Sweet Matchmaker by Jean Oram
Ginger McGinty hates liars. And she just married a spy.
Bridal shop owner Ginger McGinty excels at matchmaking unless it’s for herself. That is, until she meets the dreamy Aussie who helps her get into an event meant for engaged couples. Logan Stone is sweet, caring, thoughtful and fun—everything she desires in a man. But it turns out, her new fake fiancé could use a bit more than just a pretend engagement to get him into parties—he needs a quick marriage keep him in the country so he can be with his adopted special needs daughter.
With a marriage of convenience pro-con list longer than the average wedding veil, Ginger puts her faith in romance and offers Logan her hand in return for one thing—no lies.
But little does she know, almost everything she knows about her new husband is based on a lie.
Everything except his kisses and the way he accidentally spills his soul whenever they meet. And that’s quickly becoming a problem for Logan Stone who depends on distance and deceit to keep civilians such as Ginger safe from his enemy’s clutches.
Will the two find love in their marriage of convenience, or will everything break apart when the truth rises to the surface, shattering everything, including their trust?
Logan Stone pulled the ill-gotten invitation from the breast pocket of his sports jacket. One small fib and he would be through the doors and into the party for engaged couples. Then he could be on the lookout for Vito Hart, diamond smuggler. Vito had been working the week’s events here in Indigo Bay, hobnobbing with people like Logan, a wholesaler of loose diamonds. Little did Vito know that Logan had plans to put him behind bars before he could ruin any more happily ever afters with bad deals and violence.
Logan had been deep undercover and without agency resources for six long months while tracking Vito, edging closer and closer. And now, as a (fake) wholesaler for a (fake) international business, he was almost in. Almost had enough incriminating intel to put the man securely behind bars and stop one nice chunk of the illegal trade of conflict diamonds that supported violent rebel forces stirring up civil war and intertribal conflict in Africa.
But three days. That was all Logan had left on his visa before it was game over for his cover and he was deported by the local officers of the law. They’d been tracking him ever since they’d found him with a soon-to-expire visa lurking around Becker’s visa and passport forgeries near the docks during one of their sting operations. Not his best day in the field and so much for plan B.
Logan inhaled the mild South Carolina ocean breeze, letting it wash over him as he reminded himself who he was supposed to be—just a wholesaler wanting to get close to a diamond source, as well as potential new clients. He had his name tag, a small brochure, fake business cards and even a simple diamond engagement ring with a spiral Celtic knot design. All part of the shtick. All intended to get him closer to Vito. Bust him before the local officers ejected Logan from the country on Wednesday.
The doors to the event were open, the music pouring outside. In line, engaged couples kissed and held hands, and Logan looked away, not wanting to be reminded of all he’d lost by being selfish so many years ago. He had a job to do today. Nothing more.
He toyed with the invitation while the line slowly moved forward. Get close to Vito, gain his trust. That’s what he had to do tonight. The man knew what line of work he was in, though he acted as if he barely knew him. Logan felt Vito needed just one more small thing before he took him into his trusted inner circle.
But what was that missing piece?
Laughter from inside caused Logan to glance up. Vito was near the doors, his wife at his side. Logan had mentioned in passing that he was engaged, but he’d yet to show up with a woman on his arm. Was that the issue? If so, he was going to have to find a civilian, seeing as it was too risky to break his silence with HQ and ask for a female field agent to come play the part. There was a good reason he had gone silent—Vito was no dummy and likely had more than the one guy Logan had noticed sporadically keeping tabs on him.
Which meant it was time to finally show up with a fiancée.
Logan needed to regroup before he saw the smuggler again. Turning on his heel, he left the line, nearly bumping into a woman in a clingy green dress that brought out the spark in her matching eyes, the fiery highlights in her auburn hair.
“Oh! I’m sorry,” she said.
“My fault. Are you all right?”
Her smile grew as she nodded. “Australian?”
“That I am, mate.” He laid his accent on thick and her grin took on a hint of slyness. The sheila liked accents. And he liked her. She had the kind of curves and smile that had him taking a second look back as he made his way down to the beach.
Hot, that’s what that woman was. If he hadn’t been on a mission he’d be trying to spend a little time with her. And since he was on mission, he should be doing the same, to use her to further his cover. But civilian covers were tricky. Risky.
Logan walked down to the Atlantic, letting the sound of the crashing waves fill his mind.
He was tired. Unenthusiastic about maintaining his cover, managing a million lies. He stared out at a blinking buoy marking a shoal, and rolled his shoulders. Maybe it was time for a new job. One with more toys, more excitement.
Yeah, he had toys and occasionally even got to use them. And as for excitement? His work was either deadly boring or so exciting he nearly died. Literally.
He needed something in between, like his agent friend Zach Forrester had been talking about—private security.
That would be nice. Lots of toys and the kind of excitement that didn’t get him killed.
Just about perfect.
He also wouldn’t have to worry about his next mission taking him away from Annabelle Babkins, daughter of a fellow agent who’d been killed in the line of duty. Eighteen years old now, Annabelle had a room in an assisted living facility, but her only guardian and advocate was Logan.
Frustration still stirring within him, he began walking back to the party.
Wednesday—that’s when it would all fall apart. Three short days.
He’d worked with tighter timelines and knew that when plans continued to fail like they had with this mission, something better was typically lining up for him.
And if not, well, then he’d tag out and someone else would come in and try to get close. But in the meantime, Logan would go old-school and find a nice sheila to lure into a marriage of convenience to help get his visa extended so he didn’t get deported. Plan C, because seriously? Nobody at HQ seemed to have noticed that, due to the way Vito kept going dark and the case kept getting extended, Logan’s visa was now set to expire.
That meant it was time for him to focus on looking out for number one—himself—and find a lovely woman to marry him.
Don’t forget to check out the other Indigo Bay books…