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Authors: Ashley John

Tags: #Contemporary






By Ashley John

About This Book


July 15





After years of travelling the world using his trust fund, college-dropout Joshua Silverton returns to London to discover two shocking truths; his estranged and wealthy father has been dead for over a year and he left his fortune to a total stranger. Joshua soon meets the man who stole his inheritance and even though he expects to hate Ezra Steele, he can’t ignore the strange attraction he suddenly feels towards him.


Bill Silverton saved Ezra Steele from his troubled past when he signed Silverton Tower over to him on his deathbed. Ezra now has the house, the business, the cars, the money and a different man in his bed every night. It’s a life he wants to cling to, so when Bill’s gorgeous son unexpectedly turns up and demands he hand everything back, his life is turned upside down in more ways than one.


A need to finally prove himself to his dead father forces Joshua to challenge Ezra but will he be able to ignore the attraction in order to be ruthless? Ezra tries to keep his enemies close by getting Joshua into his bed but as history catches up with him, he is forced to face himself. They are both running from their past, so in a battle between head and heart, Joshua and Ezra must choose what is more important – money or each other.


*This is a standalone gay romance novel (no cliffhanger). Contains steamy sex between a tattooed traveller and a sexy CEO.*


Copyright © Ashley John


All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.


All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.


For questions and comments about this book, please contact the author at
[email protected]


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For Keri

A helping hand, a listening ear and a friend.




Leaning against the giant
‘Strictly No Smoking’
sign outside
Heathrow Airport
, Joshua Silverton pressed a cigarette between his lips. With his eyes closed he inhaled as deeply as he could, glad the nearly nine-hour flight from Delhi, India was over. He had travelled the world twice over but it never made the nicotine cravings stop -
No matter how many patches I slap on my arm.

Joshua squinted up at the sky, letting the smoke slowly drift through his lips towards the greyness above. It was early June but there was no trace of the sun in the gloomy afternoon sky. Part of him hated his cousin, Violet, for even inviting him to her wedding because she knew he had never say no. They had grown up together and they had both been only children in a family more interested in arguing with each other than raising their kids. Violet was like a sister to him and he wouldn’t have missed her wedding for anything -
Even if it did mean coming back to London.

The way he had spent most of the flight with his nails dug into the armrests would have made onlookers think he was a nervous flyer. He secretly loved the thrill of feeling the wheels landing on the runway but the thought of stepping foot on British soil for the first time in seven years made him feel sick.

He pushed his sun-kissed, shoulder-length hair out of his face as the cigarette ash tumbled weightlessly to the ground. As predicted, a cold raindrop hit him between the eyes. It dribbled down his cheek, getting lost in his stubble.
Typical, I’ve only been in the country for twenty minutes and it’s already pissing on me.

It felt like an omen, telling him to run back inside to jump on the first leaving flight. The image of Violet driving to the airport to pick him up stopped him.
Just do this for her and you’ll be in and out in a couple of weeks.

“Twenty pence for the bathroom!” his American best friend, Levi, ran towards him as he zipped up his hoodie, “And is it always this fucking cold, bro?”

Levi’s New Yorker accent burned colourfully in the crowd of miserable Brits.

“Did you go?” Joshua tossed the half-finished cigarette out into the road and huffed out the last of the smoke, wiping the raindrop from his beard.

“I’m not paying to go,” he unzipped the front of his denim shorts and pressed his hands against the back of the sign.

Another icy raindrop hit Joshua on the end of his nose and he knew it wouldn’t be long until the heavens fully opened.

“Are you marking your territory?”

With his hand on the sign, the look of relief was obvious on Levi’s face. He didn’t seem to care about the people rushing around them.
He’s probably pissed against a sign in every country

Joshua had left London not long after his eighteenth birthday, with a group of friends who had all agreed to drop out of university at the same time. Their plan had been to go travelling so they could finally get away from their stuffy and wealthy upbringings. It had been an act of rebellion led by Joshua and even though it all started out great, most of them had been tempted by something to come back home to the city. One by one, they ran back to mummy and daddy with their tails between their legs; most of them securing comfortable jobs in the city, marrying beautiful people and having perfect babies -
The very life I’ve been running away from

He had met Levi somewhere between France and Belgium and Levi’s friends had ditched him too, so they decided to stick together. It started out as an act of desperation because neither of them wanted to go home but they quickly became firm friends. It was always about the next place they would travel to and because they were both trust fund babies, money was never a worry.

“Your cousin,” Levi lowered his voice, “Is she hot?”

“She’s my cousin and she’s engaged.”

“So?” Levi slapped Joshua on the shoulder.

Levi had a talent for walking into a room and trying to fuck the hottest girl there; they rarely said no to him. He was what most would call a classic beauty, with soft features, enormous doe eyes and a head of thick, chocolate hair. Joshua on the other hand had naturally light hair and ice blue eyes. Sandy stubble covered the lower half of his face and neck, running down to his tattoo-scribbled torso.

“But if she wasn’t your cousin, would you –,”

“We’re not playing this game,” Joshua cut him off, pulling another cigarette from the packet, “Fag?”

“What did you call me?” Levi winked, accepting the cigarette, “How long are we here for?”

“No longer than we need to be,” Joshua huffed deeply, “there’s nothing to see in this shithole. A month at the most.”

“I’ve always wanted to come to the UK. I hear the girls here are dirty.”

“Yeah, probably because they need washing,” he said, “we’ll stay until the wedding and then get out of here.”

“And your dad?”

Joshua paused.

A couple of weeks ago while they had been backpacking across India, they had visited the
Lotus Temple
and Joshua checked his bank balance in a tiny ATM machine, something he rarely did. They travelled like typical rich kids, never stopping anywhere without air-conditioning and a fully stocked mini bar. Most people travelled to see the world and experience the local culture but Joshua travelled because he didn’t like the alternative.

