Shannon Wentworth’s biological clock is ticking, and she isn’t going to let her single status keep her from having a baby. When her wedding-photography business takes her to Mexico, she has every intention of finding a willing baby daddy to help her out. Until the bride goes AWOL, leaving Shannon to coddle the arrogant fiancé who has accused her of sabotaging his wedding.
Victor Brooks never could have imagined that he’d be on a honeymoon for one. Only here he is, taking a hard look at his life after the younger women he thought he loved walked out. The woman who volunteers to help him reflect is the last person he expects to be attracted to. Between the tequila, the sun, and one earth-shattering kiss, Victor finds Shannon a distraction too sexy to ignore.
They strike a deal: wait three months, cool off, and see if their tropical beach attraction is worth taking up when they go back home. Unfortunately, that’s just enough time for the past to come calling. All their best-laid plans are at risk. So is the last thing Shannon expected to matter the most: her heart.
Or at least he was before his eyes popped open and the stunning woman next to him now sat in his lap. Or more to the point, was scrambling off his lap.
“What in the…”
“I’m so sorry.”
Victor reached for the button to lower his leg rest and somehow caught his seatmate a second time…or maybe the way the plane tilted had her losing her balance again.
He couldn’t stop his hands from moving to help her off of him any more than he could stop his pulse from jumping in his chest.
She grabbed ahold of the seats in front of her.
Someone close by started laughing.
The woman scrambled and fell into her seat. When she turned his way, the crimson color on her cheeks gave away her embarrassment.
“That was awkward,” he said, trying to make light of what happened.
She lifted her chin a little higher and tucked a strand of long, dark hair behind her ear.
“You could have waited to stretch out until after I returned. It isn’t like I could have gone far.”
“So it’s my fault.”
“Well, you certainly didn’t consider how I might get back into my seat.”
How rich was that? She fell in his lap and blamed him. Story of my life. “My apologies, Miss—”
“Annoyed.” She turned to look out the window.
Victor bit back a laugh. Chuckling at her might not be the best way to spend the duration of the flight. “I’m sorry, Miss Annoyed. I didn’t realize that you’d gotten up.”
She huffed out a breath and waved at the flight attendant. “I’ll have that glass of wine now, please.”
The attendant snickered. “I’ll keep your glass full.”
Victor glanced around at the other passengers, many of which were trying not to watch him and his annoyed companion.
He stopped the attendant from running off. “Excuse me.”
The attendant turned, her lips pinched.
Okay…apparently he was doing a good job of frustrating more than one female today. “Gin and tonic?” he asked.
“Please,” Miss Annoyed said for him.
The flight attendant flashed a smile. “Of course.”
He checked his watch. “I slept for an hour?” He couldn’t remember the last time he’d fallen asleep on an airplane.
“Excuse me?” Miss Annoyed was still unhappy with him.
He pointed to his watch. “Did I really sleep for an hour?”
She turned to give him the full face of her disapproval. “You did.”
Miss Annoyed was model beautiful. High cheekbones, full lips…the depth of her eyes seemed to take everything in around her. She was what Victor would label conceited, privileged, and out of his league.
The flight attendant arrived with their drinks, and he took the
opportunity to glance at her left hand.
No wedding ring.
He wasn’t surprised. She didn’t seem to have a warm bone to spare.
Not that he was interested.
He thanked the woman handing him his drink and attempted to calm his fidgeting fingers. Flying wasn’t one of his strong suits. Years of hearing his father talk about the airplane parts he’d machined in his career, and insinuate his lack of trust in a chunk of steel defying gravity, made it hard to relax. It didn’t matter that Victor flew all over the world, several times a year. It still bothered him and made him more chatty than he cared to admit.
Only his seatmate didn’t seem all that interested in conversation.
Not that her scowl kept him from trying. “What takes you to Cancun?”
She regarded him out of the corner of her eye. For a minute, he didn’t think she’d answer. She opened her mouth to respond, and hesitated.
“You don’t look like you’re on vacation.” She wore slacks and a button up shirt. Something he would expect his assistant to show up to work in.
She looked down at herself, then back at him.
“Neither do you,” she told him.
Victor loosened the tie her comment reminded him he was wearing. Truth was, he’d dressed that morning on autopilot. If it wasn’t for the packed bag at the door leading into his garage, he might have jumped in his car and driven to work. His life had somehow taken on a routine, and anything outside the norm was quickly overlooked.
“I live in a suit,” he told her.
She attempted a smile. “That might be uncomfortable on a beach.”
He thought about the clothes he’d packed. “Hotels always have gift stores, which I’m sure I’ll need to use.”
“And if not, I’m told there are nude beaches on the Yucatán.”
Victor blinked several times, somewhat surprised those words had come out of Miss Annoyed’s mouth. “Maybe when I was twenty. I’d be a little concerned about certain parts getting too much sun.”
