At the Next Table

I first noticed him in Lover’s Landing coffee house simply because he was a hot guy wearing a cowboy hat. But then… as I came back each morning for coffee, I started to notice he did the exact same routine, at the exact same time, every single day. I’ve determined from the coffee-to-go he orders, that his name is Holden. The other patrons, who are all locals of Love, Georgia, seem to know and understand whatever it is Holden does each morning. They leave him alone to his routine, and his table. Every single day.

Until this day. This Valentine’s Day that I decide to sit at his table and see where the fireworks go. And yes, he’s annoyed… but eventually he sits with me at his special table, because for some reason it’s that important to him. I know there are reasons behind the routine. This precise ritual. What or why, I have no idea, but finding out—now—seems like just the thing to do while I’m in Love.

Little do I expect, the journey into the why behind Holden’s routine also starts to become the why behind how deeply I start to care for him, and why I don’t want to leave Love. But the why is also the greatest obstacle to there ever being more than just morning coffee for us.


He lifts his gaze to mine. “It sounds bat-shit crazy when you say it.”
I shake my head. Stupid tears fill my eyes. “It’s not, you’re not. It’s haunting and beautiful that you try to fix it, sad that you can’t, and tragic that she died. But… all of that doesn’t change the fact that it’s genuinely not your fault even though you think it is. We can all talk until we’re blue in our faces, yet you won’t believe us. And you are still in love with her. That’s why I cried last night.”
“Did you think otherwise? I don’t mean to be a prick, but you sit with me while I hold a cup with my dead wife’s name on it, every single morning. Did you think I was over her or at ease or even casual about whoever Harper was?”
“No.” I shake my head. My temples ache with pressure. Oh, it hurts. Not because he’s being a jerk or caught up in his grief, but because he’s being so honest and his tone of voice so gentle toward me and… and because he’s not denying he’s still in love with her. “No. Of course not. You love her.”
“And I like you, Seattle.” He gets up and steps closer to me. I rub my hands together, his presence sending my heart scattering. He affects me way too much. He stands over me. “I guess, yeah, I should have told you more. But you didn’t press, and if you had I might have run off the other way.”

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— Add to your TBR —

“At the Next Table by Leanne Davies is part of the Lover’s Landing Novella series. This one will pull at your heart strings, make sure you have something close by to wipe your nose on, Don’t use your husband like I did. This story is really good, wished it was a lot longer, I want to know more about Alicia and Holden!!”


Janise's Jivin' Book Blog

“Very emotional story. Tissues handy! A lot of grief and issues to work through on the way to a happy ending. Don’t miss reading this?”


Goodreads Reviewer

“How does one move on after loss? Especially when the guilt feels so fresh you can taste it? In this tender story it took a complete stranger to upset all the rituals and bring new hope. A well written story line.”


Goodreads Reviewer


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