CEO Aiden Kelley’s life of billionaire extravagance is flipped upside down when his ex shows up with a ten-year-old she claims is his. Totally out of his element and losing the control so integral to his success, he needs help. To top it all off, the only constant woman in his life, his executive assistant, has given notice just when he needs her help to survive his newfound fatherhood.
Chelsea Houston is an executive assistant, not a nanny. The only person more clueless about kids is her boss. Helping him on a daddy-daughter road trip is her last task before he’ll accept her two weeks’ notice and she can be free of the infuriating man she’s had a crush on for longer than she’d admit.
Aiden’s carefully ordered life has never been so disorganized, and he’s suddenly tempted by the things he thought he could never have. Things like love and family. Who knew chaos could be so damn fun?
Each book in the Billionaire Dynasties series is STANDALONE.
* The Penthouse Prince
* The Irish Prince
* The Firstborn Prince
About the Author
Virginia likes knights in rusted and dinged up armor, heroes that snarl instead of croon, and heroines
who can't remember to say the right thing even with an author writing their dialogue. Her books are full
of snark, sex, and random acts of ineptitude—not always in that order.
Read an Excerpt
The Irish Prince
The Billionaire Dynasties
By Virginia Nelson, Stephen Morgan
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Virginia Nelson
All rights reserved.
She'd quit for real this time. It seemed she thought about it a hundred times a day lately, so finding a lacy bra hanging over the back of her chair was yet another sign from the universe that she should just do it. But he paid well, dammit, and she was under contract, something he reminded her of every time she tried to tender her resignation, which was something she'd tried to do at least four times in the last month. The man drove her crazy, had been driving her crazy for years. And every time she quit, he somehow managed to take back her resignation and convince her to stay.
But not this time. She was done. With all of it.
No matter how charming or beguiling Aiden Kelley was, Chelsea was serious about quitting this time. She wasn't going to let him convince her otherwise.
"So you're really leaving?" Her friend Kimmie's voice through her headset pulled her out of her thoughts and back to their conversation. "What did he do this time?"
"I'm definitely leaving, and I told him so this morning," she insisted. "I found a bra in my office this morning. And it sure isn't one of mine."
Kimmie's laughter came through clear. "He's crossdressing now?"
Chelsea grabbed her bowl of rocks and sat at the desk, shuffling through the stones to soothe herself. "I wouldn't put it past him, and the bastard has good enough legs that he'd probably pull it off. No, I think he 'entertained' someone in my office last night, or at least he used my office as a pit stop on the way through to his."
A pink piece of quartz captured her attention, so she pulled it out to rub while she talked.
The sound of chewing preceded Kimmie's answer. "So the Irish Prince was getting down and dirty on your desk? Please tell me he left behind an ass print on the mahogany. Send me a pic of that, and I will become instantly social media famous. Pretty please, Chelsea-girl? Do a girl a solid."
She jerked back from the desk in question and peered at it suspiciously. No ...
"He wouldn't have done her on my desk," Chelsea said aloud, not sure if she was trying to convince herself or Kimmie. "And quit calling him that. He hates that stupid name. It is all Camden James's fault. If he had fought harder against that asinine name the press gave him, they wouldn't be naming all the rich guys after princes. Not to mention, Aiden isn't Irish. At least, I don't think he is."
"The newspapers disagree," Kimmie pointed out. "Is there an ass print? I know you looked."
The door to Chelsea's office opened slowly, and Lucy peered in. Chelsea sat up straighter and put the pink rock back in the bowl. "Can I help you, Lucy?"
"Aawww, she got busted talking about her boss getting laid on her desk," Kimmie chirped in her ear. Chelsea covered the device with her hand, not that Lucy could hear her friend. But just in case.
"There is someone here to see Mr. Kelley ..." Lucy began.
