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My Not So Wicked Boss (My Not So Wicked #3)
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Love knows no contract.
Aspen Parker’s life can be summed up in one word. Unexpected. For instance, she never expected to become a mother at twenty. Her divorce at twenty-one really threw her off. She certainly didn’t see losing her promotion at the bank to that weasel Stephen. And she most definitely didn’t see Miles Wickham, better known as Taron Taylor–international bestselling author, the man whose words have captivated her–offering her a job to be his nephew’s nanny.
But there’s a caveat to accepting the position; she must sign a contract agreeing to no romantic entanglements between her and the debonair Brit. Aspen doesn’t expect this to be an issue seeing as she’s not particularly fond of men. Once again, though, life is not turning out how she expected.
While Aspen and Miles traverse single parenthood together, there’s no denying the chemistry between them. She can’t figure out how her charming boss knows how to pierce the protective layers of her heart, and it’s driving her mad. Mad with desire that is. Miles, too, is finding it hard to resist the reserved beauty who brilliantly takes care of his nephew and him. But with both their tentative hearts on the line, can they risk taking a chance on each other? Which will win? Love or the contract?
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Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. It wasn’t the end of the world. I stared at the email from the vice president of the bank, who didn’t have the decency to tell me in person that he wasn’t going to promote me to the position of client services manager. Even though I’d jumped through all the hoops and had been an employee longer than Stephen. Stephen, who I trained to be a personal banker like myself. Stephen, who barely knew the difference between a credit card and a debit card. Stephen, who was walking toward my desk in his new suit wearing a gloating smile and a ridiculous comb-over to hide his bald spot. Stephen, who had a huge piece of spinach wedged between his two front teeth.
“Aspen, I just wanted to say that going against you was stiff competition, so this win means even more to me.”
Wow. For that, I wasn’t going to mention the spinach. Or the coffee dribbled on his white shirt.
“In the end, the best man won. I hope there will be no hard feelings. Especially since I’m your new boss.” He guffawed to himself.
I pressed my lips together, not knowing what to say. He wasn’t the best man for the job. All he had was a degree from a highly touted university and a mother who was on the bank’s board of directors.
He waited for my reply, but I had nothing. All I could think of was my daughter, Chloe. I wanted to be able to finally move us out of our tiny apartment and say yes to more of the things she wanted, even needed, like braces. I almost had to take a loan out just to pay for her junior high school fees.
When I said nothing, he blankly stared at me for a moment longer. “Well,” he clapped his small, oddly shiny hands together, “now that we’ve cleared all that up and moved on, I need you to help out today in private banking.” He smirked. “Now.”
I wasn’t surprised by his behavior. I knew he would be the worst sort of boss—authoritative without any skills. He would make himself look good on the backs of others. My back. I stood without a word, only taking the time to log out of my computer and grab my satchel before I marched across the marble floor to take the elevator to the second floor. It was rubbing salt in my wounds to have to help the wealthier part of our customer base today. At least the solo ride on the elevator gave me time to compose myself. Tears pricked my eyes, but I stifled them with shallow breaths.
Evelyn, the sweet receptionist—who was old enough to be my grandmother and planned to work at the bank until her dying day—greeted me with a smile on her cute, chubby, aged face as soon as I stepped off the elevator. “I was hoping they would send you up here today when Valerie called in sick.”
“Thanks, Evelyn. Should I take the floater’s office?”
“I have it ready for you.”
When I walked past her desk, she stood and took ahold of me. “I heard the news,” she whispered in my ear. “I can’t believe they promoted that little brownnoser over you.”
“Me either.” I had to stave off the tears again. I was afraid I was never going to catch a break.
She tipped my chin with her crinkled finger. “You keep your chin up. Better doors for you are waiting to open. I just know it.”
I sighed, not sure. I was told if I finished my degree that the job would be mine. Now all I had to show for my degree was student loan debt and the long hours I spent late into the night doing homework and taking online classes so that I didn’t take even more time away from my baby.
I settled into the desk chair, at least thankful I had an office today. Downstairs, we were in cubicles. Apparently, if you didn’t make a lot of money it was okay if you discussed your financial needs and private information for the world to hear. I reached into the desk drawer, grabbed my extra nameplate, set it on the mahogany desk, and logged in to the computer. While the computer started up, I stared at the framed picture on the wall in front of me of a beautiful mountain scene with our bank logo and slogan obscuring it, “A Better Bank for a Better Life.” Lie, was all I could think.
I didn’t have time to wallow. Before I knew it, Evelyn was bringing back my first customer of the day. I sat up tall and plastered on a fake smile when I saw her coming. Evelyn was fanning herself as she walked toward me with a Cheshire grin. I wondered why until I saw a man trailing behind her. Not only a man, but the man. At least, I thought it was him. If not, I was going to start believing in doppelgangers.