Will the handsome, alpha billionaire really be a solution to her problems, or will he end up being a major complication and a danger to her emotional sanity?
Reclusive billionaire Simon Hudson would rather be behind a computer creating computer games than rubbing elbows with the elite and he knows exactly what he wants…until he meets Kara Foster. Something about Kara touches Simon in ways he’s never experienced and definitely doesn’t like. For over a year, Simon watches over Kara, but stubbornly refuses to admit his desire to possess her, not even to himself. But when she ends up in a situation that could very well be her destruction, Simon steps up to help her, not realizing that in saving Kara, he might very well be salvaging his own soul.
(This is a erotic romance. It contains graphic language, very steamy love scenes and lots of emotion.)
“Who do you want it to be?” asked Helen’s daughter-in-law and friend, Kara Hudson, as they sat drinking coffee in one of the booths at Helen’s restaurant. Maddie Hudson, Helen’s other daughter-in-law, sat next to Kara wearing the same curious expression.
Today was the big day, the day that her secret admirer finally revealed himself. Helen had been waiting for a long time to find out who had been sending her mysterious deliveries of flowers, candy, and other whimsical gifts, all with romantic little notes that sent her heart fluttering with delight. Never having had a true romance in her entire life, it was exciting. But she really couldn’t think of any man in particular she wanted it to be. Well…she could, but it wasn’t realistic. It was a secret she kept close to her chest, and had never revealed to a single soul.
I’m fifty-six years old. I’m about to become a grandmother twice over, and I’m acting like a teenager. I have no business fretting over a secret admirer at my age. Like any man is that crazy about me? More than likely, they want to get closer to my billionaire sons.
Helen sighed softly before answering. “I don’t know. It could be anyone.” She met single men her age or older every day, but most of them were just acquaintances, men she socialized with when she attended charity functions or who she chatted with here at her restaurant. Most of them were charming, a characteristic that she’d found came pretty naturally to the majority of wealthy men.
“But you must have some clue. Or someone you really hope it turns out to be,” Maddie said excitedly, her hazel eyes dancing with enthusiasm.
Helen looked across the table at Simon and Sam’s wives, two women who had become more like daughters than “in-laws” to her as she answered, “Maybe the mystery was better than the actual truth will be,” she admitted, knowing that she’d been flattered from the very beginning because of the romantic attention. She’d never had that kind of admiration before, and it was heady, even at her age. Sam and Simon’s father had been pure evil, a man who had forced himself on her when she’d been eighteen and naïve. She’d ended up pregnant and married to the devil, trying her best to raise her boys to grow up be different men—better men—than their father. And had they ever! Her sons had far exceeded even her wildest expectations, in both ambition and heart. Thank god!
A woman couldn’t ask for two better sons, and the two women sitting across from her had completed both her sons with their love, made them happy. What more could she want than that? She finally even had grandbabies on the way. Her boys were happy, settled, and her life should be complete, and yet…
“You have a right to find your own happiness, Helen. You’ve lived for your boys all of your adult life,” Kara told Helen softly, reaching out to squeeze the older woman’s hand. “You’re still young and beautiful. And you have enough energy to wear Maddie and I both out just by watching you.”
Helen squeezed Kara’s hand. “You’re both pregnant. I can’t say it would be difficult to outrun you right now,” she answered with a smile at both younger women, Kara’s huge belly hidden underneath the table. Maddie wasn’t showing yet, but she was experiencing symptoms of early pregnancy, including fatigue.
“You wear us out when we aren’t pregnant,” Maddie replied adamantly. “We just want you to get your chance to be happy.”
“I am happy,” Helen answered defensively. How could she not be happy? Her sons had made sure she wouldn’t want for anything. They hadn’t been pleased when she’d wanted to work for a living by owning her own restaurant, but they’d given her what she wanted. Honestly, much more than she even wanted. She made a very good living with her restaurant, but her boys always thought more was better. So they never stopped giving.
