Bella and I have been dying to tell Daniel’s story. He was always the guy with the perfect family, with all the great friends, with all the love he could ask for, not to mention the billions. So what would his story look like? Here’s a hint!
Daniel Spencer is proud of the billion-dollar business he’s built, but there are few things he enjoys more than creating something with his bare hands. Lake Tahoe has everything he’s looking for—the lakefront cabin he’s building for family and friends to enjoy, crystal clear water and lush green mountains. Everything except the perfect woman to share it with. Until Tasha Summerfield literally falls into his arms.
After learning that her family has lied to her for pretty much her entire life, Tasha flees San Francisco for the mountains. As she tries to bury her heartache by hammering her dilapidated cabin back together, the last thing she expects is to fall for a sexy billionaire. But when a storm blows in and she desperately needs help, there is Daniel, waiting with open arms.
Tasha believes Daniel deserves a woman from a perfect, loving, tight-knit family like his. Yet how can she possibly resist a man this sweet and generous…who looks positively sinful in his tool belt? With every delicious taste of him, Tasha finds it harder to quell the hopes and dreams she thought were crushed forever. But when it turns out that Daniel’s family isn’t picture perfect after all, will the truth set them both free? Or will it destroy any chance they ever had?
© 2018 Bella Andre & Jennifer Skully
The lake was brilliantly blue and perfectly calm as Daniel Spencer stood on the back deck of his Tahoe getaway. The air held the crisp scent of the mountains, and he breathed deeply to take in the sweetness. He’d chosen Fallen Leaf Lake on which to build his waterfront cabin because of this spectacular view, the snow-capped mountains in the distance, the scent of wildflowers just starting to bloom, and the peace of it all, away from the rush and noise of the city.
Except for the insistent thwack of a staple gun spoiling the perfect quiet.
Since his last visit over three months ago, someone must have moved into the run-down shack up the hill—the blue tarps on the roof were new, and a small, older-model truck had replaced the rusted hulk on the gravel drive. He’d always gotten along well with his neighbors, but this morning he couldn’t push away his resentment at the intrusion.
His family had been right; he definitely needed a few days away to recharge. It had been way too long since he’d had a vacation, or come up to work on the cabin. Weekends had been out of the question as well, given that they had become a revolving door of birthday parties and sports events and barbecues with his friends and their wives or girlfriends and children.
The other four Mavericks—Will, Sebastian, Matt, and Evan—had each found the woman of their dreams. A partner they could share everything with. Love and companionship and intimacy. Over the past few months, Daniel had begun to realize that being the only unattached Maverick separated him from the pack.
He was now the odd man out.
Will’s wedding had jump-started Daniel’s restlessness—and Evan and Paige’s recent housewarming party had only deepened the growing hole inside him. At first, he’d sought to plug it with work, making sure he had little time for anything else—especially thinking too much. But he had to admit he’d become a bear to work for these past few months, asking for too much, pushing everyone else as hard as he pushed himself.
And all the while, he couldn’t help asking himself, what was it all for? He’d triumphed over his dirt-poor childhood to build Top Notch DIY into the world’s leading home-improvement franchise, with outlets around the globe. His face filled millions of screens on a homebuilding TV show that aired weekly. He had more money than he could possibly spend. But something was missing.
Someone was missing.
Someone to share it all with.
At thirty-six, Daniel had dated plenty of women, but he’d never found the one woman with whom he could share the perfect love and relationship he’d seen in his parents. It had never felt sappy to say that he wanted the kind of love his mom and dad had found. After all, who wouldn’t want a relationship that good, that free of bumps and hurdles—two people who had always been there for each other, no matter what?
His mother, Susan Spencer, set the bar. As an adult, Daniel had a clear-eyed view of her strength and wisdom, qualities he hadn’t always appreciated as a punk kid narrowly skirting the line between right and wrong. Back then, he hadn’t wanted his father’s no-nonsense advice either. But Daniel knew better now. His parents were his rocks, his guides. They never faltered, never screwed up, even though they had struggled to make ends meet for most of their lives.
No matter how difficult life had been, they’d never lost sight of the important things: love, family, loyalty. In that grimy Chicago neighborhood, which was the only place they could afford, Bob and Susan Spencer had taken in his friends—all the Mavericks—and though each of the boys had gone through his own struggles, none of them had ever been left wanting for love or attention.
Daniel had been thinking of his family when he’d drawn the plans for this cabin. It wasn’t meant to be a bachelor pad—he envisioned playing games outside in the summer sun with his wife and kids and making s’mores in the outdoor fire pit beneath a full moon.
At present, the exterior was complete except for the trimmings. He had electricity as well as plumbing, one working bathroom, and a carefully handcrafted river-rock fireplace. The refrigerator, countertop microwave and coffee machine were the only working appliances in the kitchen, but he did all the real cooking on the barbecue anyway. He’d brought in a big bed for his master suite so he had somewhere decent to sleep, but though the log walls were dried in, there were holes where the interior door frames should be and bare, unfinished planks for floors. For all his dreams, the house wasn’t much more than a shell.
Just like his life.
He shook his head, cursing himself for falling into a mental hole again. This week away from work was supposed to renew him. He’d risen hours before dawn in order to miss the commuter traffic on the drive up from San Francisco. On the road, he’d been eager to continue the work. Now that he was here, it was time to focus on the fact that he was not only the luckiest guy in the world to have a thriving business and bank account, along with all his close friends, but also that nothing he’d faced would ever compare to his parents’ struggles. Especially not while he was standing on the edge of a glorious blue lake, with the Memorial Day holiday just around the corner and a week’s vacation stretching out ahead of him.
He knew exactly what would knock some sense back into his brain—a cannonball into the frigid lake. The ice and snow that had covered the water for the past several months had only just melted.
He whipped off his flannel shirt, kicked off his boots and jeans, and had just made a flying leap toward the crystal clear water when a scream suddenly fractured the morning’s quiet.
Hmm, so who do you think screamed? And why!!?? Find out in Wild in Love!
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