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Authors: Lorhainne Eckhart

Tags: #family saga, #politicians, #contemporary romance, #oil and gas, #romantic drama, #romance series, #alpha male hero, #rich alpha male, #lies and deceit

A Matter of Trust

BOOK: A Matter of Trust
7.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
A Matter of
Book 3
The Wilde Brothers

(Ben & Carrie)

Lorhainne Eckhart

In this sexy and dramatic contemporary
, if Ben Wilde
is sure of one thing, it’s that Carrie Richardson is trouble.
(Guest appearance by Logan Wilde.)


--“I have read the series of " The Wilde"; books full of
strong family minded men. They care and love their women. Lorhainne
Eckhart is one of my favorite writers, she never disappoints her

--“Interesting story line for both environmentalists and
pipeline companies. Ben Wilde finds out that the man he respects
and works for is a weasel. Fortunately the man who owns the B&B
he is staying at, is a reformed weasel who understands how to win
this battle.
Always enjoyable and emotional. Stories and characters will
resonate with the reader, some more strongly than


The name Ben
Wilde means something in the oil and gas industry. Admired as one
of the top ten bachelors in Idaho, he’s a man who has it all…except
when it comes to love.

That is, until
he meets Carrie Richardson: an environmentalist, a fiery blond
beauty, and an absolute thorn in his side. After Ben arrives in her
hometown to give a presentation on a pipeline project that will
provide jobs and clean energy (with an innovative, safe approach),
Carrie spits on him! She’s not buying it, and Ben soon learns that
she is none other than the spokesperson for the group that has
aggravated him throughout the entire project.

The advice
about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer backfires
on Ben and Carrie, though, because the fact is that they want each
other badly. However, Carrie can’t let her community down—and Ben
has a job to do.

Copyright Information

A Matter of Trust, The Wilde Brothers

COPYRIGHT © Lorhainne Ekelund, 2014, All Rights

No part of this book may be used or reproduced in
any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author
except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical
articles or reviews.

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment
only. This eBook may not be resold or given away to other people.
If you would like to share this book with another person, please
purchase an additional copy for each recipient. This is a work of
fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the
product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and
any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business
establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Cover Design: Steven Novak

Contact Information:
[email protected]

Editor: Talia Leduc, Leandra Hanes

ISBN: 9781928085119


Start Reading

Links to Lorhainne Eckhart’s

About the Author

Copyright Information

Table of Contents

Chapter One

He really was a handsome cuss.

Ben Wilde took in the shiny magazine cover
bearing the headline
Idaho’s oilman: a dream catch!
in bold
lettering just below his photo. As he thumbed through the magazine
and took in the other men who had made the list, a special feature
on the top ten bachelors in Idaho, he was stunned that his profile
was the one they’d chosen for the cover. This type of Hollywood-ism
really wasn’t for him, but he paused for a moment as he remembered
the magazine editor, a slim redhead who had phoned him a dozen
times until he agreed to an interview.

She’d been cute, flirting with him
mercilessly the entire hour she had been there. Ben realized now
that he should have asked for more details about the article…not
that he was mad. He was more uncomfortable, maybe, considering his
entire family would see him plastered on the front page like some
male model. He would never hear the end of the teasing and smart
remarks, even though the photo was good—really good. In fact, it
was one of his better ones. His brilliant blue eyes really stood
out, and the open collar of his starched white dress shirt showed a
hint of his dark chest hair.

The editor had asked him to take his tie
off, saying that an undone button or two would tease the women. He
had humored her, the editor. What was her name? He supposed he
could look it up, but she hadn’t made that much of an impression on
him aside from surprising the hell out of him by putting his
picture on the front cover. As he looked closer at his picture, he
realized that even his short, dark hair, with the cowlick on the
left side, was flattering in a disheveled, bad-boy kind of way, but
it was his expression that showed his strength and determination,
even his arrogance, which his brothers often teased him for.

In the photo, he stood with arms crossed on
the front steps of the corporate office, the corporate sign of
Kootenai Kounty Oil in the background. Maybe this article wasn’t
such a bad thing, especially considering all of the bad press that
KKO had been subjected to over the past few months. This was good,
making him seem personable and likeable.

Ben sighed. He was starting to sound like
their PR department.

“Ben? I have another ten messages from
Melissa, Kim, Lizzy, and Tina,” his secretary said, interrupting
his thoughts. His secretary, Verna Barnes, was a plump, middle-aged
woman with shoulder-length, dark brown hair and a square face. She
was wearing a purple blouse and a knee-length black skirt as she
strode through the door in low heels. Verna was confident and never
shy, with four nearly grown children and a husband at home. She was
well rounded, all about family, and Ben loved her motherly ways.
That was a part of her that defined who she was, whether she knew
it or not. She’d had her first baby at eighteen—still a kid, at
least in Ben’s eyes. Verna loved her family and her job, though
some days he wondered if she loved her job just a little more.

