The Convenient Wedding
by Susie Warren
A reluctant socialite is pulled into a scandal and must choose between her families’ reputation and her future happiness.
Lucia Montgomery is from an old and powerful political family in Connecticut and desperately wants to shed her reputation as a superficial socialite. Against her family’s wishes, she seeks a position working for a fiercely contested political campaign and the dark horse in the race, Anderson Adams. She is thrown into the middle of a scandal of her own making when she is tricked into going to his hotel room. Anderson persuades her to play along with a pretend engagement then an actual wedding to save her reputation and his campaign. The media falls in love with the charismatic couple and they must figure out how to reconcile their public image with their private life.
Anderson Adams watched the graceful, blond girl across the room spin seductively in an effort to show off her gown. She was strikingly beautiful and seemed to spread cheer to those gathered around her. He decided in that moment that he needed a break from the endless political chatter surrounding him.
He politely excused himself from the discussion and asked his campaign manager, Brian Gallagher, “Who is the beauty across the room?”
Brian followed his gaze and said, “Ah, Bella Montgomery. William Montgomery’s granddaughter. I’ve heard that she has relocated to Connecticut and is interested in launching a PR firm. I think she goes by Lucia Montgomery now.”
“Have you spoken with her this evening?” Anderson kept his voice disinterested. He needed a diversion for the evening but had to be careful of his reputation. It wouldn’t help his cause to irritate the former governor. While this campaign may not end in success, he had other political aspirations for the future.
“Not yet. But her grandfather asked that I interview her for a position in the campaign. Apparently, he would like to see her heading up the PR elements. The campaign needs experience and talent not a bored socialite but having a connection to the former governor wouldn’t hurt us.”
Anderson avoided making eye contact with anyone, taking a moment to contemplate his approach. “Connections are important. William Montgomery has the influence and positive record to energize older voters. An association with Ms. Montgomery could prove to be helpful.”
His campaign manager put a hand on his shoulder and guided his view away from Lucia Montgomery. “I wouldn’t seek her out. She is exactly what you don’t need. Young, blond and receptive. You need to be seen having a mature relationship, not chasing a young socialite who may end up having a position in the campaign.”
There was no way he would allow his campaign manager to dictate his choice of companion. Cultivating a veneer of respectability was necessary, but he wouldn’t allow it to command how he lived his life.
Taking a large swallow of whiskey, he handed the empty glass to Brian. “I’ll see what she has to offer the campaign.”
Making his way across the room, he noted her companion abandoned her when she saw him coming towards them.
He stopped within a few feet of her and was captivated by her intense and open stare. He had the sense that she had been waiting for him. The crossover V-neckline in front and back exposed sun-kissed, flawless skin. He had to push away thoughts of her undressing for him. How could she tempt him so easily? He had given up on women in the last few months, instead deciding to slide into a forced celibacy after his last nightmare of a relationship had ended with bitter regrets.
He said, “I don’t think we have met. I’m Anderson Adams.”
A question for Susie Warren!
A question for Susie Warren!
What are your two favorite scenes in the book and why?
The basic premise of the book is a marriage of convenience. Anderson is a last minute candidate in a nearly impossible to win district and Lucia is from an important political family and is trying to re-invent herself after the embarrassment of being stood up on her wedding day. While they are immediately attracted to each other, neither one would chose to throw themselves into a media frenzy. But a scandal places them together and they have to decide if they will help each other and marry in order to prevent an scathing story from appearing in the tabloids.
Throughout the story, Anderson and Lucia have to remain loyal to one another and negotiate a life together. Most of the scenes in the earlier part of the novel are about how they will handle the media and what they are willing to do. The two pivotal scenes I would chose are Anderson proposing in a jewelry store and standing outside the hotel where he announces that they will marry. In both scenes, Lucia has to decide what she is willing to put up with to prevent a scandal from embarrassing her family. Anderson feels trapped by the election in process and not wanting to admit defeat but having to rely on a woman he barely knows.
Scene in the Jewelry Store
A short excerpt:
The driver double-parked near the famous jewelry store and Anderson told him to give them twenty minutes. When they walked into the showroom, a young saleswoman greeted them and inquired if they would like to see anything in particular.
Anderson silenced his phone and then glanced up at the sales associate. “Yes. Engagement rings.”
Lucia touched her chest to counteract her racing heartbeat. They were making a huge mistake. The tabloids would never believe their relationship was real, there were too many insiders who could give an interview.
