A few years ago, I had dinner with a friend who is a corporate recruiter. Her expertise was finding the right candidate for specialized jobs that might be harder to fill than normal. As she was describing one of her most recent assignments, the proverbial light bulb went off over my head: What if a recruiter was asked not to find a work candidate, but a spouse?
Enter Luke Dallas. Business is a game he plays to win. When his employees’ futures are threatened, Luke will do anything to save their jobs—including getting married. When he bumps into Danica Novak, an executive recruiter in urgent need of a salary, he thinks he’s found the perfect solution. She’ll recruit a wife for him. After all, isn’t marriage just like business—a negotiation between two parties who have a mutual investment in a future outcome?
Just one problem: he forgot to add love into his calculations.
I am thrilled beyond words to be making my debut with Harlequin Desire. I had so much fun writing this book, and I hope you will enjoy reading Luke and Danica’s story!
Danica Novak wanted a hot shower, cool bedsheets and at least ten hours of uninterrupted sleep after her early morning cross-country flight. Instead, she got a claim form for lost luggage, a taxi driver who hit every possible red light between the airport in San Francisco and her office building in Palo Alto, and yet another phone squabble with her parents’ health insurance company about her brother’s medical bills. This was the third person she’d talked to since her plane landed, and it wasn’t yet 11:00 a.m. in California.
“The treatment isn’t covered?” She braced her cell phone between her right shoulder and ear while using her hands to dig through her tote bag for any loose bills with which to pay the fare. Her credit card was useless, as she had discovered when she tried to buy food on the plane. Her sudden trip to Rhode Island at last-minute airfare prices had eaten up what remained of her cushion. “You can’t negotiate to bring the costs down? At all?”
The driver stared at her through the rearview mirror, his fingers tapping an impatient rhythm on the steering wheel. When her eyes met his in the mirror, he flicked the meter back on. Danica smiled at him through gritted teeth and held up her index finger in the universal plea for just one more minute, while mustering the strength to keep her voice pitched at a pleasant conversational level.
She learned as a teenager, while helping her father apply for the license for his dry-cleaning business, that getting angry with faceless bureaucracies rarely resulted in a positive outcome. “Yes, I understand you’ve been told the treatment is classified as elective. Can I talk to a manager about this? Hello?” She stared at the phone. The call had dropped—or she had been hung up on.