“ If there was one thing worse than a celebrity rocker on a four-day bender, it was a bridezilla who wanted the perfect wedding.”
Going Down On One Knee, a romantic comedy from Christina Hovland, is coming soon!
Number-crunching Velma Johnson’s perfectly planned life is right on course..
That’s a lie. Sure, she’s got the lucrative job. She’s got the posh apartment. But her sister nabbed Velma’s Mr. Right. There has to be a man out there for Velma. Hopefully one who’s hunky, wears pressed suits, and has a diversified financial portfolio. He’ll be exactly like, well… her sister’s new fiancé.
Badass biker Brek Montgomery blazes a trail across the country, managing Dimefront, one of the biggest rock bands of his generation. With the band on hiatus, Brek rolls into Denver to pay a quick visit to his family and friends. But when Brek’s sister suddenly gets put on bed rest, she convinces Brek to take over her wedding planning business for the duration of her pregnancy.
Staying in Denver and dealing with bridezillas was not what Brek had in mind when he passed through town, but there is one particular maid-of-honor who might make his stay worthwhile.
Velma finds herself strangely attracted to the man planning her sister’s wedding.
Problem is, he ticks none of the boxes on her well-crafted list. Brek is rough around the edges, he cusses, and doesn’t even have a 401(k). But trying something crazy might get her out of the rut of her dating life—so long as she lays down boundaries up front and sticks to her plan…
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The Countdown Begins
Three words. Three. Little. Words. Nothing important.
Okay, so the three words were important. Massive, really.
“Congratulations, you two,” Velma Johnson rehearsed aloud to the vase of a dozen yellow roses gripped in her arms. With a reaffirming gulp of Denver’s crisp spring air, she hustled through the open-air parking garage to the security door of her apartment building.
Her sister, Claire, had big news. To be exact, Claire and her boyfriend, Dean, had big news. Velma had a feeling she knew exactly what their news would be—they were moving in together. The next step in their relationship. Tension in Velma’s neck strung tight at the thought.
A successful career and a posh apartment she could eventually rent out as an investment were steps one and two of Velma’s elaborate five-year plan. She had ticked both those boxes. Dean, three kids, and moving to a two-story house just outside of Denver had been steps three through seven.
Not anymore. Now, her sister was moving in with the man Velma had crushed on for years. The one Velma measured all others against. The one she sang Prince and Madonna songs with at the office.
Yes, they were moving in together. That’s why Claire had called yesterday and asked to take her to dinner. Velma had insisted they meet at her place instead. Her invitation had nothing to do with the fact she liked having Dean visit her apartment—even if he was with her sister. She’d offered because it made sense they’d want a private location for their big reveal. And when the announcement came that they’d be embracing that next relationship milestone…well, being on her home turf sounded pretty darn appealing.
Just as she reached the security door, the sound of a motorcycle that clearly had no muffler cut through her thoughts. She turned. The bike pulled up next to her car—into the parking spot meant for her guests. A super-muscled, badass-mother-trucker of a biker swung his leg over the side of the motorcycle and stood.
Her heart stopped with a thunk.
Vin-Diesel-biker-dude pulled off his helmet and—sweet mother of Mary, had the temperature jumped by ten degrees? She got the picture: he rode a motorcycle, hit the gym twice a day. The type she avoided because she did not do badass. She preferred the suspenders-and-slacks kind of man. Except, at that moment, she debated how important that preference really was to her.
Focus, Velma. Head held high, she approached him. “Excuse me? Sir? You can’t park there.”
He frowned at the number marking the spot.
Normally she wouldn’t mind sharing the space, but with Claire, Dean, and his friend Brek coming to dinner, she needed both of her parking spaces.
This man was obviously not Dean’s friend. Dean’s friends were all buttoned-up, suit-wearing, Wednesday-afternoon golfers.
The black leather jacket and jeans ripped at this guy’s knees looked horribly out of place next to her Prius. His longish, rock-‘n’-roll blond hair was nicer than hers (although his could use a trim). She didn’t even mind the dragon tattoo creeping around the side of his neck or the layer of mud coating his motorcycle boots. Everything about the man screamed masculine.
