Amy’s career aspirations have been put on hold by her TV-anchor boyfriend who has been moving from town to town, up the network ladder. In Palm Springs, they finally break up, and he leaves for Los Angeles. Now she is intent on leaving waitressing jobs behind and finding a job she can be proud of that will finally set her on a career path. Meanwhile, Rick is in need of a new administrative assistant and a chief operating officer at his real estate development company, Casas de Buen Dia, which creates little boutique hotels in this trendy desert city. When Rick hits a stray dog with his car in front of Amy’s café, she rushes out to help. A couple of days later, Rick comes to the café and offers her his open admin job. Although it’s not the job she’d normally consider, it’s better than waiting on tables. Amy finds she loves the real estate development business and starts to do many of the things a COO would do. Rick, however, doesn’t want a woman in power in his business, believing his mother stole the family construction company from his father, an act of perdition that sent his father into a death spiral of drunkenness and depression. As Amy plots ways to get promoted in the company, Rick tries to figure out how he can lay her off to dodge the obvious conflicts in the workplace—and still have her as a girlfriend and lover. When Amy pulls off the real estate coup of the decade for him, he sees it as subterfuge instead of the true gift it is. Despite their mutual attraction, he decides they can have no future together. Then, an elderly Mexican woman shows up to set things straight. A romance for smart girls, One Way to Succeed is the first in a series about the loves and lives of the people at the Casas de Buen Dia development company.