“I think it’s Michael,” Kara said, a dreamy look in her eyes. “He’s been coming around for years. He’s always had a thing for you”
Helen blushed and pulled her hand away from Kara’s, raising her coffee cup to her face to hide her flushed complexion. The problem was, she did wish it was Michael, but it wasn’t possible. “He’s eight years younger than I am, handsome and very eligible. He just comes around for advice on raising his girls. We’re just friends,” Helen said abruptly, her red face hidden behind her mug, taking another slug of coffee, her hand trembling slightly.
Kara shot Helen an annoyed look. “He’s sweet on you. He always has been. And his daughters are grown up and married now. What does it matter if he’s a little younger? He doesn’t look younger than you. Tell me he still doesn’t come in at least twice a week.”
Helen squirmed in her chair, knowing she couldn’t actually look at Kara and tell her that. Kara had been a waitress in this restaurant for a long time. She knew Michael was a regular and probably still was. “He likes the food. He doesn’t like to cook,” Helen replied, wanting desperately to change the subject.
“Helen, do you want it to be Michael?” Kara asked softly, both her and Maddie leaning forward to hear her answer. “He’s wanted to be more than a friend for a long time”
“He doesn’t,” Helen protested, wishing it were true, but knowing it wasn’t. Michael had never given her any indication that he saw her as anything more than a friend, and he was much too young. And handsome. And virile.
“Oh, I don’t think he’s ever been drawn here by just the food,” Kara answered mysteriously. “Do you know that whenever he came by and you weren’t here, he’d leave without eating?”
“Hmm…doesn’t sound like a guy who just comes by for food,” Maddie agreed, crossing her arms in front of her with a smile.
“Nope. And I don’t think he’s here for the food today either,” Kara remarked drily as she scooted carefully to the edge of the booth. “I think it’s time to get your sons home and out of here. They’ve already eaten all the food from at least one side of the menu.”
Helen had her back to the door, but she knew Simon and Sam were seated in another booth close to door, both of them waiting for her secret admirer to show. “Take them. It isn’t like I need a babysitter. I’m their mother. I’m in a public place. My place. And I don’t want Simon and Sam to make a scene.”
Helen knew exactly why Sam, Simon, Kara and Maddie were here. They all wanted to see her anonymous male admirer. Actually, she had no doubt that her protective sons wanted to do more than gawk at him.
What if it is Michael?
“It’s not Michael,” Helen said, mostly to reassure herself, keep herself from hoping. Michael Prescott would never think of her that way. He wasn’t a billionaire like her sons were, but he had a very successful law practice and made a very nice living. He’d lost his wife when his two daughters were little more than babies and raised them himself, doing a very fine job with them.
Kara winked at her. “Keep telling yourself that and you might start believing it until he comes over here.”
Kara stood awkwardly and Maddie hopped out beside her. Helen peered up at the two girls, her arms crossed in front of her. “Are you trying to say he’s here?” Okay…that was a little disconcerting, but a complete coincidence. “He just came to eat.”
“Uh huh,” Kara answered in a disbelieving voice. “And I suppose he brought that beautiful bouquet of red roses just to get your opinion on gardening?” Kara said facetiously, her brow cocked, and a questioning look on her face as she looked down at Helen in disbelief.
“He has flowers?” Helen asked anxiously, afraid to turn around and look, her heartbeat racing faster.
Michael is here. It could be Michael.
“Admit it,” Kara said insistently. “You always wanted it to be Michael. You care as much about him as he always has for you.”
Shocked, Helen stuttered, “I can’t. He can’t. We…we…aren’t like that.”
“Admit it and we’ll go stop your sons from killing him,” Maddie said with a laugh.
Helen sighed anxiously. “Yes. I admit it. But he’s so caring, so handsome, so… young. I can’t pursue anything but a friendship with him.”
“He’s exactly right for you. He always has been. Don’t scare him off, Helen. Michael’s exactly what you need and you deserve a nice guy like him. And you’re the one he’s always wanted. Please,” Kara asked in a concerned voice. “Tell me you’ll give him a chance so I can go keep Simon from killing him.”
Helen gasped and turned, seeing both of her sons rising to their feet, scowling at Michael.
There hadn’t been a time when her heart hadn’t melted every time she saw his handsome face or wicked smile, and it was no different today.
