From the book
"Bobby's coming into town for the wedding."
Jennifer Jones's frothy, ruby-red daiquiri froze an inch from her lips, as she blinked at the bartender, her best friend, Marcie Allen, the red-haired, feisty bride-to-be herself. An onslaught of nerves assaulted her stomach as that name "Bobby" sliced through the air of the Tavern—the Austin, Texas, bar Marcie's fiancé owned. The painful taunt had her heart drumming like a rock concert in her ears and a lock of blond hair floated across her face, appropriately mimicking the disarray that Bobby had left her heart in seven years ago.
He'd enlisted in the Army and shipped off without so much as a word of real explanation. Left her with nothing but a Dr. Jen letter. Oh, good grief. Dear Jen. "Joining Army. Better this way. Be happy." Nothing else. Not even an "I love you." Just thinking about the man scrambled her brain cells. Even her parents had been devastated over the loss of Bobby. They'd loved him like a son. Jennifer had loved him. Had, she reminded herself.
Jennifer set the drink down on the marble-slabbed bar that separated her from Marcie, but not without a loud clunk that slopped the icy concoction over the sides. "What did you say?" she managed in a froglike croak, sickly and pathetic.
Marcie simply stood there, looking pale and kind of pathetically like Jennifer's croak moments before. Willie Nelson filled in for her, singing some sad Texas song that added insult to injury after the bad joke. Right. Bad joke! Nervous laughter bubbled from Jennifer's throat, and she picked up her drink again.
Marcie was a great many things. A true friend, proven from the day they'd met at age eleven, twenty years ago on the school bus. Jennifer had tripped and busted her lip in front of the hottest guy at Burnet Junior High. The hottie had bubbled over with loud laughter, and the crowd had joined in. Marcie to the rescue, she'd smack-talked the jerk into shame, and turned the joke on him. Yes. Marcie was a friend. What Marcie was not...was funny. She'd never had that comedic timing thing so many people had.
"Bad joke, Marcie," she said, so relieved she couldn't even be angry. She'd kill Marcie after she finished her rare, but much-needed, alcoholic beverage. She sipped delicately before adding, "And this is not the way to get me into that lime-green dress you want me to wear."
Marcie's hazel eyes glistened with trepidation. Recognizing the source of that trepidation as having nothing to do with her comment about the dress, and everything to do with Bobby, dread twisted in Jennifer's stomach.
"Please," Jennifer said, her hand shaking as she set the drink down again. "Tell me you're joking. Tell me Bobby is not coming to the wedding." Just his name seemed to vibrate through every one of her five foot five inches.
"I wouldn't joke about Bobby," Marcie said, suddenly not only finding her voice, but her feisty redheaded attitude. "And the dress isn't lime. It's yellow-green, the color of communicative healing in meditation, which is how I want my relationship to be and why I'm happy Bobby is coming. You need to heal. To deal with Bobby once and for all."
Emotions assailed Jennifer, a whirlwind of memories wrapped in prickly thorn-covered roses. "I do not need to heal!" She'd moved on seven years ago when Bobby had. She'd followed her dream, gone to vet school, and opened a small Hill Country office, albeit settling for a condo, not the cottage by Lake Travis she and Bobby had wanted. Instead her parents had sold their pet shop franchise and bought a lake house. Which she visited. Which was enough. She liked her condo. She liked her life.
"You don't even date," Marcie said.
"I date!" Okay....