What happens when an uptight CEO is tasked to tighten the purse strings of a willful heiress? Landon Cartwright has his work cut out for him. Will he be able to tame Bree VanOrmer or will she set him straight?
Before she had a chance to get comfortable in the chair and pull her thoughts together, she was already being addressed.
“Good morning, Ms. VanOrmer, how can we help you today?” An unfamiliar voice spoke. Her eyes moved about the room to the faces she had known before, but they all seemed to be looking for direction from this man. She couldn’t see all of him, but what she was able to view from her end of the room was breathtaking. Although she was only viewing him from the waist up, she was instantly drawn to those hands. He brought them up to brush the hair on his chiseled chin. Then she saw it. Those lips. Framed in a well-kept, trimmed beard were a pair of full, kissable lips. For just a moment longer she allowed her mind to wander and imagine how those lips would feel as they brushed against her own. Then down to the soft tender skin at the nape of her neck. Not wanting them to stop there, they would continue a path all the way down to—
“How can we help you, Ms. VanOrmer?” he asked again. In that moment, all of her rehearsed thoughts left her mind.
“Where is Mr. Jones?” she asked. Despite the long table coming between the two of them, she could easily see the annoyance written on his face.
“There have been a few changes around here, and now you’ll be dealing with me directly as I chair the board here. I’m Landon Cartwright,” he gestured with his hand, “now please tell us what we can do for you today.”
“Oh. Well… My friend has been in business for years and is very talented. And what I’m proposing is that you give me three million dollars for investment.”
“That’s a substantial amount for us to give. I’m sorry, ’your request is denied.”
“Excuse me, Mr. Cartwright. What if we researched and came up with a plan of business that would be of sound investment? Then we can discuss these options with Ms. VanOrmer next month,” one of the other board members suggested.
“I don’t agree with you at all. I think if I want to invest my money to help start up a friend’s expansion, that’s my business. You’re nothing but advisers. I’m tired of coming here asking for permission. You all sit behind a desk pretending to know what is best for me.” Her voice remained forceful and steady. There would be no way for the room to know she was secretly shaking inside.
“I’m sorry that you feel we are under qualified to handle your affairs. Fortunately, your father saw things differently, and before he passed, made sure we were here to address matters for you. So, if that is everything, thank you, gentlemen, for coming in. That will be all today,” Landon said as he briefly staring Bree down. He rose like a judge after passing sentence. Landon’s eyes were no longer on Bree as he addressed the board members to the right and left of him.
The gentle ease in which he took control of a room was impressive. Without saying one single word, he had the ability to get all the men in the room to see things his way. It was evident he was a man who was used to getting his way. What Mr. Cartwright didn’t know was that so was Bree VanOrmer. No, she may not have been an influential businessman, but she was a powerhouse in her own right and knew how to play the game of who’s in control. All she needed to do was to get him alone for a moment or two so she could get him to start seeing things her way, but her mind was a jumbled mess of thoughts. Thoughts that could get a woman in trouble when thinking about those eyes. The way it felt when his gaze pierced through her. That face. Eyes perfectly positioned, a good broad nose and a perfectly chiseled chin. Landon’s features were godlike in their beauty.
She mingled for a moment, waiting for an opportunity to catch Mr. Cartwright alone. Perhaps she could find a way to reason with him. For as long as she had been aware of the power of her looks, she’d used them to get herself out of trouble while in school or get her way with a bat of those long curly lashes of hers. Or the pout of her full, lush lips.
“Excuse me, Mr. Cartwright.” She tilted her head slightly, hoping to grab his attention.
“No need to be formal, Bree, it’s Landon.” The smooth, slick way he said her name was hot enough to melt butter. She knew this for fact, because she was having a definite reaction to it.