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?
L’amour à tout jamais (Milliardaires Rebelles 6)
Im Bann deiner Liebe (Die Maverick Milliardäre 6)
What Readers Are Saying:
Captivating in Love, Maverick Billionaires, Book 6
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.
Ari and Matt had decided to have their wedding at the petting zoo and open-air puppet theater in San Jose because it was Noah’s favorite spot. They’d rented the whole park for the day, and the wedding itself would take place on the stage. Rosie and Gideon were currently in charge of Noah while Ari was getting ready in the bridal tent.
Rosie, as maid of honor, would need to get herself ready soon, but there had been so many last-minute things to check on. She wanted everything to be absolutely perfect. And she knew that Gideon, who would be giving Ari away, wanted perfection just as much for his sister’s big day.
With the docent looking on, Gideon showed Noah and Jorge how to carefully stretch out a hand to pet the peacock’s brilliant blue neck. The boys were clearly awed by the bird’s magnificence, by his feathers, by the way he ate from their hands and let them touch him.
Though Gideon was ten years older, Ari claimed that when they were kids, he’d never treated her like she was an annoying pest. Instead, he’d played games with her, taken her to the park, made her laugh until her stomach hurt. Rosie supposed that because their mom had been an addict, Gideon had grown up fast, taking care of the two of them.
When he was eighteen, he’d enlisted in the army, wanting to make enough money to help Ari and their mom with living expenses. But he couldn’t have predicted their mother would move them around so much that he’d lose track of them—or that he wouldn’t get notification of their mom’s death until she’d been gone six months. By then, finding Ari while stationed in the Middle East had been impossible. Despite searching for her after he got out, it had taken sixteen years since the day he’d joined up for them to find each other again, after Matt had hired a private investigator to find Ari’s long-lost brother.
Rosie would have loved Matt just for that, even if he wasn’t such a great guy on top of it. The fact that he was a billionaire—along with his four best friends, the Mavericks—was irrelevant. Although, she thought with a small smile, she wasn’t going to lie and say she hadn’t enjoyed flying on his private plane last month.
“Sorry I haven’t been helping you take care of the final wedding details,” Gideon said, his deep voice surprising her. Rosie had been so lost in her thoughts she hadn’t realized Gideon had left the boys with the docent, who was explaining about peachicks and peacocks and peahens to her rapt audience. “The boys were so excited about the animals,” he added, “I wanted to get them started.”
“I’m glad you did.” She turned to smile at him. “And I haven’t needed any help. Fortunately, the caterers are great. They’ve got everything set out the way Ari wanted.”
Gideon was so tall, broad-shouldered, and powerfully muscled that being this close to him made her shivery inside, her breath catching as her heart beat fast enough for her to feel her pulse in her fingertips. There was that ancient cliché—he stole my breath. That’s what Gideon did to her.
Not that he seemed to have even the slightest clue what he did to her—or any woman, for that matter. Rosie couldn’t remember ever seeing him flirt with anyone, and though he was a devastatingly good-looking man, his hard shell was so intimidating that Rosie had yet to see any woman bold enough to flirt with him either. Even when they played water polo in Ari and Matt’s pool or jumped on Noah’s trampoline, and she’d catch Gideon looking at her, she wasn’t able to read what was in his mind. Did he think she was pretty? Did she make his heart race the way he always sent hers into overdrive?
Gideon hid all his emotions behind a wall no one could scale.
He had been deployed in the Middle East for seven years, and though he hadn’t spoken to anyone, not even his sister, about his experiences during those years, it was obvious they’d left their mark on his heart—along with deep, dark shadows in his eyes.
Only with Noah and Jorge did Gideon seem to be his true self. Rosie longed for him to be this way all the time, not just with the boys. She longed for him to relax and laugh with her the way he did with them.
But, just as with every time before, when he caught her eyes on him, his immediate withdrawal was like a physical punch. The smile died on his lips, his blue eyes turned into dark, fathomless pools, even his body seemed to grow rigid. As if he’d turned to stone. As if he couldn’t allow himself happiness with anyone but the boys. Even with Ari, whom he clearly loved with everything in him, he held something back.
It broke Rosie’s heart. If only they could all have happy endings. Matt, Ari, herself…and especially Gideon.