Romancing the Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club)

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9780425275788: Romancing the Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club)

The New Billionaire Boys Club novel by the New York Times bestselling author.

The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society. Six men of astonishing wealth. But there’s one thing money can’t buy. When it comes to love, success doesn’t come so easily...

Jonathan Lyons. Playboy, billionaire, and adventurer, he lives life on the edge. When he hears that his mentor, Dr. Phineas DeWitt, had a secret journal that leads to a legendary artifact, Jonathan takes action. It stirs his blood, but it comes with a heady challenge: DeWitt’s daughter Violet. She has what Jonathan needs. And she’s not giving it up it to the man who broke her heart.

Violet is Jonathan’s weakness—he’s still in love despite their volatile breakup a decade ago. But Violet’s memories have a sharper edge. She’s never forgiven him for abandoning her. Or so she thought. When Jonathan’s attentions turn seductive, she’s in danger of falling for him all over again. And she can’t help but wonder...does he really want her, or just what she's hiding?

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About the Author:

Jessica Clare is the New York Times bestselling author of the Billionaire Boys Club novels including The Wrong Billionaire's Bed, Beauty and the Billionaire, and Stranded with a Billionaire. She is also the author of the Bluebonnet novels The Care and Feeding of an Alpha Male and The Girl's Guide to (Man)Hunting. She lives in Texas with her husband, cats, and has a day job in finance.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

AUTHOR’S NOTE

ONE

Violet DeWitt held the envelope marked “To Be Opened by My Daughter Upon My Death” and ran her fingers along the edges.

“Well?” the solicitor asked, clearly curious. “Aren’t you going to open it?”

But Violet only eyed the calligraphic writing in her father’s hand, reminiscent of medieval illuminations. She studied the ornate wax seal. It was such an unnecessary thing on a modern envelope. So very much something her father would do.

She carefully placed the envelope in her lap and gave the man across the desk from her a polite smile. “No, I’m not.”

The man’s broad forehead wrinkled, and he looked disappointed. “But it’s your father’s last wish, Ms. DeWitt. Don’t you want to honor it?”

“I’m fairly certain I know what it says already, Mr. Penning,” Violet said, keeping her voice brisk and cheerful as she tucked the envelope under her hands. “Now, is there anything else involved with my father’s estate that you need me for?”

He cast her another puzzled look before turning to the stack of papers on his desk and flipping through them. She understood the look he was giving her. Most people that the solicitor saw were probably grieving or concerned about money they would inherit; Violet was not interested in anything of the sort. She just wanted to leave.

“Your father was a great man,” Mr. Penning commented as he pulled out another piece of paper and peered at it through his bifocals.

“Yes.”

“His work was so very respected. I’ve read three of his books, and even though I’m only an armchair enthusiast, I couldn’t help but be fascinated. What an exciting life the man led. Really, just a great man.”

“So I am told.”

Now, Mr. Penning looked surprised. “Did you not know your father, Ms. DeWitt? I was under the impression—”

“I knew him,” she corrected, wishing the conversation wasn’t heading in this direction. The estate solicitor probably didn’t want to hear about her workaholic father’s long absences, his abandonment of her mother, and Dr. DeWitt’s own callous treatment of Violet. Everyone just assumed that the legendary archaeologist Dr. Phineas DeWitt was as lovable and endearing to his family as he was to the documentary cameras. Not the case, Violet thought to herself. Not the case at all. But she put a patient smile on her face and leaned forward, as if interested in what the paper Mr. Penning was clutching read. “His estate is all handled, right?”

“Oh.” He adjusted his glasses, refocusing back on the paperwork in front of him. “Yes, actually, I believe that envelope is the last item outstanding. Your father, I’m sorry to say, racked up quite a bit of debt prior to his death. It seemed he was privately funding a few personal expeditions and ran up several mortgages on his house, which was taken by the bank three weeks prior to his death.”

Violet made a sympathetic murmur in her throat. She didn’t care about the money or the house, and she hadn’t expected anything. She just wanted to leave.

“Luckily, there was an anonymous third-party donor who has paid off all of your father’s outstanding debts.”

“Very lucky,” Violet agreed, her fist clenching. She had an idea who that donor was, and she hated the jerk. Anonymous, indeed. Now he’d expect her to be grateful and throw herself at him with gratitude. Not in this lifetime.

