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Making You My Business (A Lennox in Love, #2)

Making You My Business (A Lennox in Love, #2)

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Making You My Business (A Lennox in Love, #2)

ratings:
5/5 (4 ratings)
Length:
164 pages
2 hours
Publisher:
Released:
May 5, 2016
ISBN:
9781533775696
Format:
Book

Description

Smoky Mountain Lodge, a hotel owned and operated by Lennox Enterprises, has been underperforming since Joelle Bannon quit two months ago for a position at Island Street Deli. Underpaid and undervalued, she'd rather work someplace with lower expectations than at a hotel where she hasn't had a raise in ten years.

In his new role as district manager at Lennox Enterprises, Giovanni Lennox has the task of rebuilding employee relations with management, starting with Joelle. His goal is to get her to take her job back at Smoky Mountain Lodge, or convince her to help him with tips to get the lodge back in its former profitable state. When she refuses both options, he makes it his business to dig into her life and find out everything he can about her in hopes of persuading Joelle to abide by his wishes. He never thought he'd end up falling in LOVE.

Publisher:
Released:
May 5, 2016
ISBN:
9781533775696
Format:
Book

About the author

TINA MARTIN is the Amazon #1 Bestselling author of over 70 romantic suspense novels, novellas and short stories. She currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.tinamartin.net


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Making You My Business (A Lennox in Love, #2) - Tina Martin

Making You My Business [Synopsis]

Smoky Mountain Lodge, a hotel owned and operated by Lennox Enterprises, has been underperforming since Joelle Bannon quit two months ago for a position at Island Street Deli. Underpaid and undervalued, she’d rather work someplace with lower expectations than at a five-star hotel where she hasn’t had a raise in ten years.

In his new role as district manager at Lennox Enterprises, Giovanni Lennox has the task of rebuilding employee relations with management, starting with Joelle. His goal is to get her to take her job back at Smoky Mountain Lodge, or convince her to help him with training tips for her replacement. When she refuses both options, he makes it his business to dig into her life and find out everything he can about her in hopes of persuading Joelle to abide by his wishes. He never thought he’d end up falling in LOVE.

*The Lennox in Love series are all standalone novellas. You do not have to read the books in order. For more about the Lennox Series, visit A Lennox in Love Series Books.

Enjoy!

Prologue

Giovanni Lennox stepped inside Bryson City Barbecue, a small, family-owned restaurant in the downtown area of Bryson City – nothing fancy about the place but the food was off the hook, especially the award-winning beef brisket – precisely why Remington wanted to meet here. But Giovanni wasn’t in the mood for dinner or the loud country music blaring through tacky, wall-hung speakers. He’d much rather been at his home on Fontana Lake sitting on the dock fishing, a Saturday pastime that gave him an opportunity to reflect. But duty called, and he was answering. Besides, Remington made this impromptu meeting sound urgent, so this is where he found himself – wading through tightly arranged tables occupied mostly by fat-belly white men wearing plastic, restaurant-provided bibs, dripping with vinegar-based barbecue sauce.

Giovanni shook his head. Remington just had to meet here didn’t he? A place that provided hardly any seating and the seating it did provide was subpar – chairs looked like those plastic porch chairs you could get from a cheap variety store. Chairs that came with a manufacturer weight capacity. Chairs you’d find on your grandmother’s front porch. Chairs like that didn’t belong in a legitimate restaurant. They belonged, well, on your grandmother’s front porch.

Seconds away from turning around and heading back to the exit, Giovanni looked up and saw Emory, his sister-in-law, sitting alone at a table positioned near the kitchen. Doing something with her phone, she looked more bored than out-of-place even though, besides him, she was the only African-American in the joint. But in a small, mountain town like Bryson City with less than two percent of the population being African-American, that was something she was probably accustomed to by now – being a true minority.

What’s up, Emmie? Giovanni asked, pulling out a chair, brushing a hush puppy and a glob of pulled pork out of it before he sat down.

When she looked up to see him, her features brightened. Eyes widened. Smile grew.

Hey, Vanni. She lowered her phone to the red and white checkered tablecloth.

Rem summoned you here, too? he asked with a hint of mild sarcasm.

Emory chuckled. "It wasn’t a summon for me. We’re having dinner here. He told me you were coming by."

Yeah, and I have no idea why, Giovanni said, tapping his fingertips on the tabletop. Don’t know why he trippin’ like he couldn’t just tell me what he wanted over the phone. That guy, I tell ya...

Hey, stop talking about my husband, Emory teased.

He was my brother before he was your husband.

Emory playfully darted her tongue out at him.

Giovanni smiled, then took a hard, pointed look at her. He still couldn’t believe she and Remington had been married for a year and kept it a secret. The secret came out when Remington could no longer hide his true feelings for her. Still, Giovanni wondered what Emory saw in his aristocratic, overly professional, older brother. Or, maybe that’s what she saw in him. His wisdom. Strong work ethic. His drive. His loyalty.

So, how’s married life? he asked her. Or, maybe the question should be, how is it being publicly acknowledged as my brother’s wife nowadays?

Her cheeks reddened. It’s nice. And married life is good. Me and Remy got a year in, so it’s not like we’re newlyweds.

