THANK YOU!!! The Meticulous Bachelor was my highest preordered book ever. For that I have to give you a sneak peek at the first chapter.
Can one man show her they’re not all the same?
I don’t want her in my life. She’s bold, infuriating and out of control. Her father wants me to babysit her. I don’t have time for such nonsense but I owe him my career. My life.
I’m forty years old, rich as hell, a bit of a control freak, and content with being single. She’s twenty-two, a spoiled brat, and was practically left at the altar. She needs a therapist not a man who could never give her what she’s searching for. She doesn’t need me.
The problem is I just might need her.
Advertising executive Mateo Martel likes order and routines. He doesn’t deviate from his schedule or allow anyone to tell him what to do. Being single works to his advantage because he’s too busy for a personal life. Or so he thinks.
Spoiled, trust fund baby Giselle Diaz always gets what she wants. Thanks to her rich daddy she’s not used to hearing the word no. When she finds out her ex eloped with a stripper she spirals out of control and ends up at a strange bar taking a ride home from a hot, older man.
Once these opposites collide their lives will never be the same. Giselle’s impulsive behavior is more than Mateo can handle. She’s intrusive, stalkerish and knows exactly which buttons to push when it comes to him. The more she pushes the less he resists. Can this spontaneous woman capture the heart of a meticulous bachelor?
Copyright © 2017, Ella Jade
Twenty after five on a Tuesday evening and the majority of my staff was still here. A good portion of them would be for several more hours. My small graphic design business that I’d launched over sixteen years ago had turned into a multi-billion dollar advertising agency. I had been one of the first to offer web design when the internet first hit the scene. I’d explored unchartered territory and the payout was huge.
With success came sacrifice. My life was my company. I hadn’t meant to lose myself in my career but that was what had happened. I wasn’t disappointed in the way things turned out. I had money, friends, a beautiful home in the city and any material amenity I could wish for. The years had been good to me, but those years turned into more than a few and before I knew it I was forty and alone.
Being single wasn’t so bad. I didn’t have to answer to anyone. Didn’t feel guilty when I worked nights and weekends. I could go out with my friends whenever I wanted although these days most of them were married with kids. Some of my friends were even on marriage number two. Casual seemed to work better for me. A few dates sometimes led to more but once a woman found out I was already married to my job it never went further than that.
I straightened my desk for the second time in an hour. Stacking the papers, making sure the pencils were sharpened and refilling the staples in the stapler. I required order in every aspect of my life. I didn’t do well with chaos.
“Mr. Martel,” Hope, my assistant buzzed me. “I have Mr. Diaz on the line for you. He says it’s urgent.”
“Put him through.” I hadn’t spoken to Juan in a couple months. He was a friend and mentor, and responsible for making me the man I was today. I didn’t like to think about what could have happened to my family if he hadn’t intervened.
“Mateo,” Juan’s raspy voice echoed through the phone. “How are you?”
“I’m well and you?”
“I could be better.”
He was always to the point. He didn’t believe in wasting time. I liked that about him.
“Is everything okay?” I asked.
“I’m great. Business is good. I can’t complain.”
“The new website is working out?”
“No problems at all. The overhaul you did last time really did the trick.”
“I’m glad to hear it.” I leaned back in my chair, gazing out the window that overlooked a small back street in New York City. “What can I do for you?”
My own father had died from a drug overdose when I was thirteen. Juan had been a family friend and stepped in to help my mother with me and my two younger siblings. We owed him a great deal, but he rarely asked any of us for anything.
“It’s my daughter Giselle.”
“How is she?” I hadn’t seen her since she was a kid. When Juan divorced she had gone to live with her mother in Connecticut. I remembered when she was born. I had just been accepted to Princeton and was able to go thanks to Juan’s generosity. He put me, my brother and my sister through college. He had become a role model for all of us and we worked hard to make him proud.
“She’s a handful. She graduated from college last spring and has no idea what she wants to do with herself. She got engaged to a bum after dating him for three months. She and her mother planned this over-the-top wedding and the bum called it off a month before, leaving me with a hefty check.”
