Read HH02 - A Reclusive Heart Online

Authors: R.L. Mathewson

Tags: #romance hollywood heart recluse love sweet boss workplace romance romance contemporary romance series romance

HH02 - A Reclusive Heart

A Reclusive Heart

Title Page

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Epilogue

A Reclusive Heart

by

R.L. Mathewson

Copyright 2011 by R.L. Mathewson

Published by R.L. Mathewson at Smashwords

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations and events described in this novel are either products of the

author's imagination or are used fictitiously.

e-book ISBN 978-0-9832125-8-4

A Reclusive Heart: A Hollywood Heart Novel © R.L. Mathewson 2011. All rights reserved.

http://www.rlmathewson.com

Other books by R.L. Mathewson:

Tall, Dark & Lonely: A Pyte Series Novel

Without Regret: A Sentinel Novel

A Humble Heart: A Hollywood Hearts Novel

Playing for Keeps: A Neighbor From Hell Novel

Sudden Response: An EMS Novel

Perfection: A Neighbor From Hell Novel

This book is dedicated to Lieve Van den Heuvel, who showed me what good chocolate really taste like.

As always a special thank you to Rhonda Valverde and all my forum buddies at http://www.vampireromancebooks.com

And of course to my children who will always be my inspiration and my little buddies.

I love you, Kayley and Shane....

even if you do frighten me from time to time.

A Reclusive Heart: A Hollywood Heart's novel

Chapter 1

"On behalf of Rerum Publishing House," Rick said, holding his glass of champagne up high. "I would like to congratulate

our guest of honors on their five year anniversary!"

A loud round of applause broke out among the party guests as the happy couple smiled dreamily at each other. Nick

glanced over at two of his closest friends and had to force a smile.

Rick, still grinning, held up his hand, motioning for the crowd to quiet down. "We are also here to celebrate a momentous

occasion for Rerum Publishing House as well as for Dana Pierce. As of this month all six books of her
Christian and Bailey

series have sold over a hundred million copies worldwide."

Nick watched as the luckiest bastard, as far as he was concerned, pulled a very surprised Dana into his arms and spun her

slowly around while he gave her one those achingly sweet kisses that made all the women around them "aw" and coo. It just

made him gag.

He loved his friends. He really did. They were great down to earth people with hearts of gold and had four of the greatest

kids he'd ever met, but sometimes it was a little much for him to handle. Most of the time it didn't faze him, but other times like

this when their love was practically a living thing reaching out to bitch slap everyone within a thirty foot radius, it was

difficult.

It made every single woman around them get that hopeful look in their eyes just before it turned determined. Then right

before his eyes, once level headed women turned into vultures, setting their sights on the single men around them in an

assessing manner. Hell, five women were giving him that look right now, probably trying to determine what kind of husband

and father he would make. Would he worship her? Be there for her? Be faithful? Take out the trash? The answer was pretty

simple.

Hell no.

Marriage was not for him and every single woman out there should be thankful that someone like him stayed clear of the

altar. Plain and simple, he was not the marrying type. Never had been and never would be. It wasn't that he didn't believe in

marriage. He did, for the right people that is and the right people most certainly did not include him.

Hell, he was a thirty-two year old man who'd never had a girlfriend, never wanted one. That was too much commitment

and way too much drama for him. He didn't want to be responsible for someone else's happiness or be held accountable to

remember shit like birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, or not to fuck her best friend when he was bored. No, that was

just way too much to expect of him.

He was the guy that you went to for fun and always had been. As a kid he'd been responsible for giving more than half the

girls in his class their first kiss. He loved women and they loved him and as long as they acknowledged that there would never

be anything more than a good time and a good fuck or two then all was good in his world.

For those who thought they could change him....well, they got what they deserved. He never lied or pretended to be

something that he wasn't. He made damn sure of that. Any woman he took into his bed knew right off the bat that he was an

asshole and that she better not get her hopes up where he was concerned. It just wasn't worth it.

He wasn't worth it.

"Congratulations to Edward and Dana Pierce!" Rick said, leading the room in another toast.

Even Nick held up his glass of scotch in their direction. Dana deserved this more than anyone. Seven years ago she

walked into their offices a broken down woman trying to keep it together for her two kids. Where most women would be bitter

in her situation, Dana had thrived. She pulled her life together and shared her heart with the world. Then Edward stepped into

her life and showed her what love really meant.

Gag.

Where the hell was this romantic shit coming from? He needed another drink and possibly a willing woman or two. He

glanced around at the marriage minded vultures and scratched the last part. He just needed a drink.

