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The Wedding Favor

The Wedding Favor

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The Wedding Favor

201 Seiten
2 Stunden
18. Nov. 2019


A wedding favor for her secret crush…

When unlucky-in-love personal assistant Erin Hart enters her boss's New York office to resign her job, she doesn't expect to exit as his fake-girlfriend for an upcoming family wedding. How is she going to keep her crush a secret when she has to share a room… and a bed… with Max for one sizzling weekend in the UK?

Workaholic CEO Max Ferrell understands women only too well: they either want his body or his money. But fiery, sexy Erin is different and recruiting her to help curtail his over-zealous, matchmaking sisters is proving that it's far more fun to play while you work. Especially when his prim and proper PA helps him to set the sheets ablaze. But falling for her was not in the plan and if he's not careful, the next wedding might be his own.
18. Nov. 2019

Über den Autor

Monique DeVere grew up on a plantation on the beautiful island of Barbados, where her childhood was all about exploring and letting her imagination run free. She moved to the UK as a teen and soon fell in love at first sight with her amazing, strong-silent-type husband. They have four beautiful children and four incredible grandchildren.Monique writes sweet ‘n’ spicy romance, and when she isn’t working on the next novel or movie script, she can be found spending time with hubby and family, armchair travelling, creating recipes, reading about health and nutrition, or working on her spiritual growth. She enjoys going for walks, gardening, or simply crazy-dancing around the house. Monique loves to hear from her readers. You can email her at, or contact her by visiting her website: or blog: to learn more about her books. You can also visit her Facebook author page: or follow her on Twitter: @MoniqueDeVere or Instagram: authormdvGet The Forever Deal FREE when you sign up to Monique’s New Release Newsletter Here:

Ähnlich wie The Wedding Favor


The Wedding Favor - Monique DeVere


Erin’s pillow was toasty-warm and smelled so good. She snuggled into the warmth, smoothing her hand across the furry surface. Sometime in the night, Buttercup must’ve climbed into bed with her. Erin stroked her palm over the tiny Yorkshire terrier’s fur.

Buttercup… Too zonked-out to open her eyes, she muttered, You naughty girl. You know you’re not allowed on my bed. But something wasn’t quite right and Erin’s jet-lagged brain refused to click into place. She let her hand drift downward, over warm ridges and more fur…only, not fur…a light dusting of hair.

Sweetheart, you’re about to stroke something, and I can promise you it isn’t Buttercup. The deep, sleep-rasped voice shocked Erin out of her dopey state.

The Wedding Favor


Monique DeVere

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

The Wedding Favor

COPYRIGHT © 2019 by Monique DeVere

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press, Inc. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Contact Information:

Cover Art by Abigail Owen

The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

PO Box 708

Adams Basin, NY 14410-0708

Visit us at

Publishing History

First Champagne Rose Edition, 2019

Print ISBN 978-1-5092-2884-3

Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-2885-0

Published in the United States of America


To the wonderful cheerleaders in my life.

I love you all!

Chapter One

Look out! A female voice shouted a second before a wave of water hit the top of Erin Hart’s head and cascaded down her body.

Erin squealed, jerking back way too late to avoid disaster. It was just her bad luck to be passing a café awning the moment someone decided to upend the canopy of collected rainwater from last night’s heavy downpour. One minute, she’d been striding along East 23rd Street at 7:15 a.m. trying to work up the courage to resign her job. The next, she stood—shocked motionless—dripping wet in the middle of the sidewalk.

Max Ferrell, CEO of Ferrell Alliance, Inc, the real estate investment firm on Madison Avenue where she worked, had been hijacking her thoughts for the last three years—and especially this morning—leaving her oblivious to the potential hazard ahead.

Clutching her tote with one hand as she worked to catch the breath the sudden splash of chilled water had snatched, she swiped the other down the front of her brown office dress. Did she really hope she would be able to brush the wetness from the material as easily as she would a speck of dust? When her frantic effort made little difference, she shook herself, much like Buttercup—her teacup Yorkshire terrier—would have.

Sensing eyes on her, she glanced at a couple of snickering teenage girls in tight jeans and tighter T-shirts who gave her a wide berth as they passed.

Suddenly aware of the spectacle she was making; she raised her chin, squared her shoulders, pasted on a smile, and forced one sensible-pumped foot in front of the other until the momentum had her fast-pacing it to Ferrell Alliance, Inc.

Of course, she accumulated countless stares on her way, but she’d faced humiliation more than once in her lifetime. By now, it was a piece of cherry pie to her. Even her crush on Max was proving humiliating. How much longer would she be able to hide the fact that he made her heart pound and her insides flutter?

