The Boy With the Bookstore Read Online Sarah Echavarre Smith

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 103
Estimated words: 96978 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 485(@200wpm)___ 388(@250wpm)___ 323(@300wpm)

When a baker meets the bookshop owner of her dreams, and he turns into her nemesis, they’ll both have to read between the lines to avoid a career-ending recipe for disaster.

Max Boyson looks good… from a distance. But up close and personal, the tattooed hottie Joelle Prima has been crushing on for the past year and half has turned into the prime example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by his delectable cover.
When she first learned about the massive renovation to the building they share, Joelle imagined that temporarily combining her Filipino bakery with Max’s neighboring bookstore would be the perfect opening chapter to their happily ever after. In her fantasies they fed each other bibingka and pandesal while discussing Jane Austen and cooing over her pet hamster, Pumpkin. Reality, however…is quite different. Her gallant prince turned out to be a stubborn toad who snaps at her in front of customers, dries his sweaty gym clothes in her oven, and routinely helps himself to the yummy pastries in her display case without asking.
But beneath Max’s grumpy glares, Joelle senses a rising heat—and a softening heart. And when they discover the real reason for the renovation, they’ll have to put both their business senses and their feelings for each other to the test.


Chapter 1


When Max Boyson walks into my bakery, I almost drop the tray of croissants I’m holding and try not to pass out.

It’s a daily occurrence for me. Because this is what I have to contend with when he strolls in at seven forty-five on the dot: His six-foot-two frame clad in a black leather jacket, worn jeans covering his long, muscular legs. He wears a knit beanie over that mass of light brown hair, and there’s a healthy amount of scruff sheeting along a jawline sharp enough to cut diamonds.

He’s a cross between a ridiculously handsome Instagram model and a biker.

And that smile. Oh my freaking god, that smile. Always a half smile. Always the right corner of his mouth quirked up like he’s hiding a secret that he’s dying to tell. Always deliciously wolfish.

But it’s not just his looks. It’s his whole demeanor. The way he walks into a room, posture straight, gaze focused and unbothered at the same time. He looms large but is also aware of himself. As physically imposing as he is, he’s careful not to crowd anyone when he steps into the tiny space of my bakery. He holds the door for people when he walks in and out. And he always moves out of the way when there’s a line. It’s an easy confidence he possesses—something I’ve always ached to have.

He is the epitome of everything I find attractive in a man. And that pinnacle of hotness walks into my world every single morning, setting fire to my skin and turning my brain to mush.

I wish I weren’t such an utter cliché. But I am.

I am the physical representation of the phrase “mousy shy girl.” If you were to search that on Google Images, my photo would be the first to pop up.

I’ve got it all: wild hair that hits all the way to the middle of my back and hides my face when it’s not pulled into a ponytail, thick-rimmed glasses, a penchant for biting my lip and stammering when I’m nervous, and the inability to maintain prolonged eye contact when a handsome guy looks my way.

That’s pretty much what I’ve done every other day when Max walks in here and places his usual order of an ube latte—iced in the spring and summer, hot in the fall and winter—and a plain croissant, just before he strolls next door and opens his bookshop, Stacked, which occupies the store space next to mine in this brick building we both lease in the Jade District of Portland, Oregon.

It all happens like some slow-motion scene out of a movie. Max half smiles. I instantly forget that I often have a store full of customers to help. He makes casual conversation, asking me about the morning rush, what new pastries I’ve got on the menu that day, if the pigeons in the dumpster behind our building have dive-bombed me when I took out the trash. And like the unsophisticated and painfully awkward human that I am, I burn hot all across my cheeks and neck and chest. I giggle, then stammer my way through the conversation, all the while trying not to stare unblinkingly at him so I don’t come off like a psycho.

And then he leaves, my heart resumes a steady beat, and I will myself to act like a normal human being again.

It’s all very embarrassing, the fact that I devolve into a flustered teen every time I’m in his presence.

But not today.

No, no, no. Today marks something new. Today, I’m going to actually do something about my crush on Max Boyson that kicked off when he started renting out the space next to me a year and a half ago. I’m going to ask him out.