Harlequin Junkie Top Pick "Now this is my kind of romance novel."
Emmy Watson loves her small-town life. Most of the time––except the one crazy night she threw caution to the wind and slept with a sexy stranger. Totally not like her, but so worth it. And hey, who’ll ever find out. It’ll be her little secret...
Globe-trotting travel writer Christopher Henderson can’t get one woman out of his head. He knows Emmy is all wrong for him–he’d have to pry her cold dead hands from this crazy town–but living without her is slowly not becoming an option.
Christopher has a game plan:
1. Dazzle her with his awesome cooking skills to throw her off guard.
2. Win the world’s weirdest golf trophy.
3. Impress her with his ability to talk cranky French dove breeders into doing his bidding.
But Emmy isn’t playing by the rules, and Chris might have finally met his match...
Each book in the Sisters of Wishing Bridge series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1: Falling for the Best Man
Book #2: The Wedding Planner’s Baby
Book #3: Dating the Wrong Mr. Right
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Falling for the Best Man
Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm
By Amanda Ashby, Candace Havens
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Amanda Ashby
All rights reserved.
Emmy Watson hurried across the Bradley International Airport parking lot clutching at her hastily made sign. As the bright Connecticut sun heated her skin, she should've been pleased the fall weather had turned out so perfectly for the wedding event she'd spent the last two months organizing. Instead, all she could think about was how letting the best man stay with her at the farm was going above and beyond the call of duty.
Her sisters would probably say Emmy had to stop being such a middle-child people-pleaser and stand up for herself. Then again, it was Pepper and Bec's fault she was doing this in the first place, which meant Emmy wasn't in the mood to heed their advice.
Her sisters didn't love Wishing Bridge Farm, but Emmy never thought they'd want to sell the place. More to the point, Ivy wouldn't have left them a third each if she knew what they were planning. A familiar wave of pain washed through her. She still struggled to accept that the salt-of-the-earth old lady, with her mischievous blue eyes and her seemingly unstoppable spirit, was actually gone.
It was also why Emmy was determined to make the farm's new vintage wedding venture a success — so she could convince the bank manager it was a viable business, and get a large enough mortgage to buy her sisters out.
She would get a mortgage, she amended. After all, they'd often hired out the old covered bridge to wedding parties, and over the years the various event planners had oohed and aahed at the retro treasures Ivy had hoarded. Of course, Emmy had since discovered there was a bit more to organizing a wedding than owning some old suitcases and patterned china.
That's why I'm at the airport about to invite a stranger into my house.
When she reached the arrivals gate, a crowd had already gathered and Emmy had to murmur several apologies as she squeezed her way toward the front.
Finally, the automatic doors slid back and a middle-aged couple wearing identical I Love Texas T-shirts wandered out. They were followed by a young family with two toddlers and, as Emmy obediently waved her hastily scribbled sign high in the air, it hit her how awkward this was. Especially the part where she had to explain to the best man that thanks to a plumbing problem at the Rosepot Inn, he'd now be staying with her.
She sighed as she readjusted her sign.
The fact the plumbing problem had been caused by the groom's younger brother, who'd got drunk and forgotten he'd started to run a bath, hadn't helped. Nor had the outrageous behavior of the two groomsmen who'd tried to convince the bridesmaids they could all share a room together. Naked.
Between trying to calm down Melinda, her hypercritical client, and finding new accommodation for twenty people, Emmy had thought the day was never going to end. But she'd finally managed to book out every last room in Sunshine, only to be reminded by Melinda's fiancé, Lewis, that the best man wasn't flying in until the following day.
Melinda's voice had turned into a high-pitched squeal as she declared that the wedding was cursed, and that the best man would have to sleep on a park bench. And so Emmy had done what any desperate wedding planner eager to save the family home would've done. She'd said he could stay at the old cottage at the bottom of Wishing Bridge Farm, and —
Of all the arrival gates in all the world, he walked into this one.
Time stopped as the all-too familiar figure of Christopher Henderson stepped through the sliding doors. Her breathing quickened as he casually readjusted the small travel bag hanging over his broad shoulder before peering around with the kind of confidence she'd never have.
