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No Groom at the Inn by @kathleenlawless is an Indie Reads event pick #romance #99cents #giveaway
Title: No Groom at the Inn
Author: Kathleen Lawless
Genre: Sweet contemporary romance
Book Blurb: Her family surprises her when they arrive to meet her new fiancé. Creatively inspired by one of her coworkers. Hawaii is touted as the most romantic place on earth, and Meredith’s job as Event Planner at the posh Four Seasons Kona-Kohala Resort backs that claim with the number of weddings that take place at the resort each year. She only wishes her family was not so anxious to hear about her own, non-existent wedding plans. Meredith has dodged Christmas back home and her interfering family’s good intentions for years, inventing a fake boyfriend who works with her at the Resort. Her faux-fiancé is loosely based on Asher, the lethally good-looking and charming Outdoor Activities Director, whose number one activity appears to be dating any and all attractive women, on and off the resort. He’s not the type to interest her a bit in real life. But this is make-believe. Until her family surprises her with a Christmas visit and he steps into his role with far too much enthusiasm. Asher knows he has a reputation as a player, which comes in handy to rebuff the guests’ overtures, but makes it hard to be taken seriously. He enjoys his easy friendship with Meredith and the better he gets to know her, the more intriguing he finds her. Is Meredith really that impossible-to-get, or is it all an act?
Then her family shows up believing he’s her fiancée; the perfect opportunity to break down Meredith’s defenses once and for all. But with the family expecting a wedding date soon, Meredith tells him he has to dump her in front of everyone. What if he doesn’t want to?
Meredith rose just as the GM’s secretary poked her head in the door. “Mer, when you’re done, there’s someone here to see you.”
Probably Bridezilla. “Tell whoever it is I’ll be right out.”
Asher paused next to her. “Try not to take it so seriously.”
“Be more like you, you mean? I’m the wrong gender to be pouring on the charm to the guests the way you do.”
Asher gave her his trademark drop-dead gorgeous smile that sent women of all ages into a swoon. “Can I help it if everyone finds me irresistible?”
Meredith arched her brow in acknowledgement. She’d love to hate him, but every word was the truth. He’d started work here the same day she had, and they’d been buddies ever since. Like it or not, he was someone she’d come to rely on.
“Why don’t you come with me?” Meredith said. “Maybe all Bridezilla needs is a reassuring pat on the head and your famous smile.”
“You know you can count on me,” he said, one arm resting on her hip in that familiar, friendly way he had with everyone, resort staff and guests of all ages.
When they reached the main reception area, Meredith froze.
“What is it?” Asher asked, just as a chorus of voices yelled “Surprise!”
“Omg!” Meredith turned to Asher in dismay. “My family! What is everyone doing here?” she said as they converged on her and Asher, everyone talking at once.
“Since you never make it home for Christmas, we decided to come to you.” Her mother reached her first and hugged her, her smile widening as she transferred her attention to Asher. “And this must be Asher!” She threw her arms around him. Over her mother’s head Asher gave her a puzzled look as he returned the hug.
“Nice to meet you, Mrs. Robb.”
“Oh, silly boy. So formal. I insist you call me, Helen.” She pinched his cheek as if he was a youngster. “You’re even more handsome than in your pictures.”
Meredith pressed her lips tightly together, and tried to ignore the amused glint in Asher’s turquoise eyes.
“You didn’t tell me you sent your mom pictures.”
Meredith mumbled something unintelligible as her father stepped forward and claimed his hug, followed by her sisters.
She forced a smile. “How long will you all be here?”
“A week,” Helen said brightly.
“I wish I’d known,” Meredith said. “It’s such a busy time right now, a ton of weddings and other events that I’m just swamped. But I’m sure you’ll all have a nice time.”
Helen linked her arm through Meredith’s. “That’s part of the surprise. I called your boss and explained things to him and he’s agreed to give you a week off. He said your assistant is more than capable of taking over.”
“I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.”
“Of course it is. No one can be expected to work all the time.”
“I’ve been telling her the same thing,” Asher said, not-so-helpfully. “All work and no play.”
“Exactly!” Helen beamed. “And when I explained the situation, your nice boss, Mr. Yoshi, granted Asher some time off as well.”
“Situation?” Asher asked.
“I have to hand it to you two. Such discretion. No one I spoke to had any idea you two were dating, let alone getting engaged.”
“Oops,” Helen pressed her fingers to her lips. “I know it’s not official yet, but you did imply—”
“What did Meredith imply?” Asher asked with mock innocence.
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On Sale for 99 cents!
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An armchair Christmas visit to Hawaii, fake-date romance and all.
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Runs December 13 – December 21, 2022.
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USA Today Bestselling Author Kathleen Lawless blames a misspent youth watching Rawhide, Maverick and Bonanza for her fascination with cowboys. Which in no way stops her from creating a wide variety of interests and occupations for her many alpha male heroes.
With nearly 50 published novels to her credit, she enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional romance into historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense and women’s fiction.
She makes her home in the Pacific Northwest and loves to hear from her readers. www.kathleenlawless.com
Sign up for Kathleen’s VIP Reader Newsletter to receive a free book, updates, special giveaways and fan-priced offers. http://eepurl.com/bV0sb1
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