The Sweetest October By Megan Slayer
Contemporary Holiday Romance
Heat Level: Sweet
Megan Slayer Publications
Love and Halloween are an odd couple, but they can be
the best means to heal a broken heart.
Allison Prince never planned on leaving her job with the Waite Gazette, but
when the chance to discover her past comes along, she can’t say no. She’s
determined to learn about her grandmother and make the advice in her column
more relatable. With her rescue dog, Woofy, beside her, she sets out to learn
as much as she can about Hallowsville, Ohio.
Erik Greene doesn’t believe in love and isn’t fond of Halloween. He’s convinced
his broken heart won’t heal—until he meets Allison and visits the local animal
shelter. He doesn’t want a journalist snooping around Hallowsville. But Allison
isn’t all she seems and the pup at the shelter proves love is possible.
Can he open his heart to new opportunities and chase the love of his life? Or
is he destined to be the Dandy Devil of Hallowsville all alone?
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©2018 Megan Slayer, All
Margaret returned. She slid the tray of unbaked cookies
into the hot oven. “I noticed we have a new addition to town.” She stood.
“Seems like a nice girl.” She offered up a cardboard box. “Here’s the other
“Thanks.” He opened the flaps. “Margaret, please don’t
try to fix me up with Allison or Ella Mae or anyone else.”
“Who said I did that?” Margaret set the timer. “Did she
say something? That girl. I asked her to help me today. I’m behind, not trying
to find you a date.”
“Then I’m sorry.” He bolted the new coil into place. He
didn’t understand why the people of Hallowsville wanted him to move on. The
break-up with Tracey just about broke him. He didn’t want another girlfriend.
Yes, Allison was pretty and if she hadn’t been a reporter, he might have asked
her out for one night. But Allison had the power to embarrass Hallowsville if
she desired and to make her name with the article. Maybe he was in the wrong,
but he didn’t want to see his town shamed by an investigative reporter.
“Almost done?” Margaret asked. “I could use the extra
space to do double batches and catch up.”
“Yeah.” He finished the last connection, then backed out
of the cavernous space. “Try it. If we have heat, you’re in business.”
“Awesome.” She twisted the knob and the coil glowed.
“Works. Yes.” She threw her arms around him. “Thank you.”
“It’s all in a day’s work.” He brushed the flour off his
knees and stood. “Get those cookies done, but I expect a freebie when I come
through during the parade.”
“One?” She laughed. “How about a dozen? You can take a
few to the new girl and make a better impression.” She paused. “Yes, Delilah
said you were a tad brusque.”
“I might have been.” He shrugged. “She threw me off my
“I know.” She elbowed him. “Have you been down to the
animal shelter lately?”
“No.” Should he?
“My sister says there’s a new dog there that might be up
your alley. Shy little thing. Sweet-natured,” Margaret said. “I know you want a
guard dog, but this one is so adorable.”
“A small dog?” He hadn’t put much thought into adopting a
dog. He had his work at the welcome center. Would a dog fit in? Wreck the
place? Was he ready for a companion? Would having a dog impress Allison? He
paused. What was he thinking? He didn’t have to impress her and shouldn’t be
“Just go down there. Check out the dogs. One will speak
to you.” She rubbed his shoulder. “Promise, but you have to go. Please?”
“Will do.” He grabbed his tools and headed out of the
bakery. Take Allison cookies? No way. He refused to get close to a reporter—no
matter how much he might like her. Not a chance. Go to the shelter? Why not?
What could go wrong?
©2018 Megan Slayer,
All Rights Reserved
“I knew about you long before your emails, even if I
didn’t realize I did.”
“Erik?” He had to have said something. He hated her.
“Mr. Surly?” Delilah laughed and shook her head. “No.”
“Does he ever smile?” She toyed with the class covering
the counter. “Or would that break his face?”
“He’s good at distant.”
“Too bad. He’s cute.” She hadn’t wanted to blurt that
out. “But petulant.”
Delilah’s brows rose and she stopped laughing. “Remember
the cute comment when you’ve fallen in love with him and he doesn’t return your
feelings. Trust me. He’s cute, but he’s a handful very few women want to take on.”
“He can be all the cute he wants. I can tell you he won’t
make a move.”
“Why wouldn’t he ask you out?” Delilah asked. “You’re
adorable. It runs in the family, you know. We’re all adorable.”
“Compared to you and the other women I’ve seen, I’m
nothing great. I’m short, curvy and not perfect,” Allie said. She knew her
limits. Her exes liked to remind her as to where she could improve. Erik would
be the same. “Why aren’t you with him? Or are you? You make a handsome couple.”
“Erik? No.” Delilah rewrapped a spool of ribbon around
the cardboard. “He’s not my type, but I’ve dated him. It was a disaster.” She
tapped the spool on the counter. “You’re more his type.”
“No thanks.” She refused to even try when she had the
feeling she’d be shot down on the first date.
“Well, don’t think you’ll cure him. He’s beyond help.”
“I don’t know what you mean, but I won’t.”
“I’m not looking to date anyone. I dumped my boyfriend
right before I left because I found out he’d cheated on me. I don’t have time
to go through that again. Plus, once the month-long trip down memory lane is
over, I’m back at the Gazette.” So
she’d slipped and said she was home. So what? The word change was a simple
goof-up. Nothing more.
“We don’t have a paper here in Hallowsville,” Delilah
“Okay?” She didn’t understand. “You share one with the
next town over? The county?”
“Nope.” Delilah put the ribbon down. “You are an Astor.
You’ve got the right to stick around and since you’re in the newspaper
business, you’d know how to run one. Why not stay a while after the month and
give us a newspaper? There’s still a press and once people found out we had a
paper again, you’d have business.”
“I write columns, not oversee publications.” Running a
newspaper? Half the time she struggled with balancing her checkbook. The
thought of accounts, advertising, stories…she’d sink in weeks.
“You helped run the student paper in college.”
“It was a free paper and mostly used by the students to
line bird cages and for house-breaking dogs.” Her heart sank. “I don’t know anything
about the day-to-day operations of a paper.”
“It’s not like you’d be running it alone.” Delilah left
her stool and retrieved three spools of ribbon from the other end of the
counter. “Hallowsville is a remarkable place. When we see a need, we find a way
to fill it and come together while doing so. You might be better at running the
paper than you think.”
“Delilah.” No matter what she said, she wouldn’t change
her cousin’s mind.
“I hope you rethink the paper, but I really hope you stick
to your gut feeling concerning Erik.”