USA TODAY bestselling author
Caitlin McIntyre's heart stops when her best friend drops to one knee and proposes. Kyle Lockhart never once hinted over the years that he has any idea she's in love with him. Not wanting to jeopardize their friendship, she's never let it slip. Good thing, too, since it turns out he's only practicinghe's about to propose to someone else.
A business merger might not be the most romantic reason to propose to a woman he barely knows, but Kyle's determined to win the respect of the dying father who's never seen him as quite good enough. Kyle's always depended on Caitlin's friendship, while trying to ignore the physical response she arouses. So he turns to her when it comes time to craft his proposal, not realizing his decision will affect their relationship, forever.
This Christmas, Kyle and Caitlin get one last chance to admit their feelings for each other, and find a mutual happily ever after, before he commits his life to another woman and Caitlin leaves town and him for good.
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About the Author
- Christi Barth writes sassy, sexy and smart contemporary romances. She earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi is lives in Maryland with her husband.
Read an Excerpt
"Caitlin McIntyre, will you marry me?"
Her heart didn't pound, it slammed to a standstill. It probably left thick red skid marks all over her lungs from how fast it threw on the brakes. Kyle Lockhart, her best friend in the world, was down on one knee in front of her station at the gift-wrapping booth. Which meant it was okay her heart had stopped, because she had to be dreaming. Her heart didn't need to pump in a dream, right?
There was no other explanation for why Kyle would propose to her. Not that she objected in the least. He was super handsome, in a casually elegant yet decidedly sexy manner. His designer suits covered a body like those of the models in perfume ads, the toned and tanned men who dove into swimming pools shaped like a perfume bottle and came up glistening and wet. Thick black hair set off his blue eyes, and you could probably chisel a sculpture off his sharp cheekbones and jaw. Kyle was yummy from head to toe, and Caitlin had wanted him almost her entire life.
Of course, he didn't know about her massive crush. She'd never hinted, never let her hands linger for an extra second on his abs when they shared sunscreen at the tiny strip of sand along Lake Michigan they called a beach. She'd never leaned over after splitting a bottle of wine and trailed a finger across the lips she would kill to have touch hers. No, Caitlin played the part of the best-friend-and-nothing-more-than-a-friend to the hilt. Because it would absolutely devastate her if she revealed her longing and he didn't feel the same way. In a perfect world, guys always made the first move. In Caitlin's world, it was the only way not to jeopardize the most important relationship in her life.
But how on earth did he leap from never once looking at her with a sexy gleam in his eye to going down on one knee in the middle of the Water Tower Place mall? If all the planets had magically aligned, all the gods smiled down on her and all her karmic balance suddenly tipped to one side, then Kyle might, just might finally see her as a woman and ask her out. Proposing marriage, though, was impossible. Which meant she was either fast asleep in her bed, or she'd slipped and hit her head getting off the El this morning. Ice coated the Chicago sidewalks from an early December sleet storm. A concussion would explain this. Or a hallucination from a brain hemorrhage. That would definitely explain the impossibility of Kyle's proposal.
So if it was nothing more than a dream, why not enjoy it? Caitlin looked around, but all the other volunteer wrappers were busy putting away their supplies for the night. The wrapping booth was a fundraiser to purchase art supplies for local high schools, so the volunteers ran the gamut from tweens to grandparents. Crowds had finally thinned once it hit eight o'clock. Closer to Christmas that wouldn't be the case, but with eighteen shopping days left, people weren't yet panicked. She put down her roll of wrapping paper and looked at Kyle's beaming face.
"This is so sudden." She made a point of switching her gaze to his empty hands, folded on top of his knee. "How am I supposed to take your question seriously without a huge, shiny diamond ring to seal the deal?"
The smile disappeared faster than the stack of cashmere sweaters she'd seen on sale at Macy's this morning. "You are so right. I'm an idiot. Of course, I should've brought a ring. But I'll get one. Pretend I have a ring. Will you marry me?"
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
First off, I have to say that I LOVE Christi's book dedication and the individual book cover is beautiful. Caitlin McIntyre and Kyle Lockhart have been best friends forever. Caitlin is a recent graduate student, waiting to find out which one of two jobs will take her into the next chapter of her life. Kyle is the head of the security division for his family's company, LTS Industries, an airplane and security conglomerate. They each have an attraction for the other, but neither wants to jeopardize their friendship to say so. This isn't to say neither hasn't dated other people, because they each have. A few weeks before Christmas, Kyle surprises Caitlin at a mall, where she's a volunteer gift wrapper and drops to one knee and proposes. Caitlin thinks all of her dreams have come true, until she realizes that Kyle is just practicing his proposal technique on her and wants to enlist her to help him come up with the perfect proposal for Monica. Besides the fact that the proposal isn't meant for her, Caitlin has serious issues with the fact that her best friend is going to propose to Monica. The number one issue is that Kyle doesn't love Monica Selford, a PR executive for her family's hotel chain. He's only going to marry her because his father told him to, telling him it would be good for business. Kyle's father, Brian Lockhart has a jaded idea of marriage since his wife left him. He could actually care less if his son is happy or not. For Mr. Lockhart, it's all about business and appearances. Caitlin and Kyle have a great relationship. She would do anything to make him happy, even if that something is playing nice with his soon-to-be fiance, which she doesn’t think too highly of. But sometimes a girl has to listen to her gut instincts when she has a bad feeling about someone or something. One magical kiss reveals their true feelings for each other and changes their lives. I LOVE happy-ever-afters and Christi has truly written a very good HEA, which probably happens to fall in line with her Aisle Bound Trilogy. (Mmm. I wonder if we'll see anyone from this book in one of the other books.) Rating: 4 ½ (I really liked it.) Source: NetGalley Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Review blog
Enjoyable short story.
Loved the storyline & the wonderful ending. This author writes good stories.
I love stories of best friends to lovers. Kyle is planning to marry a girl because his father's expectations but its all wrong for him. Caitlin is his friend and tries to show him how wrong it is but at the same time is helping him with his proposal. Love it when it all works out for the couple.
A fun read well written. First book I've read by this author. Will add to my list of authors. BellaTn