The Valiant Trilogy

age gap
slow burn

During her interview at Valiant Industries, Mackenzie Marshal finds herself drawn in by a sexy young CEO. When she's offered a temporary job as his assistant rather than the marketing position she applied for, will she accept to gain experience at the state's most resounding firm?

Despite his knowledgeable eyes and handsome face, Vincent is a demanding boss. His brilliant business mind and callous behavior leave Mackenzie confused when she finds herself falling for her jerk of a boss. She quickly realizes she'll risk everything for Valiant, from her career to her family, but will the risk be worth it.

But Vincent has a secret and when Mackenzie learns the truth will she stay or make a run for it?

A brand-new drama filled, enemies-to-lovers, age-gap, alpha hero, office romance from USA TODAY Bestselling author Megan Matthews.

#explicit Content

#Suggested age range 18+

The Valiant Trilogy is created by Megan Matthews, an eGlobal Creative Publishing Signed Author.

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Chapter 1: The Interview of a Lifetime
The elevator rises higher until the bright red numbers stop on eighteen. I take a deep breath and, in my head, recite my thirty-second pitch describing why I'd be a great Valiant Industries employee if given the chance. You got this, Mackenzie. "Interview of a lifetime" does not do enough to foreshadow the next hour of my life. A job in the marketing department at one of the world's largest firms would change my entire future. The doors slide open and Greg, the assistant who greeted me in the building lobby, leads us down a long hallway to a glass room. There isn't a solid wall in it, making the room appear as if it's a greenhouse built in the middle of the sizable building. From my vantage point in the hallway I can see across the room and out the next set of windows, which overlook downtown Lansing. Inside sits a giant table, big enough to fit thirty people. It takes up most of the space. The rest is eaten up by oversized leather chairs with equal amounts of space between each one. Only two chairs are occupied at the moment by a man whose attention is on his phone and a woman who watches our arrival. Greg stops outside the conference room and holds out his hand, indicating I should enter. With a forced smile, so I don't throw up from the nerves, I take hold of the handle and pull. Nothing happens. My smile falters and my eyes widen at Greg. Did I fail the first test? Is the door locked? Are they trying to keep me from my interview? Holy crap, if my heart beats any faster it will break through my ribs and I'll die. No Mackenzie, get a grip. You can't have a panic attack now. His expression doesn't change, and he nods again, letting me know it's safe to enter. I pull harder and again nothing happens. My panic wells up inside, causing my heart to flail around in my chest like a bouncy ball stuck in a cement room with nowhere to go. What. The. f**k? What the hell is wrong with me and doors today? I've never had an issue before, but now I've had troubles opening two of them. I'm not a klutz nor do I give anyone reason to make blonde jokes. Normally I'm a smart, efficient, semi-graceful—okay that might be a stretch—human. I didn't even make it into the room and I've failed a strategic test. The advertisements weren't lying. Only the smartest can work at Valiant Industries, and I have failed. A force tugs against my hand, dragging me with it as the door opens inward. Greg, my savior, clears his throat bringing me back from the brink of humiliation. Should I turn around and leave now? A position at Valiant Industries is a dream job, but can I face the mortification of interviewing with people who witnessed my failed attempt at the simple task of opening a door? Greg's taller form presses close to my back, practically pushing me in the room and taking the choice away from me. Acting as though I didn't make a huge fool of myself mere seconds ago, he pulls out a chair for me to sit in and then selects a spot on the other side of the table at the end of the interview panel members. "Nice to meet you, Ms. Marshal. Won't you please have a seat?" An older woman with graying hair pulled into a tight bun on top of her head says. She waits until I sit before continuing. "You can call me Shirley. Greg and I will conduct your interview today with the help of Mr. Valiant." I've done my absolute best to avoid looking in his direction, but I can no longer pretend the fourth person in the room is none other than the charismatic owner of Valiant Industries, Vincent. Why would he be in my interview for a marketing assistant position? It's a step up from a mailroom clerk. I reach a hand out, ready to shake his, but am only met with disappointment. Mr. Valiant, a head of dark brown hair cut short to his scalp, half glances in my direction before his attention falls back to the oversized phone as he taps on the surface. The phone and tilt of his head hide his face from my position, but I don't need to see it to visualize his looks. His pure blue eyes soften the powerful jaw and nose that also adorn his face. The man has eyelashes for days. It's impossible to miss his hotness factor. There's no doubt about it, Vincent Valiant is one of the hottest rich men in America. He may be a Warren Buffett in investing and Bill Gates in technology, but he is a Robert Downey Jr. in looks. Some girls have all the luck. As with most beautiful people, word on the street is he's a major d**k. Ruthless in business, little is known about his personal life because it's said he doesn't have one. But can you blame the man? It takes a lot of work to build a corporation as large as his in only ten years. You don't become a billionaire at age thirty-two by playing nice and cutting checks. The room is silent for a moment as each of them size me up from my position. Not only did they witness my inability to work a door, but now I'm an animal in a zoo on display for everyone to critique. Shirley scribbles a few notes on the piece of paper she has stuck to a clipboard, tilted up and out of my view. If I could read them, they'd say, Problems with simple tasks. Greg reads over her shoulder and smiles—but not at me, to himself as if reliving my earlier moment. The only person not bothering themselves with my appearance is Mr. Valiant. Is it too much to ask that at least he missed my embarrassing situation? "I brought a few additional copies of my résumé in case you didn't have it." I pull three pieces of paper out of the manila folder I've been carrying in my leather briefcase and pass them across the table. It's only a page long because I have shitty job experience. I worked two jobs to put myself through undergrad and then took an unpaid internship to help earn credits for my master's degree program. I funded the last six years of my life by folding clothes at a retail chain, making deli sandwiches on my weekends and holidays at home, and acquiring massive amounts of student loans. Shirley looks at the résumé for less than a minute, nodding her head a few times, but Greg follows the same path as Valiant and doesn't touch the paper. Don't they know how much quality résumé paper costs? If I get kicked out of this interview, I'm so stealing them back. "Please tell us a little about your experience and what you've been doing while in college," Greg prompts, tapping his pen on the table. It's a boring answer, but I try to talk it up as much as possible. I attended a well-sized university in the middle of the state for undergrad and then switched to Michigan State University to complete my master's degree. It's difficult making a summer selling T-shirts at Target sound like marketing experience, but my best friend and roommate is a future lawyer and knows how to spin a tale. The two of us together could be marketing geniuses. Valiant tosses his phone on the table. It's loud and I flinch at the intrusion. "Did you have an actual internship at Target or are you trying to pass off the fact you worked retail as job experience? We don't sell shirts here, Ms. Marshal."

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