The Reluctant Billionaire


From USA Today Bestselling Author Danielle Duncan…

When BBW Sophie begins her new job as chef in William Blackwell’s mansion, she wants a new start. Her last job led to a romance with her billionaire boss which ended in heartbreak. This time, she swears she’ll stay away from workplace romance…a vow that’s put to the test when she meets the enigmatic Rhys, one of the mansion’s gardeners.

William “Rhys” Blackwell might be a billionaire, but he still loves digging in his gardens. When he meets Sophie he feels instantly attracted to her. But Sophie says she doesn’t want to date anyone from the mansion, and Rhys knows that goes double for him, so he keeps his identity quiet. Maybe if she gets to know him first, she’ll change her mind.

In the midst of the growing attraction between Sophie and Rhys, they have other problems to deal with, too…a lawsuit, a billionaire ex-lover and more. In the end, there’s just one question: what are they willing to risk for a chance at love?

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The Reluctant Billionaire Excerpt

“What did he do to you to make it too painful to see him?” Rhys said.

Her eyes filled with tears. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

She’d made it to the opening in the treehouse floor when Rhys grabbed her arm.

“Tell me. Please. Because right now I’m imagining awful things.”

The truth was pretty bad, although who knew what he was thinking. She didn’t want to talk about it though.

“Please,” Rhys said.

Sophie gazed at the tree, trying to forget that Rhys was behind her. “He told me he loved me, and that we’d get married. I was a fool, and I believed him, so when we slept together I didn’t always make him use protection.” Make that never. She’d never insisted. She’d been stupid blind with love for him. “When I got pregnant, he gave me a stack of bills so I could get an abortion.”

She paused. “I told him I didn’t want an abortion and that I didn’t see the point, since we were going to get married. That’s when he laughed at me and told me it had all been a lie to get me into bed.” She’d been so gullible. What had made her think a rich, good-looking man would marry a round-in-the-middle cook?

Rhys squeezed her arm, just a little. “And the baby?”

“Miscarriage.” She spat the word out, trying not to think about what it meant. “I’m sure he was happy. Took me a while to get myself together again. Then I found this job, and here I am.”

Rhys put his arms around her from behind and hugged her. “That’s terrible.”

She put her hand on one of the arms around her. She’d gotten plenty of hugs from her family when she’d lost the baby. Somehow, this felt different. Maybe because Stanford hadn’t once consoled her. And now this man who hadn’t even known her then was giving her what she’d needed all along.

Sophie leaned her head back and rested it against his chest. “It’s over. But sometimes I still think about my little baby. I wonder if it would’ve been a boy or a girl, and what it might have grown up to do. And I wonder if I would have lost it if he’d kept his promises.” She’d never know. But she’d always wondered if the stress of losing him had somehow hurt the baby.

Rhys squeezed her tighter. They sat like that for a while. Then he loosened his arms and said, “Let’s get back.” He helped her find the wooden slats so she didn’t fall climbing out of the tree house. When they’d both reached the ground, he put his hand on her back and steered her down the path.

“Isn’t this away from the house?”

“We’re taking another route. There’s something I want to show you.”

They wound through the wooded area and emerged into the sun. More gardens and wild patches ranged for as far as she could see. “This is all Mr. Blackwell’s?”

“It is.”

“He must love the outdoors.”

Rhys didn’t say anything, just guided her down another path through shrubs and flower beds bursting with reds and pinks and purples. They seemed to be edging back toward the house, though she couldn’t see it through the trees.

“Here we are,” Rhys said.

They stepped into a small clearing still wild with clover and pretty little wild flowers scattered through the grass. As they stepped closer, she could see the ring of stones and the unhurried flight of ten…no, twenty, maybe even thirty…different butterflies.

“It’s beautiful,” she said.

“I built it thinking someday my kids could come here and play. These flowers are designed to attract butterflies, and we’ve done other things as well to make this a sort of butterfly refuge.”

She took a few steps closer. Butterflies flew all around her.

“I would think, wherever your little baby went, it might be something like this.”

Sophie blinked back tears. She’d often wondered about where her child had gone. “Thank you.”

