Thursday, February 20, 2014

Battling the Best Man by Elley Arden with Excerpt & Review

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 1/27/2014
Battling The Best Man
A Harmony Falls Novel Book 2 (The book stands alone.)

On the cusp of a brilliant Chicago medical career, Dr. Kory Flemming rarely gets vacation, but she can't say no to maid of honor duties in her best friend's wedding. Home town or not, being in Harmony Falls, Pennsylvania isn't easy, especially when the only man smart enough to trump Kory's high school academic achievements turns out to be a sexy, accomplished adult up to his old, flirtatious tricks.

Will Mitchell has been destined for success since the day he was born. After spending his formative years racking up academic honors, it was only natural for him to be named the chief operating officer of his family's thriving company. He has it all-more or less-so when the target of his high school infatuation turns up hot and haughty at his brother's wedding, Will decides he wants her, too.

Old conflict gives way to new attraction, taking Will and Kory by surprise, until a failed merger and family tragedy threaten both their professional goals. Can they put aside their rocky past and ignore their titillating present in order to work together to secure the future for the people they adore?

The same blast of incredulity that led Kory to call him a dick and walk away earlier prompted a sarcastic laugh. “Are you serious? We aren’t friends, Will! We haven’t been friends since high school calculus when your real friends harassed me to the point I got pulled from the class.” Each word had carried her a step closer to him until she was raging in his face.
He balked. “Come on, Kory.” But then recognition flashed across his annoyingly handsome features. “You got pulled from that class?”
“Yes, I got pulled from that class. What did you think happened to me? I disappeared.”
He snapped his fingers and nodded. “Yeah! Come to think of it I tried to ask you once what happened, but you walked away from me. You do that a lot, you know?” he added with a weak smile. “But apparently, you have reason to.” He shook his head. “I honestly had no idea.”
He didn’t remember what happened. Figured. All these years—all the energy—she’d essentially wasted. It wasn’t at all satisfying to swear revenge on someone who didn’t know how badly he’d hurt her.
“Forget it,” she said, dropping to the flats of her bare feet, suddenly surprised by their close proximity.
“No. This time, I won’t forget it. I’m very, very sorry for whatever part I played in you being pulled from that class.”
The seemingly heartfelt apology stunned her, stopping her before she could step back and put reasonable space between them. She stood there stuck in some strange mix of abhorrence and attraction. “It’s okay, Will,” she finally said. But the words weren’t accurate. If anything were really okay her heart wouldn’t be racing.
“It’s not okay. Whoever I was in that class, I can assure you it’s not the real me. If we had more time together, I could prove it.”
His head tilted to one side. His tuxedo shirt opened at the throat. And he studied her with dark sparkling eyes, causing a hot spot low in her belly.
This attraction didn’t make any sense, and Kory thrived on rationality. She hadn’t trusted Will Mitchell for years. What purpose did it serve to let her guard down now?
She’d be back in Chicago before her brain had time to process their interaction.
Then again, maybe that was the best part about it. Maybe that was why she allowed herself to maintain eye contact with him past the point of innocent interaction.
Will leaned closer, his voice just above a whisper. “So, would it ruin all our progress if
I kissed you?”
“Only if it’s a really bad kiss,” Kory said, lifting her chin to within a fraction of an inch of his, smelling the whiskey on his breath.
          Will’s hands landed on her hips the minute his lips landed on her mouth. 

My Review: 4 stars
This was interesting to read. I can only imagine what it must feel like to end up back in your hometown at a wedding next to the guy that just made your life a nightmare in high school. That's what happened to Kory. Will always won every academic achievement in high school, leaving Kory feeling second rate. Will never saw it that way. He just wondered why she was so mad at him. I really enjoyed Will and Kory together. I thought they were just what the other needed right when they needed it, they just didn't know it. They face their issues and struggles, but the time they spend together is exactly what they need. They get past old issues and are working towards a common goal, when the unexpected happens and everything changes. I found it interesting that both Kory and Will had the people in their family pressuring them to be what the family wanted, rather than what Will or Kory wanted. That's gotta suck. I loved how they both came to realizations separately, but went to the other to face them when they said what needed to be said. Damn, that was cryptic. That's why you need to read the book! Anyway, very good book with good story line and great characters. Elley made me want to know these people, and I'm gonna have to go back and find the first book in this series to read. I want to know all about Harmony Falls, it sounds like a great place to be from. 

Elley Arden

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