Romancing the Tycoon (Harlequin American Romance Series #1011)

Romancing the Tycoon (Harlequin American Romance Series #1011)

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by Debra Webb

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More than anything else, Amy Wells wants to be a Colby secret investigator, not some administrative assistant filing paper for the best in the business. She knows she'd be good at it. Driven. Daring. And with a heap of self-confidence, she has what it takes to bring down the bad guys. Now, if only she could convince her boss...

But when Amy's entangled in a

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More than anything else, Amy Wells wants to be a Colby secret investigator, not some administrative assistant filing paper for the best in the business. She knows she'd be good at it. Driven. Daring. And with a heap of self-confidence, she has what it takes to bring down the bad guys. Now, if only she could convince her boss...

But when Amy's entangled in a case of mistaken identity, she suddenly finds herself on her first assignment--figure out what makes gorgeous oil tycoon John Robert Calhoun IV tick. Out of loyalty to his father--and with the country's oil industry at stake--he's about to agree to an arranged marriage to seal the merger of a lifetime. But what skeletons is he hiding? And what should Amy do about her attraction to the Texan cowboy who's wrangled her heart?

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Colby Agency Series , #17
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Romancing The Tycoon

By Debra Webb

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-75015-3

Chapter One

Chicago ... inside the Colby Agency

Amy Wells flipped to the next page of her Glamour magazine: "The Perfect Man ..."

She lifted a skeptical eyebrow at the perfect-man assets listed by women between the ages of eighteen and thirty polled by the sassy magazine. Tall, broad-shouldered, well-muscled and sinfully handsome. That about summed it up, she mused. What guy who looked like that wouldn't fit the profile?

One word ... that's all it took to send her mood back into a depressive state.

Profile. She wanted to do profiles ... to work under-cover. To be a Colby Agency investigator.

She sighed woefully. She'd given up on the fairy tale. She wasn't going to find Mr. Right or Mr. Perfect. Though she was only twenty-five, she longed for a steady, satisfying relationship. It just wasn't happening. And it wasn't just her. Lots of her friends had the same problem. Where were all the good men?

They no longer existed, she had decided, and promptly she'd thrown herself into her job. If she couldn't have a great sex life with the man of her dreams, she could at least have a great job. So far she'd managed to come a long way. She'd been hired by the Colby Agency, the most prestigious private investigations firm in the state, if not the country. She'd worked her way from receptionist to personal assistant. But she longed for more. She wanted to be a real agent, to track down the answers ... the bad guys.

Another wistful sigh seeped past her lips as she stuffed the magazine back into her desk drawer. Break time was over. No more fantasizing for today. Time to get back to the real world.

Amy glanced forlornly at the stack of folders to be sorted and filed. Though she appreciated very much her latest promotion to personal assistant, it wasn't enough. Mildred, Victoria Colby-Camp's loyal secretary, was a great lady to work for, but Amy longed for so much more.

She'd read every single final report on every case the Colby Agency had taken on in the past three years. At first, she'd been content to serve as receptionist and merely watch with growing interest as the investigators the agency employed went about their intriguing business. To be honest, she'd been a little intimidated by the likes of Ian Michaels and Simon Ruhl. But then a new female investigator had been hired, Nicole Reed-Michaels. That had changed everything for Amy.

Though Amy had heard about the agency's first female investigator, Katherine Robertson, who'd married the infamous secret agent Jack Raine, watching one in action was a whole other ball game. Nicole's supreme intelligence and slick, super-agent demeanor had kindled an unquenchable passion in Amy to follow in her esteemed footsteps. Amy wanted to be a Colby agent. She wanted a case of her own. One where she would uncover the identity of the bad guy. Where she would save the day and make Victoria proud.

She wanted to be one of the best.

If only she could somehow garner the boss's attention in that light. She'd started taking self-defense classes about a year ago and was pretty good if she did say so herself. She'd also sharpened her observation skills by teaching herself to pay attention to even the smallest detail. She'd even signed up for a private investigator class at the local spy shop. She'd learned all kinds of interesting things there and just by listening around the office. It wasn't as though she had dates lining up to fill her calendar.

What more could she do?

