This Much Is True – Marshall Family Read Online Adriana Locke

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Contemporary, Insta-Love Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 61
Estimated words: 60342 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 302(@200wpm)___ 241(@250wpm)___ 201(@300wpm)

When celebrity Laina Kelley bolted from her small hometown church on her wedding day, she ran to the first place that came to mind—the home of the local farrier, a gorgeous playboy who just so happens to be her first love … and biggest frenemy.

USA Today bestselling author Adriana Locke delivers a new “sweet and spicy!” standalone romance about a runaway bride who finds herself in the arms, and horse barn, of her deliciously handsome frenemy—who just so happens to be her first love.

This isn’t your average romance. It begins with me in a wedding dress, just not at an altar …

I never expected to be a runaway bride. I also never thought I’d end up on my ex’s doorstep to flee from said wedding. Now that I’m here, it’s easy to find the key in an old boot by the door and let myself inside. It’s not breaking and entering if I have a key, right?

It’s safe to say that Luke Marshall didn’t expect to find me on his couch in my wedding dress, my veil over my face in tears. He has no choice but to listen to my panic-induced plea for salvation. It’s only a matter of time before the tabloids get wind of my disappearing act, and my life is over.

Luke takes pity on me and says I can stay… on one condition.

I can’t sing for my supper—I have to earn it. I have to work in the barn alongside him, up to my elbows in horse manure. Oh—and because there’s only one bed, I get the couch.

This works … in theory. However, when sparks start flying, and the small-town farrier asks me to stay, I’ll have to decide between my life as a pop star or a second chance with my first love.

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Chapter One


“What do you mean you’re on the run?”

Stephanie’s question is valid, as is her curious but mostly nonchalant way of asking it. After all, it’s me we’re talking about. But she should’ve been more prepared.

“Do I really need to break it down for you—darn it!” I pry my heel out of a slit in the asphalt. “Besides, when your best friend calls and says she’s on the run and needs your help, the only question you should ask is whose car are we taking?”

“You’re so funny.”

I glance to my right, then to my left. A trail of sweat trickles between my shoulder blades. Aside from two men in fitted suits and sunglasses from the security team, I’m in the clear.

“There’s nothing funny about this,” I say, darting across the parking lot as gracefully as possible despite the layers of tulle.

“The last time I saw you—which was approximately fifteen minutes ago, give or take—you were in your wedding dress, looking stunning, I might add, waiting for your father to show up to walk you down the aisle.”

Fifteen minutes? Man, I work quick.

The crowd roars from the other side of the safety barrier Landry Security erected three days ago to keep fans and paparazzi—mostly paparazzi—away from the church. Brickfield has been teeming all week with spectators eager to see what the media has deemed the wedding of the century. Former classmates were interviewed. My kindergarten teacher was on the front page of Exposé magazine this week. Alleged encounters with the “men in my life” since I became famous have been dissected and analyzed to death. If only half of what was printed were real, my life would be far more entertaining.

I would’ve felt bad for Sheriff Jones in his plight to organize a response to this level of anarchy in a town of five thousand people if he hadn’t used my wedding as the launch of his re-election campaign.

“What’s going on, Laina? Are you joking around, or is something really the matter?”

“Considering I’m currently hiding between two sheds and hoping no one is flying drones overhead, I’d say something is the matter.”

“Why are you between two sheds?”

I spit a piece of my veil out of my face. “I can’t marry him, Steph.”

My best friend goes silent. I imagine her face—mouth agape, brows arched higher than the lamination treatment should allow, and a wrinkled forehead defying her Botox. She wore the same expression when I told her I was marrying Hollywood heartthrob Tom Waverly a year ago—complete and utter shock.

“I should’ve listened to you,” I say, taking a steadying breath. “I never should’ve accepted his proposal at all, let alone plan a wedding and invite one hundred fifty people to the church and another two hundred to a reception that cost more than …” Dread rolls through the pit of my stomach. “Let’s not even go there.”

“Okay.” Her voice is cool and tempered. “What do you need?”

“Ironically enough, I need you to ask whose car we’re taking because the answer is I don’t know. I didn’t think this through. I excused myself from the room, shut the door, and left.”

“We’re throwing a plot twist at the last second, but that’s okay. I think quick on my feet, so don’t panic.”

“Strangely, I’m not. I don’t know whether that’s because I’m blocking out the ramifications of this wholly impulsive decision or if this is my gut’s way of thanking me for following it.” I peer around the side of one of the sheds, nearly getting busted by the best man. “I’ll take it either way.”

“We’re going with the latter. Now, where are you, exactly?”

“Behind the church. There are two sheds with a hedgerow behind them. I’m between the buildings.”

The crowd roars once again. But instead of the ordinary screams and whistles, they begin to sing the chorus of the most popular song on country radio.

“Guess Sam’s here,” I say, sighing.

“Don’t worry about who is here. Let’s worry about getting you out of here.”

“Therein lies my problem.” I nibble the lip stain that took me six months to pick out. “People are everywhere. I can’t just walk out the gate and onto the street. I get recognized in a wig, hat, and sunglasses, let alone a freaking wedding dress.”

My heart pounds as the weight of my actions sinks in.

Tom will be humiliated. The biggest movie star in the world will be left standing at the altar by the pop star the world is quick to label frivolous. My parents’ fury will be immeasurable. How dare I be so careless with my image when so much of their success is riding on it? My PR team will be inundated with calls and emails. My assistant must stay out of sight until this cools down, and my fans will jump to conclusions and assume the worst about me. About Tom. Critics will claim this was a publicity stunt when it’s nothing more than a woman trying to salvage her future amid a few bad choices.