“That’s terrible.” How could she be old enough to get married? Where had the time gone?
“It was a blessing, trust me. Giselle is a woman scorned now though. She’s moved to the city which wasn’t the best decision. She’s out until all hours of the night and I can’t control her. Not that I ever could. I screwed up with her.”
“I’m sure it isn’t that bad.”
“She needs to grow up but won’t listen to me.”
“That sounds stressful.”
“You have no idea.” He sighed. “I’m hoping you can help.”
“Me?” His statement caught me off guard. “What can I do?” I had no experience with wild children.
“Well, now that she’s in the city I thought you could give her a job at your agency. Keep an eye on her for me so she doesn’t do anything stupid.”
“You want me to, ah, babysit her?”
“For lack of a better term.”
“Juan, I’m really busy. I’m not sure I’m the right man for this job.” I didn’t want to turn him down but how could I be expected to watch his out of control daughter?
“You’re the right man. You’re the only man I’d trust to do this.”
Without Juan, I would never have gone to college. I might not have finished high school. We lived in a bad neighborhood and were barely above the poverty level when my father died. Juan moved us to a better area and looked after us. He got my mother a full-time job and made sure we had everything we needed. Why couldn’t he have asked me for another favor? Anything else.
“Mateo, I need you to do this for me. The guy just eloped and when Giselle finds out she’s going to really spiral out of control. She needs someone to reign her in.”
“You’re her father and if you can’t do it, how do you expect me to?”
“If you give her a job, a sense of purpose maybe she’ll move forward. Find a good guy this time and settle down.”
“Does she have graphic design experience?”
“She has a degree in psychology.”
Of course she does. This just keeps getting better.
“I’m not asking you to make her the CEO.” He laughed but I heard the impatience in his tone. “She can start at the bottom. She’s a trust fund baby. She doesn’t need the money. She just needs a place to go every day. A reason to behave. She needs a chance. We all need a chance and someone to give us one. You do understand that, don’t you?”
His meaning was not lost on me.
“I’m sure I can find something for her to do around here.” What choice did I have?
“I thought you would,” he said. “She’ll be in to meet with you tomorrow morning around ten. Does that work?”
I glanced at my planner. I’d have to move a few meetings around but it was doable. “That’ll be fine.” I shook my head and smiled. How could I complain? I did business the same way as Juan. When I wanted something I usually got it.
“Thank you, kid.” There was a relief in his tone. “I knew I could count on you.”
Staring out the window, I wondered just how much of a disruption Giselle Diaz was going to be to my daily routine. I guess I’d find out soon enough.
Downing my third shot, the numbness started to kick in. I wanted to forget. How could he do that to me? Break off our engagement and then elope with someone else? And I find out on fucking social media. No one humiliated me that way.
I raised my hand and then pointed to my shot glass. “It’s empty,” I informed the bartender. “Another.”
He walked over with the bottle of tequila. “You’re taking a break after this, beautiful.”
“Yeah, sure.” I winked at him. “Whatever you say.” As long as I kept the cash flowing and I wasn’t driving what did he care?
This bar was new to me. I hadn’t meant to end up here. I had an appointment tomorrow morning at some agency my dad set up for me with one of his old friends. I took a ride on the subway to check out the building because I had nothing better to do. On my way in I got the alert that my ex had gotten married so instead of checking out the agency I landed at the bar next door. I thought maybe a drink or two would help me cope.
Glancing to the right, I stared into the sexiest gray eyes I’d ever seen. Where did he come from? Back to those eyes. They reminded me of a wolf. One that was about to pounce. Hell, this one could pounce on me all night long and make me forget... shit, my ex who left me to marry someone else. The hottie took a seat next to me and ordered an expensive scotch. Neat. One look at his suit and I knew this man was money. His shoes cost more than some people made in a month, and his watch didn’t come from a department store. It was custom. He was older than me. Maybe in his late thirties. Older than I was used to but that didn’t bother me. It wasn’t as if we were going to make a life together. I was drunk enough to go home with him. One night was all I needed. I didn’t see a ring on his finger so I kicked back the rest of my tequila and moved my bar stool closer to his.
