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The Proposal with her Best Friend's Brother

The Proposal with her Best Friend's Brother

A Fake Relationship Romance

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Dear Heart: Drunken kisses that happened 2 years ago mean nothing. Sincerely: Anna

MAIN TROPES

  • Best Friend's Brother
  • Fake Relationship
  • Jilted at Love
  • Unrequited Love
  • Hockey Player
  • Exotic Location

Synopsis

Two years ago, I kissed my best friend’s brother and the next day, he pretended that it never happened. Now, my best friend’s marriage is in trouble and she’s asked me to fake a marriage with her brother so we can all fly to a tropical island for a couple’s retreat.

I love my friend and would do anything for her, I’m just not so sure my heart can handle seeing Micheal again.

Especially when there’s only one room…and one bed.

Or there’s a mandatory couples massage and I walk into find him shirtless with a towel wrapped around his waist.

I want to ask him if he remembers the kiss that seems to haunt my dreams, but I’m too scared of what he’ll say.

He broke my heart once…

and I’m pretty sure if I let him, he’ll break it again.

If you love fake romances set on exotic island resorts where kisses tingle your toes, you’ll love The Proposal with her Best Friend’s Brother.

Grab your copy today!

Chapter One Look Inside

Anna

“Miss? Miss? I’m ready to place my order.” The nasal high-pitched
voice of the customer in front of Anna pulled her attention away from her
phone.  Away from the email that she’d
just received. She swallowed against the emotional lump which had formed in her
throat from the one little sentence she’d read twenty times in the last minute.

We went with another candidate.

Those words had become a constant in her life. Ever since she’d
been fired and dumped on the same day. She cleared her throat and smiled up at
the hippie with blue dreads and earring spacers, who was staring at her with a
disgruntled expression.

Even customers at the Jumpy Bean could sense her complete lack of
guidance.

Anna sighed. Her current life situation had been her fault. At
least that was what her mother seemed desperate to remind Anna of every chance
she got.

You never date your boss,” her mom constantly told her.
Why had Anna thought she might be an exception? Oh, right. Because she trusted
everyone.  She had a Masters in Public
Relations, and yet couldn’t figure out her own relationships. Go figure.

“I’m sorry, sir,” she said, tucking a strand of blonde hair behind
her ear. “Whenever you’re ready.”

The man stared at her, and his expression grew annoyed. “It’s rude
to be on your phone at work.” He glanced behind her. “Where’s your boss?”

“Is there a problem here?” Betsy asked, stepping up from behind
Anna and adjusting her glasses. Anna glanced over at her co-worker, grateful
that she wasn’t going to have to face this upset customer alone. In the two
months since Anna had started here, Betsy had quickly become a good friend.

“Are you her boss?” He narrowed his eyes.

Anna shot Betsy a worried look. If James, the manager, got another
complaint about her, she just might lose her job. Apparently, from her last
review, her attitude didn’t best portray the Jumpy Bean philosophy. It wasn’t
like she didn’t try. Who knew that there were so many complexities to a coffee
drink?

Besides, if she was honest with herself, working at a coffee shop
hadn’t been her dream. She was valedictorian of her high school class. Voted
most likely to succeed. Serving caffeine to pushy customers had never been a
part of the plan.

“Y-yes. I am,” Betsy said, straightening and turning to the man.

“Well, you should know that your employee was on her phone instead
of serving me.”

Betsy narrowed her eyes. “I see. Well, she’s here now. Ready to
take your order.” The man raised his eyebrows as if he’d expected her to do
something more. Betsy just smiled. “You still want to order, right?”

The man huffed and rolled his eyes. “Fine. I’ll take an iced,
half-caff, ristretto, venti, 4-pump sugar-free cinnamon dolce, soy skinny
latte,” he said as he pulled out a wallet from his back pocket.

“That’s totally normal,” Betsy said under her breath, but then
shot him a smile. “Great choice. Anna will ring you up.” She patted Anna on the
shoulder and moved to start on his order.

Anna stared at the buttons in front of her. How the heck was she
supposed to ring that up? She tried her best to remember the things he’d said.
Once he paid, she grabbed a cup and marker. “Name?” she asked.

“Rob.”

Anna nodded as she wrote it under the rim and handed it to Betsy’s
waiting hand. When she turned to tell Rob to wait at the pick-up area, she
stopped. He’d already pulled out his phone and was heading in that direction.

