Waitress Marjorie Ivarsson is the picture of naiveté. Raised by her grandmother, she’d rather go to bingo than go dancing. But when she’s asked to be a bridesmaid in her friend Bronte’s destination wedding, she finds herself venturing into new and exciting territory. The wedding is set on the billionaire groom’s private island and Marjorie is fascinated by all the new people she’s meeting.
Most fascinating of all is the man she saves from almost drowning in the blue waters of the island lagoon. She might even have a bit of a crush on him. Unfortunately, she’s not the only girl who finds him so intriguing. Hot shot television producer Robert Cannon has a reputation for womanizing, drinking, and partying to excess. They couldn’t be more wrong for each other...so why are they constantly drawn together like magnets?
Praise for the Billionaire Boys Club novels
“Blazing hot.”—USA Today
“A fast, sexy read.”—Fiction Vixen
“Great storytelling…delightful reading…It’s fun and oh so hot.”—Kirkus Reviews
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jessica Clare writes under three pen names. As Jessica Clare, she writes erotic contemporary romances, including the Billionaire Boys Club novels and the Animal Magnetism novels. As Jessica Sims, she writes fun, sexy shifter paranormals, and as Jill Myles, she writes a little bit of everything, from sexy, comedic urban fantasy to fairy tales gone wrong.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Marjorie Ivarsson adjusted the bow on her behind and craned her neck, trying to look in the mirror at the back of her dress. “How is this?”
“Fucking awful,” said the redhead next to her in a similar dress. “We look more like cupcakes than bridesmaids.”
“Do you guys really hate the dresses?” Brontë asked, wringing her hands as the women lined up and studied their reflections in the mirrors.
“Not at all,” said Audrey, who Marjorie knew was the extremely pregnant, nice one. Audrey elbowed the not-as-nice redhead next to her, who was her sister. “I think they’re lovely dresses. And you do too.”
“No, I don’t—”
Again, she elbowed her sister and turned to Marjorie. “What do you think of the dress, Marj?” Her eyes were and trying to convey a hint that the other woman was just not getting.
“I love it,” Marjorie lied, casting a brilliant smile at Brontë. Truth was, all that red and white made her look a bit like a barber pole with a bow, but Brontë had worked long and hard to pick out dresses and had paid for everything, so how on earth could Marjorie possibly complain? She’d seen the price tag for this thing. Apparently they’d been custom-made by a fashion designer, and the price of just one dress cost more than Marjorie would make in months. Brontë was spending a lot on her wedding, and Marjorie didn’t want to be the one to kick up a fuss.
So she adjusted the bow on her behind again and nodded. “It’s beautiful. I feel like a princess.”
Brontë smiled, relieved.
“Oh, you’re so full of shit,” Gretchen began, only to be elbowed by the pregnant one again.
“I think I need this let out a bit more on the sides,” Audrey said, waving over the dressmaker. “My hips keep spreading.”
A woman ran over with pins in her mouth, kneeling at Audrey’s side as Marjorie gazed at the lineup of Brontë’s bridesmaids. There was herself, a six-foot-one Nordic blonde. There was Gretchen, a shorter, curvier woman with screamingly red hair that almost clashed with her dress, except for the fact that she was the maid of honor, so her mermaid-cut gown was more white than red. There was Gretchen’s sister Audrey, who was a pale, freckled redhead and heavily pregnant. And sitting in a corner, beaming at them as if it were her own wedding, was a frizzy-headed blonde named Maylee who was currently being stitched into her bridesmaid’s dress. Apparently she was a last-minute addition to the wedding party, and so her dress had to be fitted on the fly.
Gretchen fussed with the swishing tulle gathered tightly at the knees by decorative red lace. “My wedding is going to be in black and white, I swear to god, because this shit is ridicu—”
“So what made you decide to have a destination wedding, Bron?” Marjorie interrupted, trying to be the peacemaker. She was a little disturbed at Gretchen’s rather vocal opinions about the dresses, and sought to change the subject.
Brontë beamed at Marj, looking a little like her old self. “This is where I met Logan, remember? We got stuck here when I won that trip from the radio and the hurricane hit.” She grabbed Maylee’s hands and helped the other woman to her feet as another tailor fussed over the hems. “Logan bought the island and decided to renovate the hotel. He pushed for them to have it done this week so we could get married here. Isn’t that sweet?”
“Sweet,” Marjorie echoed, adjusting the deep vee of her neckline. Truth be told, her brain had stopped processing once Brontë had said “bought the island.” Marj was still weirded out by the fact that Brontë—quirky, philosophy-quoting Brontë—had dated a billionaire and now they were getting married. In her eyes, she always saw Brontë as a waitress, just like herself. They’d worked together at a 50s sock-hop diner in Kansas City for the last year or two . . . at least until Brontë had moved to New York City to be with Logan. It was something out of a fairy tale—or a movie, depending on which was your drug of choice. Either way, it didn’t seem like something that happened to normal people. “You’re so lucky, Brontë. I hope I can meet a guy as wonderful as Logan someday.”
“‘Hope is a waking dream,’” Brontë said with a soft smile. “Aristotle.”
Gretchen snorted, only to be thwapped by her sister again.
“Bless your heart, Brontë, for paying for everything so we could all be here with you,” Maylee gushed, striding forward to line up with the other bridesmaids. “Look at us. We’re all so lovely, aren’t we?” She put a friendly arm around Marjorie’s waist and beamed up at her. “Like a bunch of roses getting ready for the parade.”
“I believe they are floats in a parade, Maylee,” Gretchen said dryly. “Which, now that you mention it—”
Marjorie giggled, unable to stifle the sound behind her hand.
“So who are we missing?” Audrey asked, counting heads. “I know Jonathan and Cade are also groomsmen, right? That’s five groomsmen and I only count four bridesmaids here. What about Jonathan’s ladylove? What’s her name?”
“Violet,” Brontë added. “And I offered for her to be in the wedding, but she declined since we’re not familiar with each other, truly. Logan wanted me to add her to the bridesmaid lineup to make Jonathan happy, but Violet insisted on simply attending.” She strode forward and adjusted the lace band under Marjorie’s bust. “Does this look crooked to you? Anyhow. Angie’s flying in but her kid was having dental surgery today, so she’s not coming in until tomorrow.”
