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Manhattan Billionaires Book 3: Big Bossy Problem

Manhattan Billionaires Book 3: Big Bossy Problem

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Boss/employee romance meets accidental pregnancy heat.

Being a dog walker isn’t as glamorous as you might imagine.
Unless, of course, you’re walking a tech billionaire’s German shepherd mix.

And when your grumpy, gorgeous, billionaire boss asks you to spend the evenings at his place to babysit his teenage niece, who are you to refuse? You think, what could possibly go wrong?

I’ll tell you what can go wrong: Your business implodes, your heart shatters, and you find out you’re carrying his baby.

I’m speaking from experience here. Don’t do it.
Be smarter than I was, and run.

Grumpy vs. sunshine on steroids. This book is packed with banter, red-hot heat, and lots of dog-sized bow ties.


  • Billionaire
  • Nanny romance
  • Boss/employee
  • Single dad
  • Accidental pregnancy
  • Great grovel
  • Grumpy vs. sunshine
  • Forced proximity
  • Steamy/Spicy

Chapter 1 Look Inside

THE CLICK OF A DOG’S CLAWS on polished concrete greets me when I enter my boss’s house. As soon as my rain jacket is on the hook by the front door, I drop to my knees and spread my arms. “Bear!”

The dog launches himself at me, tackling me to the ground. His wet snout touches my neck, followed by the rough scrape of his tongue. “Ahh!” I squirm, laughing, scrubbing his fur. I try to catch my breath while sixty pounds of dog plants itself on my chest. “Ack! Get off!”

There’s nothing like a pup greeting you like you’ve been off at war for months, no matter how long it’s been since he last saw you. In my case, it’s been about eighteen hours. Walking in my employer’s front door is my favorite part of my day, because I get tackled by a furry bullet every single time.

Bear’s a good boy. Always has been. He’s some kind of German shepherd mix, judging by his dark coloring and size, but his hair is quite a bit longer than a full-breed German shepherd, and those pointed ears flop down in the most adorable way. I’ve loved him since his very first greeting, which was a lot more wary than today’s enthusiastic hello.

“Do you know what today is, Bear?” I get to my knees and give him scratches behind those big, floppy ears, just the way he likes.

The dog snuffles.

In the stillness of my employer’s empty house, I don’t mind talking to the dog like he’s a person. Sometimes, I feel like animals are the only creatures worth talking to. Dogs never let you down the way people do.

I stroke Bear’s snout and give him a kiss right between the eyes. “Today is our one-year anniversary. I’ve been walking you twice a day, five days a week for an entire year!”

Bear sits down on his haunches and tilts his head.

“Yep. I’ve been your dog walker for a whole year.” Kneeling in front of him, I bring my crossbody bag to rest on my thighs before sliding the zipper open. Bear follows the movement with great interest.

“Your human said it was fine for me to bring you a T-R-E-A-T to celebrate,” I explain, reaching into my bag for Bear’s favorite type of dog bone. I pause, arching a brow. “Well, your human’s assistant said so. Your actual human doesn’t speak to me.”

As soon as the treat emerges from the confines of my purse, Bear turns into a vibrating mass of excited doggy energy. “I also made you a special bow tie, fresh off the sewing machine an hour ago. But it looks like you much prefer this part of your present.”

I lift the bone, a movement which Bear’s gaze traces with laser-like precision. He stays still as long as I ask him to, until I finally take pity on him and let him take the treat. He carries it off to his dog bed by the back door, chewing contentedly.

I love my job. For the past year, five days a week, twice a day, I’ve done the same thing. This SoHo bachelor pad has become somewhat familiar, even though I haven’t seen much more than the foyer and the open-plan living space. Marcus Walsh is in the news every so often, being the handsome, single tech genius he is, so I know he’s mega-wealthy. But apart from a few expensive-looking pieces of art on two of the living room walls—and the fact that his home isn’t the size of an airplane bathroom like mine—there isn’t much evidence that Mr. Walsh is a billionaire.

