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Finding Love with the Billionaire

Finding Love with the Billionaire

A Fake Relationship Romance

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Opposites attract in the Alaskan wilderness.

MAIN TROPES

  • Billionaire
  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Stranded
  • Only One Sleeping Bag
  • He Saves Her Life
  • Protective Hero

Synopsis

Madeline is desperate to finally be taken seriously, but that doesn’t seem to be the case when her boss asks her to write a puff piece of billionaire party boy, Liam Davenport.

Liam just wanted a quiet life roaming the world. When his father dies, leaving him to face the media storm surrounding Davenport Outdoors, he’s forced to trade in his hiking boots for tailored suits.

They’re determined they already know all there is to know about the other person. Until their plane crashes into an Alaskan mountain side. Suddenly, they’re faced with a choice. Put down their pride to survive, or keep their prejudices and struggle alone.

If you love adventure with your romance and heroes that make you swoon, don’t miss out on Finding Love with the Billionaire.

Chapter One Look Inside

MADELINE

Madeline stood inside of the elevator, tapping her toes along with the music. She shifted her weight and brought her thumbnail up to chew on it. Why had Parker asked her in on a Saturday? Lead editors never did that. And if they did, it was for a good reason. As much as she tried to squelch her excitement, the words huge, career-changing story kept rolling around in her mind. 

Maybe Bridget, her roommate, had been right. There was no need to work herself up if it was nothing. She took a deep breath and dropped her hand to smooth down her skirt. There had to be a problem with her recent article. That was all. 

But Parker wanted to talk to her in person—on a Saturday. Career-changing story made its way back into her mind. 

Before she slipped into madness from trying to dissect his intentions, the elevator dinged and the doors opened. She stepped into the foyer of The Journal, one of Seattle’s well-known magazine headquarters. 

The front lobby was eerily quiet today. Lola, the front receptionist, wasn’t sitting at her desk where the phones usually were ringing off the hook every ten seconds. The water cooler was full, and no fellow journalists were standing around it, trying to look as if they weren’t procrastinating their latest story. 

Even the dog was curled up in the corner. 

Madeline stopped as her heart picked up speed. Wait. Dog? She eyed the fluffy black-and-brown animal that was sprawled across the floor. It was massive, burying half of the entryway mat under its body. Its mouth was open, allowing its tongue to drape across the marble floor. Its chest rose and fell. 

Her throat constricted. Why was there a dog in the building? Glancing around, she saw no owner. Fear raced up her spine as she slipped over to the door, praying that the animal won’t wake up. 

One in every seventy-five people gets bitten by a dog. 

She allowed that thought to linger for a moment before she pushed it out. Reciting facts had been a coping method she’d started to use as a child to deal with situations the made her uncomfortable. Now, as a twenty-six-year-old, it was just annoying. But her brain didn’t seem to realize that. 

She grasped the metal handle and pulled. The sound of voices carried down the hall. Slipping into the hallway, she made her way toward the open door—Parker’s office. 

“I’m really excited that we could come to an arrangement, Mr. Davenport,” Parker said with a hint of desperation in his normally icy tone.  

Madeline paused. Davenport. Where had she heard that name recently?

“I’m ready to put this whole situation in the past,” a deep, smooth voice responded. 

Madeline took a breath as she waited just outside Parker’s open door. Whatever he wanted her to do, she would take the assignment gracefully. After all, her time doing grunt work had to come to an end at some point. Right?

She stepped in front of the open door and located Parker. He had his chair pulled up to his desk and was resting his elbow in front of him. His smile was huge. She couldn’t help but stare at him. 

Since when did he smile?

Two people sat in front of him with their backs to her. One had dark hair that was tousled in a purposeful way. His shoulders were tight under his suit coat, and every so often he’d turn his attention to the massive picture windows to the right. 

The woman next to him had bright white hair that flipped up at the end. Stress permeated off her perfect posture and meticulous movements.

“Madeline!” Parker said when his gaze landed on her in the doorway. He raised his arm and waved her in. “I’m glad you finally made it.” He gave her a pointed look. It was similar to the one he would always give her when she turned her article in five minutes after the deadline.

