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Read on for a peek of the charming Love Like the Movies by Victoria Van Tiem! One list, ten movie moments, and a handful of Hollywood style shenanigans lead Kenzi to question everything…should she marry the man her family loves, or rewrite the script, learn to trust again, and reunite with the one who broke her heart? You’ll have to read it to find out!

love like the movies

There’s an amused sparkle to his eyes. “Well, we officially have an agreement. And this is number four on our list, so I thought—”

What is number four?” I ask, recoiling. Before I can get to my phone to check the e-mail, he hands me the scanner.

“Oh, and you’re Ren, if that lady over there asks.” He cocks his head to his right where a Fossie’s employee is eyeing us curiously. A slow grin spreads across his face.

“I’m Ren? I can’t register for Ren, she’d kill me. And how’d you know her name?”

“She married your brother, same last name . . .” His scanner beeps.

I eyeball what he’s swiped. It’s a huge stuffed pig-hippo-monster in gaudy neon pink and green. Um, no. 

“What are you doing?” My upper lip pulls up in distaste as I regard it. “She won’t want that.” Ren’s nursery will definitely not be in neon monsters. I walk over and unscan the tag.

He rescans.

I unscan.

“Shane, stop it. There’s no way she would ever put that in her nursery.” I unscan it again, and toss it out of reach. Or did I just scan it?

He’s randomly swiping things. I’m frantically unscanning.

“Wait.” I step between his gun and a hideous crib comforter in matching monster. “I’m not going to screw up my sister-in-law’s registry. I’m pretty sure that’s not on the movie list.”

Although, it was in the movie . . . My eyes pop. “27 Dresses? That’s number four, isn’t it? They registered things her sister would hate. I’m not doing that to Ren.” I couldn’t. Could I? My own little monster is rearing its ugly head. I hear Ren’s voice . . . You don’t want the presentation marred by unkempt cuticles. Guess what will be here next spring as well? 

No, I can’t ruin her moment, regardless of how she ruined mine.

“It’s either this or we hit the bar, pound back some shots, and give a rousing version of ‘Bennie and the Jets.’” Shane lifts the gun and crooks an eyebrow.

“No. That’s an absolute no.” The characters end up together in the car after that little scene . . . we are not going there.

He swipes. The scanner beeps.

“Okay, wait. Stop.” I look over Ren’s registry with an idea. “How about we add a few?” My voice softens. “A few nice things in a reasonable price range?” I hold up the list to refer to it.

He runs a hand over his jaw in mock consideration. Narrowed eyes lock on mine. “All right. We can do that. It’ll count.”

I smile, relieved. “Good, ’cause I’m a really good caulker,” I say holding up my scanner gun, remembering the movie line and forgetting myself for the moment.

“Girl likes caulk,” Shane says through a laugh.

I try not to snort. “You’re quoting 27 Dresses? You’ve really watched it?” I’m actually glad he knows what I’m talking about. Otherwise, this would be awkward.

Well, it’s still awkward.

“Maybe I developed more of a taste for romantic movies than I’d realized. See what you did? You’ve ruined me.” His eyes keep flashing to mine as we walk around the product displays.

I turn away, not wanting another trip down memory lane. I’m getting married and Shane’s . . . I don’t know what he’s doing. 

“Aw, look.” Shane holds out a tacky lamb bank.

“That’s the bank that Ren will put all of the baby’s money in,” I say in the way James Marsden did in 27 Dresses, without thinking.

He scans it.

“No, Shane, that was a movie line, she won’t want that.”

He scans one after another with a series of beeps: trains, giraffes, even a silver-plated turtle bank.

Walking behind him, I eye the table, but he’s scanned so many things so quickly that I have no idea where to start.

“What’s this?” Shane’s holding up a yellow pillow in the shape of the letter C.

I smirk. It’s used to support the baby during breastfeeding, among other things. I pretend with a shrug not to know. “Maybe it’s a baby travel pillow?”

“Yes, because even Junior needs to travel in comfort when flying.” He slips it around his neck and it hangs low over his shoulders. “How big are American babies?”

I roll my eyes and continue browsing.

“So how many?” Shane asks thumbing through baby crib sheets and blankets.

I stop with the scanner in midair and mentally debate thenumber of sheet sets.

“Babies. How many babies? I’m sure you and Bradley have discussed this. Let me guess, he wants the statistical two-point-five, right?” He reaches into a crib and scans the comforter set.

My stomach drops. “I want . . . well . . .” It feels wrong talking with him about this. I focus on a photo frame then turn away.

“Right. I see. So, when is the wedding? Have you and Mr. Right set a date?”

I glare at him, feeling suddenly defensive. “We just got engaged, and . . . well, yeah, spring maybe, but—“

“At least the ring is real enough,” he says under his breath as his scanner beeps.

