Crazy for the Best Man
by Ashlee Mallory
Crazy in Love #2
Publication Date: November 2017, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Sweet Romance
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As an entertainment reporter, Anna Blake strives to be the first to get the scoop on the citys hottest celebrity gossip. But when the competition outs her as the long-lost sister of the bride in whats been heralded as the wedding of the year, Annas forced to go undercover as a bridesmaid to find the scoop that just might save her job.
Best man Nick St. Claire hasnt forgotten that Anna almost cost him his first election ten years ago. When she appears as a less-than-enthusiastic bridesmaid right before hes set to announce his senate candidacy, hes more than suspicious. To ensure the weddingand his campaign announcementgoes off without a hitch, Nick makes a bargain with Anna: be the model maid of honor, and hell give her access to an exclusive story thats sure to save her job.
But in between dance lessons, bridal showers, and football game fun, these longtime enemies might discover theres something bigger to fight than each other, something a lot likelove.
One wedding bell. Two wedding bells. Three wedding bells, Janie hollered, singing the countdown shed mandated for todays game.
Nick sized up the competition on team pinkor so the bedazzled tee shirts its members wore so identified, thanks to Janies skills with a glue gun. Chris, Josh, Trish, and Anna glared fiercely at him and the blue team as Janie counted. Nick just hoped that Jake and Megan would stop with the flirting and focus on what was happening on the field.
He meant to win this thing.
That was the defenses cue to charge the other team and the lucky person who might be carrying the ball. In this case, it was Chris, which meant an all-out fight to tag the professional football player, who thought he couldnt lose. Nick sprinted after the guy who, although fast, had been too cocky and miscalculated how close Nick was to overtaking him.
Or so Nick thought until the moment Chris tossed the ball directly to Anna, who was just outside the end zone. In two seconds, she crossed the line, making the touchdown.
Winded, Nick paused to catch his breath, unable to miss Chris charging Anna and picking her up in a roar of excitement. To Nicks surprise, instead of ordering the hulk to put her down, she laughed out loud, her head falling back as if she was actually enjoying the moment. For reasons Nick couldnt identify, the action pissed him off.
He gritted his teeth as Chris slid Anna down his side and back to the ground, the blonde smiling and pushing at his shoulder flirtatiously. When did she learn to turn up the charm like that? It was almost likelike she was enjoying the attention.
Ignoring the couple, he joined his teams huddle, where, with only five minutes left, a winning strategy was the priority. All right. Remember, get in T formation and do whatever you have to to stop Chris from getting through. Jake? Megan? Be ready.
They lined up again, Dax ready to count down and put the ball into play. It was hard to miss the shine of excitement that flashed across Annas face as she stared directly at him.
Nick immediately had his defenses up. But the ball was in play in the next second and he didnt have time to think about it as Dax threw it to Jake, their decoy, and Nick raced to get into position. As planned, Jake handed the ball off to Megan and, just when the heat was on her, she stopped, took aim, and threw it back in Nicks direction.
Taking a few steps back, Nick moved toward the ball, which was still in the air, reaching his hands out to snatch it and
A smaller, lithe figure jumped up in front of him, snagging the catch and cradling the ball in her arms as she continued her arch backwards until she slammed full force against him, knocking the airand his center of gravityout of him. Nick landed on his back, a throbbing pain in his jaw becoming more pronounced from where her head had slammed on their landing.
Wait. Their landing?
Yep. Anna Blake was now splayed across him, her arm tangled under him and her soft breasts pressed directly against his right shoulder, her other arm clinging to the ball.
Her head bobbed up, and her eyes widened in surprise.
Grapefruit. That was what she smelled like. Vanilla and grapefruit. Fresh and sharp but also sweet andsucculent. Kind of like her.
He blinked. What the hell was wrong with him? That had to be the stupidest thing that had ever crossed his mind. He must have hit his head harder on impact than he thought.
Nick gazed up, aware that the group had gathered around them. Anna must have become aware of them, too, as she rolled off him and onto the ground.
You two okay? Janie asked.
Im fine. Just trying to salvage my pride, Anna said, still lying on the ground.
Nick? Dax asked.
Nick sat up, rubbing his jaw. Me, too. Just had the wind knocked out of me is all.
Chris reached his hand out to Anna and pulled her up in one motion. That a girl! Looks like you need to take a page from this beautiful womans play list, St. Claire. She just successfully intercepted the ball.
Now that any concerns of real injury were dismissed, a cheer went up among Janies team. It was hard to miss the smile of satisfaction on Annas face as she glanced back at him.
He nodded his head in acknowledgment, willing to give credit where it was due.
Shed outmaneuvered him. He could own that.
But hed be damn sure not to let it happen again.
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For most of his life, James Thornhill accepted that his family would never see him as anything but a failure. But as the new CEO of Thornhill Management, he’s been given another chance to set things right. First order of business? Settling a nuisance lawsuit and bringing the pesky but dedicated employment attorney on board as part of his team. Second order of business? Resisting the prim but fiery attorney who has somehow become utterly indispensable in his life.
Quinn Taylor has grown up always doing what was right and, likens herself to a modern-day David taking on the Goliaths of the world. Goliaths such as the CEO of Thornhill Management. Playing babysitter and muse to the overindulged CEO was not what she had in mind, but with mounting debt making even a cup of coffee a luxury, Quinn’s ready to swallow her pride and get in bed with the devil. Something that, the more time she spends with the man, becomes increasingly enticing.
But the stakes are too high for either of them to risk an interoffice fling…until an unexpected trip to Quinn’s hometown brings a long-denied simmering attraction to a boil. They’ll have to decide what they’re willing to risk and how far they’re willing to fall if love doesn’t conquer all.
ABOUT ASHLEE MALLORY
Ashlee Mallory is a USA Today Bestselling author of Romantic Comedy, Suspense, and Thrillers. A recovering attorney, she currently resides in Utah with her husband and two kids. She aspires to one day include running, hiking and traveling to exotic destinations in her list of things she enjoys, but currently settles for enjoying a good book and a glass of wine from the comfort of her couch.
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