She exited the booth, smoothing out imaginary wrinkles from her pastel skirt and top, and hurried over to where her sons had just finished eating their way through the menu, Kara and Maddie on her heels. “Take your wives home. They’re both tired,” Helen told her sons sternly, glaring up at one and then the other.
Her sons frowned at her and looked at their wives, who were both grinning from ear to ear. “We will. We just want to have a quick discussion with this guy,” Sam said gruffly.
“You are going home. Now. Don’t argue with me, Samuel. Take your brother and your wives home. Michael is a friend and I don’t want you harassing him.” She loved her sons, appreciated their protectiveness, but enough was enough. She was still their mother. Always would be.
Kara and Maddie claimed their husbands and started pulling Sam and Simon toward the door, both of her sons grumbling as they went and shooting warning looks at Michael as they exited.
Exasperated by the whole scene, Helen looked around the restaurant, glad that there were only a few customers who were looking at them curiously. “Come to my office,” she told Michael briskly, walking toward the back of the restaurant. He followed closely behind her. Not only could she smell his masculine scent, but she could feel his presence. She’d always been acutely aware of him whenever he was in the restaurant, and today it was even worse.
Could the man who had been sending her such ardent and romantic notes with his gifts truly be Michael? It didn’t seem possible, but her gut said it was, and her instinct was rarely wrong.
Why? Why would he do it?
She let him enter her office before closing the door behind her, and slumped against the door, looking up at a grinning, masculine face that nearly made her melt into a puddle at his feet. “I’m sorry,” she said quickly, embarrassed by Sam and Simon’s behavior, her face still rosy pink with mortification.
Michael Prescott was beyond handsome, his dark hair cut neatly and showing just a touch of gray at his temples. He was tall and fit, dressed neatly in casual slacks and a polo shirt that stretched across a broad chest. “No need to be sorry. You’re their mother. Single and alone. They should be protective. I was more than ready to answer all of their questions. They wanted to know if I was worthy of you. Honestly, I’m not. But I want to be,” he said in a husky baritone that vibrated through her body, causing her to shiver.
Straightening, Helen walked to her desk, her face aflame. “So you really are my secret admirer,” she asked, astonished, sitting on the desk, letting her sandaled feet dangle as she stared at him.
“Not so secret anymore. And I’ve always admired you,” he replied, walking to her and handing her the huge bouquet of red roses in his hand.
“But we’re friends,” she said desperately, his masculine scent starting to surround her as he moved closer.
“I’ve always wanted to be more than friends with you, Helen. But your sons are way
of my league. You’re way out of my league. Problem is, I don’t care anymore. I don’t want to have to search you out, hoping to find you here. I want you to be mine, in my home, close to me. I want to come home to you every night and wake up to you every morning.” He put his palms flat on each side of her body on the desk, trapping her. “I want you, and I can’t wait any longer to have you. Tell me you’ll give us a chance.”
Oh, God. It was him. It always has been him. Michael Prescott was indeed her secret admirer, and the one man she had actually wanted it to be. Never had she had any real hope that her mystery man would turn out to be Michael…but a woman could dream. “I’m older. You’re younger. We can’t possibly—“
“We can,” Michael rumbled. “The only thing stopping us is ourselves. I figured that out a while ago. I’ve spent years trying to get close to you. Please don’t shut me out now.”
Helen glanced up into his emerald green eyes, her heart racing as she became intoxicated by his masculinity and male scent. Michael had always been her friend, his lips readily smiling, his voice reassuring. But he wasn’t looking at her like he was her friend now. In fact, he looked downright dangerous, but in a sexy way that was nearly irresistible.
“Why the mystery?” she asked curiously, looking up a very dear, familiar face that she’d come to count on seeing often, the face of a man she knew she’d been in love with for years. “Why didn’t you just say something?”
“Maybe I was afraid you didn’t feel the same way. Maybe I’m still afraid you don’t. But I had to do something to get your attention, get you to at least think about the possibility of getting romantically involved with a man. I hope you’re not disappointed,” he said hoarsely, his eyes boring into hers with an intensity that Helen had never seen before.
