RELEASE DAY BLITZ
Ryan at Last
Finding Perfect #5
How can one man’s tux fitting change a life forever? Ryan Seely has no idea, but she can’t seem to escape the storm blowing through her world when Blaine Decklen stops by for what should have been a routine appointment.
Jaded. Tired. Loyal. Blaine Decklen wouldn’t miss his brother’s wedding for the world, even if spending time in small town Kansas is the last thing he has time for. The summer heat isn’t the only thing that has Blaine’s nerves snapping and popping when he reaches for the door handle of Ryan Seely’s bridal shop, though.
She’s firmly planted in Kansas. He’s certain he’s lost his mind. Can Blaine prove fairy tales really do come true? Or is he too late to get the girl?
He reached for the old door handle on the store, his thumb pressing the worn metal piece downward as the sign hanging inside from the old beveled glass was being turned over. The woman on the other side jumped backward letting out a squeak.
Blaine opened the door, peeking his head in, “I’m sorry. Are you closing early?”
His first instinct was to be frustrated, after he’d changed his plans, flown half way across the country, but the woman standing with her hand still on her chest made the air in his own lungs catch.
“I. Did I forget? Did you have an appointment, sir?”
Her voice stopped him cold. She was unlike any woman he’d ever met. In worn jeans, a fitted plaid shirt, her sleeves rolled up, this beauty was a wreck. Her deep auburn hair was piled on her head in a jumbled mess with curls spilling out from every direction. A sprinkling of freckles across her cheek bones and nose, along with dark eyelashes went perfect with her blue eyes and pink lips, all vacant of any drop of makeup, yet, Blaine was certain he’d never seen a more beautiful woman in all his life.
“Sir?” Her voice again, kept him frozen, not wanting to lose this moment in time. “Excuse me?”
“I’m so sorry. You just caught me so off guard, my apologies. I was supposed to fly in for a fitting. I thought the appointment was made already.”
She visibly turned green in front of his very eyes as she opened the door to let him enter. “I can come another time, except, well, you’re probably not open tomorrow are you? Sundays, small towns and all.”
“I am open tomorrow. But come in, you’re here. I don’t want you to make a special trip back.” She ushered him through the front of the store toward the middle. “So, when you said you flew in, I’m assuming you’re with…the Wellington wedding party?”
This poor girl was failing miserably at trying to remain professional, the dark circles under her eyes were probably the reason why her mask was falling away. Blaine wanted to chuckle as a business man himself, but the other part of him wanted to take this poor woman and hold her close and protect her from the Wellington mother from hell. She stopped near the mirrors and turned back to face him. Her brow was furrowed and her lip between her teeth.
“I’ll let you in on a secret.” He leaned close enough to smell her perfume. If he wasn’t sure he’d get slapped he’d have rested his cheek on hers. “I’m not a Wellington.”
She buried her face in her hands. “Oh my God. I’m so awful. And seemingly transparent. I do like Cassandra, I promise.”
“Are you the famous Ryan?”
Her hands still covered her face, but she moved one finger to peek at him. “Famous, no. But Ryan, yes, that’s me. Put me out of my misery, please. Tell me who you are?”
Blaine reached out, ran his finger against the back of her hand, noticing many of her fingers had bandages over them. For someone he’d never met, he was instantly drawn to her soft soul. He lightly pulled one hand away so he could see her again.
“I’m Blaine…Decklen. Travis’s brother. And judging by your reaction, you feel the same way Trav and I do?”
“I promise. I—”
“Don’t bother, sweetheart. Your face is way too telling. You couldn’t pull off that lie if you had to. Trust me. Cassie is great to my little brother, but neither of us, nor our parents can stand her family.”
The lines in Ryan’s face faded and Blaine’s heart sped up once again. Her scent, her voice, the feel of her skin, everything about her affected him unlike any other woman had. She was a siren, just as he’d read about in school. The teacher had said they were a sailor’s myth, Blaine now knew otherwise. He was beginning to think his brother had put him up to this, maybe tried to play a little match making while wedding planning, except his brother hadn’t been to Kansas yet for his fitting.
“Cassandra talks so highly of your brother. You can tell she is completely in love with him. And they are going to be so happy after the wedd—”
Blaine’s brow went up as Ryan stopped mid-sentence, then he caught on. Apparently Cassie had shared more of herself in less than a few months’ time with this sweet woman in Kansas than any of her so called best friends from Connecticut. In her circle, the families danced around each other, only allowing the best last names into their lives. Blaine had no idea how Cassie thought she’d really have half a chance in pulling herself from their hold. He knew of the man she was supposed to marry, probably had been talked about since high school, maybe middle school—and it sure as hell wasn’t his brother.
“It’s okay. Travis has let me in on their big plan to break free of the Wellington chains. You aren’t spilling any secrets.” He winked.
When asked ‘when do you have time to write’, Amy Gregory simply laughs. The real answer is, “in bits and pieces”. She and her husband live in Kansas City with their three fantastic kids that keep them running in three very different directions. Because she sits so much, she always carries a notebook with her at all times.
She has an off the wall, snarky, off the cuff sense of humor that often shocks even those who’ve known her for years. And she loves that her children have all been blessed that ability to make others laugh as well. At least she’s grateful most of the time! Her husband often teases her about how she “makes this stuff up” when he’s reading a piece of her work. … The answer—“it just comes to me when I’m typing”. Scary thought, huh!
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