The wait for The Bride is almost over! The manuscript has just another minor hoop to jump through. I know a lot of you are waiting to get this book, and I love your enthusiasm and your patience!
I’m finally able to share with you the blurb or back cover copy for The Bride, and a sneak peek after the jump!
After a tumultuous year, Sophie Scaife’s relationship with her boyfriend and Dom, billionaire media mogul Neil Elwood, is hotter and happier than ever. His sizzling Dominant side pushes Sophie to new and challenging heights of submission and erotic exploration as she follows her Sir’s every whim. But with his daughter’s impending wedding and a milestone birthday turning Neil’s thoughts toward settling down, Sophie faces a much different future than she’d planned.
Caught in a conflict between her new wealth and her desire for independence, Sophie fears she’s becoming just another Fifth Avenue trophy wife. With her fashion journalism career over and her new effort as a writer uninspiring, Sophie has to work harder than ever to prove her intentions to Neil’s family and friends.
Sophie isn’t the only one struggling to adapt to her new lifestyle. When private jets and designer labels threaten her bond with Holli, Sophie finds herself walking a fine line between the world she now inhabits and the past—and people—she fears she’s left behind. After a shocking revelation divides her loyalties, Sophie is in danger of losing her best friend or fracturing the trust of the man she loves.
Read on after the jump for a sneak peek of The Bride.
As anyone who knew her would have expected, Emma’s vows were much more practical. There was a framework of “in sickness and health” behind them, but with touches that were pure Emma.
“I can’t swear to you that I’ll never roll my eyes at you when you wear socks to bed, or that I’ll tolerate your morning cheerfulness in good humor every day of our life together,” she promised through tears. “But I will always love you, and I will always put our happiness as a family first.”
She broke down then, and my heart ached for her, because I knew, as Neil did, and as Michael did, that Emma feared they would never have the family they wanted. To anyone else, they were happy tears from an overjoyed bride, and there was no reason anyone should have thought otherwise.
Michael reached up to brush a tear from her cheek with his thumb, and the gesture was so natural and loving that my heart skipped a beat. If ever there were a truly great romance, Emma and Michael had to be it.
Instead of exchanging rings, they had chosen to light a unity candle together, to symbolize the joining of their lives into one. I’d never been to a wedding where the bride and groom, rather than their parents, lit the candle, and it was a meaningful twist.
When the officiant declared, “I now pronounce you husband and wife,” I looked up at Neil. A tear track gleamed on his cheek, and more glittered unshed in his eyes. There was pride there, and sorrow. Because it was final. It was as though in those words, he saw Emma as a grown woman who didn’t need him in the same way she had when she’d been a little girl. I thought of the pictures in our house, of Emma as a baby in her father’s arms, moments after she was born, and as a five year old with impossibly white blonde pigtails on the first day of school. And as I watched him, watching his daughter kiss her new husband at the start of their life together, I saw him reluctantly laying those versions of Emma to rest. So, it was a touch patriarchal of him to recognize her as a grown-up only when she’d become a wife, but the twenty-five years between us was a long time, and I had to be somewhat forgiving of our views not lining exactly up.
As Emma and Michael half-ran their giddy way up the aisle to the strains of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” a rain of pale paper butterflies drifted from the ceiling.
I nudged Neil with my arm. “You okay?”
His smile was a little too quick in response to be entirely genuine. “Oh, yes. It was a lovely ceremony.”
That was the staunch Englishman side of him, one that I didn’t see very often anymore. “It’s okay to show emotion, you know,” I teased. “Your daughter just got married.”
“If I start showing emotion, it will all come flooding out and you’ll have to carry me to the reception.”
Before dinner was a cocktail hour in the Roosevelt rotunda while Emma and Michael posed for photos, and I’d assumed I would be going there, since I wouldn’t be needed. Everyone who would be involved lingered behind the other guests, and when everyone else had gone, Emma and Michael emerged from their secret hiding room. Being waylaid by well wishers would have eaten up precious time for photos, and leave reception guests waiting, she’d explained at the rehearsal.
As soon as they saw Emma, Neil and Valerie rushed over to her for hugs and a chorus of parental pride. I gave them space, only approaching Emma for a hug when she noticed me. Careful not to step on her dress, I gave her a gentle squeeze, so as not to crinkle her chiffon. “You look amazing!”
“Thank you.” She smoothed her hair, cautious of the pearls, and self-consciously straightened her neckline. “That means a lot, coming from someone who knows so much about fashion.”
Awww. Emma rarely praised people, which meant that when she did, it was genuine. Also, that she was able to lower her guard around them.
“Okay, can I get the bride and her parents?” the photographer called, and the three of them moved so quickly it was comical.
Emma called, “Oh, my bouquet, Amanda, my bouquet!” to her maid of honor, as though she were a surgeon calling for a crucial instrument in a tense operation. Amanda, in the floaty white a-line shift dress uniform of the bridal attendants— the glittery Swarovski crystal and gold thread embroidered collars were to die for— scooted across the floor on the balls of her feet in her stiletto heels, like a person carrying a bomb. Both Neil and Valerie reached for the bundle of baby pink roses at the same time, and the whole thing was frantic and amusing.
I turned, shaking my head and trying to cover my giggles as I headed toward the door. Neil and Valerie were good parents, but wow, did they spoil their daughter.
“Sophie?” Emma called.
I half turned and pointed to the door. “Cocktail hour! Open bar. Munchies.”
She did a little half-frown, half-smile of confusion. “Yes, and… pictures. You can’t take off.”
Valerie’s eyebrows went up, and she forced a painful looking smile. For his part, Neil looked pleasantly stunned.
“I didn’t think… I mean…” I didn’t know what to say. She wanted me in her pictures? Her wedding pictures? Just a year ago, she’d hated me.
She rolled her eyes . “Let me get this one with them, then one with all of you.”
The photographer snapped a few shots of them, proud, doting parents and gorgeous, happy bride. Then as Emma gestured from her elbow to speed me along, I stepped up onto the dais and stood beside Neil.
With my family.