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One playboy billionaire. One gorgeous virgin. One deserted island…
The moment I lay eyes on Kendra Baxter, I know she has to be mine.
But the daughter of a Navy SEAL doesn’t take orders. She’s been taught skills, strength, and integrity. And God, that’s hot.
So I do what any powerful billionaire CEO would do — I take her on as my intern and plan my aggressive takeover.
Only, fate has other ideas.
My perfectly laid out plan of attack is flawed, and our plane crashes on a deserted island.
Here, who I am doesn’t matter. Money and social power don’t matter. I’m not a CEO anymore. I’m just a man.
Something’s different, I’m different. I still want to claim her, but now I want to protect her too.
We are locked in a fight for survival, and maybe more.
And I will do anything and everything in my power to protect her and make her mine.
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The rush of a Monday morning always made me shake my head in wry amusement. I stood, a steaming mug of fresh coffee in hand, gazing out the floor to ceiling windows of my twenty-fifth-floor corner office, watching frustrated New Yorkers fight their way to work in a sea of cars. The street was already at a standstill, typical for eight-thirty. But the sluggish traffic didn’t affect me. I wasn’t one of those people who waited until the last minute to get where I needed to be.
After living in the Big Apple for many years, I knew the drill. Up by four, I would dress in shorts and a t-shirt after a quick brushing of my teeth. Then my driver took me, sans bumper-to-bumper traffic, to the building where my empire, Key Ventures Incorporated, was located. Lucky for me — and a few others who knew how to stay one step ahead of the pack — there was a small gym on the top floor, and I could get in a hard workout while most people still slept.
As CEO of the company, I enjoyed an office as large as most people’s apartments, with a full bathroom and closet that held a nice selection of suits. There, I’d get ready to face whatever the day held without wading through the typical NY muck.
Life was good, but I’d worked my ass off to make it so.
As a Key Ventures perk, I made sure my employees were well taken care of, even providing breakfast each morning by eight in the breakroom. My secretary always grabbed me a bagel with cream cheese and lox on her way up, then poured a fresh cup of coffee to go with it, freeing me up to eat at my desk as I looked over the morning reports. Everything ran like a well-oiled machine.
Just the way I liked it.
“The interns will be in your office in thirty minutes,” Janine Peterson said over my intercom, and I groaned at the Human Resources director’s reminder. Sure, I’d asked her to bring the group to me first, but I wasn’t in the mood to make nice right now.
“Herd them out in ten minutes,” I told her before ending the call. I wouldn’t need more than that to do a quick welcome and select which intern I wanted to add to my schedule. It would give my secretary a bit of a break, as I’d move the morning ritual of getting my breakfast to the intern, allowing Lola to slow her morning down a bit.
It wasn’t that I gave a shit about her schedule. It was because she threw herself at me every chance she got. If I didn’t have that hard and fast rule about not shitting where I eat, I’d have long ago thrown her into the pool of women I fucked. As it was, she was a highly skilled assistant, I just needed to find ways of reducing our personal interactions when I could.
As one of New York’s most eligible bachelors, I was used to women letting me know they wanted me. I’d made Forbes’ Top 100 Richest Men in America by the time I hit thirty. Three years later, I was still up there with the big boys, and things were looking bright.
Money, looks, and charisma had me beating the women off with a stick, but I wasn’t looking to settle down. Love was a four-letter word; not something I wanted in my life. Not since I’d seen firsthand how it could break a man — completely.
I picked up the last picture that was taken of us as a family. Mom, Dad, and I in front of the fireplace, laughing at something silly Dad had said. We were always laughing back then. Always.
Then Mom passed away from cancer when I was thirteen. Dad was so heartbroken, he became reclusive. It was as if I’d lost them both.
Gone was the man who’d made me laugh at breakfast each morning before he and I’d take off together. I’d ride with Dad in his chauffeur-driven limo to the private school I attended, and he’d go on to his job as the president of a large manufacturing company.
Back then, Mother would spend her days attending social engagements and volunteering to do all kinds of things for our fair city. New York had always been our home, my home. I didn’t think I’d ever want to live anyplace else. Not when everything I wanted or needed was at my fingertips.
I ran a finger over Mom’s pretty face, wishing things could be different. Mom had hidden her illness from everyone. It was quite sudden when she went into the hospital. After we found out, it took only three weeks for the cancer to take her away. I was in shock. And when my father seemed to disappear too, I felt like an orphan.