BILLIONAIRE FOR KEEPS: Book 3 (Point St. Claire, where true love finds a way)

BOOK: BILLIONAIRE FOR KEEPS: Book 3 (Point St. Claire, where true love finds a way)
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Billionaire for Keeps

Book 3

Point St. Claire

ROMANCE Series

 

Point St. Claire...

where true love finds a way

 

© Robyn Grady 2016

HAT Rock Publishing

 

All the characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author, and have no relations whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the author, and all the incidents are pure invention.

Kindle Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Welcome to the world of
Point St. Claire!

 

This heart-warming town and its characters first came to life with
Her Mother’s Day Miracle
, one of five stories from The Holiday Baby Series, written under a penname Tabitha Robbins. There was something so magical about the place, I just had to know more.

So I wrote
The Holiday Romance Series.
Cue the
billionaire best man
, a
gorgeous doctor to the rescue
, one high-flying
lawyer with a tormented past
, as well as a
Halloween ghost story with a romantic Point St. Claire twist
.

Book 3 of this series,
Billionaire for Keeps,
is a classic romance exploring the most popular reader hooks, like second chances, love at first (or second) sight, and redemption of a flawed (but also ultra yummy hero) forged through true love.

I hope you enjoy Griffin and Nessa’s story. If you have time, please consider leaving a review.

 

Happy reading!

Robyn

www.robyngrady.com

@robyngrady (for Twitter)

―ORDER NOW―

 

MAID FOR A PRINCE

Point St. Claire Series

where true love finds a way

Book 1

 

BILLIONAIRE ANGEL

Point St. Claire Series

where true love finds a way

Book 2

 

Also available:

The Complete Holiday Baby Series

(
av. 4.9 from 5 stars
)

Robyn writing as Tabitha Robbins

including

Her Mother’s Day Miracle

The Tycoon’s Cupid Surprise

The Bachelor’s Cottontail Bundle

The Best Man’s Baby

The Billionaire’s Mistletoe Baby

 

The Complete Holiday Romance Series

One Small Town – Six Great Stories!

(av. 4.4 from 5 stars)

Featuring stories from Point St. Claire

including

Cupid’s Billionaire Cupid Bet

Her Mother’s Day Miracle

(also available in The Holiday Baby Series)

Hers for the Summer

(
only available here
)

One Haunted Moonlit Night

One Christmas Knight

The Best Man’s Baby

              (also available in The Holiday Baby Series)             

NEW!

Dangerous Boys Vol. 1

Young Adult Anthology

including

Written in the Stars – Sara Hantz

Tangent – Maree Anderson

Live Fast, Die Young – Vanessa Barneveld

Raising Hell
– Robyn Grady

Dangerous Honesty – Ebony McKenna

 

 

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NEWSLETTER

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!

Chapter 1

ON HIS WAY to the mansion’s forecourt steps, Griffin Hayes stopped, swung around, and then whipped the shades from his eyes. A motorcycle was screaming in through the mansion’s crested gates, louder and meaner than a demon from hell.

Griffin was known for his cool. He didn’t flinch―not when it came to winning multi-billion dollar deals. Not even when his mom, visiting from small town Maine, called him ‘Giffy’ in the company of Boston’s elite. But as that motorcycle’s rear tire slid out now, and burning rubber squealed closer to his polished shoes, Griffin behaved like any other man who planned to light a few candles when his next birthday came around.

He threw up a prayer and dived out the way.

The motorcycle’s engine cut off. A stand snapped down. When the full helmet was removed, a fall of red hair tumbled down to memorable leather-clad hips.

Running a hand through his own hair, Griffin groaned. He would make a pact with the devil to avoid speaking with Vanessa today―of
all
days. She made it hard to think. Hard to focus.

She made
him
hard, end of story.

Griffin was here to do important business with Ronan Toomey, who openly referred to this woman, his only child, as ‘
Nessa, the wild one’
, a twenty-six-year-old who, to quote Ronan,
needed a strong man to help guide her
. In other words,
tame
her. Given Griffin’s hand-on experience with the lady in question, which had ended abruptly one month ago―good luck with that.

Pulling up tall, he nodded a stiff greeting. Vanessa and her sheer, white, billowing blouse stalked straight past. Knee-high multi-buckled boots jangled as she mounted the steps two at a time. The way her behind rocked those black leather pants as she climbed had every one of his muscles flexing with want.

By the time she’d reached the soaring double front doors, however, a chill had scuttled up Griffin’s spine. Hairs on the back of his neck stood on end.

