Love Struck (Miss Match #2)

By: Laurelin McGee



Lacy tensed in Eli’s arms. Jesus, they really weren’t thinking the same thing at all. And that was bad. Not bad that their minds had been in different places, but bad that he’s said that scary P word. Because she loved him—she really did—but it was way too soon to be talking marriage. She’d lived with Lance for over two years before she even let him start to talk about wedding bells. Yes, Eli wasn’t Lance. She knew that. And she could see herself with Eli—like that—but way off. In the future. After more albums and more tours and more time getting to know each other.

“Relax,” Eli said at her ear. “Not that kind of proposal.”

Thank goodness. She let out the breath she’d been holding, relieved.

Then her chest sank. Didn’t Eli think of her as the type of girl he’d want to marry? Sure, it was too soon, but she still wanted to know that it was a possibility one day.

And, yes, she recognized that she was being a very complicated girl with her internal reactions, but that wasn’t the point.

Reading her mind as he often did, Eli pulled away to meet her eyes and said, “Of course I want to marry you, too. One day. Not too far away, but not quite yet.”

Her skin tingled everywhere as goose bumps shot up on her arms. “One day, though.”

“One day.” He smiled. “But for now I have a different proposal for you. See, I’m a solo artist now. And while I don’t mind not having a band, I’d much rather do this whole music thing with someone by my side. Someone even more talented than me who writes the most gorgeous songs and creates the most beautiful melodies.”

“Eli. Are you asking me to make music with you?”

“Yes, Songbird, I am.” He lowered his eyes, seeming suddenly embarrassed. “You can take your time and think about it if you need to.”

“I don’t need to. The answer’s yes. Definitely yes.”

Lacy laughed as Eli spun her around quickly. Her glance shifted to her sister who was dancing with her new husband, then back to the man gazing at her with love in his eyes. She had so many major milestones to look forward to. A future filled with good times. Albums to record, songs to write, babies to make. A husband to love.

And with a lifetime of days left to live, it was probably premature to label any particular one as such, but she felt pretty confident when she said that this one was The. Best. Day. Ever.





Acknowledgments

Laurelin Paige:

To Kayti McGee—This road is so much easier to walk when I’m not going it alone. Don’t ever leave me. I can’t adult without you.

To our editor, Eileen Rothschild—You were so patient with us through this book. Thank you so much for believing in it when it was hard for us to see the finished product.

To the team at St. Martin’s Press—I never want to work elsewhere. ’Nuff said.

To Bob Diforio for hooking us up with SMP and Rebecca Friedman for being AMAZING. You are my patronus. I love you.

To Shanyn for bossing me around, Melissa G. for keeping me online, Candi Kane for assisting and fanning (you’re my favorite!), Carly H. for hours of data entry, and KP for InkSlinging me. What a crazy team!

To Bethany—This was the book that never ended and you were there through it all. You deserve a vacation. Cancun?

To Lauren Blakely for teaching me how to market these books. You’re a genius. Actually, you’re better than that—you’re Lauren Fucking Blakely.

To Jen Probst for saying such nice things about our book. I’m delighted to have you on our cover.

To my husband, Tom—I’m sorry I didn’t read this one to you as we wrote. I’ll owe you. Thanks for enduring me and the other woman. I’m struck with love for you daily.

To my children—Better than song babies are my real babies. I hope you learn to make your own music and sing it loud.

To Mom—You inspire me. Thank you for encouraging me to find my own words.

To my Maker—When I forget to look up, you remind me. Thank you for everything.


Kayti McGee:

As always, a million thank-you’s couldn’t be enough for Laurelin. You’re the best work-wife ever. Bethany and Mel, I couldn’t do anything without you guys. Cancun forever. The Order, of course, for endless encouragement, entertainment, and Tom Hiddleston gifs.

Bob, for brokering this shebang. My agent, Natalie, who is awesome. Our editor, Eileen Rothschild, who made this book a hundred times better—we are so lucky to have you. The team at St. Martin’s—Erin, Michelle, Heather, Jenn—you guys work so hard and I am so grateful. *dances out backwards*

M. Pierce, you’re the Jaime to my Cersei, and I love you more than Dornish red. Jen, Ang, Tarah, Sheri, and Psuka, Whitney, Kelly, Bethany S., Sara, Shea, Leah, my family … your encouragement means the world to me. Our readers and bloggers make all of this possible and I puffy heart every single one of you. And of course, Frank Turner provided the soundtrack and inspiration—thank you for your unwitting role. The next round’s on me.



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