Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

If You Were Mine (Sullivans Series #5)

If You Were Mine (Sullivans Series #5)

4.4 180
by Bella Andre

See All Formats & Editions


Finding forever…with you

The last thing Zach Sullivan wants is to take care of his brother's new puppy for two weeks. That is, until he meets the dog trainer. Heather is bright, beautiful…and she just might be the only woman on earth who wants nothing to do with him.

Heather Linsey can't believe she agreed to train



Finding forever…with you

The last thing Zach Sullivan wants is to take care of his brother's new puppy for two weeks. That is, until he meets the dog trainer. Heather is bright, beautiful…and she just might be the only woman on earth who wants nothing to do with him.

Heather Linsey can't believe she agreed to train Zach's new pup, especially since his focus seems to be more on winning her heart than training his dog. Having sworn off love, she has vowed never to fall for a charming man. But Heather's determination to push Zach away only fuels his determination to get closer—and the sensual and emotional connection between them grows more undeniable. Will the biggest Sullivan bad boy of all tempt Heather into believing in forever again?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Andre continues her thoroughly enjoyable contemporary series with the fifth Sullivan sibling’s romantic adventure. Racecar driver and dealership mogul Zach Sullivan reluctantly agrees to puppy-sit while his niece Summer is out of town, not realizing that her three-pound fluffy Yorkie, Cuddles, is more like a Tasmanian devil. Desperate, he enlists the help of business owner and dog trainer Heather Linsey, who can’t resist the energetic pup. If you include the friendly bonding between Heather’s 200-pound Great Dane, Atlas, and tiny Cuddles, then this book is two romances for the price of one; dog lovers will enjoy the canine companionship as much as the slow-burning attraction between Heather and Zach. Other members of the Sullivan clan make appearances here and there to please returning fans, and Zach’s sweetly persistent efforts to win nervous Heather’s trust are satisfyingly heartfelt and earnest. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"Sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance." –Publishers Weekly

"The perfect combination of sexy heat and tender heart." –Barbara Freethy, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

"Bella Andre writes warm, sexy contemporary romance that always gives me a much needed pick me up. Reading one of her books is truly a pleasure." –Maya Banks, New York Times Bestselling author

"I can't wait for more Sullivans!" –Carly Phillips, New York Times Bestselling Author

"Loveable characters, sizzling chemistry, and poignant emotion." –Christie Ridgway, USA Today Bestselling Author

Product Details

Publication date:
Sullivans Series , #5
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.56(w) x 6.64(h) x 0.94(d)

Read an Excerpt

Zach Sullivan stared with disgust at the bundle of fur chewing on his shoelace.

"No way." He shifted his foot to try to get the little bugger off but, for such a tiny thing, it was tenacious. It growled a little and shook its tail as it renewed focus on his shoe. His new shoe.

"Sophie loves dogs. Ask her."

He looked up to see Gabe smirking at him. Clearly, it had been way too long since he'd wiped a grin off his little brother's face.

"Sophie's got enough to deal with lately, between her pregnancy and marrying Jake," Gabe told him. "Chloe and Chase are going to have their kid any second now. Marcus and Nicola are always on the road. Ryan is practically living at the stadium for baseball season. And I wouldn't trust Lori with a dog if she was the last person on earth. Trust me, you were at the end of my list for someone to watch the puppy while we're away on vacation, but Summer insisted you needed to have Cuddles."

Zach almost hurled. "Cuddles?"

"Summer named her." They both looked down at the puppy. "I think the name fits pretty well."

Gabe was incredibly protective of Summer, his fiancée Megan's daughter. Zach knew better than to insult the dog's name, even if it was, hands down, the worst one ever.

"Look," Gabe said, "Summer is convinced you're the perfect person to keep the puppy. For some reason none of us can figure out, she thinks you can do no wrong. Don't disappoint her, Zach."

Zach had thought Summer was pretty great for a seven-year-old. Until now, when she was trying to stick him with a dog he didn't want for two weeks. Especially since there was no way a puppy was going to fit into his life for even two days.

His daily—and nightly—schedule was all about fast cars and pretty women. What the hell was he going to do with a puppy?

Shaking his head, Zach said, "You've really lost your touch, Gabe, letting two girls lead you around."

