World-renowned jewelry designer Remington Wolfe is competing for the commission of a lifetime and someone is trying to destroy his company from the inside. He’s in for more than one surprise when his unexpected rescuer turns out to be a sexy computer specialist with a sharp tongue and even sharper mind.
Kat Smith is a cyber-security expert and master of disguise. So being assigned to masquerade as Wolfe’s girlfriend while she uncovers who slipped malicious code into his corporation’s computer systems is no problem. But when Kat’s past catches up to her and their fake relationship starts to feel a little too real, problems are all she seems to have.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.46(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Masquerading with the Billionaire
A Guide to Love Novel
By Alexia Adams, Alethea Spiridon
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Alexia Adams
All rights reserved.
The sliding doors at the arrivals area of London City Airport whooshed open and Wolfe automatically glanced up.
Even if Kat Smith didn't arrive tonight, his time hadn't been wasted. The woman who strode through the doors made every second of his forty-minute wait worth it. Her generous curves were outlined in a dark dress, the skirt of which came discreetly to her knees, her black gloves reflecting the elegance of a bygone era. She glided across the floor on four-inch stiletto heels, and his mind pictured her sauntering toward him wearing nothing but her footwear.
He flashed his best smile at her. Maybe they could enjoy a drink at a nearby pub. He'd pay someone to stand here and wait for the cyber security expert he'd hired to arrive. They could call him when she showed up, and in the meantime, he could get to know this gorgeous woman.
His smile was answered with one of her own. She wore little or no makeup, which only emphasized her dark eyes and high cheekbones. Her short, jet-black hair grazed a strong jawline, and he could already imagine trailing kisses along it till he reached her full lips.
She stopped in front of him while he gawked at her beauty. "Good evening, Mr. Wolfe. I'm Kat Smith. Sorry for the delay. I have one of those faces that always gets pulled over in customs." It wasn't her face that got her flagged for further scrutiny, and her voice was as sexy as the rest of her. She shifted her laptop case to her left hand and held out her right.
He shook it while trying to restart his brain. "You look nothing like your photo," he blurted out. An online search of Kat Smiths who were from San Francisco and worked in the IT industry had netted him one photo of a woman in her mid-forties, with plain brown hair and bottle-bottom-thick glasses, posing with six cats.
Wolfe had run into an old schoolmate, Simon Lamont, at Heathrow on Monday and confided his need for a discreet computer securities expert to uncover the person embedding malicious code in his company's systems. Within hours his friend had come through, but aside from the name Kat Smith and an estimated time of arrival, Simon hadn't provided any additional details.
Amusement gleamed in her eyes. Were they black like her hair or really dark brown? What would they look like glazed over with passion?
"Really? What photo?"
He showed her his phone while his eyes perused the up close version of her. Not a single piece of jewelry adorned her, not even a watch on her slender wrist. She tucked her hair behind her ear, and he was drawn to the perfection of her lobes. He could imagine her draped in diamonds — no, sapphires — and nothing else. Well, maybe the stilettoes could stay.
The hair she'd pushed behind her ear flopped down to caress her jaw again as she shook her head in disgust. "Where did you get this picture?" "Off the internet. My assistant found it for me. Sorry, obviously a mistake, but it was the only Kat Smith in San Francisco she could find."
"I'm going to kill David next time I see him."
"David Wilson. His sister is married to your friend Simon. David is always playing jokes like this, putting up social media profiles of me, using bad photos. I thought I caught them all in my last sweep." She handed back the phone and their hands touched. "Would you like some proof of my identity? I could show you my passport, or better yet, hack into something for you." Her eyes widened, daring him to accept her challenge.
He slipped his mobile into his jacket pocket, glad he'd removed his tie earlier; he needed his airway unrestricted. "No need. I'll call Simon later and confirm your description."
She leaned a little closer, and he caught a whiff of her perfume, subtle and exotic with a hint of spice. "I'd love to hear how you describe me to him."
Not going to happen. "You haven't asked me for identification. How did you know I'm Remington Wolfe?"
"You do look exactly like your photos. There's very little I don't know about you, Mr. Wolfe. It was a long flight."
The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. "You researched me for the whole ten hours?"
"Of course. It was a fascinating read. Do people really just call you Wolfe?"
"Kind of like some Brazilian football player, you only have one name? Although if I were you, I'd use both your first and middle names together." Her laugh did wicked things to his blood pressure.
Damn she was good. He'd had his middle name stricken from every record except his birth certificate. Weren't those supposed to be confidential?
She put a hand on his arm and heat shot into his brain, frying several neurons. "Will you tell me the story behind it?"
"I don't think so." His frosty tone did nothing to quell the smile in her eyes.
"We'll see. I'm sure I'll be able to get the information out of you somehow. Now, are we to stand here all night, or are you going to show me your equipment?" ... Kat clutched her bag tighter. Bozhe moi, the man was seriously hot. She'd kept his photo up on the corner of her screen while she investigated his background, hoping that by the time she met him in person she'd be immune, or at least able to pretend she was. If she didn't get into his code soon, she'd be in deep trouble. Pretending to be American was damn hard, especially when sleep deprived. Throw a young George Clooney look-alike into the mix, and her five years in this disguise would evaporate quicker than a drop of water on Mercury.
Wolfe's gray eyes slid over her once more, setting off unnerving tingles all over. A lock of his dark brown hair fell over his forehead, and he pushed it back. The touch of silver at his temples and scattered through his end-of-day stubble made him look feral rather than mature. Wolfe was an appropriate name for him.
"May I take your bag?" His deep voice and sexy British accent slid over her like a caress.
She moved her roller suitcase between them but didn't release her laptop bag. No one touched her computer.
"I haven't booked into a hotel. Is there one near your office you can recommend?"
"There's a Shangri-La hotel in my building. My flat is above and my offices below."
"Convenient." It would make things quicker if she didn't need to commute.
Pulling her suitcase behind him, he led her to the parking lot and opened the door to a sleek sports car. After putting her bag in the trunk, he settled next to her. Barely a foot separated them, and she had to suppress a shiver. Exhaustion, that had to be why she was so rattled. Liam Manning, for whom she often did freelance work, had called asking her to take this job at three a.m. San Francisco time, just as she was finishing up a project. As it was urgent and expense was no issue, she'd immediately hopped on his private jet and then spent the entire flight investigating the man beside her and his business. She couldn't remember the last time she'd slept.
To keep her focus, she forced her mind to the task at hand, and away from the movement of muscles in Wolfe's thigh as he changed gears or the way his hand caressed the shifter. "I understand discretion is of the utmost importance to you. I will need full access to your systems, from the inside. Have you come up with a suitable position you want me to pretend to fill?"
"No. I was waiting to discover what your talents are." He glanced at her again, and the back of her thighs tingled.
"I have all sorts of talents, Mr. Wolfe, but those that may interest you are centered around computers. However, I can also plan events. Do you have a store opening, or a special collection to launch in the near future?" "Neither. The only position I have available is in accounting. Since all the cock-ups began with unpaid invoices, I've insisted that everything be manually checked as well as entered into the computer. I need my systems up and running properly as soon as possible."
"Can you tell me exactly what has been happening with your computer systems and why you believe someone is embedding malicious code in your software programs?"
"Up until two months ago, everything was running perfectly. Now invoices are being dropped from the payment schedule on a completely random basis and odd things are happening with my and my secretary's emails — some messages show as read before we even open them. We've changed our passwords, and I've had the entire system checked for viruses, malware, and bots but all the tests have come up clear. According to an industry expert I consulted, the most likely cause of the problem is that someone has rewritten or added to the code for the accounting program. I was told that you are a specialist in finding these types of things."
"I am. How many people know you've been sabotaged?"
"Two. My assistant and my chief operating officer."
"Margaret-Mary O'Shaunessy and Harry Coates?"
"Yes." He flashed her another look, his lips tight this time.
"And you trust them?"
"They've been with me from day one. If they wanted to destroy my company, they would have done it before now."
Odd how he hadn't said he trusted them. In her experience, it was those who were the closest who often stabbed you the hardest.
"And do they both know I'm coming to find the bad code?"
"Only Margaret-Mary. She's my right hand, and I trust her with my life."
Well, at least that was something. As his assistant was fifty and had been married for twenty-five years, there probably wasn't a personal relationship there. "So, accounting. Not my ideal position, but I guess it's doable." She took a deep breath. "As I don't have a UK work visa, though, your HR department might figure out that something's up. The other option would be for me to pretend to be your girlfriend." She winced as his foot slid off the clutch mid-shift, and the car protested his attempted gear change.
"What makes you think I don't already have a girlfriend? I don't double dabble."
She laughed, and he white-knuckled the gearshift. "Bonus points for the computer term. Have you been studying?"
"A little. But I realized I was out of my depth and had to call in an expert." The look he sent her this time implied he still doubted her credentials. He'd soon see that she knew her stuff.
It probably wasn't fair that she knew so much about him when, as shown by the fake cat-lady photo, he knew nothing about her. "I'm an expert. For example, I know that unless you've switched to more discreet female companionship, your last intimate relationship ended five weeks ago. She claimed you were, and I quote, 'emotionally unavailable.' But judging by the number of photos on Instagram of her kissing her dog, I assume you got tired of your girlfriend tasting like Shih Tzu."
His laugh filled the car and drew an answering smile from her. "You're not wrong. But how did you know I broke up with her? Maybe she shattered my heart?"
"Because shortly after your name stopped appearing in her social media feeds, she was suddenly sporting an expensive-looking tennis bracelet. I doubt men who get their heart shattered give their exes breakup jewelry."
He shrugged but his face was still lit by a smile. "I write it off as a marketing expense."
"I bet you have a whole line of relationship termination pieces."
"True. I call it the ejection collection. Makes me a fortune."
"Well, rest assured, I won't be demanding any rocks if we go the fake-girlfriend routine. Smacks of payment for services rendered to me."
That elicited a raised eyebrow. "Will services be rendered? This is sounding like the better option."
"Only my cyber security services, for which you will receive an invoice. Payment will be expected promptly in US dollars by wire transfer. Perhaps I should work in your accounting department. At least then I can guarantee you'll pony up."
"You'll be paid."
Her stomach rumbled loud enough for him to hear. "Can I get an advance? I didn't have a chance to get any British pounds and I'm starving. Can we stop at one of these kebab shops you keep passing?" Come to think of it, she couldn't remember the last time she ate, either. Sugar-free chewing gum only lasted so long.
"There's a five-star restaurant at the hotel, or you can get room service."
"Yeah, but I'd kill for a kebab. I haven't had one since the last time I was in London."
He pulled over, grimacing as a double-decker bus whizzed by only inches from his car. "When was that?"
"Five years ago." When she'd managed to escape Russia with nothing but a hand-built laptop and a determination to turn her life around. She owed a lot of her success to Liam Manning, which is why she'd taken this job. All he'd had to say was "do me a favor" and she'd been in. Now she hoped it hadn't been a rash decision that would cost her everything she'd gained.
The takeout restaurant wasn't busy on a Wednesday night. She glanced at the three other customers, all early-twenties males wearing hoodies and their pants hanging halfway down their asses. She'd already done a threat assessment and decided she could probably outrun them in her four-inch Jimmy Choos.
"You're a bit overdressed for a kebab shop at midnight," Wolfe said as they waited for their donairs.
"Nonsense. I'm sure the opera crowd are all over this place after the fat lady has finished." She took her paper-wrapped dinner from the man behind the counter and sat at the lone small round table in the corner before removing her gloves. "I hear you don't like people eating in your car," she said, noting Wolfe's raised eyebrow.
He sat across from her, his long legs extending past her chair. His body language broadcast loudly that she was with him. "You shouldn't believe everything you read about me on the internet."
"Oh, don't worry. I completely dismissed the story about you, the Cirque du Soleil performer, and the vat of vanilla pudding."
He laughed again and a puzzling tingle invaded her chest. She pulled in a deep breath to relieve the sensation. Next time she'd skip the hot sauce on her kebab, it was clearly playing havoc with her digestive system.
"It was chocolate mousse. The media never gets the details right."
She devoured her dinner while Wolfe ate his more sedately, his gaze rarely leaving her face, his expression unreadable. She wasn't sure where she stood with him. It would be way better to pretend to work in his accounts department. The girlfriend thing, while it gave her greater freedom, was likely to blow up in her face.
As she wiped her mouth on the cheap paper napkin, he stood, tossing the remainder of his kebab away.
"You're right," he said. "You won't blend with my accounting team."
"Why? Don't they eat donairs at midnight?" She pulled her gloves back on and threw the paper wrapping from her dinner in the garbage.
"Not while looking like you do."
She ignored that comment, more intrigued by the gleam in his eye. "So, just like that I'm your girlfriend? Aren't you going to try and romance me or something?" If she had to fake being his girlfriend, she'd better get in some flirting practice. It'd been a while since her last relationship. Like I-can't-remember-what-an-orgasm-is long ago.
He reached out and wiped a spot of sauce off her cheek with his thumb then popped it in his mouth. She'd obviously gone beyond exhaustion and was now hallucinating because she felt as though she'd just been kissed.
She drew in a ragged breath. "I think I'd better stick with accounting."
"Too late now, darling." He put his arm around her waist and led her out of the tiny shop.
"I guess if I'm pretending to be your girlfriend, my first job in the morning will be to visit a pet store and get a small dog," she said a few minutes later as he drove.
"Don't. You. Dare."
She laughed, and he missed another gear change. His mechanic must be on retainer. "Relax. I'm a Kat, remember. Dogs aren't my thing."
His eyes caressed her once more, the heat in them when they reached her face made her shiver. "What about wolves?"
* * *
Wolfe sipped a whiskey and stared out the window at the London skyline. It was after one a.m., but he couldn't sleep. Kat was ten floors below, probably tucked up in bed. She'd looked exhausted and had started swaying by the time he'd checked her into the hotel. After seeing her safely to her room, he'd retreated with a promise to meet her at lunch tomorrow to start the charade.
Kat pretending to be his girlfriend offered him a chance to observe her actions closely. She wouldn't have access to his systems unless he was with her. Ever since Paulina, he was extra wary about letting anyone too close to vital information. At least keeping Kat nearby would be no hardship; she was entertaining and undeniably beautiful. The next few days might be more pleasant than he first imagined. So why did his gut tell him this was one of the worst ideas he'd ever had?
He usually made a decision and dealt with the consequences. Second thoughts were for losers.
His phone rang, pulling him from his uncharacteristic unease. Simon Lamont. Good thing his former classmate was halfway around the world, or Wolfe would've had him in a headlock for not warning him about his new cyber security expert.
Excerpted from Masquerading with the Billionaire by Alexia Adams, Alethea Spiridon. Copyright © 2017 Alexia Adams. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A fun, witty, and sexy story that seamlessly flowed out of the pages delivering a tale of love, loss, and deceive. The layers of lies and falsity laying on every step of the way, putting the characters life on the edge and into a constant danger of being found out or being betrayed. I enjoyed the characters immensely. They were interesting, had depth, smarts, unique wisdom and a broad worldview. That the author knew what she was talking about when she created these multinational characters was obvious, the cultural matters were so spot on, and the environments exact and legitimate giving the story credibility and validity. Remington Wolfe is not your typical billionaire. His wide understanding of life and people who grew up differently than himself was refreshing. Being neglected as a child was something that gave him and Kat something to bond over, making their connection from the first moment on more profound. Remington was kind, generous, and caring. His offer to let Kat cry on his arms melted my heart. Kat Smith was an amazing character. She had overcome more than most can even comprehend. Yet she had managed to make a life for herself, a good life with a bright future. As long as she is not caught in the web of lies her whole life exist on. I felt so connected to her, to the mix of languages in her mind, and longing for the home far away a long time ago that wasn't there anymore. Together Kat and Remington went from steaming hot to endearing and adorable in a heartbeat. Having watched Remington Steele on the television gave me a connection to the story that is unique, the images the tale created in my mind more specific. The elements of suspense and treachery brought intensity to the tale and helped to move the plot forward and the characters around the world. A well written, marvelously entertaining tale! ~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Choices Although this is book 4 of the Guide to Love series it’s the first one I’ve read, as well as my first Alexia Adams story. Each story in this series is about the friends within their billionaire group, each one is it’s own standalone love story. I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed reading Remington “Wolfe” and Kat’s story. They had an instantaneous connection from first sure that’re neither of them expected or knew how to handle. It was interesting to read how they grew closer together add they worked at finding who was sabotaging Wolfe’s component whole he was working for the biggest job of his career. Kat has secrets she hasn’t told anyone, but somehow she starts to tell Wolfe stone of them, but can she trust him with them including trusting him with her heart? Wolfe has been burnt in the past by someone he loved, can he trust Kat enough to give her his heart? Will either of them let the other in the way, or will they continue to be alone? You’ll have to read Masquerading With the Billionaire to find out. I look forward to reading the other stories within this series. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC copy of this book via Tasty Book Tours through NetGalley for an honest blog tour review. Due to sexual content this novel is recommended for readers 18 and older. Favorite Passage ~ ~ “Your secretary has a vivid imagination. Or is this a common occurrence in your office?” “Surprisingly, you are the first of my ‘girlfriends’ to visit my office, which probably accounts for all the curiosity about you.
Received an ARC for my fair review for netgalley. Keeps you guessing, who is doing the sabotage. Wolfe hires Kat to find out who is hacking into his system, he did not expect to be interested in her. There is instant attraction between Kat and wolfe, but Kat has secrets, and he wants to know them before he trust her, What are they? And will he keep her in his life, or will business come first?
There was so much to love about this story, starting with Wolfe's name, his real full name. Definitely a cute throwback. Now on to the rest of the greatness. First he is described as a young George Clooney, swooning already. Next is Kat's strong independent character. I loved how she took care of herself and her witty banter with Wolfe. Their connection was sizzling hot and softened both of their personalities. I adored the way they opened up to one another, more than to anyone else. And her interactions with her family brought a tear to my eye and a big pounding to my heart. And the ending, perfect. I loved seeing the characters from the other books in this series play significant parts in Wolfe and Kat's story. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Masquerading with the Billionaire by Alexia Adams is Book 3 of the Guide to Love Series. I’m in lurve! The characters and storyline are amazing while the author’s writing is perfection; the touch of intrigue and suspense woven into the mix...abso~divine. Way to go Ms. Adams...way to go! Please note that an ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review of which this is both honest and completely voluntary.
One of the best books I've read in a while!!! Seriously. I loved this book. It had everything you could want and more. I've read Alexia before but this one is just over the top !! Kat is a cyber security expert hired by Wolfe to search out the what and who is undermining his company. Kat is a woman with a past that she wants to keep hidden. She's damn good at what she does, she is however rocking two identities, but her past doesn't deter her from who she is now. She's got a job to do. Wolfe doesn't trust easily and he runs Kat through the paces when they first meet, she prefers her life to remain private despite knowing almost everything about him and his company due to her amazing hacking skills. Right down to how is secretary takes her coffee. They have to come up with a story to explain why she is around the office and so they devise the fake girlfriend. She's not he's typical type but he's truly tripped over his tongue over her. She's all woman and I think that throws him. She does her job well and still there are issues coming up with his computer that she is discovering, so she's set a couple traps in place. He's got a huge competition coming up to design jewelry for the Prince of the UE and this would put his name forever in history if he lands this. She is his muse for his designs although she doesn't know it. They travel to Russia together where the initial meeting with the Prince for the competition and there Kat runs into an old adversary. Things take a twist. Wolfe is awarded the job of setting the Prince's jewels but it comes with conditions. He's faced with a choice. Take the job and eliminate Kat from his life. Does he trust Kat? Why is his company still having problems? This book was so well written, the characters were fully fleshed out and had depth. The backstory was incredible. The suspense and intrigue for me was so unexpected and yes, you're kept guessing and a little on edge. I liked Kat a lot. Wolfe was a little intense but I did like him. We see Liam again from an earlier book. The end you do not see coming. It was a page turner from the moment I started reading it, didn't put it down. I absolutely recommend this book. Alexia, you've truly outdone yourself. **arc from NetGalley and Entangled in exchange for a fair review***
Loved this book! This is a fun contemporary romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. In it Kat, a cybersecurity expert, is called in by Wolfe to solve a computer problem. Wolfe owns a jewelry design business and is trying to win a prestigious contract. Kat is hiding demons from her past, but nothing prepared her for Wolfe. During their first meeting, they decide that Kat will pose as Wolfe's girlfriend so that his employees will not know he has hired an investigator. In spending time together, they realize they are attracted to each other, but neither wants a relationship. Then Wolfe is drawn into Kat's demons without knowing the full story. What follows is a compelling and entertaining novel that fans of the genre will love. The author is on my must read authors' list.
This one is excellent!! It is definitely a fantastic romance with elements of suspense and mystery with touches of humor thrown in. Kat and Remington are great characters and their stories are intriguing. I really liked how the author developed these two. Definitely a book I recommend to everyone. Kat Smith came to work for Remington Wolfe as a cyber security specialist. Someone is slipping malicious code into his system and Kat is determined to find out who. Posing as his girlfriend is all part of the job, until it's not just about the job anymore....
Go on, indulge yourself with this romance which includes a very independent, feisty and determined cyber security expert - who has escaped from her homeland, pretends to be an American and lives under an assumed name - and a world renowned jewellery designer. She is currently known as Kat Smith and she’s visiting Remington Wolfe’s company to determine if someone is hacking into his computer network. She’s nothing like he imagined and the attraction between them is there immediately but with so many secrets around, nothing is going to be easy for these two. However, she needs a cover for being in his company and he convinces her to be his fake girlfriend, a role that both find just too easy to pretend and when Kat’s past history and people connected with her come to light, there’s danger from more than a hacker! I had read a couple of books by this author in 2015 and this one is another great one. Her books are the sort that stay with you, with determined, intelligent, strong, leading ladies who aren’t just a pretty face and strive to protect those they love. In this case, Kat wants to find out what has happened to her sister and is prepared to put herself in danger to do so. She’s smart, confident but also vulnerable. She’s also great at recognising prejudice and making the perpetrator aware of it. The story is well developed with great characters and plenty of action. I have no hesitation in highly recommending it to anyone who enjoys a story with aspects of mystery and suspense, as well as romance that is a great read. Many thanks to the publishers for gifting me a copy of this novel, via NetGalley, with no obligation. This is my honest review.
Alexia Adams, thank you for inspiring women. Kat Smith proved that a woman can be more than a pretty face, a damsel in distress or arm candy. She had the attitude of a fighter and the skills to back it up. Masquerading With The Billionaire continues the trend that is becoming more prevalent in romantic fiction. The heroine is in the spotlight for her brain, not her body. That speaks volumes.