Claire Reynolds has had to fight for everything that she has achieved in her life. An erratic foster-care upbringing has left her determined to put in the hard work necessary to achieve her dreams and build a solid future.
Armed with her MBA and a five-year plan she has landed a prestigious internship with Bellingham Developments. If she excels, she will surely be offered a permanent job and a chance to make her mark in the industry she loves.
Enter Andrew Bellingham, heir to the Bellingham empire. Drew is most definitely not a part of any five-year plan. His playboy reputation is often the talk of the town; but Claire is surprised to find that Drew is completely the opposite of the gossip that surrounds him. Charming and intelligent, not to mention devastatingly handsome, Drew is a man who gets what he wants. And despite his father's dismay, what he wants is Claire...
“I’m going to leave you two to it,” Nora said, “but might I suggest actually speaking directly with the man?” Her eyes sparkled with humor.
“I should go with you,” I insisted. I felt like it was rude to let her leave alone.
“Take some time to sort him out and I’ll see you on Monday. Good job this week, Claire. I couldn’t have asked for a better intern."
I seriously had the coolest boss ever, but I heard the veiled warning in her words of advice. I needed to make the drama go away so we could focus on work.
“Flavor of the month?” Drew frowned as he took Nora’s vacant seat beside me.
“I’m flattered...” Honesty, that's what Nora had recommended.
“How is this hard?” I blurted much to his amusement.
“You’re adorable when you’re mad.” He chuckled.
“Drew! Please try to understand...I, I come from nothing,” I stammered. “I grew up in foster care and I’ve had to claw my way here. Failure is not an option - failure is the difference between having a roof over my head or a spot on the street. This internship is everything, and I cannot risk the possibility that this could turn into a real job, on a silly flirtation. I understand you want to irritate your father and that showering your attention on a nobody like me is a good way to do that...but it’s too much of a risk for me. Can’t you understand that?”
“Two things and then I will leave you to your evening,” he said softly and I could see the anger flashing in his eyes. “First, I had no idea how much this job means to you and I didn’t realize my attention could be such a negative thing. I promise I will not bother you at work. I would hate to think I could jeopardize your future. Second, I am not trying to piss my father off by...what was it? ‘Showering my attention on a nobody like you’. I resent that you would even think of yourself in that light. I find I’m incredibly intrigued by you, Claire. I happen to think you are beautiful, funny, charming, completely refreshing and the more I get to know you the more I like you. I admire your drive and dedication and now that I know something of your background, I think I am in complete awe of you. I won’t interfere with your internship, but I would like to make you aware right now that I absolutely intend to pursue your attention outside of work.”
I was completely overwhelmed by his words as well as his anger. Anger that I didn’t see myself the way he saw me. I was still reeling when his lips brushed mine in a tentative kiss that sent my heart racing in my chest.
“Good evening Claire,” he whispered as he stood to leave me.