This could not be happening.
It had been two years since she'd last seen him, but even from a distance it was impossible to miss his dark green eyes and the chiseled cheekbones that did strange things to her stomach muscles. His skin was tanned, and he'd obviously just returned from a trip. Not that she was surprised. Christopher was a travel writer with a syndicated column called Off the Beaten Track, so he was always returning from some exotic destination or another. She was pretty sure his passport read more like a stamp collection than a travel document.
It also served as a reminder of just how badly their last encounter had gone. She quickly lowered her sign and wriggled back past a group of limousine drivers until she was hidden from sight, for once pleased that, while her two sisters liked to command authority and attention, Emmy's special skill was fading into the background.
With practiced ease she tilted her head and kept her gaze focused firmly on the patterned carpet. She was grateful she'd only managed to tug her straight brown hair into a ponytail and throw on a pair of sensible jeans, a faded blue linen shirt and her most comfortable sneakers; making her look more like a soccer mom than one of his conquests. Now all she had to do was be as still as possible until Christopher was gone, and then she could —
"Emmy Watson, is that you?"
Her throat tightened as the smell of woody spice invaded her nostrils, and she slowly raised her gaze from the floor.
I'm in so much trouble.
Up close he was even more devastatingly attractive than she'd remembered, and it took all of her willpower not to let the memories of their one weekend together flood her mind.
"Christopher?" she said with forced surprise while her face throbbed with heat. She wasn't normally one for wishful thinking, but if the ground wanted to open up and swallow her whole, she'd be okay with it. Or if someone wanted to give her an invisibility cloak, that would work. "W–what are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same question. I didn't think airports were your thing." From his dry tone, he clearly hadn't forgotten their last encounter. Emmy gulped, once again pushing the memories away. Besides, even if she wanted to think about her decision (which, for the record, she most definitely did not), there wasn't time.
She was here to work.
She had a wedding to plan, a bank manager to appease, and two annoying sisters who needed to be proved wrong. There was no time for distractions. That includes Christopher Henderson and his delicious man-smells. She needed to push that all to one side and think about it later. Preferably thirty or forty years from now, when she was better equipped to deal with it.
"And I didn't think boring rural towns were yours," Emmy replied with more spirit than she really felt. In response, he lifted his hands and grinned. Not what she had been expecting.
Then again, she hadn't been expecting to see her hot fling, either.
"Touché," he said, giving her a disarming smile. Emmy's heart sped up in a way that couldn't possibly be good for her. She swallowed hard and tried to remember she was a rational person who couldn't be swayed by a smile, but it wasn't until his curious gaze swept over her that she realized he was waiting for her to speak. As in, use proper words, possibly all in a row.
Her pulse fluttered. Pepper, with her smart, lawyer's tongue, would no doubt say something withering and cool, while free-spirited Bec would just flirt and do that twisty thing with her hair. But Emmy wasn't like them.
She was sensible and quiet.
She was the one who had cared for Ivy before she died.
She made jam and patchwork quilts. Witty rejoinders weren't really her forte. Not to mention that, judging by Christopher's casual demeanor, it was obvious he was completely indifferent to her presence.
What a depressing thought, and a good reason why she had to finish this conversation as quickly as possible. Self Preservation 101. She took a deep breath.
"I really need to go ... work ... stuff ... busy. So, bye." She clutched at the handwritten sign and tried to edge away from him and his disturbing presence.
"I thought you were a bookkeeper for a local vineyard?" He followed as she tried to get back through the thinning crowd so she could once again see the arrivals gate. Up close, his eyes were the color of the velvety moss that covered the boulders at the bottom of the wishing bridge.
Why had no one written about this in the Wedding Planner's Survival Guide? It was a serious oversight.
"I am. I mean, I was —" Emmy corrected, surprised he remembered what she did. "What I mean is, I still help Rachel and Jackson out, but I've turned the farm into a wedding venue, and my first big event is on Sunday. So, if you don't mind, I really need to —"
"Wait!" His mouth twisted in amusement, and he let out a throaty laugh that sent a flurry of sensations through her veins. "You're the wedding planner?"
