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Talent manager Alex Appleby needs Geoff McKenna’s help. Her vicious client is threatening the reputation of Alex’s television-star father if Alex can’t convince her stepsister to go along with the client’s demand. Alex turns to Geoff to make the case to her sister. 

Geoff has his own proposition for Alex. Thus far, his case of multiple sclerosis has been mild, but he’s unsure of his future. When his girlfriend pushes for a stronger commitment, he enlists Alex as his new pretend love interest so his girlfriend will break things off.  

Discovering they actually are attracted to each other, they agree to keep things casual, since Alex is only in town briefly and Geoff isn’t interested in anything serious. But fate intervenes as their feelings deepen. Alex must decide whether to relocate to Iowa from LA, and Geoff must place faith in his future. 

Keeping It Casual

The Matchmaking Motor Coach Series Book 3

By Barbara Barrett

The woman interested him, no doubt about that. Not only was she fantastic looking in an exotic sort of way, but here she was proposing he do her a favor for which so far he’d seen no advantage to himself. Yet if he agreed to help her and screwed up, he could offend his brother’s woman and thus his brother as well. 

The lady had gall. Though she’d explained why she’d asked him and why it was necessary, it still didn’t ring true. But he was curious. And attracted. 

Plus, he had his own agenda. She might be just the answer to his dilemma with Eileen. She’d laid her cards on the table, and now it was his turn. “As it happens, I could use your help also.” 

“Really?” She flipped her bangs away from her eyes. “Do tell.” 

“You met my girlfriend, Eileen, the other day?” 

“Miss Warm Personality?” 

“That’s her. I need your help breaking up with her.” 

She gulped, retreated a step. “Me? I’m supposed to come between the two of you? Surely, you don’t think—” 

“No, of course not! I just want it to look like we’ve got a thing going.” Although now that he’d denied the idea, it lingered in the back of his brain. 

“I got the impression the two of you were serious. She was a bit territorial when she met me, but that’s natural for someone who thinks she’s got a right to her claim.” 

“Yeah, well, I’m not ready to be claimed.” 


“But I, uh, feel I owe her. She was the first woman I’ve seen on a serious basis since being diagnosed with MS. She helped me see I can live a nearly normal life, even with my disorder. She gave me back my self-confidence. But now it’s just not working out between us.” 

“So just end things.” 

“I want this to be her idea, not mine.” 

“You think she’ll break things off if she finds me sitting there holding hands with you in front of her? Why not find her another man?” 

“Might have done just that, except you came along with this other proposition. Thought I could parlay it into a mutual deal.” 

“Surely you don’t expect me to move in with you and, uh, other things?” 

She’d done it again, planted an image in his head that wouldn’t easily go away. “You mean sex? No. Although it would help if everyone else believed there was something going on.” 

She backed up a few inches, shook her head. “I don’t know, Geoff. This will make me look like the ‘other woman.’ My relationship with my stepsisters is shaky enough.” 

“Might be your chance to get closer, if they come to your defense.” He’d been banking on her initial negative reaction to Eileen to gain her agreement. Apparently her desire to make nice with her stepsisters was stronger than he’d realized. 

Her phone interrupted their negotiation. When she checked the screen, her expression changed to one of forced tolerance, as if she had to deal with a pesky telemarketer. She stepped away to take the call. 

“Yes, I’m working on it, but it’s even more complicated than I imagined.” For the rest of the call, Alex listened, although she opened her mouth a couple of times to say something, then didn’t. He couldn’t hear the other party. She pressed her lips together and glared. 

Within minutes, it was over. Alex blew out a breath, then put her cell away. 

“Client?” Geoff asked as she returned to where he had perched once again. 

“Recognized the look, huh? If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were in cahoots with said client.” 

“Tightened the screws?” 

“Nice way of putting it.” She stuck out a hand. “Looks like we have a deal.”

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