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HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99% of hacker crime.

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The Rookie [Secure eReader]
eBook by Jennifer LaBrecque

eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Maddie Felton used to be a credit-card-flashing daddy's girl. But that was so three years ago. Now the heiress is ready to make her mark on her family's motel chain empire. Problem is, she's never had a job. Any job. That is, until daddy puts her in charge of his latest venture--NASCAR sponsorship. Driving rookie Tucker Macray knows NASCAR is an opportunity of a lifetime--but does it have to come with a spoiled rich girl sponsor running his show? Say this. Do that. It's not as if she knows an iota about the sport or even pretends to enjoy it. But would she actually sabotage Tucker's rookie season to get out of her job?

eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Special Edition, Published: 2007
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2007


7 Reader Ratings:
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CHAPTER ONE

"…NASCAR SPONSORSHIP."

Madeleine Felton zoned her father out. Yeah, it was her first time sitting in on a family business meeting, and she was excited to be here, but she wasn't in the least interested in anything to do with NASCAR. She'd pay attention when it came to her part.

She surreptitiously studied her thumbnail on her left hand. Dang. After this meeting she needed to call Nadine for an emergency manicure. There was the slightest tear in the corner of her nail, and if that sucker went it was going to hurt—

"She doesn't even know what you said." Doug, Maddie's oldest older brother, tossed a sheaf of papers on the polished mahogany boardroom table dominating Felton Enterprises' inner sanctum.

"I'm the one who should be handling this. Maddie's gonna screw it up," Steve said. Her youngest older brother, four years older than her, shot her an apologetic look, "Sorry, Maddie, but you will."

What had she expected? That her big brothers might actually be glad she wanted to contribute something to the family business. "What? I'm not going to mess anything—"

Doug, who fancied himself an expert in everything, cut her off. "What do you know about NASCAR?"

NASCAR? Pretty much nothing. She vaguely recalled something last year about Daddy expanding Sleep EZ's market share in the midrange motel-accommodations market through NASCAR sponsorship, but she hadn't paid much attention.

It didn't particularly bode well that Daddy, Doug and Stevie were bringing up NASCAR in conjunction with her joining the family motel business.

She didn't like the sound of this. At all. And she hated when Doug patronized her. "NASCAR? Let's see." She touched her finger to her lip and pretended to ponder. "It's noisy and they drive really fast around a track for a long time."

She was being sarcastic, but really she didn't know a whole lot beyond that. And the most salient point was that she didn't want to, either. Noisy, dirty and a surfeit of testosterone and speed—no thanks, she could just drive around Atlanta's belt-way if she needed some of that.

"That's insightful." Doug shook his head.

"Enough," her father boomed, standing and planting his hands on the expensive tabletop. "I don't want to hear any more, boys."

Doug and Stevie always firmly put her in her place as the baby sister. They indulged her, patronized her, didn't take her seriously…and she played right into it. If she wanted them to treat her like a capable adult, and she did, then she'd act like one. She shoved her hand with the torn nail into her lap and focused on her father.

"Your sister came to me a few days ago because she wants to be more involved in the business."

Stevie snorted and rolled his eyes. "Sure, Dad. She'll show up for work until there's a sale at Neiman's."

She narrowed her eyes but otherwise ignored Stevie's jibe. Her brothers weren't bad guys. They'd just all slipped into roles when her mother died. Her mother had been delicate, fragile, and in the end, had shattered. Maddie, nine at the time, was the spitting image of her mother. Her father and brothers had been determined to coddle and protect Maddie, as if she might shatter the same as her mother.

Alone, confused, lost without her mother, afraid her brothers and father might abandon her the same as her mother had, unsure she wasn't cut from the same cloth as her mother, Maddie had fallen into the role handed her. No responsibility. Nothing too taxing. No stress. No challenge. She'd just floated along, like a piece of flotsam carried downstream by the current, directionless, her path determined by others, but actually no path at all.

It had taken her years to figure out that despite the physical resemblance, she wasn't like her fragile mother. Or at least she didn't think so. Likewise, she'd come to realize that her childhood fears of abandonment if she didn't go along with her father and brothers that had carried over into adulthood, were unfounded. At least she thought they were. In both cases there was only one way to find out. The proof was in the doing. It was time for Maddie to take control of her own destiny, prove what she was made of, time for her to take on a job that would challenge her, test her mettle, other than the do-nothing jobs she'd had since college.

Both her brothers were important to the smooth running and growth of the family business. Maddie wanted to take her place in the ranks. Unfortunately, Maddie was the only one who realized it was time for a change.

"This job comes with flex hours so she can work it around shopping," Daddy said.

And didn't she just love being discussed as if she weren't in the room?

She had a degree in marketing with an emphasis on advertising and public relations that she never used. She'd interviewed for, and landed, a couple of entry-level jobs at ad agencies when she graduated from college, but Daddy had always nixed them before she'd ever gotten started, deeming them too taxing. And she'd gone along with him, playing the role she'd always played.

But she'd found out a lot about herself and her capabilities when she'd renovated and moved into the carriage house on her father's property. It had done wonders for her self-confidence and fueled her ambition. She was ready to contribute to something more than her closet and Neiman's bottom line. But NASCAR? Thanks, but no thanks.

"I thought I'd be working with Sherman, Reichman and Burkholtz on the new ad campaign." At least that's what she'd proposed to her father. SRB was the ad agency on record for Felton Enterprises and Maddie had looked forward to collaborating with them.

Copyright © 2007 by Harlequin Books S.A.


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