Title: The Other Half
Series: A Door Peninsula Passions Novel
Author: Katherine Hastings
Release Date: June 27, 2019
When spoiled socialite Cassandra Davenport takes things one step too far, her grandfather gives her an ultimatum… prove she can live without her famous name and riches or give up her place in the family legacy. With nothing but $100, her tiny dog, and a car that should have died in the eighties, she heads to the family cabin in Door County to prove sheâ€™s more than just a pretty face with a trust fund.
Jake Alton doesnâ€™t know much about the woman who showed up at the dilapidated cabin next door, other than the fact sheâ€™s putting a damper on his solitary and secluded lifestyle. Even though he tries to avoid this intruder to his sanctuary, the beautiful woman proves impossible to ignore.
Can true love conquer the divide between them, or will secrets and differences tear them apart?
â€œIâ€™m cutting you off.â€
â€œWhat?â€ The word came out harsher than Iâ€™d intended, and his eyebrows rose in a challenge.
â€œItâ€™s my money that has allowed you to live this way.â€ His hand swiped over the photo again. Unable to stare at it any longer, I ripped it off the desk and crumbled it up before tossing it on the ground.
â€œWhat am I supposed to do?â€ Panic changed the tone of my voice to a pitch similar to a whining five-year-old. â€œPlease donâ€™t do this. Donâ€™t sell the company. Donâ€™t cut me off. Just give me a chance to prove it to you. Please, Grandpa.â€ I was begging now, but I didnâ€™t care. The darkness had stripped me of my desire to go after my dreams these past two years since my parents died, but knowing they were being ripped away had me grasping the air desperate to get them back.
â€œItâ€™s too late, Cassandra. Iâ€™ve lost faith in you. Youâ€™re not capable.â€
â€œI am, Grandpa! I swear Iâ€™m capable!â€ Sucking back the tears I straightened back up. â€œI got off track. Yes, I admit it. But you taught my father everything you know, and he taught me everything he knows. Iâ€™m the best of both of you. Just let me prove it. Please donâ€™t do this.â€
He sucked his cheek between his teeth like he did often when giving a thought careful consideration. Sitting back in his chair, he rubbed a hand across his bald head. â€œYou think you have what it takes?â€
â€œI know I do.â€ Raising my chin, I gave him my most confident stare, wishing there wasnâ€™t mascara dripping down my face and snarls in my hair to destroy the appearance of a woman capable of taking the reins of a billion-dollar company.
â€œThen you must prove it.â€
â€œAnything. I will do anything, Grandpa.â€
While he stroked his face, I stroked my dog, waiting for his decision. A decision that would alter my entire life.
â€œIf you want to prove to me you have what it takes, then I want to see you out in the world on your own two feet. I want to see you succeed without your name or my money. I want you to get your hands dirty and rise from the ground like I did. To understand the strife of the people you consider below youâ€¦ the type of people who will one day be your employees and count on you to make decisions that secure their jobs and their income. Their very livelihoods. I want you to live like the other half.â€
â€œAnything, Grandpa. Just tell me what to do.â€
Silence settled over us while I struggled to control my breathing and the minutes ticked by. Just when I couldnâ€™t take the suspense any longer, I saw a flash in his eyes and a smile lifted one corner of his lip.
â€œI know how you can prove it to me.â€
â€œYou are going to leave New York City and travel to a place where Iâ€™m certain no one will know you. You will find a job, pay your bills, and live with people who donâ€™t own private jets and travel in limos. Youâ€™ll live amongst good people and hopefully you will come back here with an understanding of how the world really works and with a new appreciation for the life you can have. Should you choose to work for it instead of having it handed to you on a silver platter.â€
â€œI can do that, Grandpa! I swear I can!â€
â€œGood. Then I will make arrangements and you can prove to me you have what it takes, and you arenâ€™t just a spoiled Park Avenue Princess.â€
I put my hand up as if taking an oath. â€œI will. I promise.â€
His eyes, a mirror of my own, narrowed into slits. â€œThere will be rules.â€
â€œWhat kind of rules?â€
â€œYou can tell no one who you are.â€ Leaning forward, he pressed his elbows into the desk and steepled his fingers. â€œNo one. You will not use your name to get any favors. If I find out you told people your name to pave your own way and make things easier, the deal is off.â€
â€œOkay. I can do that.â€
â€œYou will not tell your friends where you are and get them to help you. The only money you get is the money you earn on your own.â€
â€œOk. Fine. No friends. No outside money.â€
â€œI mean it, Cassandra. I want you to live like the common man and woman so you might appreciate them more. Donâ€™t think Eleanor didnâ€™t tell me how you treated her. I wonâ€™t have you treating people you feel are inferior to you that way again. No one is inferior to you. No one.â€
Cringing, I nodded.
â€œDo you agree to my terms?â€
â€œIâ€™ll be keeping tabs on you. If you so much as take a penny from someone to pay a bill, or call those wretched friends of yours, Iâ€™ll know. Then the deal is off, and the company will be sold before you can come crying back with your latest sob story. And you will be cut off completely until you get your parentâ€™s trust when you turn thirty.â€
â€œIt wonâ€™t come to any of that. I promise Iâ€™ll do better, Grandpa. I can do this.â€
Katherine Hastings loves love. Itâ€™s why she writes romance novels. Getting lost writing a romantic adventure is one of her favorite pastimes. When sheâ€™s not on an adventure with her characters, she can be found at her home in Wisconsin snuggling her husband, two Boston Terriers, and the worldâ€™s naughtiest cat. Two things make Katherine want to leave her happy home these days… going for rides on her dressage pony or floating at the beach in her big inflatable raft. Writing her novels while floating in the lake is one of her ultimate pleasures… that and Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds, of course.