May the Best Man Win...the Maid of Honor?
Lassiter Media millionaire Matt Hollis never let a woman stand between him and his career. But now Matt’s best friend is marrying the Lassiter heiress—and her insufferable maid of honor has stolen Matt’s heart. Kayla Prince is way more than this skilled negotiator bargained for.
But Kayla’s conflicted. The man left her in the lurch for his L.A. gig; now he wants her back? Fool her once, shame on Matt, fool her twice...well, actually, this second chance feels like the real thing. But a fateful night is about to put that feeling to the ultimate test....
Beauty and the Best Man is a DYNASTIES: THE LASSITERS prequel. The story continues in The Black Sheep’s Inheritance by USA TODAY bestselling author Maureen Child, only from Desire!
Beauty and the Best Man
MILLS & BOON
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To Mom, who loves reading romances as much as I love writing them!
writes for the Desire line and can’t imagine a better job. Being able to indulge your love for romance, as well as being able to spin stories just the way you want them told is, in a word, perfect.
A seven-time finalist for the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA® Award, Maureen is the author of more than one hundred romance novels. Her books regularly appear on the bestseller lists and have won several awards, including a Prism, a National Readers’ Choice Award, a Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence and a Golden Quill.
One of her books, The Soul Collector, was made into a CBS TV movie starring Melissa Gilbert, Bruce Greenwood and Ossie Davis. If you look closely, in the last five minutes of the movie, you’ll spot Maureen, who was an extra in the last scene.
Maureen believes that laughter goes hand in hand with love, so her stories are always filled with humor. The many letters she receives assures her that her readers love to laugh as much as she does.
Maureen Child is a native Californian, but has recently moved to the mountains of Utah. She loves a new adventure, though the thought of having to deal with snow for the first time is a little intimidating.
“You know I love you, right?” Kayla Prince looked at the person sitting opposite her at the Something Hot coffee shop in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming.
“And you know I would do anything for you.”
“Then I beg you,” Kayla continued pitifully, “please, please, please don’t make me walk down the aisle at your wedding with that man.”
Kayla’s best friend, Angelica Lassiter, laughed and shook her blond hair back from her face. “Such drama.”
“Come on, Angie,” Kayla said, leaning back on the bench seat. “Be different. Be a trendsetter. Have the best man walk down the aisle with the flower girl.”
“Right, because that would look great.”
Desperation fueled Kayla’s next argument. “Then let me be the flower girl. Find a new maid of honor. I won’t be hurt.” She crossed her fingers over her heart. “Honestly.”
“There’s no getting out of this. You’re the maid of honor, Kayla. You’re my best friend.”
“We could have a fight,” she offered hopefully. “A big one. And make up after the wedding.”
“We never fight,” Angelica pointed out.
No, of course they didn’t, Kayla told herself miserably. Who could fight with Angie? She was beautiful and kind and funny and smart. And she was about to marry a man whose best friend just happened to be the one man who irritated Kayla beyond belief.
“All of this to avoid Matt?”
Scowling down at her coffee, Kayla tried to ignore the fact that she was being a gigantic coward—which she never was ordinarily. Since she was a kid, raised by a single mom to be wildly independent, Kayla had always believed in going after what she wanted. She had put herself through college in L.A., where she and Angelica had been roommates and eventually the best of friends. Kayla had studied art and loved it, but along the way had finally admitted that she was never going to be the great artist she dreamed of being. But she knew greatness when she saw it, and so she worked in a couple of small galleries, learning and gathering experience. If she couldn’t be an artist, she decided that she could at least be surrounded by art.
On school breaks and holidays, Kayla had visited Angie’s hometown of Cheyenne several times and had fallen in love with the city and the wide-open spaces of Wyoming. So, when she was offered a dream job at the Cheyenne Art Gallery, she’d left L.A. behind and grabbed at her chance. At the gallery, she was surrounded by art—sculptures, paintings, etchings. She was a part of the creative world and in a position to help promote the talented artists who entrusted her with their work.
Thanks to her relationship with Angie, she was also a private art advisor to the Lassiter collection. Cheyenne had become home over the past few years. She had a small cottage in town, a car that was paid for and a healthy social life that had even included a few interesting men. Until she had met Matt Hollis. Of course, after meeting Matt, none of those men had meant a damn thing.
“Matt’s been at Lassiter Media offices in California for nine months,” Angelica said. “Hasn’t that been long enough to get over whatever it is you’re mad at him about?”
Not even close.
A buzzing mixture of embarrassment, lust and pure fury sizzled inside Kayla as memories raced through her mind in a blur of color. Last year, when Angelica and Evan had become engaged, they’d decided that their friends needed to be friends,