Zach was still surprised by how smitten his brother was—not only with Megan, but with her daughter, too. And it wasn't just Gabe who had fallen way down deep in the bottomless pit of "true love." Chase, Marcus and Sophie had tripped into it, too.

Their mother was beyond thrilled knowing there were babies and more Sullivan weddings on the way. Zach was happy she was happy. Just as long as she had no false expectations about him falling in love.

Because it was never going to happen.

But Gabe clearly didn't care if he'd lost his touch, or that he'd never be able to pick up a stranger at a bar for hot sex again. If anything, his brother looked disgustingly happy about it.

"I'm not asking you to dress the puppy up in frilly doggy clothes or to spend all day rolling around in the grass with her. I just need you to keep her fed and watered and walked while we're on our trip. So, will you do it or do I have to break Summer's heart by telling her she's wrong about you being a good guy?"

As if to punctuate his brother's request, Cuddles finally let go of her grip on Zach's shoelace and looked up at him with oversize brown eyes, her little pink tongue licking at her whiskers as if she'd just finished a truly tasty meal.

Damn it, he'd always been a sucker for puppy-dog eyes.

He wasn't happy about it, but he supposed he could suck it up for a couple of weeks while Gabe, Megan and Summer took a European vacation to see castles and princesses and whatever else it was Summer had been going on and on to him about at the last Sunday lunch.

His reputation as a player with women was well deserved, and it was exactly how he liked things: no deep connections to have to deal with down the road, no woman to disappoint or leave behind one day. But his family was different. His brothers and sisters meant everything to him.

"Fine." He scowled down at the dog. "I'll do it. What breed is she, anyway?"

His brother grinned, not bothering to hide his evil pleasure at Zach's capitulation. "A Yorkshire terrier. Evidently, she's a big one."

"Big?" He bent and picked her up by the ruff with two fingers before putting her back down by his shoe. "She can't weigh more than a couple of pounds."

"Closer to three," Gabe said as he headed for Zach's front door and came back a few seconds later with a huge cardboard box. "Here are her things."

Zach knew what the food and bowls were for, but everything else looked as if it belonged in the toy box at a preschool. "Why does a three-pound puppy need all of this for just two weeks?"

He had a bad feeling about this whole thing, sensing how easily fourteen days could turn into way longer than that if he wasn't careful.

Gabe shrugged. "We've only had her a couple of days and Summer has mostly been taking care of her so far. Timing kind of sucks on having to leave her so soon, but I know Megan really appreciates you stepping up to the plate like this."

It grated that they all thought he would be such a pushover about the puppy before even talking to him about it. But that didn't bother him nearly as much as when Cuddles chose that exact moment to squat down over the toe of his shoe and empty her bladder.

Her surprisingly large bladder.

"You'd better be back for her in two weeks," Zach warned in a low voice, "or she's going straight to the pound."

Gabe's laughter rang out as he wisely hightailed it to his car.

• *

Heather Linsey was just finishing up with the students in her preliminary-level dog trainer certification class when her cell phone buzzed. She pulled it out, but when she saw the name on her screen, she quickly shoved it back into her pocket.

"I can handle giving everyone the information for the next set of classes if you need to get that," her assistant, Tina, said.

Heather forced a smile. "That's okay. I've got it."

But her mind was only half on her students as she wrapped things up and congratulated them on a job well done, letting them know she was available if they had any problems setting up their new businesses. Finishing up with a quick reminder about the big Bark in the Park fundraiser at the baseball stadium that coming Friday, and the silent auction the following Saturday night, she headed back to her office with Atlas, her Great Dane, close beside her.

Heather closed the door before pulling the phone back out and putting it on her desk. She wished she could just delete the message, but she knew from past experience that it would be smarter to find out what her father wanted.

"Sweetheart, I was hoping I'd get you rather than your voice mail," he began, and she was amazed at just how strong his denial was. Didn't he realize she hadn't picked up a call from him in years? She rubbed her hands over her arms as he continued. "I have a business trip to San Francisco next week and I'm thinking of bringing your mother with me.

It's been too long since we've seen our girl and we both miss you."

