March 12, 2019
Faking Forever is the fourth book in the First Wives series by the talented Catherine Bybee. Catherine writes such strong, independent, women and I look forward to her series’ and books. We’ve met all the women in the First Wives Club and I personally have been waiting with bated breath for Shannon’s story. Unlike her friends, she actually fell for her husband. But it wasn’t meant to be. It’s been years and she’s finally ready to move on. Alone. But she wants a baby. A trip to Mexico is perfect timing. Except she meets the groom, dislikes him, then is there to help when he’s left at the altar. They have amazing chemistry and they each loosen up and have fun, together. After sun, relaxing, cocktails and actually learning they like each other, one hot kiss has them rethinking what they thought they wanted. Victor works too much, wasn’t really heartbroken when his fiancée walked out and now he’s on his honeymoon alone. Well, except for the sexy wedding photographer, Shannon. He gives himself the week to forget about his future and live in the moment. Except he wants Shannon in his future. He learned he needs to make more time for life instead of just work. He wants more from her, but she thinks he’s on the rebound. He asks for three months. Wait for three months and see if their attraction was a fluke. Guess what? It wasn’t. Now Victor has to get Shannon to take a chance on him and love. It’s the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. Will their pasts come back and haunt them before they can find their happily ever after? I loved this story! I loved seeing Shannon open up, be herself and not just please everyone. Victor is buttoned up, but once he sheds the suit, he shows his sexy, sweet side and I loved him! The other women and their men are always a fun treat! The drunk singing is by far my favorite part!
“I’ve never been kissed like that. With such abandon and need. It was like he had this one shot of making his point, this one moment rolled up in a single kiss.”
“You’re a voyeur.”
“And you’re an exhibitionist.”
“I guess that makes us even, then.”
“I think it’s a perfect combination.”
Shannon waited for the last second to shed her cover-up. Even though all the important parts were covered, she couldn’t help but feel naked when Victor looked at her.
In his defense, he did try to look away, but failed.
She didn’t spend any serious time at the gym, never really had to. The yoga studio she had a membership with saw her a couple of times a week, but she wouldn’t say she had one of those bodies. Still, Shannon knew she looked better than a lot of women wearing bikinis on the beach. She’d always thought of her body as long and willowy. Partly because she never grew out of a B cup bra. In her college years, she’d wanted more curves. But as she grew older, she embraced the body she’d been given and dressed to enhance what she had.
Like now … with her sun-kissed tan, her white bikini crisscrossed over her back, holding her breasts in place, while the adequate bottoms hid enough but showed off a lot.
Avery had whistled when she helped secure the top before Shannon left that morning. “Way to pull out the big guns,” she’d commented right before returning to the bathroom and revisiting the liquor from the night before.
If it wasn’t for Avery yelling at her to leave her to die in peace, Shannon would have bailed on the day.
But they’d all been in Avery’s position before and preferred to suffer alone.
Shannon looked up to find Victor staring.
Channeling her inner Avery, Shannon turned to the side and cheated her butt to the man. “Do I have something out of place?”
He narrowed his eyes, cleared his throat. “That suit should be illegal.”
His honest groan empowered her. “It probably is in Dubai.”
Leo heard them, laughed, and handed them their snorkeling gear.
On the shore, Leo helped her into the front of the kayak and encouraged Victor to climb in the back. Once they were all set, Leo rowed in front of them into the bay.
“I haven’t done this in years,” Shannon told Victor over her shoulder.
“I can beat that. I haven’t done this at all.”
“Really? Not even at summer camp?”
She matched Victor’s pace with the paddle, digging left then right, until they found a rhythm that would take them away from shore.
“I never went to summer camp.”
“That’s a shame. The best things in life happened at summer camp.”
“What kinds of things?” Victor asked.
“Things like this. Kayaking, getting dumped in the water from a canoe. Campfires and ghost stories. First kisses.”
“Ohh, tell me about those.”
She grinned. “The ghost stories?”
He splashed her with his paddle. “The kisses. What was his name?”
She looked back at the memory. “Russell Lipski.”
“Lipski? You’re making that up.”
“Why would I lie about a name like that?”
Victor laughed. “How was Mr. Lipski?”
“Cold, wet hands. Dry lips. It was over before it started. I ran back to my cabin to tell the other girls that he’d kissed me. What about you? What was her name?”
“Wendy Simmons,” he said in a dreamy voice.
Shannon looked over her shoulder, caught him smiling. “That good?”
“She was older than me.”
The image of a teenage cougar came to mind. “How much older?”
“Fifth grade when I was in fourth.”
Her jaw dropped. “Your first kiss was in fourth grade?”
“It was the last week in school before summer.”
“I’m not sure that’s any better.”
Victor laughed. “I think Wendy did it on a dare, but that didn’t stop me from bragging about it all summer long.”
“So it never repeated?” Shannon turned around, kept rowing.
“Nope. Wendy’s parents moved them away that summer. I was devastated until Halloween.”
Shannon was afraid to ask. “Why Halloween?”
“Because Mia Fletcher dressed up like a cat and made me forget all about Wendy.”
Laughter caught in her gut. “Men are so easy.”
“That we are. Isn’t that right, Leo?”
Shannon glanced at their guide, rowing alongside them.
“It’s a curse, I’m afraid.”
They all laughed.
Since they were talking so candidly, Shannon risked a couple more questions. “Can I ask you something?”
“Why do you work so hard?”
He was silent as they rowed a few times.
Shannon glanced over her shoulder to see if he had heard her.
Victor was concentrating on the oar in his hands, his lips in a straight line.
“Never mind, you don’t have to answer that.”
“No, no … I’m trying to think of a quick answer.”
She turned back to the sea in front of her. “We’re going to be out here for a while. A long answer is fine.”
It was still a few breaths before he started to talk. “It’s my company. When I started it, I was only twenty. Granted, it was only me back then, but now I have employees and plants, and teams. I’m responsible for keeping this company going and the jobs it provides. People depend on Vic Corp to put food on their tables.”
His answer was unexpected. Not to mention completely selfless. The image of the self-centered all about me man she’d met on the plane dissipated with his explanation.
“That sounds like a lot of stress on one man’s shoulders,” she told him.
“Most days it is.”
Once again, she looked over her shoulder. Their eyes caught and he smiled.
“But not today,” she said.
“No. Today would be the opposite of stressful.”
New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee has written twenty-eight books that have collectively sold more than five million copies and have been translated into more than eighteen languages. Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in the hope of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite Series, the Weekday Brides Series, the Most Likely To Series, and the First Wives Series.
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