Authors: Helen Grey
Tags: #steamy sex, #bad boy, #hot guys, #secret past, #journalist, #billionaire romance, #sexy secrets
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Excited to be taken seriously as a journalist, Misty Rankin accepts her first official writing assignment. She’s to ‘get the dirt’ on sexy billionaire Blake Masters. He’s the owner of Hard Impact, an extremely popular and growing outdoor adventure company. Within seconds of meeting him, Misty knows she’s in serious trouble. She can’t deny the instant attraction, but she might just be in over her head.
Blake Masters guards his privacy above anything and detests having a journalist prying into his life. Especially his past — that terrible time he doesn’t want to remember. With each question she asks him, he wants to hate her. But can’t.
Thrown together by circumstances, Blake takes Misty on the adventure of her life. Neither are what, or who, the other expects. After spending a few days together in the wilderness, they’re both forced to confront some harsh truths about themselves. And about each other. If the past doesn’t rip them apart.
ou’re serious? You’re giving this to me?” I exclaimed, staring at my boss in dismay. I barely resisted the urge to turn around to make sure no one was standing behind me. I can’t believe those words came out of
Angela Girard frowned. “Excuse me?”
Seeing the look on my boss’ face, I muttered a quick apology. “I’m sorry, that just came out…” Mortified, I stared down at the large manila envelope clasped between my trembling fingers. I’d been informed that it contained a brief biography and photo of the ‘target’ as Angela called the interviewee. While I’d been looking forward to this opportunity for some time, this wasn’t exactly how I’d planned it.
“If you’re not up for this, Misty, I expect you to tell me,” Angela said, the toe of her shoe tapping a staccato beat on the floor. “Now.”
I glanced up at my boss, noticed that the frown was gone, replaced by the haughty expression of editor-in-chief on her features. My heart skipped a beat.
“No… no, I can do it,” I insisted. While trying to maintain a sense of calm on the outside, my insides felt like gelatin.
“Very well,” Angela replied with a stiff nod. “I expect a polished rough draft on my desk within the next couple of weeks. I expect an in-depth interview containing information that no one else knows. I expect substantiation.”
Substantiation of what?
In spite of my current circumstances, I was curious. Exactly who was I interviewing? I didn’t dare open the envelope just yet.
Angela shuffled some papers, causing the salt-and-pepper bangs and harsh shoulder-length blunt cut of the middle-aged editor to swirl around her strong features, and not in a complimentary way.
“I do want the rumors mentioned and why they have been hovering over this man for so many years, but I don’t want just supposition. Our readers want to know if these rumors and innuendo are based on
And I don’t want the same old, same old that has been rehashed by the gossip rags time and time again. Within limits, you can focus on those rumors, but I want to be the magazine that clarifies this matter once and for all. We’re not into slandering here. If it’s printed, it better be factual, but I want you to get to the bottom of it. Have I made myself clear?”
I thought. The bottom of what? Nevertheless, I nodded and glanced down at the envelope in my hand. Innuendo? Rumors? I barely held back a grin. Something juicy perhaps.
I glanced once more at Angela, saw that I’d been summarily dismissed, and headed out of the office. Closing the door softly behind me, I glanced at Angela’s secretary, offered a wan smile, and then quickly went to the elevator a few steps down the hall. Stabbing a thumb at the down arrow, I waited for the soft
as the car arrived.
Just minutes ago, I’d been sitting at my desk working on the second draft of an article I wrote about a Hollywood star. Not an A-list movie star, not even B-list, but potentially C-list, whatever that meant. All I’d done since my arrival at the magazine was co-write gossip articles. Disappointing.
I’d been part surprised part terrified when I received the call from the editor’s secretary stating that Angela wanted to have a word with me. I’d only worked at the magazine for the past six months, mainly on fillers and sidebars. I had yet to write a serious article with a byline, let alone a regular feature. I’d been itching to be given an assignment of my own, to test my mettle, to strut my stuff, to… what could I possibly have done to warrant a visit to the editor’s office?
At twenty-four years of age, working as a freelance writer for a popular magazine was a dream come true for me. When opportunity had knocked, I didn’t think twice. Didn’t think twice about relocating from North Dallas to San Francisco. Didn’t think twice about whether the experience I had under my belt working for a small, regional magazine in my hometown would give me the skills and the confidence I needed to work for a national magazine.
was not exactly
magazine, not even
but more like a blend of
focusing mainly on how, where, and why some of the richest people in the US and abroad had amassed their fortunes. And packed with gossip as well. Lots of quotes, lots of drama, less on the business aspects of some of the wealthiest people in the world and the decisions they’d made to earn their millions and billions of dollars.
Some of the stories were rather salacious, some less than flattering to the individuals they profiled, but as Angela said, everything printed in their magazine could be backed up by fact. Just because a person was filthy rich didn’t mean they were nice; quite the contrary. While I believed the magazine was only a step above common gossip magazines, and it wasn’t exactly my dream job, it was nevertheless a step in the right direction.
had written about the downfall of several notables like Robert Murdoch. Everyone knew him. The magazine had done pieces on Steven Cohen, who had pled guilty to insider trading violations. I had thoroughly enjoyed the write-up of Jacqueline Mars — of Mars candy fame — and her purported worth of over twenty billion. The article profiled the seventy-four-year-old and her involvement in a car accident that caused the death of a passenger in another vehicle. She had been charged with reckless driving and pled guilty to misdemeanor charges. Mars claimed she had fallen asleep behind the wheel.
I’d admired the detail in the article, even down to mentioning that one of my favorite candies, M&Ms, manufactured by Mars, had started production in 1941 and sold exclusively to the military during the Second World War. Go figure.
So basically, the magazine
profile the rich and famous, but also tried to get beneath the surface to dig up dirt, but only dirt that could be verified by fact. While this kind of investigative reporting wasn’t what I was looking for to further my career aspirations, I also realized that I had to pay my dues before I could move on to more serious publications. Until then, I would use
for experience, a stepping stone to get to where I eventually wanted to be.
Despite my lack of experience in the field, I liked to think of myself as a Barbara Walters or a Diane Sawyer… a woman willing to go places and do things that I’d never dreamed of to talk to some of the most influential people in the world.
Of course, I hadn’t yet done anything like that and wondered if I ever would. Still, I could imagine myself in some of the oddest, and most dangerous places on the planet, reporting on current events, life and death situations, serious stuff.
I was still considered a new hire. Most people around the office knew me as the “newbie.” And while this wasn’t exactly the type of magazine where one could say with a bland expression that one was a “serious journalist,” I knew I needed the experience. For that, if nothing else, I was grateful to be here.
More than anything, I wanted to be taken seriously. I wanted to promote change, to get people thinking, to learn and hone my skills and ability to get beneath the surface, not just reporting about events, but why. What made people behave the way they did? Since I’d been at the magazine, the supposition was that the downfall or scandals involving most of the people we’d profiled — the men at least — happened because of their vices: gambling, drinking, sex, drugs. I knew that not all rich people behaved like that. I didn’t know any of them, but I could guarantee that not every wealthy man in the world was a stuck up bastard who didn’t think of anyone but himself.