The skin on Heather's arms started to tingle, and then burn. The sensation started at her wrists and crept up across the pattern of crisscrossed scars that went past her elbows and all around the back of her arms. Nearly ten years later, the scars were faint enough that she probably didn't need to wear long sleeves all the time. But even though the cuts were long since healed, every time she had to deal with her father, she felt this phantom pain. It was almost as if she were seventeen years old again and locking herself into her room to try to deal with her out-of-control emotions. Back then, the only way she could deal with the anxiety was by making small cuts across the surface of her skin with a razor, and then watching them bleed.

At the sound of her father's voice, Atlas hadn't gone to his huge dog pillow in the corner. Instead, he'd stuck right with her and put his big head in her lap. She stopped rubbing her arms and stroked his head instead.

"Let me know your schedule so we can plan our evening with you. Your mother sends her love."

The message ended and she stared blankly at the phone on her desk, her hand absentmindedly moving over Atlas's short, soft fur. She couldn't believe how long they'd been playing this game, the one where her father acted as if everything was normal and they had a perfect relationship. Especially when he knew that she knew for a fact that everything wasn't perfect, that his "perfect" marriage to her mother and his "loving" relationship with his daughter was just a big, stupid lie.

A knock came at her door, jarring her out of her dark thoughts. "Come in."

Agnes Mackelroy, a pretty middle-aged woman whom Heather liked a great deal, poked her head in the door. "Good morning, Heather. I was hoping you had a few minutes." Despite Heather's smile, the woman seemed to sense something was wrong. "Is everything all right?"

Heather nodded quickly. "It's always so lovely to see you."

And it was true—she couldn't be happier to see Agnes and her dog, Joey, especially if it meant she didn't have to think about her father anymore.

Agnes had been one of Heather's first clients at Top Dog when the ink was still drying on her business cards. Over the past few years, she'd given dozens of referrals to Heather to work with her family's and friends' dogs.

Heather knelt to say hello to Agnes's chow chow. "Look at you with your fancy new knee," she said as she scratched the dog under his chin, right where he loved it. Atlas soon bumped her out of the way to say hello. "I take it he's been doing well since surgery?" she asked Agnes.

"Just splendidly! He's back to his old self, out digging up my garden morning, noon and night."

Heather had to laugh at that, even though stopping that behavior was something she'd worked on long and hard with Agnes and Joey last year. "Would you like me to drop by later this week to see if we can get him to celebrate in a different way?"

"No, I'm perfectly happy to let Joey have his fun. I didn't much care for the color of the begonias, anyway," Agnes said with a toss of her hand. "I'm actually here on behalf of a very good friend with a new puppy."

"Perfect timing. I've just finished up a group training class and have several new trainers who would love to get their feet wet. Why don't I give you a few of their numbers?"

"I was hoping," Agnes said, "that you might be available to help him personally."

Heather's business and dog-training staff had grown so much over the past three years that she spent most of her time managing the business. While she still loved to pop out of her office to play with the dogs that came in and out of her training campus, at this point she rarely took on one-on-one training clients. But she couldn't possibly say no to Agnes, who was responsible for so much of her early success.

Mentally reshuffling her busy schedule, Heather said, "What's your friend's name?"

"His name," Agnes said, "is Zach."

Something akin to a warning skittered down Heather's spine at the woman's almost-worshipful tone. Then again, she knew Agnes was happily married.

"I know how much he'd appreciate it if you could meet with him this morning at the garage where he works. He's dog-sitting for a couple of weeks, but I'm afraid the little Yorkie is running the poor man in circles."

Heather wrote down the address for Sullivan Autos, then gave both Agnes and her dog hugs as they said goodbye.

She couldn't imagine a mechanic's boss being too happy about a madcap puppy running around in an auto shop. Not to mention that it definitely wasn't the safest environment for an untrained dog.

"Ready to go play with a puppy?" she asked the huge dog lying at her feet.

Atlas's ears perked up at his favorite word. It had always amused her how much her two-hundred-pound Great Dane loved to play with puppies, even though they tended to nip at him with their sharp little teeth and use their nails to climb onto his broad back with no concern whatsoever for their own welfare.

She suspected the reason had something to do with the fact that the early part of his life hadn't been all that carefree. Once he became her dog things changed…a lot. Now he thrived on being around rambunctious puppies.