Her cell jingled from deep inside her brown leather tote and she dove for it. Without checking, she knew who was calling. It would be her sister Nicole, wondering whether she’d given Max her resignation. That would be a big fat no. She’d attempted to hand it in several times over the last week but, each time, Max’s reliance on her as his PA got in the way. It was now Monday, the start of a fresh week and she still had the pristine envelope in her handbag. Every time she pictured handing him her resignation it sent nervous sensations and sorrow swirling in her belly.

Her family needed her and, instead of leaving New York and returning to Baltimore to help her three sisters save the family business, she’d allowed her monumental crush on her boss and his dependence on her to stall her. As a result, her sisters were struggling to keep Hart to Hart Restorations afloat without any help from her.

It took four stabs before her wet fingers managed to let her answer the call, while Nicole’s smiling face stared at her from the screen.

Hi, Nik. Before you ask, no, I haven’t told Max I’m leaving yet. I’ll do it soon. Promise. Just as soon as she came to terms with not getting to see Max five days a week—sometimes more when she traveled with him on business trips. She was going to miss her job. Miss the business trips and the challenge of being his assistant. But most of all she was going to miss Max.

It’s not looking good, hon. We could really use your help around here.

Guilt washed over her right about the same time a speeding taxi sailed through a deep puddle of settled water and she experienced her second dousing of the morning. Dripping wet, she clutched the phone at her side with a death-grip, trying to catch her breath. A bubble of laughter tickled her belly, and she saw the funny side. Here she was, trying to look calm, cool and pristine enough to hand in her notice to Max, only for some wicked, unseen imp to have fun at her expense.

Erin? Nicole’s voice filtered through the cell. Obviously hearing Erin’s laugh, which probably veered close to hysteria, had her sister wondering what had happened.

Bringing the phone to her ear, she swiped the back of her other hand across her eyes. I’ll call you later, Nik. She cut the call, wishing she could rewind and start her morning again.

Every time she’d ever taken a risk it had turned out to be a huge mistake. Deciding to walk to work today instead of taking a taxi just proved she shouldn’t take risks. She closed her eyes and in that moment the last three years flashed through her mind. What was she doing? She’d meant to lay low working as Max’s PA, desperate to avoid the people who’d witnessed her humiliating experience back home when her fiancé had jilted her on the night of their wedding rehearsal.

All she’d wanted was time to heal emotionally until she was able to branch out on her own and start her dream business of flipping houses. Instead, she’d developed a crush on her boss and now she was putting her futile attachment to him before her family’s needs. Up until now, she’d hesitated, afraid of losing Max. But really, she never had him. He barely noticed she existed. She heaved in a deep breath, then released it on a sigh. Every thought of him came with a painful pinch at his rejection. The only way she would get over her crush was to put as many miles between the two of them as she could. The notion made her heart hurt, but working with Max and knowing he just didn’t see her as more than his assistant hurt more. Being so close to him, yet not being free to do anything about her feelings made her days impossible to bear.

It was time she started taking risks. Time she took back control of her life. And it started with handing Max Ferrell her resignation.


Max switched the office phone to his left ear, keeping half his attention on the big screen displaying stock information on the wall across from his desk as he listened to his big sister—by two years—attempt to convince him to date yet another one of her perfect-for-him friends. Why his sisters found it necessary to try to marry him off was beyond him. Both of his sisters—Annabelle and Zara—were happily married, and now claimed it as their duty to make sure their baby brother was, too.

You’re going to like her, Max. She’s just your type. Which was a patent lie, since Zara had no idea what his type was.

Why couldn’t his sisters understand he didn’t have time to cultivate a relationship? Taking over from their father as CEO of Ferrell Alliance, Inc. kept him far too busy for anything outside of the office. Long work hours and romantic relationships didn’t mix.

He knew that for a fact.

Isn’t there someone else you can try to match-make, Zara?

She chuckled like he was joking. I could try our other baby brother, but he’s only five.

Sam. The first positive thing their father had done in years. I don’t think you have to worry about Sam. He told me he has a girlfriend. Her name is Lucy. Speaking about his little brother lifted Max’s mood, made him smile.

Don’t try to change the subject, Max. Besides, we both know Sammy will almost certainly follow in Dad’s and your footsteps. He’ll probably be a workaholic by the time he’s twenty-one, too.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t have to spend his entire life trying to gain his father’s approval. Zara, I have to go. I have a meeting. He was expecting a call from their cousin Brad in England to confirm whether Jack Poluski—the bride’s godfather—would be attending the wedding. Max had heard on the quiet that Jack was looking to buy land outside of Baltimore to develop a luxury complex. Owning several hundred acres in the vicinity put Max in a negotiating position. Poluski wanted the land; he just didn’t want to pay the asking price. Max was going to convince him otherwise.

