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Jules Barnard Books

Seducing Bran -- Rom-Com Paperback

Seducing Bran -- Rom-Com Paperback

Regular price $15.99 USD
Regular price $19.99 USD Sale price $15.99 USD
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Main Tropes

  • Wrong brother
  • Curvy heroine
  • Uptight billionaire
  • Opposites attract
  • Small town/upscale resort


The wrong brother...

Ireland needs a fresh start, and her cousin convinces her to take a chance on a charismatic bad-boy with a wicked boat and a killer body. But when Ireland shows up for the popular Lake Tahoe booze cruise he runs, she finds his handsome older brother at the helm instead.

Bran likes things structured and predictable. Especially after the mistakes he made ten years ago. But his father's recent passing threw his calm life into chaos, and now Bran is in charge of the family's five-star restaurants. He's been grasping to get things back to status-quo ever since.

He has no idea how much more complicated life will get.

Flame-haired Ireland is exactly the type of beautiful woman Bran has programed himself to avoid. But when she falls into his lap on a booze cruise his brother asked him to cover, the boat isn't the only thing tossed by the water. Bran's heart goes overboard as well.

Headstrong Ireland is nothing Bran wants, and everything he needs.

Chapter 1 Look Inside

Thanks to a hard nudge from her cousin Cali, Ireland nearly slipped off the wooden stool of the pizza joint.

Cali lifted her chin toward a table across the way. “Check out who’s here.”

Ireland grabbed glasses from her purse and slipped them on. 

And promptly pulled them off, shoving them back in her bag. She continued to peel the edges of her napkin. “I’ve met the Cade brothers a half dozen times. I know who they are.”

Cali blinked at Ireland’s purse. “But you didn’t see them, did you? When I said you should try going without your glasses, I thought you’d wear contacts. You’re going to get yourself killed without them.”

“My new contacts irritate my eyes. And it’s not like I drive without my glasses.”

Cali didn’t look convinced. “You ever think about surgery?”

Ireland frowned. “Do you want someone cutting into your eyeball?”

Cali scrunched her nose.

“Exactly,” Ireland said. “When I muster the nerve to have my eyes lasered, I’ll let you know. Besides, I can’t afford it right now.”

“Well, in the meantime, at least put your darn glasses back on, because two single Cades are in the house, and they’re hot. I think you should go for one of them.”

Ireland rolled her nearsighted eyes. She didn’t need to see clearly. She was well aware of the strapping Cade brothers. “I appreciate you wanting to help me find dates while I’m in Lake Tahoe, because you found Jaeg in this town, and he’s, well, Jaeger, but I don’t have the same luck you do. Besides, I want a relationship to happen naturally. Like things did for you and Jaeg.” 

A look crossed Cali’s eyes. “I wouldn’t say things began smoothly with Jaeg, but we figured things out. And yes, my lover is incredible.” She waggled her eyebrows.

Ireland pinched the bridge of her nose. “Too much information, Cali.”

Cali nudged Ireland in the shoulder again. “Speaking of my hot fiancé, he’s friends with the Cades. They’re good guys; you should give one of them a chance. Your let-it-happen-naturally approach sucks. You haven’t gone on a date since you arrived.”

Ireland frowned. “I’ve spent the last half a dozen years around socially inept men while working my tail off. Dating someone isn’t a top priority. Not that I don’t find men attractive from time to time.” Including one Cade brother, who Ireland wasn’t going to mention. It would only rile up Cali. 

“Which is why it’s time you get out and date normal guys. Weren’t all the men you worked with techy nerds with no social skills?”

“Not all of them. And if they’re nerds, so am I.”

“You need your nerd card revoked. You’re not even using one of those apps to chat with single men online.”

“So I can go on a date with a stranger who turns out to be a sociopath?”

Cali leaned back. “Damn. You really got burned at that shitty company.”

“What does that have to do with my dating life?”

“Because the guys you worked with were jerks, from the little you’ve shared. I think they scarred you.”

No argument there. 

“I want you to forget about that place. It wasn’t normal. You’re in Lake Tahoe now, and things are different here. You can either put yourself out there—like making a move with one of those hot Cade brothers—or you can use a dating app. Whichever works.” Cali grinned. “Because we both know that being cooped up with IT nerds hasn’t helped your dating life.”

“I work at one of the swankiest casino hotels in Lake Tahoe. Some of the guys there are really nice.”

“You told me all the good ones are married.” 

Shouldn’t have mentioned that. 

