Tailored for Trouble (Happy Pants #1) - Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Dearest Linda,

First, I would like to offer my deepest sympathies for your tragic news. As a widow myself and a mother of three, I know the need to see Bennett settled before you move on must weigh heavily on your soul. Ay, Dios. Our children are all we really have in the end, sí?

I am, however, so deeply sorry to tell you that my gifts have been greatly exaggerated by the press. I am simply an old woman from Mexico who runs a bakery. Now, is it true that some have eaten my sugar cookies and found their soul mate in seven days? Sí. Is it because of my cookies? Heavens, no. A cookie is just a cookie. However, I have been known to play matchmaker from time to time. In fact, at this very moment, I am preparing to help a very special woman catch her Mr. Right—a project that has consumed much of my time these past months. But by no means am I a foolproof lucky charm as some suggest.

All that said, my dear Linda, I want to help you any way I can. I will invite your Bennett to my annual fiesta in July and ensure he receives not only the kick in the pantalones you’ve requested, but that he is introduced to several potential matches. The party will not occur for another four months, but if anything should happen to you—God forbid—you may rest assured that I will make every effort to see to his mule-headedness.

In the meantime, I’ve included a delicious cookie for Bennett. Can’t hurt.

With All My Love,

Ms. Luci Leon-Parker

Proprietor, The Happy Pants Café


Twenty-eight-year-old Taylor Reed stepped out of the downtown Seattle office building into the pouring rain, thankful for having forgotten her umbrella. This way, no one would notice the tears streaming down her face.

I’m ruined. Completely ruined, she thought. And it wasn’t an exaggeration. Over the last three months, Taylor had maxed out her credit cards, borrowed every last dime from her 401(k), and depleted her emergency savings account, all to start her own highly specialized executive training company. Fifteen sales pitches and fifteen rejections later, including today’s very polite “Thanks, but no thanks,” she was at the end of her rope.

This is all his fault. That smug, cold-hearted bastard who’d gotten her fired from a nice steady job. Okay, she’d technically quit, but still. There had been no other choice after that humiliating disaster. All because he was “the customer.” All because he had money and thought he could treat people like garbage. All because—

Ugh. Shut up. It’s your fault. You let him get to you.

An image of those unfeeling, icy blue eyes flashed in her mind. She’d never forget them. Just like she’d never forget the glib smirk on his disarmingly handsome face, a face that might have you believing a real human being existed somewhere inside.

Asshole. Hope he chokes on one of his designer ties.

Not having a clue what she would do next, Taylor looked up at the sky, allowing the giant sloppy drops to cool her face. She would have to get another job. Start over. But starting over meant flying back to Phoenix, packing up her apartment, and praying one of her older brothers, who lived near San Francisco, would take her in without giving her thirty lashes—verbal, of course. Then there’d be facing her father. In his mind, people either paid their own way or they were a waste of good clean air.

Oh, God. The humiliation. Taylor buttoned up her black coat and grabbed her extra-large rolling laptop case to go flag down a taxi. With this rain, it would probably be a while, which meant she’d probably miss her flight. The perfect ending to a perfect shit day.

Taylor stopped on the corner just in time to see two empty cabs sail by. “Oh, come on!”

She dug her phone from her pocket, deciding it might be better to call a taxi directly, when the device buzzed in her hand. It was a San Francisco number. Maybe one of the companies who’d rejected her had changed their minds?

“Hello?” she said, trying not to sound too hopeful.

“Is this Miss Reed?” said a perky, sweet voice.

“Yes. This is Ms. Reed.”

“One moment please, I have a call for you.”

Just then a large white and blue bus with a loud rumbling engine pulled up. For crying out loud.

“Could you hold on, please? I can’t quite hear you.” She stepped into the doorway of a small café with a cheerful red