"What's so funny?" Emmy's embarrassment was momentarily forgotten. She might be the quiet one of the family, but that didn't mean she wasn't capable. In fact, if capable had a cheerleading squad, then she'd be on the banner — with stars around her name. "We can't all go to exotic locations at the drop of the hat. Some of us have to keep things running smoothly. What we're offering is a very valid service designed to help give a couple their dream vintage wedding, complete with a covered bridge that would make any bride weep with joy, and if you don't think —"
"Whoa!" Christopher took a step back. "I'm not suggesting your covered bridge isn't designed to make even the most hardened bride cry like a baby."
"Oh." Some of the fire left her as an uneasy sensation rose in her chest. And why had he said "the" wedding planner not "a" wedding planner? "Why were you laughing, then?"
"I was laughing because the universe has a pretty strange sense of humor."
"W–what do you mean?"
"I was told the wedding planner would be here to meet me. I just never thought it would be you."
Emmy stared at him. "No."
"Yes." He stared back as he held out his hand, his amusement seeming to be in equal measure to her horror. "Wedding planner, meet the best man."
"It's not possible," Emmy insisted, as she waved the handwritten sign in front of his nose and tried to ignore the desperate edge in her voice. "The best man is Kit Sheppard. See, it's written right here. There's no mistake. Melinda even spelled it. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find him."
Christopher's lips were still twitching with amusement. "It's no trick. Back in the day, everyone called me Kit."
"What about the last name?" Emmy croaked as she vaguely recalled Kit hearing used as a nickname for Christopher. This was a disaster. It was also a cautionary tale on the perils of falling for someone you barely know, since it appeared they could turn up anywhere, with a different name and the same dark green eyes, all capable of turning a person's stomach to mush.
Oh, this was bad.
"Sheppard's my legal last name but ... well, let's just say I was never a fan of it, so ever since I got my first byline I've been using my mom's maiden name. Henderson." His smile dimmed, as if a mask had slipped, but he quickly replaced it as he produced his wallet and showed her his driver's license. "Exhibit A."
Emmy stared back at a ridiculously good looking photograph before studying the name next to it. Christopher Sheppard.
She rubbed her brow in confusion. It didn't help that his overwhelming presence made it hard to think. And by "hard," she meant "impossible."
"I still don't understand. Melinda and Lewis live in California, along with the rest of the wedding party. How do you even know them?"
"Lewis and I have been friends since sixth grade. We both moved away for college, but have always stayed in touch."
"Oh." She was finally silent as she accepted that it was true: her weekend-stand from two-years ago and the best man were one and the same person.
And I've just promised a hysterical bride he can stay on the farm for the next four days. With me.
Bile rose in her throat.
How could this be happening to her? But, of course, she already knew the answer. It was like Pepper and Bec said — Emmy was always trying to keep the peace. It just didn't normally involve spending time with the one guy who had every right to despise her.
She took a deep breath. "Okay, we should get going. Do you need to collect your luggage?"
"I travel light. One of the perks of the job is that I have exceptional packing skills." He tapped the small bag slung over his shoulder.
"Of course." Emmy winced at the subtle visual evidence of just how much Christopher refused to stay in one place for too long. She stiffened her spine and reminded herself she was going to do whatever it took to save the farm, even force herself to look at his face when she told him where he was staying.
* * *
Christopher didn't normally have bad days. He'd long ago learned that if you wanted something to happen, you had to go out and do it for yourself. And that included being happy. However, having been stuck on a flight from Australia with an elderly non-stop talker in the next seat meant his head was pounding. And now he'd arrived in Connecticut only to discover the wedding planner who was collecting him was none other than Emmy Watson.
His brow furrowed.
It wasn't as if he'd spent the last two years pining for her, or living like a monk, but it still stung she'd left him standing at the airport with two tickets to Fiji and the knowledge they wouldn't be repeating the two hot nights they'd spent together.
