Last First Kiss - Carrie Ann Ryan
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Last First Kiss

Book 5 in the Montgomery Ink Legacy Series
Special Edition

The Montgomery Ink Legacy series continues with a workplace fling romance that starts off with a literal bang. Daisy Montgomery Knight is about to meet her match when it comes to Hugh Hendrix.

One look across the aisle at a wedding and I fell in lust.

He’s on the bride’s side. I’m on the groom’s.

But by the end of the night, we’re against a wall, over a table…and in bed.

I’m prepared never to see him again except in my memories.

Only the next week things become awkward: I’m his new boss.

And it turns out he’s just as demanding outside of the sheets as beneath them.

We need to stay away from each other—he has his demons, as well as an adorable little girl, and I’m trying to heal after a job gone wrong.

I know I need to walk away…even if neither one of us wants to.


read an excerpt

Last First Kiss Characters Profiles

Last First Kiss

I wanted nothing more than to take off this ridiculous tie, slide off the shoes that were pinching my toes for some unknown reason, and find an ice-cold pint. I had so many other things on my plate, coming to this wedding hadn’t been a huge priority. However, as the bride was a family friend, and I was the only one of my family currently living in America, somebody had to represent the family interests.

I could actually hear my mother’s voice echo through my head as she said those exact words to me the week prior, ordering me to come.

I already bought the damn gift for Rina and Henry’s wedding. It was from their registry, and I actually liked Rina. I’d never met Henry before, but Rina was a good friend when we were kids living in London. Now somehow both of us were living in Denver, Colorado, in America of all places. However, life had a way of derailing your plans and throwing you into a life that you never thought possible.

Before I was forced to move here, I thought Colorado was full of snow. Maybe some nice temperate weather days, but I was wrong. Apparently one could go through all the seasons in one day. It was a little chilly that morning and felt nice on my skin. Had reminded me of home. Both homes, where I lived for most of my life: New York and London. New York got hot of course, but the sun never felt like this. Maybe it was because we were so damn close to it at this elevation.

I didn’t hate living here but it was still new, and I didn’t have a sense of stability that I needed for me to be comfortable. As it was, I was spending my one free Saturday at the wedding of a woman I hadn’t seen in near to a decade, just to please my family.

I hadn’t done enough of that in the past, so I supposed I should probably remember why I said yes to this thing in the first place.

I was just so tired of changes.

“Hey, groom side or bride side?” a man with flaming red hair and a bright grin asked. He had on the gray tuxedo the wedding party wore, along with the candy-pink accessories that did horrible things with his hair. I’m sure the pink-and-gray coloring worked with nearly everyone else, but as a fellow ginger, I sympathized with him that no one thought about what a redhead would look like in the wedding colors. Not that it mattered. This was Rina’s day, and probably her husband’s as well.

“Bride’s,” I finally answered.

“Okay cool, I’ll go show you where you need to sit. How long have you known Rina?” the man asked, and I followed him to the seating area. I didn’t need an usher to tell me where to sit, but if this was his job, and he was enjoying it, I wasn’t going to stop him. I hadn’t brought a date to the wedding, and I didn’t know anyone here. That felt like that was going to be my lot in life for many things, because I didn’t know anyone anywhere. Except the reason I moved here in the first place.

“We knew each other as kids. Our families are close.”

The man grinned.

“I figured with the British accent you were on the bride’s side, but I didn’t want to assume, you know? Anyway, that’s really cool that you flew all the way out here just to see her. I mean, just because you were friends as kids, it doesn’t mean that you have to be friends now, you know?”

The guy was doing a good job of putting me at ease, even though I was still tired from unpacking boxes most of the day yesterday.

“I’m sure Henry knows a few British people. Considering he’s marrying one.”

“That is true.”

I went down the row he gestured to, one in the middle, not in the back where I wanted to be so I could hide and not have to deal with small talk. But at least I wasn’t up in the front, although I would have to make eye contact with all of Rina’s family and anyone passing by. I’d be able to blend in here better, so I appreciated this guy picking up on that.

“Anyway, welcome. And seriously, on behalf of the bride and groom, thanks for flying all the way out here for the wedding.”

I shook my head. “I moved to Colorado, so it wasn’t too far of a drive for me. Not across the pond,” I said with the roll of my eyes because I hated the phrase.

“That’s amazing. Small worlds and all that. I’m Josh by the way.” He held out his hand and I shook it. I liked this guy, even though I would probably never see him again after today.

“Nice to meet you, Josh, I’m Hugh.”

“Welcome to my favorite state in the world. Glorious sun, great places to ski, and the best food out there.”

I raised a brow. “Are you sure about the food?”

“Aren’t you from a place that doesn’t use seasoning?” Josh asked, teasing.

I rolled my eyes. “Excuse me, but I take umbrage at that.”

“Oh, do you?” Josh said with a laugh before someone called his name and he waved back.

“I better get back to work, but nice to meet you, Hugh.” And then Josh was off, practically skipping towards couples waiting to be shown to their seats.

