This one is in my TBR pile and I’m so looking forward to reading it!
by Susan Mallery
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: HQN; Original edition (June 11, 2019)
The Baxter sisters come from a long line of women with disastrous luck in love. But this summer, Sunshine and Margot will turn disasters into destiny…
As an etiquette coach, Margot teaches her clients to fit in. But she’s never faced a client like Bianca, an aging movie star who gained fame—and notoriety—through a campaign of shock and awe. Schooling Bianca on the fine art of behaving like a proper diplomat’s wife requires intensive lessons, forcing Margot to move into the monastery turned mansion owned by the actress’s intensely private son. Like his incredible home, Alec’s stony exterior hides secret depths Margot would love to explore. But will he trust her enough to let her in?
Sunshine has always been the good-time sister, abandoning jobs to chase after guys who used her, then threw her away. No more. She refuses to be “that girl” again. This time, she’ll finish college, dedicate herself to her job as a nanny, and she 100 percent will not screw up her life again by falling for the wrong guy. Especially not the tempting single dad who also happens to be her boss.
Master storyteller Susan Mallery weaves threads of family drama, humor, romance and a wish-you-were-there setting into one of the most satisfying books of the year!
The smile returned, although with less gut-hitting power. “I tend to fall for men who have unusual occupations or who don’t live wherever I am. A guy in a rock band, a travel photographer, a professional tennis player. One time the family I was working for took me with them to Napa. I met a guy who owned a restaurant and when the family went home, I stayed. On the bright side, he taught me how to cook.”
She looked away. “I was young and reckless and I don’t want do that anymore.” Her gaze returned to him. “I won’t bore you with the details. Let’s just say I woke up alone in a hotel room in London with no job, no boyfriend, no prospects. I flew home and moved in with my sister, then got a couple of jobs because hey, the nanny thing wasn’t working for me or the kids.”
He wasn’t sure what he’d expected to hear, but it wasn’t this. “So why are you back being a nanny now?”
“I’m good at it and I need the money. I want to do something with my life. Get an education, have a retirement account, be normal. Working as a nanny allows me to pay for school, have time to study and not have to worry about rent. I want to keep my head down and be smart. No more loser guys. I don’t want to be that girl anymore.”
The smile returned, leaving him just as speechless as before.
“More than you wanted to know,” she said. “I’m being honest. You have no reason to believe any of this. You don’t know me, which is kind of the point of the conversation, right? But I’m committed to Connor. I’m not going to walk away from him.”
“Because you’re not that girl anymore?”
“That’s the reason.”
It was too much information and he didn’t know what to do with it all. She was right—he had no reason to believe her, and yet he did. Was that dumb on his part or intuition? He had no idea.
“Is that also why you wanted to work for a woman?”
She nodded. “I’ve had a couple of dads get handsy. It’s awkward.”
“I assure you I would never—”
She shook her head. “I know. You don’t have to say anything.”
She knew? How? And what did that mean? Had he become so incredibly sexless that…that… Dear God, he couldn’t even formulate the question, let alone answer it.
She laughed. “You look confused. What I meant is you seem to be an honorable person. I appreciate that.”
“Good,” he said, not sure if it was good or not. Time to change the subject. “About your hours. Are they working for you?”
She was supposed to be available from 6:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. with the middle of the day off, five days a week. She also owed him every other Saturday and cooked dinner four nights a week.
“I’m sorry you had to work Sunday when I was on my business trip.”
“Not a problem. You and Connor were gone the previous weekend, so I had that Saturday. Declan, I’m not keeping track of every single minute. If Connor gets up early or stays up late, that’s okay. A lot of my job is being flexible.”
He confirmed she knew where all the local stores were, then pulled a credit card out of his desk drawer.
“I ordered this for you,” he said. “It will be easier than giving me receipts and having me reimburse you.” He smiled. “Don’t go to Tahiti on it.”
“Oh darn. And Connor and I were talking about taking a road trip just yesterday.” She took the card. “He seems to be outgrowing some of his pants and his athletic shoes are looking really bad. Do you want me to take him shopping or is that something you prefer to do?”
“You can do it. For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be knee-deep in the preconstruction planning for the hotel. Once that calms down, I’ll have more time.”
“Okay. Then I’ll get what he needs right now and you can handle the rest. Anything else?”
His gaze moved from her mouth to her— He swore silently, telling himself being a jerk wasn’t allowed. He had to get a grip or, at the very least, get laid. Assuming he remembered how all that happened. He assumed it was like riding a bike—once he and the lady in question were naked, he would know what to do.
He blinked. “Ah, that will be all.”
She stood and slid the credit card into her back pocket. “Have a good night.”
He wasn’t sure how good it was going to be but there was a better than even chance he would be taking a shower in a bit. A long one. After he would lie alone in bed both cursing and missing the woman he’d been married to. The one who had betrayed him, then up and died before he could decide if he had forgiven her or not.
#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives-family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com.
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