USA Today Bestselling Author
When Poppy storms into Ethan’s office, she has a clear goal in mind: she’ll convince him to sponsor her podcast in exchange for advertising his upcoming entertainment complex. But, she didn’t count on the super-hot yet calculating man to be so stubborn, or his surprising and unexpected offer. If she babysits his unruly kids for two months, he’ll give her what she wants. After raising her two brothers, she doesn’t want any commitment—but this isn’t an offer she can refuse if she wants a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a name for herself.
Single dad Ethan needs a reliable nanny, if he wants to earn a bonus that’ll be his ticket to opening his own consulting firm and finally be able to spend time with his emotionally neglected family. But no one in New York City sticks with taking care of his kids. When an impulsive red-haired woman schemes her way into his office, he’s surprised at how resourceful she is. Not to mention gorgeous. She’s desperate for a chance, and he’s willing to give it to her—if she helps him out.
The fiery attraction pulsing between them boils over and they have to choose—when the two months are up, will she finally fulfill long awaited dreams in the big city or embark on an instant family lifelong adventure?
The one thing Poppy Jones isn’t is subtle. She is determined to get her chance launching her podcast in this new entertainment venue. To do that she spills her drink on the assistant guarding his door.
Ethan Sterling, on the other hand, already has a situation he’s trying to handle before a big meeting with his boss. His nanny quit right after picking up his children at school and his driver brought them to his office. He can’t afford to mess this up, the bonus for getting this project completed on time would mean more time for his children.
In a twist of fate, Poppy is going to get her chance, the hook, be his nanny until the end of this project. He’d build her a booth in the venue and she’d get her dream.
This is a favorite scene.
“Poppy Jones,” she said, glancing behind her shoulder, then closing the door of his office and at last, looking at him. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’ve been meaning to talk to you for a while.
He picked his brain, trying to place her name. He usually remembered the ones important to him. To his career as a regional director in Kyle Entertainment. But hers didn’t ring any bells. “I’m sorry. Where do we know each other from? I don’t see anything on my calendar,” he said smoothly, hiding his impatience. She could be working for Kyle and he just didn’t know. Why would she just barge into his office? She had to have a fucking good reason.
She worried her lower lip. A deliciously plump lip. “Oh. We haven’t met yet. I’ve tried. You’re hard to get.”
“You can say that again,” Willow said under her breath, rolling her eyes.
“I like your hair,” Archie said, stepping toward Poppy.
“Thank you,” Poppy said, touching the bouncing waves, and flashing him a smile. “I’m sorry for barging in, but I’ve been trying to get hold of you for months, and I’m not backing away now. Mr. Sterling, I have the perfect marketing opportunity for you. I’m an up-and-coming podcaster, and—”
He waved her off, impatience getting under his skin. Was she seriously cold calling him on the most important day of his career? “Contact Marketing.”
“I’ve tried, for a couple months.”
Not my problem, he wanted to say. He glanced at his son, who still seemed entranced by the stranger. “How did you get in here?”
“I, hmm, accidentally spilled coffee on your assistant and she rushed to the restroom to clean up. So I thought, hey why not be time conscious and take advantage of this opportunity? I promise I’ll be quick. And even if I take a long time, it’ll sound like a breeze to you.”
More like a thunderstorm. He shook his head. Who the hell was this person? “Accidentally?”
She tossed her hair to the side. “It was iced coffee, in my defense. I apologized profusely,” she said, gesturing with her hands. “Anyway, please listen—”
“Get out,” he said, pointing at the door. Out of all the things he didn’t need today, dealing with this woman was definitely one of them. How did she get past security in the lobby? He narrowed his eyes at her. She probably had a way to get things done.
“Jeez, Dad, kicking her out isn’t very nice,” his daughter said, choosing a bad time to be polite. A part of him knew Willow only intervened because she’d sensed he didn’t want to waste his time with Poppy.
“Neither is soliciting without permission.”
“You always tell us we should listen more,” Archie said. “And be polite.”
“See? Listen to these adorable kids. They’re the future, right?” Poppy chimed in, smiling like he’d given her the go-ahead. “Once I tell you my idea, I guarantee you’ll change your mind.”
Jesus. “Listen, door-to-door person, I give you—”
“Ethan,” said the voice belonging to the one person he wanted more time before he had to meet. Branson Kyle. The man walked into his office, his icy gaze taking in his children and the red-haired woman. “Am I interrupting you?”
Fuck. Ethan fell into the smooth talker role again, feeling his features soften, willing the frustration away from his expression. “Not at all, Mr. Kyle. I was expecting to meet you soon, and—”
“I prefer to surprise and show up earlier sometimes. To see what you’ve all been up to,” he said. “I see your children are still a lively presence in the office,” he said, with a tone of sarcasm. “I thought the last screw-up had taught you a lesson.”
Fuck. He had to take the kids out of sight as soon as possible, otherwise the cranky old fool would assume that Ethan’s life was still drowned in personal chaos. He needed the bonus money at the end of this project—the only way to finally recover control over his life again, and bury the past once and for all. Of course he’d miss the company perks, including the company driver, five-star vacations and help with the children’s snooty school tuition. They’d invested in him. But he could no longer lack control of his own life. His children needed him, and with his own firm, he’d set his own hours. He’d spend more time with his kids, and once this opening was over, he’d need no more nannies. “Not at all. They came in to say hello,” Ethan blurted. “The nanny showed up, but they’re on their way out.”
Willow and Archie exchanged a look, but didn’t say anything.
The annoying, pushy woman didn’t either, and thankfully she’d been quiet at the right time. He didn’t need Branson to know that his life was still messy, that the reason why he’d dropped a few balls in the past months still existed.
If he didn’t turn things around, he’d be toast.
He wouldn’t be able to open his own firm, and he’d still live in the crazy loop of disappointment his life had become.
He’d get to spend even less time with his kids, much less enjoy them. Then again, when was the last time he enjoyed anything? He’d been an endless pit of resentment and guilt.
“Dad, I’m hungry,” Archie said.
“I’ll take the kids to the cafeteria downstairs,” Poppy said. “C’mon kiddos.”
He walked up closer to her, and whispered in her ear, “Don’t let them out of your sight. My assistant Laurel will take them from you when she’s back.”
He hoped he knew what he was doing… because he’d just trusted a complete stranger.
Carmen Falcone. Suddenly Hired: Suddenly Love, Book 2 (Kindle Locations 101-147). Kindle Edition.
Once Poppy agrees to his terms, she has to move into his place in order to keep up with the children’s schedules.
It’s right before they all go on a company retreat that things really heat up in more ways than one.
I love the interactions with Poppy, Willow and Archie. They are definitely a handful. Ethan recognizes that and doesn’t want them to be disappointed when Poppy leaves them.
This is a fun, romantic and kindle melting read!
5 Contented Purrs for Carmen!
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Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters beat doing math homework any day. Brazilian by birth and traveler by nature, she moved to Central Texas after college and met her broody Swiss husband–living proof that opposites attract.
She found in writing her deepest passion and the best excuse to avoid the healthy lifestyle everyone keeps talking about. When she’s not lost in the world of romance, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, being walked by her three crazy pugs, reading, catching up with friends, and chatting with random people in the checkout line.
She loves to procrastinate, so please indulge her and drop her a line. For more info, visit her website.