Fall is in the air! At least it is in the Northern Hemisphere. My Riverbend Romance novella series takes place in a small town in Canada, and each celebrates one of the seasons. Team Bride is quintessentially rural BC the way I know it, with a fall fair, bike rides over crunching fallen leaves, and a day of juicing apples. Oh, and a good dose of romance!
Here's what Team Bride is about:
Sarah Jamieson has avoided weddings since a traumatic stint as a flower girl, but reluctantly agrees to stand up for her best friend. Only why does the best man have to be one of those confident, life-of-the-party types? Even worse, why does the bride make her promise to go on one date with the guy? Easy enough to agree, because she'll make sure he never asks.
Corbin Morrissey takes his responsibilities for Team Groom very seriously, but coaxing smiles out of the maid-of-honor is harder — and more addictive — than he expected. To his surprise, she agrees to go out. There really isn't any way a date to the Fall Fair could go amiss. Is there?
Can Corbin convince Sarah he's ready to settle down and make her the head of her own Team Bride, or will their past keep getting in the way?
The wedding rehearsal was about to start without Sarah Jamieson.
Thankfully, it wasn’t her wedding, but that didn’t mean her best friend wasn’t going to kill her. As maid of honor, Sarah had responsibilities. She tapped her fingers on the car’s steering wheel and craned her neck to see why traffic was stopped on the bridge across the Sandon River.
She’d counted on twelve minutes to get from her apartment to the River of Life Church. That’s all it ever took. With only two stoplights, the town of Riverbend, British Columbia, was no metropolis. Also, she hadn’t seen any need to get there early. Not with the way she felt about weddings. The things she did for her best friend. At least she’d talked Lindsey out of a flower girl.
Sarah opened the car door and crossed to the sidewalk on the other side of the bridge along with several other drivers. Oh, no. A semi had flipped on the bridge’s access, blocking both lanes. This could take a while.
She slid back into her car and tapped the Bluetooth on her dashboard, selecting Lindsey’s cell. It went straight to voicemail. A bride too busy to answer her phone at two minutes to rehearsal? Imagine that. Maybe the groom was carrying his. It was worth a try. She scrolled through the list and found Nick’s number. It rang three times.
“Corbin Morrissey of Team Groom. How may I direct your call?”
She rolled her eyes as she craned to see if there was any action getting the eighteen-wheeler moved yet. A few sirens wailed in the distance. “This is Sarah. I’m stranded in the middle of the bridge because a semi-truck flipped over, blocking both lanes. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
“Sarah from Team Bride?”
She narrowed her gaze and stared at the Bluetooth display. “Lindsey’s maid of honor.”
“Team Bride affirmative. Expected time of arrival?” He chuckled. “Besides late.”
Where had Nick found this guy, anyway?
Sarah leaned out her open car window as sirens approached. “Sounds like the RCMP are here. Tow trucks. And a woman in a safety vest coming this way stopping at every car.”
“So you’ll know what’s up in a minute. We might as well keep talking until she gets to you. Tell me about yourself, Sarah. Have you known Lindsey long?”
She shook her head as she settled back in her seat. Some guys had all the confidence. She preferred them quiet, herself. Not like... Corbin, he’d said his name was? “I’ve known her since we were kids. We’ve been best friends since third grade then lost touch until she came back to Riverbend last year.”
“So you must have gone to high school here. Did you know Nick?”
Sarah wasn’t going there. She had memories of the groom in high school she’d rather forget. Good thing he’d changed. “Yeah, some. How about you? Where did you meet Nick?”
“Bible school, actually. I’ve lived near Riverbend for a couple of years now.”
The woman in the safety vest was still a few cars away. “So are you a pastor now, too?” There were other churches in town. Maybe he worked for one of them.
“I’m a farmer.”
Seriously? He said it with some kind of pride. “You went to Bible college to become a farmer?” Now there was a waste of four years.
Corbin laughed. “Not exactly. But God had His reasons.”
The woman approached as Sarah glanced out the window. “They expect to open single-lane traffic in under an hour.”
“Whoa, Team Bride is losing this competition. Huzzah, Team Groom is rocking it.”
Did that require a reply? “It sounds like I’ll get there when I get there.”
“Try the bridge down by Arrowsmith?”
“That’s another thirty kilometers south. Besides, I don’t think the car behind me left enough room to turn around. No, I’d better stay put.”
“Your call. So you know, the pizza just arrived, and it smells awesome.”
Sarah’s stomach growled as she glared at the Bluetooth.
Corbin chuckled. “What’s your favorite kind?”
“If it’s Panago, the correct answer is Mediterranean with olives and extra feta.”
The sound of other voices and laughter became louder. A few glasses clinked. “Yup, there’s one of those. You must have an in with the bride. Want me to save you a piece?”
How about saving half a pizza? She hadn’t eaten since breakfast.
He lowered his voice. “We could sit out on the fire escape later and share it. Get to know each other.”
Um, right. Nick should have left this bozo out in the chicken yard where he found him.
“Who are you talking to, Cor?” Nick’s voice. “Is that my phone?”
“Yup, it rang, so I picked it up. Talking to Sarah from Team Bride.”
“Well, give it here already.” The phone switched hands. “Sarah? Where are you? The food arrived.”
“Stuck on the bridge. A semi turned over just a few vehicles in front of me. The tow truck is trying to clear it enough for one-lane traffic now.”
Like she didn’t know.
“Right. Well, I guess I don’t need to tell you to get here as soon as you can, eh?”
She drummed her fingers on the steering wheel. “I have that part figured out, Nick. There’s not much I can do at the moment.”
“I’ll tell Lindsey you called.”
“Thanks. I tried her cell first but she didn’t answer.” Neither had anyone else. She could wish no one had answered Nick’s, either.
“Okay. See you soon, I hope.”
“Hey, pass the phone back here.”
Corbin? Like she wanted to sit and chat with him any longer? Not a chance. She reached over and tapped the screen to end the call. That’d fix him.
Interested in reading Team Bride? I'm offering one reader a copy (e-book only, worldwide). If you'd like to put your name in the hat, please add your email address with your comment before Friday, October 10, replacing @ with (at) and .com with (dot) com.
"Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws."
Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local food movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.