Honeymoon

By: Ellen James

“It’s the craziest thing I ever heard of.”

Toni gazed at Kyle as she spoke. “Trying to find a honeymoon for my sister and your best friend. Think about it. They actually want us to make the decision for them.”





“Pretty crazy,” he agreed.





“Tell me again how they talked us into it.”





“I think it was the part when your sister started crying and said they’d never be able to get married unless we helped solve their honeymoon crisis, and if she didn’t get married her baby would have a broken home before it was even born. I kind of lost track of the logic after that.”





“Problem is, logic does keep rearing its ugly head. If two people can’t decide on their own honeymoon—how are they going to handle marriage and raising a family?”





“Got me there,” Kyle said.





“So tell me again why we’re doing this?”





“Because you’ve got a soft spot for your sister. And I…I’ve got a soft spot for you.”





Dear Reader,





Before I got married, I wanted everything in a honeymoon. Sunsets on the beach. Candlelight dinners. Dancing under the stars. So how did I end up spending my three-week honeymoon? Crisscrossing the country. In a word, adventure. You see, I fell in love with an adventurous man who could see the adventure in me. And while I’ve had my share of candlelight dinners, I’ve also had my share of backpacking trips, rock concerts, bus vacations through Central America. And it all began with that wonderful honeymoon by train.





Beginnings are important. Maybe that’s why my husband and I have so much fun poring over the photographs of our honeymoon. We learned about the adventure in our hearts, and we cherish those memories. We still have our rail passes—a bit yellowed now—pasted into our scrapbook.





Honeymoons…beginnings. That’s the story I wanted to explore with Toni Shaw and Kyle Brennan. Of course, Toni and Kyle are convinced that honeymoons are for other people—not them. They refuse to believe in the beginnings of love. Thank you for joining me as Toni and Kyle try as hard as they can not to find the perfect honeymoon.

Ellen James





CHAPTER ONE

“DON’T FORGET TO TALK about us while we’re gone!”

With these words, Jackie Shaw whirled onto the dance floor in the arms of her fiancé. And that left Jackie’s sister Toni facing a handsome stranger at the dinner table.

Toni generally felt one of two emotions for her sister: affection and exasperation. At the moment exasperation had the upper hand. Toni had arrived at this chic San Francisco restaurant expressly at Jackie’s invitation—yet Jackie had deserted her without even bothering to make introductions. Hence the handsome stranger. Hence the fact that Toni didn’t have a clue as to the man’s identity.

He didn’t help her out. He merely stood there, gazing at her with an unreadable expression in his dark brown eyes. His hair was a luxuriant shade of russet and his features—although currently rather stern—combined for a most pleasing effect… well-defined nose, strong jaw. His wool jacket was a wonderful soft shade of gray. The man apparently had it all…good looks and good taste.

Toni stuck out her hand. “Antonia Shaw.”

He shook her hand firmly. “Kyle Brennan.”

“Sister of the intended bride,” she said.

He smiled. “Best friend of the intended groom.”

“I suppose we’re here to offer our congratulations,” Toni said.

He nodded gravely. Then he pulled out a chair for her and she sat down. He sat across from her. The surroundings were lovely: the candlelight sparkling on fine china, the gilded woodwork, the string quartet elegant in black tie, the panoramic view of glittering nighttime San Francisco.

Toni’s gaze strayed back to Kyle Brennan. He really was attractive. Certainly it had something to do with his looks and his tall, rangy physique. Even more, it had something to do with an underplayed suggestion of power. Toni had already sensed a few women in the restaurant giving Kyle Brennan surreptitious glances. She couldn’t blame them—he was the type of man who drew the eye.

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