Marjorie smiled at Brontë meekly. She’d feel a lot better when Angie was here. She, Brontë, and Angie had all waited tables together (along with Sharon, but no one liked Sharon) at the diner. Angie was in her forties, motherly, and wonderful to be around. They often went to bingo together.
Gretchen nudged Marjorie. “So do you have a date for the wedding? Bringing yourself a man in the hopes he’ll catch the garter?”
“I do have a date,” Marjorie said. “His name’s Dewey. I met him playing shuffleboard.”
“Dewey? He sounds ancient.”
“I believe he’s in his eighties,” Marjorie said with a grin. “Very sweet man.”
“Ah. I getcha.” Gretchen gave Marjorie an exaggerated wink. “Sugar daddy, right?”
“What? No! Dewey’s just nice. He’s on vacation because his wife recently died and he needs a distraction. He seemed so lonely that I invited him to be my date at the wedding. Nothing more than that. He’s a sweet man.”
“Leave her alone, Gretchen,” Brontë said, butting in. “Marjorie always finds herself a sweet old guy to dote on.” Brontë gave her a speculative look. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen her out with anyone under the age of seventy.”
Brontë knew her well. Marjorie smiled at that. “I guess I’m pretty obvious. I just . . . you know. Have a lot more in common with guys like Dewey than most people.”
It was true. She didn’t really date older men. She just spent her time playing bingo with friends, and shuffleboard, and going to knitting circles and volunteering at the nursing home when she could. Her parents had died long before Marjorie could remember their faces, and so she’d been raised by Grandma and Grandpa. Marjorie had grown up quilting, canning, watching The Price is Right, and basically surrounded by people four times her age. It was something she never grew out of, either. Even at the age of twenty-four, she felt more comfortable with people in their eighties than people in their twenties. People her age never sat and relaxed on a Saturday morning with a cup of coffee and a crossword. They never just sat around and talked. They took selfies and got rip-roaring drunk and partied all night long.
And that just wasn’t Marjorie. She was old fashioned. Body of a (really lanky) twenty-four-year-old, soul of a geriatric.
That was another thing that the elderly never made her feel weird about—Marjorie was tall. At six-foot-one, she was taller than every woman and most men. No one wanted to date someone that tall, and most women looked at her like she was some sort of freak of nature. Not her Grandma and Grandpa. They’d always made her feel beautiful despite her height.
So, yeah. With the exception of Brontë, all of Marjorie’s friends were living in retirement homes.
“Well, I think we’re good on the fitting for now,” Brontë said as the tailors finished their measurements. “Everyone out of their gowns. Go enjoy the day, and I’ll see you ladies tonight for the pre-bachelorette party!”
Maylee giggled and Gretchen high-fived everyone. Audrey only patted her rounded belly. “Guess I’m the designated driver.”
They shimmied carefully out of the fitted gowns and changed back into their clothing. Marjorie had brought her beachwear with her just in case, and changed into her red and white polka-dotted one-piece swimsuit, then wrapped a sarong around her hips, stuffing her clothing into a bag.
It was a lovely day for a walk on the beach, and she had a few hours before afternoon shuffleboard started up, anyhow.
“Look! Look! Tits or GTFO! Right?” The woman frolicking in the water near Robert Cannon’s float pulled off her top and shook her extremely fake cans in his direction.
He raised his drink to her, inwardly wishing she’d go away and take her friend with her. He touched his Bluetooth earpiece to indicate to her that he was on a conference call, despite floating on a raft at the beach, mixed drink in hand. He was several feet out from shore, and when people paddled closer, he stuck a hand in the water and steered his raft further out, so he could concentrate on his call. “What do you mean, ratings are down?”
“Just that,” said his assistant, voice tinny over the headset. “Reports are in and despite the new shows, ratings are down for The Man Channel by two percentage points.”
Rob swore and took another swig of his drink. Near his raft, one of the beach bunnies grabbed another tanned girl. Looking over at him, they began to make out in an attempt to get his attention.
He ignored them and paddled a bit further out. Fucking typical.
“What about the new show?” Rob asked. Hell, if he was down two points despite the new show, he’d need a much stiffer drink. This one wasn’t doing much to sustain his buzz.
“Naked Frat Party? Well, despite heavy marketing, it looks like we’re not hitting that target eighteen-to-forty demographic. I’m not sure what the deal is.”
Robert swore again. “And advertisers?”
“Already making unhappy noises.”
Great. That was just what he fucking needed. He swigged his drink, emptying the glass and waved it at one of the beach bunnies. On cue, one of the women took it and headed to the shore to get him a refill, her tits bouncing in her tiny bikini. “I’ll make some calls when I get back, all right? Just hold down the fort for this week while I take care of things down here.”
“Any luck with Hawkings?”
“Not yet, but I’m hoping to make some progress.” Rob told him absently, watching the antics of the two women. They kissed again—and then looked over at him to see if he was paying attention. One of them waded back out to his raft, his drink in hand. Rob shook his head. Ridiculous creatures. He’d become jaded on people long ago, and these two weren’t changing his mind, that was for damn sure. He shifted in his raft and adjusted the headset. “I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I want a full write-up of all the overnight ratings and a comparison of ad revenue. Have it to me by the morning.”
“And find out at what point those ratings dropped. Which show tanked? Call me back.”
He clicked off the call and tilted his head back, letting the sun beat down through his Bugatti sunglasses. Fucking hell. With ratings down, he was going to have a hell of a time convincing Logan Hawkings that starting up a new cable channel aimed at white-collar businessmen and executives was going to be worth his while.
Not that Rob couldn’t bankroll it himself. The billions in his bank account said differently. But he wanted Hawkings’s stamp on it, because Hawkings knew everyone in New York City and had a lot of cachet that Rob didn’t. People respected him and his business.
They didn’t respect Rob’s, no matter how much money it made him.
Most of the time he didn’t give a shit. Notoriety had made him as much money as anything else. And if he’d made his fortune capitalizing on cable channels and radio networks designed for the average joe, so much the better. So some of his shows weren’t exactly aboveboard. So what. Tits or GTFO was still popular. As long as there were girls with low self-esteem wanting to get on camera, they’d make money.
