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Trading Man

Published by: eXtasy Books

Author : Kat Jacobson

ISBN :978-1-4874-3764-0

Page :208

Word Count :63321

Publication Date :2023-03-10

Series : #

Heat Level :

Available Formats : Trading Man (epub) , Trading Man (mobi) , Trading Man (pdf) , Trading Man (prc)

Category : Contemporary Romance

  • Product Code: 978-1-4874-3764-0

She’s a high society girl from a wealthy New York family. He’s an orphaned boy who came from nothing. Stacey Tudor has loved Jake Stevens ever since the day her brother brought him home from boarding school. After a disastrous romantic encounter in her family’s vacation home, the two quickly fall out of touch. 

Years later, Stacey is invited to interview her now extremely successful childhood crush and to finish what they began when they were younger. With her history of failed romances and his inability to trust, can they ever make it work?

Ten Years Earlier

Stacey dived into the pool. The water was cool against her skin, a welcome relief after the long drive to her parents’ summer cottage. Swimming in the pool represented freedom after two months trapped inside a small classroom attending summer school. It was exactly what she needed to officially begin her summer vacation after high school. Because she’d attended summer school, she only had three weeks of vacation this year. It was much shorter than her prior summer breaks, but luckily, they were starting the new semester later this year so she would have extra time to relax. She started swimming laps, feeling the stress of the past few months disappear with each stroke. She planned to spend the next few weeks relaxing, tanning by the pool, and breathing in the fresh country air. 

Her parents’ Berkshire cottage provided the perfect setting for a relaxing retreat away from the city. The cottage was located along a quiet stretch of road nestled among both farms and summer vacation homes. The trees surrounding the property made you feel as though you were secluded from the rest of the world. Their canopies provided a perfect balance of shade and sunshine, letting in enough sun to keep the area warm but providing enough shade to keep the temperature bearable. Like the trees, the Berkshires provided a perfect balance between city and country. The closest town was only ten minutes away, with great restaurants and her favorite ice cream parlor. The nearby mountains were home to many outdoor activities, from hiking to biking. Up here she would have a multitude of activities to occupy her days and a pile of romance novels to occupy her nights. 

Nobody had been in the house when she arrived. She admitted to herself that she was disappointed. Stacey had hoped to at least see her parents or her brother. They were a close family, and it felt like it had been months since they had all been together in person. She missed them, and even though she talked to her mother regularly, their phone calls were a poor substitute for one of her dad’s bear hugs. But duty called. When she’d first arrived, her gaze was drawn to the note they had left her on the counter. She recognized her mother’s cursive script. She and her father were heading out to the Hamptons to attend a garden party to support one of the charities her mother had taken an interest in. Her brother Mark and his longtime friend, Jake, were also staying at the cottage for the summer. With her brother’s car gone from the driveway, Stacey guessed they had decided to leave the peace and quiet of the Berkshires in favor of a party or two in the Hamptons. The various Hamptons enclaves were a summer haven for New York City’s rich and famous. The Hamptons party scene had been the source of more than one Page Six gossip story. Luckily, none of those had mentioned her brother or his best friend Jake. 

Although disappointed that she couldn’t spend quality time with her family, Stacey was looking forward to a night of peace and quiet and the chance to lose herself reading stories about rich bachelors abandoning their partying ways and finding love with the sexy girl next door. Romance novels were Stacey’s secret addiction. It was something she kept to herself. It felt clandestine as she plotted her schedule around each month’s new releases. Anticipating their arrival was part of the excitement. With coffee in hand, she would lose herself for hours in the adventures of each novel’s heroine as they found their soul mate. Stacey was young, and true love was something she had not experienced. But just like the characters in her romance novels, she knew that someday she would find her knight in shining armor.

Lost in thought, Stacey suddenly felt the hair on her neck rise, as though someone was watching her as she swam up and down the length of the pool. She let the feeling pass, dismissing it as nothing more than wrought nerves after the long drive to the house and the stress of studying for and taking her final exams. The trees ensured privacy, and there was no chance anyone could get past the security the electronic front gates and stone fence provided. 

After swimming a few more laps, she felt her skin was starting to shrivel and decided it was as good a time as any to get out and check out the garden. A quick walk around the grounds would dispel any notions a secret admirer was hiding in the bushes.

Stacey hoisted her body from the water. She saw him first out of the corner of her eye. Jake was casually lying back on one of the lounge chairs alongside the pool, looking straight at her. Unlike the boys in her class, who were immature and would have darted their gaze in the other direction, Jake didn’t look away when Stacey met his gaze. Jake’s persona was an interesting balance of confidence and arrogance. She raised an eyebrow and silently asked What are you looking at? He just kept staring at her as she continued to lift her body out of the water, taking an inventory of each part as it rose out of the swimming pool.

Since he had no issue checking out her body, Stacey took a moment to give Jake a quick once over. He was tall, broad shouldered, and handsome. The beginnings of afternoon stubble were visible, making him look rugged and slightly dangerous. It was obvious he worked out, and his shorts did little to hide his strong thigh muscles and well-defined calves. She guessed the white t-shirt that clung to his biceps was also covering six pack abs.

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Tags: Romance, Contemporary, Inspirational