Hiya guys, we have M.J. O’Shea popping in today with her upcoming release The Worst Best Man, we have a brilliant post from M.J. where she tells us her favourite places in London and we have a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
The Worst Best Man
It was her special day… but his worst nightmare.
Despite his American background, August O’Leary is the most sought-after wedding planner in London. Naturally, Libby and Edward come to him for a wedding the city will never forget. But Edward is an international businessman, so the details are left to Libby and her best friend – who happens to be the love of August’s life and the one who broke his heart eight years ago: Christopher Burke.
How’s August supposed to pull off the event of the year with Christopher distracting him and old feelings crashing the party uninvited?
Christopher has let money and status dictate his life, but no more. His failure to stand up to others’ expectations of him cost him his future with August – one he’d hoped would include marriage. Now he has to face August’s hurt and anger and prove he’s still the best man to make August happy.
This is MJ O’Shea 🙂 I’ve just released a book called The Worst Best Man, which takes place in one of my favorite cities (so far) London! I’ve only been there a couple of times, but I’ve definitely made myself a list of the best places I’ve seen so far and here are the top five –
Five – Hyde Park
It was gold and gloomy the day we were there. I’ll have to go back and see the park someday when it’s not January, but I still felt a bit like I was stepping back into a regency novel, which was a really cool – but a bit trippy – feeling.
Four – London Dungeons
I think they’ve moved and probably updated a bit since I was there, but I really loved the London Dungeons. They were a little creepy (or a lot in some areas), a little old fashioned, but totally entertaining. It was a very memorable afternoon!
Three — Notting Hill
I didn’t get to spend too much time in Notting Hill, just walked around for an hour or so but in general, I loved the area. There’s a beautiful pub that’s covered in flowers, the streets are tree lined and spacious and I’m glad I didn’t miss it.
Two – Neal’s Yard
One of the coolest little areas I’ve ever seen. If you’ve never seen it yourself, I’d definitely google it! It’s just this cool funky little courtyard filled with bright buildings that’s practically hidden from the main street. It looks like somewhere they should set a quirky movie. I’d want to live in there for sure 🙂 I’m sure the rent in that area is very reasonable haha.
One – Soho
This was definitely my favorite! I know Soho is fairly large, and I can’t say for certain where we were most of the time but I remember loving everything about that neighborhood – the look of the buildings, the shops and cafes, and there was one area where it was pedestrian only and it had to be one of my favorite streets in the city.
That’s it for my list of top five London locations. I can’t wait to get back and add to my list.
Thanks for having me stop by
HELENA PRESTON Events was tucked on a small cobbled courtyard that managed to be quaint and charming right in the middle of London. Christopher had always loved those little finds, the quiet corners in a bustling city that reminded him of the countryside estate he’d grown up in. The buildings were brick, the street was pedestrian only, and her entire first-floor bay window was painted a shiny cherry red. A sign hung out perpendicular to the door that read “Helena Preston Events,” white on stylish navy blue.
It seemed they had found their destination.
Christopher shook the snow off his jacket and kicked lightly at the brick to remove the buildup from his Chelsea boots. They were getting trashed in this abominable weather. He’d need a new pair soon.
He opened the door and ushered Libby inside. They were greeted by what looked like the sitting room in an upscale teahouse—tall ceilings, pale green walls, potted palms, light cushioned furniture, and a spindly white wrought iron table, laden with pamphlets and photo albums instead of tea cakes and a pot of English Breakfast.
“Are you the Pritts-Shackleton party?” a perky blonde asked from behind the desk.
Her hair was shiny, and her sweater was neat and buttoned up to the neck. Christopher was only vaguely annoyed. He missed his deep leather chair and his dog. Call him old—Libby and Edward did quite regularly—he still wanted to be at home.
“Yes. I’m Libby Pritts. This is my friend, Christopher.”
“Oh yes, I remember. Mister O’Leary will be with you in a moment.”
Christopher’s stomach did a quick, horrible swoop when he heard the name he hadn’t heard in so many years. O’Leary. What were—no. Don’t be ridiculous. He remembered Libby saying they were meeting with a bloke called Will. It wasn’t him. Christopher would be ready when they finally met again. He wasn’t nearly ready. It didn’t matter, because they were meeting Will O’Leary. He was safe.
Christopher sat on suddenly shaky legs and let Libby babble over him. It was ludicrous how one name, a fairly common one at that, had enough power to bend him to his core.
It had been so long.
And then he heard it—the voice he’d never in his life forget, floating down the hall on the tail of a laugh. “Don’t leave without me. My appointment is here,” he said, and then before Christopher even had the chance to breathe in and out, he was turning the corner into the main room and he was there. Slim and ginger-haired, high cheeks, lush lips, big blue eyes, and the most adorable smattering of freckles. There were a few more years around his eyes and a whole lot more money in his clothing, but there wasn’t a doubt in Christopher’s mind.
It was August, all right.
August O’Leary. The love of Christopher’s life.
Who probably—no definitely—hated him.
“IS THIS some kind of a joke?” August nearly choked on his own gasped in-breath.
The woman, Libby Pritts he assumed, froze in place. She’d been rising, with her hand out ready to greet him, but August could barely focus on her. How could he, when the last person he ever wanted to see was standing right in front of him? Christopher Burke. Christopher…. August felt a little dizzy all of a sudden. He gripped the side of one of Helena’s chairs and held on tight.
What was Christopher doing there? He hated London, he never wanted to even visit, and he was there and gorgeous, and August didn’t know whether to hate him or kiss him or—
Get it together. August knew he was spinning. He didn’t know how he was supposed to do anything else. What on earth was he doing there? It had to be a setup. Coincidences didn’t work that way.
“Um, hi. Are you Will?” his client asked.
She was demure, sandy-haired, and dainty, with an expensive winter jacket and a scarf from Mulberry. August was trained to notice details even under stress. Stress. That was a joke. Whatever word described what his body was going through was so much more than stress. He forced himself to make eye contact.
“I’m Libby,” she added.
Of course she was. Oh God. Of course it wasn’t a setup. It was just a horrible random coincidence. August felt sick to his stomach. He felt, well, he didn’t know how he felt. But he was a goddamn professional, so he did what he did best—slapped on a happy face in the middle of utter chaos and went to work.
“I’m actually August, Will’s partner. I’ll be taking lead, but he’ll be helping us behind the scenes for your wedding. It’s nice to meet you.”
Libby Pritts looked a bit suspicious, but she held out her hand again and let August shake it.
Get it together….
Repeating it didn’t make the advice any easier to follow.
“And this is our closest friend, Christopher. Edward will make it to as many meetings as he can, but I believe I talked to Helena about Christopher filling in when possible. Edward is very busy.”
“Oh, of course that’s perfectly fine,” August promised her.
Not fine. The opposite of fine.
August kept his death grip on the side of Helena’s flimsy, whimsical chair in the hopes that something would keep him from passing out. He’d never had such a visceral, immediate reaction to anything in his life. He’d wondered for years what it would feel like if he happened to run into Christopher somewhere. It probably would’ve been best to keep wondering. He didn’t like it at all. He wanted it to end.
“Hi, August,” Christopher said.
And there it was. That voice. The voice he’d heard for nearly three years of mornings, grumbly and soft against the back of his neck. The voice that he’d heard say “I love you” countless times. The voice that had told him, out of the blue, that he was done with August and the relationship that had been meant to last forever after the happiest years of August’s life. He bit down hard on his lip and nearly whimpered at the pain. He tasted blood.
“Hi, Christopher,” he muttered. The full name felt odd coming out of his mouth. In school, he’d always been Chris. August pinched the flesh of his palm and tried to breathe. Libby looked back and forth between them with a confused frown. Get it together. Once again for the cheap seats in the back. “Shall we take this back to my office? I’d like to get some ideas for what you have in mind.” He thought his voice sounded decently smooth. At least he hoped.
“Yes. Please.” Libby sounded as confused as she looked.
August didn’t blame her.
I’m Mj O’Shea 🙂 I grew up, and still live, in sunny Washington state and while I love to visit other places, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.
I spent my childhood writing stories. Sometime in my early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those were about me, my friends, and our favorite movie and pop stars. Hopefully, I’ve come a long way since then.
When I’m not writing, I love to play the piano, dance, cook, paint pictures, and of course read! I like sparkly girly girl things, own at least twenty different colored headbands, and I have two little dogs who sit with me when I write. Sometimes they comes up with ideas for me too…when they’re not busy napping.