Tuesday, February 10, 2015

ALL THAT MATTERS by Erin Nicholas

ALL THAT MATTERS by Erin Nicholas

The Billionaire Bargains, Book 3

Will Weston knows Emily Steele is too good for him. She's too good for any of the guys he knows-even if he does know an astonishing number of suave, handsome millionaires. But Emily's special. And he thought so even before he realized he had a little crush on his boss's niece.

Emily Steele would definitely consider herself intelligent and worldly. Born into privilege, she's been exposed to travel, culture and the best education. A billionaire's daughter, Emily is used to having everything she could ever need or want-cars, clothes, trips. But she isn't used to being single. When she decides she needs a break from her eight year relationship with the only boy she's ever even dated, Emily realizes she has a lot to learn. About the world and herself. And men. Definitely about men.

A friend's bachelorette party in New Orleans is the perfect place to get in touch with her inner vixen. Some drinking, dancing, flirting and fun seems like a great plan. Too bad she knows nothing about flirting. And has never actually met her inner vixen.

When Emily's uncle insists that his assistant, Will, accompany Emily to New Orleans, he knows it's not a good idea. The minute she was single, he suddenly became all too aware of how beautiful, charming and interesting she is. And that can only mean trouble. But when Emily offers Will's best friend a million dollars to be her date for the weekend instead, there is no way Will is staying behind.

Warning: Contains a woman with enough money to buy a date for a weekend in New Orleans, a guy who's never going to let that happen, a bachelorette party on Bourbon Street, hot sex to slow jazz and beignets... because there has to be beignets.



Copyright © 2015 Erin Nicholas
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

She took a deep breath. “Okay, I’ve been eating strawberry ice cream for eight years, and now I want to try something new, but I don’t think I should go straight for the double-fudge-brownie sundae with whipped cream and nuts. I need to start smaller—maybe a double scoop of white chocolate with some colored sprinkles or something.”

Will leaned on the counter top with one elbow and tried to be cool. He wanted to be patient, make her feel comfortable opening up to him, but there was a tension coiling in his gut, pushing him to figure this out. “Sorry, you’re going to have to spell it out more for me here.”

She looked annoyed. “Chad is the life preserver,” she said. “Now I’m swimming without him there to make me feel safe. I need to start swimming on my own, take some lessons, figure out what I can do and what I’m comfortable with, but I need to start in the shallow end. That’s Gus.”

Will studied her face, thinking back over her analogy. “Who are the big waves?”

She blushed.

“Me?” he asked, hoping it was him.

She nodded and the tension let go slightly.

Will felt his mouth stretch into a grin. “I’m the big waves, huh?”

She rolled her eyes. “Yes.”

He really liked that. Except… “Wait, you’re scared of the big waves?”

She focused on the water bottle again, pressing her lips together.

He reached out and picked the bottle up, bringing it up next to his face so she had to look at him.

“You’re scared of me, Emily?” He tried to say it gently, but he had to resist the urge to growl the question. He hated that idea. And he didn’t understand it. He’d never done anything to make her feel she couldn’t trust him.

Her blush deepened. She shook her head. “Not scared.”

He breathed.

“Intimidated maybe,” she said. “I’m just not sure I’m quite…ready for you.”

Ready for him. His imagination took that in all kinds of directions. Directions that, yeah, would probably intimidate her.

Okay, intimidation. He didn’t like that any better though. What had he done to make her feel anything less than comfortable around him?

But then he recalled something she’d said. “And who’s the double-fudge-brownie sundae?”

Double-fudge brownies weren’t scary. They were tempting. Maybe bad for you in some ways, but also very good in many ways. His heart started thumping. He was really hoping there wasn’t someone else that she was tempted by but not ready for. But it was him. He knew it was him.

She sighed, not looking intimidated at all. “You know it’s you. And Gus is the double scoop with colored sprinkles.”

Will started to reply, thought better of what he was going to say but then said it anyway. “Are we talking about sex here?”

Her gaze dropped to the counter top. “Kind of.”

Damn, they were talking about sex. And her being tempted but not ready for him. And her wanting Gus instead.

Will’s eyebrows slammed together. “So you’re asking Gus to be your date in New Orleans because you’re trying to start slow on the sex thing?”

There was no way in hell that Gus was having sex with Emily. No. Way.

She shook her head quickly. “Not sex. That’s why Gus is a good choice. I can relax with him, we can dance and flirt and stuff, but it won’t be more than that.” Suddenly, she straightened and frowned at Will. “You think I would pay Gus to have sex with me?”

He held his hands up. “I’m just trying to get on the same page here.”

“Not sex,” she said firmly. “That’s just it. I’m not ready for that.”

And a huge, tempting, horrible realization hit Will directly in the gut. She wasn’t ready for him.That meant she’d been thinking of him sexually. She wasn’t ready but that meant she’d considered it. That meant she’d been tempted by it. She was turning down the brownie sundae but that didn’t mean she didn’t want it.

Will pulled in a slow breath, trying to cool off.

“This will be the first guy I dance with or flirt with or even spend a lot of time with since Chad.”

“But you and I couldn’t dance and flirt and spend time together?” And in that moment, Will wanted all of that.

Her cheeks were still pink when she nodded.

“Because…” he prompted.

“I don’t think it would be just that.”

Heat hit him hard. She was attracted to him, tempted, had given it enough thought to decide that he was too much for her. Just the idea that Emily had contemplated what it would be like to be with him made him hot and bothered.

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