He looked so vulnerable at that moment that she blurted out the truth. “I wanted it to be you. You’re the only one I was hoping it would turn out to be. But I didn’t think you felt the same way.”
Michael’s lips turned up into a delighted grin. “How could you not know? I thought I was pretty transparent. I’ve never been able to go less than a day or two without seeing
Helen sighed. “You’re young. Probably too young for me.”
“You’re beautiful and have the energy of a woman half your age. Try again,” he said in a low, sexy baritone. “Tell me you don’t feel the same way I do. It’s the only way you’re getting rid of me. I’ve been telling myself you’re too good for me for years, but excuses don’t make the ache go away, Helen.”
“You’re the best man I’ve ever known,” she replied, jumping to his defense. Michael Prescott would be a man any woman would want to date. But he chose her, had apparently chosen her a long time ago.
Go for it. The past is in the past. You know Michael’s a good man. Start again. Try again. He’s worth the risk.
“I couldn’t bear to lose your friendship,” she admitted quietly.
“You aren’t losing me as a friend. You never will,” he replied confidently. “But I want to be your lover, too.”
Helen flushed again, the thought of being close to Michael in that way enough to make her need to crank up her air conditioning and get a fan. “What if it doesn’t work,” she whispered.
“It will. Say you’ll give it a shot, Helen. Please. Don’t make me stay lonely without you,” he requested gruffly in her ear.
Helen shivered, his warm breath caressing the side of her neck. “I don’t think I have a choice. I do feel the same way, so I guess I’m not getting rid of you,” she admitted with a joyous laugh, dropping the flowers on her desk and wrapping her arms around his neck.
“You won’t want to get rid of me. I’ll treat you so good that you’ll never want to walk away,” he told her sincerely, resting his forehead against hers, a relieved look on his face.
“I can’t believe you know about my sons and you still want to date me,” she told him honestly.
“We’ll come to an understanding eventually. They need to know my intentions are honorable.”
“And are they?” Helen asked breathlessly, mesmerized by his incredible smile.
“Mostly,” he answered with a laugh. “I can’t say that I don’t want you, but I’ll never offer anything less than my whole heart and marriage.”
“I don’t think we’re ready to talk about marriage, but I do want to give this a chance. If I don’t, I’ll always regret it.” She knew herself, and she had to give this a try. “We can date.”
Michael groaned. “I’ve been waiting for years.”
“We have to see if we’re compatible.”
“You know we are,” Michael argued.
Helen sighed, knowing she’d never be able to resist anything that Michael wanted for very long, because it was exactly what she wanted, too. “Being friends and living together is two different things.”
“I think we should find out,” Michael answered, his irresistible grin widening. “Don’t be scared. I know what you’ve been through in the past, but I hope you know me well enough to know I’d never hurt you.”
Helen did know that, and she knew she was done fighting with herself. Michael Prescott wanted her. He actually wanted her. And when she looked at him, she could see forever in his gorgeous eyes. And the vision of their future looked pretty damn fantastic.
No more fear. No more doubts. For once in my life I’m taking exactly what I want without being afraid because of my past.
Her past was gone, and she was staring at her future.
Other than her sons, Michael had always been the one man who’d been there for her whenever she needed him. In truth, she’d trusted him for years.
“I’m not afraid,” Helen answered quietly, knowing it was true. “But don’t you think you should kiss me first before we talk about getting married?”
“Finally,” Michael groaned, lowering his mouth to hers and doing just that until she came away breathless, and any doubt about compatibility, along with any rational thought, was completely gone.
Michael never stopped sending anonymous gifts with romantic notes, and they made Helen even happier because she knew exactly who had sent them. And she knew they were sent with love.
The Billionaire’s Game (Book Four)
Amazon CA http://amzn.to/1soYs0i Bililonaire Untamed – Book Seven
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1FBvUWX
Amazon CA http://amzn.to/1NByHEWBillionaire Undaunted – Coming June 7th
Scott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy
romance. She’s an avid reader of all types of books and literature.
Writing what she loves to read, J.S. Scott writes both contemporary
steamy romance stories and paranormal romance erotics. They almost
always feature an Alpha Male and have a happily ever after because she
just can’t seem to write them any other way!