The Bride’s Secret by Sophia Summers
She wants to run.
He wants to help her.
But when they must honeymoon together as if they’re the happy couple, will a series of fake events which turn into a fake relationship entice them both back to the altar, only this time for real?
Carisa Hamilton didn’t want to get married. Never mind that the music would start and they would open the back doors of the church, everyone would stand… Her heart rate picked up and her breathing must have joined in because Marguerite, her wedding planner, started counting. “Measure your breaths darling. In-two-three-Out-two-three.”
Carisa tried, but her chest felt tighter and tighter. “I—I don’t know if I can do this.” She clutched her stomach and buckled forward.
Marguerite’s cool fingers ran a hand gently over her hair, not messing up a single strand. This woman was good. She whispered comforting things. “You’re beautiful. He loves you. Just look into his face. Forget everything else.”
But that was just it. He was the problem. The groom. She loved everything else about getting married. The dress, the party, her bridesmaids. They were stunning. She’d let them choose a dress following a specific color scheme and they’d nailed it. Pictures had never looked so good. The pictures. A part of her wanted to get married just for the pictures. The food, the cake. She’d picked the best flavors. The party. The playlist. All her favorite songs. She imagined dancing with her father, with her best friends, but then his face jarred to the front, and she remembered she’d have to dance with him too… She clutched at Marguerite’s arms, gripping with a panic that rose up inside. “I can’t dance with him.”
“Who? Your father?” She clucked. “Honey, if there’s something that makes you uncomfortable we can change the whole plan. That’s what I’m here for.”
Carisa shook her head, curls bouncing around against her scalp high above her veil. “No, It’s Heath.”
Marguerite stopped. And for a moment, Carisa saw what really went through her mind. And Carisa feared for her own life, a little bit. No one messed up the wedding planner’s plan. Not even the bride apparently. Not even if she didn’t love the groom. Anymore. Did she ever? “Ugh. I can’t. The thought of him makes me ill. She squeezed harder, the soft skin of the wedding planners’ shoulders squishing between her fingers. “What do I do?”
Marguerite gently peeled away Carisa’s hands and plugged in her diffuser; immediately the calming scents of lavender and chamomile filled the air. She clicked a few buttons on her phone, and instrumentals filled the room softly, as though she were in a spa. Marguerite held the back of a chair and motioned that Carisa sit. “We have plenty of time still. You are ready. You are the most beautiful bride I have seen. Have a sit. Relax. We will make this better.” She handed her a warm cup of tea that had appeared from the countertop almost as if by magic. And then stepped out of the room, closing the door softly behind her.
But Carisa jumped up. Alone at last. Time to make a break for it. Was she crazy? Insane? Her mother would kill her. Forget her mother. Marguerite would hunt her down. But she couldn’t think about that. All that she could think about was the coldness. Heath’s eyes, for the first time, cold. He’d turned back on his Texan charm as soon as he noticed she was looking, but that flash, that instant of cold proved all that she’d suspected. He didn’t really care. And, she breathed out, thank the stars above, because she didn’t care about him either.
Author Sophia SummersBillionaires, Royals, Marriages of convenience, Cowboys, and Spies. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
Sophia Summers is an award-winning author who just wants to relax a little and enjoy a great beach read. She lives in a quiet southern town brimming with an extra dose of hospitality and a whole lot of charm.
She writes historical romance under a different name.
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