What A Girl Wants cover
Part of the Forrester Brothers series:

Elijah Forrester needs a date for his brother’s wedding. Fast. His mother is threatening to set him up with a “nice girl” if he insists on going solo. But he’s a doctor, and a workaholic, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for romance. If he gives in to his mom’s matchmaking scheme, he just knows she’s going to start planning his wedding to the Nice Girl she picked out. There is no way he’s letting that happen.

Hospital administrator and resident goth girl Vesper Blackwood is smart, funny, and gorgeous. She and Elijah have a nice, workplace flirtation going on, but neither of them intend for it to go any further — dating in the workplace can get messy. But a family function isn’t officially a date, is it? Besides, it’s just for one afternoon. They can keep their hands to themselves, right?

Wrong. One afternoon turns into an all-night sleepover. She wants to call it a mistake and walk away, but Eli’s not ready for something so good to end. He has to convince her that breaking their dating rules is worth the risk.

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Publisher: CJ Books
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Sacramento, California

“I found a date for you for Tyrone’s wedding.”

There were words to make any man’s blood run cold. His mother had found him a date for his brother’s wedding. Eli choked on the swig of beer he’d just taken, and croaked out, “No.”

She tossed up her hands. “Don’t say no yet, Elijah. I haven’t even told you about her. She’s a nice girl.”

Oh, Lord. A Nice Girl. He resisted the urge to down his beer in one quick gulp. He’d thought this would be a nice family dinner, where they’d talk a bit about the upcoming wedding and other parts of each other’s lives. And Santino’s was usually Eli’s favorite place to eat. Low-key, casual, but with truly amazing pizza and calzones. He’d gone through his shift at the hospital looking forward to this…and now his mom was coordinating his love life. To say things had gone downhill was something of an understatement.


It didn’t help that both of his younger brothers—Tyrone and Derek—sat across the table from him, their respective fiancées tucked against them. They didn’t smirk at his misfortune, which might have made the situation a bit better. He could have at least plotted revenge against them. No, the looks aimed his way were pitying.


He had to get out of this fast. Meeting his mother’s gaze squarely, he lied without a single qualm. “My answer won’t change. I already have a date.”

His mother had made noises the previous week about how sad it was that he had no date, and he was the only one in the family who didn’t. Was it his fault that his brothers had fallen in the love in the last couple of years? Or that his three cousins all happened to be in steady relationships at the moment? And what was so wrong about going to a wedding alone?

She folded her arms, her face a picture of skepticism. Marion Forrester was not a woman to be toyed with. She missed very little and had a way of crawling inside your head—a skill she’d used to great effect as a lawyer and the mother of three boys. “You didn’t have a date last week. You’re suddenly dating someone?”

“No, ma’am.” He wasn’t stupid enough to tell a tall tale. The Forrester boys had learned young that the best way to get anything by their mom was to stick as close to the truth as possible. In this case, he just needed to stick to the plausible. “I asked one of the hospital administrators to come with me. Who wants a blind date to a wedding?”

Their food arrived—thank you sweet baby Jesus—and Eli dared to hope that the topic was dropped. He shoveled a bite of calzone into his mouth and chewed very slowly. His mom let a few minutes of silence pass before she dove in again.

“It wouldn’t have been a blind date. I was going to have you go out with her before the wedding. So you could get to know each other.”

“No need.”

Her eyes narrowed. “What’s your date’s name?”

“Vesper.” The name shot out of his mouth with no real direction from his brain. Vesper’s face flashed before his eyes, heart shaped and lovely. Her expressive brown eyes drew him in whenever their gazes met and he’d wished he could slide his fingers through her long dark hair a thousand times, just to find out if it was as silky as it looked. Her usual glam goth attire meant she lived in bodycon black dresses that showed off her generous curves to absolute perfection. They had an office flirtation that they both enjoyed immensely, but they’d also agreed that workplace romance was something neither of them was interested in. He’d already gone down that disastrous road once, and he had no intention of a repeat trip. She had seen her share of soured relationships making it a pain in the backside to work at the hospital, so she agreed with him on the “no dating coworkers” rule. He liked that they were friends, even if they couldn’t be anything more.

Sadly, a little friendly flirtation was the extent of his current dating life. He really needed to get out more. But for the moment, his main goal was getting out of a blind date with a Nice Girl.

His mom’s eyebrow arched. “Vesper what?”


She whipped out her cell phone and typed in the name.

“Come on. I didn’t make her up.” He just hadn’t actually asked her to go with him. Yet.

His dad chose that moment to walk into the restaurant, looking more relaxed than he had in years. He’d recently retired as the city’s police chief. “Sorry I’m late. I got caught in traffic after I finished at the gold course.”

“It’s a rough life,” Ty noted. He was a SWAT officer, so he’d likely felt the impact of Greg Forrester’s retirement more keenly than either of his brothers.

The next words out of his mother’s voice made Eli cringe. “Aw, look. This is his date for the wedding. She’s a cute goth girl. That winged eyeliner is amazing.”

She passed her phone his dad, who handed it around for the others to see. Eli felt like a fifteen-year-old with his first date. Awkward.

He pressed his cold beer bottle to his forehead. “Is this really necessary? I have a date. You have her name to include on the guest list.”

His mom turned back to him. “What’s she—?”

He set his beer down with a thunk. “No. I’m not going to be interrogated. She is a friend and a colleague who is doing me a favor, because I saw through your wedding date questions last week.” No, he hadn’t, but he wouldn’t admit that under pain of death. “We are not actually dating, we are just friends, and that’s the end of it.”