And he wouldn’t feel bad about it.
It wrecked his social life, but he’d just cry into his piles of money. Every woman that was even halfway interested in him wanted his wallet, or to be on one of his shows. The only girls he seemed to attract anymore were vapid idiots like the two currently making out and cavorting in the water in front of him just to get his attention. Didn’t care, really.
Rob took the drink that Blonde Number One offered him and tasted it. Strong, just the way he liked it. “Thanks, sugar.”
“So,” she said, giving her body a little wiggle to get his attention. “Think I’ve got what it takes to be on one of your shows?”
“Maybe,” he said absently, taking a bigger swig of his drink. Christ, that was really strong. He took another swig, because why not? He needed to get good and drunk. Two fucking ratings points. Jesus.
The other girl swam up next to him. “I heard you did lines off of Tiffany West’s stomach in Cannes,” she said with a sultry smile.
“Did you? How nice,” he said flatly. He didn’t even know who Tiffany West was, and he sure as shit didn’t do drugs. Alcohol was easy. Drugs just made you end up as someone’s prison bitch. He gulped the drink again, pleased that an alcoholic buzz was kicking in. He’d had three of these babies already, and number four was going to get him good and toasted. Which was a good thing, if ratings were down.
The busty blondes weren’t leaving. One swam up to the side of his raft, nudging it further out into the water. She smiled up at him. “Wanna do lines off of my stomach?”
“I’m busy.” Another call was due to come in any minute now.
“I can save the good stuff for later, if you want to party.”
Fuck that. Party of one in his raft, right here. He tossed down the rest of his drink, enjoying the burn it left in his mouth, and handed it off to one of the girls who watched him expectantly. When they didn’t go away, he looked back over at them. “How about you and you,” he said, pointing at both of them, “go do lines together and leave me the fuck alone?”
One of the blondes gave him a furious look and stormed away. The other wasn’t quite so nice. She huffed up, her fake breasts rising, and then gave his raft a vicious shove.
Rob flipped over and landed in the water, head going under.
Fucking perfect. His head spun and he resurfaced long enough to glare at the women who left. One of those two was going to buy him a new Bluetooth headset, so help him—
One of his legs cramped up, shooting pain through his muscles. Rob bobbed back under the water, thrashing. It was like his leg had locked up. Combine that with his spinning head, and he couldn’t quite get his bearings. He dragged his hands at the water, but only succeeded in getting a mouthful of brine and even more turned around. The current ripped at him, stronger than he’d ever thought. He pushed against it, but he still couldn’t find the surface, and now the water was dragging him farther away from the shore. Huh. Riptide. He thought you had to be farther out for those sorts of things. His lungs were aching, and he tried to push his head back above the water, but it seemed farther and farther out of reach.
Goddamn it, was he going to drown on the beach of someplace named Seaturtle Cay? Really?
But he couldn’t find air. Reflexively, his throat worked and salt water filled his lungs, his mouth, his nose. He choked, and the world started to go black. He was really, truly dying. His last thought was that he’d be in the tabloids for forever now—legendary for drowning in a few feet of water at the beach.
More blackness filled his vision, then red . . . and white polka-dots.
A strong arm grabbed him, and suddenly Rob’s face was hauled against a pair of breasts. Real breasts. He barely had time to process this before more darkness swam through his mind, and he followed it under.
“Breathe,” a voice shouted in his ear, and then lips pressed against his mouth. Air pushed into his lungs—and fuck, that hurt like hell—and suddenly water was coming up out of his throat and his nose and he turned his head to the side, vomiting salt water. His head ached in the most blisteringly awful fashion, and those white polka-dots were swimming in his vision again. But there was sand under his back, and slowly, blearily, he focused his eyes.
An angel bent over him on the beach. An angel with a faint peppering of freckles across her nose, a strong jaw and messy, wet, blonde hair, and dressed in the ugliest polka-dotted swimsuit he’d ever seen. And she was smiling down at him.
She’d saved him. And the look she gave him was so shy and proud all at once, that he felt his heart swell.
Rob was in love.
Oh sweet lord, this man was gorgeous. Marjorie pressed her mouth to the unconscious man’s lips and blew, trying to remember CPR steps that she hadn’t done since the fifth grade. She hoped he wouldn’t mind that a girl like her was mouthing on him, but she figured saving someone’s life took priority over petty things like attractiveness in a rescuer.
So she pumped his chest and blew into his mouth, and on her second round, salt water came rushing out of his mouth into hers, and she pulled away and spat even as she turned him on his side so he could vomit.
A moment later, he turned on his back and gave her a dazed, dopey look.
She couldn’t help smiling down at him. What a cute man. He was dark-haired, had green eyes with interesting amber flecks, and a fantastic chiseled nose. He’d also tasted like alcohol when she’d put her mouth on him—not Marj’s favorite thing—but this was a resort and most people drank.
He opened his mouth and made a garbled sort of sound. Probably a thank-you of some kind.
Marjorie patted his shoulder. “You’ll be all right now, mister. Just take a few deep breaths and maybe lay off the tequila when you go swimming.”
His brows drew together and he grabbed at her hand, which surprised Marjorie. His lips moved as he gazed up at her, but then he coughed again, still squeezing her hand as if he didn’t want to let her go. Shadows fell from overhead as onlookers rushed over to see what was going on. No surprise—they had probably stared at the sight of a stringbean like Marjorie carrying a guy out of the water.
Thanks to her height, she didn’t exactly blend into a crowd.
Still coughing, he squeezed her hand again. She squeezed it back, wondering what he was trying to say. A lock of wet black hair was plastered to his forehead and her fingers itched to push it back. There was just something about his face that she liked so, so much, and the way he looked at her with that interested surprise, not the instinctive flinch she normally got when she towered over men. Of course, he probably didn’t realize how tall she was since she was currently sitting on the sand next to him.
“You—” he began, still wheezing with a wet sound in his throat.
“Everyone get back,” a voice roared, and a man pushed forward in a red lifeguard suit, carrying a red flotation device. “Let’s give him some air.”
Reluctantly, Marjorie squeezed his hand one last time and got to her feet. “I think he’s okay—”
“I said get back,” the lifeguard said, thrusting an arm out and pushing people away as they crowded around the fallen man. “Everyone, please. Let a lifeguard do his job.”
