Find out how it all began with this first book in bestselling author Brenda Novak's Whiskey Creek series!
Gail DeMarco left Whiskey Creek, California, to make a name for herself in Los Angeles. Her PR firm has a roster of A-list clients, including the sexy and unpredictable Simon O'Neal. But Simon, who's just been through a turbulent divorce, won't cooperate, so she drops him from her list--and he retaliates by taking the rest of her clients with him.
Desperate to save her company, Gail makes a deal with Simon. What he wants is custody of his son, but that's going to require a whole new image. He needs to marry some squeaky-clean girl like Gail, who'll drag him off to some small, obscure place like Whiskey Creek.... Gail reluctantly agrees to become his wife. She isn't reluctant because he's too hard to like. It's because he's too hard not to love!
For more Whiskey Creek stories, check out When Snow Falls, When Summer Comes, Home to Whiskey Creek, Take Me Home for Christmas and Come Home to Me.
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She was ruined. She'd become anathema--the Jerry Maguire of the Los Angeles public-relations biz. And it'd happened almost overnight. "You don't look so good."
Gail DeMarco turned away from the phone she'd just hung up to focus on Joshua Blaylock. Dressed in a pair of skinny black jeans with long-toed shoes, a designer jacket and rectangular-shaped glasses, her personal assistant hovered at the corner of her desk, a hopeful yet worried expression on his face. Like her, he'd been hoping they could pull out of the nosedive she'd caused by making one impetuous call, and then a number of thoughtless statements, three weeks earlier. But she could tell Joshua had overheard enough to understand what her other employees didn't grasp quite yet. They hadn't just lost a few important clients, like Maddox Gill and Emery Villere; they'd lost them all. Big Hit Public Relations had fallen from its lofty perch at the top of the PR food chain to crash and burn at the bottom. And it was all thanks to one man. Simon O'Neal, the hottest male lead in the movie business, had flexed his superstar muscles and brought down her company so quickly and easily Gail could hardly believe it. She kept thinking she'd wake up to find that their feud was all a bad dream--or that others would see Simon as the train wreck she knew him to be and side with her instead. But America loved him. He was their new James Dean. He was screwing up right and left, but he had the most loyal fans in the world, fans who were as fascinated by his self-destruction as his talent.
She should never have told him she'd no longer work for him. One client after another had deserted her ever since.
But any self-respecting public-relations professional would've grown tired of Simon's antics. He'd done everything she'd specifically asked him not to, created so many media nightmares, and that made her, as his personal publicist, look as bad as he did. How was she supposed to represent someone like that?
"Hello?" His smile gone, Joshua snapped his fingers in front of her eyes.
Gail forced back her tears. For more than a decade, ever since she'd graduated with a degree in advertising and public relations, then interned for Rodger Brown and Associates, she'd devoted herself to building her company. She had no husband, no kids and very few friends, at least in the L.A. area. Her ambition hadn't allowed time for that. There was only the group of childhood friends in Whiskey Creek six hours north. She saw them every couple of months. But by and large she'd left both family and friends to make her mark in the big city. Here, her employees were closer to her than anyone else. And now she'd have to let them all go. Even Joshua.
"That was Clint Pierleoni." She groomed her voice into a careful monotone to keep it from cracking.
He blinked rapidly, as if he was tempted to cry himself. It wouldn't be the first time he'd broken down in her office. He was always getting upset over one man or another. She usually consoled him, actually enjoyed living vicariously through him since it'd been so long since she'd had a love life. But today she had no words of comfort because his pain was her pain, too.
"Don't tell me--" he started.
She broke in before he could get the words out. "He said it's time for him to find another PR company."
"But... Clint's been with us from the beginning. I've slept with Clint--after signing that form agreeing not to reveal he's gay, of course."
Gail ignored the last part of what Joshua had said. She didn't condone her employees having sex with the firm's clients. But...
When Lightning Strikes
By: Brenda Novak