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Before You Say I Do

Before You Say I Do

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Before You Say I Do

ratings:
5/5 (4 ratings)
Length:
178 pages
3 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Aug 19, 2017
ISBN:
9781386552093
Format:
Book

Description

Before You Say I Do

Lauren Chandler is back in Bryson City, North Carolina with her fiancé, Evan Kaizer, preparing for her engagement party. But her ex, Kenton Lennox, is always popping up in her way. And it doesn't help that the engagement party is being held at a resort owned by Lennox Enterprises.

Kenton had never been able to understand how Lauren could break things off with him simply because he didn't want to get married. What he does know is, the feelings she has for her fiancé are sorely lacking the passion she once possessed when they were a couple.

Will two days alone with Lauren be enough time to convince her that she's making what he thinks is a huge mistake?

* * *

The Lennox Series are all standalone novellas with the exception of Caught in the Storm with a Lennox which is the prequel to Claiming You.

Book 0 - Caught in the Storm With a Lennox (A Short Story Prequel to Claiming You)

Book 1 - Claiming You – Remington Lennox and Emory McNeil

Book 2 - Making You My Business – Giovanni Lennox and Joelle Bannon

Book 3 - Wishing That I Was Yours – Jessalyn Lennox and Spencer Wakefield

Book 4 - Before You Say I Do – Kenton Lennox and Lauren Chandler

Publisher:
Released:
Aug 19, 2017
ISBN:
9781386552093
Format:
Book

About the author

TINA MARTIN is the Amazon #1 Bestselling author of over 70 romantic suspense novels, novellas and short stories. She currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.tinamartin.net


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Before You Say I Do - Tina Martin

Before You Say I Do

A Lennox in Love Novella, Book 4

Synopsis

Lauren Chandler is back in Bryson City, North Carolina with her fiancé, Evan Kaizer, preparing for her engagement party. But her ex, Kenton Lennox, is always popping up in her way. And it doesn’t help that the engagement party is being held at a resort owned by Lennox Enterprises.

Kenton had never been able to understand how Lauren could break things off with him simply because he didn’t want to get married. What he does know is, the feelings she has for her fiancé are sorely lacking the passion she once possessed when they were a couple.

Will two days alone with Lauren be enough time to convince her that she’s making what he feels is a huge mistake?

BEFORE YOU SAY I DO

A Lennox in Love Novella

Prologue

In the world of Lauren Chandler, nothing sucked worse than being known around town as one of the women who thought she was going to snag one of the Lennox men, only to be dropped faster than a satellite signal in a torrential rainstorm. That’s why she left Bryson City, North Carolina in the first place – to get away from and get over Kenton Lennox.

She had to get her life back on track.

To forget he ever existed.

To get over the humiliation and far away from the wise women (her mother included) who’d warned her that you couldn’t turn a womanizing bachelor into a loving husband no matter how pretty and exquisite you thought you were.

Still, Lauren had tried. And failed. Failed miserably.

Her heart drummed in her chest just thinking about how nerve-racking it was when it came to the hope of a relationship working out with him. When they fell apart, she put all the blame on Kenton, but how could she? It was her idea to date a bad boy with a not-so-stellar reputation, and it was also her idea to give him an ultimatum two years ago – put a ring on it or the relationship was over. She thought she had it in the bag. She knew he liked her and she loved him, so why wouldn’t he abide by her terms? She was certain he’d realize how much of a catch she was and would do whatever he had to do to hold on to her, even if he wasn’t ready. Right?

Wrong!

Sitting in her car, she shook her head, listening to the soft voice of Jhené Aiko singing The Worst, playing softly in the background. Men were supposedly sooo strong. So this and so that. Yet, the word commitment sent them Usain Bolting. And she didn’t run after Kenton. She could have, even thought about it for a hot second, but how would she look running after a man – begging him to come back into her life? She would look desperate, or thirsty people nowadays called it.

Yeah, thirsty...but not for water.

She wasn’t that desperate. Unlike some women, she had too much pride to be chasing a man who didn’t want her. She let him be and went on with her life. Besides, she had plans. Dreams. She wanted a family. Children. The challenging, yet rewarding life of marriage and motherhood. But he had apparently wanted something different because as soon as she presented him with the ultimatum, their relationship crashed and obliterated into a thousand, crumb-like pieces. The sudden, abrupt end had rattled her. Caught her off guard though everyone else in Bryson City saw it as the normal operating procedure for a Lennox man. She at least thought they’d have a discussion about it. Talk it through. That’s what couples did, right? Talked? Rambled on and on about issues and problems until some resolution was reached? But not Kenton ‘Usain Bolt’ Lennox. He had just...well, bolted.

That was two years ago.

She hadn’t heard from him since. Hadn’t laid eyes on him since – that is until now. She was sitting in the parking lot of Bryson City Barbecue watching Kenton have dinner with his brothers at the very restaurant that used to be one of their favorite places to dine. And he was chowing down, tearing up some pulled pork and hush puppies (those were his favorites). They were laughing, talking – looked like they were having a good ol’ time. His life had gone back to normal after he kicked her to the curb. But hadn’t hers, too?

Jeez. Should you just go or what, Lauren?

What were the odds that, on this particular day, at this particular time she would see her ex? She’d just stopped by real quick to pick up a takeout order she’d called in twenty minutes ago, but seeing Kenton now, she couldn’t bring herself to get out of the car. Her butt may as well had been glued to her seat. She couldn’t move.

