The Widow's Bachelor Bargain

By: Teresa Southwick



THE MOST ELIGIBLE BACHELOR...UNDER HER ROOF

The tabloids were right: Sloan Holden is rich, powerful and incredibly handsome. But he’s just another paying guest, as far as B and B owner Maggie Potter is concerned. The hardworking widow has a toddler to care for, a business to build, and a heart to protect. She can’t succumb to the charm of a man who is just passing through.

Though drawn to his gorgeous landlady, Sloan knows “off-limits” when he sees it. Trouble is, Maggie and her little girl gave Sloan a taste of what he was missing—a family of his own. The bachelor businessman could strike a deal with anyone, but can he find a way to bargain his way into Maggie’s life for good?





“Maybe I can help.” Sloan motioned to her daughter.

“She doesn’t go to strangers,” Maggie said.

“It’s worth a try.” He held out his arms. “Hey, Shorty, what’s up?”

The little girl silently stared at him, probably didn’t know what to make of a man in the kitchen. Maggie braced for an ear-splitting protest, but after a moment’s hesitation, Danielle went to him and settled her chubby little arm around his neck.

Maggie’s heart melted at the sight of the big man carrying her little girl.

Gorgeous, charming and good with kids. Sloan Holden was a triple threat. But he must have a flaw.

Every man did.

* * *

The Bachelors of Blackwater Lake:

They won’t be single for long!





Dear Reader,

This is book number nine set in the fictional town of Blackwater Lake, Montana. When the series started, Maggie Potter was only briefly mentioned. In subsequent stories, I spent more time with her and watched her personality grow stronger until it became clear that she needed her own book.

The Doctor and the Single Mom was Maggie’s series debut, and she’d recently lost her soldier husband in Afghanistan and was pregnant. In One Night with the Boss, she encouraged her brother to take a chance on love, and he did. It was just wrong for Maggie not to find love, too. So The Widow’s Bachelor Bargain is for her.

Since we last saw Maggie, she’s been busy raising her daughter and expanding her ice cream parlor business to include a café. To help pay for the loan that made the expansion possible, she turns her house into a B and B, renting a room to Sloan Holden, who’s in Blackwater Lake to work on the new resort his company is building.

Sloan has been quoted as saying he wasn’t very good at being a husband and will never marry again, although many women are willing to try to change the millionaire’s mind. But Maggie isn’t like many women and refuses to risk her heart again. Still, the roomies find it’s only a matter of time until their bargain to not complicate the situation with personal feelings is compromised with, well, personal feelings.

Prominently displayed in my office is a sign that says Happily Ever After, and I take the responsibility very seriously. Maggie has a special place in my heart, and I hope you enjoy her story.

Happy reading!






Chapter One

“You must be Mr. Holden. And—happily—you’re not a serial killer.”

Sloan Holden expected beautiful women to come on to him, but as pickup lines went, that one needed tweaking. He stared at the woman, who’d just opened the door to him. “Okay. And you know this how?”

“I had you investigated.” Standing in the doorway of her log cabin home turned bed-and-breakfast, Maggie Potter held up her hand in a time-out gesture. “Wait. I’m a little new at this hospitality thing. Delete what I just said and insert welcome to Potter House. Please come in.”

“Thanks.” He walked past her and heard the door close. Turning, he asked, “So, FBI? CIA? DEA? NSA? Or Homeland Security?”

“Excuse me?”

“Which alphabet-soup agency did you get to check me out?”

“Actually, it was Hank Fletcher, the sheriff here in Blackwater Lake. I apologize for blurting that out. Guess I’m a little nervous. The thing is, I live here with my two-year-old daughter and another, older, woman who rents a room. It’s my responsibility to check out anyone who will be living here.”

Sloan studied the woman—Maggie Potter—dressed in jeans and a T-shirt covered by a pink-and-gray-plaid flannel shirt. Her shiny dark hair was pulled back into a ponytail and her big brown eyes snapped with intelligence and self-deprecating humor. She was pretty in a wholesome, down-to-earth way, and for some reason that surprised him. He’d assumed the widow renting out a room would be frumpy, silver haired and old enough to be his grandmother. It was possible when his secretary had said widow, he’d mentally inserted all the stereotypes.

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