Love and Shamrocks: Ballybeg, Book 5
display cabinet.
    On the other hand, it
would
be nice to hang out with someone around her age and chat about meaningless stuff. It wasn’t as if she knew Olivia. They wouldn’t have to dwell on the more unpleasant parts of the past few months. “Okay. Sounds good. Thanks for the invitation.”
    “We redheads have to stick together.” Olivia winked and unloaded the last of the scones and then packed up her stuff. “That’s everything, Bridie. Will I see you and Granddad later?”
    “Yes, love. I’ll give you a call before we arrive.”
    Olivia strode to the door, clutching the now-empty plastic container. “Bye, Clio,” she said over her shoulder. “Nice to meet you.”
    “Nice to meet you too. See you on Friday.”
    “Speaking of MacCarthy’s,” Bridie said after Olivia left the shop, “you might ask them if they’re hiring. I have a notion Sharon, my assistant, said they were short-staffed.”
    Clio glanced at her watch. Nine-thirty. “It’s too early for them to be open yet. I’ll call round later. Thanks for the tip. Where is the pub?”
    “Just off the main square.” Bridie pointed through the shop window. “See the statue of Michael Collins in front of the town hall? Take the lane to the left of the statue. MacCarthy’s is down there, right beside the betting shop. You can’t miss it.”
    “Thanks. I appreciate the tip.”
    The older woman popped a mystery novel from the display into the plastic bag containing Tammy’s books and handed it to Clio. “This is the first book in the DI Brady series.”
    “Oh, I can’t…”
    “It’s on the house.” Bridie shoved her half-moon spectacles back into place and indicated the piece of paper on which Tammy had listed her required reading texts. “With a book list this long, you’ll be a valued customer.”
    “Well, thank you. I appreciate it. I’ll be back on Wednesday to collect the rest of the books.”
    “See you then. Best of luck with your job hunt.”
    “Thanks, Bridie.” She turned and headed in the direction of the shop door. When her phone beeped to indicate an incoming message, her heart lodged in her throat.
Ray? Please, no.
    With trembling fingers, she withdrew her phone from her pocket with one hand and opened the shop door with the other.
    And walked straight into a very broad and very masculine chest.

Chapter Ten
    SEÁN FROZE THE MOMENT Cliona Havelin crashed into his chest. Without Friday night’s heels, the top of her head didn’t even reach his shoulders. The sound of her books hitting the wooden floor jolted them into motion. She sprang back as if he’d electrocuted her, and he bent to retrieve the book bag. When he pressed the bag into her hand, his fingers brushed hers, just as they had when he’d helped her with her bag in front of the hotel fountain. A spark of awareness crackled and fizzed. Memories of her high, firm breasts made his mouth dry with desire, and his heart beat an uneven rhythm.
    “Thanks,” she murmured, averting those fabulous green eyes.
    “Everything all right at Clonmore House?” he asked sotto voce. “No more sightings of strange black vehicles?”
    A hint of a smile tugged at the sides of her mouth. “No, Sergeant. I’m not certain I buy that story. I suspect my mother was freaked by the memorial card and is now imagining potential threats everywhere.”
    “Perhaps,” he mused, “but we’re looking into suspicious black cars all the same. And please call me Seán.”
    Her eyes met his, intensifying the electric current between them. “I’m Clio. Only my mother calls me Cliona.”
    “Clio is a nice name.” Far nicer than Orla. Why had she used a pseudonym? Was it because she disliked her mother and wished to ditch her famous surname? Distancing oneself from the past was a habit with which he was familiar. Problem was, his past had caught up with him.
    Brian cleared his throat and edged past Seán into the shop. “Morning, ladies,” he said, smiling at Clio before turning his

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