March 1st, 2021
Home | Log in!

On Top Shelf
Mary Ellen TaylorMary Ellen Taylor
Fresh Pick
A FATAL LIE
A FATAL LIE

New Books This Week

Latest Articles


Grab your best read in March!

Slideshow image


Since your web browser does not support JavaScript, here is a non-JavaScript version of the image slideshow:

slideshow image
A gift from the gods…
Can unleash hell…
in a thrilling Night Rebel novel


slideshow image
They’re hunting a killer so silent, so invisible, that his unspeakable crimes are the only proof he exists.


slideshow image
Second-chance romance about love, loss, finding yourself, and getting lost in the right person.


slideshow image
Wise and witty novel about a fired advice columnist who discovers lost and found family members in Charleston


slideshow image
Paranormal Women's Fantasy
KindleUnlimited


slideshow image
Every bloody thread has been leading to this . . .


slideshow image
Can an awkward bluestocking transform into a beauty?


Excerpt of The Bravo Family Way by Christine Rimmer

Purchase


Bravo Family Ties
Silhouette Special Edition
March 2006
Featuring: Cleopatra Bliss; Fletcher Bravo
256 pages
ISBN: 0373247419
Paperback
Add to Wish List

Romance Series

Also by Christine Rimmer:

Home for the Baby's Sake, October 2020
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Montana Country Legacy: An Unexpected Home, September 2020
e-Book
In Search of the Long-Lost Maverick, July 2020
e-Book
The Right Reason to Marry, December 2019
e-Book
A Husband She Couldn't Forget, October 2019
e-Book
Switched at Birth, May 2019
e-Book
A Maverick to (Re)Marry, July 2018
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
The Lawman's Convenient Bride, May 2017
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
A Bravo for Christmas, December 2016
Paperback / e-Book
James Bravo's Shotgun Bride, April 2016
Paperback / e-Book
The Maverick's Accidental Bride, June 2015
Paperback / e-Book
Not Quite Married, March 2015
Paperback / e-Book
A Bravo Christmas Wedding, November 2014
Paperback / e-Book
The Prince's Cinderella Bride, June 2014
Paperback / e-Book
Her Highness and the Bodyguard, March 2013
Paperback / e-Book
The Rancher's Christmas Princess, December 2012
Paperback
A Bravo Homecoming, October 2011
Paperback
Marriage, Bravo Style!, March 2011
Paperback
Donovan's Child, February 2011
Paperback
Mcfarlane's Perfect Bride, July 2010
Paperback
Almost Forever/For The Baby's Sake, March 2010
Mass Market Paperback (reprint)
Valentine Bride, February 2010
Mass Market Paperback
A Bravo's Honor, June 2009
Mass Market Paperback
The Stranger And Tessa Jones, January 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Having Tanner Bravo's Baby, October 2008
Mass Market Paperback
In Bed With The Boss, July 2008
Paperback
Valentine's Secret Child, February 2008
Paperback
A Bravo Christmas Reunion, December 2007
Paperback / e-Book
Midsummer Madness, September 2007
Mass Market Paperback
The Man Who Had Everything, July 2007
Mass Market Paperback
From Here to Paternity, May 2007
Paperback
Ralphie's Wives, March 2007
Paperback
Married in Haste, September 2006
Paperback
The Reluctant Cinderella, July 2006
Paperback
The Bravo Family Way, March 2006
Paperback
Bravo Unwrapped, December 2005
Paperback

Excerpt of The Bravo Family Way by Christine Rimmer

Fletcher Bravo rose from his sleek leather swivel chair. He braced his lean hands on his black slate desktop and canted toward Cleo Bliss. "I want you," he said. "Name your price."

A thoroughly unwelcome thrill shivered through Cleo. She had to remind herself not to shift nervously in the glove- soft guest chair.

Calm, she thought. Serene. Under no circumstances can he be allowed to sense weakness. She met those eerily compelling pale gray eyes of his with a level, no-nonsense stare.

I want you....

It was, Cleo told herself, only a figure of speech. He didn't refer to Cleo specifically but to the top-quality service that Cleo and the people who worked for her could provide. If there was another, very sexual meaning in his words, Cleo chose not to acknowledge it β€” just as she chose not to recognize the hot little flares of excitement and attraction that had sizzled beneath her skin since she'd entered the CEO's corner office several minutes before.

