Diary of a Wedding Planner in Love (Tales Behind the Veils Book 2)

Diary of a

Wedding Planner

in Love




This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, events, and dialogues in this book are of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.


No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage & retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the author.




Cover Design: Robin Ludwig Design, Inc.



Published by Charbar Productions, LLC


Copyright © 2015 Violet Howe/LM Howe/Charbar Productions, LLC

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 0996496823

ISBN-13: 978-0-9964968-2-7






For Bev, the best cheerleader anyone could ever ask for.









I took up two whole pages with acknowledgments in book one, and I still missed very important people who were crucial to the book existing. So I’m gonna try to thank all the key contributors this time around, but if I miss you, it’s not because I didn’t appreciate you!


My sincerest thanks and heartfelt gratitude to:


Bonnie and Sandy: You came through this time in the biggest way imaginable and saved the day when the sky was dark. Thank you, thank you, thank you.  A million times thank you. You rock, and your input is invaluable. I would not want to do this without you!


Beth: Your friendship continues to be the most amazing gift. Your support, your guidance, and your enthusiastic input have made this entire experience more enjoyable. One day we’ll find my Jimmy Kimmel, but until then, I already feel like I’ve won the lottery with you on my team!


Lesley: Thanks for taking a last-minute request and rolling with it so fabulously. You are my audience, and your feedback is crucial, so I am so glad you had long layovers and don’t buy designer purses. Thanks for saying yes even though you may not have realized what all was involved!


Roberta and Angie: Sorry this got deleted from book one, but I thank you for reading, for printing, for feedback, and for love & encouragement. I was lucky to be your neighbor, I am honored to be your friend, and I am blessed to call you family!


Heather:  You continue to be my most trusted source of information, my go-to guru for all things publishing, and my favorite conference sidekick. No one else knows how fun the commentary is behind the scenes making fairy tales, and I can’t wait until our next adventure together!


Annie: You rock! I am so happy to have found you (Thanks Ava!) and I look forward to working with you again in the future. Thank you!


Donna, Lisa, and Melissa: Thank you for your careful eyes and valued feedback!


Ava: Your positive voice in my ear gave me strength and encouragement when it seemed the sky was falling, and I am so happy we connected!


Sandra: Thank you for the expert advice on commitment issues, men in relationships, and what fear can do to love.


Michael: Thanks for providing just the right amount of trouble to get the jail time I needed. Your knowledge, your patience, and your enthusiasm were all very much appreciated.


Bree: My best take-home from RWA was my accountability partner. I so enjoy our chats, and I appreciate your support getting this baby birthed.


Ultra Violets: Best street team ever! Thanks for jumping in on the ground floor. Can’t wait to see where this journey takes us!!


To my family---immediate, extended, adopted, and in law: I’ve been overwhelmed and blown away by the support, love and encouragement I’ve received. I have no words, so I’ll just say thanks.


To Dad and Aunt Zona: I am so happy we have unlimited calling plans. I can’t imagine life without your pep talks and the laughs we share together.


Last but certainly not least, to My Knight and Dr. Smooth: You are the reason. The reason I’m able to do this, the reason I want to succeed, and the reason my life is complete. I love you both.













Wednesday, January 1st



You’d think a deputy sheriff could catch a fifty-two-year-old woman running in three-inch-heels. Now granted, he was wearing full gear and a bulletproof vest while she wore only a thin, slinky evening gown, but still. She was pretty far ahead of him before she ever kicked off her heels and ran barefoot. In all, twenty-six people ran. The cops caught two of them. I'm not sure if that says more about the sheriff's deputies or the bride's family.

Beth and Toby told us about their family feud in the initial planning session for the wedding. It had started decades before they were born, so long ago no one on either side seems to remember exactly how it began. Toby wanted to elope, but Beth felt certain they could prevent their wedding becoming a full-blown Montagues and Capulets showdown. Hmmph.

She counted on New Year's Eve hangovers working in her favor when she booked a midday brunch with a limited bar on January 1st. Unfortunately, I think her family subscribed more to the "hair of the dog" methodology.

Tonight's fiasco started on the dance floor when a heated exchange between two guests quickly escalated into a full-on eruption of flying fists, bodies slammed to the floor, kicks to the gut, and bloody noses. Family members from both sides rushed to join the melee, and it took seven security guards to break it up.

Beth got on the microphone, pleading with both sides to allow her and Toby to enjoy their day in peace. A grumbling truce settled uncomfortably over the room, but we pulled the bars as a precaution. No need to add more alcohol as fuel to simmering fires. Beth's father flipped out when he saw the bartenders rolling out, getting right up in Laura's face to express his displeasure.

