Date Published: February 5, 2021
Publisher: DCL Publications
Warm your heart, put a smile on your face, and get ready for a bellyful of laughs with this collection of four original romantic comedies. Featuring laugh-out-loud tales by some of today’s most talented authors, ‘The Scent of a Man’ will pull you into the world of true love and the antics and misadventures that it takes to find it. Your cure for the doldrums and tribulations of the real world awaits in this shining collection of PG-13 short stories of lively, eclectic and humorous proportions. Remember, there is no greater scent than the scent of a man, so settle back, get comfortable, and take a nice, deep whiff of hilarity.
Love Cabin by Miriam Newman
He thinks she’s a snob. She thinks he hates women. It’s going to take a lot to work this out.
Blue skidded on the hardwood floors through the cabin, making a beeline for the back door and his pee place. Though Sandy assured her that he sprinkled her place liberally, he had to go at once to his spot in the yard, as if assuring the world he was back. Marjorie followed, .22 cradled in her arms. Nothing was going to eat her pup.
Jack was inspecting his fence line. Alerted by Blue’s furious barks, he glanced up in time to see her carrying armament.
“Hey,” he said, strolling over to the fence. “It isn’t that bad, is it?”
Marjorie smiled. “Coyotes and hawks. He’s still pretty small.”
Jack pushed back his tractor hat. “He looks like he’ll go about eighty pounds, so later you won’t have to worry. But, yeah, they’ll snatch him now.” He gestured to her rifle. “You know how to use that thing?”
“I know how to use this thing.”
“Just checking,” he said. “Those bullets carry a distance.”
“I won’t hit you. Not unless I mean to.”
He grinned. “Well, I’ve been warned. Um, I’ve got an entire freezer full of food from Saturday. Take anything you want; I’ll never eat it all.”
The thought of not cooking was highly appealing, as was the thought of a repeat. “OK. Let me feed the brat and I’ll come over.”
“You can bring him,” Jack said.
Exiled to Love by Jae El Foster
An exiled witch must learn to live without her powers, but will she risk losing everything to save a mortal’s life?
“I wonder…” she thought aloud as she started down the stairs to the front door, “what kinds of jobs are open and hiring on a Saturday?”
There were, of course, thousands of possible jobs out there. She considered what it would be like to be the CEO of a large corporation, or to be a successful fashion designer. Maybe, if she played her cards right, she could star in a motion picture or land a recording contract by dinnertime.
Those, she knew, were true possibilities for her – if she was able to use her powers. Without her powers, she felt pretty useless in the workplace. Then, she thought, every employed mortal must have felt useless before getting that first job. This was no different than that. They had found a use, and so would she.
She just wasn’t sure where or how.
“A latte…” she mumbled as she stepped outside her home and walked to the sidewalk. “A latte would definitely help me think right.”
Normally, she would have just teleported to the coffee shop of her choice – no matter where in the world it was. Now, she didn’t have that option, and as she lived in a suburban neighborhood without a public transportation system, she’d have to walk.
“I’m glad I went with sensible shoes,” she noted with a cringe.
As she walked, she noticed several neighbors outside, enjoying the sunny Saturday afternoon. Donna knew none of them. She never ventured on foot anywhere – especially around this neighborhood. The neighbors either waved at her, smiled, or both. With gritted teeth, she returned the gestures. Her eyes scoped the streets, the street signs, the beautiful houses and the well-groomed yards. Nowhere did she see a café.
“Latte?” she called to an old man on his porch. “Where are the lattes?”
The old man, obviously hard of hearing, waved at her and smiled.
Slowly spinning in a circle, she looked at the other random, unknown faces and asked, “Where is coffee? You know… a coffee shop? A café? Lattes? Cappuccino? I need caffeine!”
The Scent of a Man by Jennifer Patricia O’Keeffe
An injured woman must endure homecare with the aid of a handsome man that threatens to win her heart.
“Beth!” Melanie squealed with happiness as she saw her friend up and on her own two feet. Then, her expression went to shock as she noticed her forehead. She gasped, put a hand to her heart, and took a step back. “Oh, my god!”
“Oh, that looks bad,” Dianna added. “Like, really bad.”
“Is… is that permanent?” Melanie looked absolutely horrified.
“I hope not,” Beth said and shrugged. “It’s pretty embarrassing.”
“Yeah it is,” Dianna agreed. “You can’t go to work with that on your face.”
“I can’t go back to work at all for a while,” she told them. “Bed rest for a few days. I have a nice concussion that the doctor seems concerned about.”
At the mention of the doctor, the expressions of both friends transformed and wide smiles took over.
“Speaking of the doctor,” Melanie began. “That’s who you were with when this happened, right?”
“He’s pretty cute,” Dianna noted. “Like, really cute.”
“He’s my doctor,” Beth specified. “He now knows much too much about me to want to date me. I can promise you that.”
“You don’t know that,” Dianna said. “He’s a doctor, but he’s still a man.”
“A delicious man,” Melanie added. “Have you smelled him? He has on no cologne and his scent is still divine!” She fanned herself as she thought about it.
“Have I… smelled him?” Beth questioned. Then, she wondered what Melanie was doing smelling him.
“How can you miss it?” she continued. “You can’t miss it! Honey, there is no scent greater than the scent of a man.”
Beth laughed out loud. It was absurd. Unless someone was drenched in cologne or perfume, they didn’t really have a scent… did they? Maybe sweat, she thought. Men were often sweaty, and sweat definitely had a scent.
The Scent of You by Kristi Ahlers
A woman, terrified of flying, boards a plane at her brother’s beckoning. Can a first class surprise shake her from her nervous angst?
Arden smiled at the man beside her. The man who managed to become so very important to her in less than eight hours. A man she was going to have to walk away from. Her throat tightened but she refused to cry.
“So, what’s your favorite color,” Cade asked as he soothed her with his attentions.
“Depends on the moment. I love sushi. Anything with lobster in it. Hmmm, brie cheese, but it has to be melted and super gooey. I love a good burger but it has to be good, not some chain restaurant’s idea of a burger.”
“Nice.” Cade smiled. “What is your favorite season?”
“I guess I like paprika if it’s not used too much. Does vanilla count as a spice? I really love vanilla. I have to admit I’m not a spicy spice kinda girl.”
The guys all laughed softly.
“No, baby, what season like spring or summer.” Cade brushed a strand of hair off her face.
Arden willed the world to just open up and swallow her. Of course that’s what he meant. Because who talks about spices in a kitchen cabinet as a form of getting to know a person. Unless, of course, they were talking to a chef, which, she wasn’t. Yeah, she was a bright one all right.
“Hey, did we lose you?” Cade asked.
“No, I couldn’t be that lucky after being such a dork.”
“Hey, none of that. Easy mistake. So…what’s your favorite season?”
About the Authors
Jae El Foster
Jennifer Patricia O’Keeffe