In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m re-releasing a fun story called Mad about Meg. It’s a nice, inexpensive, little romantic read.
She’d never been lucky in love…until she met him.
If it weren’t for bad luck, Meg Williams wouldn’t have any luck at all. As if traveling to a tropical island on Valentine’s weekend in a nasty storm isn’t bad enough, she’s doing it alone after finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman. Enduring the trip from hell, she arrives on Eden Isle only to discover that her hotel reservation has been lost and there are no vacancies anywhere on the island. Disheartened, Meg heads for the hotel bar.
Rob Madison is used to being in the limelight due his wealth and power. Used to being pursued by women for his fortune. When he meets Meg and realizes she doesn’t know who he is, he decides to spend the evening as a regular guy. Discovering she doesn’t have a place to stay, he offers to share his penthouse with her.
As the night progresses and their mutual attraction becomes apparent, Meg wonders if her luck has turned, while Rob wonders if one weekend in each other’s arms will be enough…
This book was previously published and has been revised. Mad about Meg is connected to the Lowell High School series books available at Ellora’s Cave.
“Excuse me.” He graced her with the most charming, least threatening smile he could muster. No doubt, he had some making up to do.
“Hello, again.” Her voice was soft, her tone distinctly friendlier than he expected.
“I was hoping I could join you for a few minutes.” He gestured to the two drinks in his hands.
Nodding, she pointed to the seat across from her. “Sure.”
“Peace offering.” He placed the red drink he’d bought in front of her, hoping his joke might work.
Moving her empty glass out of the way, she smiled. “That wasn’t necessary.”
“I’m afraid it was,” Rob answered. “My driver’s actions were reprehensible.”
“No, please, you don’t have to apologize. I’m terribly embarrassed by my behavior. I’m sure you won’t believe this, but I’m typically not such a hateful bitch.”
“I didn’t think you were anything of the sort.” Her apology surprised him. If anyone was in the wrong, it was clearly him, or at least George.
“Thank you for the drink.” She grinned before picking it up, silently toasting him and sipping it.
“It’s my favorite. Cranberry juice and Southern Comfort. I was planning on drinking only fruity, island concoctions, but after the day’s events, I needed a stiff drink.”
“Ah, I see,” Rob said. “If I’m not mistaken, do I detect a bit of a southern accent?”
“Just a bit. I’m from Northern Virginia. Most folks there can’t decide if they’re northerners or southerners. I like to refer to myself as a middler. How about you? Where do you hang up your hat?”
“Everywhere,” he answered honestly. “My work keeps me traveling pretty much non-stop.”
“And during your childhood?”
“Army brat.” It wasn’t difficult to acknowledge that he truly didn’t have roots anywhere in the world. He owned homes on both coasts as well as in three different countries, but he never spent more than a month at a time in any of them. Watching her try to hide her shivering, he stood and took off his suit jacket.
“Here.” He draped it around her shoulders. “You’re about to shake yourself off that chair.” She started to protest, but he cut her off. “I insist.”
“Thank you. So what’s this business of yours that doesn’t allow you to settle down?”
Rob was taken aback by the question. Surely she knew who he was. Looking closely at her, he determined she truly didn’t know him. Used to being recognized instantly, Rob silently savored this anonymity.
“Uh,” he stumbled, unwilling to give up this unique experience. “Just a businessman. Real estate and that kind of thing.” His answer was vague at best.
“You must do well, given your mode of transportation.”
“Company car.” He wasn’t so sure why he was intent on keeping up pretenses. For some strange reason, he liked the way this tired woman looked at him. She was talking to him as an equal, treating him as she would a new friend. Her eyes weren’t filled with dollar signs, trying to figure out how much he was really worth. Silently he laughed at himself. He had spent nearly a decade amassing more wealth than he could ever spend, earning and demanding the respect of his peers, yet here he was downplaying his successes so he could continue this simple, friendly conversation.
“How about you? What job keeps you tied to the middle of the country?”
She laughed. “Oh, I have a terribly exciting job. I’m a special education teacher.”
“It may not be what you consider exciting, but I can’t imagine anything more worthwhile.”