Ronan Toomey had assured him, hand on heart. His fiercely independent daughter was a successful business person in her own right. Griffin knew himself; Vanessa had no interest in running her father’s Forbes 500 company, Toomey Constructions.

Still, Ronan had agreed. Vanessa should be informed only
after
the deal was done.  If she found out beforehand, she’d move mountains to end it, for more reasons than one.

Of course, Vanessa’s visit today might be totally innocent. Everyday family matters of no concern to him. Some trifling that wouldn’t destroy the thousand and one intricate moves he and Ronan had made to arrive at this crucial point in negotiations.

Knowing Vanessa,
not likely
.
JHe

Griffin reached the foot of the steps at the same time Vanessa bolted inside. The housekeeper stood clutching her throat as she watched the younger woman disappear, a rabbit sprinting through an opulent maze. Striding into the massive gold-brushed foyer, Griffin pocketed his shades, set his jaw.

“Where’s Mr. Toomey?”

The woman’s face was as pale as the Italian marble floor. “Mr. Hayes.” She took a jittery breath, wobbled it out. “Mr. Toomey’s in his office. He said to bring you through as soon as you arrived. But his daughter—Vanessa…well, something’s happened—”

Griffin didn’t wait to hear more. But with a head start, Vanessa got there first.

Rather than sitting behind his oak desk, Ronan was slouched in a recliner by French doors overlooking a garden facing east. His daughter stood by the doors, hugging herself even as she held her head high. A defiant princess, proud and, right now, potentially dangerous.

Her voice was choked, thick with emotion. “You should have told me, Dad. I had a right to know.”

Ronan’s tie hung loose around the collar of his business shirt. Glancing across, he saw Griffin and summoned a weary smile that said,
Well, we tried
. “Morning, son. Come in. Nessa’s here.”

Griffin tacked up a grin. “We, uh, almost ran into each other a moment ago.” 

With long legs braced, Vanessa continued to face the view while Griffin’s mind raced on. Somehow she’d found out about the deal. For personal and professional reasons, she’d want it stopped dead in its tracks. Aside from Griffin apparently making it to the top of her
hope you die
list, Toomey Constructions would be worth double ten years from now. Even triple.

But this wasn’t her decision. Her father needed out, and he needed out
now
.

There really was no other way. 

Vanessa turned around him. Glistening green eyes flashed as they zeroed in on his. He’d expected a show of blazing defiance. Instead, standing in a stream of morning light, dainty hands fisted by her sides, she looked somehow lost. Almost frightened.

“Get out of here, Griffin.” She exhaled. “For god’s sake, leave us alone.”

Her father spoke up. “Nessa, Griffin’s here to―”

“I don’t care about Griffin.” She dropped down beside her father, held his hand between both of hers. “I care about
you
.”

Toomey stroked his daughter’s crown. “I know, sweetheart. I know. But Griffin and I…we need to talk.”

“Talk later.” When Ronan tried to stand, she shook her head, kissed his hand. “Don’t get worked up. Help’s on its way.”

Griffin paused.

Did she say help? As in legal help? Her lawyer?  But the way she was biting her lip, her eyes rimmed with tears… This was not the Vanessa he had come to know. The fireball who drove him nuts. The woman he still ached for in the middle of every night.

But then the pieces of this puzzle fell into place and a flood of ice-cold dread washed through his veins. The anguish in her eyes...Ronan slumped up in that chair… 

Vanessa wasn’t here to kill the deal.

The problem was far worse than that.

 

Vanessa hated that Griffin Hayes had shown up here today, of
all
days. But she wasn’t exactly surprised. Her father and Griffin were as much friends as business associates. That’s how she’d met Griffin―the second time, at least.

Since finishing college, Vanessa had accompanied her dad to some social events, including a charity affair Griffin had hosted a few months ago. When Griffin had introduced himself―when he had gifted her that sexy smile―Vanessa had felt the sparks to her toes. Aside from the chiselled features and obviously ripped body, his eyes were such a piercing mirror gray, their hooded intensity took her breath away. His hair was dark and thick, the gleaming pelt of an alpha wolf.

Seriously.
Everything
about the guy was bone-meltingly masculine.

That night he’d worn an impeccable tuxedo. Today those powerful shoulders and broad chest were cloaked in a custom-made jacket. As a fashion designer with her own label, Vanessa guessed five figures for the suit, easy. The barely perceivable pull of fabric over his thighs suggested long, athletic limbs…unapologetically powerful, like the rest of him.

