All For Family Excerpt

 

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Meg looked like she wanted to run away at that moment. He wasn’t sure if it was his announcement that he was the son of an earl, the fact that her best friend had just made a very loud and vulgar suggestion that he might be inciting her to forgo her wedding vows, or maybe both of them. But she certainly had the expression of a caged animal who wanted nothing more than to escape.

“I beg your pardon?” Jeremy raised his chin and addressed Rhonda over his nose. “There is absolutely nothing inappropriate going on here.”

“Listen, whatever game this is, my brother and I don’t like it. Your cousin told us about you. About the way you fool around with nice girls. But our Meg is sweet and innocent, and we’re not gonna let you do that. You taking advantage of that just because you’re pissed that Geneva’s having a better time than you are is bullshit. Just bullshit.”

Most of what she said made absolutely no sense to him, but she was clearly drunk so he figured he shouldn’t be surprised. With an annoyed roll of his eyes, he turned away from her and sighed long and hard. “Geneva isn’t having that much of a good time yet. And if you know her at all, then you certainly know that much. Meg and I appear to be the only two at this bash who are in control of our faculties. As I said, we’re doing nothing inappropriate. I’d advise you to continue with your own good time.”

From the corner of his eye, he saw Meg lift a hand and rub above her eyebrow, probably doing her best to ward off a headache. His own head began to throb too when he noticed Ray coming towards them again.

And he was paying so much attention to the brother that he missed the fact that the sister was taking a swing at him. Meg shoved both her hands into his belly to push him aside, so the bride’s fist narrowly missed his nose. When she took aim with her other fist, he grabbed both her hands to hold her still.

“Oh my God, Rhonda, stop!” Meg cried, wrapping her hands around her friend’s arm and trying to tug her back.

“Hey, get your hands off my sister!” Ray cried, advancing on them.

“I would gladly take my hands off her if she’d stop trying to hit me.”

Meg let go of her friend’s arm and instead ducked under to get in between them. Jeremy, feeling it was safe, relaxed his hold on the wild bride, pushing a bit to try to lengthen the distance in case she started swinging again.

She didn’t, but Ray did.

Unfortunately, his timing was off, probably due to the alcohol. His fist grazed Jeremy’s upper arm, then kept on going until it made contact with Meg’s left eye. The resulting thwack made him flinch, but he managed to react quickly enough to catch her when she fell.

“Meg!” Rhonda screamed to her friend, then turned to Jeremy. “This is all your fault!”

“You stupid lush,” he retorted. “Get her an ice pack.”

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Wedding bells will soon be ringing in the Rawley family, but gearing up for Van and Kay’s nuptials revives old insecurities for Kay’s sister-in-law Meg. When she learns that her ex-husband is asking for her from his hospital bed, Meg must confront the painful memories of her past. Family is everything for Jeremy Rawley. Most important is the one he and Meg created together. But their beginning was tangled in memories he wishes his wife could forget for good. A call from her past brings them back to a place he thought they’d never have to be again. Forgiveness may be the key, but the first step is finding the locked heart that needs it.

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