The bridesmaids and groomsmen for hire at Sweetheart, California’s Something Borrowed have the cure for celebrity wedding headaches. But even a job that’s strictly business can lead to the real thing . . . RULE #2: DON’T UPSTAGE THE BRIDE AND GROOM Rylie Templeton had big dreams, until she quit culinary school to take care of her father and signed on with Something Borrowed. Suddenly years have gone by and she’s still a bridesmaid-for-hire, with her idea to open a gourmet bakery on the back burner. Scoring a high-profile wedding could help turn her life around, if only she didn’t have to share the spotlight with her coworker, the insufferable—and undeniably gorgeous—Dustin Kent. Instructed to make it work, Rylie plunges into the wedding festivities with Dustin by her side. If only she could convince him to turn his spectacular charm on someone else! But the enigmatic, reformed playboy has his own ideas about romance, and they all include Rylie. As the nuptials get closer, Rylie realizes that Dustin’s wooing is actually working, and that the two of them might make a good team in more ways than one . . .
Rylie Templeton sat at her desk, staring at the box of death by chocolate muffins she’d made that morning, and wondered if throwing one at Dustin Kent’s head could be considered assault. God, he was an arrogant son of a bitch. He leaned a broad shoulder against the doorjamb of her office, and watched her with one raised brow and a sardonic smirk across his full lips. He’d been working at Something Borrowed Wedding Solutions for two months, which boggled Rylie’s mind. Not only did he come from one of the richest families in Sweetheart, California, but he was a self-made millionaire. There was no reason he should need to work, yet here he was every day, walking around as though he was God’s gift. And he’d managed to get under her skin in the worst way. Constantly mocking her with his fake compliments and flattery, as if she didn’t know he was full of shit. Even worse, just a few weeks ago, Marley Stevenson, Kelly Barrow, Dustin Kent, and Rylie had all gone in on restoring the old ghost town, Buzzard Gulch. They were all technically partners, although Rylie’s involvement had been more Marley being generous. Rylie couldn’t afford to buy a house, let alone a town, but Marley had made her a working partner. They were turning the ghost town into a wedding venue and they needed a baker. The whole set up was pretty sweet, if not for the man with sparkling blue eyes currently watching her. “You look very pretty today, Rylie. I love you in purple. It really brings out the green flecks in your eyes.” Rylie narrowed her very dark eyes at him. “My eyes are brown, asshat.” He pushed off and started walking toward her, a long stride that ate up the length of her tiny office in no time. His gray suit was dapper and his blue shirt and loosened silver and blue striped tie made his eyes seem more like midnight than robin’s egg. His short black hair was tousled with gel that was messy yet stylish. He was the ultimate pretty boy, the kind of guy who used to make Rylie’s life hell, and she steeled herself as he approached. He placed his hands on the desk and leaned over until he was almost nose to nose with her. “Not true. Right in the center—” She caught the finger he’d started waving in front of her face, tempted to bite it. Not in a sexy way, of course. She released him abruptly and stood. Why the hell would she go there, even in her head? Dustin wasn’t sexy, and she had a boyfriend anyway. “I know you are used to getting what you want from women, but your flattery will not work on me.” He stared down at his cuticles casually, a move that reminded her of James Spader in Pretty in Pink. “Too bad. I was just coming to tell you that Kelly wants to see us in her office. Something about the Rolland/ Marconi wedding?” Rylie’s heart almost exploded from her chest. This was it. With her friend Marley gone, Rylie was the top bridesmaid at Something Borrowed. Although she loved Marley, she had been praying for this chance since she’d watched Tonya Rolland, the governor of California’s daughter, walk down the hallway into Kelly’s office last week. The governor was a favorite for the next presidential election. The Rollands were originally from Alabama, and had moved to California when Tonya was six. Since then, the governor had risen through the political ranks and had become beloved by the people, as was his altruistic daughter. Blake Marconi, Tonya’s fiancé, had played basketball for UCLA and gotten his degree in political science before being picked up by the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers had snagged him, and the big Italian was a fan favorite not just for his jump shot, but his extensive charity work. It was how he’d met Tonya; they’d been seated together at an animal rights dinner, and hit it off. It was a storybook romance and Rylie wanted to be a part of it. Then, the entirety of his words sank in. “Wait, why does she want you there?” Before she could blink, Dustin snagged one of her muffins and bit into it, chewing slowly. She watched his full lips as he chewed, waiting for him to elaborate with a pounding heart and her mind racing with dread. The agony was killing her, until finally he swallowed. “I have a feeling to two of us are going to make this wedding very special.”