Mark and Julia from The Virgin and the Playboy have set the date! They are to be married at The Castillo Las Vegas, where they met on their 1Night Stand. All their family and friends are invited and they have planned a special surprise for their maid of honor and best man. Karin, Julia’s cousin, a small town librarian, chose family obligations over her dreams of the stars. She loves them all, but wonders when it will be her turn to live as she wishes…if it isn’t too late. Ray, commercial pilot, is every bit as much a playboy as his brother Mark used to be. He isn’t opposed to finding The One, but fears his brother has collected the only perfect jewel. What more appropriate gift for these two than a 1Night Stand with a date personally selected for them by Madame Evangeline.
What the hell? Prying her hand free, Karin scooted into the corner of the couch. “Why don’t you want me to go on my date? And what do you mean ‘a girl like me’?”
What had he heard? Julia told Mark everything—had he shared her secret with his brother? Heat flooded her cheeks.
“Nice women don’t do one-night stands.” He patted her leg, and she jerked away, but he didn’t seem to notice. “Just about anything could happen. You’d be in over your head with some strange guy. So, you shouldn’t go.”
“Just like that?”
“Hmm?” He frowned, his eyes locked on her thigh, bared most of the way by her new posture. “Oh, yes. Men can’t be trusted.”
She tugged her skirt down, as far as it would go—which still left a fair amount of unprotected leg. “I see what you mean. But I thought Madame Eve would match me with my perfect date. Certainly not be a wolf who would gobble up an innocent lamb like me.”
He swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple moving in his throat. “Maybe not, but why take the chance? I don’t like the idea of you spending the night with someone you just met.”
He didn’t seem to know her secret, but she couldn’t be sure. Mostly he was just arrogant, and missing the warning signs anyone in her family would have seen. She didn’t like being told what to do. By a virtual stranger. Patronizing. Thinking he knew what was best for poor little Karin from the back of beyond. Assuming she didn’t know what she wanted—what she needed.
“Oh, okay.” Sarcasm—warning sign number one—coated her tones. “So, I should go back to my room with my teenage cousins and do our hair and giggle and talk about cute boys.”
“Yeah.” His tense shoulders sagged. Relief? Idiot. Irritation began to turn to rage.
“And you’ll go on your date, of course.” The set of her jaw would be warning number two, and any of her boy cousins would have shut up by now.
“Well, sure, why not?”