She was twenty-five! Time was running out. Before long her best years would be behind her and she wouldn't have accomplished the one thing she wanted more than anything else: to be a Colby agent.

The magazine in her drawer nagged at her. Okay, so she still wanted to meet the right guy as well. But she realized now that her first priority was getting her career on track. She'd thought long and hard about it and had realized what could happen if she fell in love first. Certainly there was nothing wrong with falling in love. Even the venerable Colby agents fell in love on a regular basis, most of the time while on a case.

A dreamy smile slid across Amy's face. Now that would just about make things perfect. Getting her career headed in the right direction while at the same time finding the perfect man. Instantly her heart rate picked up an extra beat.

But then, that probably wouldn't happen. It just made her feel better to believe that her career kept her too busy to think about her social life. And hoping against hope that her career would kick in at the same time that she'd meet the man of her dreams was a nice fantasy.

Oh well, it kept the cynicism at bay.

The telephone on her desk buzzed, summoning her back to earth for a cold, hard reality check.

She was still a personal assistant. And finding the perfect man was about as likely as was stumbling onto the precise case that would finally get Victoria's attention.

Waiting for hell to freeze over was a wiser bet.

"Amy Wells," she said automatically, answering the telephone before it buzzed for the second time.

"The Hanover file?" Amy listened as Mildred confirmed the name of the file she needed. "Right away," she said in answer to the request that it be brought to her office as soon as possible.

Pushing her troubling thoughts aside, Amy went off to the records room in search of the Hanover file. Her fantasy might never become a reality, but at least she could keep dreaming. There was no law against that or any statute of limitations. To hell with admitting defeat, she'd just keep reaching for the brass ring.

With that in mind, her imagination instantly conjured a shadowy image of the perfect man. One who was everything the magazine poll said he should be and more. A grin tugged at her lips as she opened the drawer labeled H and flipped through the folders. One who needed rescuing by a woman like her.

Amy Wells, Colby agent-in-training.


Excerpted from Romancing The Tycoon by Debra Webb Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

At the age of nine, Debra began writing stories for the characters who lived in her too-vivid imagination. By 18 she had turned wife, mother, and career woman, leaving her writing behind. But those imaginary characters just wouldn't go away.

For the next 18 years she did everything from managing a Captain D's seafood restaurant to holding an executive secretarial position at NASA, while the characters and their stories continued to traipse around inside her head. Eventually they just had to come out and Debra began the journey that would take her to where her heart had been all along - writing romance.

Debra was born in Alabama, but now lives in Tennessee. Her journey, however, wasn't a simple trek northward to the Volunteer state. First, Debra, her husband, and oldest daughter did a little traipsing of their own. From Texas to Berlin, Germany, Debra followed her husband's military assignments. Finally landing in Tennessee, they had their second daughter and settled for the rest of their lives in a small community they fell in love with on sight.

Write Debra with your comments at P.O. Box 64, Huntland, Tennessee, 37345.

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Romancing the Tycoon (Colby Agency Series #17) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amy Wells works as a personal assistant at the Colby Private Investigator Inc.. Her dream is get out from behind the desk and become a sleuth. Alas however her employers see her as a great electronic and paper filer not as one who works undercover obtaining the information................................ Amy delivers a background check that her agency made on oil tycoon John Robert ¿JR¿ Calhoun to their client his potential father-in-law. JR has never met his fiancée having agreed to marry at the pleading of his father to save his big oil company with this merger. However he mistakenly believes that Amy is his future bride. She goes along with his misconception expecting to learn his dark secrets like Mafioso ties that would subsequently prove to her boss that she deserves to be an investigator. As Amy and JR become acquainted they fall in love, but she knows he is engaged to someone else............................. The plot device has been done a zillion times and the fact that the hero has never even seen a picture of his fiancée though both are offspring of big oil sounds like a Democratic Party effort to expose VP Cheney. Still the mistaken identity story line is fun to follow because of impulsive intrepid and ingenuous Amy who will have readers rooting for her. JR (no one would dream of using that as a nickname of a Texas oil mogul) is a solid counter to Amy. ROMANCING THE TYCOON is a fine Colby romance just not as strong as the previous ones (see GUARDING THE HEIRESS, STRIKING DISTANCE and KEEPING BABY SAFE).................... Harriet Klausner