The untimely death of EJ Hampton’s father kills her dream of practicing law with him in her hometown of Wylder. Heartbroken, she now has two weeks to organize the practice for sale. When she meets her father’s millionaire client Dylan Addison, he is demanding and entitled—yet his charisma captivates her.
Dylan is under pressure to renovate the Wylder Hotel before his father pulls the plug on his project. He needs EJ’s expertise, but she is bent on returning to her life in San Francisco despite the fireworks between them.
EJ walks a tightrope trying to balance Dylan’s needs against her own, but doing so is far more complicated when emotions get in the way.
“I want to introduce you to Dylan Addison. He bought the Wylder Hotel and is going to renovate it. Dylan, this is Chad Wilson, the owner of this establishment.”
I shook Chad’s hand as the man studied me.
“I heard that a bigwig from Chicago bought the hotel. Are you going to turn it into some glitzy, hoitytoity resort?” Disdain darkened his face.
So that was the fear. “No, not at all. I’m simply giving it a little facelift since it’s slightly out of date.” More than slightly, but I didn’t want to set Chad off with any negativity.
I hoped the bartender slash owner would return to his station, but EJ continued to engage with him.
“Remember how nice the hotel was when we were growing up? The senior prom was held there for years. Dylan plans to bring it back to its former glory. In addition to bringing more tourists to our area, it will be nice to have a big party space in town again, don’t you think? As well as another restaurant option for breakfast and lunch.”
“I hope it doesn’t interfere with business here,” he groused.
She soothed his feathers. “This place has a huge clientele and a great following. The hotel restaurant will cater more to tourists and business people. There’s nothing to worry about, Chad.” She gifted him with a smile that I would have much preferred she direct at me, but she was clearly trying to help me out with one of the local business owners.
I joined my cause. “EJ told me this is the place to come for the best burgers in town.”
“Yep. It’s also the top karaoke venue. Stick around. It starts at eight tonight.” Chad clapped me on the back, not exactly a friendly move. “I’ll put in your order for two burgers.”
Without asking for our specific requests, he sauntered back to the bar and got busy.
I let out the breath I hadn’t known I was holding. “I’m not sure I made a friend.”
About the Author
Maria Imbalzano is an award-winning contemporary author who writes about strong, independent women and the men who fall in love with them. She recently retired from the practice of law, but legal issues have a way of showing up in many of her novels. When not writing, she loves to travel both abroad and in the states. Maria lives in central New Jersey with her husband--not far from her two daughters and granddaughters. For more information about her books, please visit her website at http://mariaimbalzano.com where you can also sign up for her newsletter.
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