“Now, the Cade brothers, on the other hand…” Cali glanced across the room. “That’s prime Lake Tahoe man real estate.”

“Did you just call them man real estate?”

“Your point? They’re hot.”

The Cades were attractive. One in particular. And he had zero interest in Ireland. “They’re not interested in me.”

Cali hit her forehead with the heel of her hand. “Jesus, Ireland. Have you looked in the mirror?”

“I have, actually. Glasses, pale skin, bright hair.” Ireland looked up as though considering. “A little wide in the hip region.”

Cali shook her head. “That’s called curves, and be glad you have them. Some women aren’t so lucky.”

“Physical attractiveness is subjective,” Ireland said. “I personally think I fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.”

“Obviously we’re related, because you’re stubborn. Ireland, you’re smart and beautiful. Have you even considered letting a guy in now that you’re away from the Silicon Valley bullshit?”

Ireland thought back to the Club Tahoe anniversary party she’d attended with Cali and Jaeg. And her attempt at talking to Bran. “Yes. And if you’re still on the subject of the Cades, it’s a no. At least on their end.”

Cali’s eyes narrowed. “So you do like them. Which one? A couple have dropped off due to girlfriends and wives and whatnot, but the other two? Like the ones sitting a dozen feet away?”

“Bran’s not interested. He glares at me.”

Cali pursed her lips. “From what I can tell, Bran doesn’t seem much into dating. Which is a damn shame, because he’s delicious. What about Hunt?”

“The player?”

“Player, schmayer—who cares? He’s gorgeous, and he’d be fun. There’s no reason to get more involved than that. You need a warm-up after six years of IT employment prison, and Hunt’s just the guy to heat the coals.”

Ireland stared. “Is that some reference to my ovaries?”

Cali’s lips parted in a silent what. “Think of it as a practice date. How long has it been since you’ve gone out?”

A year? Two? “A while.”

“And therein lies my point. You need to date so you’re comfortable when the right guy comes along and sweeps you off your feet. You can be a little…”

Ireland sighed. “Just say it. I’m awkward.”

“Only when you’re nervous,” Cali said quickly.

“Which is all the time when I’m around people I don’t know.”

Cali’s lips twisted to the side. “It takes practice. Not everyone’s comfortable around strangers.”

Or attractive men, Ireland thought. 

“If you go on a few no-pressure dates, it’ll help ease those nerves.”

Sadly, Cali was talking sense. “Fine. I see your point.”

She grinned. But this time, it wasn’t directed at Ireland. 

Ireland slipped on her glasses and stared in the direction of Cali’s gaze. 

Jaeg had entered the restaurant, and he was making his way over.

Ireland tucked her glasses back. “Your lover is here.”

A purr emanated from Cali’s chest, because clearly Cali’s senses had already tuned into his presence. Her pheromones must have been triggered the moment Jaeg entered the room.

These two. Good thing the guest bedroom of Cali and Jaeg’s place was on the other side of the house. Ireland wore earplugs at night so she didn’t accidentally overhear something she didn’t want to. 

Jaeg made his way to their table and bent and kissed Cali on the lips. “Good evening, ladies. How’s everything?” He took a seat next to Cali and draped his large arm across the back of her chair. All the while, Cali grinned at Jaeg like she hadn’t seen him in weeks instead of just this morning. 

Cali saw her fiancé more often than most couples, with Jaeg working from home in the woodshop on his property. You’d think the ardor would have worn off by now, but no, they were still setting off fire alarms with merely a look.

Which sounded kind of nice. 

Ireland wasn’t jealous. Not one bit.

Okay, she envied the hell out of them.

Ireland had never dated anyone she had that kind of chemistry with. She was happy for Cali, but she’d be lying if she said she didn’t want something similar. Which was why she was seriously considering dating this Hunt guy, even if he was a player. And even if it was his brother Bran who drew her attention. Cali was right—Ireland needed to warm up in the dating department, and Bran wasn’t into her.

Ireland had learned a long time ago that a relationship with a man who was only slightly interested wasn’t worth it. 

“Are you sure Hunt would go out with me?” Ireland said. “I’m not putting out, if that’s what it would take.”

Cali snapped out of her Jaeg haze, her gaze swinging back to Ireland. “Hunt’s not like that. He seems to enjoy the company of women—all women. Besides, that man doesn’t need to work on getting laid. Women drop their panties left and right for him. A date with you would be a palate cleanser.”

Jaeg chewed a bite of their leftover pizza and wiped his mouth, resting his bare forearm on the table. “You interested in Hunt?”