True to Laura's reputation as the calm one of my two bosses, she never lost her cool. She did, however, seem a bit relieved when security stepped between them and asked him to leave. Beth's mother and two sisters went with him, along with several extended family members.

With most of Beth's family gone, the rest were too outnumbered to wreak much havoc, and Toby's family surprised me by settling down without taunting or gloating. Everyone grumbled about the lack of alcohol, but Beth and Toby were fine with it being pulled. They only had eyes for each other as they danced to song after song together.

Things seemed almost peaceful for the next half hour or so. The calm before the storm, I suppose, looking back on it all.

Laura and I stood talking near the patio doors when a flash of pink whirled past outside. I nearly broke my neck with the double-take when I saw Beth's sister, the maid of honor, riding the shoulders of one of Toby's cousins. She pulled his hair and scratched at his eyes as he spun in circles trying to buck her off. The seams of her tight pink satin dress had given way at some point, leaving her right butt cheek completely exposed.

I opened my mouth to yell for security, but the sound of glass shattering on the patio behind me drowned out my call for help. I grabbed Laura's arm and ducked instinctively. Beth's mother was standing over Toby's uncle, waving the stolen vodka bottle she'd broken over his head. Her pearls swung from left to right, and her hair flew loose from its once elegant chignon as she wheeled around looking for her next victim.

The entire room stampeded past us and out onto the patio as we stood in a state of disbelief and watched the whole disaster unfold. Father of the groom pitted against father of the bride as they scuffled on the ground. Beth's grandmother tripping people with her cane. Random cousins wielding stiletto heels like prison shanks.

Only Beth and Toby stayed on the dance floor, locked in a swaying embrace, seemingly oblivious to the apocalypse outside.

Laura and I pressed our faces to the glass as security fought their way onto the patio. I wasn't about to step outside. I harbored no grand delusions about breaking up any fights or putting myself anywhere in the vicinity of harm's way. Call me a coward, but these people had hidden in the bushes of a five-star resort in evening gowns and tuxedos to spring forth and attack smokers on the patio. Definitely out of my league and far outside the parameters of my job description. Besides, I've never been a fan of pain or blood. Especially when it's my own.

Eventually, the overwhelmed hotel security force called the cops. Deserters on both sides of the battle scattered at the first sound of sirens, jumping over shrubbery or bolting back through the convention center to exit from the other side. I think the scrappers in the center of the pile were too enthralled to hear the cops coming.

They sure heard them when the sirens came under the hotel entrance, though. They took off like rabbits in a greyhound race. Beth's dad swung by near the patio to let her sister jump in the back of the truck, but I never saw her mother again after she shucked her heels and left the deputy in her dust. They probably picked her up somewhere out on the highway.

Luckily, only three people needed medical attention. Well, I say that, but I should say only three people
who stayed to be examined
needed medical attention. I can't speak for the idiots who ran.

Beth and Toby just danced. Never left the ballroom the rest of the afternoon. If they noticed over half their guests had disappeared or been arrested, they didn't let on. After the final dance, they thanked Laura for a perfect event and told her to send them a bill for any destroyed property. Nice couple. I hope their love can survive without anyone getting killed.

There was a note from Cabe on my pillow when I got home.


Woke up in your bed. Don't remember much, so I hope I don't owe you any apologies. Let me take you to dinner tomorrow night either way. C.


Crazy boy. He fell asleep soon after the ball dropped last night. I slept curled up in his arms, finally happy and at peace. I can't believe I didn't realize that Prince Charming, The One I'd been searching for, had been right here the whole time. My best friend. My confidante. My dance partner. My love.









Thursday, January 2nd



Cabe and I agreed he'd pick me up for dinner after work. My stomach fluttered all day with excitement, but a bit of trepidation slipped in there, too. He'd been asleep when I left yesterday, so I hadn't seen him since I threw both arms around him and locked lips at midnight New Year's Eve. He definitely hadn’t protested. In fact, I clearly remember him saying he'd waited a long time for me to do just that, but it didn’t stop me from feeling awkward about seeing him at dinner.

I think part of the reason I hadn’t realized my feelings for Cabe before was fear of losing our friendship. Of it changing. He means the world to me, and I would never do anything to jeopardize our relationship.

Once I initiated the kiss, it was pretty much a slobber fest of groping, kissing, and panting. We didn't have time to get into any discussions of what it all meant, and in his intoxicated frame of mind, he may not have fully comprehended what was happening. So I wasn’t sure what to expect tonight. Would he greet me with open arms and pick up where we left off when he started snoring? Or would he be normal Cabe and act like nothing had happened?

