Just the Way You Are
Author: Christina Dodd
New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd, one of the most acclaimed authors of historical
romance, makes a dazzling foray into contemporary fiction in this intriguing and sensuous novel about a
hard-working young woman who mistakenly falls in love with Boston's wealthiest bachelor.JUST THE
WAY YOU AREWhen Hope Prescott's parents disappeared, her carefree teenage life vanished forever.
She and her three siblings were separated and sent to different foster homes around the country. Now,
seven years later, Hope is still searching for them. To support herself, she works for an answering
service, and cares for her clients as if they were family. When wealthy businessman Zachariah Givens
hires Hope's service, Hope initially mistakes Zack for his butler. Tired of being coddled and ?attered
because of his money, Zack is charmed by Hope's candor, not to mention her sexy voice, and keeps up
the charade. As their friendship turns into passion, Zack is determined to have her, even if that means the
unthinkable -- marriage. But when Hope discovers his deception, Zack knows he must solve the mystery
that haunts Hope's past in order to convince her that their futures lie together....
Chapter OneBoston, MassachusettsOn a cold day in FebruarySeven years laterMeredith Spencer
reflected that a woman of fifty-seven years shouldn't have to wear panty hose, support her three
grandchildren, or return to the workforce as a temporary secretary. Yet here she was, standing back
against the wall in the penthouse office of Zachariah Givens, president and CEO of Givens Enterprises,
listening to Gerald Sabrinski rant and rave."You are a heartless bastard, and someday I hope to have the
pleasure of seeing you get what you deserve." Bald and red-faced, Mr. Sabrinski leaned across Mr.
Givens's desk and glared with all the wrath of a powerful opponent. A powerful, defeated opponent.Mr.
Givens spoke in an aristocratic Boston accent, but without inflection of any kind. "Sabrinski Electronics
was weakened by the recession, and that loan you gave to your son was the last straw."Mr. Sabrinski's
red face turned even redder. "My son needed the money.""No doubt." Mr. Givens's lip curled in a most
scornful manner.Meredith's old friend, Constance Farrell, stood with her and instructed her in a low voice.
"Mr. Givens knows Mr. Sabrinski's son, and has for years. Ronnie has a habit of hitting on his father for
money.""I see." Meredith clutched her notebook and her pen to her chest, her gaze fixed to the
escalating scene before her.Still in an undertone, Constance advised Meredith, "Mr. Givens is getting
impatient. We'll be expected to escort Sabrinski out of the office in a few minutes."Meredith stared at Mr.
Givens, seated in his black leather executive chair, and wondered how Constance could tell he was
impatient, when in fact Meredith could scarcely believe that man had ever suffered an emotion of any
kind. "Mr. Urbano will assist us," Constance murmured. "Mr. Urbano used to be a hockey player, and no
one gives him any trouble."Meredith flicked a glance at Jason Urbano, the legal counsel for Givens
Enterprises. Mr. Urbano was burly, attractive, and probably in his early thirties, as was Mr. Givens. In
most circumstances, the former hockey player would turn any woman's head, but seated next to Mr.
Givens, he was all but invisible. Mr. Givens irresistibly drew the eye. He was easily the handsomest man
Meredith had ever seen in person. His black hair was straight and crisp. His eyes were so dark they
looked black, too. His tanned skin stretched over bones that jutted into definitive lines: stubborn jaw,
aristocratic nose, high cheekbones, broad forehead. And his body...well, just because Meredith was fifty-
seven and a widow didn't mean she was dead or blind, and that man had the height and the kind of body
that transfixed a woman's attention every moment he was in the room.All of those devastating good looks
made a great first impression. Then Meredith looked into his eyes and saw...nothing. He was not
interested in her or, as far as she could tell, in anyone. He moved like a shark through the water,
gracefully, smoothly, and with a threat that was palpable and repellent. He was cold, dispassionate,
detached.All morning and into the afternoon, Meredith had been observing office procedures, taking
notes, preparing to take Constance's place while she was away on vacation, and during that time Mr.
Givens had performed a lightning-fast takeover of Mr. Sabrinski's company, and was now listening as Mr.
Sabrinski reviled him. At no point had Meredith seen Mr. Givens smile, frown, or show a sign of joy or
curiosity or displeasure.With his dark eyes fixed on Mr. Sabrinski, Mr. Givens...
Christina Dodd's novels regularly appear on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, USA Today, and
Publishers Weekly. She is the author of thirty novels, including Trouble in High Heels, Some Enchanted
Evening, One Kiss from You, Scandalous Again, and My Favorite Bride, as well as three bestsellers
featuring the Prescott sisters: Close to You, Almost Like Being in Love, and Just the Way You Are. Dodd
also coauthored Once Upon a Pillow, a sparkling romantic saga published by Pocket Books. She has
won numerous awards, including the prestigious Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart and RITA
Awards. She lives in Washington State. For updates and to sign up for her newsletter, visit her website