I rolled my eyes and took my seat, feeling slightly more energetic. Maybe today wouldn’t be all that bad.

And then a little kid sneezed behind me, mucus landing on my neck.

I shuddered as the woman behind me apologized. I stood up and smiled, nodded as if I wasn’t about to freak the fuck out over the amount of snot on me, and made my way to the restroom to hopefully wash my neck off before the wedding started.

I loved my daughter. Lucy was energetic, adorable, and I had dealt with enough bodily fluids that I could handle most things. But a stranger’s kid? No thanks. I was already hot and sweaty, I didn’t need to add anything else to make me more uncomfortable.

I turned the corner and bumped into a woman in sky-high heels, yet was still quite a bit shorter than me. I cursed and reached out, gripping her shoulders. She had her hand on my wrist in a moment, squeezing with a twist that surprised me. I knew that move. And if I wasn’t careful, she was going to twist my arm around my back. Interesting.

Why did that make me hard? There was something wrong with me, and I needed to either get laid, or get some sleep. Probably both.

“I’m sorry. I wasn’t watching where I was going, and I’m trying to be quick about it. I apologize.” I gently moved my arms from her shoulders and tried not to stand agog with my mouth open. She was quite possibly the most gorgeous woman I had ever met in my life.

And, in my line of work, I tended to meet a lot of beautiful women.

She had stunning green eyes that looked as if they were crafted within the ocean. In fact, I bet in sunlight they looked gray or even blue. The mystery of it compelled me, and that probably should have been a warning sign. Her long dark hair was neatly crafted into some form of updo thing that I didn’t understand. I wondered what it would look like if I pulled it out of its style, just to see it fall down her back. Would it be wavy? Would it easily wrap around my fist?

She was strong, muscular, a little above average height, but still short next to me.

She had curves, beautiful breasts that filled out her dress achingly well, and slightly widened hips, the perfect width for my grip.

I shook myself out of whatever the hell was going on with me. I did not react to women like this. Hell, I barely reacted at all these days. I was too busy trying to keep up with my daughter, this move, and the fact that I would start a new job on Monday. I didn’t have time for this wedding.

“It’s okay,” the woman said, her voice slightly smoky. It was a voice that drew me.

What the hell was wrong with me?

“Anyway, I should hurry. Don’t want to be late.”

Her red tinted lips quirked into a smile, and I swallowed hard.

“No, I don’t think Henry’s bride will appreciate that.”

“You’re on the groom side then?”

She nodded. “And with that accent, I guess you’re on the bride’s side?”

“You know, you’re not the first person to say that today. Your friend could know more than one British person, not just the one he’s marrying.”

“True. But statistically, I think Rina knows a few more.”

“You know, you’re probably right.”

“Anyway, I will see you. At least across the aisle.” She winked, before she turned towards the wedding center, her hips swaying just right. I didn’t think she was doing it on purpose either. It was those damn heels, and those legs that went on for days. And she was so damn strong. So muscular.

I shook that off, because I didn’t want to walk into the wedding after it started, and ran to the bathroom, cleaned the back of my neck, washed my hands, and let out a breath as I leaned on the sink.

“You can do this. One more day of being normal.”

Whatever normal was.

I made it to my seat in the middle pew right as the processions began. I was grateful that I hadn’t had to slip in the middle of it or hide behind a pillar during the damn ceremony. That would’ve been just my luck.

Of course, it seemed my luck was changing, because as I turned to watch the procession, I saw the dark-haired beauty right across from me. She winked as the man next to her spoke into her ear and she laughed, a nice husky laugh that went straight to my groin.

She had brought a fucking date. I guess that answered that.

Now to just get my cock to agree.

Soon Rina was walking down the aisle, and I did my best to pay attention to my childhood friend and not the woman who seemed to ignite something that had been dormant for a very long time.

The wedding went off without a hitch and the bride and groom seemed perfect for each other. Not that I actually believed that. Perfection was an illusion, and marriages didn’t last. I was testament to that, as were most of my friends. If I was a more cynical man, I would take bets on how long this would last. After all, Rina and Henry came from different places, had known each other less than a year, and yet they were promising a life together. I wasn’t sure that was going to work, but maybe they would have fun along the way. I hoped it would be better than mine.

I made my way to the reception and got an old fashioned. I sipped the drink, letting the walnut bitters settle over my tongue.

One hour closer to taking off this damned tie.

I checked in with the babysitter and was told Lucy was doing great. I smiled at the photo on my phone of Lucy beaming up at me, her bright red hair in curls all around her face.

She looked a lot like my family, not so much her mother’s. I wouldn’t say that was a bad thing, but I would never tell that to my child. She still loved her mother, despite everything that woman had done.

“Your face went from relaxed to smiling to angry. Now I have to know what you’re looking at.”

I smiled as I slid my phone into my pocket and looked up at the woman with dark hair.

“Just family things,” I said smoothly. Lucy was mine. I didn’t like bringing her up to strangers, not when people would want to know why I was a single father. That wasn’t information I wanted blasted about.

