THE BEST MAN AND THE BRIDESMAID                            Harlequin Romance

 

 

 

 

 

The bridesmaid

 

Daisy Galbraith has always loved Robert Furneval but knowing that he's determinedly single, when she's around him she stays the "tom boy" girl-next-door he's known all his life. That way she can have his friendship if nothing else. But everything begins to unravel when she becomes the unwilling bridesmaid at her brother's wedding - a wedding at which Robert will be best man...

 

The best man

 

Robert, in the run up to the wedding, discovers that Daisy is an attractive and unexpectedly mysterious woman. Why has she been hiding her looks under shapeless clothes? Who is the man she's secretly in love with? Afraid she's going to get hurt, he makes it his business to find out...

 

 Winner

2001 RITA Best Traditional Romance

 

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What people are saying...

 

 

"This one of those romances which you close at the end with a big satisfied sigh! And then you read it again. A keeper."

 

...Amazon

 

 

"a delightful tale with a fresh spin on a fan-favorite storyline, snappy dialogue and charming characters."

 

...4 1/2 stars, RT BookReviews

 

taste test...

 

WEDNESDAY, March 22.  Dress fitting. Me, in frills, as a bridesmaid. It's my worst nightmare come true. The self-assertiveness course was a complete waste of time; it was utterly impossible to be assertive in the face of Ginny's sweet pleading. Lunch with Robert first, though. The lovely (and very clever) Janine has dumped him and I am, as usual, the nearest shoulder available. Crocodile tears, of course...but interesting to see how he takes being on the receiving end of the boot for a change. 

 * * *

‘YELLOW velvet? What’s wrong with yellow velvet?’ 

          ‘Nothing. Probably.’ In its place. Wherever that might be. ‘If being a bridesmaid was high on my list of ambitions.’ It came five hundred and twenty-seventh on hers; right after having her teeth extracted without anaesthetic. ‘Nothing, if I enjoyed the idea of being fitted into a dress that will display all my shortcomings in the figure department.’ She glanced down at her chest, which she suspected would be six inches short of the desired circumference. ‘Or in my case, not display them.’ Robert’s gaze had followed hers and was regarding her lack of curves with a thoughtful expression. ‘Nothing,’ she added, quickly to distract him, ‘if I relished the prospect of walking behind a girl who is going to be the prettiest bride this century, alongside a posse of her equally beautiful and raven-haired cousins all of whom will look ravishing in yellow.’

          Was she being petty?

          Oh, yes.

          ‘Maybe you’ll look ravishing in yellow,’ Robert offered. He didn’t sound convinced. Well, he didn’t have to. Just so long as he stopped talking about Janine. She’d heard quite enough about how wonderful Janine was. If she was that wonderful, he should have married the girl.

          Her boyish chest clenched painfully at the thought.

          ‘I’ll look like a duck,’ she said, more to distract herself, than because it mattered very much. It was Ginny’s day and no one would be looking at her.

          ‘Probably.’ Robert, primed to offer at least a token contradiction, instead grinned broadly. Well, that was why he’d asked her to lunch, to cheer him up.

          The best man had it so easy, she thought, irritably. Robert would be in morning dress and the biggest decision he’d have to make was whether to wear a grey morning coat or a black one. Or maybe not. Ginny’s mother was stage-managing this wedding like the director of some Hollywood epic and everything was being colour co-ordinated down to the last button, so it was unlikely he’d even have to worry about that.

          No. All Robert would have to do was make sure her brother arrived in time for the wedding, produce the rings at the appropriate moment and make a short but witty speech at the reception. She’d seen it all before. Robert was very good at weddings...particularly at ensuring they weren’t his own.

          He’d arrange a stupendous stag night for Michael and still deliver him immaculately dressed and sober as a judge at the church in plenty of time for the wedding. He’d produce the rings dead on cue, make the wedding guests chuckle appreciatively with his wit and probably have the prettiest bridesmaid for breakfast.

          By the time they’d left the church every female heart would be aflutter and the eyelashes would be following suit. Well, not the bride’s eyelashes, perhaps. And the bride’s mother could be forgiven for being distracted, but the bride’s sister, the bride’s cousins, the bride’s aunts...

          Not that Robert needed morning dress for that. Women fell for him wherever he went, whatever he was wearing. Beautiful women. Sophisticated women. Sexy women. And he didn’t have to do a damned thing except smile.

          Bridesmaids, on the other hand, were at the whim of the bride’s mother. She sighed. Frills. Ribbons. Velvet. That was bad enough, but why on earth did Ginny’s mother have to choose yellow velvet? You’d have thought filling the church with daffodils would be enough yellow for anyone... ‘You aren’t supposed to agree with me, you know,’ she scolded. ‘I went to great lengths to avoid being a bridesmaid. I made Ginny swear that no matter what my mother did or said, she wouldn’t make me follow her up the aisle.’

          ‘The best laid plans...’

          ‘The best laid plans be blowed. I can’t believe Ginny’s mother permitted such a vital member of her cast to go skiing so close to the wedding.’

          ‘I don’t suppose anyone told her about it or she’d have done her best.’ He smiled. ‘Poor Daisy.’ She would do almost anything to have Robert smile at her like that. Even suffer the indignity of yellow velvet. He leaned forward and gently ruffled the springy mop of curls fighting their way out of the confines of an elastic band. ‘And actually, you’re quite wrong about looking like a duck. Ducks waddle, you don’t.’ As compliments went, it wouldn’t ring a fairground bell, but still Daisy had to work hard to stem a flush of pleasure. ‘Definitely not a duck.’

          ‘Really?’ The flush materialised, she just couldn’t help it.

          He grinned. ‘No. You’re thinking of ducklings.’

 

 

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From the book THE BEST MAN AND THE BRIDESMAID by Liz Fielding

Text Copyright © 2001 by Liz Fielding

Cover Art Copyright © by Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by

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