The Wedding Gift
Save The Date #3.5
By: Cara Connelly
Releasing May 5, 2015
What’s the New-Jan-Plan? Discover the answer in Cara Connelly’s newest Save The Date Novella, and see how mousey Jan Marone gives herself the gift of living, laughing, and finally loving … all under the hot Key West sun.
She’d come to Key West for a wedding, only to discover the hotel had messed up her reservation. So although Jan Marone has to share a tiny room with sexy Mick McKenna, it shouldn’t really be a problem. Mick’s her best friend, and he doesn’t think of her “that way” … or does he?
Mick McKenna loves hard and plays hard. His thick black hair, chiseled jaw, and hard, muscled body make him irresistible. But when once-innocent Jan walks into his hotel room, Mick can’t believe his eyes. Now she’s wearing a sexy bikini and telling him it’s time for her to “get lucky,” making him protective and tantalized at the same time.
Worried she might be in over her head, he decides never to leave her side … and suddenly their hotel room seems smaller—and hotter—than ever. Mick’s always been hands-off with Jan—but has the right woman been under his nose the whole time?
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Jan made a move to duck out from under his arm, but he tipped his head toward the eye in the sky. “We want her to think we’re a couple, right?”
She let out a hiss. “I can’t take you anywhere.”
“I’m a certified pain in the ass.” He wheeled her suitcase along as they walked lockstep to their room.
When the door closed behind them, he questioned his sanity again. The room was claustrophobically tiny. And her light scent—the same strawberry shampoo she’d used since tenth grade—permeated the air, unsettling him to his marrow.
While Jan took it all in stride.
“We should hang our wedding clothes on the bathroom hook,” she said, all business. “That’ll cut down on wrinkles.”
She patted the bed, and he hefted her suitcase onto it, standing numbly by as she opened it. Then she took a flowered dress off the top, and he got a glimpse of what was under it.
Black lace panties.
Black satin bra.
His eyes fell out of his head and rolled onto the bed.
Jan was supposed to wear granny panties and old-maid bras. White cotton; no lace. He was absolutely, unequivocally certain of that.
She glanced around. “Where’s your suit?”
He opened his mouth but no words came out.
“Mick? Hey, are you having an attack? Can you breath?” She dropped the dress and pressed her ear to his chest, listening to his lungs.
Her cheek seared the skin over his heart.
Curling his hands into fists, he turned his eyes up to the ceiling. “I’m fine,” he got out. “I haven’t had asthma in twenty years.”
“Mmm, well, your lungs do sound clear,” she murmured. “But your heart’s beating like a drum.”
He took a half step back, away from the yard of soft hair tickling his bare chest like fingertips. His shoulders hit the wall with a thud.
She gazed up at him like he was a doofus. He could see the flecks of green in her root beer eyes. “Don’t knock the wall down,” she said, “or we’ll both be out on the street.”
And she turned away, oblivious to the emotions storming through his system.
“Where’s your suit?” she asked again. “Don’t tell me you haven’t unpacked it.” She bent over his suitcase, her ass six inches from his crotch, and he snapped back to life.
Bad enough he’d seen her underwear; she didn’t need to see his.
Batting her hands away, he closed the lid. “I dropped it at the cleaners. I’ll pick it up tomorrow.” He nudged her aside with his hip. “Why don’t you suit up? The water’s perfect.”
“Okay. I got a new bathing suit. What do you think?”
With that, she dug through her suitcase and pulled out a—God help him—bikini.
A sound erupted from his throat. Distress, but Jan took it as derision. Her face crumpled.
“I thought …” She plunked down on the bed. “I just wanted to try something different. A new Jan.”
The hurt on her face made him pull it together fast.
“First of all,” he said, “there’s nothing wrong with the old Jan. And there’s nothing wrong with…” He waved a hand at the pink-polka-dotted Band Aids that passed for a swimsuit. “It just surprised me. You always wear a one-piece.”
“I know.” She met his gaze, her expression earnest. “Maybe I should just—”
“You should just put it on. It’s”—too skimpy—“cute. You’ll look”— too sexy—“great.” He faked his best-pals smile. “See you at the pool.”
He did a one-eighty, and scrammed.
The Wedding Gift is a sweet and funny friends to lovers romance. I’m quick to pick up a romance with the friends to lovers trope and was thrilled that Cara Connelly delivers a memorable one.
This latest in the Save the Date series is a wonderful read leading into summer. With a setting that takes you away to Key West, I was ready to get swept away with Jan and Mick.
I’m enjoying Connelly’s Save the Date series and looking forward to reading more.
CARA CONNELLY is an award-winning author of contemporary romances. Her smart and sexy stories have won high praise, earning Cara several awards including the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart, the Valley Forge Romance Writers’ Sheila, and the Music City Romance Writers’ Melody of Love. Cara, who lives in rural upstate New York, works as appellate court attorney when she’s not crafting steamy novels of love and romance.
A Save the Date Series Digital Download Ebook Bundle Including: THE WEDDING DATE, THE WEDDING FAVOR, THE WEDDING VOW and THE WEDDING BAND