"When don’t you have a meeting?"

There he was, thinking he could easily get rid of his nagging second sister. I’d love to chat, but—

Don’t lie. You’d love me to leave you alone, is what you really mean.

True. Although he wouldn’t admit it to her. It’d hurt her, and she’d had enough hurt over the years. Their parents had done a great job of messing up their children.

Okay, I won’t lie.

Just say you’ll go out with her and I’ll put the phone down right now.

That’s devious.

Why is it so hard for you to let me set you up with Lila? She’s beautiful and ambitious. She’s sort of a workaholic, too. You guys would hit it off.

He didn’t want to hit it off with anyone. And definitely not any woman either of his sisters thought would be ‘perfect’ for him. He didn’t know who his ideal woman was, but he knew she wasn’t any of the women Zara or Annabelle thought. They kept setting him up with the sort of women who valued ambition and success above all. They tended to be hard, too upfront and, quite frankly, not the type of woman who attracted him. Max might not know who his Miss Right was, but he knew he liked his women soft, sexy and feminine—gentle. Romantic.

An image of his personal assistant flashed into his mind. Erin Hart was sexy and feminine all right, but she was usually so reserved, professional, and buttoned-up in his presence that he had no idea who the woman beneath the image really was. Who was Erin when she left the office at night? When she released her hair from her customary updo? And why was he suddenly thinking about his assistant that way? Max rubbed his forehead in a useless effort to erase Erin from his thoughts and returned his attention to getting Zara off his back.

The last date you set me up with wanted a baby. He blew out a breath, still unable to believe the woman’s propositional approach to their date. She even offered to pay me to give her one.

I’m sure Ann didn’t say that.

"And I’m pretty sure you were not on that date with us. Fifteen minutes into the night and she said, ‘I’ll pay you ten thousand dollars for your sperm’. What else could she possibly mean?"

Zara chuckled. Okay, we both agree that Ann was a bit too aggressive in her ambition.

You think?

But just give Lila a chance. You can take her to Brad’s wedding as your plus-one.

I’m not taking one of your set-ups to our cousin’s wedding.

Give me one good reason why not.

The notion of attempting to evade his sisters’ matchmaking efforts while trying to perform his best man duties and close a deal with Poluski sent dread skittering through him. I’m already dating someone. Okay, so that was a lie—forgive him. But it was the only way to get Zara off his back.

Really? Her tone changed from nagging to excited and he pictured her bouncing on her chair like she did when she was thrilled. Who is she? Why didn’t you tell me you were seeing someone? Are you bringing her to the wedding?

Max pushed back in his executive chair as though by doing so he could avoid his sister’s string of questions. Erin. It’s none of your business. And, no. He answered her questions in one exasperated breath. Why couldn’t she just hang up and leave him alone? And why did he just tell his sister he was dating Erin? Why would he do something so incredibly stupid? Maybe because working in close proximity with Erin was as close to a date as he’d come in weeks.

You’re dating your assistant? Her tone conveyed what she was thinking. That he was just like their father. The longer he spoke to Zara the deeper he was sinking and he couldn’t heave himself out now. Not without looking like a complete idiot, so he kept his mouth shut. Oh, I get it, she continued when he remained silent. "It’s one of those casual things." She might as well have said like Dad with his secretaries.

Max hated that he’d managed to land himself in the same category as their father, but he wasn’t going to tell Zara the truth. Not when she was so determined to match-make him.

Don’t sound so judgmental, Zara. Why was he pursuing this? He dropped his head back against the headrest, longing to reinstate the peaceful silence he’d relished in his office on the thirty-first floor only a short while ago.

If it’s only casual, you can still date other women. I promise you, Lila is perfect for you.

This was ridiculous. Why can’t you take no for an answer?

Because I want to see you happy. I know the right woman would do that. You just have to find her.

I’m not unhappy, and I can find her on my own.

So why haven’t you?

Max twirled his chair around to face the bank of tinted floor-to-ceiling windows behind him and stared out at the early morning New York skyline. It’d been raining all night and had finally seemed to let up. The June sun eased out from behind thin clouds, promising a fine day.

I’ve been busy.

I can’t see that changing anytime soon. Your dream woman would have to fall into your lap for you to notice her, which is why you need me and Belle to help you.

Zara, please tell me that Belle isn’t—

His cell chimed.

Just tell her you already picked mine. Love you. Bye. The phone clicked off in his ear.

Turning his chair back to face his desk,

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