Book 1 of The Cloverleigh Farms Series
I love Mack–he’s barely getting by each day with his three girls between ballet, preschool, therapy, and cooking dinner each night. Mack is exhausted. His wife left him just under a year ago, they are finally getting into a nice rhythm–he still can’t put together a tight bun. Oh, Mack keeps fantasizing about his boss’s youngest daughter, Frannie–someone waaay too young for him. Even if she wasn’t too young for him, he doesn’t have the time to date or to give her the attention she deserves.
Frannie Sawyer is the youngest of the Sawyer sisters and the most sheltered due to a childhood congenital heart defect that caused numerous heart surgeries. She’s tired of being sheltered. She’s tired of doing what’s expected of her. She wants something for herself. Her parents wouldn’t even let her go away to college–attended a local college, instead. Frannie has been lusting after the CFO of her family’s business, Cloverleigh Farms since shortly after he started at the company. And she’s Mack’s part time nanny.
The cross that line again and again…Frannie wants it to develop into a relationship, but Mack doesn’t agree with her. He thinks she deserves more than what he can offer her. His day is filled with his work and his girls. He doesn’t have time for more, but he also doesn’t want to give her up either. She’s only 27! What kind of life can he offer her?
Will Mack overcome his own insecurities?
I’m a full-time single dad to three daughters and CFO at Cloverleigh Farms. I don’t have time to fall in love—I’m too busy trying to run a business, keep the red socks out of the white laundry, and get the damn pillowcases on without owing a dollar to the swear jar.
Sure, Frannie Sawyer is beautiful and sweet, but she’s twenty-seven, the boss’s daughter, and my new part-time nanny—which means she’s completely off-limits. It’s bad enough I can’t stop fantasizing about her, what kind of jerk would I be if I acted on the impulse to kiss her?
(Exactly the kind of jerk you’re thinking.)
Actually, I’m worse than that—because I didn’t stop with a kiss, and now I can’t stay away. She makes me feel like myself again. She reminds me what it’s like to want something just for me. She’s everything I ever needed, but nothing I ever imagined.
I’m a former Marine. I should have had the strength to resist her from the start.
But I didn’t. And now I have to choose between the life I want and the life she deserves.
Even if it means giving her up.
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I was holding my breath.
I wasn’t even sure why, but it was something about the way Mack was looking at me. And the tension in his body—the taut muscles in his neck. The grip of his fingers on the edge of the counter. The set of his jaw. It gave the impression of restraint. Like he was holding himself back.
Something unfamiliar hummed in the air between us. I could feel it—he wanted me the way I wanted him.
No wonder I couldn’t breathe.
Then he cleared his throat and turned away from me, cutting off the current. “Sure. Everybody needs to make mistakes now and then.”
I’d forgotten I’d even asked the question.
He turned the sink on, rinsed his dishes, and placed them in the dishwasher. I stood there staring at his muscular back, at the width of his shoulders, at the snug fit of his jeans on his butt. If I were his and he were mine, I’d go over and wrap my arms around his waist, press my cheek to his back. Then he’d turn around, winding his arms around me. He’d lower his lips to mine, and—
“I should get you home,” he said, interrupting my fantasy. “Want to grab your coat?”
“Sure.” But I didn’t really want to leave. I wanted to stay in this warm, chaotic house with him and the girls. Pretend I belonged here. Pretend I belonged to him.
Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.
Melanie is the author of the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.
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