Release date: 27 January 2014
On the cusp of a brilliant Chicago medical career, Dr. Kory Flemming rarely gets a vacation from her demanding brain injury fellowship, but she can’t say no to maid of honor duties in her best friend’s wedding. Hometown or not, being in Harmony Falls, Pennsylvania, isn’t easy, especially when the only man smart enough to trump Kory’s high school academic achievements turns out to be a sexy, accomplished adult up to his old, flirtatious tricks.
Will Mitchell has been destined for success since the day he was born. After spending his formative years racking up academic honors, it was only natural for him to be named the chief operating officer of his family’s thriving company. He has it all—more or less—so when the target of his high school infatuation turns up hot and haughty at his brother’s wedding, Will decides he wants her, too.
An innocent dance at the wedding reception leads Kory and Will to an illicit tryst in the coat checkroom, and the game they’ve been playing since high school changes into something more serious. The new attraction takes Will and Kory by surprise, until a failed merger and family tragedy threaten both their professional goals.
Now, Will’s struggling to preserve his reputation as “the successful one” and Kory’s stuck in Harmony Falls watching her illustrious medical career slip away. Worse yet, maybe the only way to get things back on track is to work together. Can they put aside their rocky past and ignore their titillating present in order to secure the future for the people they adore?
by Elley Arden
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Elley Arden is a proud Pennsylvania girl who drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness. Learn more about her at www.elleyarden.com and on Twitter @elleywrites.
An excerpt from Battling the Best Man:
What was it about weddings that made perfectly sane people act like lunatics?
Kory pressed her bare back to the padded chair, adjusted the wide black belt strangling her ribcage just below her breasts, and fluffed the ruby red crinoline skirt, trying to get comfortable at the bridal table. She wouldn’t be caught dead in this dress for any occasion other than her best friend’s wedding. And now that the beautiful wedding part was over, Kory was subjected to this…people she’d known her whole life bumping and grinding all over the dance floor.
The principal? Kory cringed as she watched Russell Stonewall hike up the polyester fabric of his pants so he could squat lower as some song from an era long before her birth urged him to shake his booty. She looked away, scanning the crowd for a reasonable distraction only to find her mother wiggling her breasts and strutting around Kory’s rhythmically challenged father. This was so not reasonable. Kory pushed fingers to her lips to halt the dry heave that arose.
The bride and groom danced on the outskirts of the chaotic circle. Alice floated on a pure white puff of crinoline as she sang the song word for word to Justin, one hand wrapped around his ruby red tie.
He was laughing at the performance, and Kory found her lips twitching, too. God, those two were made for each other, and seeing them happy was worth any amount of discomfort Kory had to endure being back in her hometown.
“Your mother can groove.” The deep voice added too many ooh’s to groove as it slithered down the table, invading Kory’s personal space.
She crossed her arms and tossed Will Mitchell a humorless look. She’d been trying to avoid him all weekend, but was failing miserably. They’d shared a rehearsal followed by a dinner, and a two-hour photo shoot followed by a cramped limousine ride. It was damn near impossible for the maid of honor to avoid the best man. What were the odds her best friend would marry the brother of her high school nemesis? Kory had happily avoided Will for the past twelve years, which had been surprisingly easy since high school graduation what with her stifling training schedule and hundreds of miles between them. She’d only come home for the occasional holiday, having parents who preferred she stay in Chicago and conquer the medical world. Alice and Justin’s whirlwind courtship hadn’t left much time for socializing when Kory had been home, but she was certainly getting her fill of Will now.
“What’s wrong, Doc? Too much education to appreciate a little dancing?”
No. Kory just had no desire to look like a fool shimmying in a disco ball-lit fish bowl. She didn’t get the allure of participating in something she wasn’t very good at. It seemed like wasted time. Not that sitting here, trying not to be dragged into meaningful conversation with the smuggest asshole she’d ever met was any more productive.