Velma shifted the heavy vase in her grip. Fudge. Which of her neighbors was letting their guests use her spot this time?
“No, see, that’s the spot for my apartment.” Oh, how she wanted to rub at the headache pulsing at her forehead. She didn’t have time for this. Not today. “I’m sorry, it’s just that my sister and her boyfriend and his friend are coming for dinner because my sister has big news. And while I have no idea what that news is, it’s important to her. So that makes it important to me. Which is why I put on a pork roast, bought roses, and got out my crystal wine goblets. That’s what you do when your sister has big news, you know? Never mind she’s practically living my five-year plan without even trying, and I’m over here without even a boyfriend. That was not part of my plan. At this point, I should be at least six months into dating my future husband.”
Oh God. She was rambling. And he was staring at her with a half grin that made her skin flush. Seriously, the way the man smiled should be outlawed.
She ducked her head. “Anyway, I have company coming and I kind of need my spot.”
“Five-year plan?” he asked. As though that was the important part of what she’d just spit out.
This is how one makes an absolute idiot of oneself. “You know what? It’s fine. You can stay right there. Don’t worry about it.” She shifted the flowers again and turned on her heel.
See? People said she was inflexible, but here she was, absolutely rolling with it. She smiled at her flexibility.
“One sec,” motorcycle dude called. “This is the number they gave me.”
She paused midstride and turned around.
He ticked his head to the side. “Velvet?”
Oh dear. She could easily be swayed by the gravelly way he said her name. Well, the nickname her family called her—despite her repeated cease-and-desist requests.
“Um, yes?” She gripped the glass vase harder with her clammy hands.
“Brek.” He looked at her like she should know him and pointed to his chest. “Dean’s friend.”
This was Brek? She’d expected him to wear khaki pants and drive a Camry. He reached into one of his saddlebags and held up a six-pack of Coors and a four-pack of Bartles & Jaymes fuzzy-navel-flavored wine coolers. “Claire asked me to bring the beer and wine, since I’m crashing your party.”
Wine coolers? She stared some more. Be flexible, she reminded herself. Flexible. Flexible. Flexible.
“Great. Fuzzy navel pairs perfectly with pork roast.” Cheeks burning and arms full, she managed to open the security door.
“So, you’re Claire’s sister?” His lazy gaze trailed over her.
“The one and only.”
His deep-blue eyes rivaled the color of the razzleberry lollipops she loved. The kind that made her mouth water just thinking about them and… Focus, Velma.
“Can I come up, Velvet?” His deep voice held a subtle hint of roughness.
“Velma,” she corrected. “You’re a little early. I’m so behind. Normally, I’m much more together.”
“I can come back later.” Brek’s eyes softened, totally contrary to his outer badassery.
“No. I am officially the queen of flexibility. It’s not a problem.”
He did the darn grin thing again. She silently instructed her body to ignore it.
“Queen of flexibility. That ought to be interesting,” he mumbled mostly to himself but loud enough for her to hear. He stepped next to her, balanced the beer and “wine”against the impressive muscles of one arm, and slid the vase she carried into the crook of his other arm.
“Thanks.” This time it was her turn to mumble.
Without looking back, she led him up the stairs to her apartment. Another glance his way, and she’d probably trip face-first into the wall or something equally embarrassing.
Christina Hovland lives her own version of a fairy tale—an artisan chocolatier by day and romance writer by night. Born in Colorado, Christina received a degree in journalism from Colorado State University. Before opening her chocolate company, Christina’s career spanned from the television newsroom to managing an award-winning public relations firm. She’s a recovering overachiever and perfectionist with a love of cupcakes and dinner she doesn’t have to cook herself. A 2017 Golden Heart® finalist, she lives in Colorado with her first-boyfriend-turned-husband, four children, and the sweetest dog around.
Click here to read her blog at RomanceChicks.com.
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