In the past couple months, he's made more than one passionate play on me, but afterwards we've not once talked about what happened or why. I wondered if he would ignore it again tonight, or if we would finally acknowledge the big ole elephant in the room.

For me, it definitely feels different. You would’ve thought I was going on a first date with a stranger instead of hanging out with Cabe. I left work early so I could shower and get ready. Not something I'd normally do to grab dinner with my buddy.

I feel like now that I've seen him for who he is to me, I want to make sure he sees me, too. So I pulled out all the stops. I shaved my legs all the way up—not the usual just below the knee like I make do with in winter months. I didn't have hours to straighten my hair, but I did style it and put it up with a few tendrils floating around my face.
Did I really just write
? See what I mean? I’m putting way too much thought and expectation into this now. Good grief!

Of course, I couldn't find a thing to wear, despite a closet filled to overflowing. I mean, what's an appropriate outfit for seducing someone who's been your best friend for years, and obviously enjoys kissing you, but may not be aware you've suddenly realized you're in love with him?

Discarded options littered my bed when he called to say he was starving and could I meet him in the parking lot. I freaked out. I ran from closet to mirror to bed and back a hundred times before he called again to reiterate he was waiting downstairs hungry enough to eat a bear. So I threw on a red dress with a pair of boots and my denim jacket and hurried down.

My heart pounded as I descended the stairs, and I wondered if we would greet each other differently. Would he lean over and kiss me? Would he hold my hand on the way to the restaurant? It's not like he's never held my hand. He's always been affectionate with me, even as friends. But I couldn't stop my mind from racing in all directions with what may have changed.

He jumped out of the car and held the door open for me, as he always has, and he whistled long and loud as I walked to the car.

"Wow. You look adorable. Did you have something special at work you're dressed up for? Or did I screw up and forget something? I thought we were just grabbing pizza."

I had thought he might welcome me with a kiss, but he stood there with an obvious impatient expectation for me to get in the car.

Disappointment rose in my throat, but I tried to tell myself the man was hungry. Nothing else mattered to Cabe when he was hungry.

I told him about the gang fight yesterday as we drove. He laughed as I recounted one woman throwing punches with strands of someone's hair extensions still clutched in her fist and the groom's cousin using the silver tip from his cowboy boots to pop someone in the back of the head. Their behavior was horrid, really, but the absurdity of it all made it impossible not to laugh.

Any awkwardness melted away by the time we got our pizza. I relaxed into enjoying his company without obsessing too much. By the end of the night, I had begun to think he might not bring it up at all and it would go unacknowledged like the other passionate encounters we'd had recently. He walked me to my apartment door, and I casually asked if he wanted to come in, the same way I've asked a million times before.

He took my hand as I unlocked the door, bending my fingers over his and raising them to his lips to kiss my knuckles one by one. Goose bumps popped out all over me, and butterflies swarmed in my stomach. He didn't let go of my hand, but slid his other arm around my back and pulled me in close, his nose almost touching mine. A slight shiver rippled over my skin, and I held my breath, anticipating his kiss and wanting it more than I'd ever wanted anything.

Cabe took his time, though. He leaned in so slowly I almost lurched forward and took over. His lips barely brushed against mine and then pulled back not even an inch before coming back a little firmer. He did it again, this time with a soft, tentative touch of his tongue against my bottom lip, and I swayed against him, dizzy as could be.

He chuckled deep in his throat as I swayed, wrapping both his arms around me as he explored the kiss a little further. My head spun, my thoughts giddy and light as if I'd never been kissed before. Like I suddenly had no idea what to do. I stood there limp in his arms, not even kissing him back, simply reveling in the sensations he created with light flicks of his tongue against mine. His warm hands caressed my back underneath my jacket, the silkiness of my dress providing a sensual barrier between us.

When his lips left mine, he laughed again, a seductive, teasing rumble that told me he knew exactly what effect he had on me.

"I fear I owe you an apology for the other night," he said. "I'm just not sure for what."

I shook my head slightly to try and regain my senses. "What do you mean?"

Cabe opened my door and led me inside to the couch, sitting down and drawing me into his lap with such ease I scarcely felt the movement. He brushed back the tendrils I had carefully left hanging—oh, yeah—I forgot,
—around my face and tucked them behind my ears.

"You have the cutest ears I've ever seen." He grinned while his thumb lightly traced the outer rim of one.

"Ears? Really? Well, that's what every girl wants to hear." I smiled and fought off the shiver caused by his thumb. "I think I've obsessed over nearly every other visible body part, but not my ears. Who knew they were my most attractive quality?"

"I never said they were your most attractive quality. I said they were the cutest I'd ever seen. I don't know what I'd pick as your most attractive quality."

