrap dress complimented

her golden brown skin and dark brown eyes. With her Filipino and Hawaiian heritage, she was the kind

of woman men wanted and other women wanted to be.

"A trip to Las Vegas for a Girls Gone Wild weekend will be help you wind down from the big job."

Mercedes pushed the topic when I didn't initially respond to the idea.

"I’m a mother. There will be no Girls Gone Wild." Laughing, I stacked the third tier, out of the

five, on a wedding cake.

"Come on, Olivia. Live a little!" Felicity chided.

"Your dad can watch Alex for the weekend. We can all go and let loose. Besides, I didn’t get to

go to New York like you did!" Ced brought out the puppy dog eyes and pouty lip.

"You two go ahead. I have a lot of cakes to get done." Waving, I tried to shoo them away.

"There are only three cakes this weekend and Sarah and Greg can handle them both, plus Emily

is like your mini-me. She can handle it." They both stood on the opposite side of the table, staring

intently. "Come on!" Mercedes pleaded.

"It’s to celebrate your success, Liv!" Felicity added.

"We all know how celebrating ended for me before." An image of Isaac flashed into my head.

"I’m sorry, Liv. You know how sorry I am that that happened, but this isn’t like that. You need to

get out, be a woman, and get laid!" Mercedes stated.

The room erupted in laughter.

"Hush it, all of you," I said between my own laughter. "I can't believe you just announced it to

the kitchen." Heat flushed my face.

"A vibrator can only do so much." She shrugged off my embarrassment and ignored my beet red

face. The chorus of laughter around us grew louder.

"If I agree, will you shut up about my sex life, batteries or no batteries?"

Felicity and Ced gave me a synchronized smile.

"Yes!" Ced hugged Felicity, then both burst into song.

"We are going to Vegas. We are going to Vegas!" they sang, using the damn Blue's Clues theme


"Get away from my table before you knock over this cake, you loons!" Laughing, I shook my

head at them.

"You love, L-O-V-E, us!" Ced sang.

Two extremely long days later, Mitch called while I was in the middle of a meeting. Unable to

take the call, but unable to concentrate on the topic any longer, I rushed the meeting. I wasn’t going to

lose her now.

"Hello," he said. His voice was always guarded when he answered.

"You got the information I requested?"


"Of course."

He chuckled. "I'm sending the information to you now, by messenger."

"Give me the summary." I closed my office door a little too roughly, excitement flowing through

my body.

"Well, Miss Harlow will be taking a trip to Vegas this weekend. The flight arrangements were

just made this week under the name of Mercedes Bennett, but it's Harlow." A beeping noise sounded

through the phone. "Listen, I have to go, but the details should be there within the hour."

"Very well." I ended the call and hit the button on my desk intercom.

"I am expecting a messenger within the hour. I need the delivery immediately."

"Yes, sir," Mrs. Shaw quickly responded.

I settled back in my leather chair, unable to think about work. Vegas was the only thing on my


The messenger arrived forty-five minutes later and Mrs. Shaw brought in the large manila

envelope with a large smile on her face. I took it and thanked her. Once she closed the door behind her,

I tore into the envelope. It was everything I needed. A plan began to form in my mind. I hadn't been to

Vegas in years.

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