Movement caught Garths attention. He looked out the pickups side window, then squinted, not sure he was seeing right. A woman in a flowing wedding gown barreled down the wide steps of one of Tulsas most palatial churches. His first thought was that a wedding was just ending, but there was something wrong with this picture. The bride was alone. Garth wasn't a big expert on weddings, but he figured the happy couple usually left together.
Followed by a mile of lacy train, the woman sprinted across the sidewalk and vaulted into the street, heading directly at his truck. Wagging her bouquet wildly, she yelled something.
Never one to ignore a damsel in distress, he rolled down his window. Hot, June air rushed into the air-conditioned cab, but he had only a split-second to register the weather before he was hit in the face by a salad of roses.
"What the mffrrup!" He felt gut-punched, then went blind when a mountain of white flooded over him.
He heard a female shriek, "Step on it!"
Spitting greenery, he batted away the fog of lace. "Lady, I dont take orders from insane people." He shoved the heap of fabric aside and glared at the tidal wave of female dry-goods that had slithered through his pickups window.
The bride was watching him through round, rimless glasses. Her blue eyes wide, her lips parted as she panted to catch her breath. Except for the wedding dressand the fact that shed dived through his windowshe didn't look nuts. And she didn't look much like a carjacker, either. But if she was, he had a feeling he could take her.
The situation was suddenly so preposterous he couldn't hold back a grin. "Ive had this fantasy, sugar." He scanned the mound of lacy material that hid her from the neck down. "Except in my version you were only wearing a veil, garterbelt and six-inch heels."
She didnt seem to register his joke. Flushed and preoccupied, she bent forward to look out his window. Those big eyes grew huge and round. "Ohhurry! Theyre coming!"
Garth glanced toward the church. Several tuxedoed men rushed out of the arched cathedral entryway. At the same time a low-pitched honk behind made it clear the light had turned green. The woman at his side made a guttural sound of panic. "Go!" she cried. "Please!"
As he rolled up his window, several more get-your-tail-in-gear honks filled the muggy air, mingling with a chorus of salty words ringing from the church steps. The noise became a surreal concertthe Grand Ol Operie from Hell. Without analyzing the right or wrong of it, Garth stepped on the gas. For some reason, those panicked blue eyes gave him all the reason he needed. Even pulling a horse trailer full of horse, he managed to make a fair getaway.
As they burned rubber, a tall blond man in a tux almost caught up with them. Through the trucks sideview mirror Garth watched the guy take a mighty leap and just miss the trailers tail-gate. When he stumbled to a halt, he hunched over, panting. As a parting gesture, the expensively clad man gave them the one-finger salute.
Garth frowned. The preppie jerk looked familiar. Though Garths mood was already in the crapper, he decided not to pull over and beat the tar out of the penguin. If he was the groom, he probably had a right to be a little hacked-off. Besides, this damned detour had already caused him more trouble than he needed. He only hoped the little commando-in-brides-clothing hadnt stolen the churchs poor box and made a run for it.
He glanced at her. "Tell me this isnt going to get me on Americas Most Wanted."
She twisted around, craning her neck to look back. "I think weve lost them." Facing him, she eased into the seat. "I didnt do anything wrong, if thats what youre worried about."
He peered at her. "Lady, right now my main worry is my dog. I hope to hell you didnt kill him." With one hand on the wheel, he fished under the fabric. "You alive in there, boy?"
No sound came.
"Oh, no!" the woman cried. "I didnt kill anything, did I?"
"The reports still out on my spleen," he groused, finger-crawling around until his hand hit warm, living tissue. "Dawg?" He palmed something, but it was softer and smoother than his dog had felt on his softest, smoothest day.
"Hey, thats me!" The woman slapped at his hand through the fabric. Garth eyed her askance. "Sorry." Hell. The woman was wearing a garter belt. He shifted, readjusting jeans that had become uncomfortably binding. "Dawg?" He gritted his teeth. "Give me a break. If youre not dead show yourself."
There was movement under a mass of lace near his leg. After a few seconds, a shaggy gray head worked its way out. Garth grinned at the furry imitation of a doormat. "You move pretty fast when you need to, dont you boy." He shoved at the wedding gown. "Come on up here."
The mutt clambered onto the dress. "Ouch!" The woman grabbed at her hair. "Hes sitting on the train."
"Hell, sugar, half the county could ride that train and youd still have room to haul a load of cow patties."
She winced, her head caught sideways by the dogs weight. "What are you?" She grunted, tugging at the lace. "Some kind of cowboy?"
His lips quirked at her disgusted tone. Shed said it like shed run smack dab into a Revenue Agent. "What gave me away, sugar?" he drawled. "Or do all your investment banker friends pull horse trailers?"
Her hands fluttered to her head and after removing a few clips, the flowered crown fell away. "I guess beggars cant be choosers," she muttered, brushing off the headpiece as though it were a stray leaf.
"Youre welcome," Garth said, mockingly. "Any time."
"Roszel's setup is adorable, filled with humor and energy. Continuing with snappy dialogue, interesting events, not to mention a whole passel of helpful hints, the book can't help but entertain readers."
Romance Communications reviewer, Carol M. Kaelin
From the book THERE GOES THE BRIDE, by Renee Roszel
Published by Harlequin books S.A. Copyright © 1998 by Renee Roszel
Publication Date (USA), May 1998, ISBN # 0-373-44043-X
Interested in purchasing this book?
For more info about Harlequin Books click on the Harlequin Romance logo on Renee's Home page.