Anna breathed a sigh of relief. She really wasn’t in the mood to
talk to him anymore. With no other waiting customers, she turned to lean her
back against the counter.

“I know that face,” Betsy said, nodding toward Anna. “It’s your
I’m-thinking-about-my-life-and-what’s-happened-to-it face.” She smiled as she
finished Rob’s drink.

Anna brushed down the front of her apron. “I got another
rejection.”

Betsy shot her a sympathetic look. “Sorry.”

Anna swallowed. “It’s just hard, you know? I was supposed to do
something with my life, but look at me. I’m serving coffee to caffeine-addicted
people. And no one wants me.” That statement stung. She was striking out in her
love life and her professional life. Man, all she needed right now was for
Patrick to come walking in to see the mess she’d made of her life since he’d
kicked her out. All the things he’d said about her had never rung truer: That
she was holding him back. That he couldn’t soar with her behind him.

Anna’s stomach twisted as she forced back the tears that
threatened to spill. She couldn’t think about that right now. Why couldn’t she
get him from her mind? He was a jerk. That was all there was to it.

Betsy glanced over at her and, thankfully, didn’t see Anna’s near
breakdown. “Just think of it as job security. Americans are overworked. The
need for coffee will always be there. I’m fine with staying here,” she said as
she moved to the freezer to pull out some ice.

Anna studied her nails. But it wasn’t what she wanted. Not at all.
Not only was her professional life a mess, her love life was also in shambles.
Which was okay. She wasn’t looking for a relationship right now, but still. She
groaned and rested her forehead on her hand. This was never good. She needed to
think positive. Right?

“Oh, my gosh,” Betsy breathed next to her.

When Anna glanced up, she saw Betsy staring at someone behind her.
“What are you looking at?” she asked, turning around. As her gaze fell on
Michael Jones, she nearly choked on her spit. What was McKenna’s brother doing
here?

The coffee shop’s door shut behind him. All six feet three
glorious inches of him stood there like a Greek statue. Just with clothes on.
Every emotion that had raced through her at McKenna’s wedding two years ago
came flooding back. This was not what she needed right now. Not when she was
hanging onto her sanity by a fraying thread.

Desperate to protect herself, she dropped her gaze and ducked down
behind the counter. As she stared at the bottles that were lined up under the
cash register, she closed her eyes. The image of Michael seemed burned in her
mind. The way his blond hair swooped up in the front, and his bright blue eyes
that seemed to pierce her soul. Or the way his lips had felt on hers two years
ago. . .

She shook her head. There was no need to go down memory lane right
now. She needed to prepare herself for why he was here. Secretly, she hoped it
was just to get coffee. But this was Madison, New Jersey. There were more than
one hundred coffee shops between here and New York City.

“Why are you hiding down there?” Betsy asked.

Anna snapped her eyes open as she glanced up to see Betsy peering
down at her. “Is he gone?”

“Are you talking about the incredibly handsome New York Ranger?”
Betsy’s cheeks flushed pink as she glanced toward the door.

Anna nodded. “Yes.”

“You know him?” Betsy had an approving expression on her face.

This was a history that Anna didn’t want to get into. She wanted
him to leave and never come back. He was good at walking out on people. After
their spontaneous kiss, he’d called her Rebecca and passed out.

She should have known better than to believe that a party-boy
would have ever cared about her. He was only interested in himself. At least
that was what the tabloids seemed so happy to report on.

“Something like that.” Anna grabbed a rag and started wiping down
one of the shelves. She wanted to look. She wanted to see if he was still in
the shop. But she couldn’t do that. She was such a mess at it was.

“He’s coming this way,” Betsy squeaked.

Anna’s heart began to pound. Was he here to see her? What was
happening?  Fate had a cruel sense of
humor.

“Good morning,” he said.

Anna closed her eyes. His voice was so familiar. Growing up,
Michael had been such a constant in her life. Being there for her through all
her highs and lows. Maybe that’s why what happened at McKenna’s wedding had
hurt her so much. She’d trusted him.

“Morning,” Betsy breathed out. “You’re Michael Jones.”

“Fan of hockey?” The richness of his voice sent shivers down Anna’s
back. Maybe she should check herself into a mental hospital. She must be having
a nervous breakdown.