He made his way through the thick crowd of well wishers to the bar where he had to wait for twenty women to finish

flirting with the bartenders and place their orders. Christ, couldn't Rick have hired a few female bartenders? If he had he'd

have a drink and a number by now.

"So, what do you think?" Rick asked, leaning against the bar.

Nick sighed, giving up any hope of getting his drink anytime soon. "I think I should hire the staff for the next event."

Rick chuckled. "I think you're still banned from that job, buddy."

"That's bullshit. That party was memorable."

"Oh, yeah," Rick said, grinning. "Hiring strippers to function as staff was definitely one for the books."

Nick shrugged, unconcerned. "No one complained."

Rick threw him a disbelieving look. "Every single female guest complained. Many of them demanded your head on a

platter."

Nick waved it off as he tried once again to get the attention of a bartender only to be ignored. Fuck. "The service that night

was great."

"Yeah, it was. With each drink the guests were offered a lap dance for half price and a few were offered a Happy

Ending."

"See, now that's good service, nothing like the sausage fest you got going on here."

Rick looked at the line of men being ignored and sighed heavily. "Guess I'm gonna have to do something."

"It's your party. Go nuts. I, on the other hand am going home to my liquor cabinet and bed," Nick said, pushing away from

the bar.

"Going home alone?" Rick asked, sounding surprised.

Nick gestured lazily to the crowd. "All these women are looking for Mr. Right."

Rick looked thoughtful for a moment. "You never know it could be you."

Nick gave him a wink. "I have no plans to change my name from Mr. Wrong anytime soon."

**************

"Don't puke, don't puke, don't puke," Jamie said, pressing her forehead against the faux leather covering of her steering

wheel.

She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. This was no big deal, nothing whatsoever. This was just a job, a new job, the

start of her new life. Nothing to worry about. It was just a brand new stage in her life because of-

Her stomach flipped over just thinking about her ex-almost boyfriend. Oh no, make that her new brother-in-law, and her

ever loving sister Caitlyn. That fun little surprise was the reason why she was here. She needed this desperately. This was

going to be the start of the new Jamie.

Not that she hated herself. She didn't. She just wasn't particularly in love with herself. She was too boring, too shy, too

plain and on top of that she was pretty darn sure that she was the world's biggest pushover. Everyone knew she didn't have a

backbone and had no qualms about taking advantage of that little fault.

No more. That was the old Jamie. The new Jamie was going to start saying no. She was going to take charge of her life. It

was the main reason she sold her internet publishing company and took this job. She wanted, no, needed to get out in the world

and this was the perfect opportunity. This job would force her out of her shell and into the world.

"I'm good," she mumbled to herself, not really sounding all too confident, but it was a start. She pushed her glasses back

up her nose and did her best not to vomit.

Taking one last fortifying breath, she grabbed her oversized purse, the one that really should be called a bag, and opened

her door. After catching the small heel of her shoe on the floor mat and fighting her way to freedom she opened her car door

and stood up.

Satisfied that she hadn't vomited or passed out, she closed her door, hit the alarm and took a step forward only to come to

a halt and stumble backwards into the car.

"What the...."

She turned around and frowned. Of course this would happen. She somehow managed to shut her bag in the car. Her

cheeks burned as the sound of laughter reached her ears. She didn't need to look back to know that they were laughing at her.

Keeping her eyes and face averted so that no one would be able to identify her later and point and laugh at her, she

disarmed the car alarm and removed her bag. This time when she closed the car door she made sure to remain a safe distance

away.

Clutching the purse strap tightly in her hands she headed for the front entrance of Rerum Publishing House, praying nothing

else went wrong. She kept her breathing even as she walked up the sidewalk, into the lobby and to the elevator. She stepped

inside, pressed the button for the fifth floor and exhaled slowly. Several people in the elevator threw her curious looks, but she

ignored them.

She ran her sweaty palms down the front of her charcoal gray wool skirt and frowned as she inwardly groaned. Why

hadn't she taken the time yesterday to try on her clothes? Oh, that's right, because Caitlyn and her little trio came into the store.

She'd been forced to grab the first suit off the rack that looked like it would fit, pay up, and get the heck out of there before they

spotted her.

It was either that or endure the fake looks of pity, rude comments, and Caitlyn's "little" stories about how Jamie never

could keep any man's attention once they met Caitlyn. So yeah, she ran for it and apparently bought a suit at least four sizes too

big.

The elevator dinged and people looked at her expectantly. It took a moment before she realized they were at the fifth floor.

With an embarrassed flush and a murmured apology she hefted her bag, er purse, and stepped out of the elevator into a beehive.

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