Title: The Best Man's Baby (A Red River Series Book)
Author: Victoria James
Genre: Contemporary Series Romance
Length: 182 pages
Release Date: August 2013
Jake has never played by the rules. Getting Minister Holbrook’s daughter pregnant wasn’t part of any life plan, but he won’t run from his responsibilities. He’ll step up and be the best man he can, even if he doesn’t have a clue where to begin. The more time he spends with Claire, though, the more he wants her, and the harder it is to get close because that would mean sharing the one thing he hasn’t with anyone–the truth and his heart.
EXCERPTHe was going straight to hell.
Jake stared down at Claire, the only woman who’d interested him lately, and the only woman who was off-limits. She was Holly’s best friend. She was Reverend Holbrook’s only daughter. She was the good girl. And there wasn’t a good bone in his entire body. Right now, he didn’t really care about all that anymore.
Her voice sent vibrations of awareness through him. He’d been aware for the last five years. He’d been aware all damn day. And now after a few drinks, he was even more aware of how attracted he was to her.
He looked at Claire the way he’d wanted to since the moment she’d walked down the aisle today. He started at the top of her head, taking in the shiny dark hair that fell around her shoulders, the updo she’d had long gone, when she’d pulled her hair free while dancing. He admired the smooth, perfect skin, and the mouth that teased him mercilessly. Her shoulders were toned, bare except for the thin straps of her pale-pink dress. His eyes wandered lower, and her chest was rising and falling in rapid breaths.
He held her gaze as he ran his hands up her bare arms, and she shivered. She wanted him as much as he wanted her. He knew it the moment she’d walked down the aisle today and had made eye contact with him. Maybe it was seeing his brother get married to the love of his life, but he didn’t want to be left alone tonight.
“You looked beautiful today,” he murmured.
She raised her eyebrows. “That’s it?”
“What do you mean?” he said, taking a step toward her.
“That’s all you’ve got? You’re supposed to be a pro at this. You’ve got to be able to come up with something better than that.”
“I didn’t think you’d fall for the usual lines,” he whispered, the urge to take her mouth with his overwhelming now that he stood this close to her. “And for some reason, I don’t think I want to use any of those lines on you.”
He caught the way her eyes ignited. Her hands slowly traveled up his chest, her eyes not leaving his. She tugged at his nape, urging him to bend down. Her lips grazed his ear. “I don’t want lines. I don’t want anything except you tonight.”
Jake stopped breathing for a moment. The invitation was written all over her beautiful face when she pulled away from him. She couldn’t make it any clearer. That was probably the last thing he’d ever expect from Claire.
“Let’s go,” he said, linking her hand in his.
They were halfway across the ballroom when he stopped. “Wait.” He left Claire standing in the middle of the ballroom and walked toward the band, which was beginning to pack up. He didn’t question why it mattered, why he was stopping, why he was making this more than it should be. The chandeliers in the room were off, the tables cleared, the massive dance floor empty.
“What’s your favorite song?” he called out to her. Her mouth dropped open, and he was momentarily distracted by her lips. She paused for a second, then told him.
He repeated it to the singer of the band.
“Sorry, buddy, we’re ready to go. Last song was twenty minutes ago. We’re only paid until one a.m.,” the young man said, his hand ready to tug the microphone off the stand.
Jake handed him a large bill. “One song.”
The singer looked at the bill, stuffed it into his pocket, and nodded.
“What are you doing?” Claire whispered as he tugged her along to the middle of the dance floor.
“I’m dancing with you the way I wanted to dance with you tonight,” he whispered roughly, and pulled Claire into his arms. And she fit there exactly as he knew she would, just like the dreams he’d had about her. Except it was better because she smelled like flowers and spring and her skin was soft and smooth. He knew he didn’t need to do this. And he didn’t want to question why he was doing this. His hands traveled up the small of her back and to the nape of her neck, gently pulling her head back. He wanted to kiss her, finally taste the mouth of the woman he had no business wanting.
He bent his head and stood still. Everything stopped as he finally tasted her, savored her, and became consumed by her.
Author BioVictoria James always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples) and a cardboard cover and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again.
In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill the dream of writing romantic fiction.
Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after’s for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she’s quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.
Victoria will be awarding a $50 Starbucks GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.