She stepped into the room and both visitors turned. The mysterious man stood, and his gaze landed on her. Now she knew where she’d heard his name before. Liam Davenport, also known as the billionaire playboy forced to give up his wild ways to run his late father’s outdoor supply company. He had been in the papers for weeks. 

Unfortunately for Madeline, she was privy to all of his dirt. Bridget had been more than happy to read her every last salacious tidbit about him. Even down to whether he preferred boxers or briefs. Madeline’s cheeks heated as she dropped her gaze away from his suit that seemed tailored to fit him perfectly. 

Parker. Story. Get your head on straight, Madeline.

“Madeline Abernathy, this is Liam Davenport and his business associate Alice Pickering,” Parker said.

She nodded but kept her back against the far wall. She wasn’t sure why she was here, so she didn’t want to intrude. What could she possibly offer Liam Davenport?

Liam stepped away from his chair. “Here. You can have my seat,” he said as he pulled at his collar. His suit coat was unbuttoned, exposing creases in his white shirt. Madeline tried not to stare. She knew very little about billionaires, but she was sure they didn’t wear wrinkly clothes. 

She raised her hand. “Oh, no. That’s okay. I’m fine here.”

He gave her one of his million-dollar—or she should say billion-dollar—smiles. “I insist.”

She glanced over to Parker who widened his eyes and tilted his head toward the seat. 

“Thanks,” she said as she slipped onto the chair. 

Alice cleared her throat and turned back to Parker. She had on designer glasses, and her lips seemed perpetually pinched. “You were saying, Mr. Green.”

Parker nodded. “Yes. This is Madeline Abernathy. She’s one of the best journalists I’ve had in years.”

Alice’s pretentious gaze swept over Madeline and, for a moment, Madeline felt exposed. How did people do that? Steal all of a person’s confidence with one look. She shifted in her seat as heat crept up her back. 

“She’s really the best? Because the best is the only thing that can get us out of this mess,” Alice said as her gaze landed on Liam. 

Madeline snuck another look at him. He had a pained expression as he stood in front of the window, staring out at the setting sun. The lights of Seattle shimmered against the darkening sky. 

Parker slammed his hands down on the table, and Madeline jumped. “It’s settled then. She’ll leave first thing tomorrow morning.”

Realizing that her life was being planned without her, Madeline straightened. “I’m sorry. What?”

Alice sighed again. Madeline felt her confidence wavering. 

Parker smiled. “You will be covering a story for Mr. Davenport. They are headed to Alaska tomorrow morning, and you will be with them.” He steadied his gaze on her.

Still not understanding, Madeline leaned forward. “Alaska? Why would we be going to Alaska?” 

Alice leaned toward Parker. “Is she really the best journalist you have?”

“Alice, stop it,” Liam said as he turned toward them. He had loosened his tie and left it to hang around his neck. The top button of his shirt had been undone, and he looked more relaxed. He extended his hand. “Ms. Abernathy, thanks for coming in.”

Madeline eyed his hand. Then allowed her gaze to trail up his arm to his face. Somewhere, deep inside, she melted a bit. The tabloids didn’t do him justice. He was handsome. In an unkempt, outdoorsy kind of way. 

When she didn’t respond, he shot her a half-smile, which caused her cheeks to burn. Embarrassed, Madeline shot out her hand and shook his, hoping he didn’t notice what he had just done to her emotions. 

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Davenport. I have to say, the newspapers are making a killing off your most recent stories,” she said as she allowed herself to meet his gaze.

His shoulder’s tightened, and he dropped her hand. An uncomfortable look flashed over his face. But just as quickly as it came, it disappeared. He leaned in. “Well, don’t believe everything you read. You should know that by now.”

“That’s why they’re here,” Parker said, breaking the trance that Liam Davenport put on her. Madeline turned and focused her attention on what her editor was saying. “They need to do some . . . damage control,” he continued. 

“Against what?” Madeline asked, glancing around to Alice then Liam. What scandalous information could the press have about Liam that they hadn’t already reported on?

Liam grew agitated and started pacing the room. 

Alice cleared her throat. “There’s information that is set to be released tomorrow. It’s about some practices Liam’s late father had gotten wrapped up in.” She turned to stare at Madeline. 

“Practices? Like, illegal things?” Madeline’s voice trailed off as she studied Alice. 

