Sex, Lies and Wedding Bells
2nd edition published by Dreamspinner Press
Of all the tiny towns in all of Texas, he had to come into mine.
Kieran Quinn is a Texas native transplanted to Manhattan and working as a columnist for a national magazine. He’s famous for his snarky, sardonic columns, but deep down he’s more interested in what makes people tick than his editor would like. He keeps his desire to find his own Mr. Right hidden under a sexy, carefree persona that favors champagne and underwear models of the male variety.
When Kieran goes to Texas to cover the latest wedding of a real-life “runaway bride,” he falls hard for the gorgeous—and straight—groom. Jaxon Lang is the handsome, confident high school principal in a tiny Texas town, where he relocated from Dallas to pursue his relationship with a woman he thinks he wants to settle down with, despite the fact she’s left three men at the altar before him.
Kieran’s charm and unique attitudes about sex and attraction soon challenge Jaxon’s concept of what–and who–he wants. Will anything change when Kieran discovers the bride’s been keeping a shocking secret?
Kieran had finished eating and was pushing the plates away when the bell on the door jingled and the most beautiful man he’d ever seen walked into the restaurant. Make that most beautiful person, Kieran amended. He’d never seen anyone—man or woman—more attractive. The man was just taller than six feet, with short, sun-streaked brown hair. His eyes—bright greenish-hazel, slightly heavy-lidded, but in a sexy, just-fucked way—mesmerized Kieran; and a plush, full-lipped mouth gave Kieran an immediate hard-on. The man wore a Wedgwood-blue button-down shirt fitted closely enough to make it clear that he spent time at the gym and took good care of his body. And he walked directly toward Kieran.
In almost the same moment, Kieran noticed out of the corner of his eye that a woman had come in with the man and followed him over to Kieran’s table.
“Are you Ky, Kee…” the woman started to say, then gave up. Kieran’s eyes were glued to the beautiful man.
“Keer-un,” the man said. “It’s Gaelic, right?” Kieran smiled, noticing caramel-colored freckles scattered over the fair-skinned nose and cheeks of the man.
“Yes, it is,” Kieran replied, worried he had a stupid grin on his face. “You’re probably the only person in town who can pronounce it besides me,” Of course, he thought, someone with an “X” in his name like Jaxon would be sensitive to another person with an even slightly unusual name.
“Well, I’m Danetta Harris,” the woman said, shoving her way in front of Jaxon and blocking Kieran’s view. “And this is Jaxon Lang, my fiancé.” She put out her hand to shake Kieran’s. He felt obligated to take it.
“Jaxon,” the man said, offering his own hand, and Kieran took it, prolonging the contact, enjoying the firm grip.
“Nice to meet you both,” Kieran said, still not really looking at the woman. Without asking, she sat herself down in one of the chairs opposite Kieran. Jaxon sat down at the side of the table to Kieran’s left, his knee slightly grazing Kieran’s as he settled himself into the chair. Kieran felt a jolt of electricity at the contact and fought to keep his attention on the conversation.
“Alexa Harrington told me you’d be coming to town early because you wanted to do an article on our wedding,” Danetta began. “I’m not really familiar with Gloss. It sounds like it’s a fashion mag like Vogue or Marie Claire?” she asked, clearly excited at the idea of her wedding being featured in one of those magazines. “You have a photographer coming, too?”
“I take my own photographs,” Kieran said. Not that I ever use any in my columns. “And ‘gloss’ actually has another definition: commentary or interpretation. It’s meant to be an intellectual play on words: one connotation indicates shallowness while the other is almost opposite in meaning.”
Jaxon smiled at Kieran’s explanation. Danetta looked blank.
”Very clever,” Jaxon agreed, nodding. “We thought it would be a good idea to introduce ourselves to you now, and—”
“We wanted see if you wanted, you know, to do interviews or something, so we could schedule things for you, to help you out,” Danetta concluded. Neither of them seemed to be able to use any other pronoun besides we.
Jaxon. Kieran thought, might be the most beautiful name I’ve ever heard; even with the fucking “X.” He forced himself to snap out of this daydream in order to participate in the conversation without drooling over Jaxon Lang.
“That’s very accommodating,” Kieran replied. “How did you know I was here?”
“Natalee called and told us,” Danetta answered. “She knew we wanted to meet you as soon as possible. Everyone in town is on the lookout for you.”
“You probably feel like you’re being stalked,” Jaxon said with a laugh. “Well, you are. I’m very sorry about that, but you’re the biggest thing to happen to this town in a long time.” Jaxon paused, “In more ways than one. I mean, we heard you’re quite tall,” he tried to explain, a look of embarrassment crossing his face. “And everyone in town loves Danetta, so they’re all very excited for our big day.” Jaxon turned and gave Danetta a dopey, lovey-dovey smile that made Kieran want to puke up the fantastic breakfast he’d just eaten.
It was a pretty frightening thought that this beautiful man was going to be a husband in just a few days.