I’m very excited to be a part of the SEARCHING FOR BEAUTIFUL blog tour. I loved the first two titles in the Searching For series and am planning to tackle this one as soon as possible.
This post is treating you to an excerpt and a giveaway (yay!) further down…
Genevieve MacKenzie has her life completely under control. About to wed the charming Chief doctor at the local hospital, she’s an up-and-coming surgeon with everything she could ever want. Until an escape through the church window on the day of her wedding sends her life into a tailspin…and flings her right into her best friend’s arms.
When Wolfe catches his best friend falling out a window on her wedding day, he doesn’t ask questions. He whisks her away, determined to watch over her and discover the truth behind her desperate escape. But when his feelings turn more than platonic, he realizes he may risk his most important relationship in order to protect his damaged heart, and the woman he loves.
Can Genevieve and Wolfe’s friendship turn into something deeper—or is it already too late for true love?
“I’m a selfish bitch, Wolfe.”
“Why? Because you went with your gut rather than make the biggest mistake of your life?”
“No. Because I had fun today.”
His gaze locked with hers. A mixture of emotion beat from her body, gleamed in her eyes. Anger. Sadness. Shame.
Frustration. She held herself stiffly, as if afraid once she let go, she’d never be able to go back.
She was right to feel that way. He knew too well you couldn’t go back.
“When was the last time you did have fun, sweetheart?”
The desolation on her face broke his heart. “I don’t remember. But that’s not a reason to dump your fiancé at the altar.”
“Probably not. Which means there’s a bigger reason you haven’t gotten to yet.”
The waiter slid new plates in front of them. The impressive piece of Angus beef was rare, crusted with a peppercorn brandy, and placed over fried oysters. They forgot their serious conversation for a moment.
“This is sick,” she said in awe.
“Agreed. Just a head’s-up you’ll need to roll me out of here.”
“I have no problem with that.”
They feasted in silence. She was the only woman, besides his family, he felt comfortable eating around. Still didn’t know why. When he took dates to dinner, he was never settled enough to really dig in, as if he needed to play a certain role and it might slip if he revealed too much.
Probably those years in Italy around Julietta’s mother, Mama Conte. Food was an analogy for emotion and the soul, she used to cite repeatedly. Both were nourishment if received with the proper respect. A pang shot through him.
It’d been months since he’d visited and he missed them.
But Gen was able to manage heavy conversations in between bouts of quiet that no one else had mastered. Another bond they shared.
“I laughed today.”
Her self-disgust made him want to comfort her, but she needed tough love. “Humor is a good way to deal with heavy stuff.”
“I wasn’t dealing with anything. You’re not understanding or you’re playing dumb, which just pisses me off. I forgot about David. Forgot I destroyed his life, left him at the altar, and ran away from my family. I was having fun. What type of person am I?”
He clenched his fork and leveled his gaze. “Normal. You did the best you could at the time to deal with the situation. Doesn’t that tell you something was off? Ever stop to think you were so miserable in his presence that just getting away from him made you happy? How’d he get you so twisted up?”
“Maybe it’s me. Not him. Maybe I’m screwed up.”
“Nah, I’m the one who’s really messed up. You’ve always been the stable one in this relationship. And as for David? I think he loved the idea of who he could make you be. Not who you are. Not the woman I see sitting across the table from me.”
Her eyes widened. “Better is good. He wanted to make me better.”
“By whose standards? His?” He leaned over and stabbed his fork in the air. “There is no better when you decide to marry someone. There’s just you and all your issues and bad qualities and crap. If he wanted some princess, he should’ve gone to fucking Disney World. Finish your steak.”
She stared at him for a while. Wolfe waited for her famous temper, or sarcastic wit, or even a torrent of tears. Instead, she picked up her fork and resumed eating.
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.
She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.