Meekly, Marjorie brushed the sand off her knees and moved back with the crowd. She desperately wanted to look back at the handsome man in the sand again, but that would have been foolish, wouldn’t it? With a small sigh, she found her discarded wrap, tied it around her hips, and headed off to shuffleboard to meet her friend Agnes. For some reason, she felt a little down. It was selfish of her, but she’d wanted to talk to the man she’d rescued, if nothing else, to hear him speak other than coughing at her.
But she supposed that was just vanity—what did she want, a thank-you for saving a man’s life? She mulled this over as she crossed the long, winding beach, heading back toward the hotel. The weather in Seaturtle Cay was utterly gorgeous, and she couldn’t stay down for long. By the time she reached the shuffleboard area, her mood was back to its normal, even keel. Not much kept Marjorie down.
Agnes waved at her from the far end of the shuffleboard court. She was wearing a white, floppy straw hat and had an equally white smear of zinc on her hawkish nose, and she wore the loose floral layers that so many of the elderly seemed to favor. “There you are, sweetie,” Agnes said when Marjorie approached. “We were starting to wonder if you’d ditched us.”
Next to Agnes, her friend Edna had on a pair of enormous red sunglasses and a similar outfit. “Not that I’d blame you for something like that,” Edna said with a titter. “There are lots of good-looking men here.”
“Don’t be silly,” Marjorie said, grabbing a shuffleboard stick. “I wouldn’t abandon you guys. You’re my friends. And I have a great time with you.”
“Wouldn’t you rather be with people your own age?”
“Not at all,” Marjorie said, and then leaned in. “Though I was late because I was kissing a man on the beach.”
Both women gave scandalized laughs. “You what?” Agnes said.
She knew they’d get a kick out of that. With a grin, she recapped the rescue on the beach, going into great detail about how handsome—and helpless—the man she’d saved was. Her friends laughed through the entire story, though they were disappointed at the lackluster ending. “You should have given that young man your phone number and hooked up with him,” said Edna, who was probably ninety-five years old if she was a day. “Tap that ass.”
Marjorie blushed and shook her head. “Trust me when I say I’m not his type.” A guy that good-looking? He’d probably have one of the busty beach bunnies in string bikinis that she saw wandering all over the place. “Now, should we play singles or do you guys want to be a team? You know I can kick your butts at this game with one hand tied behind my back.”
“You’re on,” said Agnes, with a crafty gleam in her eye.
“I told you, I’m fucking fine. Leave me alone.” Rob gave an irritated swat to the paramedic trying to take his blood pressure. “You want to know what my blood pressure is? It’s going to be through the goddamn roof if you keep trying to stick that cuff on me.”
“We have procedures we have to follow, sir,” the overachieving lifeguard told him. Their little party had moved away from the sandy beach and set up in a nearby first aid hut to give them a bit more privacy. Unfortunately, it seemed that that privacy didn’t extend to the lifeguards, who were now hovering worse than the onlookers on the beach. Damn lifeguards. Dudley Do-Right, who had taken charge of the flock of useless lifeguards, spoke again. “Once you’ve been declared well by the medical team, I’ll need you to come with me so we can file an incident report. We take things very seriously here at Seaturtle Cay Resort, and—”
Rob cut him off with an icy glare. He jerked his arm away from the man still trying to put that damn blood pressure cuff on him. “How much do I have to pay you people to go away? Seriously. I’m fine. I was drinking too much, I fell into the water, and that girl saved me. Now if you want to be fucking helpful, you’ll get me her name and phone number so I can thank her.”
“I don’t know who you’re referring to, sir,” Dudley Do-Right said with a frown.
“Of course you fucking don’t,” Rob said, gritting his teeth. “Because you fucking scared her off.”
This was not his favorite afternoon. First the dumb beach bunnies had tried to drown him. He’d lost his Bluetooth headset and his phone was probably buried in some kid’s sand castle on the beach. Then, he’d been rescued from the water by that gorgeous sea nymph with the freckles. And god, it was the first time he’d ever been aroused by the thought of freckles. But as soon as Dudley Do-Right had stepped in, she’d vanished without a trace.
And that was driving him bugfuck. He wanted to know more about her: her name, who she was, if she was single, if she’d laugh at his crass jokes without looking at him like he was a pig, if she’d give him that soft, sweet, adoring look when he kissed her, if she had freckles on her thighs . . .
But that opportunity was fucking gone thanks to the incompetent medical team here at the resort. He yanked his arm out of the medic’s grasp again. “Get the fuck away from me, all of you, before I sue.”
The magic word sue never failed to clear a room. Dudley Do-Right mumbled something about filing paperwork and sending it to him to approve later, and they left him alone.
Rob flexed his arm and stood up. He felt achy all over, and his head throbbed. His throat felt like hell and he wanted a drink. But more than that, he wanted to find his rescuer. The polka-dot girl. Right now, she was his obsession. Because when Rob Cannon had an obsession, he clung to it like a dog with a bone, until things worked out in his favor.
And they always worked out in his favor.
By mid-afternoon, Rob had sent all three of his assistants away from working on ratings numbers and instead people-watching at various locations at the resort, looking for the girl he’d described. One was staked out on the beach, one at the bar, and one at the pool. No one spotted her, and it pissed him off. Either they were incompetent, or she’d disappeared. He refused to entertain that thought. She would be found. He always got what he wanted, and right now he wanted her.
But all afternoon, no sightings turned up, and in frustration, Rob decided to head to the hotel bar himself that night. She was bound to come down for a drink at some point, right? Most of the women at the resort treated the all-expenses-paid bar as an excuse to get plastered on a nightly basis. Surely she’d at least swing down for a mai tai or a piña colada. Then he could thank her for saving his life, find out what it took to get her in his bed, and get her out of his mind so he could go back to work with his head clear and his dick serviced.
So he sat at the bar in the perfect spot to watch the door, ran up a tab on good Scotch, and got progressively more annoyed. Where was this woman? He hadn’t imagined her. If he’d imagined her, she’d have been enormously endowed and not wearing polka-dots, that was for damn sure.