The front door opens onto a big, open-plan room with the kitchen in the far right corner, complete with double ovens and a big island/breakfast bar area. Cushioned barstools line the island, with a funky, curvy light fixture hanging above. On the other side of the space, the living room wall is exposed brick, with an absolutely enormous television mounted in the center. Speakers and subwoofers halo the television, and a comfy-looking couch faces it all. I say comfy-looking, because in the hundreds of times I’ve been here, I’ve never actually sat down on the sofa.

I know I’m on camera, after all. I’m sure Mr. Tech Billionaire wouldn’t take too kindly to me making myself at home.

Between the kitchen and living spaces, a hallway leads to the bedrooms and living spaces beyond. I’ve never stepped foot past that threshold. There’s an invisible wall keeping me out.

My entry into this billionaire’s world has clear boundaries. I get a tiny sliver of a peek into how the other half lives. I have access to the big pantry where Bear’s food is kept. I can use the kitchen to replenish his water, and I have permission to use the small powder room beside the kitchen. Once, I snooped through the door beside the powder room because I was looking for Bear’s spare leash and saw that it leads into a garage. Yes, a private garage in New York City. The other half never has to circle the block for street parking or take the subway, apparently.

All other areas of this place are off-limits, and that’s perfectly fine by me. Boundaries are good. I’ve spent most of my adult life building my own boundaries back up to healthy levels just to feel safe. I’m more than happy to respect someone else’s.

While Bear celebrates with his treat, I do the various small tasks I’ve gotten used to completing for Bear and his owner. I check the dog’s bowl and replenish it with fresh water, tidy a few stray toys, and make sure I have doggy bags and a leash ready for our first walk of the day.

As soon as I jingle it, Bear comes running.

“Last thing,” I tell him, kneeling in front of him with his spiffy new bow tie. It clips to his collar with a special clasp I designed myself. The pattern is red with white polka dots, and it looks extremely dashing, if I do say so myself.

I’m probably biased. My dog clothing business has exploded recently, to the point that Bear is the only dog-walking client I’ve kept. A year ago, I had about a dozen dogs I’d walk every day, but I had to drop all of them to make time for the new business. But Bear’s owner pays a lot better than most people, so it seemed like a good safety net to keep this particular job.

Also, Bear is my favorite. Don’t tell the others.

When I’m not walking Bear, my time is spent hunched over my sewing machine, coming up with new patterns and styles for bow ties, sweaters, rain jackets, and all kinds of pet clothing and costumes. Thank goodness for Brian, my best friend. He’s the one who handles the technology side of things. Without him, I wouldn’t have gotten very far with the business at all.

“Did you know,” I tell Bear, “that I used to sell my wares at farmers’ markets, until Brian convinced me to try doing things online? That was about a year ago, around the time we met.” Bear sits while I adjust his bow tie. “I have to say, Brian was right. The internet is like a mystical fairyland I don’t understand. I just give Brian the dog clothes, and he gets his little furball to model them, uploads the pictures, and runs the online store. We split the profits fifty-fifty.”

Bear listens patiently, and I pretend he understands every word.

My arrangement with Brian works perfectly, because technology has a way of malfunctioning when I’m nearby. My body must be made of magnets. Or maybe I emit low-level electromagnetic pulses every time my heart beats. Screens go blue and freeze, computers start smoking, car alarms go off in my wake.

I’m kidding. Mostly.

The twenty-first century has been tough. Without Brian, I’d still be walking a dozen dogs and barely scraping by. I’m happy to split the business’s profits with him equally.

“Another fun fact,” I say to Bear, “is that your human owns the website where I sell my products! That’s right. Marcus Walsh created the online marketplace that made it possible for me and Brian to start this business together. Your human started Sellzy, and that website is the whole reason I was able to start sewing dog clothes full-time. Isn’t that cool?” I straighten the red-and-white polka-dot bow tie and give Bear an extra little scratch behind the ears. “This is going to be a bestseller. I can already tell.”

Bear sneezes. He agrees.

“Let’s show your human,” I tell the dog, leading him over to the nanny cam on the shelf by the door. Mr. Walsh’s assistant made sure to show it to me and let me know that his security was top-notch when he hired me. I could have guessed that by the military-grade background check he required and the fact that his front door has a fingerprint scanner in place of a regular lock.

Little did my employer know that my fingers don’t enjoy being scanned.

