Caroline Abbott loves her job – helping engaged couples pick out the perfect save the date cards and invitations for their dream wedding. Working at Noteworthy means she has to deal with the occasional bridezilla, but Caroline’s always up for the challenge.
Until one particular bridezilla walks into the stationery store who’s fiance happens to be the boy Caroline shared her first kiss with. Alexander Wilder is all grown up now, helping run his family’s successful luxury hotel chain, and is somehow even better looking than she remembers.
When Caroline just happens to catch Alex’s fiance half naked with another man well, of course she has to tell Alex. Of course, he breaks off his engagement.
And of course, the ex-bridezilla has gone completely bonkers.
At least Caroline has her friends to save her from crazy ex-fiances. But she also has the sudden interest of…Alex? Caroline knows they share a connection, but is he on the rebound? Or after seeing her all these years later, does he really want something more?
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I head straight for the pickup counter, where I see my skinny vanilla latte waiting for me, my name written on the side of the cup in Stella’s familiar scrawl. Without hesitation I grab it, inhaling deeply before I take a sip. Just a tiny sip so I can savor it. I close my eyes for a second, maybe two, and when I open them, I find a guy standing there.
And he’s not just any guy. He’s cute. Wait, no. Not cute. He’s…hot. Dark hair. Blue eyes. Wearing a suit that fits him perfectly. I know just from looking at the fabric that it’s custom. Expensive.
He’s smiling at me. And I’m scowling at him in return because the caffeine hasn’t quite hit my bloodstream yet, so I’m not on top of my game.
“You looked like you were having a moment.” His voice is deep. Rich. His face…vaguely familiar?
I stand a little straighter. Take another sip of my coffee as I contemplate the man in front of me, because for some reason I still can’t come up with anything to say.
Listen, I always have something to say. But this guy. This gorgeous, well-dressed maybe-stranger, is leaving me a little…
“That moment you were just having. With your coffee,” he continues, gesturing at the cup I’m clutching in both of my hands, like it’s my baby. Which this morning – every morning – it is.
“She loves coffee,” Stella says from behind me.
Glancing over my shoulder, I give her a look, one that says shush.
“I can see that.” The amusement in his voice is obvious. He thinks it’s funny. The sacred moment I was having with my latte made him smile.
I wouldn’t mind coming up with other ways to make him smile.
Whoa. Where did that thought come from?
“What I want to know is, how did you get such special treatment?”
I blink at him like I’m an uncomprehending idiot. “Excuse me?”
“Well, I’ve been here for the last fifteen minutes. First, standing in line.” He gestures at the line of customers that trails out the door. “And now, waiting for my order.”
Guilt fills me. Just a tiny bit. Sweet Dreams Cafe is the most popular bakery and coffee shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea. All the tourists love it. All the locals love it too. It’s been in Stella’s family for generations.
“Yet you skip past the line, walk straight in here and grab your ready-made drink within a few seconds of your arrival. Do you have a Fast Pass?” A brow lifts, and I’m hit with a quiver. Like Cupid just drew back his bow and shot that arrow right in my heart.
Or perhaps that arrow struck me in, ahem, other places.
Who knew a brow lift could be so sexy?
Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.
She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.
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