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Advice From A Jilted Bride by Piper Rayne


Advice From A Jilted Bride

by Piper Rayne

Self-Published

Book 2 in The Bailey's Series


What's a girl to do after being ditched at the altar by text message? That's right. Text. Message.


How does she pick up the pieces and move on? I'm no Dear Abby but here's a little free advice...


Advice #1 - First, purge your apartment of all things him--by tossing his belongings off the balcony.


Advice #2 - Do not, I repeat do not, throw anything out into the hallway because you'll injure your hot new neighbor.


Advice #3 - When said neighbor brings over Chinese Food do not let him stay and keep you company. It's awkward when you realize he's your boss.


Advice #4 - Accept his offer to help you with your side business but think twice before using a date to his sister's wedding as collateral.


Advice #5 - Investigate who your mystery neighbor really is. Don't trust his word even if he's the world's best kisser.


If you listen to nothing else, pay attention to that last one. It's the most important and will save you a lot of heartache.


Xo,

LOVESICK IN LAKE STARLIGHT

Genre:

 

Another adorable romance from Piper Rayne.

Another terrible cover and title, but that's not what matters.

It's the inside that counts.

And the inside is great!

I mean, the meet cute occurs when she throws her ex's book into the hallway, and hits Wyatt in the head.

Adorable.

I'm going to use that word a lot for these series I think.

I'm not going to pretend I liked it as much as I liked Lessons From a One-Night Stand.

Nothing was wrong with it. I just didn't vibe as much with the characters.

It still had everything I liked from the first book, which is the sweet romance, the steam, and the humor. It just doesn't stand out in the series to me.

I did appreciate the friendship between Wyatt and Brooklyn before things heated up.

So while I didn't love this book, it was enjoyable. And that ending. I can't wait to read the next one.





Again, Juno looks at Savannah, but this time she smiles. Wide and welcoming. Another grunt comes from Savannah. They’re disagreeing now. Look at me, I’m understanding how the natives communicate. Rome: “Pizza and beer.”

Rome drops two pizzas on the table and a case of beer on the counter.

Denver: “More pizza and beer.”

Denver drops two more pizzas and another case on the counter. They each beeline it over to me.

Rome & Denver: “Get up,”

they say in unison, their hands motioning for me to stand. Once I’m on my feet, they pull me into their arms.

Rome: “I will kill him as soon as I find him,”

Denver: “Not if I get to him first,” Juno: “Sorry, party is full unless you’re the hottie next door,”

she says into the intercom then looks back.

Juno: “That almost rhymes. I’m a rapper!”

Austin raises his eyebrows, clearly concerned about how much Juno’s had to drink.

Austin: “Kingston, you’re getting her home tonight.”

Brooklyn: “Fuck you!”

I slap him across his face.

Brooklyn: “You don’t love me? Shame on you for stringing me along all this time.”

I lean around his shoulder to glare at the brunette.

Brooklyn: “Good luck.”

She sneers, her cheeks red. Jeff holds his cheek as I stare at the man I’d thought would be my husband.

Brooklyn: “My family is right. You’re not even close to being good enough for me, you weak bastard.”

I turn on my heel, the passengers leaving room for me to get by.

Brooklyn: “Thank you,”

I whisper to the security lady.

Security: “Gladly,” Wyatt: “You won some kind of eating championship at Wok For U five years ago for eating orange chicken.”

The tension racking my body loosens and I can breathe again. Thank God. I’m not ready to handle all my siblings yet.

Brooklyn: “Right. Well, it wasn’t a huge thing.”

Wyatt: “Well, the picture of you with your bib and all the sauce smeared on your face was enough to tip me off that you’re a fan of orange chicken.”

He picks up the bag off the kitchen table and heads to the family room.

Wyatt: “Come on.”

Brooklyn: “Thank you for the food, but—”

Wyatt: “I get that you ate your weight in orange chicken five years ago, but I’m still a growing boy—I need my food.” Reagan: “I told him that I’d think about it.”

Brooklyn: “And he said?”

Reagan: “He said he’s got the rest of his life.”

I smile and look through my patio door at the lake.

Brooklyn: “Cute.”

Reagan: “I don’t like lines, but the pink tint of his cheeks has me thinking he meant it.”

