Excerpt The Rebound by Stefanie London

Apr 272020

The Rebound (Mills & Boon Dare) (Close Quarters Book 3) by Stefanie London

Good-girl-gone-bad Presley Richardson is running straight from the altar to a sinfully sexy rebound in USA TODAY bestselling author Stefanie London’s third Close Quarters story!

Bolting from the church half-naked was not part of the official wedding program…until I learned my husband-to-be was marrying me only for his father’s approval. How was I to know my incredibly hot getaway driver was the groom’s evil stepbrother? Or that diving into his sleek black Mercedes would be the first step on my journey to the dark side?

Wealthy executive Sebastian Foster is a bad decision waiting to happen—all hard muscles, square jaw and eyes that strip me bare. But I’m done being the good girl, done following the rules. It’s time to give up my perfectly planned life and embrace my inner siren.

Soon Sebastian is my sexy sidekick at Melbourne’s most exclusive nightclubs. Dancing burlesque for him makes us both crave a night of sensual sin. I’m starting to think this forbidden rebound may lead to something much deeper. But when I learn he’s hunting for information about my ex, I can’t help wondering—is he just another ambitious man using me to get ahead?

Take control. Feel the rush. Explore your fantasies—Harlequin Dare publishes sexy romances featuring powerful alpha males and bold, fearless heroines exploring their deepest fantasies.

Excerpt The Rebound by Stefanie London


My motto has always been: Life Is Better with a Mimosa. What’s not to like? It has bubbles, orange juice, a pretty glass. A mild buzz, which is enough to lower my social inhibitions without pushing me into hot-mess territory. It’s like the sweet spot of alcoholic beverages—good for brunch, good for a quiet night in. Good at a family barbeque.

Good any time except right now.

Don’t vomit. Don’t vomit. Don’t vomit.

Sucking in a breath and willing my stomach to behave, I sag back against the door I’ve just closed behind me. The room is spinning. My lungs feel like they’re about to cave in behind the strength of a boned bodice I’d thought was a good idea because, you know, breathing is optional on your wedding day.

I clamp a hand over my mouth.

I can’t even think the W word anymore without wanting to be sick. Which is a problem. A huge freaking sequin-encrusted problem.

You see, I’m still wearing my wedding dress. And my groom is hanging out two rooms away with his portion of the bridal party. Our family and friends are waiting in the garden outside, dressed to the nines and anticipating the day’s festivities.

My chest heaves with each breath, straining against the dress and undergarments forcing my straight up-and-down figure into Kim K curves. Well, baby Kim K curves… There’s only so much I can do without having a rib removed.

I have to get out of here.

I wring my hands in front of my dress and catch sight of the huge diamond flashing on my left hand. It suddenly feels like a noose. I claw at it, dragging it off my finger and tossing it onto the dressing table next to my beaded clutch and bouquet, which sit picture-perfect where the photographer snapped a close-up of them less than five minutes ago.

I don’t have much time before everyone is back, ready to fluff my train and adjust my veil and walk me out to meet my future husband. Panic is like a fist around my throat. I can’t marry him. Not now.

Not ever.

I jump as footsteps walk past the door. The clack of heels is like a tiny pickax beating against the inside of my skull. My mother, twin sister and the bridesmaids will be back any minute. Without thinking, I reach behind me and feel for the lock, turning it with a soft snick and trapping myself inside. I need a moment to think.

No… What I really need is an escape route.

Here’s what I know. There are only two ways in and out of this old Victorian building—through grand double doors at the front or via a small side door near the kitchen. Neither is a viable option, because the chances of me being seen are near guaranteed. And my outfit isn’t exactly easy to miss.

The sound of birds tittering through an open window snags my attention. Outside the bridal dressing room, greenery stretches out as far as the eye can see—gum trees and other native plants, yellow flowers of some kind. We’re at ground level.

I rush over to the window and peer out. From here, I can see the driveway snaking into the venue, and a few remaining cars slowly trickle in. This could be my way out! But the second anyone sees a woman in a big white dress, it’s game over.

Where will you even go? You’re never going to get out of this mess.

My subconscious mocks me for making this mistake not once…but twice. That’s right. This is not my first time running away from my own wedding. Only, last time I’d had the forethought to realise the man I was about to marry was totally wrong for me before I got to the venue. This time the revelation came a little late. Until ten minutes ago I’d still been ignoring the red flags flapping in my mind, telling myself it was nothing but normal wedding day jitters. That it was nerves about stupid things like tripping on my way down the aisle or stuttering while saying I do.

Now I know that I should have listened to those warning signs.

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