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Book, Reviews, Excerpt

 

A Valley Ridge Wedding:
A Walk Down the Aisle
ISBN #978-0373718580
Harlequin SuperRomance,
6/13

Speak now...or forever keep your secrets? 
 
Colton McCray's an "I do" away from the perfect life. He's got a prosperous farm and he's lucky enough to have fallen in love with a good woman like Sophie Johnston. What more could a man who loves the simple life want? 
 
Certainly not a wedding-crasher who's only one of Sophie's secrets! 
 
Marry a woman he doesn't really know-or take a chance and trust her? No way! Though the harder Colton tries to cut Sophie out of his life, the more he wants her...complications and all. When he finds out she's pregnant with their baby, it's impossible for him to stay away. But first, he must forgive her past in order to rebuild the future they were meant for....

Valley Ridge Series:
1. You Are Invited
2. April Showers
3. A Walked Down the Aisle
4. A Valley Ridge Christmas
Book, Reviews, Excerpt

 

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Reviews:

"Uber-talented romance author Holly Jacobs shakes her readership up with A WALK DOWN THE AISLE. In the first two books of her Valley Ridge Wedding trilogy, Jacobs writes about the perfect couple Sophie and Colton and readers expected they would marry and have their happily ever after. Oh my, this sweet surprise twist has us holding our breaths wanting things to work out for the golden couple. Meanwhile, A WALK DOWN THE AISLE also chronicles the romances of two other couples we have met in the previous books in this series. From the attention catching prologue to the promise on the last page, readers will be thrilled reading A WALK DOWN THE AISLE by award winning author Holly Jacobs." ~Donna, cataRomance

"Jacobs weaves an interesting tale of forgiveness boosted by well-written dialogue...fun, lively..." RT BookReview

USA Today

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

 

A Walk Down the Aisle
Copyright, 2013 Holly Jacobs


PROLOGUE

Victoria Allen parked her father’s black SUV next to the library. She purposefully backed it into the parking space so the plates weren’t visible. She felt a guilty sense of dread knowing what was going to happen when her parents got hold of her, but she pushed the feeling aside. She checked the GPS on her phone and headed across the bridge and into town.

Her parents would eventually have to admit that she’d taken their car for a good reason, and it wasn’t as if she didn’t know how to drive. Besides, she’d followed the speed limits much better than most of the drivers on I-90.

Thinking about her parents made her feel a sense of homesickness, though she’d only been gone a couple of hours. She couldn’t help but think how much her mother would love this small town. As Victoria walked down the quiet street, she thought that Valley Ridge, New York, looked like Mayberry. When she was younger, her mom had watched episodes of Andy Griffith every day at five o’clock. It always struck Victoria as ironic that her college president mother, Gloria Allen, who wore power suits and used her BlackBerry like it was another appendage, loved such a sappy, hokey show.

Of course, her academic, power-suited mom was a woman of unexpected contrasts. She had married Freedom Jay Allen. Though her mom called her dad Dom, it didn’t change the fact he had been born on a commune. And though he’d now joined the real world, her dad was still a vegetarian, and wouldn’t know a high-powered job if it bit him. He worked from home as a painter. Yeah, an honest-to-goodness, brush-on-canvas artist.

When Tori was little, her mom had gone off to work and her dad had been the house-husband.

Yeah, her mother might be conventional in many ways, but she had a weird unconventional streak

Both her parents would love this town. She felt even more guilty than taking their car and driving it without a license. They were going to be so pissed.

Well, her mom would be pissed, but her dad would be disappointed in her.

Disappointed was worse.

Tori glanced in a coffee-shop window and caught the reflection of a girl with blue hair. It took a split second for her to register the girl was her. Every time she noticed it, it shocked her. But she guessed that had been the point of her mini-rebellion. Her mother had been mad at that, too. But rather than being disappointed, her father had smiled and said, “Way to express yourself, Tori.”

She wondered what her father was saying now.

They were going to be worried, even though she knew they didn’t realize she was gone yet.

Tori decided that maybe a coffee would calm her nerves, but she realized the lights were off in the small shop. There was a sign on the door that read, At the Wedding.

She went to the diner, which also had a Closed for Family Wedding sign on it.

She looked up and down the street and saw that every business on it was dark.

The whole town shut down for a wedding?

It was a Saturday at the end of June. You’d think that a small town like this would get a lot of touristy people on a summer Saturday. Her mom would love walking up and down the short section of Valley Ridge’s main street.

Weird. Forget Mayberry. This place was Twilight Zone-ish. Her mom loved that show, too. And her mother liked really bad disaster films. The kind they showed on cable late Saturday night. Her mom used the DVR for them all. Tori couldn’t count how many times she’d seen the world almost hit by asteroids or the moon, or overrun by a zombie apocalypse or some killer virus. But thankfully, some B actor or actress always saved the world at the last minute.

Guilt ate at her. She knew she could head back now and there was a chance her parents would never know about today. Her mom had some all-day college thing that she’d dragged her dad to.

But Tori also knew she couldn’t do that. She had to get answers. She’d tried to explain her need to her mom, but her mom hadn’t understood. Tori had always gotten along with her mom and dad, even though most of her friends didn’t understand it. She still loved them, but she was so freakin’ angry. She couldn’t seem to get a handle on her emotions. Not that it was the first time she’d felt confused. Her dad said it was normal to be moody in your teens. If that was the case, Tori couldn’t wait to be in her twenties.