For Joshua and Levi, the world was one long party and they never had to leave, but he was being forced to leave the party because the money was running out quicker than he thought it would. When he was eighteen, he thought his heavy trust fund would last forever, like any kid would. As a twenty-five-year-old man, he knew the £11,083 left in his account wouldn’t get him around the world again.

“I haven’t decided,” he tossed his second cigarette out into the road after smoking it down to the filter.

Levi blew into his clenched fists before rubbing his hands together, “Are you going to see him?”

Joshua knew he had two choices and he didn’t like either of them. He could get a job and earn his own money on the road, or he could go grovelling to his father to ask for a top-up. His father was head of
Silverton Industries
, an electronic device design giant and he was one of the richest men in London. He had the money sitting there and what Joshua needed could easily be scraped off the top.

He just didn’t know if he would be able to swallow his pride to make that call. Seven years of the silent treatment had made making that first step almost impossible.

“I’ll think about it,” Joshua leaned tight against the sign, the clouds fully opening up, “he probably won’t want to see me.”

“He’s your dad. You’re his only kid. He’ll want to see you. I know you hate him for not being there but things can change. Your mother died, right? You’re all he has.”

Joshua hated thinking about his mother as much as he hated thinking about his father, but for very different reasons. It brought up the pain of losing her at such a young age. She had been the best mum anybody could ask for, but when she died, she took a piece of Joshua and Bill with her.

“I don’t know if I want to see him,” Joshua changed tact.

“Joshua, bro, it’s like ripping off a Band-Aid. A quick visit and everything will be cool.”

Unlike Levi’s father, Joshua’s had flipped out when he told him he was leaving to travel. Dropping out of Oxford University, three months into his business degree, had been the biggest slap in the face Joshua could have given Bill Silverton. He was being groomed to one day take over the business but that life never interested Joshua. He just wanted to live free and party and leaving was the final straw for his father. After years of rebellious teenager antics, Bill cut him off and vowed never to speak to him again.

“You don’t know my dad,” Joshua laughed, “he’s stubborn.”

“As stubborn as you?”

Joshua was about to protest but he knew Levi was right. He was his father’s son and the main reason they hadn’t spoken to each other for so long was because neither of them wanted to be the one to apologise first.

“You’ll have to get on his good side if you want the money. I thought we wanted to go to New Zealand next?”

“I’ll figure it out,” Joshua shrugged, not wanting to talk about his father, “I think this is Violet.”

Joshua squinted through the rain, as the clouds swallowed up the rest of the afternoon light. She may have changed her car but Violet Silverton had barely aged a day in the seven years since he had last seen her. Where Joshua had acquired fine lines and scars from his years of travelling, she seemed to have been frozen in time, her beauty and youth preserved.

“Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes?” Violet jumped out of the car with a grin splitting her face in two, “Get over here, you big lump!”

She practically tackled him into the sign as she tossed her arms around his neck. Just from the tightness of her hug, Joshua knew he had left it far too long to see her. He pushed his face into her blonde hair, sorry that he hadn’t tried harder.

“I can’t believe you’re actually here,” she pulled away, her hands resting softly on his stubbly cheeks, “I never thought I’d see you back in London again. You look so different!”

“Neither did I,” he sucked the air through his teeth, “but I wouldn’t have missed your wedding for anything.”

“Am I still the only girl in your life?” she winked, seeming not to care that the rain was starting to drown her.

“He’s as single as ever,” Levi jumped between them, holding his hand out to Violet, “No girl is good enough for him. I’m Levi, and you’re gorgeous!”

She cautiously accepted his hand to shake it but he scooped it up and pressed his lips into it. Joshua remembered Levi’s effect on women so he pried them apart, scared she would be lured in by his powerful pheromones.

After another quick hug, they picked up their bags and tossed them into the car. Levi whispered something about how hot she was but Joshua chose to ignore it, marking that down as the first strike.

When they had navigated their way through the airport traffic, they were quickly speeding towards her home in Hammersmith, just outside London’s city centre.

“How’s the wedding planning going?”

“Terrible,” she weaved in and out of the traffic, trying to avoid the jam, “Christopher has gone to Dubai for some business thing and he won’t get back until the day before the wedding. The florist decided to get divorced so she went ominous on me. I had to fire her. The cars have all been double booked, so we’re trying to get some from up North and the Church is insisting that me and Christopher keep going in for the pointless marriage meetings, even though he’s not here. I’m having to
him in on my
. You’re lucky you’re still single!”

Joshua had never been tied down in a relationship. He had never met anybody who had made him feel like he wanted to spend his life with them. He knew his life on the road would never work around a relationship, so he didn’t see the point in committing.

“I won’t get to meet him? I was going to give him ‘
the talk’

‘break her heart and I’ll break your legs’
talk?” she winked through the rear-view mirror.

Levi had insisted on sitting in the front and he had not taken his eyes off Violet since they had got in the car. Joshua could tell she was pretending not to notice.

“That’s the one,” Joshua ran his hands through his damp hair, tucking it behind his ears, “I’ll have to do it on the day of the wedding.”

“Don’t worry. My mum already did it and the poor sod thought she was joking.”

“How is Auntie Jackie?”

Auntie Jackie was his father’s only sibling and she probably had less contact with Bill than Joshua did. They had never had a close relationship because they rarely saw eye to eye on things. After Joshua’s mother died when he was eleven, he rarely saw them in the same place at the same time.

“Oh, you know what she’s like,” Violet shrugged, “She’s taken up knitting and resigned herself to a lifetime of being alone. I keep telling her to get some cats but she says she’s not there yet.”

“I bet my dad is happy about that,” he laughed.

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