Authors: Summer Cooper
Copyright © Lovy Books Ltd, 2016
Summer Cooper has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
This book is a work of fiction. Names and characters are the product of the author’s imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
In no way is it legal to reproduce, duplicate, or transmit any part of this document in either electronic means or in printed format. Recording of this publication is strictly prohibited and any storage of this document is not allowed unless with written permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.
Respective authors own all copyrights not held by the publisher.
Lovy Books Ltd
20-22 Wenlock Road
London N1 7GU
dam Jones has always hated
how none of his relationships seem to last long but in the end he keeps passing it off as the women not being able to handle his dedication to the game of football. Now that he has retired from the game he has to decide what to do with the rest of his life. Coaching is an option, as is broadcasting, but one thing he truly wants and doesn’t think he can get is a woman to share his life with. The last two women who have come close ended up leaving him when his career became something they couldn’t handle so he hopes that things would be different this time around.
Beth is in dire need of a job when she sees the advertisement for housekeeper. She has no idea how to clean or take care of a house, and barely manages her small apartment, but since the job comes with room and board as well she sees it as the perfect opportunity to pay off some debt while looking for something she truly wants.
YouTube and Google can only teach someone so much and Beth quickly finds out that there is a lot she can only learn through experience. Still she trudges on, determined to make it work. As it turns out, spending so much time with Adam starts to change the dynamics of their relationship. Before she realizes it she is starting to fall for him. But does he feel the same way about her? She feels that he does, but Adam is such a mysterious man that it’s tough to get close to him. But as she does get close she learns that Adam has a secret… and it’s going to blow her mind…
that Adam hated his career, far from it. He had loved the career he had just said goodbye to and he looked forward to retirement. The fact that his career had made him wealthy enough to retire at age thirty-three and live in comfort the rest of his life was an added bonus, especially since he intended to still do occasional work. For right now he was content with taking a break and figuring out what that work would be, but in the back of his mind he knew it would likely be either sports broadcasting or some sort of coaching. He also knew that wasn’t all that he wanted in life.
Something Adam had always wanted, but hadn’t been able to get yet, was to have a family. He wanted a wife by his side who he loved, and children running all over the house causing mischief. He wanted a little boy who would get caught with his hand in the cookie jar, only to look at him with big innocent eyes. He wanted a little girl who got into her mother’s make-up, and as he washed her hands and face and scolded her, he would silently be laughing on the inside and know that as soon as he was alone he would let it all out. Then they would get to the teenage years and he’d be able to coach his children in the sport he loved so much while they pretended not to care about spending time together. None of that would happen though if he didn’t find someone to share his life with.
Growing up he had never thought it would be so hard. People were getting together all the time so it didn’t appear hard, but as he had grown older he had realized that relationships were hard work and those that made it were stronger because of all the trials they’d endured together. So far the women he had been with had all ended up leaving for one reason or another, even if he had felt that some of them could have been the one he spent the rest of his life with. Initially he thought it was his career, but as some of them stayed around longer and got used to his career, he wondered if it was his shifter abilities. It made him overprotective and a tad controlling, which many women liked at first and then realized they couldn’t live with. He didn’t want to force it, but he was terrified of not finding the woman of his dreams.
His back-up plan was to adopt and he had decided that if at age thirty-five he still hadn’t found the right woman, he would go that route. He had too much love to give and if he wasn’t meant to find a woman, he at least wanted kids. His overprotective nature would probably drive his children insane and he knew he would have strict rules, but he also knew that if nothing else they would be happy and healthy and want for nothing.
Part of this plan was to hire a younger housekeeper who would be familiar with the house when those children came along, and who would be able to help out when needed. He didn’t want a nanny, but he also knew he was a lousy cook and he didn’t want everyone to starve to death or live on take-out. With that in mind he had placed an advertisement in the paper without his name, in the hopes of finding someone. He wouldn’t be the one doing the interviews, his agent would, but he was confident he would find someone competent.
Only a few miles away Beth was sitting at the breakfast table, looking over the classifieds. She had to find a job, it wasn’t an option not to as she would end up homeless, but there wasn’t much around that she was qualified for. Over the past few weeks she had applied to so many jobs she had lost track, but nobody had called her back to discuss it further or interview her. It was frustrating and she had always hated it, but there wasn’t much else she could do. She was twenty-five and without family nearby, she was completely alone.
There were plenty days that she wondered why she had moved to this town to begin with, but in the back of her mind she knew it was because of Christian. He had been charming and she had fallen head over heels for him, but two years after moving he had told her he no longer loved her and he had told her to leave. He had been wealthy and she hadn’t had to work, so finding a job without much job history had been hard. The town of Eveline was beautiful and she had loved it, but it was also a town for the wealthy and everything was expensive. She didn’t fit in, and she couldn’t afford to stay much longer.
