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Forever Wishes (Paperback)

Forever Wishes (Paperback)


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1,540 5-Star Reviews

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Erin has always dreamed of being a mom. After her parents’ death, that need became a whole lot stronger. With a baby phobic ex-fiancé on the loose and no new man in sight, her options are running out fast.

Jake Williams is a successful corporate lawyer. He moved back to Montana to help his family, not fall for a librarian with more on her mind than cataloging rules. But he's about to find out that love and a determined woman can change his life forever.

Chapter One Look Inside

“I’m not going home until a tall, sexy cowboy sweeps me off my feet.” Erin closed the pickup door and grinned at her best friend. 

“Shh. Keep your voice down,” Nicky whispered. “Someone might hear you.”

“Maybe I want them to.” Erin’s gaze roamed around the parking lot of the Baxter Hotel in downtown Bozeman. More than a few males were walking toward the entrance, but each of them had a female firmly attached to their suit-clad bodies. 

Who was she kidding? She’d hardly been on a date in the last ten months. She doubted she’d even know what to do with a man if he showed the slightest bit of interest in her. 

Nicky locked the pickup and dropped the keys into her purse. “We’re going to a charity ball, not a speed-dating event. And stop pulling on that bodice. If it gets any lower, it’ll fall down.”

“You’re turning into a mother hen.” Erin laughed. “Just because you’re engaged to Sam, it doesn’t mean I’m off-limits to the male population. My dress is practically decent.”

Nicky stared at Erin’s chest. “It started off decent when you wore it to Ellie’s wedding, but that new bra has pushed every inch of decency out the window.” 

Erin pulled back her shoulders, straining the gown’s seams even further. “I’m sick of being sensible. I want to break free of the mold I’ve squished myself into. I want to be frivolous.”

“Well, don’t go breaking free tonight.”  

The scowl on Nicky’s face worried Erin. “What have you done?”

“Nothing. Well, almost nothing.”

Nicky had been her friend since kindergarten. From personal experience, she knew ‘almost nothing’ usually turned into ‘something’. “You’d better tell me now before we’re inside the hotel.”

Pulling her black lace shawl over her shoulders, Nicky stalled for time. 

“I’m waiting.”

“Don’t be annoyed.”

“What have you done?”

Nicky sighed. “Sam’s friend invited us to the ball. And we invited you.”

“And where is this friend going to sit?” 

“With us.”

Erin groaned. So much for her night of frivolity. Sam and Nicky had tied her to someone as desperate and dateless as she was. “I’m twenty-eight. I’m too old for a blind date.” 

“Jake’s a lawyer. He moved back home a few months ago.” Nicky rolled her eyes at the scoffing noise coming from Erin’s disbelieving mouth. “He’s a great guy.”

His life sounded just about as riveting as hers. Instead of cataloging rules and collection management plans, his life revolved around interpreting statutes and locking criminals behind bars. Lawyers didn’t live for the moment. Erin wanted spontaneous and impulsive. Everything lawyers and librarians weren’t. 

She tried to imagine what would go through his head when he saw her. “You know what he’ll think, don’t you? He’ll think I’m pathetic, and that’s just for starters.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. One look at you and he’ll be blown away.”

“You can’t wiggle out of this with flattery. I’m looking for an amazing man who will sweep me off my feet. Not a night of polite conversation with a boring lawyer.” A taxi honked its horn. Erin’s head shot up. Twenty feet and she’d be a free woman. No Nicky, no Sam, and most definitely no lawyer.

Nicky’s gaze flicked toward the street. “Don’t even think about it.” 

With a lingering glance at the row of taxis, Erin hauled the strap of her evening purse over her shoulder. “If he starts snoring during dinner, I’m going home and leaving you to explain what happened.”

Nicky pulled her toward the entrance. “I’ve met Jake and you won’t be disappointed.” 

Erin stared at her reflection in the glass doors and yanked her bodice up a notch. She didn’t want him getting the wrong idea, especially if Jake whatever-his-name made her want to bolt for the nearest exit.

* * *

Arm in arm, Erin and Nicky marched into the lobby of the Baxter Hotel. Luxurious sofas and armchairs sat in a room three times the size of Erin’s entire house. Above them, an enormous crystal chandelier cast a soft, mellow light on the gleaming wooden floors. 

Sam met them by the front counter.

