From New York Times bestselling author K. Bromberg comes a new, sexy standalone about taking chances and finding love when it"s least expected. Or wanted.
This whole contest was supposed to be easy. I know, I know. Famous last words.
It"s a long story, but I messed up at work. Big time. To earn back the trust of my boss, I promised to save one of our magazines. Yep. That Hot Dad contest you"ve seen advertised all over the place was my idea. And if I"m successful, if I"m able to increase our online readership, then I get a shot at my dream job.
But the one thing I never expected to happen, happened: Contestant number ten, Grayson Malone. Hello, Mr. Difficult. And did I mention sexy as hell"
Unfortunately he knows me. The old me, anyway. And while we might be older now, I remind him of before. Of the woman who broke his heart, who hardened him, and who left him alone to raise the cutest little boy I"ve ever seen.
But I don"t want a relationship. And I definitely don"t fall for single dads with baggage. Even ones with chiseled abs and killer smiles.
But he got to me. They got to me. Him and his son and their messy, crazy life. But I got to him too. I see the stolen glances. I feel the walls he built start to crumble. I recognize that there"s an unexpected beauty to the chaos in his life.
And now that the contest is about to end, we"re left to decide whether the last six months were just fun or if what we have is worth risking it all"Books in Series:Everyday Heroes Series by K. BrombergBooks by Author:K. Bromberg Books
never go in search of love,
go in search of life,
and life will find the love you seek
"It isn"t what you think. I promise."
Eyes the same color blue as mine stare at me. Judge me. Scold me. The expanse of a desk is between us, but I can feel my father"s fury as if he were sitting beside me.
He pinches the bridge of his nose and gives a sharp shake of his head. "Is there anything you"ve ever loved besides yourself, Sidney""
"That isn"t fair." Tears burn as I try to swallow over the bitter pill disappointing my father has lodged there.
"Isn"t it, though""
His words cut deep. But I screwed up. Again. At least that"s the only way he"ll ever see it. Frank Thorton is never one to allow room for error.
"Tell me what to do, Dad. Tell me how to make this better." My hands tremble, but I grip the arms of the chair to steady them.
Thortons never show that they are intimidated.
"I"ve let your mom protect you for too long. I"ve let her persuade me to give you chance after chance when you continually prove to me that you don"t deserve it."
"Dad . . ."
"This is a business. This is my business. This is how I"ve provided you with those chances to do all the nonsense that you do. I love you, Sid, with all my heart, but if you worked for any other company, you would have been fired many times over."
"All I did was"" All I did was rush to Zoey"s aid when she called me. I bite my tongue and stop myself from saying more. Excuses aren"t allowed. Even if they were, I could have called. I could have let him know something happened so that someone else could cover for me.
But I didn"t.
"How do you think my employees feel about you" Would they call you hard working and innovative or would they think you"re spoiled and get to keep your job strictly because of your last name""
"I told you, it isn"t what you think."
"Then what should I think""
My mind flickers back to the frantic phone call from Zoey. The bruises starting to mar her skin when I arrived, my rage over how a man could treat a woman that way, and her pleas for me not to tell anyone. As much as I know it would save my ass if I explained to my father why I didn"t show up for the interview with the fashion-designer-turned-whistleblower Wendy Whitaker, I can"t. I gave her my word and it wouldn"t matter to him.
His impatience radiates around us, and I know from experience that it"s best if I just keep quiet. The last word always has to be his, but I speak anyway.
"I know you won"t believe me when I tell you someone needed me and I went. I lost track of everything dealing with the situation, and when I realized what time it was, it was too late. All I can tell you is that it was for a valid reason."
"And that reason was""
I stumble over how to explain. "I can"t say." My words are soft, my resolve a mixture of defeat and defiance.
He just purses his lips and stares at me over his steepled fingers.
"I screwed up. No excuses."
"Thank you. You know how I feel about petty excuses."
"I do, and I also know you love this company. I do, too. Journalism and editing are my passion, and overseeing a magazine is everything to me."
He eyes me with skepticism. "Are they, or is this just a passing fancy on the Sidney Thorton express until you find the next who-knows-what at the next stop""
"That isn"t fair," I say even though I know I haven"t done anything to prove his theory incorrect. My last-minute trips and changing obsessions. My habit of picking up a new hobby or fad, only to put it down when something new comes along.
"If you could pick your dream job within the company, what would it be""
His question throws me momentarily. "What do you mean""
"We own ten magazines. If you could pick the magazine and the position, what would it be""
Is this a trick question"
"Why"" I stand and move to the wall of windows that overlook the San Francisco skyline and valley below.
"Just humor me." His chair squeaks, and I know he"s turned to watch me. "If I know your goals, then maybe I can help you attain them."
"The editor-in-chief of Haute. No question." I think back to the years I"ve spent imagining what I would do with the magazine. The original ideas. The new twists on the tried-and-true stories that have been published time and again. How I would put a fresher face on an industry standard that is slowly fading amid the tapering-off printed editions.
"It combines my two loves"fashion and talking about fashion with people who love it just as much as I do." I turn to face him, needing him to see I"m serious. "Add that to getting to oversee the perfected delivery of such stories . . . I mean, it"s everything I could ask for."