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THE BENNETTS' WEDDING (The Bennett Family and the Masters Family Book 5), page 1

 

THE BENNETTS' WEDDING (The Bennett Family and the Masters Family Book 5)
 


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THE BENNETTS' WEDDING (The Bennett Family and the Masters Family Book 5)


  LOVE, PASSION AND PROMISE BOOKS

  are published by

  The Madaris Publishing Company

  P O Box 28267

  Jacksonville, FL 32226

  The Bennetts’ Wedding / Copyright 2020 by Brenda Streater Jackson

  All rights reserve. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher.

  Love, Passion and Promise is a trademark of the Madaris Publishing Company and Brenda Jackson Enterprises. The Love, Passion and Promise logo is a trademark and registered trademark.

  ISBN 978-1-7344558-0-9

  10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  Printed in the United States of America

  Love, Passion and Promise

  An Imprint of the Madaris Publishing Company

  Books in the Bennetts Family Series

  Books in the Masters Family Series

  KENNEDY

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Epilogue

  VICTORIA

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Epilogue

  From This Day Forward...

  Brenda Jackson Readers Reunion 2021

  Have You Watched the Movie Yet?

  Turn the Page

  Coming in April 2020

  Coming in May 2020

  New Series Coming

  Coming in August 2020

  Coming in November 2020

  Dear Readers,

  In 2001, I penned my very first woman fiction novel titled, A Family Reunion. It was a very special book and I introduced the Bennett Family. The Bennetts included a number of interesting family members that could be represented in any family. The four individuals who stood out the most for me were four girls, who were just entering their years as teens. Namely, Kennedy, Victoria, Monica and Sebrina. I fell in love with them because they reminded me of my girl cousins who I grew up with and was close to; and all the fun things we did together. Even today they are not only my cousins, but my best friends.

  I wanted Kennedy, Victoria, Monica and Sebrina to share that kind of bond. They were their own individuals, but so much of what made them family were the values instilled into them while growing up as Bennetts. And more than anything, I wanted all four to find love. A man worthy of their love and devotion. A man worthy of marrying a Bennett.

  I had originally planned to put all four stories in one book, but when I saw that each girl had a lot to tell, I decided to split their books into twos. First off is Kennedy and Victoria’s stories in The Bennetts’ Wedding, and then later this year, I will bring you Monica and Sebrina’s stories in The Bennetts’ Christmas.

  You will also get to meet a lot of wonderful, handsome and single guys whose stories I plan to write as well. I have added them to my “To Do” list.

  Thanks for reading my books and I welcome you back to the wonderful world of the Bennett Family.

  Enjoy!

  Brenda Jackson

  To the man who will always be the love of my life, Gerald Jackson, Sr. My first. My last. My everything.

  To my girl cousins – too many to name, but you know who you are in both the Hawk Family and the Randolph Family. Thanks for the memories.

  To all my readers everywhere, I wish you the best in 2020!

  Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! – Psalms 133:1 KJV

  BOOKS IN THE BENNETTS FAMILY SERIES

  BY BRENDA JACKSON

  A Family Reunion

  The Savvy Sistahs

  The Bennetts’ Wedding

  The Bennetts’ Christmas – coming December 2020

  BOOKS IN THE MASTERS FAMILY SERIES

  BY BRENDA JACKSON

  A Family Reunion (Quinn Masters)

  The Savvy Sistahs (Grey Masters)

  What A Woman Wants (Shane Masters)

  Her Little Black Book (Lake Masters)

  The Bennetts’ Wedding (Cortez Masters)

  TODAY MIGHT NOT START out as a good day, but don’t despair — in the end, you will remember it as the best day of your life.

  Kennedy Bennett frowned after reading her horoscope in that morning’s paper. Now she knew why her morning had gotten off to such a rough start. She’d gotten dressed for work only to discover that she’d forgotten to pick up the jacket she intended to wear today from the cleaners. That meant borrowing one of Sebrina’s jackets. Or did the jacket belong to Victoria? Didn’t matter. It was a good thing that her three housemates — Victoria, Monica and Sebrina — were also her cousins. Even better, they were the same size and had no problem sharing.

  After getting dressed, she’d pulled out the shoes that went with her outfit, and noticed a broken heel. To top things off, moments later, she received a text from her dad letting her know that his best friend, Morgan Viscount, had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

  So far, her horoscope was batting a thousand. She only hoped the rest of it was right, and that her day would end much better than it started.

  Her fascination with astrology had begun a couple of years ago when she’d run into one of her friends from her teen years — Faith Norwood. Back when they were young, Kennedy and Faith, along with Faith’s twin sister Grace, had been inseparable. Needless to say, the three of them had always managed to get into quite a bit of trouble while growing up, but all three of them had eventually settled down. Faith was now a professor at a university in Nevada, and Grace worked as an accountant in a firm in New York.