It was a warm day and Heather gathered her long hair up into a ponytail, then grabbed her training bag and headed to her car. Atlas bounded into the backseat, immediately sticking his head out of the window in anticipation of having the wind in his face, his tongue flying free.

Ten minutes later, Heather pulled up outside Sullivan Autos and slipped on Atlas's leash. She could see a half dozen men on-site, and even though her dog was worlds better around men than he had been when she'd first taken him home four years ago, she was concerned that so many big men in one place might overwhelm him. She wasn't surprised when he stuck close to her, the stiffness of his ears and tail a telltale sign that he wasn't entirely relaxed.

"Everything's fine," she soothed him, rubbing gently between his ears. "We're just going to play with a puppy, remember?" His tongue plopped out at that happy news and she grinned in response. "That's right, we've got nothing to worry about at—"

"Where the hell is that damned puppy!"

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Bella Andre is known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly). Winner of the Award of Excellence, the Washington Post has called her “one of the top digital writers in America.” Married with two children, Bella splits her time between Northern California and the Adirondacks. You can visit Bella online at www.BellaAndre.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

If You Were Mine: The Sullivans, Book 5 (Contemporary Romance) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 180 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
## Holy crap! This book was magnificent! Fabulous, outstanding, tremendous and any other positive adjective you can dream up. Zach was so amazingly hot; confident yet unbelievably sweet and thoughtful. And did i mention he was hot? I love the way the author did not play up his playboy status by reminding the reader over and over and over like so many others do. And I absolutely adored the heroine Heather. What a beautiful, strong and fun loving surprise she was. This Sullivan series is one of the best I've ever read. I can't wait for Ryan's story. In addition to this series i would also recommend the 'Bad boys of football' series and the 'Hot shots' series by Ms. Andre. Note to author: You Rock!
KDGracon More than 1 year ago
What an awesome book! From beginning to end. I didn't want it to end. I laughed and cried my way through the book. I have read all the Sullivan books and I have to say this is my fav. Can't wait for the next on. Bella you rock...
detroitigerfan More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful story!! I love the Sullivan family series and look forward to the next. Thank you Bella Andre:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I almost cried toward the end. I had to gulp down the tears several times over Zach and his revelation. I admired Heather for her determination to get through her ordeal as well. So, this one is my second favorite of the Sullivan series.
Gramma65 More than 1 year ago
If anyone asks me what my favorite romance novel is I never have an answer because I love so many. I now have an answer, this book is over 600 pages and I could not stop reading until my eyes hurt so bad. This book is wonderful. All the Sullivan books are fabulos.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great Sullivan story. Sweet, passionate, amusing. Zack and Heather both have decided not to fall in love, each for their own reasons. It happens when neither is looking and what fun it is to watch it unfold. Can't wait for the next installment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love love love the Sullivans! Another fantastic read...great addition of the love story of Atlas and Cuddles. I already can't wait til fall when we get Ryan's story. I'll be sad when the series ends though.
MyReadAddiction More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Bella Andre! I have enjoyed every one of these Sullivan books to date and this one was no different. Heather has never given love a chance. Having grown up in a family where love was just an illusion, she had her view of love shattered at a young age. Zach is a lady's man. Rich and Good looking, he never has problems finding willing women to share his bed with no strings attached. Upon his first meeting with Heather, Zach knows there is something different about her. No woman has ever got to him the way she does. Problem... Heather's view on relationships is even more skewed than his own. Zach must prove to him they are nothing like his parents. I loved the subtle changes in Zach. I felt like his fall into love was a smooth and steady one. He was not afraid to let his feelings be known once he had them. The chemistry between him and Heather was great. This is one of those book couples you route for the whole time. I had tears in my eyes at points. I loved that Zach's story gave us more insight into Jack Sullivan. The added bonus of reading about the dogs, Cuddles and Atlas, was great. I loved their relationship with each other it sounded like one of those email strings of pictures with odd "best friends" in the animal world. Too cute! Can not wait for #6!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the best so far. Zach has always been intense and pairing him up with a cuddly puppy and strong female rocks the solid foundation he built for himself. Definately read these books in order. You wont be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book and funny!
ChristyJ More than 1 year ago
