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Sweet Caroline

The Wild Rose Press

Heat Rating: SWEET
Word Count: 46,405
Available Formats
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ePub
Mobi

Caroline Stuart never returned to Lobster Cove after an embarrassing summer night when she was fifteen. But her cousin’s marriage was an event she couldn’t miss. Imagine her surprise when she discovers her partner in the bridal party is Grant Jackson, the same boy who humiliated her years ago. She still hates him. Yet, he still excites her.

Grant had more than the usual problems fitting in as a teenager, being the only boy of mixed heritage in the school. And he’d somehow alienated the one girl he desperately wanted to impress. With Caroline’s return to Lobster Cove, he finally has an opportunity to make amends, if only she’ll listen. If only she’ll let go of the past.

Excerpt

“I put myself in my bridesmaids’ shoes when I selected the dresses. I didn’t need my attendants grimacing when they wore their gowns. I want great pictures of the event, with smiles on everyone’s faces.” Penny beamed, her own smile lighting the room. “Now, we need to do something with your hair.” She brushed back Caroline’s hair from her face. “Such lovely hair. I’ve always been envious of your blondeness. You don’t even need to pay for the streaks; they just appear naturally.”

Caroline laughed. “Soon enough, though, I’ll have to start coloring treatments, since I’m seeing a few gray strands.” She sat in the hairdresser’s chair, so her hair could be arranged.

Twenty minutes later, Caroline’s tresses were swept up into a chignon and encased in a crocheted white snood embellished with more seed pearls. She glanced at the other two bridesmaids and at Abbey, guessing long hair had to be a requirement for being in this event. They made a very cohesive wedding party, even down to the scent they wore, compliments of the hairdresser, who had sprayed each hairdo with a modest flowery perfume. She gave a final pat to her hair and climbed out of the chair. “So, how much longer before we begin?”

“Ten minutes. That’s what we meant by you cutting it close.” Aunt Sylvia gave Caroline a final hug. “I must get to my seat, but we’ll have plenty of time to catch up after the ceremony. I’m so glad you’re here.”

Abbey laughed as the other two bridesmaids stood at the window, giggling. “Come take a look at the groomsmen.” She hustled Caroline to the window.

Four men stood outside, handsome in their dark gray, three-piece suits.

“No tuxedos?” Caroline craned her neck to see the men.

“As Penny said, nothing conventional here today.” Abbey pointed to one of the men. “Allow me to point out my Charlie, the one with the light brown hair.”

“And whose fine backside am I staring at?” Caroline gestured to the man facing away and leaning over to straighten his pants leg.

“I’m glad you approve. That’s your groomsman.” Abbey laughed.

At that precise moment, the man straightened and glanced at the window.

Mocha skin, piercing, unexpected blue eyes, and curly black hair. Caroline caught her breath and put a hand on her suddenly nervous stomach. “Grant? Please tell me he’s not Grant.”

“I’m surprised you even remember him, Caro.” Abbey glanced at Caroline with widening eyes and gave her a playful swat on the arm. “Del picked his groomsmen, and Grant was the only one tall enough to pair with you. I hope you don’t mind.”

Caroline pivoted away from the window, her mind buzzing and her panic rising as she recalled the last time she’d seen Grant. “Yes, I do mind, but we’re too late to change things around. For Penny and Del’s sake, I’ll be cordial. But once today is over I hope never to see him again.”