COMMISSIONED IN WHITE

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Don’t you just love weddings? Everyone does—well, everyone but the Larson brides. Read this book to find out just how bad the big white moment can be.

What do multiple weddings finally getting to happen, a new career for Ellen and an art gallery opening have in common? They’re all in this new light-hearted addition to the Art of Love series. Packed with lots of resolution and the wobbly path to matrimony for some of Larson brides, this romantic comedy about weddings will have you laughing from beginning to end.

** For max enjoyment, reading the previous 3 books is highly recommended.

“Are you sick again?” Brooke asked, watching Carrie push the hair back from her face as she walked into the kitchen.

“I’ve been nauseated since yesterday. I tried the Chinese restaurant down the street from the gallery. I guess the cashew chicken didn’t agree with me,” Carrie said, getting a glass of ice water from the refrigerator. “Please don’t tell Michael. He hovers and worries if I complain about the least little thing. I even hide my menstrual cramps from him.”

Brooke snorted at the woman’s complaints. She had never received any sympathy for a physical ailment from any male ever. “Do you even realize how lucky you are?”

Carrie nodded. “Well aware. Michael is an excellent husband, but he’s not perfect. I tell myself I just have to work around those one or two really annoying things.”

Brooke laughed as she sipped her coffee. “Do you see Shane much these days? I haven’t seen him since I picked up his drawings. When Reesa showed up, he kicked me out.”

Grinning, Carrie shook her head and came back to sit at the table. “Not much. Of course, he and Reesa have some adjusting to do. Shane’s given notice at the condo, but they haven’t moved him completely out yet. I think they’re still sneaking away to it now and again to have sex.”

“I guess you have to be creative with a house full of children. How are they transitioning to being married?” Brooke asked. “They barely knew each other. I still can’t believe they actually made it legal so quickly. I would be scared to marry someone that quickly.”

Carrie sighed. “No one really knows how it’s working out. I think they have a lot to deal with only having known each other a couple of months. Not that Shane cares, but I have my suspicions that Reesa is still reeling. Oh, she never complains, but when I mention Shane around her, she still has a deer-caught-in-the-headlights look in her eye.”

“Weren’t you like that with Michael?” Brooke asked, grinning.

“Pretty much a basket case,” Carrie admitted on a laugh. “That’s why I took one look at you sitting in my kitchen and thought the worst. On the plus side for them, I don’t think Reesa is nearly as resistant to Shane. She is in love with him. I think she’s just in shock because it all happened so fast.”

“Well, that’s understandable. Plus, even if you’re marrying the right man, who wants their wedding to happen in a courtroom in the middle of a custody hearing? I’ve never been overly romantic, but damn—that’s pretty rock bottom on the big-white-moment scale,” Brooke declared.

Both women sighed and drifted into silence.

“I hated my wedding to Michael,” Carrie said finally, breaking the quiet. “I was sick, scared, and absolutely sure I was making the worst mistake of my life, despite having finally confronted the fact I was in love with him and only him. I still don’t know how I ever stood there long enough to actuall y complete the ceremony. I think Michael in his dark suit cast some lust spell over my common sense.”

She heard Brooke laughing, but Carrie had to close her eyes and work to push the bad memories away. Never again, she promised herself.

“Yeah—I remember your wedding too. When Michael was harassing you, I had to practically hit him over the head with the reality of how bad off you were for him to get it,” Brooke said. “Both the younger Larson grooms could have done a lot better by their brides.”

“Well they didn’t get their lack of decorum from Will. Will is a sweetie. I’m sure Jessica and Will’s wedding will be the kind that every woman dreams of having,” Carrie said. “I just wish I didn’t have to go. I’m afraid I’ll get flashbacks and ruin it for them. It’s in the same church.”

“You’re a stronger woman than that,” Brooke said, laughing. “It’s not Will that worries me—it’s Mom. She’s scared to death. Did she tell you she almost passed out when she saw herself in her dress? She nearly squashed your mother-in-law who tried to catch her when she started falling.”

Carrie put her head in her hand and laughed. “I heard about it. Now I’m sorry I didn’t go. I’m being a real weenie about all things bridal. At least she didn’t barf on Ellen. That’s what I did.”

Brooke laughed, imagining Carrie being sick on the meticulously groomed woman. “You know, getting married doesn’t even phase me. I never dreamed of getting married or having babies or any of that. I did dream of finding some great guy who would love me madly, but I’d be just as content not marrying at all. Since I got that from Mom, I understand her reticence to make a legal agreement. Marriage is so not sexy, unless you want a family. Then I guess it’s a good idea.”

“Or maybe if the guy is very rich and good-looking,” Carrie volunteered, her gaze teasing.

“Or maybe if the guy is absolutely outstanding in bed and it gets better every time,” Brooke pitched in, her own gaze twinkling.

“Or if you want to make sure other women know the man is committed only to you,” Carrie said firmly, her turquoise gaze thoughtful.

At that moment, Michael slid the patio door open and stuck his head inside. “What does a hard-working artist have to do to get a cold beer around here?”

Carrie rose slowly, got a bottle of beer from the refrigerator, popped off the top, and carried it to the door. “See that band on your finger, Michael Larson? It means you’re mine, so don’t forget it.”

“Okay. No argument from me,” Michael agreed, sneaking a look at Brooke, who only arched a manicured eyebrow. “Have I done something to indicate otherwise?”

“No. I just felt the need to confirm it,” Carrie said sweetly.

Michael nodded, his eyes crinkling as he smiled. “Consider it confirmed then and in front of Brooke as a witness. If I’ve passed the daily devoted-husband test, can I have my beer now?”

Carrie looked at the beer still in her hand with a bit of shock. She held it out to her husband, confused by his knowing look.

“Good thing I love you even when you’re being crazy,” Michael said, smooching the air, and shaking his head as he slid the patio door closed again.

“Was he mocking me?” Carrie demanded as she swung back to Brooke.

“I couldn’t tell,” Brooke said, grinning at the bickering she was trying not to envy. “Michael’s so arrogant about his relationship to you, I’ve started thinking it’s normal.”

“He is mine,” Carrie said, resuming her seat at the table.

“Good thing you went through with the wedding then,” Brooke said, nodding vigorously as Carrie started to giggle. “It’s a lot harder to control a man when you’re not sleeping with him every night.”

Connected Books: ART OF LOVE SERIES


Carved In Stone

Book 1

Covered In Paint

Book 5

Created In Fire

Book 2

Carved In Wood

Book 6

Captured In Ink

Book 3

Cruising Speed

Based on AOL Series

FAST FACTS:

SERIES: Art Of Love, Book 4

LENGTH: 202 PAGES

RELEASE DATE: Dec 8, 2012

eISBN: 978-1-480180-40-8

pISBN: 978-1-480180-40-6