Cleo already had a man in her life and he was nothing like the one across from her. Driven, powerful, dynamic men in gorgeous hand-tailored suits just weren't her style. She'd spent a good portion of her childhood watching what such men could do to the women they wanted.

Lesson learned. In spades.

She shouldn't even be here. She certainly didn't want to be here. But the man across from her had insisted. He'd started by having his associates approach her. Repeatedly. Each time she'd turned them down.

Fat lot of good declining had done. He'd called and said he wanted to meet with her personally. What could she do? In the past couple of years, Fletcher Bravo and his half brother, Aaron, had become major players in the gaming and megaresort world of Las Vegas. No smart businesswoman would offend either of them if she could help it.

So here she was. Meeting with him. Trying to get him to understand the word no.

So far she wasn't having a whole lot of success. She cleared her throat and told him for what seemed like the hundredth time, "I'm sorry, but I'm just not prepared right now to take on a project of this magnitude."

Those wolfish eyes narrowed slightly. "Get prepared." Cleo let a long beat of silence elapse before carefully suggesting, "Maybe I'm not making myself clear...."

"You are. As glass. But I'm not listening β€” and the day will come when you'll thank me for not listening. Because this is an opportunity you can't afford to pass up. This is growth, pure and simple. Growth that the Bravo Group will bankroll. Your facility here at Impresario will be double the size of what you've got at your current location. Inside and out, you'll get all the space you require. State-of-the-art equipment. Whatever you need. Say the word and it's yours."

"It's just not that simple."

"Oh, but it is."

"At KinderWay," she said patiently, "we're much more than a day-care service. We base our work on proven child- development techniques. For the program to be effective, it has to be consistent and ongoing. We're not set up for drop-ins."

"I realize that." He lowered his head and looked at her from under the dark shelf of his brow. "And you won't be a drop-in service. We plan to keep the regular day care for our guests. Employees with infants or workers who need day care only for after school can continue with our original program. I want KinderWay for the preschool kids only to start. And I want it exclusively for children of Bravo Group employees, both here at Impresario and at High Sierra."

High Sierra and Impresario were sister resort/casinos. They claimed a big chunk of prime real estate on opposite sides of the Strip and were connected by a glittering glass breezeway that crossed Las Vegas Boulevard five stories up. Both were owned and run by the Bravos. Fletcher was CEO of the newer Moulin Rouge-themed Impresario. Aaron Bravo, Fletcher's half brother, ran High Sierra.

Though Fletcher had yet to say so, Cleo knew the real reason he had decided he wanted the best preschool in Las Vegas on-site at Impresario. She could Google with the best of them, and in preparation for this meeting she'd done her homework. The photograph mounted in a brushed- chrome frame on Fletcher's polished-stone slab of a desk told the real story here and confirmed what Cleo already knew. The little girl in the picture had brown hair and big, solemn dark eyes.

Fletcher must have caught the direction of her gaze. "My daughter, Ashlyn. She'll be five in two weeks."

"Almost old enough for kindergarten," Cleo said gently.

"She'll outgrow her need for a preschool in no time at all."

He shrugged. "I know that at KinderWay you take children up to first grade. So if you opened a facility here, Ashlyn would be at KinderWay for eighteen months β€” at least. And even longer if we can get you to extend your program through the third grade." He waited, as if for a comment from her. She gave none. He folded his tall frame back into his chair. "Ashlyn's nanny, Olivia, has been with her ever since Ashlyn's mother died and Ashlyn came to live with me. Unfortunately Olivia is leaving us, going back home to London."

None of which affected the decision Cleo had already made. "We have a two-year waiting list at KinderWay, but I'll see what I can do about β€”"

"Two years." He was shaking his dark head. "More proof that you need a plan for expansion. You're losing business, turning people away."

He was right. It had been four years since Cleo opened her preschool. Demand had grown much faster than she'd anticipated. She couldn't keep up with it. She regretted that. But she had no intention of overextending herself or her staff.

She told him, "Opening a KinderWay here at Impresario for your employees will do nothing to reduce the waiting list we already have."

