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Availability date: 02/10/2016
For nearly a decade Maggie has put the needs of her younger siblings ahead of her own. Now she’s willing to accept a marriage without passion in order to protect her brother, but fate has a wicked sense of humor. On the eve of her wedding, Maggie meets the man of her dreams.
When Shamus loses a bet the penalty is a blind date. Shamus is prepared to endure a long, boring night; the last thing he expects is to find the woman who can bring his heart back to life.
But Maggie is keeping secrets--and her engagement is only one of them.
An hour later, eating hot wings as they listened to the band play a love song, it crossed her mind that fate had a cruel sense of humor, bringing Shamus into her life just weeks before her wedding.
Her phone pinged. She pulled it out and checked the message.
How’s your date? Logan asked.
OK, she texted back.
Enjoy your evening. Happy New Year.
“Everything okay?” Shamus asked.
“Yeah, that was my sister,” she lied. What was she supposed to say? Oh, that’s just the man I’m getting ready to marry.
“Her boyfriend always picks her up in the lobby?” he asked.
A Marlie headache bounced off her temples. “Let’s just say the kind of men my sister goes out with don’t like to waste their energy walking up the stairs.”
A piercing whistle shot through the bar. “Listen up, folks,” Jason shouted.
“And we are thirty seconds from the New Year,” the TV announced.
Shamus stood in front of her, drawing her to her feet.
His dark blue eyes appeared almost indigo in the soft light of the bar.
He cupped her face in his hands.
I can’t kiss him. I’m engaged.
As the old year closed and the new one began Shamus touched his lips to hers. The noise surrounding them faded.
The warmth of his callused hands framed her face. His rum and coke flavored kiss began with a tenderness that stole the breath from her lungs. As his kiss grew in intensity, the warm swirls that had danced in her blood all night grew as well, reaching a lava hot stage within seconds.
When Maggie was fifteen, her mother told her about the first time she kissed Maggie’s father. “Once in your life,” her mother said, “there’s a kiss that shatters everything you thought you knew and changes the direction of your life.”
She understood now. Maggie pressed her fingers to her lips in a fruitless attempt to hold onto the sweetest kiss of her life. Tears strangled her heart at the realization that it was also the most bitter since it could only mean farewell.
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