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Fairy Tale Wedding

Fairy Tale Wedding

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Five long years ago, shy, passionate Ella Montague fell in love with tough, Costa Rican businessman, Rafe Beaumont. She thought he loved her, too. But that was before her family’s Cinderella Ball tore them apart. Now he’s back and insisting they marry at this year’s ball. If she refuses, he’ll destroy her family. His plan? To wed her and bed her, then leave her, which will prove once and for all that the “magic” of the ball is sheer fantasy.

Main Tropes

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Laugh-Out-Loud Funny
  • Steamy
  • Single Father Romance
  • Matchmaker Romance
  • Forced Proximity Romance

Synopsis

Five year old River Sierra wants a mother - a mother just like the beautiful fairy in her storybook. So when J.J. Randell turns up on her doorstep, it seems that her wish has come true - J.J. seems to be a perfect mother candidate. Only River's daddy is less convinced. Raven Sierra has turned his back on love. Now he's torn between his tortured past and his little girl's dreams. J.J. realizes the situation is hopeless. But River is convinced that her miracle mommy can do anything - even persuade her difficult
daddy to take another chance on love! All the little matchmaker now has to do is convince her daddy!

Matched to the Bride is a slow-burn, tender, contemporary romance, guaranteed to make you a believer in happily-ever-after.

Matched to the Bride is Book #3 of 5 in The Matchmakers Series, a contemporary romance series by USA Today bestselling author and eleven-time RITA© (Romance Writers of America) finalist, Day Leclaire. This story features a hot, take-charge alpha hero and the perfect woman for him, and a sizzling romance between soul mates.

Prologue

Once upon a time there lived a fairy named Justice. On one thing all fairies agreed... Justice was the most beautiful of their people. Her skin rivaled the color of fresh moonlit snow, her hair gleamed blacker than a dragon’s hide. And her eyes appeared as dark as a moonless night, yet glittered with a fiery passion. But it was her inner beauty, the life-light that shone brighter than a thousand suns that made people love her the most.

Page 1, The Great Dragon Hunt by Jack Rabbitt 

River Sierra studied the birthday cake her housekeeper had placed on the table. The flame from six pink candles danced gleefully—five for each birthday plus one to grow on. She wished her daddy could have stayed while she blew them out. But maybe if he had, he’d have asked what her wish was and... And everyone knew that wishes didn’t come true if you told.

She planted her elbows on the table and cupped her chin in her palms. This was a very important wish. The most important she’d ever made. She gnawed nervously at her lower lip. It was also a wish her daddy wouldn’t like very much. He might even get mad if he knew she’d made it. She considered the possibility with a frown.

Weren’t wishes secret? If she didn’t tell anyone, wouldn’t the wish stay hidden even from grown-ups? Maybe her father wouldn’t find out about this one since it was magic. River worried her lip some more. It might work, if she didn’t tell. It would be hard. Very hard. She’d never kept a secret from her daddy before, but this time—

River tilted her head to one side, watching as a fat drop of wax threatened to splatter on the perfect white icing. Okay. She’d keep her wish a secret from everyone. Well... Everyone, except MIA. And she didn’t count since she was magic, too. Of course, Daddy had said MIA was a computer, which made her just a machine. But that had to be wrong. MIA was real.

“Wish is necessary to successfully extinguish flames,” the computer announced.

“You mean it won’t work if I don’t wish before I blow out the candles?”

“Affirmative.”

She eyed her father’s present—another Jack Rabbitt storybook filled with the most beautiful pictures she’d ever seen. He’d even bought one of the paintings from the book and hung it on her bedroom wall. She loved the painting, loved it with all the passion her newly five-year-old body could summon. It was about a fairy riding a butterfly, a fairy with long black hair—hair just like River’s very own. In the book, the fairy could grant wishes. But whether that included birthday wishes, River wasn’t sure.

“Has wish been made?” MIA inquired.

“No.”

“Danger of fire hazard imminent.”

“What?”

“Hurry.”

“Oh. Okay. I’m hurrying.” This was it. If she got in trouble with Daddy for making the wish, she’d sit on her bed and read her books and look at her painting. That wouldn’t be so bad. Not if the wish came true.
River squeezed her eyes shut and then whispered, “I want a mommy for my very own. And I want her to be just like the fairy in my painting.” With that, she opened her eyes and blew out the candles.

It was done. She’d made her wish. Now, she just had to wait for it to come true. Because MIA had told her...

Birthday wishes always came true.

* * *

J.J. Randell entered her office at Blackstone’s, a firm that specialized in “procuring” items of value for their clients. Whether the item held emotional value or monetary, didn’t matter. Whatever you wanted, Blackstone’s could get it. It had been her workplace for almost a year, thanks to a touch of nepotism on behalf of her brother-in-law, Mathias Blackstone. In the months she’d been employed here, she’d found it a highly satisfying occupation. Certainly better than her previous one.

“What’s Mr. Blackstone’s schedule today?” J.J. questioned MIA, the new computer system they’d recently installed. It surprised her that Mathias hadn’t arrived at work, yet—a first in her experience.

“Mr. Blackstone unavailable. Please access memo waiting on desktop computer and follow instructions immediately.”

