Marriage For One Read online Ella Maise

Categories Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 176
Estimated words: 167649 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 838(@200wpm)___ 671(@250wpm)___ 559(@300wpm)

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Marriage For One

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Ella Maise

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Jack and I, we did everything backward. The day he lured me into his office-which was also the first day we met-he proposed. You'd think a guy who looked like him-a bit cold maybe, but still striking and very unattainable-would only ask the love of his life to marry him, right? You'd think he must be madly in love.
Nope. It was me he asked. A complete stranger who had never even heard of him. A stranger who had been dumped by her fiancé only weeks before. You'd think I'd laugh in his face, call him insane-and a few other names-then walk away as quickly as possible. Well…I did all those things except the walking away part.
It took him only minutes to talk me into a business deal…erm, I mean marriage, and only days for us to officially tie the knot. Happiest day of my life. Magical. Pop the champagne… Not. It was the worst day. Jack Hawthorne was nothing like what I'd imagined for myself.
I blamed him for my lapse in judgment. I blamed his eyes, the ocean blue eyes that looked straight into mine unapologetically, and that frown on his face I had no idea I would become so fascinated with in time.
It wasn't long after he said I was the biggest mistake of his life that things started to change. No, he still didn't talk much, but anyone can string a few words together. His actions spoke the loudest to me. And day after day my heart started to get a mind of its own.
One second he was no one. The next he became everything. One second he was unattainable. The next he seemed to be completely mine. One second I thought we were in love. The next it was still nothing but a lie.
After all, I was Rose and he was Jack. We were doomed from the very beginning with those names. Did you expect anything else?
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Ella Maise Books

Chapter One


Note to my past self: Do NOT, I repeat, do not say yes to marrying the handsome stranger you happen to know absolutely nothing about.

“Do you, Rose Coleson, solemnly declare to take…”

No. Nope.

“Jack Hawthorne to be your lawfully wedded husband?”

Hmmm. Let me think about that. I don’t. Nope.

“Do you promise to love, honor, cherish, and keep him for as long as you both shall live?”

Keep him?

Wide-eyed and a little shaky, I stared straight ahead as the officiant said the words I was dreading. Was I really doing this? When the silence in the mostly empty and sort of depressing room stretched on and it was my turn to speak up, I was on the verge of hyperventilating. I tried my best to swallow the lump in my throat so I could speak, but I was afraid the words that desperately wanted to break free weren’t Yes, I do.

I wasn’t getting married in a lush green garden while the few friends I had cheered us on as I had always imagined I would. I wasn’t laughing or crying from extreme happiness as every bride did at one point during the ceremony. I had no beautiful wedding bouquet, only one single pink rose which Jack Hawthorne had thrust into my hands without a word right after we met in front of city hall. I wasn’t even wearing a white dress, let alone my dream wedding gown. Jack Hawthorne was wearing a tailored black suit that was quite possibly worth a year of my rent, if not more. It wasn’t a tux, but it was just as good. Next to him, I looked pretty cheap. Instead of a beautiful wedding dress, I had on a simple blue dress—it was the only thing I owned that was expensive and appropriate enough for the occasion, yet somehow it was still…cheap—and I was standing next to the wrong man, one who did nothing but frown and glower.

Also, there was the handholding, his grip surprisingly tight around mine, especially compared to my loose hold. Such a simple act, but holding a stranger’s hand while you’re getting married? Not fun. Hell, forget about handholding—I was about to be the wife of a man I knew nothing more about than what a quick Google search had provided.

Yet I had willingly and knowingly agreed to this, hadn’t I?

“Miss Coleson?”

As my breaths started to come faster and panic began to take hold of me, I tried to pull my hand out of Jack Hawthorne’s grip only to feel his fingers tighten around mine even more. I didn’t know what I was thinking or what he thought I was going to do, but I couldn’t lie and say running away hadn’t crossed my mind.

His tight hold was a small warning, and then it was gone. My gaze jumped to his face, but he was staring straight ahead, eyes on the officiant, his sharp features set in stone. Cold. So cold. I thought I saw a muscle in his jaw ticking, but then I blinked, and it was gone.

The man showed his emotions about as much as a cement block did, so I tried to do what he was doing: focus on the present.

“Miss Coleson?”

Clearing my throat, I did my best to put steel into my voice so I wouldn’t cry. Not here. Not now. Not every marriage is about love. What had love offered me anyway other than heartbreak and late-night emotional eating?

My heart was beating loud and fast in my chest. “I do,” I finally replied with a smile I was sure made me look deranged.

I don’t. I think I really, really don’t.

As the smiling man repeated the same words for my non-smiling almost husband, I tuned everything and everyone out up until it was time for the rings.

God, to think I had been planning my wedding to a different guy only a few months earlier, and more than that, to think I’d thought weddings were always romantic… This wedding felt more like I was about to skydive from 13,000 feet, something I would much rather die than try, and yet there I was. Not only was I not in a garden surrounded by greenery and flowers, the only piece of furniture in the room was a couch that was a rather ugly shade of orange, and for some reason, that single piece of furniture and the color of it annoyed and offended me the most. Go figure.

“Please face each other,” the officiant said, and I followed his instructions like a robot. Feeling numb, I let Jack reach for my other hand, and when his fingers gave mine a tiny squeeze, this time I met his questioning eyes. I swallowed, tried to ignore the little jump my heart gave and offered him a small smile. He was truly striking in a cold, calculating sort of way. I’d be lying if I said my heart hadn’t given a small jump the first time I’d laid eyes on him. Completely involuntarily. He had the strong-and-silent thing down pat. His equally striking blue eyes dipped to my lips and then came back to my eyes. When I felt him slowly push a ring onto my finger, I looked down and saw a beautiful wedding band with a half-circle of round diamonds staring back at me. Surprised, I looked up to meet his eyes, but his attention was on my finger as he gently rolled the ring back and forth with his thumb and index finger. The sensation was as alien as it could get.