By: Sierra Cartwright


“Is that Kelsey Lane?”

Startled, Nathan Donovan glanced up from his phone screen and looked over at his older brother, Connor. “Yeah. I just got her file.”

“On a Saturday night?” Connor raised his eyebrows. “At Grandfather’s centennial celebration? Better not let him see you working.”

Nathan had snuck off to a corner of the big fucking tent where he’d hoped he wouldn’t be disturbed. Since there were nearly a thousand guests in attendance, he should have known better than to think he could work instead of socializing and not get caught.

“Anything interesting?” Connor asked, after a glance around.

Realizing his brother wasn’t going away, Nathan turned off the screen and dropped the phone back into his pocket. “She has a master’s degree. Been with Newman Inland Marine around six years, including internships. Loyal. Trusted. Exemplary record. Promotions faster than expected.”

Connor nodded, as if the information wasn’t a surprise.

“What do you know about her?” Nathan asked.

“Not much. Her name crossed my desk a couple of days ago. A recruiter was searching talent for BHI.”

Connor’s wife owned BHI, and Connor had a seat on the board of directors. As CEO, Lara counted on Connor’s support and opinions. “Interesting,” Nathan said. As their businesses grew, these types of conflicts were inevitable. Unwelcome, but inevitable. He knew that BHI had interests in shipping and logistics, but since they were ground-and-air based, they were at best minor competition. “What capacity are we talking about here?”

“Oil and gas.”


“We don’t have to pursue her.”

Nathan refused to stand between her and success with another company. And if her skill set would benefit BHI, they deserved the chance to woo her. “You’re welcome to go after her.”

Connor no longer seemed to be listening, and Nathan followed his brother’s gaze. His wife Lara was talking to a tall cowboy who leaned toward her. Too close, if the sudden scowl on Connor’s face was anything to judge by.

“Excuse me,” Connor said, jaw set. Without waiting for a response, Connor strode toward his wife.

Thankfully, that left Nathan alone again.

He took out his phone and returned to the information on Kelsey. Info? If he was honest with himself, he would admit he wasn’t only interested in her biography. He wanted to look at her picture.

Her smile appeared a bit forced, as if she were impatient with the photographer. Even that didn’t detract from the beauty of her hazel eyes, the fullness of her lips or the sight of her long, dark hair.

Everything about her appealed to him.

If the acquisition went through, the gorgeous Kelsey Lane would be his assistant.

That was incentive to work longer and harder.

A couple whose names he couldn’t remember stopped to chat. Hiding his annoyance, he put his phone away and shook the man’s hand.

It took a full five minutes before their attention wandered and they excused themselves.

He wondered how many more times he would be required to smile before making an escape. Unbelievably, people were still arriving. Some were even in limos, which was supremely impractical on a ranch, not just because of the dirt roads but also the distance from a major town.

Straddling the line between irritation and impatience, he glanced at his watch. Not that it was a watch, even though it told time with the accuracy of an atomic clock. The unit was more like a mini-computer. It never needed recharging since it was powered by his body’s movements. Barring that, light reenergized it. The Julien Bonds-created masterpiece wasn’t just intuitive, it often anticipated Nathan’s actions.

The unit vibrated. In response, he swiped his finger across the sapphire-glass surface. A tiny hologram of his sister-in-law Sofia appeared. Beneath her, in script that advanced forward as he read each word, Sofia said, “It’s not yet eight o’clock, Nathan. You’re expected to stay at least two more hours. As a reminder, please ask your mother to dance. And oh, Connor just told me to lock you out of the Wi-Fi until eleven p.m., even at the guest house, so even if you run away, you won’t be able to get online. He says it’s for your own good.”

Hot Read

Last Updated


Top Books