Thankfully, whatever chemistry they'd shared was now long gone. Killed by her decision not to join him.
So, the fact I want to kiss her now is completely irrelevant.
He was focused on his next project.
His mood improved as he thought of the meeting in Hawaii he'd lined up for the following week. It was to talk with a production company about a television show that would let viewers see first hand some of the lesser-known adventures around the world. His agent, Trent had been pitching it for years, and now they finally had some interest.
There was only one small tweak the producers wanted to make. After being burned by too many bad-boy travel writers and celebrity chefs who had attracted the wrong kind of publicity, they wanted to be sure Christopher was family friendly. And the best way to do that was to show them he was in a committed relationship. In other words, he needed a pretend girlfriend.
Someone who could step in for day and help convince the producers he was responsible, stable, and not interested in causing trouble. In return she'd get a free vacation in Hawaii, and his undying gratitude. It seemed like a fair deal.
Now he just had to find the girl.
"And not your regular kind of girlfriend," Trent had quickly interjected before Christopher could begin to flick through his address book. "We need someone nice, but not too nice, if you know what I'm saying."
Unfortunately, he did. Which was why he'd decided to wait until he was at Lewis's wholesome vintage wedding to find the perfect girl. After all, what could be more family-friendly than one of the six bridesmaids who were going to be there? It was like the universe was giving him a clear sign this was the right thing to do. Not to mention — "This is it," Emmy's voice cut through his thoughts like a razor as they came to a halt next to a faded green pickup truck that had seen better days.
Christopher climbed into the vehicle. Despite the rust, the inside cab was neat and smelled vaguely of vanilla cupcakes. He put his compact travel bag on the floor and forced himself to not look at Emmy, because looking was bad. Very bad. Plus, it might lead to disturbing thoughts of nakedness, or at the very least make him acknowledge she was even more beautiful now than when they'd first met.
Okay, so no looking and no thinking.
Her hands tightened around the steering wheel. She was clearly hiding something. It was lucky she was a self-declared homebody, since she obviously didn't have the makings of an international spy.
"Are you going to tell me what's going on?" he asked as she shifted into first gear and drove through the parking lot.
"What do you mean?" Her light voice was at odds with the red patches that had now appeared on her cheeks. She didn't look at him, and if Christopher wasn't still annoyed with her for standing him up two years ago, he might've acknowledged his increased heart rate. Or the fact her skin was still dewlike. Nope, not happening. He slammed that part of his brain shut. "I told you, I'm the wedding planner. I'm here to collect you."
Excerpted from Falling for the Best Man by Amanda Ashby, Candace Havens. Copyright © 2017 Amanda Ashby. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One Perfect Night Two years ago they had a weekend fling, now as wedding planner and best man they're stuck staying at the farm together. No big deal right.... Yeah right, it'd be that way if they both didn't still want each other! The universe obviously has other ideas. Christopher needed a pretend girlfriend for the producers to launch a travel TV show about his travel adventures. Now he just needed top find the right kind of girl to convince the producers. Emmy is determined to make the family farm’s new vintage wedding venture a success—so she could convince the bank manager it was a viable business, so she could buy her sisters out. To see how this amazingly funny but serious 2nd chance love story plays out you'll have to read FALLING FOR THE BEST MAN. I for one am waiting to read more about the Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC copy of this book via Tasty Book Tours through NetGalley in exchange for an honest blog tour review.
Emmy lives for her family farm and the Wishing Bridge on the property. She's determined to make it a wedding destination and keep her heritage alive. She just has to make sure this first wedding goes off without a hitch. Then her one and only fling walks through the airport and she discovers he's the best man she has to house through the wedding week. Christopher needs a fake girlfriend so he looks good to the production company looking to make him a star of his own travel show. Determined to get one of the bridesmaids to agree he sees it as great opportunity for the week. He didn't expect the wedding planner to become a kink in his well laid plans. Emmy and Christopher from the start have an undeniable explosive attraction. They're just determined to fight it. They're both hurt from the past. As they're constantly thrown together their personalities compliment each other to perfection. He's not big on settling down and she loves her small town. She's the yin to his yang. The story is well written and started a wonderful series off with a bang. I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book. If you enjoy a unique and fun second chance romance, I highly recommend Falling for the Best Man.