  Faith had come back to St. Paul for their grandmother’s funeral — that’s where she and Kennedy had reconnected. Grace left a couple of days after the services to return to New York, but Faith had remained in St. Paul a couple of weeks longer to help her parents disperse of her grandmother’s belongings.

  Over lunch, Faith had confessed to Kennedy that she’d gotten into astrology in a big way. In fact, she believed daily readings were a way to gain a sense of meaning in one’s life. And she challenged Kennedy to at least try it a few times.

  At first, Kennedy had indulged for entertainment purposes only. Then, after a few predictions came true, it had freaked her out. That’s when she began taking astrology more seriously. Now she made it a point to read her horoscope daily.

  “Aren’t you going to be late for work, Kennedy?”

  She glanced over at her cousin Sebrina. She was a doctor, having followed in their older cousin Rae’jean’s footsteps. “No, I’m okay. All of the marketing analysts have a meeting today at one, which means I don’t have to go into the office until then. And it’s a good thing. I have a few errands to run this morning. Besides, I put in a lot of overtime. A little time away from Rivers, even if it’s just a few hours, can never hurt.”

  Since graduating from college with
a Master’s degree in Marketing four years ago, she’d worked as an analyst for one of the top marketing firms in St. Paul. The job paid well, provided good benefits, and offered opportunities for advancement… Or at least, that’s what she’d thought. Two weeks ago, she’d been overlooked for a junior management position, a promotion she’d worked hard for, and according to everyone in the office, totally deserved.

  When Kennedy had discovered who’d beat her out for the job, she’d been furious. Larry Matthews had been with the company a shorter time than Kennedy, was known for missing deadlines, and had the worst attendance record in the department. Kennedy got angry every time she thought about it. Obviously, his new supervisor had no idea he was known around the water cooler as “Lazy Larry.”

  “Is that my jacket?”

  Sebrina’s question pulled Kennedy away from her thoughts. “Yes, it’s yours. I forgot to pick mine up from the cleaners, and this one works with my outfit. I hope you don’t mind if I borrow it.”

  Sebrina smiled as she poured herself a cup of coffee and joined Kennedy at the table. “Of course, I don’t mind. I guess Monica and Victoria have left already.”

  “Yes, they were on their way out when I walked into the kitchen twenty minutes ago.”

  Kennedy didn’t say anything for a few moments, letting her mind wander as she enjoyed her coffee. Although she and her three cousins had gone to different universities, Monica, Sebrina, and Victoria had agreed to move with her to St. Paul after college and now, they were housemates.

  “I’m really sorry you didn’t get that promotion, Kennedy. I know how hard you’ve worked. Sometimes, life isn’t fair.”

  Yes, she had worked hard. She tried not to let the thought that Lazy Larry would soon be her boss bother her.

  “Have you heard from Charles lately, Kennedy?”

  More anger sliced through her at the mention of her ex-fiancé. “No, and after my last conversation with him, I doubt I will again.”

  “What happened? Did you let the old you come out again? The one with the ability to slice a man in two with your tongue?”

  Kennedy shrugged. So what if she had a stubborn, rebellious streak? Charles had deserved everything she’d given him.

  Her quick temper was something her father and his wife Taye had warned her about on numerous occasions. She had mellowed somewhat over the years, working at mastering the art of self-discipline and keeping her cool. However, no one had deserved a Kennedy Bennett no-holds-barred tongue lashing more than Charles. He’d honestly thought she would take him back after what he’d done. Like he could be forgiven for being caught in bed with another woman. Fat chance!

  It had been hard going the past five months, but she’d survived. The daily readings of her horoscope had helped provide her with a better understanding of how to deal with some of the crap she was going through. A protective shield now covered her heart, and she didn’t plan on removing it any time soon. Since then, she’d tried getting back into dating, but discovered she just didn’t have time for any man’s BS. She had no intention of being hurt again.

  The situation with Charles did more than upset her — it totally annoyed her. He honestly thought she should forgive and forget and resume plans for their June wedding? Like hell! Out of the four cousins, she was the one who never took any crap — from anyone. That was the reason so few guys had asked her out in college. She refused to be manipulated or controlled…and a defiant woman wasn’t usually the one guys sought out. More than once, Charles had told her that he liked her feistiness. And since they got along really well, she’d honestly believed he’d been the one. She would not have agreed to marry him if she hadn’t.

  “Why are you asking about Charles, Bree?” Kennedy wondered if Charles had told anyone of her threat to cut off his most precious body part if he contacted her again.

  “Because the two of you were to have been married in six weeks. I spoke to your dad yesterday…he’s worried about you, Kennedy.”

  Her father, Michael Bennett, would always worry about her. It had been just the two of them after her mother passed away when Kennedy was seven. She knew she hadn’t made things easy for her father — especially when she’d turned thirteen. She’d started getting into all kinds of trouble and hanging out with the wrong crowd. In hindsight, she guessed she’d truly earned the title of ‘hellion’.

