USA Today Bestselling Author
A brooding CEO,
a loving dog handler,
and a grandmother with a plan….
Tender-hearted Becca Taylor wants to put the past behind her and start fresh. Thanks to her new job caring for the dogs of a very wealthy family, she can do just that. When the feisty matriarch asks her to join in a business venture, Becca believes her goals are within reach. Now, all she has to do is convince her partner’s grandson that their plan is solid. Too bad he hates her on sight.
Caleb Fairchild will do anything to keep his heart and his family safe—which is why the beautiful Becca must go. Her eagerness to help his grandmother is suspicious, and he’s determined to get to the bottom of her motives. However, when the truth surfaces about Becca’s past, Caleb fears he may have misjudged her.
Despite being stark opposites, Becca and Caleb’s attraction grows. Unfortunately, Caleb’s lack of trust keeps getting in the way. Can they overcome their obstacles or will the past keep them from having all of their dreams come true?
Becca Taylor is a hardworking dog handler, she takes care of all of Gertie’s dogs both show dogs and fosters. Gertie is the owner and retired researcher of a very successful skin care company and with Becca’s help she’s now developed products for her dogs. She wants her company to produce and market it but her grandson Caleb, who is the CEO wants nothing to do with it. They are launching her new baby products and frankly dogs are not humans and would only distract from the company’s focus.
Gertie also has a sort of plan throwing Caleb and Becca together. She thinks they’d be a good match, opposites for sure, but Caleb needs someone to break him out of his self-imposed shell. He’d been conned before and he wouldn’t ever let that happen to him again.
Becca has a goal to become a top dog handler, the launch of the dog care products would do much to finance that. Caleb squashed that but Gertie stepped up and said they’d start their own company for it. Now Becca’s writing a business plan and Caleb is helping but also investigating her. He doesn’t like what he finds.
When he confronts her, he realizes he was wrong about her motives but still has doubts.
This is a favorite scene after that conversation.
Another employee walked by them— the third in the last five minutes. Caleb greeted him by name. “You impressed us with those new label designs, Anthony. Great work.”
“Thank you so much.” The older man with gray hair and wire-rimmed glasses stood two inches taller. He strode away with a proud grin on his face.
“Do you know every single person who works here?” she asked.
“No, but people wear badges,” Caleb said. “That helps with the names.”
Considerate of him, even though he’d accused her of stealing from Gertie. “The employees seem to appreciate your effort.”
“They work hard.” He opened a glass door for her. “It’s the least I can do.”
The first time they’d met, his manners had impressed Becca. He impressed her now, despite his accusations. But Caleb Fairchild was the same as every other rich guy. She wouldn’t be taken in by him.
She headed outside into bright daylight and stifling heat, even though it was after seven at night. “The temperature hasn’t dropped at all.”
Two construction workers wearing paint-splattered coveralls and carrying hard hats approached them with tired smiles.
Caleb removed his suit jacket and draped it over his left arm. “Welcome to summer in Boise.”
A neon green food truck idled curbside with a line of customers waiting. The scent of garlic and rosemary filled the air.
Becca’s mouth watered. Through the window, she stared at the noodles and pork being plated.
“Hungry?” Caleb asked.
“A little.” She hadn’t eaten lunch.
“Whatever they’re cooking smells good.”
A siren wailed.
Goose bumps covered her skin. She hated sirens. The sound brought back memories she didn’t want to remember.
Hearing the click of handcuffs lock around her wrists, sitting in a police car, and experiencing the heartbreak of betrayal.
Becca crossed her arms in front of her chest and forced herself to keep walking.
She wished she would forget. She wished others would forget, too. She wished people trusted her.
Not just people. A person. Caleb.
The realization disturbed her as much as the siren.
His opinion shouldn’t— didn’t— matter. If she kept repeating that, she might finally believe it.
Stop thinking about him!
The sound faded into the distance.
She lowered her arms and pointed to a white sign, ten feet in front of them. “This is where I catch the bus.”
Caleb looked around at the few people waiting. “Let me drive you to the Park and Ride lot. I’ll follow you to my grandmother’s place, and we can have dinner.”
Becca’s breath caught in her throat. She opened her mouth to speak, except no words came out. She tried again. “Thank you, but there’s no need for you to go to so much trouble.”
“I have to eat, too.” He whipped out his cell phone. “I’ll see if Grams has eaten.”
Dinner with Gertie, not a date with Caleb.
Becca should be relieved, not disappointed. The guy had serious doubts about her. He was everything she didn’t want in a man. He was likely asking her to make amends. Of course, she’d never said yes.
He flashed his phone, showing her a text exchange. “Mrs. Harrison was going to warm up leftovers for Grams, but she would rather have pizza. Does that sound good?”
“Yes.” The word escaped before Becca could stop it.
Ugh. She knew better. On the bright side, Gertie would be thrilled to have her grandson there again, and Becca wouldn’t have to worry about making dinner tonight.
He typed on his phone. Messages pinged. “We’re all set. Grams will have the pizza delivered.”
Becca glanced at the bus stop before looking at him. “Back to Fair Face.”
“My car is in the parking lot next door.”
“Gertie said parking was available beneath the building.”
This made no sense. “Why aren’t you parked there?”
“I prefer to let the employees and visitors use the closer spots.”
Becca didn’t want to like him. But she did, despite a growing list of reasons she shouldn’t. The guy took his responsibilities seriously.
She sneaked a peek at his profile. So handsome and strong and determined.
A few minutes later, Caleb opened the door leading to a bank of elevators. Cool air blasted her. She stepped inside and waited for him to join her.
“Please don’t think you have to add me to your list.”
“The list of people and things you take care of.”
His eyes widened, and his lips parted. Shock turned to confusion, followed by a blank expression. “What do you mean?”
He might be better at poker than she thought. If Becca hadn’t been paying attention, she would have missed the play of emotion across his face. “It seems like you’re responsible for your grandmother, your sister, Fair Face, and your employees. I don’t want you to think I need someone to take care of me, too.”
“I don’t. You seem capable of caring for yourself.”
She nodded. “But it makes me wonder.”
“Who takes care of you?”
Melissa McClone. The Tycoon (Kindle Locations 1289-1339). Cardinal Press, LLC.
Caleb has relationship issues as does Becca. However Becca has moved forward while Caleb’s still kind of stuck.
I love the dogs and the shows, the way Becca helps Gertie build the pet product business and most of all the way this relationship builds. With plenty of ups and downs and I love the groveling.
I can’t wait to see what Melissa comes up with for the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.
With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.
Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.
Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!