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"I'm sorry, sir, but the Tropical Suite isn't available until tomorrow."
"That's unfortunate, since I'm here now."
Samantha Donovan took a deep, calming breath, approached the registration desk and pasted on the umpteenth smile of the day. Running a high-class resort was certainly straining on her jaw muscles.
"Is there a problem?" she asked.
The tall, impossibly good-looking stranger turned his darkened gaze to her. "My room is unavailable."
Because she'd been in toe-pinching Jimmy Choo shoes all blasted day, Sam leaned an arm on the marble counter and directed her attention to the young employee at the computer on the other side of the registration desk. "Mikala, what is the problem with the Tropical Suite?"
The young Hawaiian girl punched in several keys; her hands shook as they hovered over the keyboard. "It seems Mr. Stone's reservation was entered into the computer for his check-in as tomorrow."
"But as you can see, I'm here today."
Sam didn't blame the man for having a bit of irritation to his voice; she was a bit irritated herself and had been since her father came up with this preposterous plan to make her gain his respect and a place in his company by getting their family's newly acquired Kauai resort up and running smoothly.
"Mr. Stone," Sam said with a soft yet professional tone. "I cannot apologize enough for this misunderstanding. We could upgrade your room and offer the Honeymoon Hideaway at no additional charge. I know that suite is available, because I just saw the couple off to the airport personally."
Another part of the job her father hadn't warned her about. Not only had the resort been operating at a loss, they'd had to lay off workers. Now, as manager, Sam found herself playing taxi driver, maid, occasionally a waitress in one of the three restaurants and yesterday she'd had to unclog a commode in the Sands Suite.
Not the luxurious position her father had made this job out to be. But she would persevere, no matter what daunting tasks she had to take on.
This once five-star resort was the newest piece of property owned by her father and brother. Details weren't given, but Samantha knew the takeover hadn't been pretty or easy, so she needed to use all her energy and then some to make sure the guests were happy, the staff was well paid and the grounds were kept immaculate.
"Is the room clean?"
The guest's question snapped her out of her self-induced pity party. "Yes, sir. Mikala, please make the necessary changes in the computer and I'll show Mr. Stone to the suite myself."
The man had a garment bag over one broad shoulder, so Sam reached for the extended handle of the single piece of black luggage.
Now she could add bellboy—or bell girl—to the growing list, providing Sam a diverse and impressive résumé, if her father chose to boot her from the company for good.
"Ma'am." The gentleman's voice drifted over her left shoulder. "I can take my own bag."
Not slowing her pace one bit, Sam replied, "Guests don't carry their own luggage."
She hit the button for the elevator, glanced up to see what floor the car was on and tried her damnedest to ignore the sultry, woodsy scent of this handsome guest.
"What kind of gentleman would I be if I let you carry my bag?"
Glancing to the side, Sam couldn't help but notice how well his shoulders filled his navy business suit or how nice his golden, tanned skin looked against the dark material.
Why was this man alone? She couldn't believe a man who dripped with charm and sex appeal didn't have a busty, leggy blonde draped over his arm. Granted she'd been here only six short months, but she hadn't seen too many singles.
"What kind of hotel would I be running if I had guests take their own bags to their rooms?"
Just as the elevator dinged, he lifted a dark brow. "I'm not going to win this fight, am I?"
She merely smiled over her shoulder as she stepped on to the empty elevator. Once upon a time the two lobby elevators had probably been full of laughing families and honeymooners, but not anymore. Sam wasn't sure what happened, all she knew was that her father had handed her this new resort and she was going to make it the best in Kauai, the world for that matter, or she would drop over dead in her Jimmy Choos trying.
The next time she contacted her father—he never contacted her—she'd bring up the fact, yet again, that in Kauai traditional resorts were going by the wayside and those with luxurious day spas or upscale Bed and Breakfasts were the only way to go. Of course, coming from her, she doubted he'd believe the new concept. Perhaps that's why the hotel had been in financial trouble before. Poor communication and/or lack of interest to upgrade in an attempt to compete with the other tourist hot spots.
If her father didn't listen, and soon, she feared they'd be caught in the same dilemma as the previous owners.
Since his wife's death, Stanley Donovan cared for nothing but himself. Samantha had been pushed to the back of his mind. Well, she was still his daughter whether he wanted to put forth the relationship effort or not.
Sam rested the bag's handle against her hip and hit the button for the penthouse floor. "Did you have a nice flight?"
"As a matter of fact, I did, considering I have my own jet." A smile spread across his lips as he glanced down to his suitcase. "If you're the manager, why are you playing bellhop?"
