Engaging the Billionaire by Ivy Layne
Scandals of the Bad Boy Billionaires Book 8
Release Date Nov. 28, 2017
If we can’t outrun the past, we won’t have a future.
The rock on her hand is real, but our engagement is a fake.
Once upon a time, I dreamed of buying her a ring, until everything blew up in my face.
That was the past, and this is business.
At least, it is until I kiss her.
It’s supposed to be part of the act — and it is — right until my lips touch hers.
I forget where we are.
I forget why I’m kissing her.
I just want more.
More of her taste, more of the tug of her fingers in my hair as she pulls me closer.
More of her tongue stroking mine, more of her breath in my lungs.
I want everything.
Annalise is more than a client. More than my ex.
She could be my future.
If I can’t keep her safe, I won’t lose her to the past, I’ll lose her forever.
Engaging the Billionaire is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It’s the eighth book in the Scandals of the Bad Boy Billionaires series and reveals more about the notorious Winters family. You can read it on its own, everything you need to know is explained, but once you get a taste you’ll want to read the others ;}
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I wasn’t prepared for the relief that washed through me at her words. I hadn’t realized how close she’d been to running, again. I should have. After eleven years, running was ingrained. Annalise was threatened, and she bolted, like a wild animal facing a predator.
I’d offered Evers, or another operative, to take my part. It was sensible. I was the best, but I wasn’t the only one we could use. I hadn’t expected how wrong that would feel. I knew Annalise hadn’t been a nun in the last decade. I hadn’t exactly been sleeping alone either, but the idea of helping to set up some other guy as her fiancé—no fucking way.
I sat back into the couch and laid it out for her. “I move in here. Tomorrow night, the birthday dinner planned for you and Vance becomes an engagement party. Mostly family, some close friends. Definitely a few we know are good at spreading gossip. We put an announcement in the paper. Then we go about living our lives.”
“And who are you supposed to be? Am I calling you Riley? What’s your cover story?”
I would’ve thought she was laughing at me, but there was no hint of amusement in her face. Still, my gut told me she was teasing, just a little. That was good. Teasing was better than dismissal or reluctance. I could work with teasing.
I propped my ankle on my knee, leaned back into the plush silk cushions of the sofa and stretched my arms over the back. With a grin, I said, “I’m just me, for this one. Riley Flynn, your long-lost college boyfriend and an executive with Sinclair Security.”
A ghost of a smile flitted across her face, and she said, “An executive? Impressive. Executive of what?”
Now I knew she was teasing me. Technically, I was an executive, though since my promotion I’d been resisting time behind a desk. I preferred being in the field. “VP in charge of client relations,” I said, truthfully.
“I’m guessing that’s not as innocent as it sounds,” she said.
“It means I coordinate and implement jobs like this one.”
“So who’s going to do your job while you’re here, pretending to be my fiancé? I didn’t think executives left their offices to go undercover.”
“Normally, we don’t. But this is different. The Sinclairs consider you family. And I can do my job remotely. As long as I have my laptop and my phone, I can keep in touch with my teams.”
I stood and looked down at her. We’d have plenty of time to talk once we got this whole thing rolling, but if we were going to pull off this fiction of an engagement, I had to get to work.
“I’ll be back for dinner,” I said. I was halfway to the door before she realized I was leaving and stood to follow me. I didn’t stop, just in case she was thinking of a last-minute objection. Over my shoulder, I said, “Make room in the closet for me,” and escaped.
Evers met me in the front hall. After scanning me with an assessing look, he said, “We’re on?”
“We’re on. She’s not happy about it, but we can handle that.”
“Meet me in the car. I’ll get Knox. Cooper is going to review the security changes with Aidan and Gage before he heads back.”
I was fine with skipping that meeting. I had a feeling I’d get enough of Aidan and Gage after I moved into their house.
Somehow, I knew they were not crazy about the idea of me sharing a bedroom with Annalise, even if nothing was going on. I ignored the fact that I’d had a similar reaction to the idea of someone else taking my spot on the job. I was supposed to feel protective.
She was vulnerable. She was the client, and the client was always vulnerable because the client was always in trouble. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t have called us. It was normal to be concerned about anyone taking advantage. It wasn’t personal.
I was sitting in the backseat of the standard Sinclair black SUV, making a list on my phone, when Evers and Knox got in. I had to wrap up some details in the office, give my project leads some last-minute instructions, answer a few client emails, and handle some paperwork before I headed out to pack for an indefinite stay at Winters House.
Oh, and I had to buy a ring.
Ivy Layne has had her nose stuck in a book since she learned to decipher the English language. Sometime in her early teens, she stumbled across her first Romance, and the die was cast. Though she pretended to pay attention to her creative writing professors, she dreamed of writing steamy romance instead of literary fiction. These days, she’s neck deep in alpha heroes and the smart, sexy women who love them.
Married to her very own alpha hero (who rubs her back after a long day of typing, but also leaves his socks on the floor). Ivy lives in the mountains of North Carolina where she and her other half are having a blast raising two energetic little boys. Aside from her family, Ivy’s greatest loves are coffee and chocolate, preferably together.
Ivy is represented by Sarah Hershman of Hershman Rights Management.