“Not exactly,” Ireland said.

“Ireland just needs…” Cali distractedly trailed her fingers down Jaeg’s arm. Where they lingered. She flattened her hand, squeezing and running it up and down his muscular forearm. 

“Cali,” Ireland snapped.

“Right.” Cali removed her hand from her fiancé. “As I was saying,” she paused and looked at Jaeg as though she hadn’t just been feeling up his muscles, “Ireland needs to go out on a date or two to break the seal. She’s been cooped up with video game nerds who have no social skills.”

Ireland raised her finger. “I’ve been known to play video games. And my social skills are just as deficient as theirs.”

“Exactly,” Cali said. “It’s like the blind leading the blind. And in your case, I mean that literally.”

Truth. Ireland couldn’t see shit without her glasses. But she was trying to change her image from massive nerd, to only slightly nerdy. And she wasn’t lying about the contact lenses. They bugged the crap out of her eyes. Until she got new ones, or braved surgery, she was as blind as a bat. 

“If you want to date Hunt, I can put in a good word,” Jaeg said, then took a swig of Cali’s beer and eyed another slice of pizza. Apparently massive appetites went hand in hand with large men, because Jaeg always seemed to be eating. Ireland and Cali could throw down in the food department, but Jaeg’s appetite made them look like small eaters.  

“No.” Ireland shook her head. “That’s embarrassing.”

“It won’t take much,” Cali said, and looked to Jaeg. “Right?”

“Nah,” Jaeg said. “I won’t make it obvious. I’ll tell him we want to show you around Tahoe. See if he knows of anything fun.”

Ireland folded the napkin she’d been shredding. “I guess that’s okay.”

“You see?” Cali said, and squeezed her hand. “It will be super chill. Hunt’s a nice guy.”

* * *

“When was the last time you got laid?” Hunt said.

Bran’s brothers were always bugging him about his personal life, and the conversation got old. 

He pulled down the bill of his baseball cap. He could see just past the rim at the crowded pizza joint. “I don’t need to get laid. I’m content on my own.” 

Hunt snorted. “Fuck content. Have our parents’ fates taught you nothing? Life’s too short. You gotta live it to the fullest while you can.”

Bran, Hunt, and their three brothers had lost their mother when they were kids. Poor Hunt had been a toddler at the time. Their father’s passing to cancer at a relatively young age too meant it was just the five of them now. No aunts or uncles or cousins to reach out to, since their father had cut off communication with extended family after their mother’s death.

Bran shot Hunt a look. “I don’t want the kind of fun you have.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Bran tipped his head back and looked toward the ceiling. “Let’s see…first, there was Levi’s girlfriend.” Hunt hooked up with their oldest brother’s girlfriend when Hunt was only eighteen. That had been a nightmare.

Hunt shifted in his seat. “That was ages ago, and Levi has forgiven me.”

“Because he fell in love with Emily.”


Bran shook his head. Emily had knocked some sense into their oldest brother Levi, softening him and making him realize how important family was. She’d helped smooth things over between Levi and Hunt. Still… “There’s also the fact that you sleep with anything on two legs.”

Hunt curled his lip back. “Now that’s just rude. I have standards.”

Bran raised an eyebrow. 

“Granted, not the same standards you do, but you haven’t gotten action in years. We’re all curious about your standards, given they prevent you from getting close to the opposite sex.”

Bran hadn’t asked for his brother’s opinion, not that it made a difference. He received regular feedback whether he wanted it or not.

It wasn’t so much that Bran had standards that ruled his life, but that he practiced a careful assessment of his actions before he did anything stupid. 

Like he’d done in high school.

Which had changed the way he viewed the world.

But Bran wasn’t missing this opportunity to give Hunt a hard time. “My standards are simple. I choose understated over flashy.”

Hunt pointed at Bran. “And that’s your problem, right there. Nothing wrong with flashy. Flashy is fun. Remember that, brother? Fun? I seem to recall a time when you knew what that was, but it’s been so fucking long my memory is hazy.”

It had been a while since Bran had let loose. Because it typically equated to trouble in his book. Past experience proved his judgment sucked, so he chose to ignore fun altogether. “What’s your point?”

“Don’t you think it’s time you loosened up?” Hunt shrugged like a boxer preparing for a fight. “I don’t want to call you uptight, but…”

Bran rolled his eyes then scanned the restaurant for the waitress. Where the hell was his beer?

