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More than Words (Pink Bean Series - Book 9) (EBOOK)

More than Words (Pink Bean Series - Book 9) (EBOOK)

A stereotype-challenging book in the much-loved Pink Bean series.

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Full description

Building walls around your heart is easier than breaking them down

Katherine Jones has said goodbye to her old job as a luxury lesbian escort and embarked on a new adventure with her best friend Rocco: opening a third branch of the Pink Bean coffee shop.

Rocco’s aunt, Hera Walker, is tasked with renovating the new Pink Bean. It’s Hera’s first job after recovering from the sudden death of her long-term partner and she finds it hard to reconnect with her former life. Her first new client being an ex-call girl isn’t helping.

Can Hera find the open-mindedness to see Katherine for who she truly is? And will Katherine, who has never suffered fools gladly, be able to break down the wall Hera has built around herself?

Best-selling lesbian romance author Harper Bliss brings you another stereotype-challenging book in the much-loved Pink Bean series.

Themes and tropes

  • Opposites attract
  • Age gap
  • Dealing with loss
  • The Pink Bean series

Chapter One Look Inside

Chapter 1

“This is the perfect location for a third Pink Bean,” Kristin says, standing in front of the large shop window. “I can picture it already.” She turns around to face Rocco and me and reaches out her hand. “And I’m very happy to be in business with both of you.” I let Rocco shake her hand first.

Just as I’m about to touch my palm against Kristin’s, my phone starts vibrating in the back pocket of my jeans. I sigh because I can so easily guess who it’s going to be—Alana, trying to convince me, once again, to reconsider quitting The Lesbian Experience.

“This is a job perfectly suited for working part-time,” she said yesterday, when I was silly enough to pick up. “Even one appointment per week would be good.” 

“Do you have to get that?” Kristin asks and quickly lets go of my hand.

“Let me check.” I slip my phone out of my pocket. A picture of Liz appears on the screen. Relief washes over me and I pick up. Even though we used to be colleagues at the agency, I know she won’t try to convince me to take another client. She knows that once you’re done with being an escort, you’re done. That door has been closed once and for all.

“Hi Lizzie,” I greet my friend. We’ve gotten much closer now that we’re no longer co-workers—although we never actually, in the true sense of the word, collaborated.

“I’m in my old hood,” Liz says. “I thought I’d drop in.”

“Rocco and I are with Kristin at the venue for the new Pink Bean. Swing by here.” I give her the address. When I hang up, Rocco’s telling Kristin all about his interior design plans—again. His arm swoops through the air and his voice shines with enthusiasm. We’ve been talking about this for so long—although I’m not sure either one of us ever sincerely believed our dreams would come true. Then we met Kristin and everything started going really fast.

“Liz is stopping by,” I say when a silence falls in their conversation.

Rocco checks his watch. “Auntie Hera should be here soon as well.”

We make our way into the empty shop.

“If only we had a working coffee machine already,” Kristin says, a smile on her face.

“My aunt will have the renovations done in no time. She’s not one of those builders who say yes to a deadline only to push it back time and time again. I’m also her favorite nephew and she can’t pull that shit with me.” Rocco puts his hands on his hips.

“Family connections can work in your favor as well as against you,” Kristin says.

Ever since we started talking to her about a possible third Pink Bean branch, she’s been uttering words of advice like that. She doesn’t talk a mile a minute, but she’s been invaluable in helping us make our dream a reality. And as a silent partner she has invested enough money so that Rocco and I can devote all our energy to getting this off the ground as quickly as possible. 

He waves her off. When they talk to each other, Rocco so flamboyant and Kristin so measured in her movements, the contrast always makes me smile. They’re so different, yet they seem to hit it off. Then again, Rocco is the kind of person who hits it off with almost everyone he meets. He wags a finger at her.

Kristin peers at it as though it’s a gesture not many people have ever had the balls to aim at her. 

“Not when it comes to my aunt. Nu-uh,” he says. “She’s a woman of her word if ever there was one.”

“A woman after my own heart then.” Kristin gives him a small smile. I don’t think she’s capable of anything more generous, as though her genetics don’t allow her wide grins.

“After we’ve talked with Hera, we can set an opening date,” I say, my voice brimming with excitement.

When Jessica first introduced me to Kristin, I misjudged her as the kind of person who would take great offense at my then-profession. But looks can be deceiving—something I should know all about—and Kristin embraced the idea of the new coffee shop from the start. It helped that she already had a partnership going with two women who run a Pink Bean branch, slash feminist book shop, in Newtown.

“We’ll see,” Kristin says. “I know she’s your aunt, Rocco, but it will also depend on the budget.”

Rocco waves her off again. Kristin looks at his fluttering hand as though, if he waves it at her one more time, she might very well slap it away. “This is even better than mates’ rates, Kristin. This is family.”

Even I’m curious about meeting Rocco’s aunt. I’ve known him for a long time, but I’ve never met her. However, I do know all about her long-term partner Samantha suddenly dying of a cerebral hemorrhage last year. Rocco may have cried about it when he was with me but I’m sure he was a rock for his aunt. He’s that kind of guy. As camp as they come, yet with a heart of gold underneath. I love him to bits for both those elements of his personality.

A woman on a pale blue racing bicycle stops in front of the window, catching all of our attention. From her lanky form, I can tell it’s Liz. She takes off her helmet and straps it to the handlebar of her bike. She waves at us through the window.

“I can’t believe there’s going to be a Pink Bean in bloody Bondi,” she says as she steps inside. “Now that I no longer live here.”

“Sorry, darling,” Rocco says. “But this is where it’s happening. You shouldn’t have been such a lez and moved in with your girlfriend after two dates.”

The three lesbians surrounding him protest loudly, telling him off for his inane utterance of clichés. While Liz admires the space, I see a bright red flatbed truck pull up outside. The driver manages to maneuver it into a tight spot, impressing me with their parking skills. 

Rocco claps his hands together. “Hera’s here.”

We all watch Hera as she descends from the truck. She stands looking at the building for a split second, just long enough for me to take her in. She’s tall with short cropped dark hair that is greying slightly at the temples. Her jeans are faded and marred with paint spots. The T-shirt she’s wearing is loose and shapeless, but from its sleeves, a pair of bulky biceps protrude. Hera pushes her tortoiseshell glasses up her nose and heads inside.

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