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Say You Still Love Me
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
1501133446 (ISBN13: 9781501133442)
Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.
On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.
Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life.
The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.
Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.
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A spoiled tart.
Or was it spoiled brat?
I purse my lips and try not to sneer at Tripp Porter as he drones on with a status update about the continuous permit delays, his monotonous voice flat enough to sink a yapping Jack Russell into a coma. Meanwhile I’m struggling to recall exactly what this arrogant ass called me at the holiday party. Of course, he was oblivious to the fact that I was standing on the other side of the pillar while he bad-mouthed me, his crimson bow tie hanging loose around his collar, his tongue flapping after his umpteenth gimlet.
It was the same night that Dad officially announced my leaping promotion to the newly created role of senior vice president at Calloway Group—my stepping-stone to president when he retires. With an MBA from Wharton and ten years of experience at CG between summer internships and post grad, he thought I was ready.
Clearly, Tripp Porter did not.
And by the thinly veiled smirk that curls his lips every time he looks my way, he still doesn’t. But that could also be because he’s under the impression that he should be in the senior vice president’s role, and not reporting to the twenty-nine-year-old leggy brunette tart who once fetched his coffee.
Spoiled tart. That was definitely it.
Who the hell even uses that word, anyway?
I let my gaze drift around the room of suits—CG’s management team, mostly wealthy white men in their mid to late fifties, afflicted with varying degrees of male pattern baldness—and wonder how many of them share Tripp’s viewpoint, that Kieran Calloway has lost his damn mind, setting up his daughter to one day take over. That I should be finding ways to spend my trust fund, not wasting their time by dragging them into this meeting and demanding answers on two billion dollars’ worth of projects.
Unfortunately for them, I’m not going anywhere. And I’m beyond fed up, because I heard the same bullshit update from Tripp in the last meeting.
“So what you’re saying is that you’ve made no progress with the Marquee,” I interrupt loudly, topping my blunt words with a saccharine smile as my French-tipped nails trace the walnut swirls of the polished table. We bought the struggling hotel for $120 million two years ago. I’m the one who brought the project to the table. I’m the one who pushed Dad to buy it, insisting it would make an excellent condo conversion. Dad leaned forward on it for me. And now, despite rounds of meetings and revisions to the blueprints, we still can’t seem to get the city’s approval for construction to begin.
I catch glances exchanged and brows arching around the table. Some of these people must share my frustrations, right?
“What can I say, Piper,” Tripp begins, adjusting his navy-blue tie around his stout neck. And there’s that condescending smirk again. “I’ve already told Kieran that we should sell it and cut our losses. The groundwork for this project wasn’t set properly, and it’s taking more time to fix the mess than I anticipated. I’ve got a meeting with the city on the twenty-ninth to get to the root of the problem.”
I was the one overseeing the project until my promotion and when I left, it was on track. It doesn’t take a genius to hear what he’s implying—that the “mess” is thanks to my poor directive.
I grit my teeth to keep my composure. “That’s nearly a month away.”
“Yes, you’re right,” he says slowly. Annoyingly.
“We’re now six months behind schedule,” I emphasize sharply. “The investors are inquiring.” I don’t have to tell Tripp, or anyone else here, how irate that makes my father, who prides himself on our remarkable track record for reliability and on-time completion.
Tripp sighs heavily. “I don’t know what to tell you, Piper. It’s the earliest meeting date that old shrew Adriane Guthrie would agree to. You know how inflexible she is. Well, maybe you don’t, but ask your father.” He reaches for his phone and begins scrolling through his messages, as if this conversation is over.
I wasn’t going to do this until after the meeting, in private. But since Tripp is hell-bent on making me look like some clueless bobblehead, maybe everyone around this table is in need of an education.
“I spoke to Adriane this morning. We had a lovely chat.” I smile sweetly at Tripp, whose indifferent gaze has been replaced with suspicion. Adriane is a clever older woman whom I sat next to at a dinner event a few years back; we bonded over the same tastes in books and movies, and the same unsavory viewpoints about men like Tripp. She’s always been willing to make time for me. “It seems you missed the last scheduled meeting—”
“Something important came up,” he smoothly deflects.
“—without the common decency to phone her,” I finish.
His bushy brows draw together in a deep frown; he’s no doubt quickly thinking up some bullshit reason for that.