Brooklyn: “Of course he did.” Brooklyn: “Men suck,”

Wyatt: “We do.”

He lets the insult roll off his back as he unlocks his locker across from mine.

Wyatt: “What did we do now?”

Brooklyn: “Just the fact that the male peacock is the pretty one,”

Reagan’s eyes shift between the two of us.

Wyatt: “Better add the mallard duck to that list too.”

He pulls out one of my glass bottles and dabs his finger to his temples. He’s behind Reagan so she doesn’t see it, but we share a smile. My stomach flips at the fact he’s enjoying my thank you gift.

Brooklyn: “True. Most birds actually. Name one species where the female is more beautiful,”

He shuts his locker door and meets my gaze.

Wyatt: “Human beings.” Shit. How did I get myself in this situation? I look at my dick and point.

Wyatt: “You did this.” Brooklyn: “For someone who doesn’t like to be in the gossip blog, you sure enjoy reading it,”

She laughs.

Holly: “I know. It’s horrible, but I am the high school principal. I need to make sure the kids respect me.”

Juno: “Then stop screwing in Austin’s Jeep behind Lucky’s,”

Juno pipes up. Holly’s face reddens.

Holly: “It was our anniversary! We were reliving the memory of the night we met.” Savannah: “I just beat my best pace for a mile.”

She smiles, and the three of us stare at her as though she’s an alien.

Savannah: “I’ve been off and couldn’t figure out why. How about some ‘woo hoo Savannah’s?”

I’m thinking you couldn’t pay me to run, let alone have a set time to run a mile in.

Holly, Juno, & Brooklyn: “Woo hoo, Savannah!”

Juno: “You need to get laid,” Austin: “Holly wants everyone over to the house tonight,”

Dori: “Dinner’s tomorrow,”

Austin: “Yeah, but she wants to have a bonfire tonight, so all your asses will be there.”

He points around at the group of us.

Brooklyn: “Great,”

Austin: “You too, Wyatt. And Juno, Colton went home to shower, so go surprise him and tell him to come too.”

Juno makes an annoyed face.

Denver: “Fuck, I’d love it if some chick came to tell me something while I was in the shower and she just pushed past the curtain and my back was turned as her hands slid around me and her wet body pressed to mine as her hands continued until they—ouch!”

Denver holds the back of his head.

Dori: “Children,”

Grandma says, looking around.

Dori: “Not to mention you can’t talk like that in front of me. It’s disrespectful.”

Denver: “I have a feeling you and Grandpa were kinky back in the day.”

Denver waggles his eyebrows. Wyatt: “I’ll be there. What should I bring?”

Austin laughs.

Austin: “Just you.”

Wyatt: “Good answer.” Brian: “I’ll be right back.”

Brian kisses her cheek and pats her on the ass.

Rome: “You should be lucky Holly’s not here, Uncle B, smacking her mom’s ass like that.”

Rome grins and sips his beer.

Brian: “One day you’ll grow up, Ro.” Brooklyn: “And you’ll be leaving the key! This is not your apartment!”

Brooklyn calls after him.

Jeff: “Let’s not forget that I paid for first and last and the deposit,”

He clearly has a death wish.

Brooklyn: “Well, let’s square everything away then. You owe my family fifty grand for the wedding!”

she leans over the counter and yells down the hall. He stops right before leaving.

Jeff: “I hope I didn’t ruin your belief in love. You always loved the fairy tale.”

Brooklyn: “Well, you know the saying.”

He tilts his head. Lord, please forgive me for this. I kick him in the ass and push him out the door. He loses his footing and the box flies out of his hands while he lands face-first on the carpeting in the hallway.

Brooklyn: “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.”

I slam the door and inhale a cleansing breath. Wyatt: “Mind me asking what his excuse was?”

He pours another drink, but I wave him off. If I get drunk tonight, work will suck tomorrow. I shrug.

Brooklyn: “He had a lot of excuses, which to me means he was grabbing at straws because I’m perfect.”

I bat my eyelashes. A slow smile forms on his lips.

Wyatt: “Clearly.” A fourth Oreo now. I want to tell her she’s got some black crumbs around her mouth, but I’m not putting myself in the ring to get knocked out. Rome: “You know I’m the Bailey vault.”

Brooklyn: “Um… not so much about Jeff taking our honeymoon with another girl.”