Betsy nodded. “Who isn’t?”

“I’m wondering if you could help me.”

“Sure.”

“I’m looking for Anna Short. I was told she works here.”

Butterflies erupted in Anna’s stomach. He was looking for
her. Why? Was she dreaming? She reached down and pinched her leg. A searing
pain shot across her skin. Yep, she was awake.

“You’re looking for Anna?” Betsy nudged her with her shoe.

There was probably no chance that she could sprint to the exit
now. Taking a deep breath, she counted down from ten and then stood up.

Michael’s eyes widened when his gaze fell on her.

“I found it!” she exclaimed, holding up her hand. How else was she
going to explain why she had ducked down there for as long as she did?

Michael glanced over at her hand. “What were you looking for?”

“A—contact. Betsy’s contact.” She reached over and pretended to
drop something into Betsy’s hand. “You can go put it in now.”

Betsy stared at her, and then over to Michael. “I have really bad
eyesight,” she said as she pushed her glasses higher up her nose and then
turned and slipped into the back room.

“She wears contacts with glasses?” There was a playful smile that
hinted on his lips. His perfect lips. Gah! Why couldn’t he have turned into a
troll? Why was he only more good looking? He was no longer the scrawny kid next
door. Not when his white t-shirt struggled to contain the muscles underneath.

Heat burned her cheeks as she forced her gaze upwards. He was
studying her. She wished she could read his mind. The day after McKenna’s
wedding, he’d left, and she never saw him again. Did he remember their kiss as
vividly as she did?

Standing in the coffee shop, he didn’t look like he was torn apart
from the mind-bending kiss they’d shared. And she didn’t want to bring it up if
it wasn’t even on his radar. So, to save her sanity, she was going to go
with—he didn’t remember.

“It’s good to see you, Anna Banana,” he said. He leaned against
the counter as if he wasn’t here for just an overpriced drink. She winced at
the ridiculous nickname he’d given her when they were kids. But the familiarity
of his voice washed over her, rendering her speechless for a moment. Why did he
have to come in here at this moment? Right when she was at her lowest low. 

He was studying her as if he was expecting her to speak. Right.
That’s how a conversation went. She was going to have to talk to Michael. She
just prayed that her voice would come out normal.

“Michael,” she squeaked out. Well, there went her plan of not
looking like an idiot.

He cocked his head to the side. “It’s been awhile.”

“I’m good,” she said and then stopped. Had he asked her how she
was? From the playful smile on his lips, she realized that he had indeed not
asked her how she was. Desperate to save herself, she decided to move the
conversation forward. “You’re in town. Funny. McKenna didn’t mention that.”

Michael unfolded his arms and rested his hands on the counter,
against which he drummed his fingers. For a moment, she thought she detected an
uneasy look on his face. But as quickly as it came, it disappeared. She shook
it off. It must have been her imagination.

He shrugged. “Yeah. Thought it was time to come and visit the
family.”

Family? Of course, he thought of her as family. Hadn’t he always
called her his pseudo-sister? Proof, yet again, that the kiss had meant much
more to her than to him.

“That’s nice. McKenna’s going through a rough spot. She definitely
needs some more support around her,” Anna said.

After two years, McKenna was losing hope of ever getting pregnant.
It didn’t help that the infertility put such a strain on her and Sam. As much
as Anna wanted to be a supportive friend, she just didn’t know what to say or
do to help her. Anna was so far from even thinking about having kids, that she
worried she just irritated her friend instead of helped.

“She’s been telling me,” he said.

Anna studied him. There was something in his countenance. Almost
like he was worried. His normally cocky persona was slipping. What was going
on?

“Is she okay?” It had been a week since Anna had talked to
McKenna, but she couldn’t imagine that anything had happened.

“She wants to talk with the two of us.” Michael drummed his
fingers on the counter again.

“She does?” What would McKenna need to talk to the two of them
about?

“Yeah, she wanted me to come get you.” He shrugged. “Do you have a
break coming up?”

Betsy emerged from the back room. When her gaze fell on Anna, she
raised her eyebrows. “What’s going on?” she asked.

Anna glanced back at Michael. “Give me a minute.”

 

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A Fake Relationship Series

Each romance showcases a couple who enter into a fake relationship...and the romance that follows.