Several hours later, after sending out a few more applications, Beth’s phone rang and she looked at it in shock. It hadn’t rang in so long she had nearly forgotten what it sounded like but she quickly got over that and answered it. Five minutes later she hung up, shock evident in every part of her body. She had gotten an interview, but it was for a job she knew she wasn’t qualified for. She knew absolutely nothing about housekeeping and the interview was that afternoon, so after a moment’s hesitation she changed and ran out the door. The library had internet and she intended to spend the rest of the time before the interview looking up everything she could find about housekeeping.
The man she interviewed with had seemed impressed by her, and had told her she met all the qualifications for the job. The job would require her to live at the home she would be working at, and once there were children she would be asked to help out with them. She loved children, always hoping to one day have a large family herself, and the prospect of living with and working for a younger couple with younger children appealed to her. She didn’t even hear him tell her what her salary would be, accepting the job on the spot. She remembered thinking it was good pay on top of everything else, but her mind was focused on everything else. When he asked when she could start, she had blurted out that she could start immediately and he had laughed, but it had been a genuine amused laugh, not a mocking laugh. She was speaking the truth, as the lease on her apartment was up in a week and she had to get out of there.
Contract in hand; Beth was once again sitting at the kitchen table that evening. She had finally looked it over more carefully, and finally she realized why the pay was so good and why she had to sign a nondisclosure agreement. She wouldn’t be working for a young couple; she would be working for Adam Jones. Rich and handsome Adam, the football player she had followed for so many years. The comment about future children had her curious, but she knew she wouldn’t ask. Instead she would focus on not screwing this up and being the best housekeeper he had ever had.
of the day she was to report to Adam’s house Beth looked around her studio apartment one last time. She had been told movers would come to take all her furniture to storage and to label the boxes she wanted with her, as they would be taking them to the house for her. She would have a suite to herself and as it was already fully furnished, she wouldn’t need most of her belongings. She had been told she could wear whatever she felt most comfortable in while working and her suite would be hers completely. Nobody would enter it without her being there and once there would be children it would be off limits to them. She was expected to keep the house clean, without having set hours, and to cook for Adam and any guests he might have. Otherwise she could do what she wanted. She had been told Adam would be there to meet her and would show her the house, after which he reportedly had a meeting somewhere.
On that thought she looked at the clock and realized she had to leave or she would be late, which wouldn’t make a good impression on her first day. She had long since sold her car to pay for rent, but it was only a few miles to the house so she intended to walk. It was a beautifully warm morning and as she walked down the street, she felt content at getting to stay in the area. Christian had stayed, along with his new girlfriend, and while she saw him on occasion she tried her best to avoid him. He never tried to talk to her when they did see one another and she was glad for it, as she wasn’t sure she wouldn’t just punch him in the face first chance she got.
Arriving right on time Beth rang the buzzer at the gate, only for the man she would be working for to come down the driveway around the same time. He looked as beautiful as she imagined from his pictures, all muscle and strong physique while walking with a grace she wished she possessed. His smile was almost blinding and she found herself looking around as opposed to him in an effort to remain standing upright. It wouldn’t do to fall flat on her face on her first day; it would probably be a deal breaker.
“I’m Adam, you must be Beth. Did you take a cab?” Adam asked as soon as he was near her and had opened the gate.
“No, I walked. I lived not far from here.”
“You can keep your car here; there is plenty of parking in the garage. I’ll have one of my men get it, for now; let’s walk up to the house. The buzzer down here rings in the entryway and in the security office. Normally security would answer it, but I let them know I was already on my way down to meet you. There are cameras everywhere, so you are certainly safe in here.”
“I don’t own a car, and this is beautiful,” Beth said, trying to keep the embarrassment out of her voice as she looked around in awe at the beautiful landscaping all around her. It was clear he had gardeners as she was fairly certain it took a lot of work to keep it looking like this.
“I’ll make sure to show you where I keep the keys to the SUV then, since you’ll need something to drive to get groceries and such. You would have had access to it anyway, so that’s not a problem. If it’s low on gas, simply let security know and they’ll have someone fill it up.”
“Thank you,” Beth said softly, feeling embarrassed that she hadn’t even thought about groceries or needing a car but thankful that he was so understanding of it. He hadn’t even blinked an eye at her statement that she didn’t have a car, though she was sure he was mocking her inwardly.
“You’re welcome. Anytime you need anything, let me know and we’ll make it happen. This will be where you live and I want it to be comfortable for you as well. I made sure the pantry and fridge were stocked with my favorites, just to get you started, but otherwise I’ll leave it up to you for future weeks. I’m not allergic to anything. I’ll show you around the house and then I’ll show you your room. Are you from around here?”
