by Melody Anne
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Published by Amazon Digital Services on October 20th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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Source: InkSlinger PR
Ashton Storm had always possessed a sense of humor, but he tended to be more thoughtless and self-absorbed than his other siblings. He skated along through life, enjoying the finer things. That was until one day his father had enough and gave him an ultimatum. He either did his father’s bidding, or his ride on easy street came to an instant stop.
Though Ashton fought against doing what his father demanded, he finally caved in and took the small boating company his father gave him and made it a multi-billion dollar corporation. Now, he’s back on easy street and he’s alone – but for how long?
Richard Storm was disappointed when his matchmaking plans for his son Ashton and the very sexy, smart, somewhat clumsy, Savannah Mills didn’t work out. But no other woman seemed to be catching his son’s eyes.
Fate has a funny way of working out though, and maybe, just maybe, Richard hadn’t been wrong about Ashton and Savannah being the perfect couple. Because they’re about to finally meet.
“Have we pushed Ashton too far?” Richard Storm took a large gulp of good scotch and looked toward the ceiling as he thought about his words.
“What do you mean?” Joseph asked.
“He’s not the same man he was a few years ago,” Richard said, a heavy sigh showing the even heavier heart inside.
“But the goal was for him to grow up,” George pointed out.
“Yes, to grow up, but not to turn into this hard-nosed robot he’s become. I barely even recognize him anymore,” Richard pointed out.
“I hate to admit it, but I agree. I feel like we all have pushed him too hard,” Joseph said.
“He’s been busting his ass for four years now trying to prove that he’s not just another trust fund baby, that he is worthy of the Storm — and of course Anderson — name. But in that battle he’s been waging, a piece of his soul has been chipped away,” Richard said.
“I love that he wants to make you proud, Richard,” George said.
“He wants to make all of us proud, but this isn’t what I want. Yes, I want him to marry and produce kids, but above all, I want him to be happy,” Richard said, then realized his glass was empty. The stress was almost more than he could bear.
Richard’s two brothers stared at him in concern. The two Anderson patriarchs had been separated from him at birth, and they’d only met decades later, but his pain was their pain. After all, their DNA was almost identical.
“You should look on the bright side, though,” George said. “He used to be a devil-may-care bartender, but now he’s running a wildly successful business.”
Joseph piped in. “And didn’t you tell us that he used to be Mr. Playboy, just tomcatting all around both coasts? And now he’s engaged to be married. That’s another step in the right direction.”
“You’ve met his fiancée,” Richard snorted. “Yes, she has a fancy-schmancy name, and makes regular appearances in the society column. But she’s really nothing but a gold-digger out for alimony. Wouldn’t give him the time of day until she found out about his net worth. Sure, she bats her tinted eyelashes, but she’s no prize — unless you want to call her a prize bitch. … Excuse my French.”
“But what can we do?” George asked.
“I did what I could. I found the perfect match for Ashton. I gave a card to that lovely woman I mentioned before, Savannah Mills, but she never applied for the job I set up. That was two years ago, and now she has a master’s in oceanography. I can’t see her taking a job down at the docks after that.”
“Oh, yes, I remember that now,” Joseph said. “We’ve been so busy with the other kids, I’d temporarily forgotten. I’m not getting any younger, I’m afraid.”
“Do you think we move on from this Savannah?” Richard asked. “She really seemed to be The One, so I hate to give up.”
“No,” Joseph boomed — that’s what he always did. BOOM. “When love is meant to be, it’s meant to be. If she just finished her master’s and she’s set her sights on a PhD, you still have three months before the fall semester starts. Maybe now is the perfect time for her and Ashton to finally meet up.”
“But he’s still got that fiancée of his,” Richard growled.
“She won’t last,” George said. “Think about it. If Ashton sees Savannah, he’ll have to make comparisons, and the gold-digger will flame out. Your son isn’t that stupid, is he?”
“I wish I could be sure,” Richard replied, and a frown took over his face. “As I said, Ashton’s track record with women isn’t the best. And now, with him trying to prove something to himself or to us, he’s making bigger mistakes. Some young men never learn until it’s too late.”
“Ah, those boys, all of them, know how to put on a mask. I know Ashton has a heck of a lot more soul and a lot more character than he’s letting on. Somewhere inside, the real Ashton still resides,” Joseph assured them.
“I hope so, brother, because I’m beginning to think that son of mine won’t figure it out until it’s far too late,” Richard said.
Joseph threw him a determined look. “We never give up on the people we love. Sometimes we just have to bring out the electric cattle prod.”
Richard finally had a ghost of a smile. “Then let’s start planning. I happen to know that Savannah is more intrigued than ever before over sunken treasures. If she can get some free boat rides out to a site where a ship full of treasure is rumored to have sunk, I can see her finally taking that job down at the docks.”
“Hmm. Good thing Ashton does private cruises, isn’t it?” George said with a laugh.
The three men bent their heads together.