Rome: “That was extenuating circumstances. Denver would’ve been pissed if I had all the fun myself.”

Brooklyn: “And Liam?”

Rome: “We’re practically triplets.” Brooklyn: "Why can’t I say ‘screw it, let’s have fun while you’re here’?”

He laughs, putting on his safety glasses. He uses a crowbar to pull up molding at the base of the cabinets.

Rome: “That’s not you. If you sleep with him, do it right before he leaves, not months before. You’re a girl, which means feelings come with sex. Better not to leave time for those feelings to fester.”

Brooklyn: “You don’t have feelings when you have sex?”

I quirk an eyebrow. He chuckles.

Rome: “I have a lot of feelings, but none of them involve my heart.”

Brooklyn: “Why can’t I be you?”

I say with a sigh.

Rome: “Because you’re my Brookie.” Rome: “When will women realize that having desires and needs does not make you a slut? I hate that fucking word. The key is to get your mind straight.”

He taps his temple.

Rome: “So you can keep this straight.”

He taps his chest. Wyatt: “Our first kiss will not be with one hundred people bearing witness,”

he whispers into my ear and goose bumps scatter along my neck. I open my eyes and he’s right in front of me.

Wyatt: “Because once my lips land on yours, I’m certain I’ll turn into a caveman until you’re naked and writhing beneath me.” Wyatt: “Now let’s get tonight over with so I can get you back to my condo and get you out of that dress.”

Brooklyn: “Boy, New York Wyatt is kind of dirty.”

He laughs.

Wyatt: “Told you I was different here.”

Brooklyn: “I kinda like it.” Wyatt: “Are you sure you’re not some angel sent down to save me?”

She hugs me and nibbles on my earlobe as we walk toward my bedroom.

Brooklyn: “Don’t go putting labels on me I can’t fulfill.”

Wyatt: “Are you suggesting you have a naughty side?”

Her body vibrates against mine with her chuckle.

Brooklyn: “A good girl never tells.”

I drop her on the bed.

Wyatt: “I promise, your secret is safe with me.” Juno: “Something is obviously going on with the two of you. I mean, he kissed you and you snuggled up to him. Come on. Give me the deets. Did you do the deed?”

Her overzealous face reminds me of Myles when he sees Wyatt. My gaze shifts to Colton.

Juno: “Colton, plug your ears,”

Colton: “Sure, and drive with no hands on the wheel? That sounds safe.” Brooklyn: "Let’s go get some flowers, cards, and stuff to keep him busy.”

Rome: “I’m getting nudie mags.”

Rome starts toward the store next to the florist.

Liam: “Hustler’s the best one.”

Liam laughs, joining Rome.

Kingston: “You know as well as I do he’ll just pull up porn on his phone.”

Kingston’s off to join the bachelor brigade.

Holly: “What about you? How do you weigh in on jerk-off material?”

Holly asks Austin as he walks with her toward the florist shop. He looks at her.

Austin: “All I need is you.” Dori: “What’s the matter now?”

Brooklyn: “I’m just mad.”

I stomp ahead, hearing all their footsteps behind me.

Dori: “Why is she mad? I fixed this,”

Kingston: “Juno’s fault,”

Kingston chimes in.

Dori: “Juno, let whatever the problem is go. She’s been through enough. Especially now with this Wyatt fellow being a Whitmore.”

I whip around at the doors of the hospital, holding up my hands to stop everyone from entering. The balloons hit me in the face, and I blow my hair out of the way and wrestle with them until I can see everyone.

Brooklyn: “Can everyone leave my love life alone? I’m good! I’m great actually!”

I square my eyes on Juno.

Brooklyn: “And yes, Juno, I had sex with him, and it was amazing, and I plan on doing it again. Is he using me? I have no clue, but I don’t care. For once in my life, I’m laying it all out there without knowing how it will turn out.”

I reposition the balloons to my other hand.

Brooklyn: “For once, can this family just stay out of my business?”

Juno steps up.

Juno: “Brookie—”

Brooklyn: “No, don’t Brookie me. You of all people should not be treating me like some young naïve girl. I know exactly what I’m getting myself into with Wyatt, okay? And I’m okay with risking my heart this time around. At least this time I know it’s a risk.”