He traced my jawline with one finger, lingered across my lips, and then tapped my nose. "I love the way your nose turns up a tiny bit on the end. The way your forehead scrunches right here when you're mad or really focused on something." He tapped my forehead and tipped his head to one side.

"Your eyes are beautiful. The green broken with little flecks of brown and gold. They change, too. Sometimes a brilliant emerald, but they can be a deep sage. Beautiful, though. Green’s been my favorite color since I first saw your eyes."

I giggled like a schoolgirl, unable to believe the whirlwind of emotions swirling inside me. I'd been here with him so many times before, but not like this. This was all new.

Cabe didn't stop there. His finger ran the length of my neck, and then he slid his hand inside my jacket to slide it off my shoulder as I shrugged out of the other side.

"You have exquisite shoulders, Ty. Your neck, the little curve of your collarbone," he whispered as he nestled his thumb in the hollow there and leaned forward to place his lips against my shoulder. I moaned a little without meaning to, and he laughed again.

"Are you laughing at me?" I asked him, sitting up straight.

"Oh, no ma'am. Just enjoying you, Buttercup. Appreciating you. Trying to decide which quality is your most attractive and having trouble narrowing it down."

"Well, aren't you the smooth talker?" I stood and walked to the kitchen, suddenly uncomfortable. Maybe too much too soon, or perhaps I didn't believe it yet. The tingling sensations coursing through me threatened to explode, and I needed space to catch my breath and regain a little control.

"Want something to drink?" I opened the fridge even though I knew it held no options. I glanced up at the wine rack and wondered if I was ready for the consequences of opening a bottle of wine in the current atmosphere.

Cabe followed and stood behind me, brushing my hair aside to plant small kisses along my neckline and across my shoulder. That boy had me fired up like a race car on the starting line. No wine was needed to make me toss any consequences out the window and press forward, but he spoke before I could put my desire into action.

"So about the other night…" he started, turning me to face him as he leaned back against the kitchen counter. His hands grasped my hips to pull me against him. "I don't remember a helluva lot after you came through the door and tried to jump my bones."

"Tried to? What? I didn't…" I couldn't protest much, because that was pretty much what had happened, but I wasn't about to let him hold that over me.

Cabe laughed and slid his hands up my back, leaning down to kiss me again, effectively shutting me up and making me forget to protest.

"I'm not complaining, Ty. To the contrary, I'm apologizing. I'm just not sure what for. I don't know if I need to apologize for passing out in a drunken stupor and not being up to the challenge, or if I actually went through with it and don't remember. In which case, I need to apologize for not only what was likely a poor performance, but also for being a drunken ass and not remembering the first time you jumped my bones. So which is it? I mean, obviously you took advantage of me either way, but I'm willing to apologize."

His eyes twinkled with teasing mischief, and I resisted the urge to playfully raise my knee between his legs in retaliation.

"First of all, I did not
jump your bones,
and does anyone even say that anymore? Really? I kissed you, Cabe Shaw. For New Year's. Then you slobbered all over me a bit, and the next thing I knew you were snoring. So no apology needed. No harm done. Sorry to disappoint you." I lifted my chin in smug defiance, but I couldn't keep a smile from spreading across my face.

He didn't miss a beat. He pulled me to him and crushed his lips against mine until I swayed like a limp noodle again and quite possibly made that moaning noise I mentioned before. He leaned back slowly, and despite the grin plastered on his face, I could tell by his breathing I wasn't the only one affected.

"Oh, well. Then I guess my apology is that I'm sorry you have no idea what you missed out on." He cocked one eyebrow.

"Oh, really? Well, I'd say that's your loss, sir." I nodded and crossed my arms, my hips still firmly against his.

He laughed and pushed me up and away from the counter as he stood to his full height, looking down at me with that smile I adore. He leaned down and kissed me again, this time a brief encounter of the lips before he moved toward the door, still holding my hand. I followed him, debating whether I should ask him to stay. I didn't want him to leave, but I didn't want to push us farther along either. My warning lights were still flashing caution to take things slow. He turned to face me before he walked outside.

"Galen has tickets to a comedy show tomorrow night. What time's your rehearsal done?"

"I should probably be out around seven if it starts on time." He still held my hand as we stood there, but I felt the shift from our newfound intimacy back to the old familiar roles we were used to playing.

"Okay, great. Show starts at 8:30. Want to meet us downtown? Or I could swing by here and get you?" He squeezed my hand lightly, and I shook my head.

"No, I can meet you there. I'm sure your sister plans on getting something to eat."

"Alright. Talk to you tomorrow."

He kissed me again and was gone, leaving me alone to contemplate my heart and my body both aflame.


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