His dark gaze darted back up. "Brady."
"Brady," she said, instantly liking the strong, confident name, not to mention the way his coallike eyes raked over her. "Because I'm the manager, I have to fill in when and where someone is needed. By the time I would've found someone to take your luggage, I could've done the job myself. Besides, even though there was an error in your reservation, I want you to be confident that we will do everything to make your stay pleasant."
The elevator came to a halt, the doors slid open. She motioned for him to exit first.
"That's quite a speech," he told her as she stepped beside him. "You even have a pleasant, professional voice. It sounds as if you've used those same words once or twice before."
Sam swallowed the lump in her throat, inserting the key card into the slot of the only door on the f loor. "M r. Stone —"
His hand slid over hers, sending shivers all through her overworked, underappreciated body. "Brady, please."
Because she couldn't deny the low, seductive tone of his voice, Sam lifted her gaze only to find his eyes held more of a punch than his sultry voice and warm, strong hand.
Dark, rich brown eyes shielded by half-lowered lids roamed over her face, pausing at the lip she chewed on.
"Brady," she replied, cursing herself for allowing, even for a moment, emotions she didn't have time for to creep up. "I assure you, there are no problems with Lani Kaimana. We're happy to have you and I guarantee you'll have a pleasant and relaxing stay."
His bedroom eyes traveled back up her face, a corner of his full lips tipped into a smirk, but his hand remained enclosed around hers. "I'm sure it will be pleasant, but I don't know about relaxing. I'm here to work."
Sam forced herself to remember her task. She slid her hand from beneath his and jerked on the cool metal door handle. As much as she'd like to chat with Mr. Charming, she had a resort to save from despair.
"What exactly does Lani Kaimana translate to?" he asked.
"Royal Diamond." She swung the door in to reveal the spacious dark green and bright white suite. "I'm sure you'll be happier in this suite. Even though it's the honeymoon suite, it's the only one on this floor, so you shouldn't be disturbed. There's a king-size bed, a Jacuzzi, wet bar and Internet access."
Stepping across the threshold, Brady studied his surroundings, while Sam continued to study him. She'd seen plenty of men in business suits before, but as her eyes continued to roam over Brady's broad back, she couldn't recall seeing a single man who filled out a tailor-made jacket so well.
"This is amazing. The view through those balcony doors is absolutely breathtaking." Brady turned to face her. "I can't believe this room isn't booked year-round."
Sam took a step into the romantic suite, her eyes betraying her by drifting up to the king-size canopy draped with white sheers in the far corner perched on a stage just for the bed. An image flashed through her mind of this sexy, too-good-to-be-true handsome man stretched out beneath the crisp white sheets—wearing nothing but the sheet.
She looked back to Brady; a smile danced in his eyes as if he knew where her thoughts had wandered. "Yes, well, that's what we're working on," she said.
"How about if you discuss your plan of action with me over dinner?"
Stunned, yet flattered, Sam shook her head. "Brady, I appreciate the offer, but I cannot have dinner with you."
"Because you don't date guests?"
"No, because I'm too busy." Though now she would have to make a vow not to date guests. The topic had never come up before.
He cocked his head to the side. "Too busy to eat? How about if I come to your office?"
Obviously this man didn't take kindly to rejection. And Sam was pretty positive he hadn't heard a negative word from a woman in his lifetime.
"Thank you again, but I can't." Sam moved toward the door in an attempt to get away from his sexy scent and those piercing eyes before she gave in to temptation. She couldn't help but wonder just how many women fell into those bedroom eyes. "If you need anything, please just ask."
"Actually, there is one thing."
She peered over her shoulder. "Yes?"
"You know my name, but I don't know yours."
"Samantha Donovan, but everyone calls me Sam." She grinned. "I own the resort."
All this time he'd expected Sam to be a man. How could he not have known his worst enemy had a daughter? And a stunning one at that.
Brady slipped his smart phone from his jacket pocket and punched in the number to his brother, Cade. Not having all the facts on a resort he intended to take over was unacceptable. How the hell had this vital piece of information not been caught before?
"Cade, why the hell didn't I know Sam Donovan was a woman?" Silence filled the other end. "I assume you didn't know, either?" Brady asked.
"I had no idea. Are you in Kauai?"
"Yes." Still astounded, Brady stood in the same spot he'd been in five minutes ago when Samantha had walked out the door after dropping the bombshell. "Not only that, but I was escorted to my suite by the Donovan heir herself. I thought old man Donovan had two sons, not a son and a daughter. I can't believe this."
"Why did she escort you to your room? Didn't they have a bellboy?"