“I think that’s everything, then.” The solicitor gave her one last expectant look, his gaze sliding to the envelope in her lap. When she made no move to open it, he sighed and handed her a paper to sign. She did, and he stood and extended his hand.

“Thank you, Mr. Penning. Call me if I can be of any further assistance,” she told him, all business. Then she shook his hand and left the law office, the unopened envelope clutched in hand.

When she got out to her car, Violet started the engine, tossed the envelope into the passenger seat, and then paused. She rubbed her forehead, willing the headache behind her eyes to go away. Envelopes were an old favorite of the late Phineas DeWitt. When she was eight, her father had given her an envelope for her birthday. Inside was a clue that, if followed, would lead her to a trail of additional clues. She’d been so excited at the time, and after a series of envelope clues, each one more complex than the last, she arrived at her present.

It was a copy of The Encyclopedia on the Study of Ancient Hieroglyphics. Used. The inscription inside said: To Phineas, thanks for being a great teacher.

Granted, it was an interesting book, but her eight-year-old self had wanted a Barbie.

Phineas paid no attention to Violet’s other birthdays until she turned sixteen. She’d received another envelope in the mail and had been excited despite initial trepidation. At the end of the chase, however, her present had been a copy of a doctoral thesis written by one of her father’s students on Minoan frescoes. He’d tacked a note to it that read: Pay attention, Violet. This is the sort of thing you’ll need to write if you want to work for your father!

Again, not something she’d particularly wanted. But Phineas DeWitt believed in two things—knowledge and adventure. All else was foolishness.

She’d tossed the photocopied thesis into the garbage and tried to forget about her father’s terrible ideas for birthday gifts. When she was eighteen, she fell for it one more time, and was just as disappointed. The end of that envelope chase led to an ugly copper ring that turned her finger green and looked like something out of a tourist shop. That was after a week of frantic searching to find what her father had left her, hoping against hope that he’d remembered what she liked, her fears and hopes and dreams, and that he’d give her a present that showed he really, truly did understand his daughter.

Not so much. Phineas DeWitt gave presents, but in the end, it was still all about him. Just like everything else with her father’s games, she knew that her initial excitement would lead to inevitable disappointment. The envelopes and the challenge were to mask the fact that Phineas put no thought or effort into her presents . . . just like he’d put no thought or effort into being her father.

And she knew what—and who—this last envelope game would lead to without even having to look.

Oh, Father. I know what you’re up to. This is just one more little game, and I’ve no intention of playing this time. Nothing you say or do can make me want to talk to Jonathan Lyons ever again.

Violet didn’t think she was a hard, unforgiving type. She was nice, darn it, and understanding. But when a guy gave you pretty words, got you pregnant, and abandoned you? That wasn’t so easy to forgive, or forget, no matter what her father wanted.

Some things you just couldn’t let go.

“This is her classroom,” Principal Esparza said to Jonathan Lyons, gesturing at the door ahead. “You’re sure Ms. DeWitt is expecting you? She didn’t indicate to me that she was anticipating a visitor, and this is a closed campus.” The principal sounded disapproving, but she hadn’t kicked him out. It was amazing what you could do if you showed up in an expensive suit with your personal bodyguard. Of course, being famous—or infamous—in the right circles certainly helped.

“She’s expecting me,” Jonathan said, adjusting the front of his suit jacket. “Perhaps she simply forgot to notify you. Violet is an old family friend of the Lyonses.”

“Well,” Ms. Esparza said with a happy smile. “I’m a big fan of your cars, though I certainly can’t afford one!” She gave a girlish giggle at odds with her advanced age.

He gave her his best rakish grin, adopting the part of the flirty playboy billionaire. “Shall I have one sent to you?”

“Oh, no.” Esparza giggled again, and tucked a gray-streaked lock of hair into her bun. “It’s against school policy. But you’re sweet to offer.” She moved forward and knocked on the cheerfully lettered Fifth Grade Social Studies door.

Jonathan swallowed the knot in his throat and shifted on his feet. It was pathetic to be nervous. He’d rappelled off of cliffs in Nepal, snorkeled with sharks, been in God knew how many cave-ins, and once ended up on a ship attacked by Somali pirates. He’d never been nervous in all those situations. Adrenaline-fueled? Absolutely. Nervous? Hell no.

