Excerpt provided by Syndetics
<anon I1="BLANK" I2="BLANK">Chapter One The relentless pounding in her head was what finally woke Lydia Cross from a sound sleep. Her mouth felt like she had been chewing on a dirty gym sock and her eyes were glued together so tightly it took several attempts for her to pry them open. She lay in a darkened room, attempting to get her bearings. A quick glance at the clock on the bedside table had her sitting up too quickly-which turned out to be a big mistake. Her stomach immediately staged a revolt and she struggled to free herself from under the covers-then promptly smacked into a hard surface. What the hell? Who'd moved the wall in her bedroom? She rubbed her smarting nose and inched along with half-closed eyes until she reached a doorway. She fumbled before locating the light switch and flipped it up. The bright glare that filled the unfamiliar bathroom temporarily blinded her. After blinking a few times, she was able to focus on her surroundings. Then it finally hit her that she was in Vegas. Her co-worker and good friend, Crystal Webber, was getting married to Mark DeSanto in a few days and their friend Mia Gentry had insisted on throwing the bachelorette party at the Oceanix-Las Vegas. Luckily, Danvers was a big company and they were all able to find temporary replacements so they could take a few days of vacation together with no problem. The nausea that had temporarily abated while she was hunting for the bathroom returned in full force. She barely made it to the toilet before the contents of her stomach came back up in horrifying fashion. She was doing her best to remain upright when her hair was suddenly pulled back and someone touched her back. She jerked in shock, nearly falling into the toilet, before strong hands steadied her. A masculine voice rumbled, "It's okay, little one. I've got you." Lydia managed to shrug out of the hold long enough to spin around and look at her mystery bathroom guest. "Sweet Jesus," she exclaimed at the sight of Jacob Hay, clad only in snug boxer briefs, towering over her with concern etched on his face. She couldn't help herself-she drank him in from head to toe. Who in the world could possibly blame her for taking advantage of this screwed-up nightmare to check out the man she'd lusted after for months? In all her fantasies, though, she'd never quite imagined him in this scenario. "Wh-what are you doing here?" she asked in confusion, before belatedly realizing that she was also quite nude. She grabbed a robe off a nearby hook and fumbled to put it on. Jacob raised an amused brow at her. "After last night, I wouldn't have guessed that you had a shy bone in your body, gorgeous." Oh shit, what's he talking about? Did I wrap myself around him and beg him to come to my room? "You've got three seconds to tell me what in the hell you're doing in my hotel room," she snapped. Thank God, she'd finally gotten the damn robe tied. Laying down the law was rather hard when your boobs were hanging out. Instead of answering right away, Jacob walked calmly around her and flushed the toilet. He then moved to the sink, unwrapped a toothbrush, and filled a glass with water. He motioned her over and she cringed as she realized he was trying to get her to brush her teeth. Maybe she could pause for a moment to take care of her breath before she continued her inquisition. Lydia quickly took care of business before putting her hands on her hips. "Well?" He looked as if he was biting back a smile. "Could we possibly take this conversation into the next room?" She resisted the urge to childishly stomp her feet as, once again, he made her feel like an idiot. Naturally, he didn't want to stand around and chat in the room she'd just tossed her cookies in. "Oh, all right," she grumbled as she stalked past him. Wait, I don't remember my room being this nice. He moved over to the bedside table and picked up the phone. Despite her glare, he calmly placed an order for coffee and Danishes from room service. Then he turned back to face her. So hot, she thought to herself. He studied her for long enough that she began to fidget. When he finally spoke, the deep rumble of his voice in the quiet room had her jerking. "Do you not remember anything about last night?" Was he nuts? Would she be standing here looking like a complete train wreck if she knew what was going on? But instead of opening her mouth to unleash a sarcastic comment, she took a breath and admitted, "I have no idea. I vaguely remember going dancing at some club with Mia and Crystal." She rubbed her throbbing temple as she attempted to re-create the events of the previous evening. "Didn't Mark and some of his friends show up at some point?" He had the look of a proud teacher as he nodded his head encouragingly. "That's right. I flew here with Mark and the Jackson brothers. We met up with you ladies sometime during your club crawl." Images exploded in her head as jumbled memories came rushing back to her. Dancing. The taste of his lips. Our tongues tangling. Hands touching. My new husband. Wait, what? Lydia stared at Jacob in dawning horror before looking down at the glittering diamond on her ring finger. Holy. Fucking. Shit. "We got married," she whispered, then promptly staggered over to the bed and dropped down onto it. Just the reaction every man hopes to see from his new bride, Jacob thought as he took in LydiaÕs shocked demeanor. He sat down on the side of the bed and held her hand, sitting quietly with her for a couple of minutes. Then he placed a few fingers on her forehead and caressed her gently, asking, "Feeling better?" He had no idea why he was checking