Bad Business - Book cover

Bad Business

Elise Faber

Age Rating


I was a single dad. I didn’t have time for love.

When I found out I had a son, my life changed for the better. My kid was great. My heart, though, was not. It had been trampled, kicked around, and shredded just for good measure. Obviously, after all that, I wasn’t looking for love.

But then…came Maddie.

She was an integral part of my brother’s company—it would be bad business to start something with her.

Only, she was smart and funny and capable and…my heart didn’t feel like it was in pieces when I was with her.

It felt whole. It felt like it had always been hers. It felt like…I needed to keep her forever.

Age Rating: 18+

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Chapter 1


“I hate you!”


The door slammed shut before I could finish my sentence, narrowly missing my fingers and forehead.

I was no stranger to having doors slammed in my face.

I’d had a lot of practice over the past year.

So, I knew exactly where to position my hands and head to avoid injury.

With a sigh, I turned and walked down the hall, descended the stairs, and headed straight for the fridge.

And the beer.

I needed a damn beer. My head had started pounding halfway through the argument and I knew it wouldn’t stop. Not with my life in such a mess.

It had taken three long years to bring Jack here.

And in the three hundred and forty-seven days since my son moved into my house, I’d made zero progress in bridging the gap between us.

And…I was starting to lose hope.

Hence, the pounding in my temples.

Hence, the need for a damn beer.

But just as I reached the landing and turned towards the kitchen, towards the fridge, towards that beer, someone knocked at the door.

“Damn,” I muttered, weighing the chances of successfully ignoring the knock.

The problem was, it was probably one of my brothers, or one of their wives, or my mother, and ignoring them wouldn’t do any good.

They’d just barge in and make themselves at home.

Jack would definitely prefer that.

He couldn’t stand me, couldn’t stand me.

I understood why.

I’d ruined his life.

But…he loved my family.

The knock came again, and I clenched my teeth, ready to swallow my pride in the hope that whichever Hutchins had come knocking would be able to smooth things over with Jack.

I was getting really tired of hearing my son tell me that he hated me.

Regretting that my beer consumption—and look, I may be fixated on the beer right now, but it would only be one, I wouldn’t mess with my kid’s life that way—would be delayed, I stifled a sigh and moved to answer the door, my hand barely reaching the knob before the knock came a third time.

Softer now, as though the person on the other side wanted to make their presence known, but without disturbing me.

Mel, then.


Jack loved my brother’s soft-spoken wife.

Probably because she was one of the nicest people on the planet.

I turned the knob, pulled open the door…

And standing on the other side of it, waiting there on my porch, was a woman I hadn’t seen in four years.

“Maddie,” I whispered.

Her mouth turned up. “Hey, Ro.”

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