But standing outside of a fifth-grade classroom, waiting for a woman that he hadn’t seen in ten years? His palms were sweating.

What would Violet look like? His memories of her were of certain things instead of the entire package. He remembered a short girl, no higher than his shoulder, with long, dark braids streaked with wild pink, a wicked smile, a lean figure, and a tramp stamp that said Carpe Diem across her lower back. He remembered the scent of her skin, the way she made soft little gasping cries when she came, and the tight suction of her mouth on his dick.

Just thinking about her brought a wealth of memories and regrets surging back to the forefront. There wasn’t a day that went by that he didn’t regret that last night, the last hour, the last minute they’d spent together.

She’d wanted to get married. Wanted their little summer fling in Greece to turn into something real. She’d insisted on returning to the States and settling down. And Jonathan had been nineteen, taking a semester off of college, and was dazzled by the dynamic Dr. Phineas DeWitt, who seemed daily on the verge of yet another important archaeological discovery. They’d both been participating in DeWitt’s latest dig for the summer, and it was the most exciting thing Jonathan had ever done. Growing up, Jonathan was the younger son of a businessman in desperate need of a miracle. Jonathan had watched, year after year, as his father poured every hour of his time and every dollar in his wallet into making Lyons Motors a viable company, all without success. Jonathan hadn’t been jealous of his father’s obsession with his car business; it simply was something that one had to shrug and ignore.

In Dr. DeWitt, however, he’d found a mentor and a father figure who cared what Jonathan thought. Suddenly, he was important, and it was intoxicating.

But Violet had a quick and decisive change of heart. She didn’t want a life of archaeological digs and adventure. She wanted home and a family, in that order. No more adventure, no more college, all at the age of nineteen. And she’d suggested that last night together that he give it all up and settle down with her.

Jonathan had laughed in her face, being a young asshole full of himself.

She’d slapped him, burst into tears, and stormed out of his life.

That was the night he’d lost her, and it didn’t take long before he regretted his cruelty. Greece without Violet at his side just wasn’t the same. In fact, nothing was the same. He began to miss her with the same intensity with which he’d loved the archaeological expedition, and confessed to Professor DeWitt, whom he viewed as a mentor and friend, of his longing. He was thinking about going after Violet. Apologizing. Trying again.

But her father told him it was a mistake. According to him, Violet had been stateside for all of a week before she’d shacked up with an ex-boyfriend. And he’d handed Jonathan a stack of field notes to bury his sorrow. Devastated, Jonathan threw himself into work.

A few weeks later, Dr. DeWitt had told a moping, despondent Jonathan that Violet had married and it was time to move on. Did Jonathan want to accompany him to an unearthing of a new tomb in the Valley of the Kings?

He did. He had. And he’d sunk himself into adventuring, archaeology, extreme sports—whatever it took to distract himself from the fact that he’d fucked up and lost Violet. When his father died and his older brother declared he didn’t want the family albatross of Lyons Motors, Jonathan had taken over, determined to make a success of things. Ten years later, with hard work, ingenuity, and help from the Brotherhood—the secret society of businessmen he was part of—he’d turned it into a billion-dollar company. Between work and his excursions around the world, Jonathan kept a hectic, jet-setting lifestyle.

It never quite succeeded in distracting him from what he’d lost, though. Ten years later, he was still mooning over Violet DeWitt and how different things would have been if he’d settled down with her after all.

Footsteps clicked on the linoleum flooring of the school, bringing him back to the present. An endless moment later, the classroom door opened. Jonathan lifted his head.

There she was, standing next to the heavy wooden classroom door, a faint, disappointed frown on her face, as if she’d expected to see him but had hoped otherwise.

Just like that, his palms began to sweat again.

She was different than he remembered. That was to be expected—he wasn’t the skinny nineteen-year-old boy with questionable skin and a lack of chest hair anymore. If anything, though, Violet had grown more beautiful than the last time he’d seen her . . . and more sedate. Gone was the wild, devilish look he’d loved so much, and the waist-length, streaked braids. This Violet was still tiny, but her lean figure had softened to lush curves, outlined by a demure black skirt and cream-colored blouse with a bow at the neck and long, billowing sleeves. She had plain black kitten heels on, no jewelry, and the long hair he remembered was cut into an asymmetrical black bob that was tucked behind one small ear and swung at her chin.

