This marriage is strictly business . . . until the temptation gets way too real.
Sterling: I loved my grandma, but I don’t need her money. All I care about is keeping the house—the only place that’s ever felt like home. That, and screwing over my dad, who wants to turn the property into a mall. There’s only one catch: To receive my inheritance, I have to get married within six months. Me, the guy who’s never dated a girl for more than six minutes. Now I need to find a woman I can trust. So when I’m rear-ended by a Prius, I figure it’s a sign that I’m supposed to meet gorgeous, down-to-earth Teagan Monroe.
Teagan: First I lose my job. Then I come home and find out—in the most graphic way possible . . . yeah, that way—that my boyfriend is a cheating jerk. And then I speed off and nearly kill Portland’s sexiest bachelor. Sterling Lane should be pissed. Instead, he offers me more money than I’ve ever seen in my life to marry him and live together in a mansion for two years. No sex. No feelings. Just cash—enough to make all my dreams come true. Then we go and break all our rules . . . and I realize I’m falling in love with my fake fiancé.
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I stare at the man, the absolutely beautiful man, across the table from me, completely disbelieving what he’s just said.
I had to have misheard.
He couldn’t have just offered me what I think he did.
Perhaps when I slammed into the back of his Mercedes forty-five minutes ago I gave him a concussion. Maybe the accident gave me a concussion.
“Are you serious?” Propping my elbows on the table, I lean forward to hear him better. “You can’t be. We should get you to the hospital. I think when I rear-ended you it gave you a concussion. Are you sure you didn’t hit your head?”
Corbin Lane relaxes against his chair at our table at Le Chat Noir. His golden-brown hair shines, a bit wavy, long on top but still short enough not to cross the line from professional to hipster. His cornflower-blue eyes haven’t veered from my direction for the last hour.
A typical man would have yelled at me, threatened me with a lawsuit, demanded my insurance information, and returned to his day, doing whatever playboy billionaires do.
Not this guy. He asked for my insurance information, and when he saw the tears streaming down my cheeks, the clothes and boxes strewn all over my cramped backseat, he asked me if I was okay. Then he escorted me to this nearby restaurant, asked me a million questions, and then this . . .
This . . . proposition, as he called it.
“I’m not joking. I think this solves both of our problems.”
I drink the rest of my wine and set the glass aside. The alcohol has made me tipsy.
Corbin smiles again. I’ve seen that smile plastered on the gossip pages and on the news for the last five years, ever since I moved to Portland. So sexy he makes girls stupid, he’s an heir to the Lane Holdings fortune, a great-grandson of one of the Oregon Gold Rush families, and son of the CEO of Lane Holdings. When his father retires, Corbin is poised to run the multibillion-dollar company.
“I think you’re going to have to explain it to me again.”
“It’s simple, really. You need a place to live and I’m offering you one. You need time to find a new job, and I’m providing financially for you to do that. We can iron out the details later, but this needs to last at least two years.”
Two years. Two years of my life spent in close proximity to one of Time magazine’s top-ten sexiest and wealthiest bachelors in the world. Three years in a row.
Yeah, I’m a fangirl.
Two more years of life wasted.
Although the money he’s offering will definitely help me set up my dream when it’s over.
“Consider it. Take all the time you need.”
“I’m still not sure I understand what you get out of it.”
Beautiful, luscious lips tip into a full-blown smile and I’m almost blinded by the brightness of his teeth. “Me? I get a wife.”
About the Author
Stacey Lynn currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and four children. When she’s not conquering mountains of laundry and fighting a war against dust bunnies and cracker crumbs, you can find her playing with her children, curled up on the couch with a good book, or on the boat with her family enjoying Minnesota’s beautiful, yet too short, summer.
She lives off her daily pot of coffee, can only write with a bowlful of Skittles nearby, and has been in love with romance novels since before she could drive herself to the library.
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