Alice’s expression tightened as she nodded.

Glancing over at Liam, Madeline saw a flat look settle in his gaze. Her heartbeat slowed. She felt sorry for him. “What does it have to do with Alaska?”

Alice tapped her pen on the planner in front of her. “We will be holding a press conference in Denali tomorrow morning. You won’t fault me if I don’t give you specifics right now. In general terms, you will be coming to write the article about what you see. Paint Davenport Outdoors in a positive light. Hopefully, we can help combat the negative response that this information is sure to stir up.”

Madeline cringed. A puff piece? That’s what Parker had called her here to write? She eyed him, but the huge smile he had plastered on his lips didn’t falter. He knew this was beneath her. Why did he suggest she write it? “You thought I’d be the best one to cover this?” she asked.

Parker narrowed his eyes at her and then the cheesy expression was back. “Yes. Of course you’re the best for this story.”

Madeline felt as if she were going to be sick. Is that all Parker saw her as? One of the girls that he’d hired to start writing that tasteless dribble the magazine had started printing? And here she thought she was making headway. She gritted her teeth. Why did she allow herself to hope that he’d give her a break? Oh, right. She deserved it.

A phone chimed next to her. Alice raised it to her cheek. “Hello?” she said as she stood. After a second, she covered her phone with her hand. “I should take this in the hall.” Clutching her planner to her chest, she slipped out the door. 

“I’m going to use the facilities,” Liam said as he followed after her. 

As soon as the room was empty, Madeline zeroed in on Parker. His gaze flitted from her face then toward the window. 

“What? Just say it,” he said, sighing.

“Seriously? I’m supposed to make billionaire bad boy look good?” She stood and started to pace. Her body was hot with anger. 

“They’re making a sizable donation to the magazine in exchange for this story. I’m bumping other articles so I can run it next week.”

Madeline’s muscles tensed. Did that mean he was bumping her story about the waste that was mysteriously getting dumped into the ocean? She narrowed her eyes. “Come on, Parker. We’re not that kind of magazine. We print good stories. Not crap to help people cover up the horrible things they’ve done.”

He avoided her gaze as he straightened a pile of papers on his desk. “It’s what has to happen if we want to keep afloat so we can run the stories that actually matter.”

Madeline chewed her nail. “But Liam Davenport is ridiculous. I saw the stories about him crashing his father’s yacht when he was supposed to be attending his father’s funeral. No amount of journalistic finesse can make that guy look good.”

Parker’s face paled as his gaze raced over to the door. “Mr. Davenport,” he said through clenched teeth. “I hope you found that the restrooms were up to your standards.”

Madeline felt light-headed as she turned around to see that Liam had returned. He had his arms folded across his chest, and he was leaning against the open door. Her heart pounded as he studied her. 

He kept his gaze trained on her as he pushed off the doorframe and entered. “It was a little ridiculous, but I managed to figure out where it was.” His voice was low as he shot her a pointed look. 

“I’m—”

He raised his hand. “Listen, Ms. Abernathy. You don’t have to like me. You don’t even have to talk to me. But what’s about to break tomorrow has nothing to do with me and will hurt a lot of people whose livelihood depends on Davenport Outdoors to stay afloat.” He slipped off his suit coat and hung it over his arm. “So, do you think your journalistic finesse can bring itself down to our lowly level and save those jobs?”

Heat raced up her spine and into her cheeks. She pinched her lips shut and nodded. “I never intended—”

“On me hearing. Yeah, I figured that.” He turned to Parker. “Thank you for being so accommodating. I look forward to putting this all behind us.”

Parker stood and extended his hand. “As do I.” They shook hands.

Liam turned and started for the door. Just when he was a few inches from Madeline, he stopped. His dark brown eyes met hers. For no logical reason, her knees weakened. Her mind screamed at her to run, but she stayed rooted in her spot. 

“Ms. Abernathy, I will see you tomorrow at the airport at six a.m. sharp.” He paused then made his way to the door. 

She nodded. There was no way she was going to be able to muster any words out of her muddled brain.

Once he was gone, she turned to Parker, who smiled and said, “Well, this should be interesting.”

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A Sweet Billionaire Romance Series

Each romance involves a billionaire falling for the woman of his dreams.