Meet Tony D’Amato, wealthy single father who loves soap operas and is starring in a real-life version of one.
Caught up in a world where Baby Shark reigns supreme and running his very successful barbershop, Tony doesn’t have much time for any games unless they’re a variation of Peek-A-Boo. He completely erased his ex from his life and moved on. So he thought. A chance reunion made him realize he never stopped loving her but now things are different.
He has a baby daughter that is not his ex’s.
All Krista Allen cares about are Blahniks, bling, and Bentley’s – and not necessarily in that order. The flashier her lifestyle, the better. She’d never envisioned herself as a mother due to her painful upbringing and long accepted that role. So when Tony introduces his infant daughter to Krista, she realizes she has a lot of soul-searching to do. She also wonders if a dry cleaner can save her beloved Louis Vuitton from infant vomit.
Will Krista finally have the family she’d always wanted? Or will their reunion be short and dramatic like Tony’s beloved soap operas?
Stay With Me is the standalone conclusion to One More Chance. This is a contemporary erotic romance deals with trust, second chances, and true love.
Unedited Extended Snippet:
“We should sue!”
Tony dismissed Joey’s call to action as he ate spaghetti with his brothers. Upon leaving Jamal’s shop, Tony went straight home and tried to figure out what he wanted to do. He could try going into another barbershop, but he was afraid of experiencing the same thing.
Society kept telling Tony to be himself. Yet, when it came to doing just that, he was ridiculed and mocked. He kept his mouth shut and people wondered what he was really hiding. He only spoke about intelligent things and then he got slack for stepping out of his lane.
Damn if he did, damn if he didn’t.
Personality aside, Tony was more concerned about where he was going to work. Maybe being a barber wasn’t the thing for him. Maybe he needed to go into a profession where no one would expect him to keep it real. Maybe he should become an actor and move to Hollywood. He’ll be amongst fake-ass people on the daily and he would fit right in.
“How Jamal treated you was bullshit!” Joey scoffed. “Acting black? What the hell does that mean? He just stereotyped his entire race!”
“Jamal was pretty much saying our dear baby brother was pulling a Miley Cyrus,” Nick added as he passed the salad, “taking certain parts of the culture that makes him comfortable like slang, hip-hop, and soul food, but remaining silent on the icky parts like police brutality, gentrification, and racism that black people face on a daily basis.” He paused for a brief moment. “So yes, Jamal is a segaiolo.”
“Testa di cazzo.” Kieran shook his head. “And because Tony quit, there’s really no case?”
“On what basis?” Nick replied. “What Jamal did was stupid, but not illegal or unethical. He could merely defend himself and say he was asking Tony to act more professional and no judge will disagree.”
“I figured as much,” Nicola chimed in as she sat back down. “I guess Tony will take a small hiatus before he goes job hunting for a new salon. Someone is always hiring.”
“Or…” A lightbulb went off in Joey’s head. “…you can start your own.” He turned to the other brother currently stuffing his face and not offering any input whatsoever. “Yo, Eli? That building you just purchased for Faye, the other side is still available for purchase, right?”
Eli quickly swallowed. He had a busy day of making bouquets and Bridezilla women who were probably sweet girls when they weren’t getting married. The man put a ring on it and instant bitch made her appearance. “Yeah, I think it is.”
“Let’s buy that shop, renovate it, and have Tony open his own shop.” Joey suggested.
“Hey, that’s a great idea!” Nicola suggested. “And you can make it all pretty with lots of mirrors and nice décor!”
All of the men turned their heads towards their mother. “Pretty?” Tony asked. “The hell I look like?”
Kieran squeezed the bridge of his nose. “Can somebody please…?”
Nick reached over and popped Tony in the back of his head. “Hey!” Tony rubbed his head.
“Watch your mouth in front of mama.” Nick sternly warned.
“But he has a point, though,” Joey added, “pretty for a barbershop?”
“Barbershops are always so manly and do the same things,” Nicola shrugged, “there’s nothing wrong with being pretty.”
“Forget how Barbie pink we’re going to make it,” Nick began as Tony slyly flipped him off, “is this doable? How long will it take to do this?”
“It’s doable and it’ll probably be done within a few months,” Kieran guesstimated, “but Tony will need to build his clientele well before that. A few months from now people will forget Tony was ever a barber.”
“I see what you’re saying but it’s too soon for my own shop,” Tony interjected, “I need more time to establish myself first.”
“It’ll never be the right time, bro,” Joey replied and the rest of the brothers agreed. He pointed towards Eli. “He said it wasn’t the right time for his flower business and look!” He pointed at Nick. “He said it was too soon to pursue his Master’s and look at him now! It’ll always be too soon but it’ll never be too late.”
It would be advice Tony would use later in life. “I see what you’re saying and you’re all making some really good points but I don’t know if I’m ready for such a big responsibility. I don’t know the first thing about running a business!”
“You know about customer service,” Kieran chimed in. “You’re very good with your clients.”
“You know what looks good and what’s hot in the streets,” Nick added. “That’s not something anyone can brag about.”
“And I’ll run things from the business angle.” Joey agreed. “I’ll hire a receptionist, who will also double as inventory control. We’ll get the best barbers in town – the hungry ones who just want to cut hair and not deal with ego.”
“Plus, if we get that building, you’ll be close to family.” Eli added. “You can sleep over at me and Faye’s anytime if you’re too tired to come back here.”
The last point was the most telling. Tony would’ve jumped at the chance if it meant he would see Krista on a regular basis. The mere thought he would have a shop right next to hers made his stomach churn a little.
He didn’t hate her, though he wished he did. Instead, he was in love with the woman and hoped for a chance to make things right with her. The wedding was just a few weeks prior and Krista was already on her second boyfriend, post-Tony.
He wanted to ask if that was truly her – a woman who was never single and yet could never keep a man. Tony knew it wasn’t the real Krista, but he still didn’t know why she was so…friendly with a lot of men. He couldn’t bear to call her a whore.
She was so much more than that, yet it seemed Krista didn’t see it. Tony wasn’t a psychologist and he didn’t pretend to be one. He knew there was something amiss about Krista’s behavior but he couldn’t decide if he wanted to know for the truth might make him violent.
Was ignorance truly bliss when it came to matters of the heart?
Stay With Me will be out next month. Cover reveal coming soon. Preview chapters will be posted on wattpad soon.