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TALLULAH GETS HITCHED
Southern Series Book 2
BY MARIBELLE McCREA
Tallulah and Mason are getting hitched!
But it isn’t wedded bliss for the happy couple just yet…
Tallulah thinks being a wedding planner will make putting together her own wedding a piece of cake.
But with a groom who is in no hurry to decide details, pets that can’t get along, a crazy job, and cousins trying to sabotage her special day by canceling appointments and sending fake emails, things are looking pretty dicey!
She turns to her friends for help, hoping they’ll help keep her sane–and out of jail. Colin, her mischievous buddy from New York, even makes a special trip home to infiltrate the cousins’ world. Will it be enough to save Tallulah and Mason’s big day? Or will their happily ever after end before it ever begins?
After all, revenge is a dangerous game.
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“Ducky, I’m going to throttle him! Seriously, this is how you end up hating the person you think you are going to marry.” I feel my breath puffing in and out as I pace and pick up dirty clothes, misplaced shoes, and dishes left on the counter. Things that in the past, I would have absent-mindedly taken care of without a worry. Now, it all bugs me. HE bugs me.
My best friend Sarah, who I call Ducky, won’t judge my anger, and might just impart some helpful advice. After all, she’s about to be married herself and hasn’t killed her groom. “Ouiser, slow down. What’s happened? You had that talk with Mason about the tuxes?” Sarah hasn’t called me Louise for years and the mention of my nickname makes me smile despite my mood.
“Oh, I tried. I tried to have any conversation about any of the wedding details, multiple times this weekend. If I hear, ‘Lu, it’s fine. It’s all going to be fine.’ One. More. Time. Truly, you are going to have to bail me out of jail.”
“Seems to me you have to make a choice. You can ignore what Mason thinks and pick everything yourself to know it’s done, or you can leave it to him and trust that eventually, he will take care of his end.”
“This past year leading up to his proposal has been filled with stress. When Momma was diagnosed with leukemia, Mason never let me go too far into despair. He kept my optimism high and was the rock I needed. Throughout it all, he has been the steady voice of reason, the one with his eye on the goals. I want him to be involved in this big step in our lives. But I want him to decide stuff on my plan that I took months to create. I’m the professional wedding planner. Why can’t he just listen to me! UGH! Then on top of all the wedding decisions, I feel like I am picking up all the slack around the apartment too. I’m so irritated.”
“I hear you… but what you want and what is possible might not agree. I wish I had more wisdom to offer, but Jarrod only wants to know what time to show up and how much Bourbon he can get away with drinking before the ceremony.” That makes me laugh and I feel my shoulders soften just a bit. “Whatever you do, don’t keep it bottled up inside. That’s not healthy for anyone. Try again to talk to Mason. I know you might not want to hear this but try and listen to him too.”
“Alright, thanks. I’ll think about it. He’s pulling into the complex now, so I’d better go.”
“Good luck, and no violence!” Ducky laughs as she hangs up the call.
My anger has not really diminished much—as evidenced by the slamming of cabinet doors and banging of pots and pans—when Mason walks through the door.
“Wow, Lu. You still mad?”
“Yes, I’m still mad! Has anything changed in the last hour? Did you suddenly decide you really want to get married and pull your weight in making that wedding happen?!” I hear the shrillness in my voice and wish I hadn’t said it so loudly, though I still meant every word.
“Ok, hold on. That’s a bit dramatic, don’t you think? Just because I’m not following your exact schedule for wedding plans to the letter doesn’t mean I don’t want to get married. And if you want that much control, then why didn’t you just say so? Why get all passive-aggressive about it? I thought we agreed this was our wedding and we were going to create it together?”
“I’m not being dramatic; I am emphasizing the importance so you will listen to me. It’s not even about the exact decisions anymore. It’s about you acting like nothing, and I mean nothing about this wedding is a big deal. I have so much on my plate, and you are just cruising through the months leading up to the biggest event in our lives as if you are leaving for summer camp and can pack the night before.”
“Lu. Stop. I am not going to be pushed into your stress-filled process. You might not be able to help it, but I want to enjoy all the planning. I am making decisions about some things and still thinking about others. I will meet the necessary deadlines without you micromanaging things. Please, Lu, just relax!”
“Oh, you want me to stop? Fine, I’ll stop,” I say as I grab a stack of seating charts, linen ordering forms and RSVP lists and dump them at his feet.
I knew we should have eloped; I think to myself as I stalk to my car. “And I am not controlling,” I say out loud. I’m a planner—it’s practically in my DNA.
I always have been a planner. Since age ten or twelve, I made all the plans for any events, vacations, etc. for my family. I love to use my old-fashioned paper planner and my multi-colored pens to track my life. I’m a big believer in organization. I figure out what are the most important items on my list, the big rocks, so to speak, and then add in anything smaller in importance and consider them like the pebbles that will find room in the spaces between those big rock items. On top of loving lists and organization, I absolutely love to coordinate events- heck, that’s my profession! Given all these facts, I should be able to plan my own wedding, no problem, right?
Wrong! Coordinating and planning my wedding is more complicated than I counted on when it comes to Mason.
I realize I am clutching the steering wheel when I see that my knuckles have gone white, so I relax my hands, then roll my neck to release the tension there and in my shoulders.. I take several slow steady breaths and try to reign in my feelings of overwhelming anxiety. “It will be okay. This wedding will be great, no matter what because the focus is on marrying your best friend. All this other stuff is incidental.” I know this is Mason’s take on the day. It’s just one day in the rest of our lives. It will be fine and ultimately; we will be married. But even with that knowledge, I want things the way I want them. Why can’t he see that? I blow out a big breath and realize I don’t need to go anywhere. I just stomped off to my car because the apartment is so small, and I didn’t have anywhere else to storm off to when I lost my temper.
I look down at my planner, my lists, and my cell phone calendar. There’s the list of decisions to make —how many guests? What will we feed them? Daytime wedding or evening? Timelines for ordering —tuxedos, wedding gown, invitations, bridal party gifts. Wedding tours for work, sales quotas — commissions to help pay for my own wedding. Everything goes a bit blurry for a moment and I take another deep breath.
A girl could easily lose her mind over this stuff.
Maribelle McCrea is a fourth-generation Atlanta native living just south of the city in a little town with 100 miles of golf cart paths.
She loves all things Southern and wishes she could speak with that old, Southern Georgia accent and say, “I do declare!” and feel faint about things.
She’s a finalist for Best Romance Novel in the Amadjinn Awards for 2022 with the entry for Southern Mommas A Tale by Tallulah Louise.
When she isn’t writing, she loves riding bikes with her family and baking as long as everyone else eats it all! She shares her home with her husband, and their adorable Maltese pup, Wicket. Maribelle loves to connect with her readers.
Links to Maribelle’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
You can find her at www.maribellemccrea.com as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @MaribelleMcCrea
Thanks, Maribelle, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!