Rob was so lost in thoughts of his mystery girl that he did a double take when the tall man in the expensive suit walked into the bar, looked around, and then headed in his direction. Well, well, well. Rob tossed back his Scotch and stood up, extending his hand as he approached. “If it isn’t Logan Hawkings. Fancy meeting you here.”
Logan took one look at Rob’s extended hand, and then gave him a withering glance.
Well, if this wasn’t a fucking grand start, he didn’t know what was. Rob kept the smile on his face and put his hand down. He’d keep his cool, even if right now he wanted to punch someone. He needed Logan, whether he liked it or not. “Just the man I wanted to see.”
The cold man in the business suit eyed Rob’s Hawaiian shirt and cargo shorts, and the drink in his hand. “Security alerted me to the fact that you were here.”
“Gotta love security.” He raised his glass in a mock toast.
“I don’t suppose you’ll tell me why you’ve chosen to lurk at my resort this week?” He sounded pissy as fuck to Rob’s ears.
Lurking, eh? Fuck you too, buddy. “Little birdie in New York told me you’d be here, and I thought I’d come say hello, since you won’t return my calls.”
“I imagine there’s a reason for that.” His hands remained in his pockets, his expression unfriendly.
This didn’t deter Rob. He was used to people icing him out because of who he was and what he produced, but damn it, there was a market there and he’d be an idiot to let opportunity go by. So his “Man Channel” was full of ridiculous game shows and lots of tits? That was what men liked, and the ratings proved it. Before The Man Channel had even been on the air for five years, he had three additional spin-off channels, a few On-Demand channels, and a robust business online with interrelated sites. Business was booming. He’d made billions off of peddling the right product to the right people.
But now that he had money and success, he wanted credibility. And that was the one thing he couldn’t get on his own. Which was why he needed Logan Hawkings. People respected him. He’d been in Time, Forbes, Newsweek, and countless other magazines, as a businessman to watch.
The only rags that Rob made were tabloids. They loved to run stories about which down-on-her-luck boozy actress he was fucking (he wasn’t), which coke-fueled orgy someone had seen him exiting (he didn’t do drugs), and anything else they could come up with. Normally, he let that shit stand because even bad publicity was publicity.
But now that he wanted to bring investors in on a new project? It was working against him.
“I’m telling you,” Rob said, his tone easy. It didn’t give a hint of the frustration he felt at Logan’s stonewall. “I have a business proposition that can make both of us real money if you’d just talk to me.”
“And I’m telling you,” Logan said in that cold, cold voice. “That I don’t like you here this week. The paparazzi follow you like bitches in heat.”
Well, that they did. “Don’t worry. Your ass is too boring for them most of the time.”
The look Logan gave him could have shriveled dicks from a mile away. He moved closer to Rob, and his voice lowered to an angry hiss. “I am getting married this week, and the last thing I want is a bunch of paparazzi mucking up the works. My bride has worked very hard to ensure that everything in this wedding goes off exactly how she wants it to, and I’ll be damned if you show up and ruin this for her. Do you understand me?”
Married? Well, that explained the growly bear act. Rob put on his most charming smile. “Congrats, man. Can I buy you a drink?”
“You can leave the premises.”
“Now, that would be a shame. I’d have to tell all the paps why I’m leaving, and wouldn’t they like to know?” Rob’s smile remained easy despite the menace he was throwing down. “I’d hate to give them fuel to stick around.”
Logan’s glare got colder.
“Congratulations on the wedding, though. I’d love to be invited.”
“You’re not invited.”
“Too bad. I’ll settle for a business meeting with you. Just a half hour of your time. I promise it’s worthwhile.”
“I’m not here on business this week, and this isn’t the way to get my ear.” He leaned in. “And if you ruin my wedding, I will fucking ruin you.”
So defensive over a dog and pony show. The man must truly be in love. Rob smiled thinly. “See you around, then.”
After reviewing several dismal ratings reports in the privacy of his suite, Rob was in a shit mood. His botched meeting with Logan hadn’t helped things, and by the time three in the morning rolled around, he was done with Seaturtle Cay, done with jackasses who didn’t want to give him the time of day, and done with a lot of things. Unable to sleep, he phoned up his assistants and told them to pack up and be down at the lobby within an hour. They were heading back to California.
After all, there was no point in hanging around in the Caribbean not getting any work done when he could be back in California not getting work done. And he sure as shit wasn’t going to the beach again. Not after the near-drowning. He’d be happy to never hit the fucking waves ever again.
At four am, two of his assistants were in the lobby with their luggage, yawning, and the third was nowhere to be found. Impatient, Rob checked his watch again and handed his bags to the valet, who scurried away.
Everyone just stood there like lumps, clearly waiting for instructions.
“Get a fucking cab here ASAP,” he said to one of his assistants. “I’m tired of this place.”
“Yes, sir,” the pimple-faced kid said. “Right away, sir.”
“Good.” He peered at the guy. He knew he was an assistant, but wasn’t sure of the name. “Which one are you?”
“Okay, Cresson. You get to keep your job because you know how to follow orders.” At the guy’s relieved look, Rob rolled his eyes inwardly. So hard to find good help. He pulled out his phone and texted the missing assistant again. You have 3 minutes to get your ass down here or you’re fired.
As he was looking down at his phone, someone bumped into him, and the phone went flying out of his hand.
In a rage, he turned on the person that pushed him. “What the fuck are you doing?”
It was a drunk woman with bright red hair, her arm around a brunette’s shoulders. Both of them were wearing what looked like Mardi Gras beads covered with penises.
“Oh,” slurred the redhead. “Oops. My bad. We didn’t see you there.” She peered at him.
Great, just what he needed. “Is this entire resort full of drunks?” He stalked away from the women and recovered his phone, checking the screen. No cracks. Thank god for that. “You’re lucky this isn’t broken or you’d be buying a new one.”
The brunette’s eyebrows drew together and she looked as if she’d protest, but the redhead stumbled forward and pointed a finger at his face. “Don’t be a dick, sir. We saw plenty of those tonight. We’re full up.”
The brunette convulsed into laughter.
“Get your finger out of my face,” he told the obnoxious redhead, and looked over at the front desk. “And where’s my damn cab already? This fucking island isn’t that big.”
