A Small Town Southern Romance
Not bringing her own car was a serious mistake. Piper realized that just about the time the groom’s handsy Uncle Eddie tried to get acquainted with her ass. For the second time. Despite the lack of alcohol being provided at the reception, he’d snuck in a flask and was sufficiently drunk that the sharp heel she jabbed “accidentally” on his foot didn’t even make him flinch. One of Richard’s brothers noticed and hauled Eddie off before Piper had to get more forceful.READ MORE
She’d hoped, desperately, that the reception would wind down early and the bride and groom would do the whole bouquet toss and be eager to get on with the honeymoon. Instead, they seemed intent on dancing the night away in a last ditch opportunity to party with all their closest friends. At least most of her duties as bridesmaid had been discharged. Short of post-reception clean up, she was free to enjoy herself. What a crock. Between dodging her relatives and friends of the family who seemed intent on asking every possible inappropriate question, from her relationship status to the state of her eggs—not in need of being cryogenically frozen, thank you very much—and trying to keep away from Uncle Eddie and others like him, she was bored out of her mind and desperate to escape. If the Spring House hadn’t been a full ten miles from town proper, she’d have considered walking.
Ducking behind a ficus tree, she glanced around to make sure nobody was looking before tugging her phone out of the bodice of her dress. Not exactly the ideal place to carry it, but it wasn’t as if these bilious monstrosities had pockets. Still no text back from Myles. Damn. She’d been hoping he’d entertain her a little.
Two strong hands slid over her hips from behind.
Before Piper could jam her elbow back into Eddie’s gut, a voice whispered in her ear, “What’s a pretty thing like you doing in a dress like this?”
Her heart began to thud with excitement. “Does a line like that usually work for you?”
“Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work at wedding receptions? You come crash hoping to get a bridesmaid out of her dress?”
“You wouldn’t have to work too hard to talk me out of this one. But I demand pajamas as a replacement.”
“That can be arranged.” Myles pressed a kiss on the exposed skin of her nape.
Piper shivered and turned to face him, hating it when his hands fell away. “What are you doing here?”
“You asked for a rescue. I’m at your service, milady.” He sketched a courtly bow, his mop of dark hair flopping into his eyes. Had he even had a cut since the show?
“I figured you were ready to get out of here. But if you want to make out in the coat closet, I’m good with that, too. I passed it on the way in. As I recall, you have a fondness for small, enclosed spaces.”
“I did not drag you into that prop closet to make out,” she reminded him.
“Such a waste. So how ’bout it? You want to make a break for it?”
She bit her lip, wondering if she’d even be missed and calculating exactly how much hell she’d catch if she was.
“I’ve got a surprise for you back at my place,” he coaxed.
“Is that a euphemism?”
His laughter skated over her skin. God she’d missed the sound of it these last three months. “Only if you want it to be. But I can promise you quiet and jammies and stove-top popcorn if you don’t. Or we can go out, if you’d rather. But I figured you’d had enough of people tonight.”
He was right. The whole scenario sounded like heaven.
“Let’s get out of here.”
After retrieving her purse, they snuck out via the veranda doors and circled around to where he’d parked his car. The cool air felt wonderful on her heated skin after the press of bodies inside. The moment she was buckled into the front seat, she slid her heels off and flexed her poor, abused toes. “God, that feels so good. I’ve been in these things since eleven this morning.”
Myles shot her an incredulous look. “What time was the wedding?”
“Four. You guys have no idea how easy you have it. On the bride’s side there’s all this pre-wedding stuff. Manis and pedis. Hair appointments. Last minute dress alterations because the bride put on unexpected weight. All the attendant freak out associated with that. Then pictures—but none of the joint pictures because it won’t do for the bride and groom to see each other ahead of time. Then the waiting and the nerves and the bride puking. Calming her down. Getting some ginger ale and crackers in her. Checking on guests, locating the missing guest book. Locating the attendant who’s supposed to make sure all the guests actually sign the guest book. It’s been a...production. So much freaking drama. All the groom’s side has to do is show up, put on a tux, and go.”
“Jesus. I’ll throw in a foot massage with the popcorn.”
“You are a god among men, Myles Stewart.” Piper dropped her head back against the seat.
“It’s been mentioned once or twice. I’m guessing you are not one of those women into the big, fancy, invite-everyone-you-know kind of wedding?”
“I don’t know why people don’t just save the hassle and the expense and elope. Then have a big party for family and friends to celebrate when you get back. Seems simpler.”
