Marrying the Boss

Marrying the Boss
О книге

All his life Mark Collins has been fighting for a place to belong.Now just when he thinks the hard-earned family business is within reach, his adoptive grandfather's will has named a challenger. Leanne Fairbanks belongs in Collins Company as much as Mark does–and she's just as determined to become its next CEO. Until her handsome rival starts arousing feelings that have nothing to do with business.With a lot more than who's going to be boss at issue, Leanne has to decide whether winning the battle will lose her the war–especially when it's her heart at stake….

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“If you’d just let me know where you’ll be, I could try to avoid you.”

“I thought you’d been doing that already.”

Leanne stopped and faced Mark. Had his voice held a tinge of disappointment? “No, I haven’t. I’ve just been trying to learn everything fast.”

She mentally slapped herself. Don’t admit your vulnerabilities. It gave him an edge, and being so far behind, she couldn’t afford to give him any further advantage.

“I’d be happy to help you.”

She spun to face him, astounded.

After a moment Mark chuckled. “Well, maybe not happy.”

“And maybe not really helpful.” She glanced at him. “You don’t consider me much of a threat, do you?”

Dear Reader,

Families are funny, you know? What passed for normal in my family of five kids seemed strange to my friend who had only one sibling—and a brother at that. Not to mention what my friend who’s an only child thought of our troop! As the youngest, I’ve always been intrigued by family dynamics, which is why I’m so pleased to have my first book published by Harlequin American Romance, the specialists in stories of home and family. I’ve dreamed of writing for Harlequin for many years, so this novel is very special to me. My hero and heroine didn’t make it easy, however!

The main characters of Marrying the Boss, Mark and Leanne, have very interesting family backgrounds. I couldn’t wait until they showed me how they’d work through their issues and still fall in love. It was a fun ride that I hope you’ll enjoy.

I’d love to hear what you think. Please contact me through my Web site,


Megan Kelly

Marrying the Boss

Megan Kelly


Fate led Megan Kelly to write romances—fate and her grandmother, that is. While riding a crosstown bus, teenage Megan and her grandma happened on a Harlequin Romance book. The older woman scanned the first page to determine the book’s contents and declared it to be about lions, then she gave it to Megan to pass the time on the next day’s journey home, five hours away. (The first page did mention lions, but they were statues at the gates of the hero’s family estate.) Megan became an avid reader and discovered her dream job—writing those exciting and moving stories she loved. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children and is well-known at her local bookstore and library.

For Tom, my real-life Hero—

Thanks for your support on this journey; and, of course, For Mom, who taught me by example about strong women.


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve


Chapter One

Of course the son of a bitch had to be buried in the rain. Leanne Fairbanks glowered at the mausoleum, then yanked her heel out of the mud and advanced toward it.

“Are they all gone, do you think?”

At her mother’s question, Leanne surveyed Fields Grove Cemetery—the premiere spot for the dead elite of Chicago. Lionel Collins lay in the family crypt, a large domed building of gray granite, sporting Greek columns and two stone lions for guards. Leanne grimaced at the lions. The egomaniac.

No birds sang. Wet black trees supported branches thinly covered with April buds. Sprinkles of rain made hardly a patter. Dead silence, she thought, then quelled her ill-timed humor. The emptiness of the surroundings unnerved her. “I don’t see anyone.”

They hadn’t attended the private ceremony held in the funeral chapel. Her mom had decided against seeing Gloria, Lionel’s daughter-in-law, and her son, Mark, much to Leanne’s relief. She’d have gone for support if her mom had felt the need, but personally, Leanne had no use for either of the Collinses. Much as they had no use for her.

They arrived at the mausoleum door, which Leanne was thankful hadn’t been locked yet. Two workers turned at their entrance, then ducked out into the drizzle. Their portable floor lamps lit most of the fifteen by fifteen-foot-interior like high noon, illuminating the gaping hole in the wall. Shadows lingered in the corners. Leanne snugged her raincoat tighter.

Her mom closed the umbrella and smoothed her dark-blond hair back into its chignon. At fifty-four, she had only a few lines, although her green eyes had lost their sparkle during the past week.

Giving her mom a moment of privacy, Leanne inspected the crypt. Lionel would be interred above Helen, his wife of forty-seven years. Warren, their son—my half-brother—lay at rest across from them. She probed the thought like a sore tooth but experienced no pain. He’d been a stranger, no more than a name to her. Below him was a marker with Gloria’s name and birth year chiseled on it.

Leanne frowned. There wasn’t a place for Mark.

She started to mention this to her mom, but stopped at the sight of the grief on her face. Her mother’s fingertips hovered just above the mahogany casket, tears slipping down her cheeks.

Leanne placed her arm around her mother’s shoulders, offering support but no words. She had nothing to say about this man. Other than generous monthly checks, he’d ignored her existence. Conscience money, she thought, then corrected herself. It couldn’t have been. Lionel Collins hadn’t had a conscience.

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