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Return to Wylder
by Maria Imbalzano
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
The untimely death of EJ Hampton’s father kills her dream of practicing law with him in her hometown of Wylder. Heartbroken, she now has two weeks to organize the practice for sale. When she meets her father’s millionaire client Dylan Addison, he is demanding and entitled—yet his charisma captivates her.
Dylan is under pressure to renovate the Wylder Hotel before his father pulls the plug on his project. He needs EJ’s expertise, but she is bent on returning to her life in San Francisco despite the fireworks between them.
EJ walks a tightrope trying to balance Dylan’s needs against her own, but doing so is far more complicated when emotions get in the way.
“That’s impossible. You can’t take two weeks off.”
Lynne Carrington, the head of our law firm’s commercial real estate department, didn’t look up at me from the contract she studied, her red marker underlining, slashing, and commenting all over the page. “The Briar closing is in a month, and I need your help.” She looked up. “You know how important you are to me and to the firm. Besides, you just had a vacation.”
I had requested three weeks, not two, and the vacation I’d just had was eight weeks ago in early March when I attended my father’s funeral in my hometown of Wylder, Wyoming. It had been one of the saddest and most emotional times of my life—not exactly a frivolous getaway.
I couldn’t back down. “I’m sorry, Lynne, but I have to go home. My father’s law firm requires attention. I either have to hire another lawyer to help the associate there or find a buyer. My mom needs me. I can’t help from here.” “Why can’t the associate do it?” Her impatience came through in a glare.
“He’s only been there a year, and he doesn’t have the experience or the time to deal with it. From what my mother tells me, he’s putting out fires left and right, but many of their cases are falling between the cracks.”
My chest tightened, and my heart ached over my dogged resistance to Dad’s request that I return home to practice law with him. I’d always told myself I would in the future, after enough time had gone by to dull the pain keeping me away. But as each year passed, another excuse arose. I’m learning so much here in San Francisco, and it will help in the long run. I’m in the middle of a huge real estate deal which will take at least six to nine more months. I’m committed to coaching the moot court team at Berkeley Law. The real reason never crossed my lips.
Lynne still hadn’t put down her pen or acknowledged the seriousness of my problem. But my boss had major multitasking skills and could listen and work at the same time, so I continued. “It may not be the ideal time, but there’s never a good time.” I exhaled loudly, trying to lasso her waning focus. “I have to go. There’s no other option. Some major client, Dylan Addison, is apparently demanding more attention than he’s getting. I have to make sure he doesn’t jump ship and retain other counsel. His business is important to the firm.”
Finally, Lynne looked up, her eyebrow practically touching her hairline. “Dylan Addison of Addison Redevelopment Corp.?”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Maria Imbalzano is an award-winning contemporary author who writes about strong, independent women and the men who fall in love with them. She recently retired from the practice of law, but legal issues have a way of showing up in many of her novels. When not writing, she loves to travel both abroad and in the states. Maria lives in central New Jersey with her husband–not far from her two daughters and granddaughters. For more information about her books, please visit her website at http://mariaimbalzano.com where you can also sign up for her newsletter.
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