her for signs of a fever when he full well knew it was the alcohol and the shock that had gotten to her. Her earlier panic seemed to have receded, leaving a look of helpless confusion in its place. "Did we really . . . get married? I'm imagining that whole thing, right?" She looked so hopeful that he hated to burst her bubble, but he couldn't lie to her. He rubbed in what he hoped was a soothing pattern on the back of her hand as he said, "No, it actually happened. The king himself performed the ceremony." "The king?" A helpless giggle escaped her luscious lips. "That's right . . . We were married by Elvis Presley-or at least someone loosely resembling him. God, I still remember the-'Thank you . . . thank you very much.'" Jacob found himself laughing along with her. At thirty-four years old, he had just gotten married in Vegas by a terrible Elvis impersonator. And to top it off, his new bride was all but a stranger to him. Hadn't his mother preached to him and his brother about impulse control from the time they were small? Clearly he'd completely lost his mind last night. Hell, he'd known it was wrong, but when Lydia looked at him all teary eyed and- She pulled her hand out from under his and ran it through her sexy, tousled hair. Her large green eyes locked on his, and he found himself swallowing hard. So damn beautiful. "I recall pieces of the evening, but not what led up to our-union. Why would we have done something like that? Do you remember anything?" Before he could answer, there was a knock at the door. ÒThatÕll be room service.Ó Lydia pulled the sheet up to her neck and cowered as Jacob sauntered toward the door, seemingly not the least bit concerned that he wore only a pair of very revealing underwear. Of course, what did he have to be embarrassed over? His body was chiseled perfection. Broad shoulders and a muscular chest, abs that looked like they belonged on an underwear advertisement, tapering into lean hips and a bulge between his thighs that had her mouth watering. Hell's bells. She was married to Jacob Hay. It was so unfair that she couldn't remember every detail of the previous night in vivid color. If there was a God, it would come back to her. She was freaked out over the state of things this morning, sure, but the real tragedy was not knowing exactly how it felt to be bedded by- "Lydia." Her head snapped up as she noticed the object of her drool fest standing before her with his hands on his hips. Please, no, don't put your cock at eye level with me. "Are you all right? I called your name several times, but you weren't responding." He looked at her in concern, probably noticing her dilated pupils and the way her eyes were glued to his package. Guess what, Jacob? Your new wife is a pervert. "Um-I." She cleared her throat and tried again. "I'm fine. Just tired, I guess." Pointing at the table across the room that now held a carafe, she quickly asked, "Could I have some coffee?" She was sure he wondered why she couldn't get it, but she needed a moment to compose herself and get her libido back under control. With that thought, she tried to sound casual as she tossed out, "If you want to get dressed first, that's okay. You must be-cold." When he turned to stare at her questioningly, she caught sight of something she'd missed. Because you couldn't stop looking down long enough to see anything above the waistband. Jacob's neck and chest had scratch marks and what looked like bites all over them. No . . . she couldn't have. She'd never been that aggressive in bed. Surely, it was from an interlude with someone else that preceded her night with him. He followed her line of sight, and then his lips curled up into a devilish smile. His eyes blazed with heat and she felt her core clenching in response. "For such a little thing, you pack quite a punch, sweetheart." Sweet baby Jesus. She felt her mouth opening and closing without a sound as she took in the damage she'd inflicted on him. Did she think the man was a chew toy or something? Those indentations weren't made by one little nibble. No, she'd obviously attacked his chest and nipples like a rabid dog. She was relieved that his boxer briefs outlined his dick so clearly now. At least that was proof she hadn't bitten off the sucker. She put a hand over her face before mumbling, "Stuff like this doesn't happen to me. I've never even gone down on a guy!" She continued to toss out all of the reasons that the last twenty-four hours were unbelievable, but a hand on her leg had her pausing to look up at a more serious Jacob. "What?" she asked, strangely unnerved that he no longer looked amused by their circumstances. Clearly it was finally dawning on him that he'd married her. The poor man was probably about to weep at his misfortune. She'd surely marked his body for life. "You've never performed oral sex?" Jacob asked, sounding strangled. Removing his hand, Lydia could only gawk at him. Finally, she managed to ask, "Out of everything I just said, that's what you're focused on?" Overshare much? Why in the world would she have blurted out something so personal to him? Granted, apparently he was her new hubby, but still . . . When he continued to stare at her, she added, "It just never came up, okay?" Really poor choice of words, Lydia. Now she was stuttering as she went into more unnecessary explanations. "My fiancZ, Brett, didn't really enjoy the whole-oral aspect and he was my one and only, so-" "You've only had sex with one man before last night?" Jacob croaked out. Lydia gave a squeak of surprise when he flopped down on the bottom of the bed, barely missing her toes. He lay on his back, staring up