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Forever My Love

Forever My Love

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A Willow Valley wedding novella. After a lifetime of loving each other, Kate and Mac are finally tying the knot. The whole Winters family comes together in this heartwarming wedding novella of two beloved characters.

Main Tropes

  • Happily Ever After
  • Wedding Novella
  • Insta-Family


Forever My Love is the heartwarming wedding story of Mackenzie Winters and Kate Reynolds. Catch up with all your favorite, beloved Willow Valley characters in this sweet novella full of babies, weddings, and more babies!

With Mack and Kate's wedding quickly approaching, the Winters family is doing everything possible to make it a day the whole town will remember. But when the Winters siblings are involved, chaos always follows.

Mack is worried his brother Morris won't make it back from his military assignment in time for the ceremony, and everyone else is equally concerned that Lanie—nine months pregnant—will end up giving birth before Kate and Mack can make it down the aisle.

Return to Willow Valley in this heartwarming novella that revisits beloved characters who all have a few new surprises of their own, and grab a tissue as Kate and Mack finally tie the knot—a marriage that's been a lifetime in the making.

Read Chapter One

"I think the soon-to-be Mrs. Winters is going to be the most beautiful bride I've ever seen."

Kate Reynolds looked down at her future sister-in-law, Maggie Winters, and smiled, a thrill racing through her at the words. Mrs. Winters. Up until now that name had been reserved for her fiancé Mack's mother. In less than a week, it would refer to her.

Lanie and Lissa, Mack and Maggie's older sisters, who also doubled as her other two bridesmaids, looked on as Maggie did the final fitting for her wedding gown.

"It's true," Lanie agreed, her eyes glowing nearly as much as Kate's. "And I'm not just saying that because you're my best friend. Mack isn't going to believe it when he sees you walk down the aisle."

Lissa bumped her sister in the shoulder and eyed her round belly pointedly. "Let's just hope you're there to see it."

"I will be," Lanie said firmly, but her grin wavered slightly as she met Kate's eyes.

"You doing okay over there?" It didn't pass Kate's notice that Lanie's ready-to-pop baby bump was causing her trouble all morning. She'd clutched her swollen abdomen and grimaced more than once.

Lanie's eyes widened and she sighed dramatically at all of them. "I'm fine. I swear. This little man won't be making his appearance until after the wedding."

"If you so say so." Lissa didn't look convinced. 

Kate grasped Maggie's fingers from where she was fussing with the lace of the wedding gown and sent her a silent give me just a minute message. Stepping off the raised pedestal, she took her best friend's hands in hers. 

"Seriously, Lanie. Don't try to hide it from us. When it's time, it's time, and you don't get a say. I should know." Her face softened with a slight smile. "Hudson wouldn't come until he was good and ready, despite all the tricks I tried."

Mack's and her son, Hudson, was born just four months ago, and she'd gone more than a week past her due date. She'd done everything from walking miles and miles to drinking castor oil—some old wives' tale Mrs. Winters suggested that Kate regretted listening to almost immediately. Nothing had worked, and Huds hadn't come until he decided to.

Glancing over to where her seven-year-old daughter Clara sat in the back of the dress shop, shaking a rattle in Hudson's face while she read a story to Lissa's two-year-old twins, she felt her heart melt. The four of them were the perfect little family now. And on Saturday, they'd make a promise before family and God to cement it forever.

Lanie laughed. "Well, considering I'm not following any of the crazy advice Mom keeps hitting me with—no matter how many times I've said thanks, but no—I'm good. Really."

Kate wasn't so sure, but she stepped back up to let Maggie finish the adjustments to her dress. There weren't many, but this was Maggie's first attempt at designing something as intricate as a wedding dress, and she wanted it to be absolutely perfect. A few minutes later, she was done. 

"Okay," she said, rising from the floor, "go take this off and leave it hanging up. Carefully. Actually," she added, "let me just come help you."

Laughing, Kate let her lead her to the dressing room. "Maggie, can I just tell you that I don't think I could have a more perfect dress? It's amazing. Gorgeous."

Maggie grinned in pleasure as she shut the door behind them and started unbuttoning the back of the gown. "I'm so glad you like it. Mack's not going to know what hit him when you walk down that aisle."

Another flutter of excitement raced through Kate. Even though she and Mack had been together for well over a year now, it sometimes still hit her and made her feel like a giddy teenager. Just like she used to around him. 

Mack. Her best friend in the entire world. The sexiest, kindest, most caring man she'd ever known was hers. And in just a few days he'd be her husband. How did she get so lucky?

A few minutes later, the women made their way out of the shop in town square, Kate holding Hudson, Clara with Lissa's kids in tow. They headed down the sidewalk toward Cassie's Confections to pay a visit to Lissa's best friend Cassie Martin. 

