With Harrison, and his estimated profit potential, she’d be able to pay her largest expense for a good two to three years, or so she hoped.
A millionaire on his own, Harrison didn’t need his late father’s money. But to allow a bank account that could buy out small countries to disappear into the melting pot of charity, or to the cousin Blake had mentioned, would be a shame. Especially with all the corruption and scandal associated with charities. There was no telling where that money would end up and whose pocket it would fatten.
Sam knew first hand how do-good money often fell into greedy hands.
Harrison’s situation would bring up distractions she’d not faced before. His title might be the biggest problem to overcome. She’d have to screen the prospective women to make sure they didn’t have fairytale dreams of being a Duchess. Years of Disney videos were hard to combat. Combine that with Harrison’s over-the-top good looks, and the women she’d introduce him to would have to be blind not to want more from the man than his money.
The pictures she’d seen of him didn’t do him justice. She’d always looked up to men, had to with her five foot five frame, but Blake was six one on a bad day with shoulders rippling with muscles. She’d seen tabloid pictures of him on a beach in Tahiti that hinted at the physique he hid under his suit. When he’d walked into the coffee shop, all eyes turned to him yet he didn’t even notice. He simply scanned the room looking for her. With any other client, she’d have taken to her feet the second he hit the door, but with Blake, she needed a minute to compose herself. His firm, rugged jaw and striking grey eyes penetrated her normally calm disposition and made her heart leap.
His looks would be a distraction. It would be best for all involved if the woman he picked to be his wife lived in one country while he lived in another. Spending long amounts of time with him would tempt any woman with a pulse to sleep with him.
Sam removed her cell phone from her purse and called her assistant.
“Alliance, this is Eliza.”
“Hey, it’s me.”
“How did it go?” Eliza jumped right in with her query.
“Perfectly. Did you pull the files and make the calls?”
“I did. Joanne was the only woman not available at this time.”
Sam pictured the tall brunette. “Really, why?”
“Has a boyfriend, apparently.”
That did tend to mess up marriage to another man. Without Joanne, there were three other perfect candidates. Unless Blake had a problem with beautiful women, she’d have the man a wife by Wednesday. It was only Monday.
“Are you coming in?”
“I have an errand to run and then I’ll be there.”
Eliza and Sam had been friends for some time, long before their business relationship had taken off. “As your boss, shouldn’t you be picking me up lunch?” she teased.
“Not when my slave-driving employer isn’t in the office long enough to man the phones.” The office, what a joke. Sam used the spare bedroom in the townhouse.
Laughing, Sam said, “I’ll be there in a half an hour.”
“You might want to call Moonlight first.”
Sam sat a little taller. “Why is something wrong?” Worry wiggled around in her stomach, producing a familiar sense of panic.
“Nothing urgent. Jordan isn’t eating as much as they’d like. They thought you should stop by and talk to her.”
Samantha blew out a long-suffering breath and forced her shoulders to relax. “Okay.” Her plans for the afternoon would now be complicated with a side trip to the long care facility that took care of her younger sister. The last time she’d stopped eating she ended up in the hospital suffering from an infection that spread throughout her whole bloodstream. Sam hoped her sister was depressed and not ill. Sad that those were the top choices as to why Jordan wasn’t eating.
But what else was there? Depression had led to Jordan’s attempted suicide, which resulted in a stroke instead of death. “I’ll be late, but if you can wait, I’ll bring lunch.”
“Let me know if you get tied up.”
“I will. Thanks.”
Sam hung up and started her car before pointing it toward Moonlight Assisted Living. The exclusive home cost over a hundred grand a year and was the reason Samantha needed the income that Blake Harrison would bring. She was a month behind on her personal bills and always cutting the checks to Moonlight a week or two late. The last thing Sam wanted was to crumble under the financial pressure and end up having to put Jordan in a state run facility, homes where she’d be ignored and likely end up with bedsores and untreatable infections within a month. No, she’d live out of her car before she let that happen.
Picturing the Duke, Sam knew things wouldn’t end up so dire. He stood to lose close to three hundred million from his father’s estate if he didn’t marry by the end of the month. Blake would likely pay the woman walking down the aisle a nice chunk and therefore pay Alliance enough to float for some time. All Sam had to do was fluff up the women in line and make sure none of them hit any panic buttons.
Easy squeezy… or so she hoped.
Blake fingered the photographs and files of the three women Samantha sent his way. Each one was perfect. They were educated, cultured, and beautiful. So why the hell were they registered with a dating service to find a temporary husband? There had to be a link between them and Miss Matchmaker herself, but Blake wasn’t seeing it.