Something neither of them planned for but it turned out to be the best decision that either of their hearts could make for them. Emmy was just looking so secure the future of her farm. Chris was looking for a leg up. Neither would guess that the very event would change their lives forever. I had fun watching these two do what they do and then work to not get caught in the lie that was real. This one had laughs from the start of the thing being set in to motion. Emmy was working so hard to keep things on track. The harder she worked the more things just went in the other direction. Sweet, simple, hilarious fun. Never would you image that saving the family farm, getting the job of your dreams, and planning a wedding would go together but this one did it and then some.
Cute story! I especially enjoyed Emmy's inner snark; Ms. Ashby's "voice" is a lot of fun. I liked Emmy and Christopher together and was rooting for them from the first chapter, and though I was a bit annoyed with Emmy's sisters' 'tudes initially, I'm looking forward to seeing where the author will go with their stories, Bec's especially. But...the one aspect of the book I wasn't crazy about was the romantic conflict. Both his and her "issues" felt a bit like overreaction, and therefore didn't take a whole lot more than some personal reflection for them to get over. On the one hand, yay, they get together for a cute ending. On the other, frustrating--couldn't they have taken a chill pill six chapters earlier and saved everyone the angst? Still, this was a cute read from an author I'll definitely be looking for more of in the future. Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B- I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Received an ARC for my voluntary review for netgalley. The book was ok, not bad but also not great. Chris and Emma had previously met years ago, they were actually a hook up. Emma has just started a new business as a wedding planner trying to save the family farm, which is not only falling apart, but both of her sisters whom have equal shares in, want to sell. Since there was a accident in the small towns inn, due to water damage and all the other guest were relocated elsewhere, there were no rooms left, so she told the bridezilla that she would have best man stay in the cottage on her farm, she did not know it was Chris, since name she was given was Kit, a childhood nickname. Emma was shocked and to see Chris, as was he, and worse that he was staying in her farm. Chris did not want to stay there, since he was not really too happy to see her either, since their departing years earlier was not on great terms, which was due to lack of communication, really on Emma's part. He is on a mission to find a fake girlfriend to travel with him so that he can get a t.v. show. Emma is not too happy since she has to keep bridezilla happy, and stress free, also she is a little jealous even though she thinks he is a player. Of course there is more misunderstandings, even though there is some crazy chemistry between them, neither want to give in, still thinking the worse of the other, and that they have nothing in common. Of course, truth comes out, they go thru some time apart, since neither want to change there life, but eventually they do have a realizations about their lives and they get there HEA. Enjoyed, the town, and Emma's friends.
Emmy and Christopher are complete opposites, but somehow they understand each other perfectly. Their biggest obstacle is his need to wander and her need to stay in her hometown. They each have their own reasons for doing so that are tied up in the past. As they discover those reasons, they will need to decide if their love is enough to overcome their differences. I had a really good time reading this book. There were smiles and tears, and in my book, that makes for a really good story. I also loved getting to know Emmy's sisters, can't wait to find out what all the secrets they're hiding. Great start to a new series! 4.5 stars I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
amanda ashby's falling for the best man is the nice kick-off to a category romance series. pepper, emmy, and bec are sisters who have allowed their differences to come between them. especially when it comes to their legacy from their great-aunt ivy, wishing bridge farm. homebody emmy is trying so hard to keep their great-aunts legacy in the family. she won't listen to her sisters' arguments that they should sell. and so as a last ditch effort she's started a vintage wedding planning business, using the farm's idyllic setting as a venue. the farm is located in the tiny town of sunshine, connecticut, and emmy's got all the townspeople pulling for her to succeed, since the wedding venue business will help them out collectively. so when it turns out that the best man on the wedding that is launching this business is christopher henderson, emmy's one weekend stand that she stood up at the airport after bailing on a trip to fiji, well things get complicated. at first it seems like emmy is behaving like a deranged person, particularly in her conviction that christopher is set on ruining the wedding. but when he finally proves himself to be a decent guy, by charming an irascible frenchman who happens to own the fifty doves that the bride has demanded be included in the service, she finally stops assuming the worst of him. the biggest obstacle between them at first glance seems to be her need to stay home versus his need to travel. it happens to be that he is a travel journalist and he's got big plans to host a travel show in the near future. but the actual obstacles are her overgrown sense of duty and his fear of being like his father. and once they figure these things out for themselves, there's not much that can come between them. and really they are perfect for each other. (christopher is possibly the sweetest, dreamiest, most understanding leading man ever.) **falling for the best man will publish on january 9, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (bliss) in exchange for my honest review.
Such a sweet full of heart story. I loved Emmy's antics on her dealings with Christopher. The two of them together were hilarious, sweet and a lot of fun. They made a great team. I enjoyed the quaint town she lived in along with the neighbors and their meddling. They took care of each other and pushed each other to want more and get out of their comfort zone. This is such a feel good story that draws you in and makes you want more from this town, especially Emmy's sisters' stories. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
I voluntarily reviewed this book from Netgalley in exchange fr a honest review.I love this cover,love reading second chance romance books.
This is a fun, flirty, light read that sucked me in from the very first page. Emmy and Christopher are great characters and their story will have you chuckling and rooting for them all the way through. Emmy Watson is working hard to save the family farm. Getting her event planning business of the ground by pulling of a wedding that is full of disasters is the first step. She's determined not to give up though even when she goes to pick of the best man at the airport and he turns out to be the man she recently had a quick hookup with. Christopher Henderson is a bad boy. A globetrotter by nature and profession. Completely the opposite of home loving Emmy. Falling for this guy could only end badly. Especially when he admits he's looking for a fake girlfriend to help land him his next big job. The hilarity begins as Emmy tries to keep this wedding on track while keeping Christopher from hitting on all the bridesmaids. Don't miss this one. It's a fun relaxing read that everyone will enjoy.
Emmy was at the airport waiting to pick up the best man of the wedding that she had spent the last two months organizing. Emmy was letting the best man stay at her farm . Emmy’s sisters didn’t love the farm like she did and wanted to sell their shares of it Emmy was hoping to get a big enough mortgage to buy her sisters out. The best man was Christopher Henderson and Emmy hadn’t known that. It had been two years since Emmy had seen Christopher. Emmy had known him as Kit and they had spent a weekend together and it turned out Kit was Christopher. When Emmy had been with Kit he had bought two tickets to Fiji but Emmy had not went and returned back to the farm. Christopher decided any girl to be afraid to leave home wasn’t for him. Christopher was a travel writer with a syndicated column called Off the Beaten Track. Michelle was Emmy bride and Lewis was her fiance. Christopher and Lewis had been friends since sixth grade. Christopher would be staying at the farm for the next four days. Christopher had a meeting in Hawaii next with with a production company about a television show that would let the viewers view first hand some of the lesser known adventures around the world. The producer wants to make sure Christopher is family friendly. The best way to do that was to be in a committed relationship. Or a fake girlfriend so Christopher decided to find a fake girlfriend at the wedding after all there were six bridesmaids. Christopher and Emmy had met at a christening. Their Aunt Ivy had taken in Emmy and her sisters when everything went bad. Ivy had died of cancer one year ago . As time goes by Christopher and Emmy spend more and more time together and get close. Emmy finally tells Christopher why she did not go with him to Fiji. I like the story a lot but just didn’t quite WOW me to become one of my favorite stories. But it was a fun read and I enjoyed it. I like small town romances a lot as I was brought up in a small town. I liked how Emmy was determined to to keep the farm no matter what it took. I also liked how she was determined to block Christopher in finding a fake girlfriend at the wedding. I also liked the fact Emmy finally tells Christopher the real reason she didn’t go to Fiji with him. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this story and I recommend.