Home > One Singing Bachelorette (Romeo Family Romance #7)

One Singing Bachelorette (Romeo Family Romance #7)
Author: Jennifer Youngblood




“Don’t be mad. I did a little thing.”

“What little thing?” Lexi punched her words out like darts as she eyed her friend who was reclining on a lounge chair, her arms propped behind her head. Magnolia’s light eyes were brimming with a secret mischief.

Magnolia laughed lightly. “No need to get your panties in a wad.” A deviant giggle trilled from her lips. “You’ll thank me for it,” she sang as she sat up and trailed her fingers through her long blonde hair.

There was no telling what half-baked plan Magnolia had concocted. The two were sitting on the balcony of the grandly dignified mansion where Magnolia lived with her affluent father who owned a large chunk of the real estate in New Orleans. The mansion overlooked historic Esplanade Avenue.

Ever since arriving in New Orleans two days prior, Lexi felt she’d stepped into the pages of history, chocked-full of culture and flair. Her gaze moved to the double row of large oak trees planted in the center section of the road, their fat, hearty leaves ablaze with fiery red and oranges. The bright leaves contrasted nicely with the thick carpet of verdant grass below. Soft strains of notes floated in the crisp air from the live jazz music being played at nearby Frenchman Street. A faint scent of creole spice lingered in the air. Across from the trees was a neat row of colorful shotgun houses, rubbing shoulders.

“What did you do?” Lexi pressed, clamping her arms over her chest. Magnolia was from a world of wealth and endless possibilities. After finishing college, she’d gotten a job as the editor-in-chief for one of the most prominent fashion and lifestyle online magazines in the US. While Magnolia was hardworking and much deserving of her success, Lexi suspected that her fast rise to the top was partly owed to the influence of her father.

Magnolia sat up straight. “I signed you up to sing tonight at the fair.” Her eyes danced with glee as she giggled.

Lexi’s jaw fell. “You what?”

Magnolia rushed on. “After your performance, we’re going on a double date. Roman is bringing his friend Charles.” Magnolia pumped her eyebrows. “I’ve only met Charles once, but he’s very easy on the eyes.”

Lexi rubbed a hand across her forehead. “I don’t know which is worse—signing me up to perform at the fair or fixing me up on a blind date.” She threw Magnolia an incredulous look. “In two days, I’m going on a reality show for four weeks.” She threw her hands into the air. “That’s four weeks where I won’t have any access to the outside world. No phones, internet, magazines, newspapers, nothing. Now is the worst time ever for me to meet someone.”

“Sounds dreadful.” Magnolia faked a shudder. “I couldn’t live without my phone.” A teasing smile curved her lips. “I know the real reason you don’t wanna meet Charles. You’re saving yourself for the eligible bachelor.”

“Not hardly,” Lexi scoffed.

“It’s so archaic—all those desperate girls vying for the attention of the one guy. How many girls are there?”

“Twenty. But ten get eliminated on the first night.”

Magnolia wrinkled her brows. “Remind me again … how exactly does music play into the show?”

Lexi raised an eyebrow, an expression of mock surprise overtaking her features. “What! You don’t already know? I thought everyone had watched The Singing Bachelor.” Her lips quivered with unreleased laughter. “Aren’t you supposed to be in the know?” It was fun making Magnolia squirm a little. The two had always razzed one another. Doing so now felt like old times.

“I don’t watch much TV,” Magnolia sniffed as she flicked an imaginary speck off her pants. “Too many other things commanding my attention.” Her words were coated in a surly superiority.

Lexi let out a dramatic sigh. “The idea is that musicians will connect and find love.”

Laughter sparkled in Magnolia’s eyes. “Ah, so it is about love.”

Heat crept into Lexi’s cheeks. “It’s about gaining exposure for my music.”

“So, you’re singing on the show?”

“Of course. Otherwise, I wouldn’t do it.”

Magnolia pursed her lips. “Is everyone on the show into country music?”

“Yep, the show is bankrolled by Wylie Boon from Boonworthy Records.”

“Never heard of him.” Magnolia waved a hand in dismissal.

“Well, you would have … if you knew the slightest thing about country music. Wylie Boon is huge in the industry. The winner of the show gets her own record deal, compliments of Boonworthy Records.”

“And the love of the eligible bachelor,” Magnolia teased.

“Yeah, yeah, that too.” Lexi rolled her eyes. “Not to mention the two-carat diamond ring.”

Magnolia giggled. “Well, diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” She paused, dipping her head as she studied Lexi. “Let’s say you make it past the first cut. Do you really think you’ll be the last one standing?”

“No, I’m not that delusional. I’m just hoping to gain some exposure. Think of all the people who’ll be tuning in to watch. I could have an instant fan base. My hope is to stay on the show as long as possible so that people will get to know me.”

“Makes sense.” Magnolia scrunched her nose. “It still gives me the heebie jeebies to think of all those girls vying for the one guy. I just hate to think of you lowering yourself to that level.”

Lexi rolled her eyes, feeling like a broken record. “Like I said, it’s not about the guy. It’s about the exposure my being on the show will bring.” Even as she spoke the words, a quiver of anticipation ran through her. She was so grateful to Hartley Raines, now Romeo, for giving her this opportunity. One of the other contestants had backed out last minute. The executive producer Trent Oglesby was looking for a replacement, and Hartley suggested Lexi. “People wait their entire lifetime for a chance like this, and it just fell into my lap. The other contestants spent months going through extensive screenings and background checks. How could I possibly turn this down?”

“I hear ya,” Magnolia drawled easily with a mea culpa smile. “Not everyone’s fortunate enough to have Cash Romeo as a first cousin,” she winked.

“Actually, this opportunity came from Hartley Raines … err, Hartley Romeo now. She just married my other cousin Ramsey.”

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