NEW RELEASE BLITZ: The Predicament by Penny Mclean (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title: The Predicament

Series: Flavors of the Month, Book Two

Author: Penny McLean

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 01/02/2024

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Female, Female/Female

Length: 59600

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, contemporary, humorous, bisexual, multiple partners, doctor, scientist, Italy, smear campaign

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Cynthia Blake has a problem. She was sure dating twelve men in one year, then marrying one at the end was a great way to find a husband, but with three suitors down and nine to go, her little experiment has gotten out of hand.

Someone clearly has it out for her and is doing their best to trash her reputation, threatening to take down her beloved chain of ice cream stores in the process. And even though she’s having fun (a lot of fun) with each of her Flavors of the Month, choosing one is going to be harder than she ever imagined.

In this sequel to The Plan, follow Cynthia through April, May, and June as things heat up just in time for summer. Can she get things back on track before her dream of love melts away?


The Predicament
Penny McLean © 2024
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
March 28

It’s weird to be in such a familiar place with a complete stranger. I know every twist and turn of Disneyland, but when I look at the guy walking next to me, I keep realizing again what a strange path I’ve been on this year.

“So, you dated Peter as part of your Plan?” Eric asks, as I finish explaining everything that’s happened since I set this all in to motion in December.

I nod. “But we met back in high school. I had a huge crush on him back in the day and he thought he had one on me.”

“But he really liked that Cara girl?”

“Apparently,” I say sheepishly. “People used to confuse us from time to time, but this has to be the worst instance of mistaken identity I’ve ever experienced.”

“I’ll say. I once had a girl throw eggs at my door back in London. When I yelled down to ask what she was doing, she said she meant to hit my neighbor’s house, but got the number wrong. That was annoying. Yours is worse.”

I laugh really hard and smile at Eric as we stroll down Main Street toward Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. It’s crowded today and we’ve already had to dodge a few strollers pushed by frantic parents, eager to maximize their children’s happiness for the day. It looks exhausting.

We stop for a minute to sit on a bench and watch the people passing by. Or rather, Eric is watching the other people, while I’m taking the opportunity to stare at him and assess his looks. It’s shallow, but I don’t care.

The verdict? He is really, really cute. The glasses I noticed the first time I saw him currently sit askew on his face, or they do until he reaches up to adjust them. His black hair is unkempt, most likely because we drove all night to get here. His eyes are a steely gray and his build is tall and lanky.

“Why did you bring me here?” I say as the thought occurs to me. “Don’t get me wrong; I’m thrilled. But what put it in your head to get in the car and drive straight here?”

“Well, I haven’t lived in America very long, but I did a lot of touristy things pretty early. I came here last year with a coworker while we were visiting a lab in Los Angeles, and I thought how nice it would be to come back with a woman on a date. So, when I saw you looking like you needed an escape last night, I decided this would be the best option.”

“And you went to the Prom last night just to see me?” I’m still a bit mystified.

“Indeed, I did. Something about seeing your legs dangle outside of my tree that night really left an impression.”

We’re both laughing again, but I’m secretly wondering if he’s holding back regarding our second encounter. I decide not to mention it and opt for the best distraction I can think of.

“How about I buy you a churro and we go check out a ride?”

“Buy me a what?” he says.

“You didn’t have a churro when you came here before?” I’m shocked that he missed something so crucially Disney. He shakes his head, so I grab his hand to lead us to the nearest cart, just opening for the day.

“Allow me to introduce you to the greatest thing since sliced bread.” I pay for two churros and hand one to him. They are warm and smell amazing. I smile as he takes a bite of his and wait to bite into my own cinnamon-sugar treat until I hear his assessment.

“Oh wow,” he says. “I had no idea what I was missing out on.”

I laugh and lead us into Fantasyland to get in line for Peter Pan. As we queue up, Eric smiles. “Don’t hate me, but I didn’t ride this ride either. Guessing it’s a favorite of yours since you brought me here first?”

“Oh yes.” I nod and smile. “I really do love this ride, but it also gets a long line pretty early, so it’s best to come here before it gets too bad.”

“You’re quite the expert.” He seems impressed.

“You could say that. So, how did you end up in the States?”

We pass the time in line with Eric filling me in on the work he does as a physicist. It’s all really complicated, and I understand very little, but he’s patient with me and explains as best he can. He came to America with another Brit named Allen and they’re both working on some big breakthrough with a professor at Arizona State University.

“That’s really cool,” I say as we board the flying pirate ship that will take us around on the ride. Eric holds my hand as the lap bar comes down and it’s such a sweet gesture that I well up a bit. This ride does that to me anyway, but maybe I’m already feeling a nice connection with this new guy. Either way, it’s a great start to the day. And month. And maybe my happily ever after.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Penny McLean is a careerwoman by day, writer by night, mother at all times to three incredible children, and wife to a loving husband. Born in San Diego, California, she now hails from Gilbert, Arizona where she especially enjoys giving back to her community by volunteering at schools and libraries, with Girl Scouts, and for any causes that benefit marginalized communities, especially LGBTQIA+ youth. She began her career as a writer at the age of 17 when she was hired to cover movies, arts, and features for a youth-oriented page in the Arizona Republic. With twenty years of writing experience for magazines, newspapers, social media, and more, she is thrilled to have her first novel out in the world. You can find Penny on her Website


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