“Sizzles with excitement and eroticism…” –Publishers Weekly on THE BILLIONAIRES
What do you do when you have not just one hot boss, but two? And they both want you?
What will it take to make her theirs?
Bayli Styles leaves California wine country behind for the bright lights of New York City, in search of fame and fortune. However, fame and fortune are a little further out of reach than she had hoped, so to supplement her meager modeling income, she seeks a hostess position at Manhattan’s hottest new venue, owned by billionaires Rory St. James and Christian Davila. Bayli gets much more than she bargained for when both devastatingly handsome and magnetic men make her blood sizzle…and offer her the guiltiest of all pleasuresthemselves.
Bayli is the perfect solution to the two problems currently plaguing entrepreneurs Rory and Christian, professionally and sexually. She’d make the ultimate “face” for their current joint venture, but both men are thinking beyond business and waste no time seducing Bayli into their brand of double pleasure. In the end, the threesome will put it all on the linetheir bodies, their hearts, their soulseither destined for failure, or for the redefinition of true love.
This is a standalone ménage romance with an HEA by Calista Fox. (Book 2 in the Lover’s Triangle Series)
Don’t miss the standalone ménage romance, THE BILLIONAIRES, featuring the sexy Rogen Angelini and Vin D'Angelo.
About the Author
CALISTA FOX is a former PR professional who now writes fast-paced, steamy books to set your pulse racing, including Obsession. She has won many Reviewer’s and Reader’s Choice Awards, as well as Best Book Awards. Calista has crossed the country many times over by corporate jet and travels internationally, always with her laptop in tow to capture intriguing story elements and exotic locales! She is also a member of Romance Writers of America and a Past President/Advisor of the Phoenix chapter.
Read an Excerpt
Bayli Styles had extra pep in her step as she made her way down Lexington Avenue toward Manhattan's hottest new venue, the newly opened steakhouse Davila's NYC. Owned by international restaurateur Christian Davila and his business partner, celebrity chef Rory St. James.
She had an interview for a hostess position. Not the ultimate gig she aspired to, but living in New York City didn't come cheap. Even her crappy apartment in a sketchy neighborhood cost a small fortune in rent. She was willing to pay the price — she'd wanted to live here since she was seventeen. Until recently, however, circumstances beyond her control had precluded her from packing herself up and making the trek from the beautiful wine country of River Cross, California. Tragic circumstances, to be exact.
Yet a decade later, here she was. Starting a new life. One that required her to land several part-time jobs with flexible hours so she could also take on modeling assignments sent her way by the agency that had agreed to rep her when she'd arrived two months ago. The assignments were a bit too few and far between, but at least she was building her portfolio. Perhaps someday soon she'd make a name for herself.
In the meantime, she'd do whatever it took to keep this city from kicking her ass. This vibrant, energetic city that she'd already fallen in love with, even if it did intimidate the hell out of her sometimes with the honking of horns, the hordes of people walking brisk seven-minute miles to and from work, and the infinite number of sights to see.
Luckily, she'd spent a few years living in San Francisco with her friends from high school — Jewel Catalano, a wine heiress, and Scarlet Drake, an insurance fraud investigator. So Bayli didn't feel too country bumpkin. Most of the time, at any rate.
Today was a good example. She was treating this interview as she would a modeling job. She wore her favorite sleeveless one-shouldered black mini, believing the manager of Davila's would want to see that she was chic and fashion forward. And could work her shift in five-inch heels. She'd pulled her long dark hair up in a sleek style and added simple accessories. Slim, elongated silver hoops and the sparkly crystal bracelet her mother had given her for Christmas several years ago. It was a costume piece and not worth anything other than sentimental value. A pretty trinket that kept her dearly departed mom close to her in spirit.
Bayli knew her mother would be proud of her for finally breaking free of all the trauma back in California and finding her own path. Even if it was slow going and she had to put in extra effort to make ends meet. Bayli had never lived a charmed life. She had high hopes her luck might change now that she'd ventured east to chase her wildest dreams.