I whip back around to find the elevators, but a set of blue eyes and a heavy smirk greet me. I hand the balloons to Wyatt and walk away to find a hole to crawl into. “Woohoo!”

someone screams. We both look to find the sliding doors opening and closing while some of the Baileys watch us.

Brooklyn: “Are you sure you’re willing to take me with them in the package?”

I stand and lower her to her feet.

Wyatt: “I’d take on a pack of hungry mountain lions if it meant I got you.” Dori: “Did you not see the light dusting of snow that fell this morning? You better have Mac throw some salt out there before some old lady like me falls and breaks her hip. She might sue this place.”

Grandma Dori walks in with Savannah in tow. She flings her hand in Savannah’s direction.

Dori: “You can wait outside.”

Savannah: “I think you should just call yourself Thelma,” Dori: “It’s a shame. I wish Bailey Timber could bail out the hotel, but we can’t. All these people losing their jobs.”

I lean back in my chair.

Wyatt: “We were able to employ half of the current employees at the new place in Sunrise Bay.”

Dori: “That’s probably a good average for you guys, right? Fifty percent.”

I clasp my fingers, smiling.

Wyatt: “You’re being very polite today. You can say what you really think.”

She smiles.

Dori: “That’s why I’ve always liked you. You’re a smart boy.”

Wyatt: “Thanks?”

Dori: “From day one, you knew what you wanted.”

Wyatt: “How so?”

I tilt my head. She leans forward.

Dori: “Our Brookie. You liked her from the get-go, didn’t you? When I first met Mr. Bailey, he told me when he saw me across the frozen pond, he got this feeling in the pit of his stomach. He thought he ate too many meatballs.”

She giggles.

Dori: “He wasn’t exactly a man who was smooth with words, but he loved me something fierce.”

Wyatt: “You must miss him a great deal.”

Dori: “That’s why I wonder, for such a smart boy, why you’re being so dumb.” Dori: “Anyway, I suppose I should go. Savannah’s probably out there tapping her toe to get back to the office. Hopefully she finds someone to drill the energy out of her one day.”

I laugh.

Dori: “Oh.”

She places the box on the desk.

Dori: “A goodbye gift for you.”

Wyatt: “Thanks.”

My fingers move to unwrap it.

Dori: “Not yet. When I leave.”

I stand.

Wyatt: “Thanks for coming, Dori. Maybe our roads will cross again.”

I round my desk and put my hand out between us. She leans in and pats my stomach.

Dori: “Oh, they will. I guarantee it.”

She smiles and opens the door, then steps out of my office.

Dori: “You look like a fine fellow. What’s your name?”

Neil: “Neil,”

Dori: “Does she scare you?”

Savannah: “Seriously, Grandma? Let’s go,”

Dori: “I get it. She needs a man who can give her some tough love. I don’t think you’re him.”

Kingston: “I gotta ask. You knew the score, right?”

I scrunch my eyebrows at Kingston.

Kingston: “Like, you knew his life was in New York, so why get involved?”

I eye Rome.

Brooklyn: “Someone told me he’d make a great rebound.”

Everyone’s eyes shoot to Rome. Savannah hits him on the back of the head.

Savannah: “You’re such an idiot.”

Rome holds his head.

Rome: “What? It’s what any guy would say.”

Juno: “Not to Brooklyn. Maybe Savannah with her cold heart, but Brooklyn?”

Juno hits him.

Savannah: “I’m fairly sure you just insulted me,”

Savannah says, pouring a glass of wine.

Juno: “Take it as you’re tough.”

Juno pretends to flex like a bodybuilder.

Juno: “But in your mind.”

Kingston: “In that case, I’m sorry.”

Kingston pats my knee.

Kingston: “That you went to the dumbass brother for advice.”

Rome: “Whoa, whoa, whoa…”

Rome holds his hands in the air.

Rome: “Brooklyn, are you over Jeff?”

I nod.

Brooklyn: “Yes.”

Rome: “Mission complete.”

Rome wipes his hands clean and heads into the kitchen. Savannah: “That’s about as truthful as saying you’re a virgin,”

Liam: “Maybe I am.”

Liam laughs.

Liam: “What do you think, Savannah, wanna take my virginity?”

She rolls her eyes.

Savannah: “I’d be more worried I’d take something else from you. Like an STD.” Brooklyn: “Why are you here?”