He was pretty sure she smiled. But the moment passed and she turned back to the view out the window.
A full minute flew by.
Yeah, she wasn’t going to talk. He set his drink aside and reached for his briefcase under the seat in front of him to remove his laptop. He might as well get a few things done, since conversation obviously wasn’t going to happen without a struggle.
He quickly found his head deep in an article that spelled out why he should be buying more junkyards full of destroyed cars while the prices were low. He removed a notepad and wrote a few highlights of what to check on when he returned to his office.
When the flight attendant arrived with Miss Annoyed’s lunch, he passed on food and asked for another drink. He was two sips in when his seatmate spoke.
“I don’t think you have to worry.”
He tore his eyes from his computer. “Worry about what?”
She looked down. “The sun burning certain parts of your body. Your laptop will serve as great sunscreen.”
He followed her gaze. “I don’t think my girlfriend would appreciate me taking this on the beach.”
Her eyes opened wider. “You’re meeting a girlfriend in Cancun?”
Why did she sound surprised? “I am.”
“You didn’t fly with her?”
He shook his head. “That was the plan, but I had a last-minute meeting.” With his acquisitions manager. Not that it could be helped.
“My condolences to your girlfriend.”
Victor frowned. “Why do you say that?”
She looked at him as if he were a few short of a full deck. “You’re here on vacation, right?”
“Yes.” For all intents and purposes.
“You’re wearing a suit, didn’t pack clothes for the environment, brought your work with you, and ditched your girl on the flight over.” She shook her head. “I don’t care who your girlfriend is, she deserves better.”
Victor opened his mouth to respond, closed it, and opened it again. “Come again?”
“Women don’t like coming in second, third, or fourth. If you were my boyfriend, I’d find the first cabana boy I could and ditch you at the door.” She reached for the earphones the airline provided and turned on the small screen in front of her, effectively telling him that their conversation was over.
What the hell?
The First Wives Series, Book Four
A Weekday Brides Spin-Off
March 2019, First Edition
eBook & Print
Ranks & Awards
#6 Wall Street Journal Bestseller
#1 Amazon Kindle Bestseller
#1 Amazon Kindle Bestseller in Romance
#5 Amazon Charts (Top 20 Most Sold &
Most Read Books of the Week)
“A charming contemporary with surprising depth … Bybee perfectly portrays a woman trying to hold out for Mr. Right despite the pressures of time. A pitch-perfect plot and a cast of sympathetic and lovable supporting characters make this book one to add to the keeper shelf.”
“This story had everything I always hope to find in a great romance—depth, emotion, banter, tremendous chemistry between the characters, perfect pacing, and even a few moments where I had to hold back the tears—but it is Catherine Bybee’s sublime writing that turns a great story with a fairly simple premise into an extraordinary one. And as I’ve discovered since then, she does it oh-so effortlessly time and time again … This was one of the most well-rounded and compulsively readable books I’ve ever come across—splendidly written cover to cover—and the large, loving cast of secondary characters immediately sent me looking for every one of their stories. And what a glorious #BybeeBinge that was!”
—NATASHA IS A BOOK JUNKIE
“The sparks flew off the page!”
—MINDY LOU’S BOOK REVIEW
“Woman friendship done right, their wit and bantering, the good men they get paired with, the chemistry and resulting steam and the dash of mystery thrown in the mix that keeps me on my toes.”
“Catherine proves time and time again why she is a one-click, go-to author for me with every book she releases. This book was no exception.”
—MRS B’S BOOKS
“Bybee is back on top again! Not that she ever really fell, but… this book is just another bit of proof of her exceptional gift for telling stories that are real, believable and completely sigh-worthy!”
—TJ MACKAY, PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AT IND’TALE MAGAZINE
“I have been waiting for Shannon’s Story since the series began, and Catherine Bybee did not disappoint … I laughed, I cried, I truly enjoyed this story.”
—BJ’S BOOK BLOG
“This group of women have such a wonderful and fierce friendship. The way they drop what they are doing to come to each other’s aid or how they support one another, even if they don’t agree with that person was a beautiful thing.”
—WE LIVE AND BREATHE BOOKS
“This is a good old fashion romance, an enemies to lovers and second chance troupe with just the right amounts of angsty and drama. And with an fabulous girlfriend group to round out the story, this romance is delightful, delicious and dreamy.”
“Faking Forever was so charming and even funny at times, I felt myself chuckling more than once while reading this. If you love character driven stories and heartwarming but funny romance’s then I have found the one for you!”
“Scandal, paparazzi and a lot more surprises await you in this beautiful romance. I must say… that first kiss… lit my kindle on fire… it was the ULTIMATE kiss!”
—DIRTY DAYNA, GOODREADS
“Enjoyable and emotional story with the sassy heroine and sexy alpha hero.”