(Except Alex. He’s a womanizing manwhore. And maybe Stratton, because he’s wicked hot, but super awkward around girls.)
Barrett English, aka “the Shark,” is the fair-haired, first-born of the English brothers, and the CEO of the oldest, most prestigious investment banking firm in Philadelphia. He rules the boardroom with an iron fist, refusing to take no for an answer and always getting his way.
Emily Edwards, a first-year doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, grew up in the gatehouse on the outskirts of Barrett’s childhood estate. The daughter of his family’s gardener and housekeeper, she was always looking through the window of privilege, but forced to remember her place at the very periphery of the kingdom.
When business partners suggest that a fiancee might soften Barrett’s image over business dinners, he approaches Emily for the “job” of fiancee. And while love wasn’t necessarily on Barrett’s radar, he begins to realize that Emily always has been. But will his take-no-prisoners boardroom tactics work on the heart of the woman he loves?
The mysterious recluse…
Owen Campbell holds himself apart from other people. Badly scarred from emotional wounds that have never healed, he doesn’t expect to find true love or happiness. He remains isolated in a prison of his own making, determined to not let anyone close enough to hurt him again.
But his willpower is shaken to the core when Sarah Browning enters his world.
The girl next door…
Sarah Jane Browning is three years into her college degree when a call from home changes everything. Back at the family homestead in the heart of Appalachia, she’s forced to reevaluate her hopes and dreams for the future.
Some people just don’t belong together, or at least that’s what the world would have them believe.
Reese Westfield comes from a world of old money, country clubs, cotillions, and expensive cars. She’s tired of dating Warren McCarthy just to make her father happy. Reese has long since had her eye on someone else, and this summer she’s determined to make it happen.
Growing up in Lake Loveless there has always been a strict monetary divide—there was the rest of the Lake and then there were the Waterman’s. Ace Waterman has worked for everything he has, and he doesn’t have a lot. He breaks his back doing grunt work while putting himself through college. He’s used to life passing him by.
Reese has loved Ace from afar for as long as she can remember. The summer of her freshman year she comes home with plans to land Ace in her bed at least for a few short weeks, and, if she’s lucky, forever.
Ace has loved Reese for as long as he can remember, but their friendship has never graduated beyond platonic, so when Reese comes home from her first year away and proposes the two of them have a summer fling, Ace is quick to comply. The rules: no strings, no expectations, just something hotter than the sun to set the sheets on fire.