Book: Tough and Tender (Bad Boy Romance Box Set)

Previous: Chapter Two
Next: Chapter Four

Chapter Three


Blake stood in front of the mirrors running one wall of his dressing room, adjusting his dark suit and conservative tie. He hoped he was appropriately dressed since it was meant to be a black tie optional dinner party. He still couldn’t believe he’d agreed to this.

He’d have expected that the last thing his father would do was make a big fuss about him. He was twenty-eight, not fifteen. But another part of him felt he should be glad his father was proud enough to want him to meet his special guests.

Blake looked back at his reflection and shook his head at the picture he depicted. Did he look as reluctant as he felt? He knew he had to get this over with. Especially since his father had already been at his door earlier to knock and ask if he was going to take forever because the guests were soon to arrive.

Blake had assured him he’d only be a few more minutes. Now he wondered if there was one last ditch chance he could get out of showing up for this ‘party.’ He really didn’t see himself getting along with any of his father’s friends and couldn’t imagine having to endure a whole evening trying to act out a farce like he was some beloved, prodigal son come home to roost. His father – the renowned takeover king and hedge fund billionaire, had valued his precious company and business life over his own family and it had cost him a wife and a son. Blake’s mother was dead and Blake could well have been dead to his father too for all the interest the old man had shown him since he’d left when he was ten years old.

But Blake wasn’t a kid anymore, acting out because his mother had taken him away from the home he’d known. Sophie Harrington had dedicated her life to her son, never remarrying but focusing on building a home of love and support that had raised Blake into the person he was now. He’d never needed his father and sure as hell didn’t now. He was doing this for Sophie. She’d wanted him to come back. Subtle hints and the things she’d said as she’d started to lose her fight against the disease ravaging her body. Her wonderful soul had shone through until the very end and Blake had been there when she passed, holding her frail hand and planting a kiss on her soft, withered cheek. Even in death, her face still held traces of the blonde beauty she’d been.

Blake would go along with the evening’s plans but that would be it. He was done playing happy reunion. He’d only wanted to see his father this one time and let the man see how well Blake had done without him. Then they could keep going along just fine apart from each other like they’d been doing all these years. Case closed.

Previous: Chapter Two
Next: Chapter Four