To Tame Her Tycoon Lover

By: Ann Major

One


Some women are impossible to forget no matter how a man tries.

Logan Claiborne was frowning, and not because the sun was in his eyes as he sped down the narrow, twisting road that led to the antebellum mansion where he’d grown up.

He should be concentrating on Mitchell Butler and the merger of Butler Shipyards and Claiborne Energy, or on how he was going to deal compassionately with Grandpère once he arrived at Belle Rose.

Instead, his grip tightened on the steering wheel as he remembered the open, trusting, dark eyes of the voluptuously proportioned swamp brat he’d seduced and then jilted nine years ago to save his twin brother, Jake.

Until this morning, Logan had told himself that his grandfather had been right, that Cici Bellefleur didn’t belong in their world; that he’d had to save Jake from the same sort of disastrous marriage their father had made to a poor girl, their mother, whose extravagant dreams of grandeur as well as her need to impress had nearly wrecked the family fortune. He’d continued to tell himself that he’d been right to do what he’d done even after he’d secured the family empire, even after Cici had made a name for herself with her camera and had proved herself a woman of talent and worth.

Then his grandfather had called him this morning and had stunned him by acting as thrilled as an infatuated kid when he’d mentioned Cici had come home again and they were giving tours of the house together.

Why had she, a famous photographer and writer, really come home? What did she want?

“Nine years ago you were dead set against her because of her uncle,” Logan had reminded him. Grandpère had always distrusted Cici’s uncle.

“In a long life, a man makes a few mistakes. Remember that. I made more than a few. Someday you may have a stroke that leaves you with too much time to dwell on the past. You may regret some of the things you’ve done. Well, I regret blaming Cici for her uncle Bos. It wasn’t her fault he fought cocks, ran with a wild bunch and operated a bar.”

“Do you remember that nine years ago you didn’t want her anywhere near Jake or me, especially Jake, who was running pretty wild back then?”

“Well, I’m sorry for that, if I did.”

“If you did?” It was still difficult to reconcile the grandfather he had now with the domineering individual who had raised him.

“Okay, I was wrong about her. I was wrong to be so tough on you, too. It’s my fault you’re so hard.”

A pang of guilt had hit Logan as he’d run his hand through his rumpled, chocolate-brown hair.

“I was too hard on Jake, too.”

“Maybe you’re being too difficult on yourself.”

“I’d like to see Jake again before I die.”

“You’re not going to die…not anytime soon.”

“Cici says the same thing. She thinks I’m getting better every day. She thinks maybe I could stay here instead of…” His voice trailed away.

The mention of Cici and the hope in his grandfather’s voice had convinced Logan he had to check on his grandfather at once. Since his stroke, his grandfather had gone from being a strong, commanding man to a clingy, depressed person Logan barely knew. This was why Logan had decided his grandfather couldn’t live independently at Belle Rose any longer and needed to be moved to New Orleans near him. The old man needed looking after.

Unfortunately, the dense forest with its vines and wild vegetation was so thick beneath the brooding sky, Logan was almost past the familiar turn to his childhood home before he saw the gatepost. At the last moment, he spun the wheel of his Lexus to the right too fast and skidded. No sooner had he righted the car than he saw the pillared mansion at the end of the oak alley. As always, the ancient home with its graceful columns and galleries aglow in the slanting sunlight seemed to him the most beautiful of houses, claiming his heart as no other place could.

How could he blame Grandpère, who’d become more childlike and emotional since his debilitating illness, for wanting to stay here? Logan remembered the first time he had mentioned the possibility of moving him to the city. Grandpère had given him a scare by disappearing for several hours.

Cici has no business convincing the old man he’s getting better so he’ll think he doesn’t have to move.

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