Sophie Caldwell might not like asking for help, but help is what she needs if she’s going to save her family business from her uncle. Her grandma left one rule for Sophie if she wants to gain sole ownership before she’s thirty—get married. Yeah, fat chance of that happening since she hasn’t had a boyfriend in years, and now she can’t get her uncle off her ass.
British-born MMA fighter Xander James has never lost a fight, and he’s not about to start now. He’s on the brink of a comeback that could make him a UFC champion, but his landlord wants to take away his last chance by shutting down his gym. Hell, no. Fortunately, his landlord’s niece has a problem of her own. Time for a proposal she can’t refuse.
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New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, Gina L. Maxwell, is a shameless romance addict with no intentions of ever kicking the habit.
Growing up, she dreamed of helping people escape reality with her sublime acting abilities. It wasn’t until college when she realized she had none to speak of, thereby derailing her lifelong plans. Another ten years would pass before she discovered a different means to accomplishing the same dream: writing stories of love and passion for romance addicts just like her.
Thanks to the support of her amazing family, Gina is now the Boss of the world’s first organized romance mafia, the Maxwell Mob, and living her dream of bringing a little romantic fantasy to the world—one steamy novel at a time.
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Xan’s body had tensed more with every minute he listened. Then Caldwell insulted Sophie, making Xander’s blood boil and his fists curl tight. The only thing she could do to stop the sale was get married, and the snide bastard flat out told her he didn’t believe for a second it would ever happen, now or ever.
What a bunch of bullshit. Xan would bet Sophie had men panting after her on the regular, and if her relationships didn’t last, it was probably because they couldn’t hold a candle to her raging fire.
That wouldn’t be the case if they ever got together, at least not in the bedroom. He would match her flame for flame until they incinerated everything around them. He’d been on the verge of letting those torrid images get the best of him again when the cruel words of her uncle smacked him back to the present.
“…the only way to acquire the trust is through a legitimate marriage. Considering your track record with men, I think we both know what the likelihood of that is.”
Fucking hell! To hear him speak so callously to a woman—his own niece—brought back painful memories of growing up hearing his father berate and belittle Xander’s mother. It’s why he often got involved in situations that were none of his business. He couldn’t stomach witnessing a woman being bullied.
Xan was going to make the tosser choke on his own words.
He stalked out to the front door, reached up, and flicked the little bell to signal his “arrival.” Turning around, he faced a perplexed Kristin who opened her mouth, presumably to ask if he’d fallen off his rocker. He held a finger up to his lips and shot her a look he hoped would brook no argument. She simply raised a single brow with interest.
Xan spoke loud enough for his voice to travel down the hallway to Sophie and her uncle. “Hello, Kristin, you’re looking lovely as ever,” he said, walking toward the hall. “Just popping in to see my girl after my run. Tell Billy I said hello, yeah?” Then he proceeded to eat up the short distance to reach the office.
Acting as though he had every right to barge in without knocking or asking for permission, he swung the door in wide just as she was approaching, hopefully to throw the asshole out of her office. Sophie’s chocolate eyes widened in surprise, her red-stained lips opening on a gasp.
“There you are, sweetheart.”
That’s all she got out before his large hands took hold of her face and he slanted his mouth over hers for a claiming kiss. He wasn’t the sort of man to greet his woman with a chaste peck, but rather one of possession and ownership. One that marked her as his alone, without question, without challenge.
Only he hadn’t known that about himself until the moment his lips touched Sophie’s.
Mine. So fucking mine.
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