Two ambitious people team up to prove themselves to their families—and find there may be more to their partnership than just business…
Elizabeth Brannigan is determined to show her father she’s capable of running the family business. Saving his struggling Chicago bar seems like the perfect project. But she’ll need a little help dealing with the rough crowd. Who better to assist her than the handsome co-owner of a thriving Irish pub? Of course, with so much work to do, there are bound to be a few late nights…
Colin O’Leary’s father passed away before he could prove to him that he wasn’t a screw-up. Now he wants to show his brother he’s responsible enough to own a bar of his own—and Elizabeth may be able to help him. But when their professional aspirations clash, tempers—and passions—flare. Are they mature enough to mix business with pleasure—or will they have to choose between the two?
I enjoyed Something to Prove! It was well-written. The characters had depth and realistic goals. In addition, the well-drawn environment of Chicago added richness to the story. I recommend this contemporary romance!
So the holidays are over and gone and most people begin the year with a resolution. I don’t. I never have. My problem with the idea of New Year’s resolutions is that they’re really nothing more than dreams. Would I like to lose weight? Sure, most people would. But to set that as a resolution without a plan is simply a dream. And if I’m dreaming, I’m thinking of a Hemsworth brother, not a diet. :-))
Although I eschew resolutions, I’ve always been a goal-oriented person. I set attainable goals and then I create a plan for how to get there. When I was in high school, I chose which classes I’d slack off on in order to focus on other classes to keep my GPA. My goal was to get into a good college, so GPA was important. This philosophy followed me into college when I had to maintain a 3.5 GPA to keep my scholarship. Me, a non-math person, would sit before every semester to figure out which classes I really needed to get an A in. I had to keep the scholarship because I couldn’t afford the $10K a year.
I approach my goals realistically. Could I have set a resolution to get straight A’s throughout college? Sure, but I was also working a minimum of 32 hours a week (more like 50 hours my junior year). I lived on my own and had rent and bills to pay. Sustaining everything for a long period of time was unrealistic and I recognized that.
I find myself in that same boat now, many years later. I work multiple part-time jobs in addition to being a writer, and I have three kids. I’m lucky in that most of my work is from home, except for when I’m teaching college classes. The thing is, I only like one part time job. I enjoy the work and the pay is good. The other jobs are just about the money. But I love writing. I want to be able to write full time.
In order for that to be my resolution or goal (and I’m aware that it might take more than this year), I need to get organized. I have a lot of deadlines this year—2 more O’Leary books and 3 novellas. In the past, I didn’t have much of a writing schedule. I wrote when my kids were in activities. A stolen hour during ballet or swim lessons. And that worked for a long time because I didn’t have real deadlines. Sure, I set goals for myself, but if I didn’t meet them, no harm done.
Now it matters. If I want to write full time, I need to make writing a priority. I have to make time for it every day, no matter what. I’ve been doing pretty good so far—I started this priority stuff in December (deadlines, remember?) and I’ve been sticking to it. The next couple of months will be rougher because I’m teaching more. When other jobs get in the way of writerly things, instead of cutting writing time, I cut other things like reading blogs and hanging out on social media. Those things are important as a writer, but never as important as the words on the page.
If I make it to May having met all of my deadlines on time, I’ll have accomplished the first part of my goal. If I keep that up, with any luck, I’ll be selling enough books to say good-bye to at least one of the part-time gigs. That’s a good enough start for me.
Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? If so, how do you set out to accomplish them? If not, why not? Leave a comment below. Also make sure you enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of the post.
Shannyn is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.
Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.
After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”
So she did.
That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to where she is today—agented with a debut ebook coming out with Kensington in late 2012.
She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.
“You don’t have the business management experience or education the other candidates have.”
He smiled. “Neither does my brother, but you went to him.”
“Like the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. He’s a success. Just because you share a branch of the family tree doesn’t guarantee me anything.”
“But you’ve seen me with people.” He thunked the chair back down on all four legs. “I was good with you.”
Between his intense blue eyes and his low bedroom voice, his words warmed her blood again.
“And that would be another reason to not work with you. I don’t have time for someone who’s more interested in flirting than working.”
“Sweetheart, you flirted with me. I took your cues and acted on them. I’m completely capable of working with a partner without sleeping with her.”
Part of Elizabeth felt relief at his statement. More of her felt another sting of disappointment.
His steely blue gaze bore into her. No sign of lust. Nothing to imply that he planned to kiss her again. Not even a hint of sexual attraction. If they pretended that night had never happened, a partnership could work.
She steadied herself for a strong negotiation. “I’ll offer you twenty-five percent profits and a bonus twenty percent when I sell, assuming you hold up your end of the bargain and bring in the customers. I remain the manager and boss and all decisions go through me.”
“Make it forty percent profits and thirty percent on sale.”
“You bring personality to the table. No proven experience, and you expect me to give you almost half the business?” She leaned back in her chair.
“My personality is the one thing you need most. It can’t be taught or bought.”
“Thirty profits and twenty-five at sale.”
He narrowed his eyes as if computing, then leaned forward. “Deal.”
“One more thing. No flirting. Just business.”
He sighed like she was being insufferable. “Contrary to popular belief, I am capable of being professional. When do we start?”
“It’s locked up, so we can start tomorrow. I’ll have the contract drawn up for you to sign when you get there. Nine a.m.?”
“I’m closing at O’Leary’s tonight. Make it eleven. Even I need my beauty sleep.”
“You plan to continue to work at O’Leary’s?”
“It’s my family’s bar.”
“I’m not a simpleton. There are only so many hours in a day. I won’t have you thinking you can drop by The Irish just to collect a check.”
His smile was disarming. “Sweetheart, simple isn’t what anyone would call you. I’ll prove my worth soon enough. Seems a lot of people expect that.” He rose and extended his hand. “I’ll sign your contract, but a handshake will do for me.”
She shook his hand and tried to ignore its strength and warmth and the zing of her nerves. As he turned to leave, she enjoyed the view and immediately began to question her sanity. She’d just created a business partnership based on a man’s charm. What the hell was she thinking?