Title: Best Man Forever
Series: Shellington Series #4
Author: K.L. McLoughlin
Release: October 1, 2021
Genre: Steamy Contemporary Romance
Best Man Forever is a friends to lovers steamy contemporary romance set in the fictional town of Shellington, Massachusetts.
Being in love with your best friend sucks.
Sarah Murphy is in love with her best friend Liam McGee, but Mr. Three-Month McGee sees her as his best friend and that is all — just as well because she wants forever not some three-month affair. That useless longing is as familiar to her as the need to be loved by all of the McGees, especially the matriarch Anna, who is the closest thing to a mother Sarah has ever known. Long ago, when Anna took her in, Sarah promised her that she and Liam were just friends. Breaking that promise could cost her everything.
When Liam discovers that Sarah’s now ex-boyfriend hurt her, put his hands on her, he sees red — and an opportunity — to truly take care of her. But the timing is all wrong. He never intended to make his move until he had something real to offer her, and he won’t be making decent money until he’s finished with his residency, still a year away. Being seen as Three-Month McGee never bothered him until now. He’s always known Sarah is too good for him. How can he prove to her that he is worth the risk — that for Sarah, he will be the Best Man Forever?
By the time Liam stood outside Sarah’s door again, carrying bags of take out and an overnight bag, something had shifted inside of him. He felt off balance. She was his best friend in the whole world. She knew everything about him but there was so much he didn’t know about her. He wanted to, he wanted to know everything, but he wasn’t sure she’d let him. Tightrope walking was a skill every ER doc learned well, or they switched specialties. Decisions had to be made quickly and not always with complete information. He had to trust his gut. Whatever she was going through, this was about her, not him, not them. He was going to be there for her, whether she liked it or not. She was his God dammit.
“Took you long enough.” She searched Liam’s face and his eyes. He’d been gone for close to three hours. “I see no signs of a fight and you come bearing food, so you’re forgiven.” Her smile was easy.
“Have you been resting?” Liam’s eyebrows drew together in worry.
“Yes doctor.” Her eyes danced. “I have been a good patient. Icing off and on.”
“I’m going to take care of you tonight.” It was a declaration. Liam put the food on the counter in the kitchen.
“I’m going to let you.” Sarah bit her lip. This was new territory for her, but she wasn’t a hypocrite. She knew exactly the advice she’d give one of her patients. She deserved to be taken care of by someone who loved her. It was scary though.
Their gazes met and held. Something was shifting inside her. Did he sense it?
“Thank you.” His eyes softened; he caressed her cheek.
She nodded, stepped away and went to snuggle back into the couch. Her cheek tingled and she reached up to touch it. Inwardly she sighed, exhausted. She’d loved Liam forever. Risking her relationship with the family though, that wasn’t going to happen. The McGees loved her, she knew that, but Liam was theirs by blood. If she and Liam ever really got together and it went south, she wouldn’t just lose him, she’d lose all of them. And it would go south, he wasn’t the long-haul type. Time to shove her lust back down into its little box and let him be a brother to her. She could use a brother tonight anyway, she supposed. She’d settle for it at least. Try as she might, she just couldn’t see him that way, never had. Sean, absolutely, but not Liam. He was Liam McGee and she was his. Even though he had no idea and it would do no good for him to know.
“That was a heavy sigh.” Liam brought her a plate of her favorite fried zucchini strips.
“You went to Joe’s. Thanks.” She took the plate and smiled at him, keeping her heart hidden. “How’d it go with Sean? You were gone longer than I expected.”
Liam settled across the couch from her, their backs were on the armrests and their feet touching in the middle.
“Interesting. We talked. A lot.”
Sarah’s eyebrows arched up.
“I know. Sean isn’t usually one for many words, but he had a lot to say.” He munched on the appetizer. His eyes twinkled and he wiggled his eyebrows. “Then we went to Pratt’s. Had a very few words there. Let him know we know where he works and we’d rather not have to visit him there, that kind of thing. Very satisfying.”
“Hmm. Should have known.” She kept her tone neutral. Not angry, not amused.
“Oh relax. Becca made us promise to be smart about it and we were.” He grinned at her. “She’s almost as fierce as you are.”
She stilled with a zucchini strip halfway to her mouth. “You think I’m fierce?”
“I think you’re a freaking force of nature, Sarah.” He was dead serious. “You’re just more quiet about it than some.”
Jaw hanging open, she gawked at him. That was how he thought of her? Impossible. She blinked at him. It wasn’t how she thought of herself at all.
I was raised outside of Ottawa, ON Canada and was lucky enough to have my horse in my backyard. The first thing I ever remember wanting to do was tell stories, but I was told that there was no money in it, so I moved on — to the incredibly lucrative career of elementary education. After taking a break from the work force while raising my boys, I returned (somehow) to work in securitized real estate: educating investors and keeping track of a lot of details.
I’ve lived in Massachusetts; Northern California; British Columbia, Canada; Southern California; and now Nevada. I love it here in Nevada and would really rather not move again for a long time. 2020 was an interesting year but what I’m most grateful for is that it allowed me to dive back into my passion for writing.
I’m blessed to be married to the love of my life and with our dog O’Malley we endeavor to live our best lives. I love to cook; you’ll see pictures of food all over my Instagram. I love dogs, horses, hiking, and writing. Nothing is more fun than when my characters misbehave requiring me to re-plot the rest of the book.