“Wait. What does that mean?” I eye the silver-plated bear rattle in his hands and scowl. “And unscan that.”

Shane stops and turns to me. He leans the scanner against his temple, as if he’s considering his words. “I think you want a wedding. Not a marriage.”

“What?” I snap. Who does he think he is? 

He’s smirking with one raised eyebrow.

Wait . . .

Why is he standing there like that?

“I said . . . I don’t think you want a marriage. And you say . . .” His head tilts and he waves a hand for me to complete the sentence. “I have the lines on index cards if you don’t remember.” He starts reaching into his pocket.

He’s serious? Yup, he has cards. I shake my head, bewildered.

He holds them out for me to take. “Or I could feed you your lines. Let’s see, I said—”

“I got it. Just . . .” I run the scene from 27 Dresses with the main characters in my head. “Okay, you said, I think you want a wedding, blah blah blah, and I say . . . what’s your problem?” I smile as I recall the dialogue. “Did you have your own fancy wedding planned, and she left you at the altar or something?” I’m speaking halfheartedly, just playing along. If trading movie lines keeps our account, then this is simple enough and shouldn’t be a problem.

“Bingo,” Shane says with a point of his finger. That’s all he says. That was the line.

I blank the next part because of the strange expression on his face.

I can’t read it.

His lip twitches.

I think over my lines again. Did she leave you at the altar or something . . . ? 

Oh. In the movie the character Kevin Doyle was left at the altar. Does Shane mean he was—“Shane, I’m . . . I thought we were just saying movie lines. I didn’t mean to . . .”

The corners of his mouth turn up.

My eyes narrow. “You’re messing with me?”

His smile widens, and I reach back and grab the supersized travel baby pillow thing that isn’t a travel pillow and smack him with it.

“Ow, hey, that’s not that soft,” he says with a laugh, taking an elongated step to stay out of my reach in case I whack him again.

I do.

Right over his head. Then I tuck it under my arm, regain my composure, and again work my way around the table of knickknacks. He’s lucky those were just movie lines, because saying I wanted a wedding over a marriage for real would be crossing the line. I want the marriage, I do. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting that big wedding moment, too. What I don’t want is this hippo night-light.

I set it down, then lift a pregnancy journal. It’s cream with a fabric cover and has a pretty green ribbon to close it.

“That should be your gift to your sister-in-law,” Shane says and motions to the journal.

“Mm, I don’t know.” I start to set it back. “She’ll probably hate it, it’s not really her.”

“No, it’s you. That’s why she should love it.” He nods and moves to the next display. More beeps follow.

I glance over at the array of stuff he’s adding and sigh. I’ll just stop in tomorrow with Ellie and redo it all. And I’ll need to call Ren and let her know I added a few more reasonably priced things. After I fix it, of course. I look down at the journal again. I do like it.

The giant C pillow rips from under my arm. “Hey!” I turn just as it snaps across my back. “Ow!” It really isn’t that soft. From the corner of my eye I see a Fossie’s employee. She’s looking over.

Shane swings it again, I step and duck. “Shane,” I whisper sternly. Great, here she comes. 

“Excuse me, you can’t be doing that in here,” the Fossie’s lady calls out, picking up her pace. “Sir? Sir!”

“We’re very sorry,” Shane says but gets one more smack in. This one doesn’t miss.

Oh my God, he’s twelve.

“Sir, you can’t—”

“Sorry,” Shane says and grins. “Last time. We’re done. We just need to pay for . . .” He lifts the pillow and motions to my journal, then hands her the scanner guns.

Walking toward the cashier station, I ask, “You’re getting the pillow?”

“What? You don’t think I should?”

I hope he’s kidding. Shane stops at another display, distracted by a silver-plated snow globe with a race car in it. He holds it so the white plastic snow swirls around the little track.

He can’t buy a breastfeeding support pillow. I reach to take it.

He flinches.

The globe slips from his hands. Oh, shit! We both reach for it. It’s a game of hot potato, bouncing first to his hands, now to mine. Shane wraps an arm around it like a football, but I have it in my fingertips. He tucks both the globe and my hands tight against his midsection.

For a moment, we’re frozen, half-bent and tangled up together.

I can feel the heat off his body. His scent is in my nose. I’m looking into eyes with liquid-gold flecks. And just like the snow globe, my little world is all shook up.

“I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you both to leave,” says the same Fossie’s lady from behind us in a huff.

With deliberate care we straighten. But I feel a bit unbalanced. Guilt, like a lasso, wraps around the feeling and pulls in tight. Why should I feel guilty? I haven’t done anything.

Shane holds the globe out, satisfied, and shows the clerk. “See, not even a scratch.” He turns to set it back on the display and his elbow catches a crystal bear. It falls in slow motion and shatters with a loud crash.

The Fossie’s lady doesn’t even blink. “Cash or credit?”