“We just left one,” the redhead said, still wiggling her finger in his face. “But youuuu can’t have it—”
Like hell he couldn’t. Shouldering past the two drunks, he headed for the curb outside, just in time to see three other women emerging from the cab. A pretty blonde with a wild haystack of hair was drunk and hanging off of an extremely pregnant woman, and a lean woman had her back to him, her front half in to the passenger window, paying the driver. Good.
Rob pushed forward and tapped the taller blonde on the shoulder. “If you and your drunk friends are done making everyone miserable, I’d like your cab—”
As the woman turned, Rob realized two things.
One, that it was the woman who’d rescued him on the beach.
And two, that she was really, really damn tall.
The woman’s eyes widened in surprised at the same time that his did.
“Oh, it’s you,” she breathed, and a smile lit up her face. “My swimmer. Hi again. Feeling better?”
Rob stared. He looked her up and down, his first time to really get a good look at her.
She was tall as fuck. There was no disguising that. He was six foot himself, and he was pretty sure she had at least an inch on him. She was also wearing high heels, which made her seem towering. She was delicate for her height, but still had an attractive pair of small, high breasts and an impressive curve to her hips, and legs that went on forever in the dowdy skirt she was wearing.
So she was tall. So fucking what? He didn’t care if she was seven foot. She was just as gorgeous as he remembered, in all the right ways.
Oh, she wasn’t the typical Hollywood girl that was considered beautiful right now. Those freckles still spattered her nose, and her hair was a tangled mess about her shoulders. Her lips weren’t plumped full of collagen and her jaw was probably too strong. But her eyes were beautiful, and her expression was full of genuineness, and he wanted to just grab her and pull her against him and soak in everything that she was.
Which was weird, but there it was.
So he thrust his hand out. “I don’t think we got to meet properly the other day. I’m Rob.”
She bit her lip—god, that was fucking cute—and put her hand into his and shook it, surprisingly firmly. “I’m Marjorie.”
“Oooo, look! Marj’s picking up men at the curb,” someone catcalled drunkenly. Probably that damn redhead.
Marjorie’s face flushed bright red and she glanced back at her friends. “Are they bothering you, mister? I’m sorry. We’re just getting back from a bachelorette party.” A lock of hair dragged across her cheek from the wind, and she tucked it behind an ear absently. “Actually, it’s a pre-bachelorette party. This one was bridesmaids only. The real one is in a few days. I think some of the girls got a little carried away with the fun.”
“It’s all right,” he told her easily, though it wasn’t all right thirty seconds ago, even. “And it’s Rob, not ‘mister.’”
“Rob,” she said shyly, hugging her arms against her chest.
“But if you’re just getting back from a party, where’s your beads?” He couldn’t help himself—he reached forward and flicked the pearl choker at her neck. Classy and dowdy all at once. It was like something his grandma would wear. Actually, everything she wore—from the floral, high necked blouse to the ugly hippie skirt—was like something his grandma would wear on vacation. Except for the tall nude fuck-me pumps.
He liked those. He liked those a lot.
She immediately put a hand to her necklace where he’d touched it, as if scandalized. Then, she shook her head and looked awkward and shy. “Beads? Nothing like that for me.”
“I don’t see why,” he said honestly. “You’re the most beautiful one of the group.”
She gave him a shocked look, and then turned an adorable bright red again. God, was his dick hard? It was. This girl was like catnip to his jaded senses.
“That’s kind of you to say,” she told him, clearly flustered. “But, um . . .”
“I’ve made you uncomfortable,” he said, taking the lead. She looked ready to run away and he wasn’t ready for that. Rob stepped forward and placed his hand out, palm up.
She hesitated a moment, then put her hand back in his, as if fascinated.
He lifted her hand to his mouth and brushed his lips over her knuckles. Her breasts moved, and he realized she was breathing fast with excitement. Every expression was obvious across her face, and he fucking dug that. There were no games with this girl, he realized. She wouldn’t be able to play games and try to change herself to be whatever she thought might get his attention. She was genuine, from the tips of her messy hair to those tall, tall shoes.
And he loved that. He really, really did.
So Rob brushed his mouth over her knuckles again, and then glanced up at her. “I want to thank you for saving my life.”
“Oh,” she said, clearly flustered. Her hand moved in his, as if she needed to draw it away, but he held on to her. “It’s not necessary, really—”
“It is,” he said in a firm voice. “I must insist. Let me take you to dinner. My treat. It’s the very least I can do for your impeccable lifesaving skills.”
“My lifesaving skills . . .” she echoed, and then laughed. “You nut. That was CPR. Everyone knows CPR.”
“I don’t,” he said, grinning. He ran his thumb over her knuckles. “You want to show me? I can think of a few parts I’d like to practice.”
Her eyes widened and her mouth worked for a moment, and then she nodded. “Um, okay.” He didn’t miss that her gaze flicked to his lips.
He liked that it did. He wanted to know what she was thinking—
“Mr. Cannon,” his worthless assistant said, running forward with the worst fucking timing in the world. “I’ve called you a cab and Mr. Gortham has come downstairs—”
“Not now,” Rob said, his tone easy, his gaze locked on Marjorie’s flushed face. He wanted to memorize it. God, she was pretty. He’d never been so immediately in lust with a woman, but this one had his number, that was for sure. Normally they bored him because they were all the same. He had a sneaking suspicion he’d never get bored with Marjorie and her openness.
“But—” the assistant said, clearly confused. “You instructed us—”
Rob clenched his teeth and looked over. There stood the bellhop with the porter cart of his luggage, and his other two assistants sleepily yawning, their own luggage tucked under their arms. Assistant number three was hovering, clearly confused at the change in orders. Everyone was waiting on him.
He felt Marjorie’s attempt to pull her hand out of his again. “Are you leaving?” she asked.
“Nope,” he lied.
“But Mr. Cannon—” started the assistant again. He clearly wanted to get fired.
“I said no,” Rob repeated. “Didn’t they teach you that in school? No means no.” He kept his tone pleasant and looked back at the small crowd waiting. “Everyone can go back to their rooms. It was all a mistake.”
“I really should go,” Marjorie said, attempting to pull her hand from his again. “My friends are probably in the lobby waiting for me.”