“Probably because various family members would be disappointed at the lack of pageantry.”
She snorted. “Screw them. Marriage should be about the two people getting married and what they want. It’s not about anyone else.”
“Don’t tell my mother. I’ve disappointed her enough by staying single until I’m nearly thirty.”
“Oh, she and my grandmother can form a support group.”
“I’m pretty sure that might be one of the most terrifying thoughts I’ve had in years.”
“You’re right,” he said. “They’d be terrors together. New plan: Keep them as far apart as possible.”
“I’ve missed the hell out of you, Piper.”
“Back atcha.” She smiled at him. “I nearly broke down and called you at least two dozen times.”
He reached across the center console to tangle his fingers with hers. His expressive face was sober as he looked over. “Did anything change for you during that cooling off period?”
“Yes.” He started to pull away, but she tightened her grip. “I got confirmation that this...thing between us has nothing to do with the roles we played on stage. Which is exactly what I wanted to know.”
“Good. Because I’m just as crazy about you now as I was in December.” His admission made her giddy. The kind of champagne bubble excitement she hadn’t felt since she got her first kiss from Robert Hudson in Meet Me In Saint Louis.
She flexed her hand so she could trace a thumb around his palm. “I’m glad you waited around for me. A lot of guys wouldn’t have.”
“A lot of guys are dumbasses. Their loss.”
They rode in comfortable silence back to his house. He pulled into the garage and put the door down. By the time she wedged her aching feet back into the heels, he’d skirted around the front of the car and opened her door. It felt just a little glamorous to take his hand and be helped out. Just a little reckless to be tugged up against his body, frissons of heat and awareness racing along her nerves.
He stepped back and let them into the house. “Now, let’s get you out of that travesty of a dress.”
Piper’s pulse leapt with anticipation, but Myles didn’t pull her into his arms. Instead, he released her hand and strode down the hall. Unsure what else to do, she followed. The bedroom was too minimalist to be his—no knickknacks scattered over the dresser or nightstand. She knew him well enough to know that he always had something readily available to occupy his hands.
He opened a bureau drawer. “What is it with women? It’s like y’all save up every infraction against each other and unleash the revenge in the form of the most hideous possible bridesmaids dresses. What’d you do to your cousin?”
“Maybe it was that I enforced her bedtime one too many times when I babysat her as a kid.”
“Well, if you want to have a ritual burning, it’s not too warm for a fire.” He handed over a set of pajamas.
Piper arched a brow. “I’m afraid the chemical fumes would kill us. This,” she shook the dress, “just isn’t natural. Should I be concerned that you just happen to have a set of women’s pajamas?”
“My sister leaves some emergency stuff here for when she comes to visit.”
“Well, there’s something new. I didn’t know you had a sister.”
“And a brother, Grady. Both younger. Skye’s the baby.”
“Well, then I shall be grateful Skye’s close to my size.”
“Go on and get changed. I’ll get started on the rest.”
As he left the room, Piper wondered with pounding pulse just what the rest would be.COLLAPSE
Nicki Conroy on Amazon wrote:
Author Kait Nolan's talent shines throughout this novel. Her knowledge of the south and families dynamics is very evident. The funny nips and snarks were great. In the South, the evidence of a woman's worth is marriage, at least to her family. Her take on Southern Baptist in the South was insightful.
Her presentation of small town USA was realistic; everyone knows everybody and their business. The characters developed throughout the story-line, as Myles and Piper have insecurities and family issues to resolve as they forge forward in marriage and just possibly love.
This novel kept my interest and did not lag or slow. I laughed out loud as I read this wonderful story. The sexual tension between Myles and Piper was off the charts, and Ms. Nolan skillfully portrayed that tension and wanting. This novel has the best epilogue I have ever read.
I'm a sucker for a small town and for romance so Just For This Moment fit right in my wheelhouse. Make that small town a southern one and I may be packing my bags to find the town. I know I could relocate to Wishful in a heartbeat.
Myles and Piper met while doing community theatre. They both knew that there was chemistry between them but Piper has a rule - no dating co-actors. Myles endured the three month cooling off period Piper has set and the story picks up there.
Piper feels she is coming to Myles rescue with a marriage of convenience to give Myles access to a trust fund. Myles thought the two of them could pull off the deception but then his family finds out about the upcoming nuptials. Nothing can make a girl want to bolt like a rushed society wedding and family pressure.
Pick up Nolan's newest for a feel good read. Fall in love with the people of Wishful.