"You know as well as I do that he is booked solid for weeks, Lucy. Tell them to give us a call and schedule an appointment." Really, she shouldn't have to tell Lucy that, since Lucy had worked for the firm long enough to know how Mr. Kelley liked things. He didn't do spontaneous pop-in visits and didn't like anything he hadn't planned for in advance. It was all part of his control-freak nature. Chelsea suspected it might go deeper than just him wanting to be in charge of everything — like anxiety disorder or something — but she'd long ago decided looking too closely into Aiden Kelley's personality would only end badly.
"I tried that, Chelsea. She insists." Lucy gnawed her adorable bottom lip, looking like a model off an ad for makeup.
"She?" Ah, so it was one of Aiden's many paramours. Usually, a stern no had them returning home, tails tucked between their legs. Their apparently panty-less legs, a snide part of her brain snuck in. "Lucy, explain to whomever it is that —"
Someone pushed the door the rest of the way open, and a red-haired woman glared at Chelsea. "He can fit me in."
Chelsea recognized her immediately, but then again, who wouldn't recognize America's Sweetheart? "Uh, Ms. Welles," Chelsea began. "I apologize, but if you'll give me a moment, I'm sure we can find a place in his schedule —"
"Look, maybe he won't make time for me." Margo Welles stepped aside, revealing a young girl. "But if not me, I'm sure he'll make time for her."
The girl had curly hair and sculpted cheekbones that assured she would grow into a great beauty. Aiden must have had the same cheekbones when he was a kid. God knew he was impossibly attractive now —
It can't ...
She looked again at the girl and saw an uncanny resemblance.
Now Chelsea knew why Margo Welles would want to see Aiden. She sucked in a lungful of air as shock ripped through her. It took her a second, but she found her voice and was proud it didn't waver. "Lucy, cancel Mr. Kelley's appointments for the rest of the morning and work to reschedule them as soon as possible."
* * *
Aiden Kelley had almost become used to fighting a sense of boredom and tedium. He used to have to fight tooth and nail to get what he wanted — born a second-generation Irish kid in the Bronx to a dishwasher and a window washer, there wasn't a lot handed to him on any kind of platter, not to mention silver. But he'd joined the Air Force to get out before coming home and enrolling in business college. He never got around to finishing college. Instead, he'd gotten a job as a sales assistant at Marcy's and used the skills he learned in the military and college to become the best at what he did.
But inventing things? That was an act he felt passionate about. He'd invented a kilt with cargo pockets and shown it to his boss, who'd nixed the idea, calling it unlikely to sell. Motivation wasn't ever one of Aiden's problems, so he simply quit his job and used some money he'd put back as well as a loan from his dad to start his own small business. He sold his kilts to small shops around New York until he landed his first big contract with Marcy's direct competitor.
Basically, he knew how to go from nothing to hit it big, and he'd managed to keep his company going for years now with no problems. Which, ironically, turned out to be the problem. He was bored silly. Nothing was really at risk any more.
Until Margo showed up claiming that Waverley was his daughter and she wanted money. Not a lot of money — which shocked Aiden more than the claim of a child, really. Just enough to ensure they could continue to live comfortably. The modeling jobs were spaced out, dwindling as Margo aged, because being a model had an expiration date. She wanted security for Waverley's future until she figured out her next steps in life, which wasn't even a bad thing ...
It was fair, if the child was his. More than fair, really.
He'd come into the office today, begging the universe to send him a challenge. Something new for him to master. How was he supposed to know it would come in the form of the little girl sitting in his executive assistant's office?
And now that he'd spent a couple of uncomfortable hours in his office, sitting across from Margo, the rush paternity test his wealth had purchased offered all of the proof they needed.
"So Waverley is my daughter," he said.
Margo crossed her arms. "Yeah. And now that you believe me, I need you to give me what I asked for."
Definitely not boring, which should've been a nice change of pace. Instead, she'd flipped him on his ass with her claim. Margo was one of a string of models and actresses in his past, and she'd not stuck out as something that would change his life. As the mother of his child, she should've been exceptionally memorable.