Her stomach fluttered as she approached the tall, arched double doors of the steakhouse.
This could be so huge.
The "in" she needed when it came to conquering this city. So much potential lay beyond those doors. It was up to her to seize the opportunity. Reach for her own brass ring.
You can do this, Bay. Just go for it!
The restaurant didn't open until cocktail hour during the week, which meant there'd be little activity, likely a low-key environment, before the hustle and bustle of dinnertime. That helped to minimize her anxiety over really and truly needing to be hired so she could pay her bills.
Although she was borderline in dire financial straits and feeling a tiny bit desperate, exhilaration trilled down her spine. Bayli had an ace in the hole for this interview and wasn't above pulling out her connection to the Davila enterprise, no matter how indirect and distant that connection was. She simply had to get this job.
It wasn't just about the money. As she'd mentioned to Jewel and Scarlet before the restaurant had launched, she considered it a viable springboard for her modeling career. A famous restaurateur and celebrity chef would pack in the people and the press. What a great place for Bayli to be discovered!
The possibility made her more excited. More determined to slay this.
She pulled open one of the doors and entered the softly lit establishment. Standing in the middle of the vast foyer, she inhaled deeply, smelling a wood-burning fire, new leather, and the most tantalizing, mouthwatering aroma coming from the kitchen.
To her right was a wide hallway with a wine cellar and private tasting room. Farther down were the restrooms. To her left was a lounge that looked more like a cozy study, showcasing endless shelves filled with hardback novels, a fireplace, sofas, and coffee and end tables. Being a bookworm who loved libraries, Bayli felt right at home.
It was also all very upscale and gorgeous. As she'd expected.
She walked beyond the large round table in the middle of the entryway with an enormous floral arrangement serving as a centerpiece and a stunning chandelier hanging overhead. Bayli had already looked at the menu online, and that was why she wasn't surprised by the elegant and expensive décor. Anyone who'd lay down a couple hundred dollars for a filet mignon deserved to dine in high style.
The restaurant wasn't a big one — just enough to comfortably accommodate thirty. She'd been forewarned when the manager had contacted her for the interview that reservations were difficult to come by. And, if hired, she'd be turning away more people than she'd be seating. A daunting challenge, but Bayli understood the exclusivity of the place.
What did shock her, however, was that there was a group of four at a table, sampling a trio of soups in miniature artsy bowls. The restaurant served lunch only on the weekends, so she surmised they must be food critics, magazine editors, or bloggers.
She didn't have time to observe their reactions to the food, because a lanky, well-groomed blond in a tuxedo strode toward her with purpose. He extended his hand and swiftly and efficiently shook hers as he announced in a thick French accent, "I am Pierre LaVallier, the manager of Davila's NYC. You must be Miss Styles."
"Yes. And Bayli is fine." She smiled politely.
Thank God Bayli had taken a year of French in high school. Hopefully nothing would get lost in translation during the interviewing process.
"Come, come," he lightly insisted.
Pierre directed her past the massive bar made of rich, dark wood with intricate scrolled accents and panels and a shiny copper top. The wall behind it was lined with glass shelves and every manner of premiumlevel alcohol.
"Chef St. James would like to meet you before you and I sit down to chat," Pierre informed her. "He's already reviewed your application. Though you're early, so he'll require you to wait in the kitchen while he finishes his work."
Bayli drew up short and gasped. "Rory St. James is here? Now?"
Pierre turned back to face her. "Oui. Of course," he said a bit haughtily. "The restaurant has only been open for a month. He stays on-site for the first quarter before making the rounds at the other kitchens. Obviously, that's part of the grand-opening frenzy. Why our phones ring off the hook for reservations that have to be booked two to three months out. If they're lucky," he added with panache and a dramatic hand gesture.
"Right. That makes perfect sense." It also made it incredibly difficult for Bayli to breathe. She was going to meet Rory St. James. The man, the myth, the legend.
