Sometimes you’ve got to fake it ‘til you make it…
Stephanie Fitzpatrick wanted out of the spotlight after her pro-golfer husband was caught on camera cheating. But when she returns to Michigan for a job interview and some much-needed R&R, a fib told by her well-meaning sister has her looking for a temporary fiancé, or she can kiss her new start good-bye.
Desperate to hide the truth, she goes to the one man who can help—her former best friend.
Miles Masterson is relieved to see the Checkerberry Inn beginning to thrive once more. Not only does it ease his mind about his grandmother’s financial future, but also about his decision to finally escape town. But then one all grown up and sexy as hell friend from the past shows up needing rescue. Now the temptation to change the “temporary” arrangement into something more is making it harder to think about leaving.
Each book in the Checkerberry Inn series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Miles hung up, then dropped back into his office chair and scanned the space around him. This office had been his second home since graduation. It was where he’d cut his teeth on finances, played accountant, payroll clerk, marketing coordinator—you name it, if it had to do with anything other than manual labor here at the inn, he’d done it. And now, at long last, that was finally all about to change.
It wasn’t that he disliked the inn, or hated working for his grandmother. But the profits had been slim to none too often in the past, and keeping the old beauty afloat during the post 9/11 economic slump had taken its toll on him. And on Ruby. Every day she got a little older, a little more frail. But Brent was the responsible grandson, and he was on her payroll now as well. That meant the responsibility of watching out for their beloved Ruby could now officially be handed off, and no one would be able to misinterpret Miles’s overprotective ways for her anymore.
He suddenly felt a great weight lifted from his shoulders. He stood, drew in a deep breath, and made an executive decision to cut out of work early. For years he’d put his time in and then some. To say he’d earned a little comp time would be an understatement.
Besides, what would Ruby do if he left early—fire him?
With a smile on his face and feeling lighter than he had in years, Miles headed for the hall. Halfway to the lobby, a ping sounded from his phone. An email was in his inbox, the subject Techworks Info. He opened it with a flick of his thumb, rounded the corner, and caught his foot on an unexpected object. Unable to stop his forward momentum, Miles tripped over a pile of gaudy pink luggage and landed painfully on his right side. His cell went skidding down the hall as a startled squeak rang out from the luggage’s owner.
“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry! I stopped to adjust my grip and suddenly you were there and…and, well, there just wasn’t enough time to react.”
An outstretched hand came into his peripheral vision. With a grimace, Miles pushed himself into a sitting position. This was just one out of a hundred—no, a thousand—things he wouldn’t miss when he left the inn: awkward encounters with flighty guests. He took a deep breath and looked toward the responsible party, ready to lie that it was quite all right and he was just fine. But then his gaze locked onto a ball cap-wearing, heart-shaped face with auburn brows drawn together above dark, oversized sunglasses.
Recognition hit him like a freight train. No cap or sunglasses in the world could keep him from recognizing his childhood best friend. The one girl who’d unknowingly set the bar for all those who came after, and set it so high that Miles had given up trying to find someone able to reach it.
About the Author
Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love, humor and mystery in the Midwest and beyond. When this Hoosier native isn’t pounding out scenes for her next book, she’s likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves to read, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan.