Authors: Christina Tetreault
Redeeming The Billionaire
, Copyright 2014 Christina Tetreault
Published by Christina Tetreault
, Copyright by Susie Warren
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission in writing from the author at [email protected] This book is a work of fiction. The characters, events, and places portrayed in this book are products of the author’s imagination and are either fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
For more information on the author and her works, please see
Dedicated To My Readers
*The Teacher’s Billionaire
*The Billionaire Playboy
*The Billionaire Princess
*The Billionaire’s Best Friend
+The Courage To Love
*All books part of The Sherbrookes of Newport Series
+All books part of the Love on The North Shore Series
Trent glanced down at the Patek Philippe Aquanaut on his wrist. It was fifteen minutes until he was expected in his father’s office; more than enough time to grab a cannoli from the bakery located near the courthouse. He didn’t know what the bakers at Ambrosia did to their pastries, but their cannoli were the best he’d had anywhere.
Crossing the street, he pulled out his smartphone when it beeped letting him know he had a text message.
Another message from Lindsey.
He’d told her when he relocated to Rhode Island a month ago he had no idea when he might be back in London again. If all went as he hoped, he’d remain here in Providence until he made his way to the United States Senate. Without stopping, Trent typed out a message as he walked toward the bakery, the scent of the pastries and espresso already making his stomach rumble and he hadn’t even stepped inside yet.
He hit an object and heard the startled cry of surprise seconds before the hot coffee splashed across his hand and phone. The message forgotten, he looked down at the living object he’d just run over. “I’m sorry about that. Are you okay?” He knelt down to help the woman retrieve the papers she’d dropped. Several were covered with coffee, as was the front of her blouse.
“I’m fine.” The woman stacked the pages together and stood. “I’ll need to reprint these though.” She accepted the pages he held out to her.
Trent stood and without a second thought, he reached into his suit jacket and pulled out a case holding his business cards. “Send a copy of your dry cleaning bill to this address.” He held out the card, but she made no move to accept it.
“Thank you, but that’s not necessary.”
Trent let his hand fall back to his side. “At least let me replace your coffee.”
The woman shook her cup. “There is a little left. I’ll make my usual afternoon stop later and get more.” A hint of impatience sneaked into her voice.
Turned down twice in less than three minutes; he didn’t think that had ever happened to him before. He assumed either the woman didn’t recognize him or was one of the few people out there who turned down a freebie when offered. Trent dropped his business card on her stacked papers. “Just in case you change your mind about the dry cleaning.”
This time the woman picked up the card. “Don’t worry about it. Accidents happen.” She gave him a kind smile and began to turn. “Have a good afternoon.”
Trent stood and watched the woman walk away, enjoying the sight of her bare legs as she headed down the sidewalk. For him, there was just something about a great pair of legs that drove him up the wall. In his hand, his phone beeped letting him know he’d received another message. After typing in a short reply, he stuck the phone in his jacket pocket and headed into the bakery.
Both his father, Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Sherbrooke, and Marty Phillips were already seated at the glass conference table in his father’s office when Trent walked in ten minutes later with a box of cannoli in one hand. He hadn’t been inside the office in over a year, but by the looks of it, his stepmother, Abigail, had redecorated. All the dark wood furniture had been replaced by sleek chrome and glass. Where the leather sofa and barrel chairs had been now stood some futuristic pieces that he feared would break if an average adult male sat in them. The only thing that remained was the antique grandfather clock that Trent’s mom had given his father on their last wedding anniversary before her death. The piece stood out among the ultra modern decor, but it remained a constant reminder of Donna Sherbrooke, the woman Mark Sherbrooke never stopped loving.
“Good, you’re here,” Mark Sherbrooke said in way of a greeting. “Have a seat.”
Trent pulled out a chair at the conference table and eyed it for a moment before sitting. Then he placed the bakery box on the table.
“I arranged for lunch at noon. Your cousin Sara should be here by then.” His father didn’t waste any time grabbing a cannoli from the box.
Trent hadn’t seen Sara in almost a year. Last he’d heard, she had moved to California to work for the governor. “She’s in Rhode Island?” Although not as close to Sara as he was to her older brother Jake, he knew how knowledgeable she was when it came to Washington and politics.
Mark nodded. “She’s here for a fundraiser this weekend. She offered to help when I mentioned your plans.”
“We can catch her up when she arrives,” Marty Phillips said, his Texas drawl coming through loud and clear.
Marty Phillips had served as his Uncle Warren’s campaign advisor during his run for the Presidency. Although he’d only met him one time before, Trent hadn’t questioned his father’s suggestion that he hire him for his own campaign. The man had a fabulous reputation. Of the last four campaigns he’d worked on, all had been victorious, including two presidents, one senator and a governor.
With the pleasantries aside, they got down to business, beginning with who they suspected would be Trent’s biggest rivals for Senator Harrison’s seat. Then they proceeded to list each of their weaknesses and how they could best capitalize on them. This discussion continued until Sara arrived. Dressed in a navy blue skirt with a matching blazer, she looked every inch the sleek professional he remembered from when she worked on Senator Healy’s campaign, with one exception—she looked happier than he ever saw her before.
“It’s so good to see you.” Sara didn’t hesitate to hug him when he stood.
“You, too. I appreciate your help.” On autopilot, he pulled out a chair for his cousin. Proper manners and etiquette had been drilled into all the Sherbrooke children at a young age.
“What did I miss?” Sara pulled out her computer tablet and prepared to work.
In no time, Marty recapped what they’d covered so far. “One of my biggest concerns is Trent’s reputation,” Marty said, turning the conversation toward a new topic. “People in this state are sick and tired of the privileged, womanizing politicians doing whatever they please. Last year’s scandal involving the mayor and that model is still fresh in everyone’s mind, as is the case involving Congressman Kohl and the undercover cop in January.”
Trent saw one major difference between both of those men and him: they were married; he wasn’t, at least not yet. Someday he’d marry. After all, there were not many successful, single politicians out there, but it wouldn’t be a love match. Not that he doubted love existed. His father had certainly loved his mother, not to mention there were plenty of other examples of it in his own family. Rather, he didn’t see it ever happening to him. In fact, he wasn’t even sure he wanted it happening to him anyway. His father had been crushed when his first wife died. And although he seemed happy and content with Abigail, his third wife, his second marriage to Jane had been hell from start to finish.
“If you had a stellar political background, the public might be willing to ignore the tabloid headlines, but with the exception of your family name, you’re a political unknown.” Marty remained expressionless as he presented his argument. “In order to win this election you’ll need to win over the female voters. You’ll never do that by showing up on the cover of magazines with half-naked models on your arm.”
Marty’s last comment stung. He couldn’t control what his dates wore, and he’d hardly call any of them half-naked.
“What are your thoughts, Sara?” his father asked.
“I agree with Marty. People are tired of political scandal. They want politicians they’re not embarrassed to say they voted for. Reforming Trent’s reputation as a playboy would go a long way. Like Marty said, if Trent had a strong history in politics we could push that into the forefront, use it to overshadow the negative buzz from his competition, but it’s just not there.”
At least she didn’t mention half-naked women.
“We want people to relate to Trent,” Sara continued. “Coming across more like the ‘boy next door’ rather than the ‘sleazy playboy’ is one way to do that.”
Wow, in less than fifteen minutes he’d been insulted by both his campaign advisor and his cousin. “What do you suggest?” he asked. If it meant winning, he’d take the experts’ advice.
“First, ditch those lingerie models and empty-headed socialites you escort around,” Marty answered with no hesitation.
“You want me to become a monk then? Is that what you are saying?” He’d realized even before now that he’d have to make some sacrifices in order to win, but living life in solitude didn’t suit him.
Marty tapped his pen against the table. “No. Besides, everyone here knows that you’d never pull that off, and even if you did, the media wouldn’t buy it.” Marty twirled his pen between his fingers. “You need a way to relate to people. Make them fall in love with you. Respect you the way they respect your uncle. I suggest you find yourself a woman from a respected family and marry her. Someone well educated with connections, not one of those empty-headed models you love to date. If you marry someone the people respect, they’ll respect you, too.”
Sara glanced at him and then across at Marty. “You think marriage will turn around his reputation the way it did Jake’s?” Sara asked in an accusing tone.
Marty gave them a curt nod. “More or less.”
Sara sighed loud enough for him to hear. “I hate to admit it, but Marty’s right. If you marry someone respectable it would help win over the public.” She played with the giant diamond engagement ring on her left hand as she spoke.
“And as long as the woman in question understands its an arrangement going in, I see no reason you need to make a love match,” Marty said. “In fact, I know several prominent families that would be interested in such an arrangement with the Sherbrooke family. And as long as you’re discreet about your involvement with other women later on, they’d be willing to look the other way.”
Sara shook her head. “I disagree. It has to be a real relationship and marriage. It’s too late for a marriage of convenience. Trent should’ve done that a year or two ago. If he marries someone like Vanessa Mitchell, the voters will see through the ruse,” she said referring to a prominent socialite they all knew.
“You give the voters too much credit, Sara. All they will see is a beautiful married couple.”
“And you underestimate them.” Sara’s tone turned cold. “Sure, he’d fool some voters, but not all. He needs a real marriage, even if it means he pushes back his timetable for entering politics.”
Wonderful. The two people in the room with the most political experience had polar opposite opinions. “What are your thoughts, Dad?” Thus far, his father had remained unusually quiet on the matter.