Manhattan Millionaire's Cinderella

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CHAPTER ONE 

Cade Sloan-Manhattan's hotshot bachelor on the brink of bankruptcy.  

Cade read the headline and hurled the newspaper into the trashcan, the taunting words searing his brain. Prowling back and forth his high-rise office, he paused mid stride and zoned in on his secretary, who sat ramrod straight, her fingers flying across the computer keyboard.  

"Ms. McLow-" The words dissolved on his tongue, and he scratched his head. What was her name anyway?  

"Ms. McLow-" He cleared his throat and tried again. "Ms.-"  

"McLowsky." She lifted a shapely brow and tossed him a glance through her coke-bottle thick lenses, a blush on her cheeks. "Nina McLowsky."  

Did she just click her tongue in disapproval? 

Just his luck. She came with attitude. 

"Of course." He swiped a finger around his shirt collar, and his chest tightened. "Nina McLowsky." Scrambling to regroup, he seized the coffee-mate from the counter and filled a cup with coffee. 

She looked like she had walked out of a 1950s Norman Rockwell painting, the epitome of diplomacy and efficiency. He stroked his throat, and then shook his head, amazed. He was actually flirting with the idea of a merger ...with her.  

At least with her there'd be no emotional tantrums. The thought had him breaking out in a sweat. He never let any woman get close enough to get a glimpse beneath the surface, to know what made him tick. 'Never trust a woman,' was his motto. 

A cab horn blared amidst the congested traffic on Madison Avenue and ripped through his thoughts. He flinched in annoyance.  

He hadn't felt this out of his depth since he was a boy, and he had vowed never to feel like this again. And he was running out of options. His global real estate investments were about to tank. He had to score a mega hit or he was going to cave. Fast.  

And that rankled his pride. 

"Here you go." He plopped the coffee cup on her desk, and a huff of air burst from his mouth, ruffling a wisp at her temple. 

She squinted at the steaming brew, then up at him, her baby blues all innocence and perplexity. "Thank you." 

His gut flexed. He frowned and dismissed the unsettling feeling. 

"Careful, it's hot."  

She peered at him above her thick lenses, a hint of a smile on her mouth, her fingers never missing a beat. Maybe if he focused on the dimple on her cheek, he could go through with the transaction. 

"Take a moment, Ms. McLowsky." The smell of caffeine gave him a boost, and latching onto his own mug, he shot her his killer smile.  

"Sir?" 

"Well...uh..." he began, words sticking in his throat. "Drink up." 

"Yes, sir." She picked up the steaming cup, blew on the liquid and took a sip, fixing her gaze on him over the rim.  

Was that a glint of amusement in her eyes?  

She blinked and it was gone. "Is that it, sir?" She set the cup on the desk.  

"No." He lifted his mug to his lips, took a gulp of the black brew and scorched his tongue. He swore, a muffled sound.  

She heard, and raised that well-defined eyebrow again.  

"There's a new position in the company." He stepped closer and hitching up his jean-clad leg, propped his hip on the corner of her desk. "You're the best match." 

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