Book Spotlight: Marry Me by Kristin Wallace – Only $2.99!



Marry Me
Julia Richardson is no fan of weddings. A lifetime of watching her parents treat relationships like the flavor of the month has taught her that love is for fools and faith is for naïve. She’s always put her faith in her career. Then her life is thrown into a tailspin. First, she loses her job. Then she gets a panicked call and learns her former stepsister is having a crisis with her pregnancy. The crisis has Julia returning to the small Southern town – and the family – she’s been avoiding for years. Before she knows it, Julia’s been pressed into service running her stepsister’s wedding planning business.

Julia doesn’t know a garter from a garden hose, but now she must navigate couples along the bumpy path down the aisle – despite wardrobe malfunctions, killer bees, and plenty of near disas-ters. In the midst of it all, Julia makes the most unexpected discovery of all…Love, with Seth Graham, the widowed local minister! Julia’s been running from love and everything spiritual for most of her life. It’s not until she finds the courage to stop running and learns to believe in the power of love, faith and family that she finds her own “I Do” moment.

Excerpt

Julia and Seth see each other for the first time in 15 years

The park was indeed crowded. There were kids all over the place, as well as adult volunteers, and from the looks of it, a good number of observers. The kids spotted Eric right away, and they swarmed around him like ants to a drop of honey, until they saw Julia. The younger ones looked at her with suspicion, while the older ones took on all the finer characteristics of your average construction workers. The whistles, ‘yeah baby’s’, and outright leers were nothing Julia hadn’t seen or heard since she’d started wearing a bra in the fourth grade.

“Young men do not make catcalls at a lady,” Eric said.

“Sorry, ma’am!” erupted all around.

“The only thing worse than whistling at a woman is calling her ‘ma’am’,” she said, matching Eric’s stern tone. “It’s Julia.”

“Come on, Seth is around here somewhere,” Eric said. “Let me introduce you. Oh, wait… I forgot. You two know each other, don’t you?”

“Yeah, but we weren’t exactly friends.”

Julia followed Eric, and in the distance she spotted a group of men helping to set up the field. She searched for a geeky-looking beanpole, but her eyes stopped on a beautifully built, dark-haired man. All she could see was the back of him. He was tall, with shoulders a mile wide, and long, powerful legs.

Who knew they grew such delicious specimens down here in Covington Falls?

“Hey, Seth!” Eric called out. “Look who I found.”

All the men turned, including the delicious one. Oh, yeah. Mr. Tall Guy was wonderful from the front, too. Nicely crafted masculine features. Julia couldn’t quite make out the eye color, but she had a feeling they were spectacular as well. Their eyes met, and she felt a little jolt.“This one,” a voice reflected in her head. His eyes widened, and Julia knew he felt it, too. If they were in a movie this would be the moment when violins swept into a chorus and drums started pounding.

Then he frowned, and his expression became shuttered. He broke away from the group and started over in her direction. That’s when it dawned on her exactly who she’d been drooling over.

The drums turned to clanging bells.

Oh… my…

The breath lodged in her throat. There was no way the geeky boy she’d known had grown into… him! But somehow he had. She stiffened even more when she recalled this gorgeous man was also a minister.

Can you get struck by lightning for thinking impure thoughts about a minister? Isn’t lust one of the seven deadly sins?

Oh, this was not good. Not good at all.

****

It’s not good for a woman to look so amazing in a pair of denim shorts, Seth Graham thought. Not good at all.

How was it possible? Fifteen years and she still made him feel like… well… like he was fifteen. He’d grown up, answered the call to the ministry, and married and buried a wife. Yet somehow prickly, bitter, keep-your-distance Julia Richardson still scared the life out of him. Because prickly, bitter, keep-your-distance Julia Richardson was also still the sexiest female he’d ever met. A sexy woman who was now his stepmother’s ex-stepdaughter, making her his… well… he didn’t quite know what it made her. He only knew it was bizarre and twisted.

His mouth went dry like he’d swallowed a box of chalk sticks, and he could swear drums were pounding somewhere. As he walked toward her, he concentrated on not tripping over his feet or otherwise reminding her he used to be a huge putz. Their eyes locked. The drumbeat intensified. He knew the moment she figured out who he was because her eyes suddenly widened, and she drew in a shocked breath.

Yeah, Julia, the putz you remember did grow into this.

 

He stopped in front of her.

Eric did the honors. “Julia, this is Seth Graham. John’s son. Seth, you remember Julia, right?”

“Hey, Julia,” he said, with almost no inflection. If he was careful and kept his tone even maybe she wouldn’t notice his voice was shaking.

Her eyes made a visual track up and down again. “Hey yourself. You’ve changed a bit.”

He had to admit, it was nice she seemed so rattled by his changed appearance. It made his mouth twitch as he fought back a smile. “A bit. How’ve you been?”

“Fine.”

“Good.”

“And you?”

“Fine.”

“Wow, you two, don’t go overboard on the effusive greetings,” Eric teased.

At this, Seth and Julia both laughed, and it seemed to lighten the moment.

“Are we almost set up here?” Eric asked, gesturing to the field.

Seth swiveled his head around, grateful for any excuse to look away from Julia and try to regain his sanity. “Almost. We’ll be ready to go in a few minutes.”

“I’ll go check with the guys.”

Seth started to go after him, to escape, but Eric waved him off. “No, no, I can go. You two catch up. I’ll be right back.”

Seth fought back a surge of panic. Now what? Was he supposed to talk to Julia? Like they were long-lost friends? He barely knew her anymore. Plus, he couldn’t look at her without swallowing his tongue, which made conversation pretty difficult.