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Self-made billionaire Blaise Mortenson made a wager to see who will be the last single man standing, but his plan to win could backfire when he meets the matchmaker he hired to find perfect matches for his friends. The simple business transaction quickly turns into something more complicated, and Blaise might be in danger of losing more than the bet…his heart.


As Blaise headed toward the hallway, his cell phone buzzed. He glanced at his screen and was surprised to see a text from Henry.


Henry: You made the right choice flying to SF.

Blaise: How do you know where I am?

Henry: I have my ways. Hadley Lowell is exactly who you need.

Blaise: She better be, given what she’s putting me through.

Henry: Trust me.

Blaise: If you’re wrong…

Henry: I won’t be.


Blaise stopped in front of a door with a small, blink-and-miss-it sign: Matched by Lowell.

Low-key. Not flashy.

The subtle branding didn’t match the woman’s demanding requirements. He would have expected something more on point for her industry. She’d better be as good as Henry said or…

The door opened, startling Blaise.

A woman stepped into the doorway. She was four inches shorter than him with auburn shoulder-length hair, ivory skin, and pink cheeks. Early to mid-thirties. And gorgeous.

Mouthwateringly so.

She wasn’t one of those women who were so thin their heads look out of proportion, the kind who only ate salad and an occasional slice of avocado toast. That type didn’t appeal to him. This one did. She had curves—nice ones. 

Blaise wanted to memorize every detail.

Her blue eyes reminded him of the sky on a summer day, when flowers bloomed, the sun shone, and the dark, lonely nights didn’t last as long as they did in winter.

He stared transfixed, connected to this stranger by an invisible force. Awareness thrummed through him. Staring was rude, but he couldn’t look away from her.

Noises sounded. Muted footsteps. A door. A phone.

All Blaise could focus on was her.

Maybe this trip hadn’t been such a bad idea. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so…captivated. 

She blinked. “Can I help you?”

Her voice was deeper than expected, a tad husky. Sexy. He wanted to hear her say more. He bet she had a great laugh.

She cleared her throat. “You’re Blaise Mortenson.”

The woman didn’t sound surprised. If anything, she appeared resigned. 

Did that mean…?

Of course, it did. “You’re Hadley Lowell.”

She nodded once.

His insides deflated. A strange reaction. One he would ignore.

Hadley eyed him curiously. “I thought you were too busy to come to San Francisco.”

“Yes, but you’re the best matchmaker, so here I am.”

“I told you my next appointment is tomorrow at nine.”

“That was before I changed my plans.” And asked Trevor to cancel calls and reschedule meetings. Blaise needed to be in his office before the markets opened tomorrow. “Let’s talk now.”

She locked the door to the office before facing him again. “That won’t work.”

“I’m here. I came to you. As you require.” Something he normally wouldn’t have done. For anyone. Then again, he usually wouldn’t notice the cute freckles sprinkled across the bridge of her nose. “Can’t you be a little flexible?”

Hadley’s jaw tensed. “You’re not the only one with obligations.”

“I’ll make it worth your while.”

Her face scrunched. “Does throwing money at a problem always work for you?”


“Not this time.” She adjusted the strap of her computer bag. “I have to go.”

“Wait.” Blaise hadn’t blocked Hadley’s way, but he didn’t want her to leave yet. The last commercial flight to Portland departed at eleven tonight. He wanted to be on it, because this visit wasn’t worth the carbon footprint of a private jet ride. “Are you free this afternoon or this evening? I can meet you no matter what time you have available.”

“Mr. Mortenson—”


She frowned. “Blaise, I have two children to pick up from school in less than forty-five minutes. After that, we have a busy afternoon planned.”


Disappointment shot through him.

A glance at her left hand showed a bare ring finger. That meant she was divorced or widowed. For some odd reason, the realization brought relief. “How old are your kids?”

“They’re my niece and nephew.” Hadley’s knuckles turned white around her keys. “Both are young enough I can’t keep them waiting. So if you’ll excuse me—”

“I’ll go with you.”

Her brows furrowed. “What did you say?”

Her question took him aback because he’d said the first thing that had come to his mind. “I’ll come with you.”

“Why would you want to do that?”

He wasn’t ready to say goodbye. No, that wasn’t the reason. He was here to discuss her matchmaking service so he could win the bet. “I’m sure you’ll have a block of free time so we can talk.”

She half laughed. “You don’t have children.”

The thought of loud, sticky small humans made him squirm. “No.”

“Have you spent much time around children?”

Donating money to charities that helped kids was fine, but real-life interactions? He shuddered.

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