“Not yet,” Rob said, squeezing her hand tighter in his. “Please.” He was probably going to fucking scare her if he didn’t let go of her hand, but he didn’t want her to retreat again. Not before he got her room number and her full name.
She hesitated, clearly torn, and glanced at his assistants. “I’m not keeping you?”
“Not at all.” He looked over at the others. “Go back to bed.”
Muttering, they slowly returned to the lobby. Not fast enough to suit Rob, but they were moving. A throat cleared behind him and he saw the cabdriver, waiting. Marjorie still stood at the curb, close to the cab. Right. He wanted to get rid of this man, too.
He wanted Marjorie all to himself.
So, reluctantly releasing her hand, Rob dug into his pockets and pulled out his wallet. Peeling a couple of hundreds out of his billfold, he handed them to the driver. “Here. Thanks for waiting, but you’re not needed.”
The driver took the money and pocketed it without a word. Now, Rob was free to devote his attention back to Marjorie, giving her his most charming smile. “As I was saying. Dinner?”
“I thought you said you wanted CPR lessons?” Her lips twitched with amusement. So fucking cute. He’d be masturbating to that sweet little smile of hers for weeks.
“Changed my mind. Dinner. Tomorrow night. You and me.”
She shook her head. “You don’t have to thank me for saving your life with dinner. Really.”
“I’m not.” Rob moved forward and put his hands on her shoulders, then hugged her before she could protest. A muffled squeak escaped her, but that was the only sound, and he pulled away just as quickly. “That was for saving my life. Dinner is because I want to have dinner with you.”
Marjorie blinked rapidly, still a bit stiff from recoiling from his hug. He guessed she wasn’t much of a hugger. She seemed too awkward for that sort of thing.
Didn’t matter. He’d ease her into his brash displays. She’d get used to him. “So . . . seven? Seafood okay?”
“Okay,” she said.
“Wear a dress.”
“Good.” He grinned, resisted the urge to give her another hug, and then turned to walk away. He paused, and turned back to her. “Give me your full name and your room number.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
## I am so done with this author. All of heroines are ridiculous. The constant weight issues, height issues, frumpy, uncontrollably frizzy hair...etc. are so over the top. These women have way too many insecurities. I like my heroines strong, smart, beautiful, playful and loyal. Come on...it's fiction for Pete's sake.
I'm a big fan of the billionaire series, but this one just didn't do it. The billionaire in the story isn't part of the Billionaire's Club like the rest of them and he's kind of a jerk. I didn't really enjoy this one.
Disappointing: 3 stars--THE BILLIONAIRE AND THE VIRGIN is the first installment in Jessica Clare’s new contemporary, adult Billionaires and Bridesmaids erotic, romance series-a spin off from her best selling Billionaire Boys Club series-that will focus on the upcoming nuptials of the Billionaire Boys and the women that they love. This is billionaire entrepreneur Robert Cannon and waitress Marjorie Ivarsson’s storyline. You do not have to have read the Billionaire Boys Club series to understand the premise but the new series focuses on the weddings of the couples we met in Jessica’s original series, and the introduction of new billionaires and friends. Told from third person point of view the storyline follows Marjorie as she is tasked with being a bridesmaid at her former co-worker’s wedding-Bronte Dawson and Logan Hawkings (Stranded with a Billionaire #1) destination wedding. Marjorie is a 6’1” twenty four year old naïve (almost cloistered) virgin who was raised by her elderly grandparents following the death of her parents. Marjorie has spent most of her life surrounded by senior citizens and is at her most comfortable socializing with the silver-haired seniors-in this she is socially inadequate, inept and awkward with people her own age and men. Marjorie’s low self esteem and poor self image is a by-product of her height and the resulting negative comments throughout her life. Rescuing a near drowning Robert Cannon finds our heroine lost in a strange world where Robert’s vulgarity and crude language are matched by the size of his wallet and their attraction to one another. Robert Cannon is a self made billionaire, a television producer who made his money through the virtual world of trashy television and The Men’s Channel. He is a man whose language is blue, and his reputation with the women precedes his introduction. But Marjorie is oblivious to Robert’s history, his business, his money and his connection to Logan Hawkings. Robert is stalking Logan in the hopes of negotiating a television deal. The relationship between Robert and Marjorie is one of immediate attraction but Marjorie’s over the top naivete and Robert’s crude and vulgar personality are distractions to the overall enjoyment of the storyline and likeability of the couple. Their first couple of dates are a disaster, uncomfortable and would have sent most people packing. But Robert persists in his pursuit of Marjorie until the truth about how he makes his money and his connection to Logan is revealed. Marjorie will return home heartbroken and lost. The sex scenes are intimate, exploratory and at times, awkward due to the heroine's lack of experience. All of the previous storyline series’ heroines are present but their significant others (excluding Logan) are more or less absent or silent. The bridesmaids are ever present and offering advice about dating, relationships and sex. There comes a time when too many reminders and the redundancy of some of the plot points make it difficult to enjoy a story. We are constantly reminded about Marjorie’s lack of experience and her height; and Robert’s overuse of cuss words and swearing became a bit too much especially in a romance storyline. I love Jessica’s BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB series-her heroes and heroines, their stories and their love but something was missing from THE BILLIONAIRE AND THE VIRGIN-there was no spark, no palpable energy, no real connection and very little sympathy for our hero. In fact, the writing did not ‘feel’ like Jessica Clare but more like someone else. It wasn’t until Robert’s return to civilization did the story take on a completely different feel. If you are a fan of Jessica’s BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB I would still recommend giving the new series a try. I am hoping my disappointment in this storyline is a fluke and the next installment will pull me back into the fold.
