Man of Fate. Rochelle Alers
Man of Fate
MILLS & BOON
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The BEST MEN series
You met Tessa, Faith and Simone—the Whitfields of New York and owners of Signature Bridals—in the WHITFIELD BRIDES series. Now meet three lifelong friends who fulfill their boyhood dream and purchase a Harlem brownstone for their business ventures.
Kyle Chatham, Duncan Gilmore and Ivan Campbell have worked tirelessly to overcome obstacles and achieve professional success, oftentimes at the expense of their personal lives. However, each will meet an extraordinary woman who just might make him reconsider what it means to be the best man.
In Man of Fate, high-profile attorney Kyle Chatham’s classic sports car is rear-ended by Ava Warrick, a social worker who doesn’t think much of lawyers and deeply mistrusts men. Ava expects the handsome attorney to sue her, not come to her rescue after she sustains a head injury in the accident. But Kyle knows he has to prove to Ava that he is nothing like the men in her past—a challenge he is prepared to take on and win.
Financial planner Duncan Gilmore’s life is as predictable as the numbers on his spreadsheets. After losing his fiancée in the World Trade Center tragedy, he has finally begun dating again. In Man of Fortune, Duncan meets Tamara Wolcott—a beautiful and brilliant E.R. doctor with a bad attitude. As their relationship grows, Tamara begins to feel that she is just a replacement for his late fiancée. But Duncan knows that he has to put aside his pride if he’s going to convince Tamara to be part of his life.
After the death of his identical twin years ago, psychotherapist Ivan Campbell is a “love ’em and leave ’em” guy who is afraid of commitment. But all of that changes in Man of Fantasy when he meets Nayo Goddard at an art gallery, where she is showing her collection of black-and-white photographs. Not only has she gotten Ivan to open up his heart to love again, she is also seeing another man. Ivan knows that he must prove that he is the best man for her, or risk losing her forever.
Yours in romance,
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning;
and a man of understanding shall attain
unto wise counsels.
Kyle Chatham downshifted, maneuvering into an E-ZPass lane on the Robert F. Kennedy Triborough Bridge. Several cars ahead of him, traffic came to a standstill as a car stalled at the toll booth, eliciting a cacophony of horns and profanity-laced invectives from other motorists on the toll plaza.
A smile spread across Kyle’s lips as he listened to the bawdy comments and watched as drivers flipped each other the bird. This was his city and he’d expected no less from New Yorkers. His motto when it came to his hometown was Either Love It or Leave It. His relatives from down South couldn’t understand how he could live in a place that was so noisy and filled with throngs trying to navigate through crowded sidewalks and city streets. Even the brusque and sometimes rude manners of New Yorkers—who usually go about their business without even making eye contact or greeting others with a polite “good mornin’” or “evenin’”—takes some getting used to. He had lost track of the number of times he had to explain to visitors that New Yorkers didn’t have time to dawdle or chitchat because they would never get where they were going. One thing he couldn’t explain was the colorful language peppered with four-letter words that was uniquely a part of New York.
Kyle loved the city, and if someone offered him tens of millions of tax-free dollars to move, he would turn them down without batting an eyelash. He was Harlem—born and raised—and at thirty-eight years old, he still lived there.
There had been a time when he’d worked an average of eighty hours a week for a prestigious New York law firm handling high-profile cases ranging from corporate fraud to capital murder before he realized he was dangerously close to being burned out. He’d given Trilling, Carlyle and Browne—affectionately nicknamed TCB for “taking care of business”—ten years of his life, but had finally decided that if he had to work that hard, then it would be for Kyle Elwin Chatham.
Although he’d spent hours in his Park Avenue office overlooking the Waldorf Astoria and Grand Central Station, Kyle still found time to unwind with a very active social life. He dated, had a few long-term relationships and always set aside time to hang out with his closest friends, Duncan Gilmore and Ivan Campbell. The three had grown up together in the same public housing complex and they’d never lost touch with each other.
Faced with the most important decision he’d had to make, he tendered his resignation and spent the entire summer in Sag Harbor, Long Island, at a bed and breakfast, lying on the beach during the day and partying at night.
A fling with a local divorcée capped off what had become quite a memorable summer. He’d returned to his Harlem brownstone reinvigorated and ready to start practicing law again—this time for himself.
A year ago, he’d contacted Duncan and Ivan, offering to go in with them on the purchase of the brownstone. They planned to renovate the building and use it as professional office space for Kyle’s law practice, Duncan’s financial-planning services and Ivan’s psychotherapy practice. Eight months later they toasted one another with champagne after the brass plate bearing their names and titles were affixed to the front of the three-story brownstone in Harlem’s Mount Morris Historic District.
Traffic in his lane had come to a complete standstill. Either someone was in the wrong lane, had engine trouble or had run out of gas. Kyle reached over and pushed the volume button on the dashboard of his sports car and started singing at the top of his lungs. Not only did he know the lyrics to every Stevie Wonder song, but he also did a very good imitation of the blind singer-songwriter.
“Sing it, gorgeous!” a woman called out from the open window of a sport utility vehicle in the next lane.
Nodding, Kyle winked at her as he continued to sing. “Superwoman”