The Best Man by Ella Ardent

91iO4dhzQXL._SL1500_Title: The Best Man

Series: The Wedding #1

Author: Ella Ardent

Genre: Contemporary Romance / Erotica

Blurb: You are invited to a wedding…

• where a mysterious lover fulfills a secret fantasy – and finds his own dream come true.
• where a disappointed woman finds true love – in the most unlikely of places.
• where the bride and groom have second thoughts – but discover a happy-ever-after beyond their wildest dreams.

Christine has always been in love with her best friend’s older brother, Jake. The fact that she’s maid of honor and he’s best man at Jess’s Caribbean wedding means that they’ll be thrown together repeatedly for the week of the festivities. Christine decides to make it count and tells Jake about her secret desire, hoping he’ll realize that he’s the fantasy lover she really wants.

Jake has always wanted Christine to be more than his ‘other baby sister’ but doesn’t want to lose her friendship. When Christine confesses her secret desire, he appoints himself to make her fantasy come true. His only concern is the bet made at the stag, that whichever of the guys gets lucky first wins the money. Jake knows that winning the bet could mean losing Christine—fortunately, he’s a man willing to be creative in pursuit of the best prize of all.

Thoughts: This is one of those sweet short stories that you can’t help but love.

Christine has been best friends with Jessica (Jess) since childhood. Jess is getting married at a Caribbean resort and Christine is her maid of honor. Since they grew up together, Christine and Jess’ brother, Jake, are good friends to the point where he even calls her his ‘other little sister’ and he’ll be the best man at the wedding. The problem is that Christine has been in love with Josh for as long as she can remember. She is scared to say anything and mess up their friendship, but it’ll be torture being around him at the wedding.

Jake met Christine when she was 4 years old she’s had his heart since then. He wanted to ask her out for a long time, but was nervous about it messing up their friendship. I mean she even calls his mom ‘Mom’. He’s reached the point where he’s ready to settle down – buy a house, get married, have kids – and only wants to do that with Christine and plans to use this wedding to start making progress.

While at the airport waiting for their flight to the resort, the groom’s friends (1 in particular) start eying Christine and Jake comments on it. The same happens when one a bridesmaid starts headed for Jake. Jake and Christine are flirting and an idea strikes. Christine proposes that they act like a couple to keep the wolves at bay during this trip. Jake agrees IF Christine will tell him one of her fantasies. Christine agrees and they seal the deal with a scorching hot kiss that their family and friends witness. The plain is in motion, but Jake’s mom thinks he’s taking advantage of Christine’s feelings and forbids them to pretend to be a couple. Christine is basically a member of the family and Jake can’t hurt her. After Jake gets their seats upgraded, Christine tells him her fantasy, which is to be taken in the night by someone who loves her from afar – a hint to Jake. This intrigues Jake, but he teases Christine about it and tells her that his mother has forbidden them to be a fake couple. Added to this, the guys made a bet at the bachelorette party and the first guy to get laid wins. Jake is in on it and he refuses to have Christine believe this is all to win the bet.

Interestingly enough, Christine gets a note and a mask from a secret admirer asking her to show up at the beach that night. She’s sure it’s from Jake and goes to the beach wearing her blindfold, but is it?

I loved this story. You got Jake and Christine’s POV, which made it all the more interesting. It is a short story and reads really quickly. You know there are issues with the bride and groom, but those issues are discussed in this story. You get the impression that something is going on with one of the groom’s friends and a bridesmaid too, but this story is just about Jake and Christine. I can’t wait to read the others in the wedding series. Jake was PERFECT. He’s a gentleman with a passionate side. He knows what he wants and he makes it his mission to get it and make her happy doing it. Christine….well she’s your girl next door. I could know Christine. She has a good life other than the romantic piece. She’s the girl you would expect to be timid, but she has fantasized about Jake forever. This could be considered an erotic novella, but the romance was the headliner in this.

Grade: A+

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