REVIEW THIS BOOK WAS NOT HER BEST WORK. REESE AND HUNTER ARE MY FAVORTIE LOVE STORY. THIS STORY WAS RUSHED AND THE STORY LINE WASNT GREAT. PLEASE DO BETTER NEXT TIME
I'm a very character driven reader. I didn't like either of these characters. Marjorie is an old soul in a young body. She was raised by her grandparents and is way more comfortable around older people. She plays shuffleboard and bingo. She's also very tall and isn't really comfortable with that. Though Robert thinks she's beautiful, she doesn't. She's a virgin and hasn't really dated at all. She works as a waitress. Talk about opposites. Robert is a TV producer for a show I can't even about. He's a player who doesn't even remember the names of the girls he sleeps with. Rolling in money, he does what he wants, including crashing a wedding to get a meeting with someone who doesn't want to give him the time of day. He's crass and I can't stand him. He has his assistant investigate Marjorie for crying out loud. These two do not go together at all. And while I like books that bring together people that normally wouldn't, this one was just too much. I just couldn't overcome some of the things Robert did. I couldn't even relate to Marjorie and her world. I kept putting it down and taking a break. Finally, I just couldn't take it any more. Skimmed to find the ending and let it go. Too many other good books to read to waste time on this one. I'm sure other's felt different. You should check out their review too.
Title: The Billionaire and the Virgin Author: Jessica Clare Series: Billionaires & Bridesmaids, #1 (spinoff of Billionaires Boys Club) Publisher: Intermix Date: February 17, 2015 This book was supplied to me through NetGalley for an honest review. Marjorie Ivarsson is the picture of naivete. A hardworking waitress raised by her grandmother, an evening playing bingo is her sort of socialising. But when she's invited to be a bridesmaid at her friend Bronte's wedding, she enters a whole new world. Whisked away to the billionaire groom's private island, Marjorie is awe-struck by the glitz and glamour. But what dazzles her most is notorious playboy and hot-shot TV producer Robert Cannon. After Marjorie saves Robert from drowning in the island's turquoise lagoon, she can't help but feel drawn to him. But she's not the only woman intrigued, and with his wild and womanising ways, they couldn't be more wrong for each other. With the blistering attraction between them becoming hard to ignore, and the idyllic, irresistibly romantic island as their playground - will opposites attract? Rating: 2 out of 5 I have to say this is the lowest rating I have ever given a book that I actually finished. The writing was not bad and the plot could have been interesting. The main problem was I hated Robert, the main male character. His personality is completely obnoxious. Yes, there are extenuating circumstances. Yes, he tries to become a better person for the woman he falls in love with . . ., but it wasn’t enough to save the book. Having Marjorie being totally inexperienced and living in a world far from the norm made it even worse. She is more comfortable with the elderly than she is with her own generation. She talks like them, has the same values as they do (which is not necessarily a bad thing) , and, for Pete’s Sake, she plays shuffleboard! So, of course, she ends up with Robert who makes Hugh Hefner look good. Most of the time, I purchase the books I have reviewed. Even though I have received free copies, I like to support the authors. That will not be the case with this book. It’s not terrible and I wish I had read the books in the original series (Billionaire Boys Club) before this one. Now my opinion of the series will always be colored by a very unlikeable character.
I was only a third of way through and started cringing every time the F word showed up. There was hardly a page without that expletive. I just couldn't finish it.
Billionaire +Virgin=Billionaires Forever =Fantastic New Series!! ****A gifted copy was provided by the author for an honest review*** This is a new series from the author that is a spin off from her other series “Billionaire Boys Club. I will tell you now, you will LOVE THIS new series. The Billionaire and the Virgin is story of Rob and Marjorie. Marjorie is one of the bridesmaids and she arrives on the island where the wedding is taking place for Bronte and Logan. Robert is there to interest Logan in some sort of business deal that will make him” LOTS” of money but Logan is so not interested, only thing he is interested in is making Bronte his wife. Robert is the brash, self-centered, almost to the point of acting like he is the end all, be all person BUT he is hot and he is deep down, a nice guy. Robert meets Marjorie when he saves her from drowning. Marjorie is a terrific heroine. She is sweet, she is brave but she has some issues- one of them is about her height-She is six foot one inch and she is very much uncomfortable because she towers over most men and her experiences have made her shy away and avoid the opposite sex due to her height. Rob is instantly attracted to Marjorie and knows that there is something about her that he needs, wants, has to have. Marjorie feels the pull of attraction as well. Robert asks her out on a date and their relationship goes on from there. Their relationship did have highs and there were the lows but when Rob messed up, by golly, he definitely was on the ball to making things up to his lady and I loved that about him. The writing was fresh, the dialogue was on point and the secondary cast of characters is fantastic. Highly recommend this story!!!! Do not pass go and read this story. I was wondering if the Billionaire Boys would be continued and my hopes have come true. The spin-off is great. My rating: 5 stars *****
I absolutely loved this story of 6'1" Marjorie and the smut pushing Rob Cannon! This story showed how opposites attract and how you will turn your life from bad to good for the person you love! I laughed I cried I cheered! Beautifully written! A must read love this series! Can't wait for next one to come out!
I liked this fun and steamy Caribbean escape. The inoccent Marjorie is a bridesmaid at Logan and Bronte's destination wedding, and meets sleazy billionaire Rob at the beach. But, Rob likes that Marjorie doesn't have a clue about his reputation, and just likes spending time with him. Naturally, they hit a few bumps along the way, but somehow it all works out in the end. I liked both main characters and sparks flew when they were together, but I wish Marjorie was a little bit stronger character. Of course, the best part of the book is being a fly on the wall for Logan and Bronte's wedding celebration, and briefly catching up with all the characters from the Billionaire Boys Club series!
I’m a fan of Jessica Clare’s other Billionaire Boys Club novels and loved this one as well. I don’t know how she does it but she made a “bad boy” into the most lovable character you’ve read. Robert Cannon is a great guy, under a ton of bad behavior, that falls hard for the heroine, Marjorie Ivarsson. She is extremely sheltered and somehow (that’s the story, folks!) these two manage to fall in love. It is a wild ride, but an easy read, and was quite fun. Sometimes I wanted to nudge Marjorie to give Robert a break but they both had their demons to tame. We had visits from characters in previous books and that is always fun. I really enjoyed it; it was truly fun. And sexy. And flirty. And sometimes crazy. What a ride. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Wanted to know more of the characters and liked the style. Sexy without being embarrassing
Highly recommend....Love the series and all characters
Another charming read from this author , I truly couldn't put it down.
Always a good read from this writer
Funny one liners
Highly enjoyed this story. Very different environment from the norm. I don't hesitate to recommend it.
"No one"he said
Dragged a bit