"No. But it will provide a model for growth, get you moving in the right direction."

She thought, How dare you presume to know the right direction for KinderWay? She said with great care, "You don't understand."

"I think I do."

"The quality of the care we provide is what matters. The last thing I want is growth for its own sake β€” and you have to have thousands of employees here. Which means we're talking about a lot of children. I can't see how we can possibly accommodate β€”"

"You're right. Here and at High Sierra combined, we employ over five thousand people. And those thousands have hundreds of children of preschool age. Many of those children are already in satisfactory care situations. And in any case, not all of them could be included β€” at least, not at first. So this would be a flagship program. We'll see how it goes, then build on it."

"A bold experiment. And expensive."

He nodded, a regal dip of his dark head. "Employees who use the service will pay for it β€” below cost, which should make it affordable for them. I'm projecting that the expense to the Bravo Group will be recouped in increased worker productivity."

And she projected that his interest in the program would fade as soon as his daughter grew old enough to move on. "Fletcher, I don't know any other way to say it. I already have my hands full with β€”"

"Wait." He spoke softly, but it was clearly a command. And how many times had he interrupted her so far? She'd lost count. Tension gathered between her shoulder blades. She ordered it away. Folding her hands in her lap, she waited. Calmly.

Serenely.

Fletcher, meanwhile, had turned his attention to his state- of-the-art flat-panel computer screen. He began click- clicking with his cordless mouse.

As instructed, Cleo waited, watching him, her gaze taking in his wide, powerful shoulders, his strong, tanned throat, the handsome cleft in his square chin, the tempting, full shape of his sensual mouth, the...

Cleo caught herself.

Staring at Fletcher Bravo β€” bad idea.

She looked past him, out the wall of windows behind him, at the bold, smog-layered sprawl of Las Vegas and the bare humps of the mountains, hazy in the distance. Above the city, the January sky was overcast, an unbroken expanse of gunmetal gray. She ordered her mind to pleasant thoughts: a rainbow forming in a waterfall; the laughter of children; the bright, cheerful room at KinderWay where the youngest students learned and played...

"Come here," Fletcher said.

She refocused on him, meeting again the paler-than-gray eyes that were somehow sharper than any man's eyes had a right to be β€” and hadn't she read somewhere that his father, the notorious murderer and kidnapper, Blake Bravo, had had pale, wolflike eyes? "Excuse me?"

A corner of Fletcher's sexy mouth lifted in a hint of a smile. "I said, come on over her. I want you to see this."

Why? There was simply no point. Whatever he had on that big screen of his wouldn't change a thing. Why did he refuse to understand that she'd made her decision on this matter? Why couldn't he accept that she was only here as a courtesy, to let him know in person that she would not be accepting his offer?

As she tried to come up with a fresh, new β€” and inoffensive β€” way to tell him no, he said gently, "Please," making it impossible for her to refuse his request without coming off as rude and impatient.

Damn him, anyway. He was good. Too good. The man knew how to work a meeting to his own advantage β€” and yes, she'd known he would be good. Just not how good.

Suppressing a sigh, she rose and circled around to his side of the desk. When she got there, she was careful not to move in too close to him.

"All right," she said. "What is it?" And then she looked at the screen. Her breath caught. "Amazing." The word escaped her of its own volition.

"I was hoping you'd think so."

Captivated in spite of herself, she moved closer. The three-dimensional image could have been plucked right out of her wildest dreams. She was looking at the ideal KinderWay facility. Or nearly so, anyway...

"How did you do that?"

"I hired an architect. I gave him several sources on childhood development and early-learning techniques. I suggested he explore the best facilities around the country β€” KinderWay included. In my far-from-expert opinion, he did his homework."

She studied the open plan, the large, inviting learning areas: practical life, shapes and forms, mathematics, language... "It's excellent."

"I was hoping you'd say that."

She forgot her intention to keep her distance and leaned toward the image on the big screen, resting a hand on the cool stone of the desktop. "I wonder..."

"Name it."

Excerpt from The Bravo Family Way by Christine Rimmer
All rights reserved by publisher and author

© 2003-2021 off-the-edge.net  all rights reserved Privacy Policy