"Cassie said your cake is coming along nicely," Lissa said excitedly. "I bet we can convince her to give us some of the extra icing."

"Ooo, that sounds like a plan if I've ever heard one." Lanie looked like a kid getting ready to dig into their stocking on Christmas morning. 

"Icing?" Kate wrinkled her nose. "Plain?"

Lanie nodded with enthusiasm, resting a hand on her belly. "I'll take any boost of energy I can get at this point."

It was a valid point. They were walking considerably slower than normal to accommodate Lanie's ninth-month waddle.

"Okay, I'll give you that because, well, pregnancy. But come on, Lissa. You're telling me you want to eat straight up butter and sugar?"

She gave Kate a look like she was the one who'd lost her mind as she pulled open the door to Cassie's bakery. "Have you actually tasted Cassie's icing before? Or are you just going on recommendations for your cake?" 

Kate laughed. "No, I've tasted it. I just prefer mine on top of a cupcake."

Lissa shrugged. "Suit yourself."

Giving Maggie an incredulous look, Kate said, "Don't tell me you're taking part in this, too?"

"No way." She shook her head emphatically. "But I'm having a hard time understanding your resistance, Sugar. You have quite the sweet tooth."

Kate smiled at Maggie's use of Mack's nickname for her, earned years ago from her ice cream addiction. "You're right. Who am I to judge?" 

"Can I have icing only, too, Mommy?" Clara piped up.

"Absolutely not." She lifted an eyebrow. "If I'm not mistaken, I think I saw you and Daddy sneaking ice cream at the shop earlier."

Clara giggled. "You weren't supposed to see that."

"Uh-huh. I'm sure I wasn't supposed to see you sneak a taste to Hudson either, was I?"

Clara's eyes widened. "Oops."

Kate tugged her dark ponytail affectionately. "I might have looked the other way. But don't tell your daddy that."

Clara mimed zipping her lips and locking them before tucking the imaginary key into her pocket. 

"Hey there, ladies," a cheerful voice called from behind the bakery display. Kate glanced up to find Cassie smiling out at them, blonde strands falling out of her ponytail to frame her face—a face that had bits of icing and a dusting of flour all over it.

"Girlfriend," Lissa said, her hands on her hips as she eyed Cassie, "you’re a hot mess."

Cassie snorted. "Please. I've been here since five this morning. I think I'm looking pretty good, all things considered. What's your excuse?"

Kate laughed. Lissa and Cassie were just as bad as she and Lanie at harassing each other. As best friends do.

Cassie turned to her, her eyes glittering with excitement. "You want to see your cake?"

"Um, yeah," Kate replied, grinning at Clara when she started clapping.

"Come on." Cassie gestured to the swinging half-door at the end of the counter, and Kate and her entourage of bridesmaids and babies followed her back into the kitchen.

"Oh, hey, Jack," Lissa said when she rounded the corner, not phased in the least when she saw Cassie's husband Jack standing over a three-tiered cake with pastry knife in hand, a frilly pink apron covering his jeans and t-shirt.

"Nice duds, Jack." Kate struggled to keep a straight face.

He grinned good-naturedly. "Hey, I do what I can to give my girl some eye candy." He set the knife down and slung an arm around Cassie's neck, planting a hard kiss right on her lips.

Clara giggled and looked up at Kate, her hand covering her mouth as she whispered, "They're as bad as you and Daddy."

It was obvious they were just as in love as ever, and Kate couldn't hold in the sigh.

Maggie let out a groan. "I'm surrounded by sappy lovesick fools. Everywhere I turn, all I see is mushy nonsense." She gestured to all of the women in the room to make her point.

"Your day is coming, little sis." Lanie winked and smiled knowingly.

"Hopefully not anytime soon. Too many men, too little time." Maggie was all about playing the field.

"It will be when you least expect it," Cassie said, snuggling against Jack's broad chest. 

Once upon a time, not too long ago, Kate would have looked away, unable to take the sight of pure joy and contentment between them. But those days had passed. She and Mack had untangled all the crossed wires that had become a giant knot over the years. Now, seeing others in love only made her more grateful for what they'd found together.

Cassie smiled at Kate as if she could read her thoughts. "Now come tell me what you think about this cake."

Kate snuggled Hudson closer to her chest and sampled some of the scraps of cake that had been cut away—topped with icing, of course. She closed her eyes and sighed. "Perfect."

It was. Just like the dress. And the venue. And everything else about the wedding. But what was most perfect of all was the man she was getting ready to marry. In a few short days, she would be Mrs. Mackenzie Winters. 

She couldn't wait.

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