When the scanner malfunctioned for the tenth time in my second week of working for him, Marcus Walsh finally gave me a physical key. Unsurprising to me, considering my storied history with electronics, but apparently it was very unusual to my boss. He made a point to come check me out himself instead of sending the assistant I’d been dealing with up until that point.

I still remember the way his green eyes narrowed on me. I felt like a bug on a microscope slide, inspected down to a cellular level. He stared at me like he was trying to figure out if I was lying, if there was some subterfuge with the key. Not a man who trusts easily—but then again, I’m the same way. I can’t blame him for being suspicious. Mr. Walsh takes good care of Bear, and that’s good enough for me.

Still, the interaction was…unsettling. I don’t like it when people—men especially, and attractive men like Marcus Walsh doubly so—pay that kind of close attention to me. I learned my lesson in college, thankyouverymuch. Male attention is not something I go out and seek on purpose. Not anymore.

But Mr. Walsh finally gave me the key, and that was that. It was the last time I saw my boss in person.

Even so, Bear and I still have a little daily ritual involving the nanny cam, and part of me likes to think Mr. Walsh appreciates it. In reality, he probably doesn’t even notice—or he thinks I’m a total dork.

But a dork is better than a victim. A dork is way, way better than a target.

I bring Bear to the camera and kneel beside him, slinging my arm around the dog’s body. “Smile!” We both look at the camera. I smile brightly, and Bear just gives a great big yawn, complete with lolling tongue.

“Okie dokie,” I say, attaching Bear’s leash to his collar and leading him to the door. “Let’s go! It’s a bit wet outside, so I left a towel by the door for when we come back. We’ll have to wipe you down before we ruin all this nice furniture, okay?”

I point to the towel. Bear doesn’t care; he’s completely still, staring at the front door. His ears point forward, fur bristling. Tension turns his body to stone. While I’m busy frowning at his strange reaction, the door flies open.

A young teenage girl careens through the open doorway, sobbing, while an older woman stands on the porch looking like thunder and lightning personified.

“Stay here if you like it so much, you little slut,” the woman sneers. I jump at the word. I’ve been called it, too, and it’s a highly unpleasant feeling.

Bear growls while I wrap my hand around the leash to keep him by my side.

The woman finally notices me. She turns the storm clouds in my direction. “What the hell are you looking at?” Without waiting for me to answer, the woman slams the door closed. It rattles for a moment.

Silence crashes down around me, and I stand rooted to the spot, eyes wide. Slowly, I spin around, only to see the girl disappear down the hallway. The sounds of her cries and sniffles echo off the walls, and another door slams.

Bear tugs at the leash, but not in direction of the door. He wants to follow the girl.

I bite my lip, glancing at the dog, then at the hallway, and finally at the camera. “Mr. Walsh, I know I’m not allowed anywhere else in the house, but this seems like an emergency. I need to check on that girl.”

For some reason, speaking to a camera in a silent apartment seems infinitely weirder than speaking to a dog, so I pull out my phone and find the phone number I haven’t used once in the entire year I’ve been employed by him. It was given to me for emergencies only, of which I’ve had none. But this seems like a bad situation. The girl obviously knows my boss, but the way the woman spoke to her…

I have to tell him. He probably doesn’t even check the nanny camera. He’d want to know a young girl just ran into his home. I would want to know if that happened in my house. Surely billionaires aren’t that different from the rest of us?

I have an old flip phone because smartphones are the devil. If they don’t malfunction, I usually end up accidentally dropping them in the toilet or down a sewer drain, like they’re doing their best to get away from me even if it means diving into a dirty, watery grave. But with an old flip phone, texting isn’t exactly easy. I try to keep texts short and sweet, if I send them at all.

Penny: Bear OK. Girl came crying. Please txt/call. Ty.
I wait a few seconds, staring at the scratched screen of my flip phone, waiting for it to vibrate with a response. I’d know a message was incoming anyway, because one of those expensive-looking speakers on the wall would start beeping and buzzing if a text message was on its way to my phone. They remain silent, though, and for the first time in my life, I wish I had a smartphone to tell me if my message made it to its recipient.

Nothing happens, so I snap the phone closed and slide it into my purse. Then I unclip Bear’s leash and follow him down the hallway toward the sounds of a very upset teenager.


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