Well, technically, you only have about two months in. You just officially started sleeping together.

Emory’s eyes shot open wide. Vanni!

What? Is that too upfront for you?

Emory covered her face with her hands, embarrassed.

"Okay, let me rephrase...you and my brother just started practicing being a married couple, right?"

Emory lowered her hands to the table. Right. She had married Remington as an exchange for him to gain control of his father’s business and now, Lennox Enterprises – a company that owned and operated hotels and mountain cabins in the Smokies – belonged to him.

Tell me...what do you see in him? Giovanni asked.

Emory frowned. Well, that’s straight out of left field.

"Maybe so, but I want to know. You married Rem, but you two are nothing alike. Honestly, since you’ve been living in Bryson City, Emmie, you’ve spent more time with me, than him. And we used to hang out all the time, but since you’ve been busy practicing marriage,  I don’t see you anymore unless it’s at football or dinner."

Which is on a rather consistent basis, don’t you think?

Not as consistent as it used to be.

But I’m married now, Vanni—married to your brother. My priorities have changed. You’ll understand once you meet the right girl.

That’s funny because I feel like I’ve already met her. She’s just in love with someone else, Giovanni said, shooting her a penetrating, spine-tingling gaze. And in case you weren’t sure, yes, I’m talking about you.

Giovanni, you can’t talk to me that way.

What way? I’m being straightforward. Upfront. Honest. That’s the only way I talk. You know that.

But—

And before you take my words out of context, I’m not saying that I want you...that I covet you. I’m saying, I like you so much that I want a woman just like you. What will it take for me to land a woman like you, Emmie?

How was she supposed to answer that? Emory took a sip of water to combat the heat of his gaze. She set the glass back on the table and shrugged.

Oh, come on, Emmie. The least you can do is give me the answer to that.

I don’t know what to say. I really don’t.

Just answer my question.

I don’t know how to answer your question, Vanni. And what do you mean by a woman like me? I don’t think I’m all that and a bag of chips. I’m just me.

And that’s exactly what I want. Giovanni laced his fingers together and leaned forward when he said, I want an easygoing, smart, funny, beautiful woman who’s not stuck on herself. A woman who’s not afraid to toss a football back and forth. A woman who doesn’t mind rolling around on the grass. Who won’t have a meltdown if she broke a nail. You know. Like you.

Emory smiled. Seriously, Vanni.

Yes. I’m serious. I want a woman who looks at me the way you look at Rem.

Emory smiled, thinking of Remington. Everything about her husband turned her on, but mostly it was the fact that she knew without any doubts that Remington loved her truthfully and sincerely from his heart. Okay, well, you’ve caught me off guard here.

Why? he asked.

"Why? You’re telling me you want a woman like me and you don’t think that’s awkward for me."

It should be more flattering than awkward. Now, give me some pointers of how I can land my very own Emory.

Emory laughed. You’re hilarious.

And serious. Come on, Emmie.

Okay, okay. If I had to give you some advice, I would tell you to stop being so...let’s see...how can I put this?

Just say it.

Rude. Arrogant. Obnoxious.

Giovanni raised a brow. That’s what you think of me?

No. I know you well enough now to understand your personality, but other people don’t. Women like confident men, true enough, but you don’t have to be egotistical and downright cocky.

Great. You think I’m a horrible person.

No, I don’t, Vanni. You’re one of the nicest guys I know. I love you like a brother, but honestly, it took me a while to get comfortable with you and your mannerisms. I think a lot of people, especially women don’t get you.

So, in a nutshell, you’re saying I can’t get a girl like you.

Not what I’m saying at all. You just need a few tweaks here and there.

Really?

Yes. Really, she said. Look, don’t get upset. You nearly begged me to give you some pointers and now that I have, you look like I’ve offended you.

Giovanni tapped on the table again, glancing around the place before placing his vision on her once more.

I get it. To get a woman like you, I need to be more like Rem?

No, Vanni, Emory said, reaching across the table to touch his hand. You’re good at being you. And you have everything going for yourself. You have plenty to offer a woman. Just be careful how you approach women.

Okay. What else?

And I know you. The loudest, flashiest woman in the room usually gets your attention. Don’t fall for it. You need to go for the laid back kind who’s dressed conservatively and has a decent hair color.

Giovanni laughed.

Emory released his hand. I’m serious. You can’t convince me that a grown woman with fuchsia and lime green micro-braids is serious about life.

You’re funny, he said. And I wouldn’t go for that type, anyway.

Okay, then whatever type you would normally go for, go for the opposite. They say guys with lighter complexions usually go for the chocolate sisters.

Giovanni laughed. All he could do was shake his head at that.

Emory laughed, too, then added, "Now, I don’t know how true that is. I’m just sayin’. If it is true, I noticed that you only talk to the caramel sisters. I think it’s about time you put some chocolate in your life."

Giovanni chuckled. Maybe you’re right. It seemed to have worked for Rem. He was willing to give up Lennox Enterprises for his chocolate.

Emory smiled. Yes, he was.

Giovanni sighed, then glanced at his watch. Wonder why he asked me here?

Don’t know, but you’re about to find out. He’s here, Emory said, watching Remington

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