But she wasn't. If he remembered right, they'd hooked up hot and heavy for a short period of time and then ended on reasonably good terms. She'd called him a control freak; he'd shrugged, since the novelty of the chase had worn off the relationship anyway. He hadn't thought about her again in the ten years since their parting.
He was thinking about her now. What would've driven her to raise their child alone? What really sent her to his door at this point? How awful of a person was he that he'd had a daughter out there, growing up without a dad all these years, and didn't know it?
He wasn't sure what he'd seen in her, so many years ago. Most of her movements and mannerisms were so practiced as to seem false. Unlike his assistant, who would lose horribly if she'd taken up gambling rather than business. Chelsea had no ability to filter her expressions, so even when she said the thing she thought he wanted to hear, he could easily read her open face and recognize the truth.
He liked that about Chelsea, actually. Preferred it to model perfection. Margo sat across from him without invitation, which was good as he still hadn't figured out what to say to her.
"You came here asking for money," he said. "You'll excuse me if I want to also discuss the implications of finding out I have a daughter."
"I agreed to the paternity test. The number I gave you was more than fair, so I hope that we can conclude our business rather quickly, Aiden." No tells gave away what Margo was feeling, only that she was cool, calm, and collected.
While Aiden? Felt like there was a war being waged in his brain. His emotions were raw, his thoughts were in chaos, and he had no idea what he wanted to come of this meeting. So he decided to be honest.
"Margo, you've had ten years with our child." He held up a hand when she opened her mouth to speak. "Ten years that I never even knew Waverley existed. I didn't get to name her; I didn't get to buy her gifts; I didn't get to be there for her. I know, you come from money and likely don't comprehend why any of this would matter to me. But it does. She's mine, and you basically stole my ability to be there for her for a decade."
Margo frowned. Clearly, he wasn't reacting in the way that she'd hoped. "And, as I said when you brought me into your office, with a check I can make your life just as it was this morning again. Be realistic here, Aiden. You don't want a child right now. You have a life, a business to run. I'm simply asking for you to make a donation toward her support. This isn't complicated at all."
But it was complicated. The child was part of his life but completely unexpected. Part of how he functioned was by controlling situations, knowing what happened next. Doctors called it anxiety disorder, but he just considered it part of who he was. So he liked organization — not a bad thing, generally. He liked routine, schedule, planning ... and this situation left his hands shaking and dizziness threatening. Showing any of that to Margo, though, was out of the question.
But easy as the answer seemed — just let Margo keep handling the situation — it wasn't acceptable to him. Aiden's dad was one of the most important people in his life. He'd been there when Aiden wanted to enlist and cried when he'd sworn into the service. He'd loaned Aiden part of the money to start his business. His dad was amazing, hands down the best father Aiden could've hoped for.
And Aiden would die before he failed to live up to that example. Hell, Margo had stolen away his parents' only grandchild, too. All in all, her crimes against him were heinous.
All that said, attacking the model wasn't going to fix any of it. This woman had raised his child, albeit without his consent, and Waverley likely loved her mother. Fighting with her would only distance him further from the child who thought of him as a stranger.
That was it! He needed time with Waverley. "What if I agree to your request, but I have some terms of my own?"
Margo raised an eyebrow. "Such as?"
"You've had ten years with her, and I want some time. I want a chance to get to know her. I'll give you every dime you asked for and then some, but I want to be a part of her life going forward."
Margo sat back in her chair, looking surprised. "You want to be part of her life?"
He nodded. Now that he'd thought of it, it was the only thing that would do. The only way he could hope to make something good out of what was a very shitty situation. It wasn't much control, but it was a handhold. A way up the cliff out of disorder back into rational ordered life ... via a scheduled visitation or something to that effect. Just the thought calmed his racing pulse, eased the churning in his stomach.
