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- Secret Billionaire
- Opposites Attract
- Small town
A brand-new billionaire trying to give back. An outspoken teacher who won’t back down.
Andrew Hartley inherits an unexpected fortune and starts dreaming about how to quietly use it to help the small town he loves. A new updated library seems like the perfect place to start, except for the unexpected opposition in the form of a beautiful teacher on the committee.
Lacey Anderson’s happiest childhood memories are tied to the small-town library. Now, she is determined to stop a proposal to tear it down.Sparks fly as they work together on the committee, but Andrew is pushing for the future and Lacey is clinging to the past. Can they find a way to preserve the past and build a future together?
Chapter One Look Inside
Chapter One Look Inside
“You’re kidding, right?” Andrew Hartley’s mouth dropped open and he stared at the man behind the desk. “That can’t be right.”
“I assure you that it is. Didn’t you know about your grandparents’ finances?”
Andrew shook his head in shock. “Obviously not. I mean they own a lot of property in town, and they always lived pretty comfortably, but I didn’t know it was that much. We live in Pine Haven, Alabama, who has a billion dollars?” His voice rose and he held his hands out, showing how unbelievable that was.
“They did. And now, as the heir of the estate, you do.” The lawyer tapped the papers in front of him with his pen.
“You know Briar Foods?”
“Doesn’t everyone?” Andrew said. “They’re only the largest canned and frozen food manufacturer in the country.”
The attorney nodded. “Your grandfather was childhood friends with Mr. Briar. He invested in the company to help his friend get started. The value of that stock is worth over a billion dollars. And the Hartley family’s real estate holdings contribute as well.”
Andrew’s head spun and he wasn’t sure which way was up. He had gotten the call a few days ago that the lawyer needed to discuss his inheritance. His grandfather had died almost a year ago. But the attorney said this was stipulated to be given to him eight months after his grandfather’s death if he was still abiding by the stipulations given in the will. “I just can’t believe it. What am I going to do with that?” he asked.
“Whatever you want to. That part isn’t up to me, and your grandparents didn’t give any specifics. The will states that if you are living in Pine Haven, have reached your twenty-eighth birthday, and still go to church every Sunday, that you will inherit their money and the buildings in town.”
“Do my parents know about this?”
“No one knew about this.”
Andrew rubbed his forehead, wondering how he would tell his parents this kind of news. But who else would he tell? He wasn’t in a relationship and some of his friends might be put off by hearing that he had inherited that large of a sum. No, he would tell his parents, but besides that he would keep it to himself.
After signing a number of papers and taking more deep breaths than he could count, he walked out of the office and onto Main Street. A few cars passed by, but in the middle of the day on a weekday, the street was pretty quiet. He wasn’t sure what to do with himself, so instead of going back to his office, he ambled down the sidewalk.
Andrew thought of his grandparents and all the times they had said, “We really shouldn’t spend that money,” or “We’ll just wait and see if we can afford it in six months.” He thought about the older cars they drove and how they asked him to come over and help patch the roof on their house when it leaked. The thought made him laugh out loud. Grandma and Grandpa had billions in the bank and they had their teenage grandson out on the roof. That part seemed perfectly fitting. He had known that they had enough money, but they were the most frugal people he had ever met. Maybe it came from living through the Great Depression. And maybe it was how they came to have money anyway. Either way, it made them seem a little more endearing.
He smiled as his heart filled with gratitude to his dear departed grandparents and he whispered a prayer that he would be wise with what he had been given.