Knox Read online Brenda Rothert (Chicago Blaze #4)

Categories Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports Tags Authors: Series: Chicago Blaze Series by Brenda Rothert
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Total pages in book: 59
Estimated words: 57576 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 288(@200wpm)___ 230(@250wpm)___ 192(@300wpm)
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Read Online Books/Novels:

Knox (Chicago Blaze #4)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Brenda Rothert

Language:
English
ISBN/ ASIN:
B07VNNJZFR
Book Information:
Reese
I’m done. Getting ditched at the altar is nothing compared to being humiliated there in front of three hundred shocked guests. Apparently I’m no good at spotting the signs your man’s a cheating liar. So I set off solo on my honeymoon to Hawaii, where I realize I’ve got this life thing down just fine on my own.
Friendships and laughter? Yes.
Adventures? Absolutely.
But relationships? Hell no. Never again.
Knox
I’m a man of few words. My reputation as a moody prick is deserved, but only the handful of people who really know me see the man beneath the professional mask. I’m a protector. A warrior. That part is true. But the world doesn’t get to see the rest of me. And women don’t seem to mind my gruff exterior—my bed’s always warm.
I’m content with life—loving it, even—or so I thought. But when I meet a beautiful pastry chef with a broken heart and a smile that softens me down to my soul, I realize I wasn’t really content at all before her. I only wish I had the words to let her know.
Books in Series:

Chicago Blaze Series by Brenda Rothert

Books by Author:

Brenda Rothert Books



Part 1

Chapter One

Reese

Finally.

Almost an entire year of planning falls into place as I approach my groom at the altar of a rustic-chic church outside Mendocino. Eric smiles nervously as my dad gives me a tender look and offers him my hand.

His blond hair is combed back neatly, and when I look at Eric, I still see the twenty-year-old I met in a college chemistry class almost nine years ago. It took a long time for him to take a forward leap into engagement and marriage, but we’re finally here.

“Dearly beloved,” the pastor begins, looking out at the guests in the pews—all two hundred and eighty-six of them.

At least, it better be two hundred and eighty-six. That’s how many I received RSVPs from. Some of Eric’s fraternity brothers have been known to bring multiple dates to weddings. Classy bunch, those guys.

The fresh, salty smell of the ocean breezes in through the open windows of the church. The crash of the surf is soft from in here, but it’s there, and it soothes me. I’ve always found solace in being near the water. I’m a California girl through and through.

Eric squeezes my hands and gives me another tense smile. It catches me off-guard, because I’m the one who’s been a nervous wreck in the weeks leading up to today. Eric is usually indifferent about these types of things to the point it can annoy me. Nothing’s a big deal to him. I guess we’re yin and yang that way, because I’m a major Type A planner.

I take a deep breath and give him a reassuring smile, silently telling him that once we get past the ceremony, the real fun begins. A huge tent is set up just a few hundred feet away, where our reception will be held with a stunning ocean view of the sunset.

Mrs. Eric Darnell. I’ve practiced saying it and writing it, but it doesn’t feel real. There’s a part of me that’s still scared, but this is the right thing. After nine years together, where else can our relationship go?

At the sound of a sniffle, I turn to my maid of honor, my best friend Mandy, who’s already crying. I never knew her to be such a softie. The ceremony hasn’t really even started yet. She takes a tissue out from around her bouquet and wipes the corners of her eyes.

“Before we begin the ceremony, let us pray,” the pastor says.

“Hang on,” Eric blurts out.

Did he just say hang on as our wedding ceremony was about to start? My heart skips several beats as I look around to see what’s going on. Is there a medical emergency? Why else would Eric go off script?

The pastor and I both stare at him as he closes his eyes and grimaces.

“I’m sorry,” he says, sighing as he opens his eyes and lets go of my hands.

As they drop to my sides, an icy shiver travels down my spine. He let go. I only asked him for one thing when we talked on the phone this morning, honoring the tradition of not seeing each other on our wedding day. Hold onto my hands the entire time.

The church is silent, everyone holding their breath as they wait for Eric to speak. My heart races and my hands start to shake as I realize something’s not right here.

“Reese.” Eric’s tone is both apologetic and pleading. “I need to tell you something. I want to go into this marriage with a clean conscience.”

I swallow back the bile that rises in my throat. This can’t be happening. In all my worst-case scenarios about what could go wrong on my wedding day, I never imagined this.

I worried I’d be having a heavy period today. That I’d trip on my way down the aisle and face plant in front of everyone. Or that the last week of stress eating would catch up with me and my dress wouldn’t zip.

But this? Never this.

Eric lets out a shaky breath and says, “Please forgive me. I did something so stupid.”

Mandy’s crying intensifies and deep down, I already know what he’s going to confess.

“Uh…” The pastor looks between me and Eric. “Do you two want to step out for a moment?”

“What did you do?” I ask Eric, my voice nearly a whisper.

The sound and scent of the ocean has vanished and all I feel is a creeping sense of complete dread.

“So now it was stupid?” Mandy demands loudly. “Eight months together and you’re saying it was a mistake?”

The guests collectively gasp.

As the truth sets in, I’m too stunned to even breathe. Eric. Fucked. Mandy. Not once, but a lot.

My grip loosens on my bouquet and it falls, making a rustling sound as it hits the ground.

“You…?” I look back and forth between Eric and Mandy, blinking away tears. “For eight months?”

“I’m so sorry,” Eric says, his voice breaking. “It was a huge mistake.”


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