Sexy, hotter then his movie star brother, filthy rich and with a puppy in tow – what women could resist the middle son, Zack, of the Sullivan’s Family? Well that is what he is wondering when he meets the equally sexy Heather Linsey and she promptly tells him she isn’t interested. Zach will do anything for his family. So when Zack’s brother asks him to keep his puppy while his family is on vacation he can’t bring himself to say no - even though a puppy does not fit into his hectic life as the owner of multiple car repair shops and busy bachelor. After just a few hours with “Cuddles”, the mischievous puppy, he is ready to pull his hair out. However, his life get’s even more complicated when a little old lady customer takes pity on him and sends Heather, a dog trainer, to him hoping she will take him on as a client and help train the little crazed puppy. From the moment Heather arrives at Zack’s service station the sparks begin to fly between them. And although Zack is charming and full of one-liners packed with sexual innuendo and comic relief Heather doesn’t want anything to do with him. She agrees to help him get started with puppy training but insists that he will work with another trainer long term and firmly draws a line. Little does she know that she is doing the one thing no one has ever done before – not falling for his charm or money and turning their attraction into a challenge. Zack is immediately hooked and the harder she tries to push him away – the harder he fights to get her. Heather has sworn off love – believing that it isn’t really real and just an act that her parents put on for her to cover the fact that her father has always been sleeping around. Zack’s charm sets her nerves on edge and it takes her really getting to know him before she see’s the man deep within. Luckily he is up for the challenge. Zack has no problem with love, in fact, he knows it’s wonderful which is why he has avoided it. Ever since Zack’s father died when he was just seven his biggest fear is that he will one day leave behind a widow to morn him. So he has kept women at a distance. And that was fine until he met Heather and subsequently now can’t imagine living a moment without her. But is enjoying whatever time he can have with her and possibly falling in love worth the risk of leaving her to a life without him if their time is cut short? It is a question he struggles with constantly. And can Heather learn that all men are not like her father? Zack is a joy for both Heather and the reader to learn more about. They start off their relationship agreeing to keep things casual with no strings attached since that is all they both are comfortable with. But regardless of their concerns about developing things too emotionally, Zack is such a sweet guy that things can’t help but progress. He is funny and has a knack for making each simple moment they share into something memorable. If you have not read this series before this could be read as a stand-alone. However, most of the family (a total of eight siblings and his mom) makes appearances throughout and you will enjoy it more if you go back and read the previous books in the series. Although both characters have their own concerns about getting into something they both are mentally healthy and mature in their current lives. Their relationship progresses naturally and yet still at a relatively quick pace given their concerns. All in all though it is a believable story and masterfully written as all of Bella Andre’s books are. This one and the rest of this series should have their own space on the “to keep and read again and again” shelf! RATING: Five chocolate dipped strawberries enjoyed with a puppy in your lap!
bertiebottbean More than 1 year ago
I actually found myself getting teary-eyed reading this story. How I love the Sullivan family! I have decided that Bella Andre can do no wrong when writing her wonderful romance novels. I hate finishing a book of hers and knowing I have to wait to read the next one in the series! But, its all well worth the wait. Zach and Heather's story is just as amazing as any of the other Sullivan stories, but for some reason, this story held a soft spot in my heart....maybe it was the dog connection, maybe it was just darn good writing. Either way, this book is worth every minute and penny! Thanks again Bella!
Blender2007 More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best Sullivan Brothers stories! I love how Heather was able to resist (or so she thought) Zach. And WOW, did he turn out to be such a sweet guy. Can't wait to read Ryan's story next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome series. Its a sweet read. Herione fell in love a little too quivkly for me. But the books suspense makes up for it.
rhage More than 1 year ago
OMG! I loved this book series. This is almost my favorite book out of all of them. Zack is so sexy and sweet. I read this book all night and half a day. My eyes were burning. And red cause I couldn't put this down. I can't wait for book number 6. I also love the McCarthy series. It is similar to this one. Way to go Bella Andre!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simple plot rather predictable will continue series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*Excellent romantic read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loving this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved all the characters. Makes you want to be part of this family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a delicious read, and loved how it ties in the dogs! Pet lovers will love this one, and of course, any fans of the Sullivan clan will not be able to put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ssmommie75TB More than 1 year ago
Zach and Heather had a fireworks type of relationship.  And they seemed to set off the best and worst in each other, but it made for a great story. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago