Read an Excerpt
Copyright © Kait Gamble 2017. All Rights Reserved, Totally Entwined Group Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.
Olivia Wade took a deep breath and pushed open the door of the cab, taking in a lungful of the sultry sea air when it hit her. She inhaled the aroma twice more before she pulled out a few bills and handed them to the driver, who had already been to the trunk and retrieved her tiny carry-on and garment bag.
Taking his proffered hand, Olivia stepped out and simply stared at the stunningly gorgeous surroundings, letting the beauty wash over her. And the unease. After focusing on the mounting excitement and getting to this day, actually being in the moment elicited some mixed feelings. Happiness and excitement bubbled through her, but so did a trickle of dread.
She could endure whatever came her way for a few hours. How hard could it be for her to be a good friend and do her duty? Especially in this amazing place? Anything for Jane. The words had been her mantra for weeks, repeated more often as this day approached, and would surely be invoked more than a few times before it ended.
Her best friend’s wedding. All at once a wondrous and irksome event. The latter for Olivia, at least. She couldn’t be happier for her friend. Ecstatic, in fact. Jane had found her true love and would be marrying him on what promised to be the perfect occasion. Of course it would be. It was Jane’s big day. Everything would be executed with military precision.
And yes, the moment Olivia turned to look at the building, Jane’s mother appeared to usher Olivia in. Just as if she’d been waiting to pounce.
“Olivia! Right on time!” Patricia Claibourne rushed out of the doors, dressed in her mother-of-the-bride finery. “You look wonderful! The rest of the girls are waiting for you inside. How was your flight?”
“Thank you, and the flight was lovely, Mrs. Claibourne.” Olivia cringed the moment she called her that. There was just something about Jane’s mother that made Olivia feel like a ten-year-old again. A gauche, gangly one who needed supervision lest she break something terribly valuable.
“I’ve told you time and time again to call me Patricia.” She wound an arm around Olivia’s waist and squeezed. “A bit nervous?”
Olivia wasn’t the nervous type. Patricia knew that just as well as anyone in her family. She had an inkling of what Patricia was suggesting. Olivia stayed silent and waited for her to continue rather than fuel whatever was going on in the woman’s mind.
She didn’t have to wait long.
“Rafael is here, you know.” Patricia said it conversationally, but Olivia could see the calculating glint in the woman’s clear blue eyes. As if she were testing the waters to see whether or not Olivia’s ex’s presence was going to unnerve her.
Of course Rafael was there. He was Danilo’s best friend. He would have been roped into wedding-party duty just as she had been.
Olivia shrugged. “I figured he would be.”
She found herself on the receiving end of a long stare. “That’s not going to be a problem, is it?”
She patted the woman’s arm. “I won’t let it.” Olivia wasn’t going to permit anything to spoil the wedding or any of the festivities. Their best friends were getting married. Olivia knew Rafael well enough to believe he would be as unwilling as she was to do anything to spoil their day.
Olivia allowed herself to be led into the opulent building that was the gateway to the resort, and through the arched foyer to the desk. The whole place was breathtaking. Somehow modern and yet at the same time blending into the surroundings, thanks to the abundance of natural stone and glass that helped the buildings almost become one with the mountain they nestled into.
Patricia’s voice drew Olivia out of her awed reverie. “Check in, dear. I’ll let Jane know you’ve arrived and I’ll have the stylist and so on sent to your villa.”
“All right.” Olivia smiled and kept it plastered on her face as she turned to the petite, fresh-faced receptionist.
Beaming happily, she checked Olivia in as she chatted inanely about the weather and wished her a pleasant stay.
Pleasant? She wasn’t sure about that, but it would be an interesting stay, if anything.