  In fact, her rebellious teenage behavior had been the catalyst for her father’s decision to move from St. Paul to Atlanta to be around family. She had thrown all kinds of temper tantrums about the move, but he’d ignored every last one of them.

  Now, she could see that moving to Atlanta had been the best decision for both her and her father. For her, it had allowed her to become closer with numerous cousins she hadn’t known before. Now she considered Sebrina, Monica and Victoria not only her favorite cousins, but also her best friends. For her father, moving to Atlanta meant a chance to fall in love again and a second chance at marriage.

  Yes, her wedding day would have been six weeks from now. She was glad she had found out the truth about Charles before the wedding and not after, to be honest. “I’ll call Dad later today to tell him again that I’m doing fine,” she said.

  “That might be a good idea. I think he still blames himself for introducing you to the jerk.”

  Like her father, Charles was a pilot for a private corporation in Atlanta. She knew the only reason her dad had introduced them was because he had truly liked the guy. She and Charles had hit it off, and before long, things had become serious. He lived in Atlanta and hadn’t had a problem with long-distance dating and neither had she. He had flights into St. Paul all the time, and they managed to see each other often.

  After dating for eight months, he’d asked her to marry him. Since she’d always wanted to be a June bride, they set the date, and he planned to relocate to his company’s St. Paul’s office. They had even talked about buying a home in one of the newer housing communities on the outskirts of town.

  One day, she’d made an unexpected trip to Atlanta and had decided to surprise him. With the house key he’d given her, she had let herself into his home. But the surprise had been on her.

  The scene that followed hadn’t been pretty. Charles had discovered just what a hellion she could be when provoked, and the woman in his bed had been forced to flee in the night, practically naked.

  Kennedy had told her father countless times that it hadn’t been his fault for introducing them, and it was true. She didn’t blame her dad for anything. He’d been fooled by Charles as much as she had. “I told Dad that he shouldn’t think that way, and I’ll be sure to tell him so again when I talk to him.” She checked her watch. “I have an appointment at the bank this morning for an auto loan. I’m finally getting a new car.”

  “About time,” Sebrina said smiling.

  “Leave ‘Faithful Bessie’ alone,” she said grinning. “She and I have been through a lot together.”

  “And it shows,” Sebrina said, trying to contain her laughter.

  Kennedy’s car had been a birthday gift from her father when she’d turned sixteen and had been brand spanking new twelve years ago. When her father had handed her the keys, he’d told her if she was good to her car, it would be good to her.

  She had been good to her car and ‘Faithful Bessie’ hadn’t let her down through high school, four years of college, or the move to St. Paul. Lately, however, the upkeep was getting costly, and she knew she was doing ‘Faithful Bessie’ a disservice by still expecting top performance. It was time for the old girl to retire.

  A short while later, just as Kennedy was leaving for her appointment at the bank, she noticed she had a flat tire. As she pulled her phone from her purse to call the emergency road service company to come and change it, she shook her head. Surely this would be the last of her mishaps for the day.

  It was a beautiful spring day in April, and she hoped that whatever good thing was going to happen for her today would hurry up and occur.

 
Haddison Bracen Wolf stared across the room at the two men. After eleven years of working as an FBI agent, with seven of those years undercover as Addison Bracey, he was glad he’d decided to make this his last assignment. The job was definitely getting to him. Right now, he was tempted to blow his cover and beat the hell out of Andy Rydell and Vince Sherwin. Both were the scum of the Earth and a part of him regretted the role he’d played for the past three months in getting them to think he was just as dirty as they were. The only thing stopping him from giving himself away was that he knew it wouldn’t be long before they were behind bars, where they rightly belonged.

  In the meantime, he had to stay focused and keep them all from getting into serious trouble. They’d laid low for a month now, but he could tell they were getting restless. That wasn’t good — the FBI was just about to wrap things up with the crime ring these two were part of. To help fund the ring’s operation, which specialized in domestic terrorist activities, the ring’s members had been hitting banks. The next robbery was scheduled in three weeks, and an FBI sting operation was already set up. Things should have been wrapped up months ago, but an informant’s tip had notified the FBI of a key player in the crime ring that the Bureau hadn’t known about. It was vital to find out just who the man was.

  Bracey had been disgusted at the names he’d turned in to the Bureau so far— men highly regarded not only in their communities, but on a national scale, as well. But he wasn’t surprised. He’d learned from years of working undercover that nobody was as they seemed.

  Bracey’s job was to befriend Andy and Vince and dig for information. Getting chummy with Andy had been easy enough, but he couldn’t say the same for Vince. The man didn’t trust him for some reason, and was determined to be a thorn in Bracey’s side. Or, even more pointedly, a prick in his dick. Vince had protested loudly when the boss had told them Bracey would be joining their team.

 
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