Wedding planner, Cassie Winters can’t wait to find her own happily ever after, and when she meets wedding hater, Theo Abbot, she realizes she’s got her work cut out for her. Theo’s grumpy, set in his ways, and determined to never fall in love again, but the more time they spend together, the more Cassie begins to wonder if she can change Theo’s position on love. Fans of Claire Kingsley and Kaylee Ryan will adore WED LIKE WILDFIRE by Lauren Helms, a steamy, grumpy sunshine romance.
Once upon a time, there was a grumpy CEO who met a wedding planner who never stopped smiling…
You could say that I live and breathe weddings and love, and as a wedding planner, a happily ever after is the main event. So when I learn that Theo Abbot absolutely hates weddings, that should be my clue to run for the hills as fast as my sexy little black stilettos will take me.
But I digress.
I’m on the hunt for my own epic love story, one T-Swift herself could write a song about. Which means unavailable and seemingly uninterested CEOs are off limits. Even if the man oozes sex appeal and his grumpiness turns me to mush.
A little flirting never hurt anyone.
Cassie Winters shines so bright I need a pair of Ray-bans to look directly at her. Problem is, once I’ve set my eyes on her, I can’t seem to look away. The woman is a walking, talking promotion for all things love and happiness.
Hand me an antacid.
Counting, on one hand, the amount of times I’ve failed in my life, leaves me knowing I won’t ever do “love” again. I’m set in my ways and not even this sexy little spitfire could sweet talk me out of my decision to never get married.
Yet it only took one drink to derail that plan.
But, things aren’t always as they seem and when real life gets in the way of this fairy tale, we’re both forced to take a hard look at what we truly want.
Are we both ready to wed or is this a wildfire that’s about to burn out?
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Copyright 2023 @Lauren Helms
I spot Cassie immediately, in the corner, at a table for four. I wonder if she knows it will just be us. Taking advantage of the fact that she hasn’t noticed my arrival yet, I take a moment to study her. She sits tall, facing the entrance, looking at her phone. She seems to be scrolling through an app as her lips tip up and her eyes glitter as she looks at what’s on her screen. There is an untouched water in front of her, but her menu is closed.
The sheer happiness that radiates off this woman irritates me. I don’t know why, but as I approach the table, what tumbles out of my mouth is unexpected.
“Let me guess, you just took the most epic selfie ever and can’t wait to share it with all your followers?” My tone takes on a mocking tone and immediately I want to take it back. Damn I’m an asshole.
To her credit, she doesn’t even bat an eye at my rudeness. Her face turns up toward me and she smiles. “Well, good afternoon to you too, Mr. Abbot.” She puts her phone down on the table and gestures toward the seat across from her. “Please, have a seat.”
And I do, begrudgingly, because being around this woman causes me to not just be my normal grouchy self, but clearly a prick as well.
As I take my seat, she slides her phone into her bag that sits on the floor next to her chair.
I clear my throat, my attempt to shake myself out of my head. “Nora won’t be joining us. I assume you already know.”
Now this does give her pause. Her brows dip. “No, I didn’t know. She didn’t…” her voice trails as a faint ding from her phone sounds from below. In the few times I’ve seen this woman, I think this is the first time I’ve ever not seen a smile on her face. She studies her smartwatch, clearly reading the message that just came in, her elbows still propped elegantly on the table, as I watch her realize that it will just be us for lunch.
Her creased brows even and she plasters on a smile as she drops her hands to her lap. “Well, her timing could be improved, but you’re correct, she’s not joining us.”
I can’t stop myself before barking out a laugh. She tilts her head, her features dancing with happiness. I shut down my amusement at her words and offer a terse, “Excuse me.”
“No, that was enjoyable to watch. I didn’t know you had it in you, Mr. Abbot.”
I make the decision, in this moment, to put an end to the formalities. “Theo. Please, call me Theo.”
Her grin widens. “All right, Theo,” and just as expected, the sound of my name on her lips fucking gets to me. I shift in my seat as she continues.
“So tell me how I managed to get that laughter out of you moments ago? I get a feeling it’s not a commodity around you.”
“Nora has always waited until the last minute when it comes to communication over things that may cause contention. You’ve known her a short time and already know her tells.” I pick up the menu, though I already know what I will order.
“Ah, yes, well, I read people pretty quickly.” She shifts the menu slightly on the table in front of her, not picking it up.
“Yeah? What’s your read on me?” I don’t know why I ask. Glutton for punishment, I guess.
This time she lets out a laugh. “Let’s keep this lunch civil and not go there.”
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About Lauren Helms
Lauren Helms is a romance author her nerdy and flirty contemporary words. Lauren has forever been an avid reader from the beginning. After starting a book review website, that catapulted her fully into the book world, she knew that something was missing. While working for a video game strategy guide publisher, she decided to mix what she knew best–video games and romance. She decided to take the plunge and write her first novel, Level Me Up. Several published novels later, Lauren created PR company, Indie Pen PR, to help other authors promote their books.
Lauren lives in Indianapolis, Indiana sharing her love of books and video games with her own Gamer Boy husband and three young kid nerds who will hopefully grow up to share the love of things that united Lauren and her husband on their own happily ever after.
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