Rhys put his arms around her again and kissed the top of her head. They stood like that for a while and eventually, a butterfly landed on one of Rhys’ arms. It flapped its wings lazily not far from Sophie’s face.

She’d never been anyplace that felt so peaceful. This is exactly where she’d have wanted her child to have gone.

Sophie rubbed her cheek against Rhys’ arm. “Thank you,” she said again.

Quietly, without talking about it, they disentangled themselves and left the butterflies. Rhys took her down a different path that led back into the forest.

“You can go there anytime,” he said at length.

“I think I will.”

He walked her all the way to the kitchen door before wandering back into the garden. She still thought she needed to avoid a relationship with him. But was she making a big mistake in pushing him away?

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What do rock stars, a movie star, several billionaires, some alpha wolves, a mercenary and a couple of guys next door have in common? They’re all Crazy about Curves and they are all part of this collection of ten romances, from sweet to scorching, featuring plus-size heroines and the men who crave their lush, curvy bodies. Brought to you by today’s hottest New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors and romance’s future stars!

Captive Heart – Adriana Hunter (NYT/USAT). Lainey Matthews will stop at nothing to rescue her brother, even if it means contacting a dangerous mercenary with a shady past. But when she comes face to face with Gideon Wolfe, it doesn’t take long before she has to wonder whether she might be the one that needs saving…from him.

Alpha Marked #1: Scarlet – Celia Kyle (NYT/USAT). Thirty and single? Well, getcha ass to the Gathering! As if hitting thirty wasn’t enough, unmated Scarlet is summoned to this year’s Gathering. Marked to mate an Alpha pair, she can only find happiness with two werewolves. Which means werewolf speed dating. Great.

Curvy, Crazy, and Confused – Ava Catori (NYT/USAT). Samantha finds her uptight neighbor boring. Christopher thinks she is loud and annoying. Being trapped in an elevator together should be their worst nightmare. So why can’t Sam stop thinking about him, and why is the claustrophobic Chris more than ready for another elevator ride with the plush beauty?

The Reluctant Billionaire – Danielle Duncan. After a failed affair with a billionaire, Sophie swears off workplace romance and takes a job as another rich man’s chef. Then she falls hard for Rhys, mistaking him for a mere gardener. Can love survive his secret, her ex-lover and a lawsuit that threatens everything?

Bought by the Billionaire Brothers – Alexx Andria (NYT/USAT). Twins Nolan and Vince hatch an indecent plan to put accountant Penny McDaniels in their bed at any cost. Soon enough, their feelings for Penny go beyond the physical, but they never imagined their older brother Dillon would return home and threaten everything in their world.CrazyAboutCurvesBox800

Bikini Curves – Charlotte Summers. Rescued from drowning, layout artist Maddy Davis never expected her hero to be womanizing actor Alex Stone or for the event to be aired live on TV. Now she’s part of a PR stunt to save his tarnished reputation. But how much of Alex’s interest is a role and how much is real?

Ripped – Olivia Rigal (USAT). Lyv wants a life far removed from her dysfunctional family and the diner they own, especially now that Ten, her best friend and lifeline to normality, is spending a semester in Europe. What she gets is an absent rock-star baby daddy and one helluva choice to make – unless it’s ripped from her first.

Curve Contract – Christa Wick (NYT/USAT). Cheated by her PR firm’s CPA, Pippa Jones is about to lose everything – until billionaire Blake Cross offers to fix both their problems with a fake marriage. But with Blake worshipping her body 24/7, the cost of saving her firm just might be a broken heart.

Something True – Malia Mallory (NYT/USAT). Irish superstar Liam Smith is in trouble with the law – again – and must perform community service. A music charity that entertains hospitalized kids seems like the perfect fit, especially since its director Shelley Taylor is as curvy as his favorite guitar and he wants to play her.

Laid Bear: The Kodiak Clan – Marina Maddix (NYT/USAT). After six years a widow, bear shifter Veronica Muir falls in love, with a human. Her secret might be the one thing marine biologist Jess Slade can’t accept – if a group of human-hating werebears doesn’t rip the couple apart before he can even decide.

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