Being on stage at a comedy open mike night is a great leveler. No one in the audience cares if you’re a billionaire CEO or a homeless guy off the streets. And shooting my mouth off to Isabella’s friends is how I ended up here. Serves me right for not believing her when she told me there’s nothing scarier than dying on the stage.
But there’s something that scares me more. The board’s approval of the Gray Industries takeover bid. I tried to gloss over the company’s figures. But the outcome was never in doubt when I was ambushed by the chairman of the board. And now my father—Howard Steele—is determined to set this bid up as make or break for my career.
How do I go about telling Isabella that I’ve been keeping a dark secret from her? One that threatens to tear us apart. I’ll have to choose: Isabella or my career. And the stakes couldn’t be higher now that I’ve finally admitted to myself that I’m in love with her.
I pride myself on my thick skin. You don’t survive in the comedy game without one. But nothing could have prepared me for my first encounter with Vivian Brooks—Braden’s ex. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. Brutal. Accusing me of being a gold digger is one thing. Warning me it’s only a matter of time before Braden gets tired of “slumming it” is another. But telling me I’ll never belong in his world . . . that has an uncomfortable truth to it.
But Braden swears it’s over between them. And here’s the thing: I believe him. I don’t know when it happened, but he won me over. And I finally opened up to Braden about my past. The past I don’t like to talk about. The one involving my junkie mother and her string of deadbeat boyfriends.
Braden hasn’t given me a single reason not to trust him. So maybe it’s time to finally stop running and start believing this is real. I just pray he doesn’t break my heart. Because that would destroy me.