This was his wild Violet? It looked like her . . . and yet, not. Married life suited her, that was clear. She was as gorgeous as when he’d last seen her, and the thought of another man in her life made him ache inside. It should have been him at her side, but he’d been a selfish ass.

“Jonathan,” she said in a flat, polite voice. “What a lovely surprise.” Her voice indicated that it was neither a surprise nor lovely.

“Just a reminder, Ms. DeWitt, that visitors need to be checked in to the office in the future,” Principal Esparza said, casting another friendly smile in Jonathan’s direction.

“Of course. My apologies,” Violet said, ever so polite. “Won’t you come in, Jonathan?” She gestured at the classroom.

He gave a nod to his security guard, who turned to stand at the doorway in an alert pose. Not that Jonathan was expecting trouble at Neptune Middle School, of course, but he had found out a long time ago that looking important got you as many places—and sometimes more—than greasing palms did.

Violet’s little heels clacked as she returned to sit at her oversized desk at the front of the room. He noticed she didn’t offer him a seat, and eyed the rickety student desks lined up in neat rows. Her classroom was colorful and bold, pictures of exotic locations and maps of the world covering the walls, along with charts and flags. Despite the surroundings, the school was old and dark, the wood paneling warped with age, and he was pretty sure the tiles in the ceiling were going to fall down due to water damage. “Nice place. Where are your students?”

“It’s three thirty,” she said in that too-smooth, too-controlled voice. “Class is over. This is detenti...

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Descrizione libro Berkley Books, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The New Billionaire Boys Club novel by the New York Times bestselling author. The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society. Six men of astonishing wealth. But there s one thing money can t buy. When it comes to love, success doesn t come so easily. Jonathan Lyons. Playboy, billionaire, and adventurer, he lives life on the edge. When he hears that his mentor, Dr. Phineas DeWitt, had a secret journal that leads to a legendary artifact, Jonathan takes action. It stirs his blood, but it comes with a heady challenge: DeWitt s daughter Violet. She has what Jonathan needs. And she s not giving it up it to the man who broke her heart. Violet is Jonathan s weakness--he s still in love despite their volatile breakup a decade ago. But Violet s memories have a sharper edge. She s never forgiven him for abandoning her. Or so she thought. When Jonathan s attentions turn seductive, she s in danger of falling for him all over again. And she can t help but wonder.does he really want her, or just what she s hiding?. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780425275788

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Descrizione libro Berkley Books, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The New Billionaire Boys Club novel by the New York Times bestselling author. The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society. Six men of astonishing wealth. But there s one thing money can t buy. When it comes to love, success doesn t come so easily. Jonathan Lyons. Playboy, billionaire, and adventurer, he lives life on the edge. When he hears that his mentor, Dr. Phineas DeWitt, had a secret journal that leads to a legendary artifact, Jonathan takes action. It stirs his blood, but it comes with a heady challenge: DeWitt s daughter Violet. She has what Jonathan needs. And she s not giving it up it to the man who broke her heart. Violet is Jonathan s weakness--he s still in love despite their volatile breakup a decade ago. But Violet s memories have a sharper edge. She s never forgiven him for abandoning her. Or so she thought. When Jonathan s attentions turn seductive, she s in danger of falling for him all over again. And she can t help but wonder.does he really want her, or just what she s hiding?. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780425275788

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Descrizione libro Berkley Books, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The New Billionaire Boys Club novel by the New York Times bestselling author. The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society. Six men of astonishing wealth. But there s one thing money can t buy. When it comes to love, success doesn t come so easily. Jonathan Lyons. Playboy, billionaire, and adventurer, he lives life on the edge. When he hears that his mentor, Dr. Phineas DeWitt, had a secret journal that leads to a legendary artifact, Jonathan takes action. It stirs his blood, but it comes with a heady challenge: DeWitt s daughter Violet. She has what Jonathan needs. And she s not giving it up it to the man who broke her heart. Violet is Jonathan s weakness--he s still in love despite their volatile breakup a decade ago. But Violet s memories have a sharper edge. She s never forgiven him for abandoning her. Or so she thought. When Jonathan s attentions turn seductive, she s in danger of falling for him all over again. And she can t help but wonder.does he really want her, or just what she s hiding?. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780425275788

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