at the ceiling as if it contained answers to some of the questions that must be running on a loop through his mind. She wanted to mention again that he could put some clothes on, but truthfully, a nearly nude Jacob wasn't exactly a hardship. Their conversation was becoming more and more surreal. She didn't even know him well enough to consider him a casual acquaintance. He was her man crush, and she enjoyed objectifying him anytime she caught a glimpse of him in the hallways of Danvers International, thinking that there was no harm in entertaining herself with the fantasies. The only time she could remember actually carrying on a conversation with him was when he'd helped her in the parking garage at the office once when her car wouldn't start. Yet somehow, she'd married him last night and then gone ahead and had what was probably mind-blowing sex to top it off. Am I upset because we're hitched or because I don't remember my night in bed with him? In a voice laden with sarcasm, she said, "If we could possibly step back from my sexual history for a moment, I'd like to discuss a more important matter here. You seem far more knowledgeable about last night than I am. So could you please tell me what led up to finding myself married to you this morning?" A quick peek toward the foot of the bed showed Jacob's washboard abs rippling as he scrubbed his hands over his face. Look away, girl, he's not really yours. His voice was deep and gravelly when he began explaining. "You said that you remember Mark showing up last night." She nodded her head, and he continued. "Mark and I were in San Francisco. I guess when he spoke with Crystal, he decided to take a detour and visit her. I told him it was fine with me. I'd planned to get a room and crash for the night. Asher and Dylan Jackson were here on business since their family owns the Oceanix Resorts, so I ended up having a drink with them. I ran into you in the hallway outside the bathrooms." "And you actually recognized me?" she couldn't help but ask. "Of course," he said, sounding slightly offended. "You're not an easy woman to forget, Lydia, trust me on that." She tried her best not to melt into a warm puddle at his words. She'd have been thrilled had he just admitted that she looked vaguely familiar. "Anyway, we chatted for a few moments, and I walked you back to the table where your friends were. It was pretty late by that point and most of the ladies were in the process of leaving. Within a couple minutes, only you and I were left. So we had a few more drinks and talked. In hindsight, we probably should have switched to water, but that didn't happen." Excerpted from Wishing for Us: A Danvers Novel by Sydney Landon All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.</anon>
Reviews provided by Syndetics
It's been three years since Lydia Cross' fiancé died of cancer, and her life is stuck in neutral. In Las Vegas for her friend Crystal's bachelorette party, one drink leads to another, and she wakes up married to the very sexy Jake Hay. He helped her once with car trouble and she's had a crush on him ever since, but Lydia didn't think Jake even knew her name. Jake had a one-night stand, which resulted in Casey, the daughter he adores; her mother, Chris, would like to be Mrs. Hay and is not above using Casey to accomplish that. Jake was interested in Lydia when they met and views marriage as a way to end Chris' demands, so he's in no hurry to get a divorce, and besides, they seem to be very compatible, both in and out of the bedroom. This is the ninth book in Landon's Danvers series, but new readers will have no trouble starting here. The women of Danvers have very close friendships, which is part of the series appeal; too bad they all engage in rather crude locker-room talk every time they get together.--Quillen, C. L. Copyright 2016 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
Lydia Cross wakes up the morning after her best friend's bachelorette party married to Jacob Hay, her very hot boss. When they return home from Vegas, he doesn't seem inclined to end things, but aside from sizzling chemistry, what could she possibly have in common with this near stranger?It's been a long couple of years for Lydia. She's only loved one man in her life, and he died from cancer three years ago. She hasn't been eager to return to the dating scene since then, preferring to fill her life with work and a rowdy group of lady friends. She's had a crush on Jacob forever, but the only time they'd really spoken prior to their whirlwind weekend in Vegas was when he changed a flat on her car in their workplace parking garage. Unbeknownst to Lydia, Jacob has a small, precocious daughter from a fling with a woman named Chris. Aside from their one-time tryst, Chris and Jacob have never been anything but co-parents to Casey, their child. This is not for lack of trying on socially climbing Chris' part. Recently, she's begun to demand either a princely amount of financial support or for Jacob to finally put a ring on it. So, Jacob's quickie marriage to Lydia solves this problem for him. After Jacob comes clean about the reason he's reluctant to divorce Lydia, she forgives him and decides that she'll keep up the charade to help him avoid winding up with Chris as his ball and chain. But can she help herself avoid the sexual and romantic fires sexy Jacob stirs in her after so long? And are they requited? The ninth book in the Danvers series does not disappoint. Just enough bittersweet longing to pluck your heartstrings and enough heat to keep it interesting. A quick, satisfying read. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.