Dang.

She didn’t expect to have this kind of paralyzing reaction to seeing the man who broke her heart. Besides, she was over him, right? Had moved on, correct? Brushed her shoulders off. Lived in a new town. Granted it was only about thirty minutes away, but still another town nonetheless. And perhaps the biggest change in her life was her engagement to Evan Kaizer – the reason she found herself back in Bryson City in the first place. Evan was also from the area and since both of their parents lived in Bryson City, he had the bright idea to have their party there.

Lauren didn’t want to have an engagement party. She always thought they were pretentious, and so she’d been psyching herself up to endure it. Now, she couldn’t even concentrate on faking it because she had Kenton in her line of sight.

Seeing Kenton brought back old feelings. No matter how much she loved Evan, she could still feel a loss in her heart when it came to Kenton – a kind of what if torture that silently plagued her. After all, he was the man she thought she would marry. The man she wanted to marry. Only thing was, he didn’t want her. And so their one-year relationship – a year she still regretted wasting on him to this day – had gone down the drain. She was determined not to let that happen again.

When she met Evan, she let him know upfront what kind of relationship she wanted – that she didn’t date for recreational purposes. She dated because she wanted to find the man she would marry. Her soulmate. Her partner in life. The father of her children. Lucky for her, Evan was dating for the same reasons. He wanted a soulmate. Kids. The ideal American family. Success. So, after nine months, he’d popped the question, and they’d been engaged for three months now. If she thought a year was too soon to be getting engaged to somebody, she didn’t show any indication of it. She loved Evan, so why not marry him? Right? But if she loved him so much, why did the very sight of Kenton give her stomach cramps? Or were they butterflies? Whatever they were why was she nervous about getting out of the car? About possibly running into Kenton? Why did she still harbor resentment with the man two years post-breakup?

Why am I still sitting in this car? Okay, Lauren. Enough already. You’ve moved on. You love Evan. You’re marrying Evan. Screw Kenton. He missed out and that’s his loss. *snaps fingers*

Right, she said out loud. His loss. She snatched her keys out of the ignition and made a mad dash for the entrance. The quicker she could get in, get the food and get out, the better. And she would get the food. Bryson City Barbecue was just too good to pass up, even if a woman did have to risk her sanity by running into a dreamy ex-boyfriend.

When she stepped inside, the mouthwatering smell captured her before the familiar loud, country music did. She was amazed at how the place had managed to stay the same over the years. She walked to the takeout counter, gave the worker her name and listened as he read off her order for confirmation – two pulled pork barbecue plates with slaw and hush puppies. Once she confirmed it, she handed him her Visa. She signed the receipt then waited for him to come back with her food. She crossed her arms and paced the floor.

I thought that was you.

Invisibility was a super power she wished she possessed right about now. She didn’t have to turn around to know the voice from which those words had come from, but she did so anyway, connecting her gaze to Kenton’s. She instantly felt a wave of anger overwhelm her as she looked up at the six-foot-three man she used to love. The man she thought she would spend forever with. The man who smashed her heart. But she also felt something else as she stared into those light-colored eyes of his – an undercurrent of vibes that spoke to the power of the way she used to feel for him. Feelings aside, she couldn’t allow the past to cloud her judgment. To make her lose her mind and forget about Evan.

So she forced herself to smile (and it took everything she had to make her lips move into the shape of a smile) then said wistfully, Yeah, it’s me. She’d much preferred to have not said anything at all, but that would’ve made her look bad, wouldn’t it? Here they were, two years later, and she was still harboring a grudge over the way they ended. That would probably stroke his considerable-sized ego.

Jerk.

Lauren turned away from him, looking for the worker who was supposed to be back with her food. They should’ve had it boxed up already. What was taking so long? And why was Kenton standing there, staring at her like she was a pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw on top between a warm bun? Didn’t he have better things to do with his time? Like chase women and go around breaking hearts?

Kenton stared her down from head to toe. She had on a pair of jeans that showed off all the work she’d done to maintain a fit, slim-thick body and wore a black T-shirt that was tied in a knot in the front, just above her navel. Had she ever looked so hot? Her black hair was tossed back in a messy bun. On her lips, she rocked enough gloss to keep the attention of his eyes. He remembered kissing those lips and thoroughly enjoying doing so. And her skin glowed caramel and looked to still have the consistency of the sweet treat. Smooth. Tasty-looking. His ex was still simmering with hotness. Still had her stuff together.

He licked his lips, drew in a breath and blinked back into focus. So, you’re back in Bryson City?

Really? He was coming at her with small talk? She rolled her eyes before glancing back at him. Yes, I am. I see you never left.

This is my home. I never plan to leave.

Right, she thought. She remembered how much he’d emphasized that when they were together. He loved living in the mountainous region of North Carolina, and with tourism being a top source of income for the area, he was in the right line of work since Lennox Enterprises owned a slew of hotels and resorts. His family was here, too. Why would he leave?

At any rate, she didn’t plan to discuss it with him. She didn’t want to have a discussion with him period. She just wanted to get her food and get gone.

Relief settled her nerves when the worker was back with her order. She thanked him, took her bag, looked at Kenton and said the only thing she could think of that wouldn’t be a continuation to a discussion if they so happened to run into each other later. She was careful not to say see ya later or have a good day. Instead, she said, Enjoy your lunch.

Not giving him time to respond, she walked away with her bag, feeling his eyes on her as she did so, but she stayed the course, passed through the door to exit the restaurant and

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