Daughters Of The Bride

By: Susan Mallery


With Joy, Love and a Little Trepidation, Courtney, Sienna and Rachel Invite You to the Most Emotional Wedding of the Year… Their Mother’s

Courtney ~ The Misfit ~

As the awkward one, Courtney Watson may not be as together as her sisters, but she excels at one thing—keeping secrets, including her white-hot affair with a sexy music producer. Planning Mom’s wedding exposes her startling hidden life, changing her family’s view of her—and how she views herself—forever.

Sienna ~ The Free Spirit ~

When Sienna’s boyfriend proposes—in front of her mom and sisters, for crying out loud—he takes her by surprise. She already has two broken engagements under her belt. Should she say “I do” even if she’s not sure she does?

Rachel ~ The Cynic ~

Rachel thought love would last forever…right up until her divorce. As Mom’s wedding day draws near and her ex begs for a second chance, she’s forced to acknowledge some uncomfortable truths about why her marriage failed, and decide if she’ll let pride stand in the way of her own happily-ever-after.





To Kaycee. Thank you so much for everything. This one is for you.

 * * *

Being the “mom” of an adorable, spoiled little dog, I know the joy that pets can bring to our lives. Animal welfare is a cause I have long supported. For me that means giving to Seattle Humane. At their 2015 Tuxes and Tails fund-raiser, I offered “Your pet in a romance novel” as a prize.

In this book you will meet two wonderful dogs—Sarge and Pearl. One of the things that makes writing special is interacting in different ways with people. Some I talk to for research. Some are readers who want to talk characters and story lines, and some are fabulous pet parents. I had a wonderful time learning about Sarge and Pearl. They are well loved and a little spoiled…as all pets should be. I enjoyed the opportunity to work them into my story and I hope you enjoy their charming antics.

My thanks to Sarge and Pearl, to their fabulous pet parents and to the wonderful people at Seattle Humane (SeattleHumane.org). Because every pet deserves a loving family.







1

ONE OF THE advantages of being freakishly tall was easy access to those upper kitchen cabinets. The disadvantages...well, those were probably summed up by the word freakishly.

Courtney Watson folded her too-long legs under her as she tried to get comfortable in a chair incredibly low to the ground. Adjusting the height wasn’t possible. She was filling in at the concierge desk only while Ramona hurried off for yet another bathroom break. Apparently, the baby had shifted and was now reclining right on her bladder. From what Courtney could tell, pregnancy was a whole lot of work with an impressive dash of discomfort. The last thing she was going to do was change anything about the chair where Ramona spent a good part of her day. Courtney could pretend to be a pretzel for five minutes.

Late on a Tuesday evening, the lobby of the Los Lobos Hotel was quiet. Only a few guests milled around. Most were already up in their rooms, which was where Courtney liked the guests to spend their time at night. She wasn’t a fan of those who roamed. They got into trouble.

The elevator doors opened and a small, well-dressed man stepped out. He glanced around the lobby before heading directly to her. Well, not to her, she would guess. The concierge desk at which she sat.

Her practiced smile faltered a bit when she recognized Milton Ford, the current president of the California Organization of Organic Soap Manufacturing, aka COOOSM. Mr. Ford had arranged for the annual meeting to be held in town, and everyone was staying at the Los Lobos Hotel. Courtney knew that for sure—she’d taken the reservation herself. But the meetings, the meals and all the income that flowed from them were taking place at the Anderson House.

“Hello.” He looked at the nameplate on the desk. “Ah, Ramona. I’m Milton Ford.”

Courtney thought about correcting him on her name but figured there wasn’t much point. Despite his giving all that pretty catering money to one of their competitors, she would still do her job—or in this case, Ramona’s—to the best of her abilities.

“Yes, Mr. Ford. How may I help you this evening?” She smiled as she spoke, determined to be pleasant.

Even if Mr. Ford had decided to hold his stupid awards luncheon at the Anderson House instead of in the hotel’s very beautiful and spacious ballroom, Courtney would do her best to make sure his stay and the stays of his colleagues were perfect.

Her boss would tell her not to be bitter, so Courtney returned her smile to full wattage and promised herself that when she was done with Mr. Ford, she would head to the kitchen for a late-night snack of ice cream. It would be an excellent reward for good behavior.

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