The Family Simon Boxed Set (Books 1-3)By: Juliana Stone
Tucker Simon hadn’t been to a wedding in five years and damned if he was going to this one alone.
At least, not if he could help it.
With a grimace, he slid onto the barstool and tossed his crumpled invitation in front of him. He used his index finger to push the offending invite a couple inches away and glared at it. If he was Superman, his X-ray vision would have sent the damn thing up in smoke.
Sure, the pale pink paper, the bold gold lettering, and the stinking scent of something way too girly for a man to sniff was enough to get him worked up. But it was the thought of walking into that church and reception without his plus one that had him on edge.
Jesus. H. Christ.
His mother had been on his back for months about his dating—or lack there of—and had made it clear she expected him to show up with someone. Anyone. According to her, people were starting to talk. According to her, they were worried.
According to her, he was too young to be alone. As if thirty-one was the magic number for lost causes.
He believed her exact words were, “I don’t care if you have to hire someone. In fact, I’ll make some inquiries. Your third cousin on your father’s side was arrested a few years back for getting caught with a prostitute, but we’d be willing to overlook that.”
First off, the fact that his mother was willing to troll for prostitutes was alarming, especially considering the political aspirations of the oldest Simon, Jack.
Secondly, Tucker Simon had never paid anyone for sex—ever—and he had no intention of doing it now. Sure, he’d had a long dry spell after Marley went missing—he still refused to say died—but that was behind him.
Christ, was it behind him.
If his mother knew the truth—that over the last year he’d had a shit-ton of meaningless sex with faceless women he didn’t care to know—her tune would be a little different. Or maybe not. Maybe in her mind, a connection—any kind of connection—was better than nothing.
As it was, she hadn’t even blinked when he’d told her he was bringing his current lady-friend to the wedding and he’d thought for sure it would at least be cause for his mom’s imperious raised eyebrow. The one he’d seen way too many times to count.
So, he’d thrown Sonya Devonish at her.
Of the European Devonishes.
They were the ones who’d made their billions from the black market in Russia. The ones rumored to have ties to organized crime. And the ones who had spawned a generation of young women who were famous for being infamous. And loose. And kind of tactless.
Sonya Devonish was a trust fund baby with a wild past, an even wilder reputation—the general public didn’t know the half of it—and apparently no qualms about cancelling on him at the last minute.
Now he was stuck attending his cousin’s wedding, with the entire damn Simon family along for the ride.
If his twin brother was coming back for the big event, Tucker would have been fine. He would have hung out with Teague and they would have devoured a couple bottles of Gray Goose, danced with a few Aunties and called it a night.
But Teague was still in Africa, his older brother Jack always had a woman in hand, and Beau—as in his movie star brother—was a lost cause and officially off the market.
Damn that Betty Jo Barker.
A genuine smile crossed his face when he thought of her. The fiery triplet was good for Beau—more than good for him—his brother had been ready to meet the one for a while now. And as much as Tucker was happy for Beau, there was a part of him that was bitter. Jealous even.
Because Tucker had had it all. Once.
“What can I get ya?”
Tucker glanced up and blinked, a little confused. It was seven o’clock on a Wednesday evening and his tall, frosty draft was usually waiting for him seconds after he sat down.
“Ah,” he mumbled, running a hand through his hair and tugging on his tie. Shit. What was his beer of choice?
The burly bartender crossed his arms over a massive chest, cocked his head to the side and waited while Tucker tried to see around him. Where the hell was—
“I’ve got this, Pete.”
A tall, slender brunette handed him a cold mug and planted her hands on the bar-top. “Just so you know, Tucker, you’ve been drinking Guinness every Wednesday for the last year.”
Tucker grabbed the mug, held it aloft with a grin, and then took a long drink before settling back onto his stool.
The Black Dog was a pub not far from Times Square, between 7th Avenue and 9th Avenue. It wasn’t some high class kind of joint. Instead, it was a family-owned bar with entertainment on the weekends, and it had the best wings in the city. Abby’s family had owned the place for several generations, and she and her six brothers took their turns helping out her folks.
Tucker liked the place because of the laid back atmosphere, and there was something about the Mathews brood that reminded him of his own family, complete with an over abundance of testosterone and the one lone sister to keep them real.
A sister who was damn fine to look at, with all that dark mahogany hair, creamy skin and huge hazel/brown eyes.