Three Little Words, the third and final book in Jenny Holiday’s Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series, releases on January 29th, and I am excited!
Read on to check out my reviews of all three books in the series, an excerpt of Three Little Words, and to enter a giveaway paperback copies of *all three books in the series!*
Three Little Words
Author: Jenny Holiday
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly, book 3
Publisher: Forever Romance (January 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
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Gia Gallo is officially in bridesmaid hell. Stranded in New York with her best friend’s wedding dress, Gia has six days to make it to Florida in time for the ceremony. And oh-so-charming best man Bennett Buchanan has taken the last available rental car. Looks like she’s in for one long road trip with the sexiest – and most irritating – Southern gentleman she’s ever met…
Bennett’s pretty sure that if there was ever a woman to break his “no flings” rule, Gia would be it. Sure, she’s stubborn. She’s also funny, smart, and the attraction between them is getting hotter with every state line they cross. While Bennett doesn’t do casual, Gia doesn’t do “relationships.” But if they break the rules, this unlikely pair might discover that their impromptu road trip could turn out to be the best ride of their lives.
Read my review of Three Little Words here.
You can also check out my review of One and Only and my review of It Takes Two, as well as my mini-reviews of the novellas Once Upon a Bride and Merrily Ever After. That’s right, I’ve read the entire series including the novellas. I also own One and Only in both paperback and audiobook – Jenny’s just *that good*. Ready for that excerpt now?
Forever Romance has generously provided paperbacks of all three novels in the Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series for a giveaway, so the winner will receive paperback copies of One and Only, It Takes Two, and Three Little Words.
Giveaway will be open through January 28th, and the winner will be contacted January 29th. US/Canada only.
SIX DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING
The woman throwing a hissy fit at the gate had to be Gia Gallo. She looked the part: tall, thin, and in possession of one of those huge, ugly handbags that cost more than most people’s rent.
She was also stunning, but that wasn’t relevant.
Helming a successful Manhattan restaurant in an increasingly hip neighborhood meant that Bennett Buchanan had encountered his share of models. The funny thing about models was that they usually weren’t that good-looking up close. They were all angles and bones and overly exaggerated features that photographed better than they came across in real life.
Gia, though, with her shoulder-length, wavy, honey-brown hair, her heart-shaped face, and her plump pink lips, was almost unnaturally beautiful.
Or she would have been, if she hadn’t been using that gorgeous mouth to yell at the poor beleaguered gate agent who had just announced that their flight to Tampa was canceled.
Bennett didn’t go for entitled. He’d seen enough spoiled princesses in his old-money southern youth to last a lifetime. New York might rub him the wrong way a lot of the time, but one thing it had going for it was that debutantes were few and far between. Or at least their New York equivalent, the society ladies, didn’t make their way up to his little Cajun place in Washington Heights.
“Listen to me,” the bad-tempered beauty said to the gate agent as she held up a garment bag. “This is a wedding dress. It needs to get to Florida now.”
Yep, that was definitely Gia, one of the bridesmaids in his friend Noah’s wedding.
Bennett got up from where he’d been sitting and headed over to the desk to try to run interference.
A second agent had joined the first. He looked as if he had a lower bullshit threshold than his colleague and was rolling in to play the role of Bad Cop Gate Agent. “A bridezilla. My favorite kind of customer,” he said under his breath, but not really, because Bennett, who was still a few feet away, could hear him.
“I am not a bridezilla,” Gia said.
“Honey, that’s what they all say.”
“I am not a bridezilla, because I am not the bride. I am a bridesmaid, though, so if you want to call me a bridesmaidzilla, go right ahead. I will totally own that.” She leaned over—she was taller than both the agents—and got right in the face of the one who’d called her a bridezilla. “This is m
y friend Wendy’s wedding dress. Actually, it’s her dead mother’s wedding dress. And Wendy? She hasn’t had the easiest time of it. So I have made it my personal mission to make sure her wedding goes off without a hitch. This dress will make it to Florida if I have to walk it there myself.” She sniffed and straightened to her full, imposing height. “And don’t call me honey.”
“Well, you’d better start walking, honey, because they’re about to close the airport.”
“What part of don’t call me—”
“Gia?” Bennett interrupted, pasting on his “the customer is always right” smile. “Are you by chance Wendy’s friend Gia?”
She whirled on him, and she was pissed. Her eyes, a gorgeous amber that reminded him of his nana’s cinnamon pecan shortbread, narrowed. They were topped by long lashes and heavy eyebrows. The powerful brows contrasted sharply with pale, flawless skin marked by two blotches of angry pink in the centers of her cheeks. Jesus Christ, that kind of beauty was a shock to the system, equal parts invigorating and painful, not unlike when you burned yourself in the kitchen in the middle of a manic dinner shift.
“And you are?”
The question dripped with disdain, which was good because it reminded him that the karmic scales tended to balance beauty with sourness. She was like the abominations northerners called peaches: vibrantly pinky yellow and fragrant on the outside, hard and woody and unyielding on the inside.