The distinctly feminine voice issued from nearby speakers, its humanlike quality still enough of an oddity to amaze J.J. An interactive computer. Incredible. It was almost like being on Star Trek. “Okay, no problem.”

She turned on the desktop machine and called up the memo, scanning it in delight. “I don’t believe it,” she murmured. Finally! Mathias was finally offering her the opportunity she’d dreamed of since joining the firm—to assist him in granting a Christmas wish.

It was one of Mathias’s pet projects, a generous extension of his bill-paying line of work. For the month of December he became a “Secret Santa,” working behind the scenes for those in need and anonymously fulfilling their dearest wishes. Apparently he now trusted her enough to take over one of his Santa projects. Though considering this was only October, he must have decided she could use a running start.

She frowned as she absorbed the scant details. A five-year-old girl named River Sierra from Denver, Colorado, was to be granted her dearest desire. A seat on the next plane awaited J.J. at Sea-Tac Airport. She was to leave without delay and to keep the project absolutely confidential. No one, other than herself and Mathias, could be privy to her plan. How odd.

“MIA, do you have any further information on River Sierra?”

“Error number five-oh-nine. Unauthorized access requested.”

“That doesn’t make any sense,” J.J. argued. “Why don’t I have access? I’ve been told to grant this kid’s request. How am I supposed to do that without all the necessary background information?”

There was a momentary silence, then the computer came online again. “Information unavailable,” the machine repeated stubbornly. “Please proceed to airport. One hour fifty-nine minutes remain until departure.”

She stared blankly for an instant. “That can’t be right. MIA, you must have made a mistake. I can’t get everything done. I have to finish up the project Mathias requested by noon, before going home to pack. Not to mention the calls I’m supposed to—”

“Negative. Activities will not fit in current time frame.”

She shook her head in bewilderment. “But... I don’t understand. What’s the rush?”

“Information unavailable. Please—”

“I know. I know,” she interrupted with a sigh. “Please proceed to airport. One hour fifty-nine minutes remain until departure.”

“Correction. One hour fifty-eight minutes remain.”

J.J. grimaced. She’d learned that arguing with the computer was utterly pointless. She never won. “Do you at least know how long I’ll be in Colorado? What am I supposed to do about clothes?”

“Information—”

“—not available. Just great.”

This didn’t make any sense. Why the sudden hurry? Surely a few hours’ delay wouldn’t make that much difference. Unless... Her eyes narrowed. Unless this was some sort of test. Perhaps Mathias wanted to see how quickly she responded and how flexible an attitude she had. That might explain it. After all, what other reason could there be for such unreasonable speed?

Well, fine. Her boss required fast and easy? She could do that. Sure she could. Heck, she’d learned at her father’s knee that you didn’t question the boss. Not unless you wanted your head taken off. Her mouth curved into a wry smile. Of course, when she’d learned that handy little lesson, her father was her boss. He’d taught her the importance of instant obedience and unquestioning loyalty.

Though her brother-in-law was a far different employer than her father, she owed Mathias. He’d taken her away from her former, soul-eating job and offered an opportunity that few men would have. Determination filled her. He wouldn’t find reason to fault her job performance after all he’d done. Whatever he asked, she’d accomplish to the best of her ability.

Opening her soft-sided briefcase, she checked to make sure she had all the connections for her portable computer and the paperwork on the other non-Christmas related projects Mathias had dumped on her desk only yesterday. Odd that this assignment had suddenly received precedence over the other, equally urgent jobs she’d been given. With a shrug, she shoved a handful of files into her briefcase—just in case she ran out of work while in Colorado—and gave her office a quick, assessing glance to see if there was anything else she’d need for the trip. Her gaze fell on the latest Jack Rabbitt book her sister, Jacq, had dropped off just yesterday.

Apparently being the author and illustrator of the most popular line of children’s books came with some perks. The picture book was hot off the presses, not even available in stores, and starred a brand-new character—a dragon. That Mathias had been the unwitting model for the fierce, black creature added to its appeal. Jacq certainly had managed to capture some of his more distinct physical attributes. Anyone who knew Mathias would instantly recognize him in the face and posture of this proud, mythic beast.

J.J. picked up the book and ran a hand over the richly embossed cover. Since her assignment involved a little girl, perhaps this would make a good ice-breaker. At any rate, it couldn’t hurt. Slipping the book into her briefcase, she zipped the leather case closed.

Just one final chore before she left, J.J. decided, lifting the phone receiver. A quick call to Jacq to tell her about the trip and then—

“Warning. One hour fifty-five minutes remaining. Speed is highly recommended.”

J.J. hesitated, then hung up the phone with a frustrated sigh. “Okay, okay. I’m going.” She could always call Jacq later.

Grabbing her briefcase and coat, she left her office and crossed to the elevators. Despite being rushed, she couldn’t help but grin. She’d been given a chance to play Santa. Her very first Christmas wish. How lucky could she get? The elevator arrived and she stepped into the car. Just as the doors snicked closed again she caught a glimpse of a man striding past. She could have sworn it was Mathias. And yet MIA had said—

J.J. shook her head. Nah. It must have been someone who looked like her brother-in-law. After all...

Computers didn’t lie.

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