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In the courtroom, they’re rivals. In the bedroom, they’re . . . divorced. But could the road trip from hell lead to a second chance at love? “I love Kate Meader’s books!”—Kelly Jamieson
Aubrey Gates is the hottest divorce lawyer in Chicago, a barb-tongued stiletto with legs that go on for miles. When her cool gray eyes meet mine across the battlefield, I want her like I’ve never wanted anyone or anything. Then I remember who she is: the woman who brought me to my knees. The woman who destroyed my faith in relationships.
The woman I used to call . . . wife.
And she needs a favor from me, Grant Lincoln.
It seems my ex forgot to mention the demise of our marriage to her dear old grammy, and now we’re both expected to attend her ninetieth birthday party. In Boston. And because it isn’t already awkward enough, Aubrey and I are driving there together from Chicago. That’s more than a thousand miles of tension, heartbreak, and barely concealed lust.
A little piece of paper might say we’re over, but this road trip is the true test. I intend to get my wife back . . . and I won’t stop until “I do.”
Kate Meader’s super-sexy Laws of Attraction novels can be read together or separately: DOWN WITH LOVE • ILLEGALLY YOURS • THEN CAME YOU
This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
Under the Cover
An excerpt from Then Came You
I hate weddings.
I especially hate friends’ weddings. However, I have a peculiar fondness for the groom in this one, Max Henderson, and his girl. Charlie is exactly what he needs—sharp, stylish, and willing to go toe to toe with his entitled self. But the last thing I need right now is a happy fest when I’d much rather curl up with my kitty, sip on a nice Glenfiddich, and binge-watch Midsomer Murders. (I have a crush on Tom Barnaby, which probably means my daddy issues are showing atrociously.)
It would look odd if I didn’t put in an appearance. Max and I have just figured out how to be friendly again—his fiancée helped—and I really do want to be supportive. Slipping into the church, I reason that I can stay for the ceremony, kiss both parties hello, and skedaddle before the ink is dry on the marriage register.
The pews are full to bursting, but I can make out an empty spot fourth row from the top, exactly where I suspect Max’s friends are situated. I inhale deeply. Here goes. Moving closer, I spot the back of Trinity’s head and slide into the seat beside her.
“Hey, princess,” Lucas, Trinity’s boyfriend and one of Max’s law firm partners, says with a cheeky grin, while I try to avoid looking beyond him along the pew. If I can’t see the problem, it doesn’t exist. Tunnel vision will get me through.
Frowning, Trinity touches my upper arm, right above the neon pink cast on my forearm sitting in a matching sling. “Are you okay? What happened?”
“Just me being a dumbass.” I squint at the line of hats in front of me, marveling at how Chicagoans at a wedding in November think they’re at Royal Ascot. I cast a glance over my shoulder. “Maybe I should sit back there.”
No sooner are the words out of my mouth than the air shifts.
“What happened?” a dark voice grits out.
Looking up, I find Grant Lincoln—Max’s other partner—staring at me from his place at Lucas’s right, the spot I’ve been avoiding since I parked my ass in this pew. Though it’s more like he’s sitting on Lucas’s lap in an effort to impose himself. His brown hair, tinged with red, is tousled far too early in the day’s proceedings. Perhaps he was nervous at the thought of running into me, but that notion doesn’t bear up in the face of midnight blue eyes plundering my aplomb, pirate style.
How unfair that the sight of him should steal my breath every time.
“None of your business.”
“How did you get here? Because it looks like you can’t drive.”
“Big city, Grant. Lots of cabs.”
A muscle ticks in his jaw. If I wasn’t already so annoyed at being interrogated, I would be appreciating the hell out of that dancing muscle. My ex-husband’s not traditionally handsome. People might call him thuggish, even, an image he cultivates to his advantage in court. He’s a big guy, broad-shouldered and barrel-chested, with a husky voice and attitude to match. When Grant held me in his arms, I felt wrapped in him in the best possible way.
That fuzzy-jagged feeling I get whenever I think of being enveloped in the world that is Grant’s arms takes a flying leap through the church’s stained-glass windows at his next barked query.
“What are you going to do about going home for Thanksgiving, Bean? Unless you’re suddenly okay with flying.”
My heart skips at the nickname. At least two years have gone by since I heard it pass his lips. On the day he told me he couldn’t do this anymore. Do us.
“Nothing for you to worry about,” I shoot back.
“You don’t like flying?” Trinity asks, all concern. She’s the nicest person.
“Um, no.” Terrified, actually. “But I’ll figure it out.”
Grant snorts. Oh, he thinks he knows everything.
Lucas waves a hand between us. “Would you two like to sit together?”
I’ll break my other arm before I voluntarily sit beside Grant Roosevelt Lincoln.
Trinity convinces me to stay for the reception. As I don’t want Grant thinking he’s driven me away, I channel my mother and pin on my high society smile. Of course we’re sitting at the same table, separated by Lucas and Trinity, who are unbelievably cute together.
“So, princess, spill,” Lucas says after feeding Trinity a sliver of roasted potato. “Tell us how you broke your arm.”
“Oh, y’know. Some idiot kept asking me dumb questions and I lashed out and hit his giant British head. The usual.”
Lucas rolls his eyes, clearly enjoying my dig. He’s a funny, egotistical Brit himself. “You need to make up a better story than that, Aubs. Say you tripped over your cat while vacuuming naked.”
“Why do you assume I have a cat?”
Grant makes a choking sound. If only.
“Something to say, Lincoln?”
“That thing still alive?”
“Yes, Cat Damon is alive and well, surviving on spite.”
“Cat Damon?” Trinity asks. “That’s adorable.”
“It’s a joke.” I catch Grant’s gaze, piercingly blue and unerringly focused on me. “Or someone’s idea of one.”
Despite naming my cat, Grant barely tolerated the ball of grump, and my kitty hated him right back. Neither of them liked being in competition for my affection. Don’t let Mr. Lincoln’s southern gentleman demeanor fool you. The lumbering giant with the syrupy voice is the most cutthroat competitor I know, especially in the bedroom.
Three for one was his rule. Three of my orgasms for every one of his. And if he thought I couldn’t go the distance, he’d forgo his own. One night I tried faking number three because I was worried he might have a hernia if he didn’t get off. He only punished me with two more.
I miss those Grant-given orgasms.
More than that, I miss—no, we won’t be taking that trip down memory lane.
The night goes on. Heartfelt speeches. The first dance. Wedding cake in the kisser. It’s all lovely, really, and in time, my curmudgeon self melts away in the face of all the hope and love on display. I can’t leave without wishing them well, so I sidle up to Charlie while Max is getting an earful from a woman who looks like his grandmother.
“Nice catch, friend,” I whisper in her ear.
“Aubrey!” She turns and hugs me, clearly tipsy on life, love, and Dom Pérignon. “I’ve been trying to cut my way through the hordes to get to you and your broken limb. What happened?”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” I say mysteriously.
She eyes me, and I pray that the alcohol won’t compel her to give advice I neither want or need. Perhaps she senses my desire to keep it at a surface level, for her next words are neutral. “Those two next, I think.” She nods at the dance floor, where Lucas and Trinity are swaying to Tony Bennett.
“Probably. They had a rough time of it and miraculously made it out the other side.”
“The deepest love affairs take work.” She pauses. “You know, I’m here—”
“I know!” I plaster on a clown smile. Everyone assumes I’m miserable since my divorce, which was over a year ago. And we were on the rocks for a year before that. I’ve had plenty of time to get over Grant.
It’s the failure that swirls around me like a fog that I can’t abide.
Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.