BEST MAN UNDER THE MISTLETOE – Jules Bennett
Texas Cattleman's Club: Blackmail , Book 12
Harlequin Desire #2558
Contemporary Series Romance
Royal, Texas – Present Day
Now that the identity of the blackmailer has been revealed, the citizens of Royal can relax and enjoy the holiday season. But for Gabe Walsh, he can't relax because it was his uncle who was doing the blackmailing! His friends know that Gabe had nothing to do with it, but he can't help but be concerned. With the wedding of his best friend on the horizon, Gabe is working closely with the maid of honor, Chelsea Hunt, who was the subject of some leaked nude photos released by his now deceased uncle. He lets her know that he wasn't aware of what was going on, and she says she believes him. Maybe now he can get close to Chelsea…as in more than just friends.
Chelsea can't forget the embarrassment of those nude photos and is glad the culprit has been identified. While she is suspicious at first of Gabe's innocence, she decides she does believe him. Meanwhile, they're setting up the wedding chapel at the ranch for the upcoming nuptials of their friends, and it brings them closer together. Gabe indicates his interest in her, and Chelsea decides to take the plunge, but declares that their fling will only last until the wedding. The passion between them is sizzling hot, so how can they even think it's going to end in just a few weeks?
With the blackmailer's identity revealed (though he died), the town of Royal is about to celebrate the holidays without apprehension in BEST MAN UNDER THE MISTLETOE. Gabe is shocked that it turned out to be his uncle. He had no idea, and thankfully his friends believe him. Now he turns his attention to helping Chelsea with the wedding preparations – and wooing her. He's been attracted to her for a while, even kissing her, but after her nude photos were leaked online, he stepped back to let her recover. Things start off rocky for them at first, but pretty soon she's as receptive to a fling with him as he is.
Chelsea considers herself independent, and no man is going to tell her what to do. But Gabe seems to be there wherever she goes, and pushes her just enough to make her change her mind about not asking him for help. Things are soon heating up…and it turns out the sex is great between them. The plans are for a short-term affair, but can they break it off if it's going so well? Meanwhile, a mysterious envelope lands into Gabe's hands, which might cause a rift between him and Chelsea if not handled correctly. What should he do?
BEST MAN UNDER THE MISTLETOE can be read as a standalone, though it would help to have read the other books in the Texas Cattleman's Club: Blackmail , to get a better understanding of the scandal that has rocked the town. Gabe and Chelsea are planning the wedding of Brandee and Shane (TWO-WEEK TEXAS SEDUCTION), and the four interact, as well as a couple of appearances by Chelsea's brother, Dan, and his fiancée, Erin (THE TEXAN TAKES A WIFE).
The attraction that's simmered between Chelsea and Gabe finally boils over in BEST MAN UNDER THE MISTLETOE, and readers are in for a treat in this final book in the Texas Cattleman's Club: Blackmail series.