So, to whet your appetite, here’s the first half of Chapter One (the second half is over at my blog here). Enjoy…
See Aidan and McKenzie get married.
Dear Luke Beasley,
Aidan and Mack would love to invite you and your “plus one” to bear witness to their wedding on Bandicoot Cove’s main beach,
Saturday, four p.m.
Dress is completely casual as the atmosphere will be relaxed and full of laughter. No top hats, tuxedos or stilettos allowed.
Please come and share in Aidan and Mack’s special day as they finally formalize what the rest of the world already knew: they were meant to be together from the start.
RSVP Kylie Sullivan
Bandicoot Cove Resort
P.S. Luke, that tuxedo rule applies to you too, best man or not. (Although I’d love to see you in stilettos sometime.)
Luke Beasley dropped onto his suite’s plush white leather sofa, dumped his feet on the glass coffee table before him, dragged his hands through his hair and let out a ragged breath. Damn, who would have thought being a best man was so bloody tiring? He closed his eyes and rolled his neck, willing the tension in his muscles to ebb away. The last time he’d been so buggered he’d spent over forty-eight hours fighting a house fire: the very house fire that almost claimed the groom’s life, come to think of it. Good thing for Rogers Luke had been around, or the guy wouldn’t be getting married in two days’ time.
Better remind him of that fact when he finally gets his arse on the island. That and point out just how much effort you’re putting into organizing his buck’s night. Guilt him into a beer or two at the Oasis Bar before the fun begins.
Luke let out a low chuckle. It was a sound plan, if a somewhat devious one. Aidan Rogers had saved Luke’s arse more than once at a fire scene, so it was probably high time Luke saved Aidan’s. And as for organizing the buck’s night….well, the Bandicoot Cove Resort’s social manager was so damn efficient, all the hard work had already been done. Food for the night? Check. Music for the night? Check. Drinks for the night? Check. Entertainment for the night? Check, check and check.
All pretty much taken care of, thanks to one vivacious bundle of efficiency wrapped up in the social manager’s uniform. All Luke really had to do was select which exotic dancer would spin around the pole in the middle of Bar Evoke’s dance floor come midnight.
Okay, if he had to be honest, being tired had little to do with organizing Aidan’s buck’s night and everything to do with the gorgeous beach just outside his door, the stunning pool just around the corner from his door and the maniacal Brit currently showering in the suite’s opulent bathroom.
Luke let out a wry snort. If he’d known his cousin was going to be his “plus one” to Aidan and Mack’s wedding when he’d received the invitation, he’d have started training for this weekend six months ago. It wasn’t until the man launched himself full tilt into the surf at Luke’s hometown, Newcastle, three hours after arriving from England that Luke remembered just how bloody fit his cousin was. And how competitive.
Fun, though. Lots of fun. Another reason you’re so exhausted. Tell me, Luke, just how did he con you into participating in a dance-off last night? And when was the last time you spent five hours plus doing little but the Macarena, the Nut Bush, the Time Warp and the Chicken Dance?
Luke chuckled again. Never. Of course, neither had Addison Ellis Lancaster, but that hadn’t stopped either of them. When it came to competing, the award-winning wildlife cinematographer from London was an all-or-nothing player, even in something as ludicrous as a dance-off. God help them both if they ever lived in the same country. They’d both be dead from competition overdrive.
“Head’s up, convict,” a deep voice called, a second before a damp towel whacked into the back of Luke’s head.
Luke pulled a face, unwrapped the length of thick cotton from around his neck and tossed it back to his cousin. “Will you bloody well stop calling me convict? You damn well know my ancestors didn’t come over on the First Fleet.”
The man grinned at him, his brilliantly white teeth flashing in the room’s early morning sunlight. He rounded the sofa and flopped his six-foot-two lanky frame onto it. “Says you. Just ’cause your great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather’s cousin doesn’t mean he wasn’t a criminal deported for his crimes.”
Luke shook his head. “You’re an idiot. Tell me again why I brought you to this event when I could have brought any one of a bevy of beautiful women from back home instead?”
“Because I’m blood, Luke. I’m blood. And blood is thicker than a bevy of beautiful women’s water any day.”
“True that may be, but apart from that statement sounding just plain wrong, blood isn’t getting me laid tonight.”
Addison raised eyebrows as dark as his hair—which was black and thick and glossy. “Is that all you Australians ever think about? Sex?”
Luke laughed. “Don’t play the offended gentleman with me, Ado. It’s all you Poms think about as well. If I remember correctly, the only reason you became a wildlife cinematographer was to, and I quote, ‘impress the ladies with my far-from-humdrum career’. How many times have you scored since arriving in Australia a week ago with the line, ‘I photograph wild lions for a living. What do you do?’”
Addison tipped his head, acknowledging the compliment Luke had apparently given. “Many times, old bean. Many times. Probably as many times as you’ve used the line, ‘I’m a firefighter. Check out my big muscles.’”
Luke grinned. Okay, his cousin had him on that one. When it came to picking up, being a firefighter pretty much was a dream job.
“So, convict—” Addison crossed his ankles on the coffee table and threaded his fingers behind his head, his dark blue eyes glinting with mischief, “—we’ve swum, we’ve snorkeled and we’ve chatted up the waitresses, and it’s only ten a.m. What’s the plan for the rest of today?”
Luke scratched at his stomach, the memory of the little cutie who served them breakfast not an hour ago stirring pleasant sensations in his groin. She was quite lovely and completely charmed by them both. Maybe they could head back to the bistro for some coffee before Luke headed to the island’s main dock? A quick flirt before Aidan arrived by seaplane?
He shot his cousin a sideward glance. “Fancy some coffee at the place we had breakfast?”
Addison’s lips curled away from his teeth. “That sounds like a fine idea. Think you can handle seeing me get the girl again?”
Luke smacked Addison in the gut with the back of his fist, chuckling at the way his cousin jackknifed into a laughing, coughing ball. “Think you can handle being beaten by a convict this time?”
Five minutes later, they made their way through the resort’s lush tropical gardens, heading for the Seaspray Bistro and the waitress who’d more than welcomed their earlier flirting.
And stopped when a naked woman ran out of a suite’s open door directly across their path. A completely naked woman.
Completely naked, absolutely gorgeous and totally familiar.
For the second half of Chapter One, head on over to my blog HERE 🙂
Check out the other books in the Bandicoot Cove: The Wedding series by Jess Dee and Sami Lee.
Go on. Who can say no to a tropical island resort?