Anderson stepped in front of her, asking “Will you marry me, bella? I know all of this is sudden but we are meant to be together.”
His gaze held an intensity that dared her to refuse. Lucia had to remind herself that it was all an act. “Yes.”
Anderson kissed her provocatively, before turning her toward the glass counter and saying “I want you to have the engagement ring of your dreams. Don’t deny me that pleasure.”
The sales associate smiled and congratulated them as if she just witnessed the most romantic gesture of her short career.
Lucia had to remind herself to look happy and smile. She was caught between a vindictive impulse to pick the most extravagant ring possible and a desire to get Anderson alone and convince him that a ring was not necessary.
Scene Outside the hotel before they announce their engagement
A short excerpt:
Later that evening, they left the hotel by limousine. Climbing out of the car, Anderson held her upper arm firmly and said in a low voice, “Just follow my lead tonight. Remember we are very much in love. And I adore you.”
Lucia turned and looked into his eyes, “I’m not sure that we are doing the right thing. This could backfire on us.” She became conscious of people watching them. They were dressed in formal attire and standing close to one another on the sidewalk, bystanders were slowing down and looking at them.
“You look beautiful, bella.” he murmured. “And I worship the ground that you walk on.” He put his hand behind her head and claimed her mouth in a show of passion. Anger flashed through her body and she bit down on his lower lip. He let go of her and stepped back. She could see a flash of indignation in his sharp gaze.
“I’m not your puppet. And I’ll not be ordered around.” Lucia contradicted him.
She could see a few reporters hanging around the entrance to the hotel, less than fifty feet from them.
Anderson planted his feet wide and stood before her. “I didn’t suggest you were. But we are in this together and you have reasons of your own not to allow our association to dissolve into tabloid fodder. Don’t push me too far or I’ll walk away without a backward glance.”
Her eyes clashed with his until he broke the standoff and escorted her into the hotel.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Susie Warren writes contemporary romance. Besides being an avid reader, she spends much of her free time crafting intense and complex stories about falling in love. When she is not writing, Susie works as an administrator in a small, independent school while caring for three teenagers and keeping tabs on her inventor husband. With the launching of her first book, The Forgotten Heiress, she has slowly begun to navigate the social media realm.
Susie loves to hear from readers and responds to each email and Facebook post. Please reach out to her via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Susie-Warren/647556668647832 or Twitter http://www.twitter.com/susiecwarren
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The Rosa Legacy Series
The first novel in The Rosa Legacy series, Ruthless Perfection, started with the idea of a traditional Italian mother who wanted her only daughter happily married. The mother, Carla Rosa Neri, along with her two sisters, Francesca and Marie, had emigrated from Italy as young girls and each went off to create a dynamic and successful family.
Each of the sisters had an only daughter and they made sure the girls spent time together. They attended the same boarding school in the northeast and visited each other’s homes in the summer.
Carla Rosa married into the Neri family with a long history in the Carrara marble industry. Her daughter, Isabel Neri, being a filmmaker and wanting to honor her grandfather’s legacy, approaches a reclusive billionaire, Marc Santoro, to ask permission to produce a documentary about the life of a quarry worker. Ruthless Perfection is the story of how they fall in love.
The Exiled Jeweler
Francesca Rosa married into the Berceto family with a long history in the jewelry making business. The Second novel in The Rosa Legacy series, The Exiled Jeweler, is about her daughter, Emelia, who went into seclusion after a scandal tore the family apart. Emelia is a talented jewelry designer who lived a sheltered life and was drawn into a passionate encounter with her family’s rival, Alexander Armati at a gala. Outside in the garden, photographs were taken on them and sold to the tabloid press. Her family was shocked and embarrassed and sent Emelia off to Florida. Four years later, she returns when her grandfather has a heart attack and her parents are deciding to sell the family business.
The Convenient Wedding
Marie Rosa married into the prominent Montgomery family, with a successful background in politics. Her only daughter, Lucia, is fascinated by politics and becomes a campaign aide. The opportunity to work on a senate campaign in Connecticut draws her into the middle of a scandal. Anderson Adams is a dark horse in the senate race yet convinces Lucia to play along with a strategy to save his campaign. The third novel in The Rosa Legacy series, The Convenient Wedding, is the story about how they reconcile their public image with their private life.
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