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Advance Search

Dogwood And Myrtle

Published by: eXtasy Books

Author : Lark Westerly

ISBN :978-1-4874-4097-8

Page :68

Word Count :17672

Publication Date :2023-12-15

Series : #

Heat Level :

Available Formats : Dogwood And Myrtle (prc) , Dogwood And Myrtle (pdf) , Dogwood And Myrtle (mobi) , Dogwood And Myrtle (epub)

Category : Fantasy Romance , Paranormal Romance , Romance , Christmas

  • Product Code: 978-1-4874-4097-8

Cade wore dogwood and myrtle for his Christmas wedding to Laura. It was a love story five years in the making. But then came Lola and everything went to the dogs.

    Christmas Day means a lot to Cade and Laura, so of course they chose it for their wedding. They’ve been planning for a year, so what can possibly go wrong?

With less than an hour to go before the ceremony, Laura’s brother arrives with an urgent message for Cade to come to the orangery right now. There’s something wrong with Laura.

Cade knows Laura wants this marriage as much as he does, so why does Jamie look so shattered? Where is Laura, and who on earth is Lola? Everyone wants to help but no one knows how. It’s left to Cade himself to sort things out for his Christmas wedding day.

My hands weren’t shaking. My knees were under control. Not even my stomach had any nervous twinges.

A man’s wedding day is supposed to be fraught with mixed uncertainty and anticipation, but I had never felt more certain in my life.

Christmas Day had so much meaning for Laura and me. What other day could we possibly choose for our wedding?

“Christmas bells, wedding bells, tinsel garlands…we could dress you up in a Santa suit,” my brother Kev said when I handed him his official invitation. “Laura will make a fetching Missus Claus. Illya can put on elf ears and wear a tight green and red suit with a hem cut into whatemies…” He created a zigzag pattern in the air.

I didn’t bother to tell him the only elf ears at our wedding would be attached to actual elves, if any cared to attend. Illya would explain that to him for me. Or would she? She’s the woman who wears Spock specials to concerts, so she might easily have a set of fake elf ears somewhere in her glory box. Never mind, I knew they’d both be so busy keeping Kerria under control they wouldn’t have any spare energy to ambush me with red jackets and cottonwool beards.

Four-year-olds are meant to be full of beans, and my niece absolutely is.

Laura would make a fetching Missus Claus…

No. Whatever Laura chooses to wear is fine by me.

I didn’t know whether she’d chosen the full white lace regalia or something chic and modern or even vintage. Maybe her mum’s friend Skye was making her a dress. This ruled out white meringue. 

Louise, who is married to my elder brother Yestin, also had her hands full with offspring. She and Yestin have two boys under three. 

“Not our best idea,” as Yes puts it, but his grin belies the words. 

Louise says it was a very good idea because they didn’t want to be geriatric parents. 

“At least you and Laura won’t be facing a biological clock,” she said on our wedding morning. She juggled Winterberry and Indy into Yes’ arms and handed me a small bunch of twigs with shiny leaves and fluffy cream flowers, surrounding a large-petalled white bloom. “Lemon myrtle and dogwood for your buttonhole,” she explained. “It represents love in marriage and devotion.”

“Trust you to know that!” I said. Louise runs a mail-order herb business called A Little Bit Pisky and she and Yes had generously opened their gardens for our use. They even had an orangery in case of difficult weather. Louise is constantly busy, but she’d offered to do the flowers. Since the wedding was outdoors, that meant the wedding arch, buttonholes for my brothers and me, and whatever Laura and her attendants would carry.

I gave Louise a hug and kissed her cheek.

“Not long now,” Louise said, smiling. She smelled faintly of herbs, as she always did.

I put the flowers in my buttonhole and spared a moment to give thanks that my brothers had married women I could welcome as surrogate sisters. “Have you got the ring?” I asked Yes.

He handed the children back to Louise then went through a pantomime of patting pockets until Louise gave him a look.

“I have the ring,” he said.

Louise said, “I’m going out to check the twins,” and left the kitchen with a child on either hip. 

She was referring to her brothers. As the thirty-something entrepreneurial owners of the costume business I-Identify, they shouldn’t need checking, but they did. I’ve seldom met a more unnerving pair than Dumas and Frans Hardy, and when you consider some of the people I know, that’s saying quite a lot.

Kev and Illya came into the kitchen with their daughter Kerria and with Illya’s brother Wav. Wav is another unsettling person. My brothers’ three brothers-in-law made me ever so glad mine would be Laura’s brother Jamie. 

Illya and Kerria both hugged me, ribs and knees. 

Wav homed in too, around the shoulders. I didn’t take it personally. Wav will hug anything that breathes.

I glanced at my watch. Not quite an hour to go.

“Is Laura here yet?” I asked, peeling myself free of Wav who was inclined to linger.

“It’s too early,” Illya said. 

Yes, but Laura was born organised. I’d expected her to arrive well before the wedding to make sure I was all buttoned and combed and shoe-shone ready for our photos.

I hadn’t seen her since yesterday, when her mum and dad swept down on our flat and hauled Laura out the door for lunch.


I’d managed not to say it.

“It’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride the morning of the wedding,” Linda said. “We’ll see you tomorrow at eleven, Cade.”

“But the wedding’s at eleven,” I protested.

“Eleven, and not a second sooner,” Jory said.

“We’ll be there.” Linda is as organised as Laura. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

It was well after ten by now. I’d been twenty-three hours without my Laura, and I was well into withdrawal.

Waking up alone had left me disoriented. It was a year since I’d had to do that.

I got out my phone and sent Laura a text. Less than an hour to go, Mistress Pendennis.

A text pinged back. My zip’s stuck. Whatever shall I do?

I felt a ridiculous grin breaking over my face at the notion of a zip daring to disobey Laura’s directives. Use a pencil lead.

Laura responded, No need. Dad’s sorting it.

Of course he was.

Besides, Mum has a back-up dress for me. Blue velvet with lace.

Of course she did. Laura’s mum always has a Plan B.

I’ll be there as soon as I can get everyone into the car, she added.

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Tags: Fantasy, family, paranormal, comedy, Holiday, Christmas