Blurb: Being butler to a widower and single father is a dream job in more ways than one for Charlotte “Charlie” Emerson. She helps keep businessman Ethan Archer’s household running without a hitch and enjoys every minute she has with his six-year-old son, Wells. But as time passes, the situation feels alarmingly intimate and when her heart starts beating faster each time Ethan steps through the door, Charlie must exert rigid control over her feelings.
With her secret, falling in love would be all kinds of bad…
Ethan Archer values the woman who keeps his life in order and cares so much for his motherless boy. He and Charlie act in harmony with each other and it’s not hard to picture them as a little family…in fact, it’s so easy, one reckless night he proposes a marriage of convenience.
What will he do if Charlie says yes? And worse, what if she tells him no?
Charlie returned to the kitchen to deal with the dishes and restore the pots and pans to their proper place. She liked tidiness and order in all things—emotions included. Emmaline sometimes accused her of capping off her feelings, and Charlie didn’t disagree. Or find anything wrong with it.
“In my book,” she murmured to herself now, “compartmentalizing isn’t a sin.”
“What’s not a sin?” a masculine voice questioned.
Charlie whirled around, instant heat crawling up her throat and cheeks. “Um, hi, Ethan.” Her boss had been on a business trip for the past couple of weeks. Why hadn’t she taken the time to change into something other than cropped leggings and a matching T-shirt? When was the last time she’d brushed her hair?
He smiled, softening the lines of his lean and handsome face. At their first meeting, he’d claimed to be “on the dark side of thirty-five” but she’d met younger men who didn’t come close to his level of attractiveness.
“Charlotte,” he said now.
She pretended to scowl at him and told herself that she found his use of her full name—he was the only one who ever did use it—irksome. It made her feel too…feminine, and she was supposed to merely be a functional feature in his life. A Charlie.
His laughter was low, almost intimate. “On occasion, I must.”
Ignoring the traitorous pleasure she felt in his presence, she busied herself with refolding a kitchen towel. “I didn’t hear you come in.”
“You were lost in thought.” A heavy pause. “Something about sinning?”
At the amused and inquisitive tone, she glanced up at him. He looked back, one dark eyebrow winged up and the hint of a smile on his firm lips. A shiver tried working its way down her spine, but she ruthlessly held back the sensation.
“It was nothing,” she said.
“I’m disappointed to hear that.” He laughed again, sounding slightly chagrined. “For a moment I thought one of us was breaking out of our rut.”
About the Author: Christie Ridgway is a California native and author of fifty contemporary romances. A six-time RITA finalist and USA Today bestselling author, she writes award-winning, emotional reads starring determined heroines and the men who can’t help but love them. Christie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, went to college in Santa Barbara, and now is married to the sweetheart she met there.
She started off as a technical writer and moved on to computer programming before having two sons and pursuing the dream she’d held since childhood—writing romance novels. Her first book stars a hero who was a former professional surfer and since then she’s written about businessmen, TV stars, soldiers, journalists, vintners, race car drivers, and horror novelists. What her heroes have in common is their resistance to love and their hardest of falls when they finally do find their right woman.
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