The chef who made sure every one of his and Christian Davila's restaurants earned Michelin stars. Putting them on the "best of the best" lists in their respective cities. The chef who reportedly roared like a lion when things didn't go right in his den.
Her hands started to shake. She clutched her slim black leather folder, which contained a copy of her résumé and some highlights from her modeling portfolio, to her chest.
Bayli was a research buff by nature, and she'd done her homework before she'd even applied for this position. So she knew what she was getting herself into. Problem was, she'd never worked as a hostess before and, well, the idea of being interviewed by Rory St. James was downright nerve-wracking.
"Are you all right?" Pierre asked with notable concern. "You've gone a bit pale."
"Fine. I'm fine. I just like to be fully prepared when I ..." Become someone else.
Breathe, Bay. Just breathe.
She pulled in several long streams of air. Went to that place in her mind where positivity and optimism reigned supreme. Mentally shook off her tension.
Then she flashed her camera-ready smile.
"Bon Dieu!" Pierre's blond brows shot up. "Liane was right about you. She said you could light up an entire room."
"That's very sweet of her."
Liane was the former main hostess of Davila's. A new friend of a friend Bayli had recently met. And likely the only reason Bayli had scored this opportunity, because according to Liane, there was a foot-high stack of submissions from much more qualified candidates on Pierre's desk.
He said, "It was kind of her to make a recommendation after, unfortunately, we had to let her go."
Bayli's head cocked to the side. "Let her go? I thought she quit in order to start the fall semester at NYU."
"Ah, is that what she claimed? She's a lovely girl, so please don't mention to her that I told you that Chef St. James excused her when she turned away the governor for a table."
"Wow." Bayli's mind reeled. "The governor of New York? Who would be —"
"A man you do not shoo away because he doesn't have a reservation. Especially when he shows up with foreign dignitaries he wants to impress. I'll make it all perfectly clear how to accommodate situations such as that ... provided Chef gives you the head nod."
The head nod.
She inhaled again. Held the breath. Let it out slowly.
Back to your happy place, Bay.
The smile easily returned. "I'm fine," she assured Pierre again, though her heart thundered and her pulse raced.
Okay, desperation was a bit of a scary thing. But she bucked up, because being "on" came naturally to Bayli.
Finally stepping out of the shadows of her past and really being seen was what motivated her, what drove her to succeed no matter the bleak years and pain she'd suffered back in California. Like Jewel had told her, this was Bayli's time to shine.
And shine she would!
Hitching her chin a notch, she said, "Let's go meet Chef St. James."
Oh, dear God, please let him like me!
Rory St. James was already planning the new menu that would roll out in a couple of months. It was his custom to keep changing up the selections that came from his kitchens, not just to ensure loyal patrons didn't feel a sense of repetitiveness but also because there were endless dishes to surprise and enthrall diners. One of the reasons Rory preferred a different style of cuisine for each establishment.
Wine country chic in River Cross, California. Fresh seafood in Boston. Cuban fusion in Miami. Traditional pub-food-taken-to-the-next-level in London. Six courses with wine pairings in Paris ...
At thirty-two, Rory did not yet feel as though he'd fully explored his culinary genius and therefore continued to study and practice and add to his repertoire. In his mind, there really was no such thing as being at the top of your game in this business, because around every corner there was a new discovery to make and a new direction to take.
The steakhouse was meant to provide a basis for some of the classics with Rory's twist on them. Medium-rare filet mignon cooked at sixteen hundred degrees and drizzled with a decadent crab-béarnaise sauce. Pepperen-crusted New York strips. Beef Wellington. Chateaubriand. Thick, juicy T-bones. All with his own spices incorporated — and all of which he was currently preparing for an elite group of food critics sitting in his dining room. He also prepped samples of Australian rack of lamb and Chilean sea bass for variety.
