Title: Since September
Author: Allison Martine
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Most brides dream of planning every last detail of their wedding. Not Olivia Markham. She’d been down the aisle once already and regretted that decision, along with every other judgment call connected with her unfaithful ex. But she also never planned on falling for Adam Burkhardt, who proposed sooner than anyone could have guessed.
So when Adam suggests letting their mothers suss out the particulars for their big day, Olivia agrees, hoping it will assuage their mothers’ trepidation towards their upcoming union. She even relents to having a bachelorette weekend, for the sake of her friends.
Olivia shall endure more nuptial nonsense and play bride once again.
They should have eloped.
“Did your mom say anything else,” she ventured, “about why she wasn’t going to help?”
Adam glanced over at her, keeping his eyes on the road ahead and the traffic crawling north. “Not really, Livi,” he sighed. “She said she was too busy. And yeah, I know that’s a bullshit excuse—” he started, but Olivia interjected.
“Well, we said we were too busy, and it’s our wedding,” she pointed out. Adam waved that away.
“I know, I know,” he agreed. “But you and I both know that the only reason we asked them was to include them. And so we had to give a reason to ask them besides, ‘Hey, we really want you to support us and so here’s how we’re going to hope to engage you, by letting you plan the whole thing,’” he grumbled. “And yeah, we’re busy—we’re always busy—but if you wanted to plan the wedding, I’d support you. Hell, if you want to take over, I’ll turn around and go get all those binders from Kelly and you can look at them all weekend, if you want,” he offered, pointing behind him as if he’d actually swing around on the freeway to retrieve them. They were on the kitchen island, where Olivia had set them on Monday. She hadn’t touched them since.
She didn’t answer. She knew he wasn’t done. But she knew to keep her mouth shut and let him get there.
He shook his head. “I’m sorry Livi. It was my idea to try to involve them in the planning. And now I don’t know what the point was. Because my mother? Has a book club and likes to garden and volunteers sometimes at the local after school tutoring center for underprivileged kids. She keeps herself busy but she’s not, you know, too busy.”
Olivia nodded. She knew what he meant. If his mother wanted to help, she could. She’d find time.
“It’s me, then, isn’t it,” Olivia sighed.
“No,” Adam restated. “Don’t think that, Livi. It’s her pride is
what it is.”
Olivia looked over at him, hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, but hard. He wasn’t looking at her, and there was a controlled fury in his voice.
“Olivia, my mother was embarrassed last year. She didn’t care about the money—hell, they weren’t even out the money, when it was all done. But she had to call her friends, and our family, and tell them that they should cancel their flights, if they could. Or make other plans. Because her son is a fucking loser and would not be getting married after all.”
She wasn’t sure when he started crying. The tears were in his eyes, glassy and dark.
Olivia sat silently, unsure what to say, how to comfort him. She put her hand on his knee, waited for him to go on.
“So she doesn’t hate you, Olivia. She hasn’t made the slightest effort to get to know you. If she hates anyone, it’s me. Because while I was getting my heart broken, she didn’t care. She was just embarrassed that it happened and everyone saw. That they’d talk behind her back,” he sneered. “And here I thought—stupidly thought—that she would want to have a chance to share in our joy. That she’d see how happy I am with you. To see I’m not broken. Not anymore,” he said. “Not with you.”
He laughed, then, bitterly. “Or she’d at least, I don’t know, have a chance to show off in front of those same friends by planning a beautiful wedding. How ever she wanted it, even. But I was wrong. And I never should have suggested it.”
“Adam, I don’t—”
“It’s okay,” he said, his voice breaking, tears now on his cheeks. “I mean, I’m sure she’ll show up, at least. That would be a bigger scandal, if she didn’t. But that might be all we can expect.”
Olivia sat silently, watching the traffic, trying not to stare at him, wanting to wrap him up and take him home. All things impossible while driving on the freeway.
“We can still elope?” she said, staring out the window. “Or
would that make things worse?”
He sighed, as if considering. “Let’s just—I don’t know—leave my mom out of it, for now. We asked your mom to help. She seemed like she’s on board. Heck, your dad’s on board,” he said, “Kelly’s on board.”
“So’s Melinda,” she added, thinking of the bridal magazines
she’d set next to the binders from Kelly.
“Lorrie would come down and murder you,” he added, tone lighter now, “if she didn’t have an excuse to see Eddie.”
Eddie. Olivia had forgotten that other part of the promise she’d made to Lorrie. “About Eddie—”
Adam glanced over, and Olivia shifted to face him, realizing she probably should have brought this up right after she’d gone and made promises to Lorrie without even running it by him. He raised his eyebrows, waiting for her to spit it out.
“I might have promised Lorrie we’d do our bachelor and bachelorette stuff together so she could see Eddie,” Olivia admitted.
Adam laughed, and it was music to her ears. “You did, did you?”
Olivia grimaced. “Might have, yeah.”
“Well, I don’t want Lorrie pissed at you. Guess that’s a done deal, then.”
“Lorrie Sunkist scares me,” Olivia stated, matter-of-fact.
“She scares all of us, Olivia. She’s a scary little blonde.”
Olivia relaxed, leaning back in her seat, not minding the traffic, glad to be past the point where Adam’s eyes threatened to spill over, past the point where she regretted ever asking about his mom. She didn’t bring up the fact that Lorrie also had bemoaned the fact that she didn’t have a diamond solitaire of her own, and the one who had the most to fear from her at this point was Edward Niekirk, Jr.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
Full of “surprising twists and shocking moments,” SINCE SEPTEMBER picks up where the love story that began in “dibs,” the first in The Bourbon Books, leaves off, showing us that the road to happily ever after doesn’t look the same for every couple.
“If you love juicy, gasp-inducing, hold-on-to-your-mimosa drama, you will not be disappointed.” –5-star Amazon Review
“Reminiscent of Jane Austen whose novels often center on the heroine’s character during her time of engagement, Martine explores Olivia’s journey with Adam from his proposal to their marriage nine months later. While both carry the weight of failed relationships that intrigue the reader in backstory, Olivia and Adam confront the past in order to clear the way for their future together.” –Chella Courington, award winning poet
“If you're looking for a smart, well written romance that will make you laugh out loud one moment, scream in frustration at characters another, and shed a tear in sympathy with Adam and Olivia in the next, this is the book for you.” –5-star Amazon Review
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