Griffin was from humble beginnings, an unfortunate childhood that might hold another person back. But he’d gotten an education, whipped his life into shape. Now Griffin lived by his own rules. No exceptions.

Just ask her.

But his agenda today would have to wait.

When the housekeeper, Wendy, had phoned to say she’d contacted the doctor―that she’d found Ronan collapsed over his desk―Vanessa had been at a weekend shoot for her
Rebel Without a Cause Collection
. Without thinking, she’d grabbed one of the full-throttle props and sped straight over.

Her father explained for Griffin’s benefit. “I had pain in my jaw…in my back.” Growling, annoyed with himself, Ronan stared at the jasmine-laced hedges beyond the arched window. “I chewed on some aspirin.”

“Because that had helped the
first
time.” Vanessa had been stunned when he’d told her a moment ago. This was incident number
two
.

Like he was finally catching up, Griffin murmured, “Heart attack…”

“Yes, Griffin.”
Heart attack
. “Now, would you please―”

Another person rushed into the room.

Nevil Tremont was her father’s long time doctor. Tremont had also cared for Vanessa’s grandfather, the Toomey patriarch who had gone to his maker after coronary episode number three. Now Tremont placed his medical bag on the floor next to her father’s chair. Lean and tall in his Hawaiian print weekend shirt, the doctor looked down his bifocals at his old friend.

“What have you been up to this time, Ronan?”

Her father found a frustrated grin. “Minding my own business last time I looked.”

“He needs rest,” Vanessa said. “He needs to understand how serious this is.”

“We all need to stay
calm
,” the doctor pointed out before he smiled, reassuring them both. “Wait outside,” he suggested. “I’ll check his vitals. An ambulance is on its way.”

Vanessa gave her father’s clean shaven cheek a heartfelt kiss before heading out. She passed Griffin at the door. His shoulders were still squared, but for once, he looked blindsided. Downright shaken. 

Out in the adjoining room, Vanessa wandered over to an unlit fireplace. A moment later, Griffin was there, resting a supposedly comforting hand on her shoulder. His deep rich voice was too close to her ear.

“I’m sorry. Nessa, I didn’t know.”

Staring blindly ahead, she lifted her chin. “Well, now you do.”

“I’m sure Ronan will be fine.”

Edging away, she moved to a window and a view of the grounds where she had played as a girl, back when there were three of them. When everything was a game and death was an abstract reserved for gnarly queens in fairytales.

Griffin tried again. “If there’s anything I can do―”

“There’s not.”

She heard him groan. “Nessa, we need to move past this―”


Don’t
tell me how to feel, Griffin.”

“I’m sorry we argued.”

She turned to face him. He looked so darkly handsome. So vulnerable and human.

She’d fallen for that one before.

“What are you still doing here?”

A muscle in his jaw flexed. “Ronan and I have a collaborative deal to close.”

“On a Sunday?”

So
typical of her dad. Sure, she’d been on the clock today too, but she was also forty years younger, and minus a heart condition.

The second her father’s office door opened, Vanessa shot forward.

Tremont spoke to Griffin. “Mr. Hayes, Ronan wants to see you.” Vanessa started for the door too, but Tremont held up a hand. “Ronan asked to see Mr. Hayes alone.”

Vanessa watched, speechless, as Griffin strode back into the room. As the door closed again, she crossed her arms, shook her head.

Unbelievable
. In the wake of a heart attack, and all Ronan could think about was closing some deal. It was different when she was little, when her mom was alive. Her dad had still worked hard, but he was always home for dinner. Always had time to listen to her stories. On weekends, she’d help him assemble his model boats, handing bits over as he asked. If ever she wanted his opinion on a doll dress design that she’d drawn, he had always offered a thoughtful response.

Then there were those summers spent in a quiet seaside town north of here.

Griffin’s hometown. 

Vanessa was ready to rap on that door―the waiting was driving her insane―when the sound of an ambulance siren echoed up from the driveway. A moment later, Wendy brought the team through at the same time Tremont threw open that office door.

As she edged forward, Vanessa’s head began to prickle. The tips of her fingers went numb. The doctor had wanted calm. But suddenly now everything was rushed and noisy and turned upside down. People calling instructions. Wendy gasping then breaking down. And Griffin was there in her face, telling her everything would be all right. Ronan would be fine.

But her father was splayed out on the floor, shirt torn open. When resuscitation paddles were placed on his bare chest―skin that looked so pale―Ronan’s body convulsed. Then the paddles were applied a second and a third time, and all sound faded away, except for a distant, muffled thumping.

Vanessa’s own heartbeat pounding in her ears.

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