Erin stared at the goofy grin plastered across his face. “I don’t care how crazy love has made you, Samuel Delaney. I don’t appreciate being set up on a blind date.”

He looked at Nicky. “She knows?”

“We’ve been standing outside debating the merits of hot romance over a blind date.”

Erin cringed. She might be looking for someone incredible, but Sam didn’t need to know all the gory details. “You’re not supposed to tell him that.”

Sam’s brown eyes filled with laughter. “I’m kind of hoping for some hot romance, too.”

“That’s too much information for a woman who wants to live dangerously.” She looked around the room rather than at the two lovebirds making eyes at each other. “So, where’s Mr. Desperate and Dateless?”

“Right behind you,” a male voice said.

Erin froze. She’d just put an instant fizzle on a date that would be going nowhere. She turned around, ready to eat a double helping of humble pie. 

Her gaze landed squarely on a pair of unsmiling lips.

She looked a little higher. Dark blue eyes, the color of a stormy Montana sky, stared back at her. Heat slammed through her body. So much for the stuffy lawyer she’d been expecting. This man had more sex appeal in his little finger than most of the men she’d met. 

She held out her hand, trying to make up for her runaway mouth. “I’m Erin Reynolds, your desperate and dateless partner for the night.”

Jake stared, and she wondered if her low-cut bodice and flirty intentions had been such a good idea.

“I’m Jake Williams. I guess neither of us is desperate and dateless anymore.” Then he smiled and shook her hand, and Erin knew she was in trouble. 

A tingle shot along her arm, zoomed toward her heart, then took a quick detour to her brain. A man who looked as good as Jake didn’t need to go on a blind date. What if there was a reason Nicky had invited her to the ball at the last minute? What if he had another date lined up and she hadn’t been able to make it? Erin looked at the entrance. Maybe the taxi wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

“Sam told me he invited you to the ball about an hour ago. I’m glad you could come.” Jake glanced at the guilty couple looking too pleased with themselves. “We don’t have to call this a date.” 

“What do you want to call it?”

“What about dinner companions?”

Erin shook her head, imagining crinoline skirts and acres of petticoats. “It sounds like something out of a Jane Austen novel. I like desperate and dateless better.” Jake’s grin almost made her pleased they’d been set up. 

“Are you ready to go into the ballroom?” Sam asked.

She looked at Jake. 

“I’m ready if you are?”

Taking a deep breath, she nodded. “Ready and willing.” Fate and a mischievous friend had brought her to the charity ball. Tonight she would take control of her life and be a little crazy. Maybe a lot. But that depended on the man beside her. 

She held onto Jake’s arm as he led her across the lobby. Apart from good looks and a smile that would disarm the prickliest of women, he seemed like a nice person. And that suited her better than finding a man with a body made for action, but a brain stuck in the ice age.

“Have you been here before?” he asked.

“A few times.” She swallowed the lump in her throat. She’d been to more weddings at the Baxter than she could remember. And she would have been here for hers if her baby-phobic ex-fiancé hadn’t left  Bozeman four weeks before their wedding. 

But she wouldn’t let that ruin tonight. She was here to enjoy herself, not remember what had happened after Matthew disappeared.

As they walked through the double doors, Erin stared at the transformed ballroom. Sheer fabric draped from the middle of the high ceiling to the outside edges, sliding down the walls in a luxurious curtain of silk. Red and gold floral arrangements hung below the chandeliers and candles shone softly from each table.

Looking across at Jake, she shook her head in wonder. “I’ve never seen the Baxter look so beautiful. I feel like I’ve stepped into a fairytale.”

A warm smile lit his eyes. “And the night has just begun.”

Wanted...A man with a big heart, a wicked sense of humor, and a baby on his mind.

Erin has always dreamed of being a mom. After her parents’ death, that need became a whole lot stronger. With a baby phobic ex-fiancé on the loose and no new man in sight, her options are running out fast.

Jake Williams is a successful corporate lawyer. He moved back to Montana to help his family, not fall for a librarian with more on her mind than cataloging rules. But he's about to find out that love and a determined woman can change his life forever.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “Every book in the Montana Brides Series is filled with laughter, joy, and tears. The romance and loving relationships are the best!”

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ "This book is pure happiness in words! Loved every moment."

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ "It's all about love, community, and going back to where the heart feels fullest. Truly touching!"

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