Illegally Wedded by Jennifer Griffith
He needs a promotion. She needs to stay in the country. Piper Quinn has a great thing going. She’s young, talented, and the sole chef at Du Jour, San Antonio’s hottest lunch bistro. She and her business partner just have to stay open one year to be eligible for the coveted Texas Star. Days before eligibility though, Piper gets terrible news: she’s getting deported. To New Zealand. Where her parents have joined a hobbit cult. Attorney Zach Travis can’t seem to break into the partnership bracket at his big, respected firm—despite his stellar record. Then, Zach hears a rumor his bachelor status may be holding him back, and he needs a wife to advance his career. The girl at the bistro is an intriguing candidate. As Piper shares her desperate plea for legal help, Zach realizes he can fix both their dilemmas—with a marriage certificate. However, their plan puts them in the cross-hairs of more than one vindictive enemy. Worse, neatly ending their marriage may be tricky due to a sparking chemistry neither Zach nor Piper can ignore.
“Wait.” Cora stopped her, and Piper paused a moment, turning back. “Look. You’re a nice person, I can tell. And I’m definitely not an attorney, so this is not legal advice. Do you hear me? Not legal advice.” Right. Piper nodded, listening carefully, but promising with her eyes not to accept Cora’s words as gospel. “I once knew a guy with a friend in a similar situation.” Cora was whispering and glancing down a hallway. Clearly she could get in trouble for this. “He found out he had a couple of options.” “Options?” Piper needed options. “He could one, leave the country. Then he could and try to get back in on a legal visa—but it could take years.” “I don’t have years.” “Two, he could go into hiding.” That sounded awful, like it would involve living in a cave with cave rats and water dripping with plinks into limestone ringed pools, and like it wouldn’t solve anything. “Or three,—and this is completely the best if you are already in a relationship—get married to a U.S. citizen.” Married! A huge hand gripped Piper’s heart and squeezed. Marry someone? But who? She was dating Chad. … She guessed she could ask Chad when he called her back. Wait. A proposal over the phone? Ugh. Her head dropped into her hands as she passed the Unique Boutique with all its incense and bath soap smells. This was just getting farther and farther away from the ideal she’d been taught all her life—man proposes on one knee after asking the permission of his bride’s father. Uh, none of that was happening. Great. So, it looked like this warped version of her life was the new normal. And she’d better get used to it or else start planning her future home decor around circular wooden doorways and houses where even she at five-foot-nothing had to constantly stoop. Her back ached just thinking about it. Her phone rang. Oh, good. Chad was calling her back already. How unexpected. Her heart clutched. How should she break it to him? Instead, she should just tell him they need to meet up. This conversation should happen when she could look in his eye and talk it out in person. The implications. The duration. The…oh, geez. Now it really did feel like fraud. “Hey, babe,” she said when she clicked the answer button. “You have time to get together tonight? Because I have something I really want to talk with you about. I mean, brace yourself, heh-heh, because I’ll be bringing up the dreaded relationship talk.” She gave another little nervous laugh. How was Chad going to react? Her trial balloon could be shot down by his bazooka at first float, and then where would that leave her? “Uh, yeah. I’m down. Totally. What time should I pick you up?” Uh, this wasn’t Chad’s voice. “Piper? You still there?” She stopped dead in her tracks on Market Street. “Because I’m thinking of a little dinner right on the river. What do you think? How’s six?” This wasn’t Chad. This was Zach Travis. Author Jennifer Griffith Jennifer Griffith writes light, sweet romances she calls Cotton Candy for the Soul. Her Legally in Love Collection stems from the fact she fell in love with a handsome law school student who now serves as a judge—as well as her muse. She also writes the Billionaire Makeover Romances, billionaires and makeovers being some things with which she has less experience. Jennifer loves old cars, landscape paintings, fresh bread with raspberry jam, and reading. She lived in Japan during college, where she once ate a cricket on a dare. She also traveled through Europe, where she slept a night in a castle on the Rhine. Jennifer worked summers in a cookie factory, and she spent a few years working for the U.S. Congress before becoming a wife, a mom and an author.