She hovered beside him as he lounged in his
leather chair, giving him a flirty expression as if she was holding
on to something before setting a handful of messages down in front
of him and then tapping the magazine on his large, glass-topped
desk. “You’re proud of that picture, hmm? Well, apparently, so are
your girlfriends.” She tapped the messages. “These are all from

Ben reached for the messages and thumbed
through each one. Melissa was a tall, stacked brunette. Kim was a
blonde, medium height, with a runner’s body--tight and toned.
Lizzy…she was fun, with dark hair in a short bob, a bright smile,
and dynamite cleavage that he loved. He had been on a few dates
with Tina, the redhead. She wasn’t as stacked as the others, though
she had a generous handful, and he’d discovered that her red hair
was artificial while stripping her down one night, but that had
been a night to remember—the best sex he’d had in a long time. Tina
had stamina and could keep up with his needs.

He smiled as he set the messages down. Even
though each of the women were lovely, not one of those ladies had
left him with the burning desire to call and make plans for the
evening. A pity, really.

Verna raised one of her thick eyebrows. She
seemed to have figured out that he wasn’t interested long before he
had. “You know that article portrays a side of you that folks don’t
often see,” she said, actually reaching over and picking up the
magazine to thumb through the pages. “Right here, I love this line:
‘Ben Wilde is a name that means something in the oil and gas
industry. Well dressed, handsome, and smart, he’s a man who has it
all, and he’s responsible for putting Kootenai Kounty Oil on the
map as one of the biggest oil and gas pipeline projects in the
Pacific Northwest.’”

Ben continued to lounge in his leather
chair, watching Verna as she held the magazine open. She grinned
proudly before glancing down at him with a mischievous look, one
he’d seen many a time from the only woman, aside from his mother,
who truly understood him. Verna was the one person in this industry
he trusted implicitly, and he knew anything he said would never
leave her confidence. He would go to his grave believing that. She
had the kind of loyalty that couldn’t be bought. He had recognized
something special in her when he'd pulled her from the secretarial
pool six years ago, after he had been recruited by Peter Stillwell,
the founder and CEO of this mega oil company. Peter was a self-made
man in his sixties, and he was responsible for Ben’s success in the

“How mad do you think Rick is going to be
about this article?” Verna said. She closed it up and tossed it
down on the desk in front of Ben, putting her hands on her plump
hips over the unflattering dark, pleated skirt that fell just past
her knees.

Ben frowned. Now in his late twenties, Rick
Stillwell had always been in his father’s shadow. The only reason
Rick had the cushy corner office down the hall from Ben was because
his father owned the company. In Ben’s eyes, he hadn’t earned his
place, including his title of vice president of operations. As Ben
was the president, Rick had to answer to him, which didn’t go over
too well for the pompous, spoiled ass—and the worst part was that
Ben didn’t have the freedom to toss Rick’s lazy, unproductive butt
out the door.

The man was a freeloader, and that went
against everything Ben believed in, all the hardworking morals that
had been drilled into him and his fellow Wilde brothers. However,
Ben had also learned that there were times to push an issue and
times to let things go. He had learned long ago to play the cards
he had been dealt, so he knew that although Rick was a pain in the
ass, he wasn’t going anywhere. Ben just needed to manage him and
keep him on a tight leash.

“I don’t really care what he thinks,” he
replied. Every time the conversation drifted toward Rick, that
slimy son of a bitch, Ben had to move his thoughts along to
something else or risk having a really bad day.

Verna didn’t say anything more. She didn’t
have to. Rick had also been a problem for Verna ever since she'd
started working for Ben. Every so often, he would quiz Verna on
what Ben was up to, not only his projects but also his personal
life. The last time, after she told him to stop bothering her, Rick
had threatened to have her sent back to the typing pool unless she
became more forthcoming. Ben had put a stop to that, cornering Rick
in the elevator and staring him down, making it clear that if Rick
bothered Verna again, he would be having a problem with Ben—a
problem he would wish he didn’t have.

“Look, he’s a prick,” Ben said. “It doesn’t
matter what I do. He’s always going to have a problem with it.”

“If you say so,” Verna said. “So what do you
want me to tell all the ladies who keep calling and asking
questions about you?”

“Excuse me?” He reached for the messages,
wondering if his “girlfriends,” as Verna would say, had called more
than once.

She rolled her eyes. “Since the article, all
kinds of anonymous women have been phoning, leaving messages for
you. One wants to fly in and have dinner and would like to know
what day you’ll be available. Another offered to have your baby…”
she trailed off. Maybe it was the way he was staring at her that
had her stopping and giving him another teasing smile. “Oh,
there’ve been many more, and I guarantee you there’ll probably be
more to come. That article is going to have every warm-blooded
woman hunting you down, trying to stick their brand on you, chasing
a wedding ring.”

“Uh…” he started. Although he liked women, a
lot, he was not too interested in being stalked—and God forbid
being tied down to only one woman. Terrifying, indeed! “Tell them
that I left the country,” he said, wondering if he had paled at the
fleeting, panicked thought of having women showing up at his
workplace to press their interest. No, he definitely wouldn’t be
able to handle that.

BOOK: A Matter of Trust
7.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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