Last year, I was invited to be part of the second Flip the Trope anthology and thought I’d try writing billionaire romance. But this time, the billionaire is a very successful woman, and the struggling single parent is a working-class dad. It has been re-edited and put out under its own cover.
Here’s the blurb:
Amanda Pendleton is more than just a pretty face. She’s the president of a wildly successful office supply company, a doting single mom, and a billionaire. All great qualities. Too bad they weren’t enough to keep her deceased father from making stipulations in his will. If she wants to retain ownership of her company, she must find a husband before the next board meeting. Easy peasy, right?
Mike Everslee is a single dad, the manager at Mr. Fixit Hardware, and a hard-working guy just trying to make ends meet. But none of it affords him the discretionary income to pay the fees at his daughter’s preparatory school. When his daughter’s friend’s mom offers to pay the theatre fees and take them out to dinner, he’s just glad for a rare night out.
But Amanda shows up with an astounding proposal—marry her in the next five weeks and stay with her for a year so she can save her company. If he does, she’ll set him up with a new house, a new truck, and pay his daughter’s fees and tuition until high school. Get a ready-made family, a sister for his daughter, and a beautiful successful wife, all for the price of a year-long marriage. What could go wrong?
EXCERPT OF MR. FIXIT’S BILLIONAIRE
Mike Everslee stared at the bills in front of him and sighed. They were never-ending and he just barely made enough to cover the important ones. Like his truck payment, the insurance, the electricity for his rental house, and his cellphone/internet. Thank goodness both he and Sierra were healthy. Goddess only knew what would happen if emergency medical bills dropped on top of everything else. Orthodontia for Sierra would be bad enough.
“Aren’t you gonna eat, Daddy? I don’t wanna be late.” Sierra swallowed her mac and cheese, from the box as per her insistence, and fixed him with a gimlet eye.
“I’m not hungry, but you eat up. I’ll be ready to go when you finish.” He set the bills aside and waved at her plate.
“Aww, do I have to?” Her lips pulled into a pout.
“Yup, and you’ll have to wash your hands and your face afterwards. Are you wearing your mac and cheese or eating it?” He wrinkled his nose at the cascade of orange cheese goop everywhere.
“I’m eating it, Daddy.” She picked up her fork.
“Hmm, coulda fooled me. Here.” He helped her use a napkin to wipe the worst of it off her hands. “Finish up and we’ll go.”
“Okay.” Sierra tucked into her food again and he smiled.
It didn’t matter how hard things got, Sierra was worth every effort and worry. He rose and grabbed himself a protein bar from the pantry. It wasn’t supper, not really, but it would hold him until Sierra was in bed.
When I can start worrying about the bills again.
Yeah, stressing over them had given him a new layer of fat on his gut and he’d have to start going to the gym before he officially achieved a dad-bod. He already had Sierra’s coat, shoes, and costume ready to go, so all they needed to do was wash up and get in the truck. He’d learned the hard way to be prepared so nothing was forgotten, and they avoided meltdowns.
“I’m done, Daddy. May I be excused?”
“Yes, you may, Snowdrop. Take your plate into the dishwasher and wash your hands and face so we don’t get cheesy goop on your costume.”
“Cheesy goop? It’s mac and cheese, Daddy!”
It’s orange sludge with a vaguely cheesy flavor. But he kept his thoughts to himself as Sierra followed his instructions, and they finally loaded up into the truck. He checked his pockets for his keys, phone, and wallet, before turning on the engine.
“Yeah. I’m so excited. Did you know my friend Valentina got the part of Annie’s best friend in the play?” Sierra bounced in her car seat from the back of the truck. “Just like in real life. And did you know she’s almost exactly the same age? She was born the same day, only two months after me. We’re gonna be friends forever.”
“That’s amazing, Snowdrop.” This was the first time he’d heard about Valentina, but he was glad Sierra found a friend at the school.
They’d been lucky to get her into Rocky Mountain Preparatory Academy. As the manager of the local hardware store in a posh part of town, he made decent money, but he could never afford the tuition. Some of the wealthy parents from the school became friendly with him at the store and recommended Sierra for their scholarship program. She’d just started attending that fall and had impressed her teachers with her work ethic.
His daughter was smart and creative, just like her egg-donor, and it didn’t surprise him in the least to see her thrive. He worried her economic status might make her a target of the privileged and entitled rich kids, but there hadn’t been any problems.
Sierra continued to chatter about her friend until she stopped mid-sentence and gasped.
“Daddy! I saw a bobcat! Stop the truck!”