Bran’s brother Wes blocked his view and pulled up a chair. “I can’t stay long. Kaylee’s exhausted and I’ve got baby duties to take over so Kaylee can get some rest. What’d I miss? Heard you talking about fun.” 

Their brother Adam rolled up next, looking eagerly between Wes and Bran. “Bran’s having fun?” Adam flagged the waitress with a flick of his polished, Armani-covered wrist. 

Adam wore suits to work every day, and he didn’t mind it. The same couldn’t be said for Bran and the rest of their brothers, who preferred casual to Adam’s designer duds.  

“No, and that’s the problem,” Hunt said, and craned his neck. “Where’s Levi?” 

They peered toward the front of the restaurant right as Levi walked in with his girlfriend, Emily, who worked with them at Club Tahoe.

Perfect. They were all here now, and primed to give Bran shit.

Levi and Emily took seats across from Bran. “Can’t stay long,” Levi said.

“Story of the evening,” Hunt grumbled. “None of you are any fun. Remind me to not settle down. It’s turned you all into bores.”

Levi glared at Hunt. “It’s got nothing to do with settling down, though you could stand to work more and play less. Some of us are trying to keep the club running and continue to make the place a source of employment for the community. Oh, and we’ve matured with age. But I guess you wouldn’t know anything about that.”

Levi and Hunt might have rebuilt burned bridges, but some things never changed. They still got on each other’s nerves.

“Work more?” Hunt said, ignoring Levi’s comment about growing up. “I work full time at the club, just like you. But when I’m not working, I’m playing. Because I know how to have a good time, unlike you sorry saps.” 

Levi shook his head and looked at Bran. “He’s a lost cause. How about you? The new ordering system up and running?”

In an effort to drum up more restaurant business in a competitive resort community, Bran had convinced Levi to invest a crap-ton of money in new technology for the restaurants. Bran was in charge of all four Club Tahoe restaurants and estimated they could fulfill significantly more orders with the new equipment. Only the system was a huge learning curve for his staff. 

“For the most part,” Bran said. “The employees are still training.” 

“What about technical support from the company? They helping out?”

“They’re helping, but I have over sixty full- and part-time employees to manage. It’s a process to get them up to speed.”

“Noted.” Levi looked at Emily, his hand resting possessively on her leg. “Have you checked out the system?”

Emily’s eyes lit up. “Of course I have. You know how much I love my tablet. And the restaurants’ table tablets are spiffier than mine, with all sorts of fun features to keep the guests entertained. We’ve already seen an increase in affiliate money with the new keno app we installed.” 

The waitress handed Levi his beer, and he took a swig. “Good call, Bran. As long as nothing goes wrong, I don’t see how this could hurt the club.”

Bran rubbed his jaw. The new technology had all the signs of a win, but Bran had a difficult time trusting his instincts, and this investment had been based purely on a gut feeling. If the investment failed, the blame would be on him. 

“Look who’s here,” Hunt said, grinning, and stood to shake Jaeg’s hand.

Jaeg joined Bran and his brothers, and Bran’s neck prickled. If Jaeg was at the restaurant… 

Bran glanced around the room. And spotted Jaeg’s fiancée. With her cousin, Ireland. 


Jaeg and Bran chatted about the art commission the club had hired Jaeg to do for the steakhouse, and made plans for Bran to check it out. 

Jaeg nodded at Hunt. “What are you up to these days?”

“Not too much. You got something in mind?”

“Cali wants to show her cousin more of Lake Tahoe. If you have plans to go exploring in the near future, give us a call. We’d like to join you.”

Hunt glared at Bran and the rest of them. “Now that’s what I’m talking about. Jaeg and Cali know how to have fun.”

And Ireland, Bran thought.

His horny youngest brother would be the fourth to Cali, Jaeg, and Ireland’s third wheel. 

Bran’s jaw clenched. He didn’t like thinking of Ireland with other guys, especially his brothers. The fact it bothered him at all pissed him off even more.

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“My first time reading this author and when I finished this story, I promptly went out and looked for more!” ~ AngelaC, Reviewer

“Almost immediate electrifying pull between the main male and female characters.” ~ BookBub Reviewer

“Wow this book is amazing, wonderful characters and beautiful family.” ~ Julia, Reviewer

“This book is very well written with an entertaining storyline and intriguing characters. I highly recommend it.” Bette Hanson, Reviewer

“These Cade brothers don’t fall easily, but they do fall hard.” ~ Knightly Reading

“Great characters, fun banter and good story makes this a great read.” ~ Goodreads Reviewer