Still, he would do what he could to rescue these poor gate agents from her clutches. The monster storm bearing down on the eastern seaboard was going to make their lives unpleasant enough without the addition of an indignant model who believed that the laws of nature didn’t apply to her.
He stuck his hand out. “Bennett Buchanan at your service, ma’am.” He let his drawl come on strong. That always charmed people.
Gia was not charmed.
She rolled her eyes.
But she did step away from the counter, enough that the next customer in line took her place.
“You’re Noah’s friend.”
“Don’t call me ma’am.”
The thing was, he was pissed, too. She wasn’t the only one whose flight had been canceled. She wasn’t even the only one who had been charged with transporting an item essential to the wedding ceremony.
Noah and Wendy had spent the last six months traveling. They had a system in which they jetted to a far-flung locale for two weeks and then spent two weeks at home in Toronto, where Wendy’s aunt was recovering from a car accident and Noah, who was moving to Canada to be with Wendy, was studying to transfer his legal credentials.
It was like a honeymoon in reverse—the final trip would be their wedding in Florida. They’d dropped in to New York a few months ago for dress and ring fittings and had left the properly sized final products in the custody of their friends. He wasn’t really sure why they hadn’t done that stuff in Toronto, but he didn’t ask questions. He did as he was told.
Which meant he had the rings in his pocket. He, however, was not throwing a hissy fit over this fact.
So, yeah, he was pissed.
And cold. So freaking cold.
Top of that list of things about New York that rubbed him the wrong way?
You can take the boy out of the South…
Damn, he hadn’t realized how much the idea of getting on that plane and emerging in a few hours into the warm, humid air of a civilized climate had gotten its hooks into him.
But unlike Gia, he was capable of holding his temper when things didn’t go his way. He was an adult. A fact of which he reminded himself as he checked the impulse to start calling her honey-ma’am.
“The wedding isn’t for a week,” he said. “We’ll be able to rebook. Let’s head back to the city, and we can try again when this storm passes. We can share a cab.”
Which was the last thing he wanted to do, but if they were closing the airport, taxis would be in short supply, and Bennett was a nice guy.
Well, okay, he wasn’t a nice guy, but he’d grown adept at faking it. And if he could behave, so could she.
Instead of answering him, Gia elbowed her way back to the counter and started demanding a hotel voucher.
“We don’t give vouchers for weather delays,” the first agent said.
“Good luck finding a hotel room anyway,” said Bad Cop Gate Agent. “Storm of the decade, they’re saying.”
Gia puffed up her chest and opened her mouth. Bennett cringed. What did she think? That they could wave a magic wand and, like Harry Potter, repel the foot of snow that was set to be dumped down on them?
He would just leave her to her little tantrum, then. He could only fake this nice-guy shit for so long.
But before he turned away, something interesting happened. Something subtle that probably no one else noticed. Gia’s body, which had clearly been ramping up to escalate her fight, just sort of…deflated. Her chest sagged as her spine rounded, and her chin came to her chest. He didn’t miss her eyes on the way down. They were filling with tears.
When someone needs help, you help. That’s what separates men from monsters.
Chef Lalande’s refrain echoed through Bennett’s brain. His mentor’s mantra was a giant pain in the ass most of the time, but it was the philosophy that had saved Bennett and that Bennett had embraced. Pay it forward and all that.
It wasn’t a philosophy that could be invoked selectively—that was the pain-in-the-ass part. When you changed the kind of person you were, you had to be all in.
“Hey, hey, Gia. It’s going to be okay. I promise.” He moved toward her, compelled to touch her for some insane reason, but he checked the impulse.
“How can you promise that?” The belligerent tone from before was gone, replaced by resignation. “Can you make this plane go?”
“Look.” He pulled a small velvet pouch from his pocket. “I have the rings.” He wasn’t sure what his point was other than that he was on the hook for getting there as much as she was.
Whatever point he was making she ignored anyway. “Can you divert this storm?” She started walking.
He followed. “It can’t snow for a week. Worst thing that happens is we miss a few days of lying on the beach.” Which was a goddamn tragedy—he shivered thinking about heading back out into the winter—but it was what it was.
She started walking faster. She was almost as tall as he was, yet he had to hoof it to keep up with her.
“Can you make a hotel room magically appear in an overbooked New York City?” she snapped as she pulled out her phone. The pissiness from before was creeping back into her voice.
“No,” he said sharply, suddenly done with her—he tried, but even on his best days, he was half the man Chef Lalande was. He wasn’t responsible for this woman. “I can do none of those things.” He stopped walking.
It took a few seconds before she realized he wasn’t with her anymore. She stopped and turned. Looked back at him.
Then she did that deflating thing again. She reminded him of a pizza oven. You opened it and a blast of heat escaped and the temperature inside dropped by several hundred degrees.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I don’t even know why I’m being like this. I’m just so…”
Mean? his mind supplied. Arrogant?
He barked a surprised laugh. “Well, ma’am, that I can fix.”