Wyatt: “Because I love you.”

I suck in a breath and my eyes close. A tear trickles down my cheek before I even realize my eyes have welled up.

Brooklyn: “What?”

He breaks the distance, cupping my cheeks, his thumbs brushing away the tears.

Wyatt: “I’m scared to death to find out whether these are happy tears or not.”

I stare into his blue eyes. Did I know the first time I saw him that he was supposed to be mine?

Wyatt: “It’s crazy, and if you need more time, done. I realize you ended things with Jeff not that long ago, but I’ve never felt anything with anyone remotely like what I feel when I’m with you. I love you. So much.”

Those are the words I’d hoped for so long to hear from him, but I’m afraid to hope again.

Brooklyn: “New York?”

Wyatt: “I’m moving to Lake Starlight for good. In fact…”

He holds up a set of keys.

Wyatt: “I just opened a business here.”

Brooklyn: “You did?”

Wyatt: “A hotel. The old owner sold it to me, so it’s mine now to rebuild and make something special. But I have to be honest. I had to clean out most of my trust fund to make it happen, plus take a loan from my father—courtesy of my mom making it happen. So if it doesn’t work out and turn a profit, we’re going to be pretty much destitute.”

I chuckle.

Brooklyn: “If anyone can make it work, you can.”

Wyatt: “Your confidence is inspiring.”

He places a chaste kiss on my lips. It doesn’t last long enough.

Wyatt: “Now, weren’t you in housekeeping? Would you like a job?”

I shrug.

Brooklyn: “I think I’m retiring from that. Plus, we shouldn’t work together.”

Wyatt: “Why not?”

His forehead wrinkles.

Brooklyn: “Because I shouldn’t sleep with the boss.”

I smile, and he wraps his arms around my waist.

Wyatt: “Which means?”

I grab his shirt and pull him closer.

Brooklyn: “Which means, I love you too. I’m like the Welcome Wagon. Want to come inside and I’ll officially welcome you to Lake Starlight?”

Wyatt: “As long as I’m the only new resident you welcome.”

I laugh against his lips.

Brooklyn: “Definitely.” Brooklyn: “I’m not sure we should be watching,”

Savannah: “Then he should’ve done it in his Jeep behind Lucky’s,”

Rome: “I’m with Savannah. You don’t want witnesses, don’t do it in public,” Rome chimes in. Juno: “It’s so romantic. Who was in charge of photos?”

We all scramble, looking around.

Sedona: “Austin is going to kill us,”

Sedona says, jogging out the door with her cell phone. Holly wipes tears from her face and jumps into his arms. He picks her up and backs her into one of the pillars while they kiss frantically.

Savannah: “Do you think they realize what they’re doing? I mean, they’re going to be in the Buzz Wheel tonight for sure and it won’t be the announcement of their engagement. It’ll be a picture of them half naked with their tongues down each other’s throats.”

Savannah shakes her head. Brooklyn: “Do you plan on eating your entire dinner with her on your lap?”

I ask, ignoring his comment. I’d love to be married to Wyatt, but I’m not rushing into anything this time around. When we do decide that it’s time, I hope that Wyatt’s in agreement that we should either have a small wedding or sneak away, just the two of us. Right now he’s still working hard to make the resort what he envisions, and I’m still getting my own business off the ground.

Austin: “Since I really want to lay her out on the table and feast on my soon-to-be wife, you should be happy she’s just sitting on my lap.” Savannah: “I’m sorry, this is a private party. Family only,”

Savannah says, sliding out of her chair.

Woman: “Well, then I guess we’re in the right place,”

We all exchange looks, but everyone is confused. Rome walks out of the kitchen with a plate of beef and places it on the table.

Rome: “Why is everyone so quiet?”

He looks over at the woman and child. The woman’s face falls, her mouth hanging open, and she has to prop her daughter higher up on her hip.

Woman: “There’s two of you?”

Denver tilts his head, and Rome rounds the end of the table to get closer.

Rome: “I’m sorry, how can I help you?”

The woman’s eyes narrow.

Woman: “You can tell me which one of you is the father of my little girl.”

For the first time in Bailey family dinner history, the entire table is dead silent.

One of the twins is a dad? Buzz Wheel is going to have a field day with this.


 

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