“Not originally. I moved here a few weeks ago and haven’t left since. I was close to moving though; there aren’t many jobs around here.”
“I must admit I have no idea about any of that, but considering how small it is I could see that. What brought you here?”
“A guy named Christian, as stupid as that sounds. He left me for someone else.”
“That’s his loss then. It wouldn’t be Christian Collier, would it?”
“It is,” Beth said in hesitation, hoping they weren’t friends or something.
“Never liked that guy and the woman he is with now is a real piece of work. I occasionally see him at the country club. He’s always flaunting his money even though he is much less wealthy than seventy-five percent of the members there. I can’t stand when people act superior. I can’t see someone like you with him so I daresay you are better off now.”
“He changed when he got that inheritance and moved here.”
The house had come into view and Beth couldn’t help but admire it. It was done in beautiful yellow stucco, which glowed in the sunlight. Each window had a flower basket hanging from it and it truly looked picturesque. As they walked through the front door she expected big and imposing, but instead she saw a beautifully decorated home. The colors were light, the wood medium dark and the furniture looked comfortable. It was very obvious that it was meant to be a family home, not a bachelor pad, and she instantly fell in love with it. She also instantly knew there would be a lot of cleaning involved even though a lot of these rooms were likely never used.
The kitchen had a large island and breakfast bar and she suspected that he ate there more than he ate in the dining room. It was the last room they came to and Adam easily opened the fridge and pulled out a pitcher of tea, offering her some with ease. “I prefer my tea made with two cups of sugar per gallon.”
“Isn’t that the only way it should be made?” Beth asked, sipping the tea she thought tasted amazing.
“I always thought so. So what do you think?”
“Your home is absolutely beautiful. You are lucky to live here.”
“And so are you. I know you are the housekeeper but I want you to feel at home here. Use the pool; use the gym, run barefoot around the house. It’s all fine by me, as long as you are happy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I’ll admit I’ve never used this kitchen to cook and it’s all new so I left the owner’s manuals over there just in case you need them. The movers should be here soon with your things so I’ll leave you to unpack the rest of the day and you can start for breakfast tomorrow. I have a meeting to get to in a few minutes but I’ll order in dinner. I expect you to eat with me, unless I have guests, just because it’s ridiculous for us both to eat alone. Do you think you’ll be alright by yourself?”
“Yes, I’ll be fine. I’ll probably do some more exploring until the movers get here.”
Once Adam had left the room Beth decided to have a closer look at all the rooms. She knew she would have to clean it all so she might as well take the time to figure out what she was supposed to be doing. The previous housekeeper had apparently left several months prior and while there had been regular cleaning, she could tell the whole house could really use a deep cleaning and dusting. If nothing else she knew how to dust so as she walked through the house, she decided she would start with that as it would make everything look instantly better.
Her biggest concern was cooking, but right as she had walked back into the kitchen to see if there were any cookbooks, the movers arrived and she knew she had to get unpacked. It was clear Adam expected her to keep her rooms somewhat organized as well and that he wanted her to unpack, so as soon as everything was moved in she started doing exactly that. Her bedroom was large, with a King size bed and small sitting area. The walk-in closet could hold more clothes than she could ever dream of having, while the bathroom had both a shower and a Jacuzzi tub that she was fairly certain she’d use a lot. It didn’t take her long to unpack everything and once she had everything where she wanted it to be, she once again made her way out into the kitchen. She hoped Adam wasn’t home yet and she could read the instruction manuals for the appliances before he returned, but right as she walked into the kitchen so did he.
“I got Chinese, I hope you don’t mind?”
“Chinese sounds wonderful,” Beth replied with a smile. “I’d say I’d get the plates but I have not yet located those.”
Adam laughed and Beth found herself really liking his laugh. It was warm and truly sounded happy, instead of fake and forced. He easily walked over to a cabinet and got two plates out before opening a drawer for silverware. She mentally memorized the location, knowing she’d use it a lot and not wanting to open every cabinet every time she needed something. Adam opened all the containers and she noticed he had gotten a variety of things, likely just because he didn’t know what she would like, and she instantly spotted her favorite which was sweet & sour chicken.
Dinner was eaten in silence, with neither of them having much to say. Beth was too shy to truly talk to him and she wasn’t sure why he wasn’t saying anything either but she supposed he was used to the silence. Easily helping to clean up, which only took a minute since he had a dishwasher; Beth looked around looking a little bit lost. She wasn’t sure what she was expected to do with the rest of her evening, now that they’d eaten. She was certain he had things to do however so in an attempt to not make things awkward she thanked him for dinner and made her way to her rooms. She had a few books she hadn’t read yet and supposed she could read those while she still had the time. She had no doubt in her mind that she would get busier soon, having to keep up with this entire house and Adam’s meals.