"If I agree, you'll give me the money?" Margo added.
"Every dime and then some," he repeated.
Sliding one leg over the other to cross them elegantly, Margo seemed to consider his request. Realistically, she had to recognize that any refusal on her part would simply begin a war. Now that he knew he had a child, he wasn't letting her walk back out of his life. He'd take Margo to court if he had to and to hell with the press and consequences. He'd rather, though, settle the situation amicably.
Hopefully, Margo would come to the same conclusion.
"I have a demand of my own, then," Margo finally said.
"You already demanded money and stole my child for ten years. What more can you ask for?" The words weren't intended to come out quite so venomous, but he spoke with his emotions rather than his logic. He raised a hand again, asking her silently to give him a second, before adding, "That was harsh, and I'm sorry. My emotions got the best of me. What more would you like me to do, Margo?"
Her frown didn't vanish, but she sighed. "Waverley is a bit of a rock hound. Loves all things geology, and with work ... I've never managed to take her to the Grand Canyon. You want to get to know her; she wants to see the Canyon. Take her to see it, and we'll arrange further visitation from there."
He held out his hand. "Deal."
Only as Margo shook and confirmed the arrangement did he realize what he'd agreed to.
Now to figure out how to go from the world's most eligible bachelor to the world's greatest dad in a single weekend.CHAPTER 2
The little girl sitting in Chelsea's office looked bored to tears. Then again, she was only about ten, so sitting in the black leather chair probably would bore a kid. Especially when she'd been waiting for two hours. What were Aiden and Margo talking about, anyway? And leaving the girl with Chelsea? She was a secretary, not a babysitter.
His daughter had the look of her father, though, especially right around the eyes — both in their shape and the hazel color, although her heavy, dark eyebrows weren't as well-groomed as his. Her hair, though ... that had to be from her model-slash-actress mother. The vivid red waves were the trademark of the adult woman — her halo of flame-colored curls graced a lot of magazine covers, after all, over the years — but on the child, it'd been tamed into two tight French braids.
The fact the kid was so disinterested and unoccupied and yet managed to only swing her skinny little legs at an even pace while keeping her fingers neatly folded in her lap — well, the self-possession and control were like a neon sign proclaiming the child a Kelley. She'd never met a bigger control freak than Aiden, so it would only make sense that he'd pass down that annoying trait when he spawned.
Chelsea could see it, making it likely that the girl was indeed the daughter of her boss, philanthropist and executive in charge of a global enterprise, the famed Aiden Kelley. That his ex, Margo Wells, famous in her own right, had managed to keep the kid a secret for a decade was the part that dinged alarm bells, in Chelsea's opinion. Why would she hide their child from Aiden? More importantly, how had she kept the child hidden from the press?
But it wasn't Chelsea's place to verbalize these questions. After all, she was the executive assistant to Kelley, not an interviewer. Knowing she didn't have the right and tamping down on her natural curiosity were two very different things, though, and she snuck peeks at the kid every few seconds.
The child was quiet, simply rocking her legs and waiting quite patiently for someone so young — then again, maybe that was normal for a ten-year-old. It wasn't like Chelsea had spent much time around children. She spent most of her waking hours working or thinking about working, which left little time for socializing, and even if she had spare time ... she didn't really like kids for the most part. Too noisy. Too messy. Too something people had if they were in a relationship, which she distinctly was not.
And damn, wasn't she broody today? Sipping her coffee, she cast another glance at the kid and noticed she was poking at the dish of rocks on the table near the chair. Ah, her Zen rock garden. She'd collected the stones on a whim. Chelsea used to like that sort of thing when she was younger, and the pretty colors made her smile — but the kid seemed really interested. She carefully picked them up, one after the other, inspecting them with rapt attention.
Excerpted from The Irish Prince by Virginia Nelson, Stephen Morgan. Copyright © 2017 Virginia Nelson. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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