At his compliment, she gave him the most genuine smile he’d ever received. “I happen to agree with you. I love my kids and my job.”
“Are you with a private facility?”
“Oh, heck no,” she said with a grin. “Public education all the way. I teach at a high school.”
“I see now how you can afford such a fancy vacation,” he teased. “Making the big bucks as a public servant. Is Valentine’s Day considered a national holiday for the school system?”
She giggled before her smile turned to a grimace. “I saved up all my vacation days for this trip, and truth be told, I’ll be paying this ill-fated adventure off my credit card for many years to come.”
“Ill-fated?” He then recalled that, for all intents and purposes, she was homeless for the night.
“You wouldn’t believe my last twenty-four hours.”
“Try me,” he said.
“Where to begin? Due to mechanical problems, my first flight was re-routed to Houston and delayed long enough that I missed my original connecting flight in Florida. My scheduled seven hours of travel time turned into twenty-one.” She paused to take a sip of her drink.
“I broke my cell phone, my luggage is somewhere in Timbuktu, and the sporty little convertible I reserved weeks ago was downgraded to an ancient mini-van that your chauffeur left in a ditch a half a mile down the road. My sunny paradise has turned into hurricane hell and I have nowhere to stay tonight as this so-called luxury resort lost my reservation. Please bear in mind that’s just today’s run of bad luck and doesn’t include the fact that I’m alone in this damned lover’s paradise because I caught my fiancé cheating on me on Christmas Eve and my plane fare was nonrefundable.” She spoke with a lightheartedness he couldn’t understand given her horrible experiences.
“Wow.” He wasn’t sure how to respond and was shocked further when she simply laughed at his reply.
“My sentiments exactly.”
“So,” he looked at her calmly sitting in the hotel bar and wondered at her poise, “what’s your plan?”
“That’s actually what I was trying to work out when you came in. I thought I’d drink a little courage.” She lifted her drink to her lips again.
“Well, I figure the liquor will serve two purposes. One, it will warm me up on the inside before I have to go back out into the freezing cold rain again. And two, hopefully it will get me drunk enough that it won’t bother me to sleep in my lousy rental car by the side of the road.”
“That’s your brilliant plan?”
“I don’t remember calling it brilliant. Simply a plan.” Her humor in the face of such a dreary and potentially dangerous night grated on his nerves. “I only have to make it through the next few hours and then I’ll call the car rental place about towing me out of the ditch and I’ll catch the next flight out of here. Guess that will teach me for trying to live like the rich and famous for a few days.”
Rob sat silently for several minutes brooding over the fact he was one of the rich and famous she was referring to and feeling incredibly guilty as he pictured the luxurious penthouse suite awaiting him. One of the perks of owning the hotel.
“You can’t sleep in your car.”
“I don’t think that guy out there,” she pointed toward Pierre at the front desk, “would like it if I sacked out on the couch in the foyer. This place doesn’t exactly strike me as the type that would cater to vagrancy.”
“You’ll stay with me.” The words came without thought, but Rob found himself immediately warming up to the idea of spending more time with this refreshingly pleasant woman.
“Oh, now hang on a minute.” She threw her hands up. “I appreciate the drink, but there’s no way—”
He didn’t let her finish her protests. “Hear me out,” he said quickly. “My company owns the penthouse of this hotel. It’s a two-bedroom suite. You can have the other room for tonight. It even has its own bathroom. You can lock the door and pretend like it’s your own hotel room. There is simply no way I’m going to let you sleep on the side of a busy road in the middle of a storm.”
“There isn’t much traffic out there now with all the rain.”
“I’m serious. You’ve had a hell of a day and an unbelievably long string of bad luck. Why not give yourself a break?”
She looked like she was seriously debating turning him down. He’d never had to beg a woman to share a room with him. Hell, most nights he was the one having hotel keys thrust at him. After all, he was Rob Madison, owner of this and a string of other luxury hotels all over the world. He had topped Fortune’s list of most eligible billionaires the last three years running.
He watched as she chewed on her lower lip, clearly nervous about his proposition. He supposed from her perspective he was a stranger and she would be consenting to share a hotel suite with him.
“The bedroom door locks?”