Bridal Boot Camp Read online
First published in the US in 2019 by Avon Impulse,
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
First published in Great Britain in 2019 by Piatkus
Copyright © 2019 by Meg Cabot LLC
Excerpt from No Judgments copyright © 2019 by Meg Cabot LLC
The moral right of the author has been asserted.
All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
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An Excerpt from No Judgments Chapter One
About the Author
Also by Meg Cabot
I tried not to stare at the guy who stood in the back of the room, but it wasn’t easy, first because he was the only guy in a room full of women, and second because he was fit.
Not just fit, but hard, not an ounce of fat on him. He obviously worked out. He had shoulders that looked as if they’d been carved from slabs of marble, and his biceps were sick: round and thick and darkly tanned. He was clean-shaven with a head full of nicely curled dark hair, and his workout clothes were crisp and clean, though they’d seen some wear.
But he’d laid out a spin mat instead of a yoga mat, so something was off. The guy knew his way around a gym, all right, but not a spin or yoga class.
So what the hell was he doing in bridal boot camp?
It was obvious my clients wanted to know, too. They were eyeing him like he was a pumpkin spice latte on the first day of fall. Even Lauren, who was engaged to one of the most highly regarded NFL prospects out of the University of Florida, couldn’t take her eyes off him.
Meanwhile, her mother, Connie, was glaring at me. She wasn’t paying a hundred grand for two hundred guests to chow down on surf and turf over at the Cascabel Hotel just to have her daughter get thirsty for some new guy at the gym and cancel the wedding a month before the big day.
I knew I had to do something, and fast.
“Hey,” I said, sidling up to Biceps as he checked his cell for messages. “What class are you here for?”
“Uh, yoga,” he said, lowering his phone. “This is six o’clock yoga, right?”
I knew it. He was in the wrong class. Just my luck. At least the way my luck’s been running lately.
“No,” I said. “We only have a six o’clock yoga class here on Wednesdays. This is boot camp.”
“Bridal boot camp,” Lauren added, her blue eyes glittering with either malice or delight—with Lauren it was always hard to tell. “To get in shape before your wedding.”
“Or a wedding you’re attending,” Connie said, flashing her daughter a look of warning. “You don’t actually have to be getting married yourself to be in this class.”
“You’re not getting married, are you?” Anna asked in her heavy Cuban accent, sending a hopeful glance toward Biceps’s left ring finger. I wasn’t the only one who’d noticed it was conspicuously absent of jewelry.
“Uh, no,” Biceps said, looking adorably confused, especially as Patrick, the only other male in my class (he was marrying Bill, his longtime partner, in a beachside ceremony at the Sandy Point state park in August), chose that moment to burst through the door from the men’s locker room.
“Sorry I’m late, girls, you would not believe the traffic on the Circle—wait one second. What in the name of sweet hunk of man meat do we have here?”
I could have sworn Biceps began to blush under his tan.
“Uh,” he said, slipping his cell back into his gym bag. “I looked online and it said there was a yoga class here at six—”
“There is.” I was beginning to feel sorry for the guy—and one reason I’m such a popular trainer is that I’m known for not taking pity on anyone, especially clients.
But Patrick and the rest of the ladies were staring at Biceps as intently as if he was a gazelle who’d wandered into the middle of a lion’s den. A pretty built gazelle, but still.
“Yoga’s only on Wednesday nights,” I said. “And every morning at eight.”
His dark eyebrows constricted. “I can’t make Wednesday nights. Or mornings. I work eight to four every day. I’m a deputy with the sheriff’s office.”
I could almost hear the ripple of ecstasy that swept through the ladies—and Patrick—at his words. A male first responder—and one with extremely pronounced triceps—in our gym? It seemed too good to be true.
Given my luck, I knew it would be.
“Then what are you doing here?” I asked, lowering my voice so the others couldn’t hear. “I know they have a state-of-the-art gym over at the sheriff’s department. And you obviously use it. You didn’t get those lats sitting around doing paperwork all day.”
He glanced down at his own shoulder as if to see what I was talking about and then, adorably, blushed again.
“Oh, yeah,” he said. “Well, I lift.”
Yeah, no shit, Sherlock. What did he lift, boulders?
“I was involved in a, um, incident,” he went on, his voice as low as mine. “And the sheriff—you know Sheriff Hartwell, right?”
I nodded. Everyone on the island knew Sheriff Hartwell. In addition to having cut crime in half since being elected—not that there’d ever been much crime on Little Bridge Island in the first place, aside from the occasional illicit drug use and fishing violations—the sheriff also gamely rode in an evening gown on a float in the gay pride parade every year, even though he himself was hetero. This made him beloved not only to the Patricks of the island, but also the Laurens and the Connies, too.
“He gave me a disciplinary action,” Biceps went on. “And part of it is that I have to start taking yoga, in order to curb some of what he calls my, uh, male aggression.”
I raised my eyebrows. The male part I liked—more than liked. I welcomed it with open arms. It had been eleven months since Pete and I had broken up (not that I was counting), and I hadn’t had sex since, despite my best friend Jenna’s insistence that I needed to get back into the game.
And I’ve been trying. I really have. I’ve kept up with my hair appointments—highlights and lowlights once a month on my shoulder-length bob, so I look like the natural blonde I’ve never been—and spray tans and mani-pedis every two weeks. I watch what I eat—no processed carbs, refined sugar, or excessive alcohol. You’d think I was the one about to get married.
But who would I marry, anyway? When you live on a two-mile-by-four-mile island, you can’t exactly count on Tinder to meet people, since you’ll most likely see your date the following morning at the grocery store or coffee shop, making for an awkward situation all around if things haven’t gone well.
And with me they almost never g