He sipped his drink and then turned and smiled at me.
“Hey.” Should I play this shy and innocent or bold and raunchy? What would designer man like? “You buying?”
“Sure.” He motioned to the bartender and then pointed to my glass.
“You know what? She’s had enough,” the strict bartender said. “She hasn’t even been here that long.”
“Oh, come on buzz kill.” I laughed. “I’m not driving.”
“Just one more,” the impeccable man, who was becoming more attractive by the second, said. There wasn’t one thing I could find out of place with this guy. He smelled like spice and my fingers trembled to rub his stubble-covered jaw. What would that feel like between my thighs? When he turned back to stare at me he had my undivided attention. “Just this one.”
“Whatever you say.”
“Good.” He took a sip of his drink.
Should I be submissive? He looked like he might enjoy that. Who was I kidding? I was no one’s submissive but for one night I could be anything he wanted.
When the bartender placed my shot in front of me he pointed and gave me a stern look.
“I’ll behave.” I lifted my glass and toasted my new friend. One I had hoped to know rather intimately by the time this evening was over. “To new acquaintances.”
He tapped his glass to mine before tossing his head back and finishing his scotch. I didn’t want to be rude so I finished mine too. That might have been a mistake. Three was fun but four shots of tequila may have been excessive. I took a deep breath and waited for the room to stop spinning. It didn’t. Maybe I should have listened to the bartender.
“Are you okay?” His voice was deep, authoritative. Judging from his appearance he looked like a man who got shit done.
“Yeah.” I rested my chin in my hand, trying to hold myself up. “I’m great. I’m Giselle, by the way.”
“Giselle?” The skin creased between his brow.
“I know, it’s a unique name. My mother liked the ballet.”
“I’ve never seen you here before. What brings you to this area of the city?”
“I have a meeting in the building next door so I thought I’d come check it out.” It wasn’t like I had anything better to do.
“Do you always stop at the nearest bar and do shots by yourself?”
“I’m not an alcoholic if that’s what you’re suggesting.”
“I’m not suggesting anything.” When he turned his stool to face me, all I was all I wanted was his hands on me. “Why don’t you tell me why you’re here?”
“My father is making me go work for one of his old friends. Do you really think I want to work at some stale ad agency for some old man?”
“Have you researched this stale agency?” He looked like he was trying to hold back a smirk but I detected the amusement in his eyes.
“What? No, but that’s beside the point.” I held onto the side of the bar, trying not to slip off my stool. “You’re missing the point.”
“The point is my dad is trying to control me by making me work for one of his friends. He wants to keep tabs on me.”
“It appears he might be right.”
“Whose side are you on, Meticulous?”
“Oops.” I giggled. “Did I say that out loud?”
“You’re perfect,” I said. “Look at you. You seem like you pay attention to all the details. You’re sharp, attentive.”
“We were talking about you.”
“What were we saying?” I placed my hand on top of his. “Oh, right. How did I end up here?”
“On my way to check out the stale agency, which I never got to do, I found out that my ex eloped with some slut he met in a strip club.”
“He doesn’t exactly sound like he was worth your time.”
“That’s not the point either!” I yelled but then realized the alcohol may have affected my tone when I noticed several people staring at me. “Have you ever been in love?” I lowered my voice.
“We’re not talking about me, remember?”
“Did I hit a nerve?”
He gazed into his empty glass and I wondered what Mr. Meticulous was thinking. Did I care? I drank too much and let my ex ruin my night. Any chance I had hooking up with the sexiest man alive was over considering I couldn’t even stand up.
“I think I better get a cab.” When I slipped off the stool, I lost my balance.
“Whoa.” He grabbed my arm and held me steady. When I gazed into his steel gray eyes, I forgot why my night had been so crappy. “Let me take you home.”
“What?” I shook my head. “I’m too drunk to...”
“I’ll just drop you off. Trust me. I like my women alert and aware of what we’re doing.”
“I don’t even know your name.” I closed my eyes and leaned into him, inhaling his appealing scent. “Okay, you can take me home.”
Intrigued? These two will make your head spin!