The Wedding Driver – Love in the Adirondacks Book 3 by Jen Talty

The Wedding Driver
Love in the Adirondacks Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty


The Wedding Driver:
He’s been making dreams come true for a decade.
Never in a million years
did he believe his dream
was a boat ride away.

Tonya Johnson has been in love with the elusive Foster Landon for as long as she can remember. However, other than their mutual business arrangement of her wedding planning business and the fact that he takes newlyweds around the bay on his antique boat shortly after their nuptials, he barely gives her the time of day. Well, she’s tired of being ignored and decides it’s time Foster Landon takes her out on a proper date.

Foster Landon had his heart broken once, and he doesn’t plan on letting that happen again. While he believes in love, it’s not for him. Not anymore. That is until Tonya asked him to take him for a boat ride. And not a wedding ride. He should say no, but he couldn’t resist her smile. Besides, of all the wedding planners in the area, she brought him the most business. Who was he to say no? However, he wasn’t prepared to lose his heart and find himself wanting to become a groom.

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Tonya is about to ask Foster on a date as he’s preparing to take her sister and her new husband on a cruise around the lake. However, he beats her to it and invites her out.

They’ve been friends and business partners for a long time and they’ve both felt more is between them. While Tonya is ready for more, it’s Foster who has much to overcome. They’ve been having pseudo-dates by watching series or movies together and enjoying each other’s company. So, for most couples this is just a natural progression.

Before the date Foster talks with his boss and friend Doug, this is where we learn much about Foster’s past and how it plays into not only this relationship but also the future.

Tonya gets nervous before the date as well, and her sister helps her overcome her fears. Tonya wants more but doesn’t want to lose the friendship.

Nothing could have prepared her for the conversation on that date.

This is a favorite scene.

She pushed herself up, sitting cross-legged. “This is just a first date.”

He followed suit, facing her and taking her hands. “When Lisa died, a piece of me went with her.”

Tonya opened her mouth, but he hushed her by pressing a finger over her lips.

“You know I’ve spent years in therapy working really hard not to be this angry shell of a man. I’m trying to have a life, but even if I can get to the point where I want to be in a long-term relationship, I don’t know that I can give you what you want and deserve.”

“What is it that you think I want?”

“Marriage. Kids.” His throat went dry the moment the latter word hit his lips. His heart raced, and not in a good way. His toes itched to feel a hard surface. The sudden urge to run overtook all the tender and warm feelings he had for Tonya.

And yet, a little voice in the back of his mind begged him to stay.

She lowered her gaze and fiddled with her thumbnail. “Perhaps those are things I want in the future. But you and I have barely started any kind of romantic relationship. Why are we discussing them now?”

“Because you need to know that I don’t believe I can give you those things.” He took her chin with his thumb and forefinger. “I’ve been denying my feelings for you for a long time and not just because I’m afraid that I can’t do this. Living my life scares the crap out of me. Really starting my life over means I have to hold that mirror up and take a good look at who I am, and I haven’t done that.”

She palmed his cheek. “My grandfather has always told me that without risk, there is no reward.”

“Your grandpa has a saying for everything.”

“They are often true,” she said. “We care about each other. If we don’t try, we’ll both wonder. Do you want that?”

“At this juncture, no.” He brushed his lips over hers in a tender, slow kiss. She tasted like a mixture of strawberries and sunshine. It was intoxicating and he wasn’t sure he could ever stop. “At the same time, I don’t want to—”

“Stop,” she whispered. “I appreciate what you’re saying. But I don’t need you to treat me with kid gloves. Let’s enjoy the moment and see where this takes us.”

“I’m so in over my head.” He pulled her onto his lap, cradling her in his arms. He had no control over what he was feeling anymore. If he ended things right now, it would leave them both reeling, which wouldn’t be healthy. Taking a leap of faith was his only option. Even if deep down, he believed his heart was broken and it would never mend to the point that he’d be whole.

Maybe it would be enough.

Perhaps he could pull himself into the present to the point he could be the kind of man Tonya deserved.

He took her mouth in a hot, passionate kiss. Totally improper for the surroundings. He had no idea who was watching, if anyone. And at this point, he didn’t actually care. He’d forgotten how good it felt to have close human contact. He allowed himself to get lost in the moment.

Lost in Tonya.

Until he heard someone splashing in the water nearby.

“Foster? Is that you?” a female voice rang out.