He'd already offered three different types of specialty soups. Now he plated the salads and arranged them on a serving tray with a bread display and accompaniments. He hadn't requested a server for today's affair. Pierre poured the wine, and the sous and dessert chefs were on hand, but Rory wanted to take a more personable approach with these particular critics as they immersed themselves in his menu, so he chose to be more engaging than usual and deliver the food himself.
He knew his reputation preceded him. Type A, control freak, perfectionist. He'd heard it all — and deserved the labels. He'd lost his temper more than once in his kitchens. It was no secret he could be surly when he was in the zone. Not out of extreme arrogance, though, yes, he was proud of his achievements even as he continued to strive for greater excellence. Rory just wasn't a people person, per se. It was the main reason he stuck to what had been deemed his "den" by the epicurean media and let Christian or Pierre or the front-of-house managers at the other restaurants converse with the customers.
Rory comprehended the importance of circulating throughout the dining room, inquiring as to whether everything had been prepared to guests' satisfaction. But the majority of the time, he was deep in thought, challenging his own knowledge, concocting more creative dishes.
It was hugely helpful that Christian was so charismatic — and women fawned over him. It was also advantageous for both men that they were on the same page when it came to diversity at each of their restaurants. Neither settled for the status quo, and Christian was always open to new innovations.
They'd met at Columbia University and had hit it off instantly.
Ironically, they'd almost literally hit each other instantly. At the time they'd met, they'd both been dating the same woman. And hadn't known it.
Turned out to be a fortuitous encounter. Because here they were, twelve years later, still best friends and business partners. Still sharing their women ... But that wasn't something for Rory to think about at the moment. He had cutthroat foodies to win over.
He hefted the tray, flattened his palm in the center, and carried it above shoulder height through the kitchen and out the pass-through door. He only made it one step beyond the wide doorframe when he kicked something hard and unyielding. At first. Then the object gave way and a delicate shriek shattered the silence.
Just as Rory tripped — over a body.
"Jesus Christ!" he bellowed.
The tray went flying, slamming into the far wall of the servers' station, the painstakingly chosen china crashing to the tile floor and resonating throughout the narrow space and nearly empty restaurant as Rory fell to his knees. Next to the body.
A very svelte, gorgeous body. One that shouldn't have been squatting anywhere near the entrance to his kitchen.
The woman who was sprawled partially on the floor alongside him blurted, "Oh, my God! I'm so sorry!"
Pierre swooped in to hastily clean the mess while Rory hopped to his feet. His hand shot out in the general direction of the startled woman. He curtly said, "You must be Bayli Styles. Hostess wannabe?" His next words came on a near growl. "You're early."
She stared at him, a little rocked by the incident if he read her stunned expression accurately. Then she seemed to come around and actually glared. "Bayli, yes."
He smirked at how she neither confirmed nor denied the tidbit about whether she now wanted to be a Davila's hostess. Feisty thing that she apparently was.
With her head tilted back to look up at him, Rory got the full effect of her sculpted face, unbelievably long black lashes, and the most tempting crimson-colored mouth he'd ever seen.
He didn't even have time to process the natural sparkle in her tawny eyes, because her palm slipped into his and everything in his brain went haywire. Her touch was warm and velvety and ... electrifying. Jolting Rory.
She gripped his hand tightly, either fearing he might let go and cause her to fall back on her ass or to prove she wasn't intimidated by him. He burned with curiosity to know which was more accurate.
He helped her up, and as Bayli Styles stood before him — almost eye to eye given the tall heels she wore — something even more profound happened to Rory.
A click. In his brain. In his gut.
His gaze slid over her, taking in every glamorous inch but mostly fixating on legs that didn't quit. Holy hell, she had incredible legs. Bare, sleek, and sexy looking. They'd feel fucking fantastic wrapped around his hips.
But no. That wasn't what the click was about. Not entirely, anyway.
She was insanely beautiful, yes. Poised, even after he'd laid her flat. Squared shoulders. Lifted chin. She was ... sensational.
Excerpted from "The Billionaires: The Bosses"
Copyright © 2017 Calista Fox.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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.