“Well, family does that,” the woman said, a smile playing on her face as if she had a secret joke. “Anyway, I’m Daisy.”

I smiled. “Hugh.” I looked over her shoulder. “Where’s your date?” I asked, only a little annoyed with myself for caring, but really fucking annoyed with myself for the tone. Her eyebrow shot up as she frowned before she snapped her fingers. “No. Not my date. That would be Crew. He’s my best friend, and one of the biggest pains in my ass. He’s out searching for a bridesmaid that winked at him during the ceremony. I don’t have the heart to tell him that she’s a lesbian and I think she was winking at me.”

I burst out laughing and shook my head.

“Well, then I’m Hugh. Though I feel like I already did this.”

She tipped her champagne glass to my lowball glass and smiled. “It’s nice to meet you, Hugh. So, are you ready to relax a bit? Weddings always stress me out.”

“Been to a lot of weddings, have you?”

That made her laugh, and I wondered what the story was there. “You have no idea, and I have a few more coming up.”

“But not yours.”

“So subtle,” she said with a laugh.

“I’m really rusty at this.”

“Honestly, same. But this is fun. And no, not mine. I’m single.”


Her eyes filled with warmth, and when her tongue darted out to lick her lips, I swallowed hard.

“Good to know.”

“Yes, very good.”

Tonight might be more interesting than I thought.

“Okay, time to catch the garter,” the announcer said over the mic.

I groaned. “I hate this.”

“Go, make your friend happy.”

“I really don’t believe Rina’s going to care if I have a garter that she wore thrown at my face. If anything, she’ll probably kick my ass.”

“She’ll kick your ass if you break tradition. Now go,” she said, taking my drink.

“I wasn’t done with that.”

“You can come back and get it later. I’ll hold it hostage for now.”

I rolled my eyes and made my way out with the other single men, letting the ringbearer and all his friends stand in front of me. If I was lucky, I’d toss a child at the garter or one of the guys next to me and run.

Marriage wasn’t for me, and I had no plans on ever doing it again. I realized when people said that out loud, it usually jinxed them, but not me. I had already been married once. It ended in such a spectacular failure that my life had changed twice. I wasn’t fucking doing it again.

“Oh hey, you’re here,” Josh said as he came to my side with a grin on his face.

“Hello there.”

“You ready to tackle someone for the garter?”

“I can push you towards it,” I said dryly.

“That sounds like a challenge.”

I opened my mouth to say something, but lace slapped me in the face.

I instinctively reached out, then looked down at the damn garter in my hand.

Josh pulled out his phone and snapped a photo while grinning.

See. Tempting fate.

“Please take it,” I said, trying to toss the thing at him.

Josh held up both hands.

“Don’t break tradition.”

“Oh, it’s you!” Rina said as she ran towards me, the train of her dress in hand. “That’s not awkward at all,” she said as she went to her tiptoes and kissed me on the cheek.

I rolled my eyes because it was hard to be angry at Rina for anything, let alone this.

“I’m going to get you back for this.”

“You tossed me into a mud pit when we were three, I think this is payback.”

“You’re the one who tossed me first,” I countered.

“So this is the infamous Hugh,” Henry said as he held out his hand. I shook it. The groom beamed, looking so in love with his wife, I wanted to believe this could work for them.

“It’s nice to meet you,” I said.

“Likewise. Seriously, I could have been jealous of the way that Rina talks about you, but I realized that you’re like the pesky brother.”

That made me roll my eyes, relaxing a bit. “Maybe. But she’s the pesky sister.”

“And you love it,” Rina said with a laugh as she sank into her husband’s side. “And now it’s time to toss the bouquet. Okay, Hugh, out of the way,” she said with a laugh. I moved to the side and plucked both drinks from Daisy’s hands. She looked nearly on the edge of tears from laughter. I chugged my drink and set the empty glass aside.

“Okay, it’s your turn.”

“Oh, I don’t think so.”

I practically pushed her towards the other women. “Payback’s a bitch,” I whispered.

A waiter handed me another glass of champagne but I held hers safe. I was only a little bit surprised when Daisy ducked out of the way, yet still ended up with the bouquet.

She glared at me before stomping over, ignoring the congratulations of others.

I shook my head when she took her drink back and chugged it.

Then she took my drink, tossed it back quickly, and set both glasses down on the tray next to her.

“I blame you for this.”

I held up the garter.

“Oh, I blame you.”

When people started shouting for us to dance, I shook my head, but she sighed.

“Let’s get this over with.”

“Really? You sound like dancing with me is going to be a problem.”

She looked over her shoulder, her hand in mine, and I nearly tripped.

“Oh, this is going to be fun. But I don’t make any promises.”

I pulled her into my arms, dancing to whatever music filled the air. I leaned down and brushed my lips against hers. Just a brief kiss, but she nearly tripped.

People cheered, but I ignored them.

“Oh, I think this could be fun.”

“Promises, promises,” she mumbled as we continued to dance.

I had a feeling that tonight was only just beginning.

end of excerpt

Last First Kiss

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Content Warning:

Discussion of pregnancy loss, death.