He cringed. He knew that voice and he had never wanted to hear it again. The last time he had spoken to Kathy, it hadn’t gone well. It never did. He dropped his forehead to Tonya’s and took in a deep cleansing breath before he blinked open his eyes. He turned. “Hi, Kathy,” he managed. Being niceish would be the only way to get through this awkward moment.

Kathy treaded in the water on the side of the boat with two other women. He recognized one of them as her cousin. He had no idea who the other one was and he didn’t care.

“What are you doing here?” Kathy asked.

A sarcastic reply filled his mouth, but he swallowed it. Kathy could give as good as she got, and he wasn’t ready to explain to Tonya his past relationship with Kathy. Though he probably should. However, this wasn’t the right time or space.

“Enjoying a nice Sunday.” He saw no need to elaborate any further. Kathy hadn’t taken their breakup well. She desperately wanted to be there for him and comfort him in his time of grief. Or that’s what she kept telling him, only her actions didn’t match up with someone who understood what he had experienced. Kathy had been selfish and wanted the life she envisioned and that wasn’t something he’d been capable of back then, much less with her.

While he never blamed Kathy for his daughter’s death, she was the reason he’d been absent, and being around her was a constant reminder of his failure. Even now, it pulled up that pain, torturing his soul.

“I’m surprised to see you here with a lady,” Kathy said. “Are you going to introduce me to your friend?”

Foster remembered the last time he saw Kathy. It had been six months ago when he’d been having lunch with Doug and Jim. He’d been working on a remodel project with them and they’d stopped at Jim’s favorite sandwich shop. Kathy had been there picking up a to-go order.

She spent the last month texting him about how good he looked and how proud she was of him for getting his life back on track. He’d been kind and said thank you, but then came the message suggesting they get together. He’d been firm in his response, and again, she hadn’t taken it well. She’d always felt they had unfinished business.

There was nothing left between them. He’d made that clear on several occasions.

“Tonya, this is Kathy.” He leaned back on his hands, making sure one was behind Tonya’s back, touching her hip, as if he were staking his claim, or perhaps just making sure that Kathy saw the physical contact.

“It’s nice to meet you,” Tonya said. Her voice had a slight twitch to it. That always happened when she was either uncomfortable or felt overwhelmed in any given situation.

“Likewise.” Kathy smiled, but it wasn’t the kind of smile that told someone they were happy to share the same space.

Kathy could cut someone to the bone when she felt backed into a corner or had been hurt. Foster had learned that the hard way. He honestly had thought she’d understand his need to be alone after the fire. That he couldn’t be in a relationship with her after what happened, especially during the sentencing of Victoria.

“I heard that your wedding boat ride business is doing quite well.” Kathy turned her focus to Foster.

“I’m booked all summer, mostly thanks to Tonya,” he said proudly. “She’s an amazing wedding and party planner. The best around town.”

“Oh. You don’t say. Does your business have a name?” Kathy asked.

“Events to Remember by Tonya Johnson,” Tonya interjected.

“A friend of mine used you for a baby shower last summer. You do good work.” Kathy glanced over her shoulder, waving to a bunch of people in a large cruiser. “Well, we better get back to our friends, but Foster, we should really get together sometime and catch up. We have some stuff to chat about.”

“No, we don’t.” That flew out of his mouth quickly and with a touch of animosity laced in every word. He hadn’t even thought about it, which he probably should have, but it was too late now.

Tonya lowered her chin, looking surprised by his abruptness.

“I’ll be in touch.” Kathy turned and swam off.

Thank God for small favors.
Jen Talty. The Wedding Driver – Jen Talty (Kindle Locations 702-764). Kindle Edition.

There are many ups and downs in this relationship.  With each of them battling their own demons.

Foster needs some sort of closure and he’s not willing to let go of his memories. He’s also going to do what he can for his ex, even though it doesn’t really help her, just prolongs things.

This book has laughter, lots of tears, and of course a HEA.

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Jen Talty

Welcome to my World! I’m a USA Today Bestseller of Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, and Paranormal Romance.

I first started writing while carting my kids to one hockey rink after the other, averaging 170 games per year between 3 kids in 2 countries and 5 states. My first book, IN TWO WEEKS was originally published in 2007. In 2010 I helped form a publishing company (Cool Gus Publishing) with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer where I ran the technical side of the business through 2016.

I’m currently enjoying the next phase of my life…the empty NESTER! My husband and I spend our winters in Jupiter, Florida and our summers in Rochester, NY. We have three amazing children who have all gone off to carve out their places in the world, while I continue to craft stories that I hope will make you readers feel good and put a smile on your face.

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