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Captivating in Love (The Maverick Billionaires #6)
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Gideon Jones came back from war a changed man. Though the Maverick Billionaires claim he’s one of their own, he knows he doesn’t deserve to be part of their tightly knit unit. Just like he doesn’t deserve Rosie Diaz—an amazing mother…and an utterly captivating woman that he can’t stop dreaming about.
Rosie Diaz pulled herself out of the foster care system and made a great life for herself while raising Jorge, the son she adores. Only one thing is missing—a good man, one she can respect and love with her whole heart. A man exactly like her best friend’s older brother Gideon.
When Rosie and Gideon agree to take care of Matt and Ari’s son, Noah, while the couple is on their honeymoon, they have no idea of the havoc two matchmaking little boys can create. Not to mention the steamy kisses that Rosie and Gideon can’t help but steal from each other as their connection deepens and grows. But when mother and son are threatened, Gideon will stop at nothing to protect them. Will he finally believe that he truly is Maverick material…and worthy of Rosie and Jorge’s love?
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Gideon Jones was so good with Jorge and Noah, two six-year-olds who made enough noise to rival a herd of stampeding cattle. As he handed each boy a cube of bread, Gideon gently encouraged the boys, showing them how to stretch out one hand with the bread in the center of the palm. They were both so attentive, while their bodies quivered with the attempt to stay still long enough for the peacock to feel safe eating from their hands.
Rosie Diaz’s heart melted as she watched from the picnic area, where a huge tent provided shade for the tables and dance floor that had been set up for her best friend’s wedding. Ariana Jones had first met Matt Tremont when she agreed to be his young son’s nanny. Ari showered Noah with love—and it wasn’t long before Ari and Matt were in love too. Though Rosie knew their happiness hadn’t come without struggles, their relationship was still a fairy tale come true to her. She couldn’t be happier that her friend had found love.
It was a gorgeous, sunny Saturday in August as Rosie’s son, Jorge, and Ari’s son, Noah, hunkered down before the peacock, his magnificent tail feathers trailing behind him. When Ari and Rosie had been teens together in foster care, this what they’d dreamed of—that their children would end up being best friends.
Rosie and Ari were sisters of the heart—along with their friend Chi, who had also been a part of the foster care system. Rosie had met them when her parents died in her early teens. She loved Ari for her eternal optimism and her loyalty to her brother. She loved Chi for her strength. When her foster family couldn’t say her Chinese name—Zhi Ruo—correctly, Chi had adopted their pronunciation as her own, saying it was a powerful name, like Tai Chi.
Rosie believed the three of them would be best friends forever and ever. They’d seen her through the dark days when she was eighteen and pregnant and alone after her baby’s father had abandoned her. They’d seen her through Jorge’s birth when she was nineteen. Jorge’s biological father—DNA being his only contribution—was the one who’d taught her not to trust men. At least until she’d met the Mavericks. In the same way that Ari and Chi had taught her the loyalty and goodness of friends, the Mavericks had taught her the goodness of men.
As much as Rosie wished her parents were still alive, she wouldn’t change any of what she’d gone through. She couldn’t imagine her life, her world, without Jorge.
Her son was the light of her life, an amazing little human being. Sometimes she couldn’t believe he had come from her. She and Ari and Chi had raised Jorge to be the confident, outgoing, loving boy he was.
So how could she regret anything? Especially on such a beautiful day when true love was all that mattered. As a wonderful bonus, she was finally getting to spend time with Ari’s brother. Gideon was so patient with the boys, never yelling, never snapping.
With adults, Gideon didn’t talk much, didn’t smile much. But when he played with Noah and Jorge, it was as if he became the man he would have been if he’d never been scarred by his time in the army, if he’d never lost touch with Ari. When he was with the boys, he became the funny, amazing, big brother Ari had always talked about.
The kind of man to whom Rosie could so easily lose her heart.
Maybe she’d already given him a tiny piece of her heart, especially when she watched him in unguarded moments like this with the boys.
He hadn’t yet changed into his tux and was still dressed in jeans and a T-shirt that showcased every rippling muscle. He was a vision of rough, raw, sexy power, accentuated by blue eyes and dark blond hair worn short, as if he’d never completely left the military behind. He could see right into you with those eyes. Or right through you as though you didn’t exist. Rosie longed for him to look at her, really look at her, to see what was on the inside. He made her warm all over. He made her aware of every beat of her heart. He made her want to trust a man again.
Just then, the peacock stretched out his long neck and pecked the bit of bread from Jorge’s hand. Rosie’s little boy wriggled with delight, pressing his lips together to suppress the squeal of joy dying to get out. Gideon smiled his approval, ruffling Jorge’s hair. Then he urged Noah forward, his nephew all big eyes and wonder as the peacock grabbed the bread out of his hand too.
It didn’t matter that Ari wasn’t Noah’s birth mom; Gideon treated him like he was his own blood. No one ever used the word stepson. Ari was simply Noah’s mom, Gideon was his uncle, and Matt was his dad. There was so much love among them all, it made Rosie gooey on the inside.