She checked her phone’s GPS again and left the ghost town’s main street, heading into a residential neighborhood. She walked about five blocks and came to a house that would have made Hansel and Gretel go all gingerbread.

It was a tan one-story house. Its shutters and window boxes were bright yellow, as were the zillion flowers planted all around the tiny yard, with its picket fence and wooden arch, which had flowery vines hanging off it.

Maybe Hansel and Gretel was the wrong fairy tale. This was more about contrary Mary and her growing garden.

Looking at the cheery little house that seemed to scream happy made her feel pissed. Really pissed.

The anger was a red burning in the pit of her stomach. It had been there ever since she’d seen the letter on her mother’s desk. It had been addressed to Sophie Johnston, in care of the New Day Adoption Agency. Her mom had been lecturing her on her blue hair, about how people’s perceptions are shaped by first impressions, and what was it she hoped to say with blue hair? Tori had rolled her eyes and spotted the envelope. She’d picked it up, seen the address, then held it out to her mom, who stopped midlecture and turned pale.

That’s when Tori had known the truth. Her parents weren’t hers. Somewhere out there, two other people were her real mom and dad.

Fighting about hair dye had seemed like a very minor thing as she had gotten into it with her mom over the fact she’d kept such a big secret. “I planned on telling you when you were eighteen,” her mom had said. Her mom had wanted her to be mature enough to handle the news.

Tori had almost doubled over from the pain of knowing that she wasn’t Victoria Peace Allen, the only daughter of Gloria and Dom Allen. She wasn’t sure who she was, but she needed to know.

Her mother wouldn’t tell her anything. She kept saying, “When you’re eighteen…” As if eighteen were some magic number. Like all of a sudden, Tori would decide no, she didn’t need to know who she was and where she came from. Like in four years she wouldn’t wonder what kind of woman could give away her baby.

Tori opened the stupid gate of the stupid fairy-tale house, and her anger grew. This was where her biological mother lived? In a happy little house in a freakin’ Mayberry ghost town. Not a care in the world, and certainly no worries about some baby she gave away fourteen years ago.

No. This woman had just handed over her baby and gone on with her life. Her very happy, gingerbread house, Mayberry town life.

Tori walked up to the door and pounded on it.

She wanted the woman to tell her how you gave away a baby. How you threw it away like yesterday’s trash and moved to a fairy-tale house.

She pounded on the door again, and gave it a quick kick, leaving a black mark from her boot to mar its cheery yellowness. For some reason, that made her feel better. Here was some tangible evidence that she existed. Something her biological mother couldn’t deny.

Tori was about to kick the door again when she heard someone say, “Pardon me.”

Tori turned and saw a cop car, with a young blond guy who didn’t look very coplike despite his uniform. “Sophie’s already gone to the wedding.”

“Oh.” Oh, so Sophie had joined the Twilight Zone masses at this wedding of the century?

“Did you miss the bus to the wedding?” the cop asked.

“Yeah,” she lied. And walked over to the cop car. Well, actually it was an SUV with VRPD stenciled on the doors, and a bar of lights on the roof.

“Well, come on and get in.” He leaned over and opened the passenger door. “I’ll give you a lift. I’m heading out myself.”

Tori had listened to her parents lecture her on stranger-danger since she was old enough to speak. Getting in a car with a person you didn’t know was never a good idea. That’s why she’d stolen her father’s car. It seemed like a better idea than hitchhiking. But this was a cop. There was a box in the backseat that was wrapped in wedding paper, so his story seemed plausible. Tori opted to get in the car. A wedding would give her a perfect opportunity to observe her biological mother without being noticed.

She climbed into the SUV’s passenger seat and asked, “Don’t you have to protect the town from…whatever criminals do in towns like this?”

The cop didn’t take offense; instead, he smiled. “I think the entire town is at the wedding. I’m predicting things will be fine if I take a wedding break.” He paused, and said, “Buckle up.”

Tori complied, and tried not to think about how much that sounded like her dad, and how scared her dad was going to be when he found out she was gone.

“I’m Dylan, by the way,” the cop said, as he pulled away from the gingerbread house and drove through town.

“Tori,” she said.

“Bride’s side or groom’s.”

“I’m here to see Sophie.”

“Bride’s side it is then,” he said with a grin. “It’s a beautiful day for her wedding, isn’t it? Her and Colton…”

The cop kept on talking, but Tori wasn’t really listening as she tried to digest the fact that Sophie hadn’t simply gone to this wedding that shut down Mayberry—she was the bride, the reason the entire town closed up shop.

Tori had just found her mother, and her mother was getting married.

The anger that had burned in her belly since she’d found that envelope blazed with new heat.

Fourteen years ago, this Sophie had handed her baby over to strangers then had carried on with her life without a second thought. She’d thrown Tori out like some unread, unwanted newspaper.

And now she was getting married to someone. Getting ready to start a new life and probably have scads of kids with him.

Kids she’d keep.

Tori didn’t know what to do. She wished her mom and dad were here.

She’d found her birth mother and was going to crash her wedding.

 

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

From the book: A Walk Down the Aisle
By: Holly Jacobs
Imprint and Series: Harlequin SuperRomance
Publication Date: 6/13
ISBN: 978-0373718580
Copyright © 2013
By: Harlequin Enterprises
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
For more romance information surf to: http://www.eHarlequin.com

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