Cassie MacLaren has come a long way since being dumped by her long-time boyfriend, a man she believed to be her future. Successful in her job at MacLaren Enterprises, dreaming of one day leading one of the divisions, she’s moved on to start a new relationship, having little time to dwell on past mistakes.
Matt Garner loves his job as rodeo representative for Double Ace Bucking Stock. Busy days and constant travel leave no time for anything more than the occasional short-term relationship—which is just the way he likes it. He’s come to accept the regret of leaving the woman he loved for the pro rodeo circuit.
The future is set for both, until a chance meeting ignites long buried emotions neither is willing to face.
Forced to work together, their attraction grows, even as multiple arson fires threaten Cassie’s new home of Cold Creek, Colorado. Although Cassie believes the danger from the fires is remote, she knows the danger Matt poses to her heart is real.
While fighting his renewed feelings for Cassie, Matt focuses on a new and unexpected opportunity offered by MacLaren Enterprises—an opportunity that will put him on a direct collision course with Cassie.
Will pride and self-preservation control their future? Or will one be strong enough to make the first move, risking everything, including their heart?
No Getting Over You, book seven in the MacLarens of Fire Mountain Contemporary series, is a full-length novel with an HEA.
Staring at the MacLaren family pictures on the wall, Matt waited for Cassie to join him. It had been over thirty minutes, and given her usual insistence on being punctual, he had to attribute the lag to a desire to let him stew. It didn’t faze him one bit. He’d wait her out, no matter how late it got. At some point, she’d have to face him.
“Okay, I’m here now. What do you want to discuss?” Cassie breezed into the room, not making eye contact as she lowered herself into a chair.
Matt held her gaze, uncaring of how stern his next words would sound. “Your thoughts on the changes. Specifically, if you’ll be able to accept I’m your boss and you’ll be reporting to me.”
“And if I don’t?” She lifted her chin, daring him to threaten her.
“You’ll be gone, the same as anyone else.”
Cassie blinked, knowing if she didn’t produce results, her father would agree to a termination. He’d give her no special privileges. Treating family different than regular employees wasn’t tolerated at MacLaren Enterprises. You were professional, showed respect, and did your job. No excuses. If not, you were gone.
“Fine.” She stood, turning toward the door.
“Hold on a minute, Cass.”
“What? There’s more?”
“I want to know what you mean by fine. Are you saying you’ve bought into the program and are on board? I don’t want any misunderstandings between us.” He took a step forward, then stopped when he saw her eyes narrow in frustration…or resentment…or possibly desire. He couldn’t tell which.
All she wanted was to leave. Get out the door and away from Matt. She’d made him wait for her to join him, not because of the changes, but because her traitorous heart wouldn’t stop pounding like a bass drum. Being this close to him did dangerous things to her body. Breathing became difficult, labored, the walls closing in around her. Ever since she’d spotted him coming through the front door, she’d fought the attraction so hazardous to her health. She could deal with him, but only if he kept his distance and didn’t require face time. Taking a couple steps closer, she tilted her face up, fisting her hands at her sides.
“What I’m saying is I’ll report to you and do my best to meet your expectations. But I’m warning you, Matt. If you start feeding bullcrap reports about my work to Dad and the others, there will be hell to pay!” Cassie’s face reddened as her eyes sparked.
Holding up his hands, palms out, he took a step back. “Calm down, Cassie. No one is trying to sabotage you.”
“Oh, right. That’s easy for you to say. You waltz in here after disappearing for years, and all of a sudden, you’re the golden boy, handed a promotion which vaults you above Sean, Skye, or even me. We’ve all been paying our dues. What the hell have you done?” Crossing her arms and planting her feet, she glared at him, daring him to explain.
“I didn’t ask Heath for a job. He came to me. What would you have done?”
Without missing a beat, she took a step toward him, stopping within inches of his face. “I would’ve realized I’d be jumping headfirst into a firestorm. Do you have any idea what it’s like to be in my position with the change? Of course you don’t. You’re still a selfish sonofabitch without a clue of how your actions affect others. It’s always all about Matt and what he wants. No one else matters, and no one gets in your way. Well, I have news for you, hotshot. Your job won’t be some easy ride where you can float to the top on Skye’s and my achievements. You damn well better show everyone how good you are or you’ll be out on your butt just like anyone else.” Her voice had hardened with each sentence until she’d gotten out the ball of frustration knotted inside her.
The clear combination of anger, betrayal, and pain on her face hit Matt like a punch in the gut. He’d had his share of disappointments, knowing how it felt to be shoved aside.
“Save it, Matt. I’ll do the best I can, but it won’t be for you. My best will never be for your benefit ever again.” Turning, she froze at the sight of Heath, Jace, and Rafe standing in the doorway. Pushing past them, she didn’t explain further. She was certain they hadn’t missed a word.
I was born in California, grew up between a growing beach town and a small town at the base of the San Bernardino mountains. My mother originally planned to name me Katherine, but she read an article in the paper about a woman named Shirleen shortly before my birth, so instead of having a cool nickname, like Kate, I am simply Shirleen. My mainstays growing up were all the Nancy Drew mystery books; I loved them. Eventually I moved on to mysteries, suspense stories, crime novels, and romance. Pride and Prejudice will always be one of my favorites.
Besides California, life changes have allowed me to live in Oregon, Colorado, and Arizona. Everywhere I have lived has been inspirational in one way or another, giving me the opportunity to meet remarkable people with their own stories to tell. I’ve sailed, skied, owned horses plus lots of other animals, and ridden various off-road vehicles. I enjoy dancing, fishing, hunting, being the back-seater on my husband’s Harley, traveling and, of course, reading and writing.
Prior to transitioning to writing fiction, I worked for Fortune 500 and many smaller, start-up companies. Fortunately, I regained my sanity long enough to start my own consulting firm, which I still maintain today.
My husband and I spend most of our time at our main home in the mountains of Arizona and our second home in Southern California. Between us we have five boys with growing careers and families of their own. So, from my perspective, my life is a success and always an adventure. I wouldn’t change a thing; well, except finding more time to write.
I love hearing from readers, so please feel email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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