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The Billionaire's Ploy -- Allie Burton

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The Billionaire's Ploy
A Castle Ridge Small Town Romance Book 5

All’s fair in love and business.

Billionaire Jackson Croft refuses to let anything interfere with his merger and marriage plans. His merger. His brother’s marriage. When Emory Barrington returns to Castle Ridge and catches his younger brother’s attention, Jackson needs to take drastic steps to stop the flirtation. Even if it means using himself as bait.

As a child Emory was infatuated with the younger Croft brother, so when he invites her to a party she can’t resist. Until Jackson interrupts their dance, tries to bribe her, and then steals a kiss. A kiss that vibrates to her soul.

To make up for the attempted bribe, Jackson offers her a job decorating his Denver penthouse. She’s just starting her interior design firm and can’t turn the business away even if it means working closely with the billionaire. The project turnaround is fast and the attraction between Emory and Jackson grows faster. She believes she sees the real man beneath the façade, but when she learns of his double-dealing her heart can’t take the betrayal.

In this take on the Sabrina story, can deception lead to love?

The Billionaire’s Ploy releases in October 2017. As an iBooks exclusive, you can pre-order The Billionaire’s Ploy for only .99 cents!

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Excerpt

“The party is tonight. You should come.” Ryder’s invitation had Emory’s stomach clutching.

All of her teenage fantasies about attending one of the Croft events burst into an explosion of light. Joy shot through her entire body setting off tingles of excitement. Ryder Croft invited me, Emory Reese Barrington, to a Croft party.

Geez, quit acting like a child. She shouldn’t be impressed. She’d been to lots of fancy parties in Spain. She was a special guest at a Vizconde’s party. Her thoughts soured. One of many of his special guests.

“You’re inviting me to your sister’s wedding reception? Isn’t it a bit late to RSVP?”Except he wasn’t inviting Emory, he didn’t know who he spoke to.

“There will be hundreds. One more person won’t be noticed.” He took her hand and rubbed his thumb against her skin. “We could dance.”

She practically swooned. Clutching the coat tighter between her hand, she imagined holding Ryder in her arms while they danced, of him walking her through the elaborate gardens like she’d seen him do with other girls, of him kissing her.

Ryder would be disappointed when he found out her name, but for now, for this one moment in time, she could be special to him. “I’d love to.”

“Great.” An uneasiness slid into his gaze and she wondered if he was picturing the woman he’d planned to propose to. He turned away and opened the trunk taking out her suitcase.

“Hello, Emory.” An even deeper masculine voice rumbled.

In a panic, she pivoted around at the greeting. Her fantasy to pretend for a little while longer died by two words from the scary, older brother. She’d hoped Ryder wouldn’t learn who she was until tonight at the party. When she was dressed up and looking her best.

She straightened her shoulders. It was too late now. “Hello, Jackson.”

Wearing a suit and tie on a Saturday afternoon, he strolled from his boring sedan parked ahead of them. His brown hair had been slicked back from his forehead in perfect grooming. A couple of new lines had formed on his forehead. Because he never had fun, his only interest being the family business.

“Emory?” Ryder raised his brown eyebrows into high arches. He hadn’t figured out who she was after spending thirty minutes in her company.

Her spirits lowered. Had she been so unnoticeable as a kid? Jackson had recognized her immediately.

Jackson signed off on a clipboard a worker gave him, barely glancing at her.“How was Barcelona?”

She angled her chin surprised not only that he remembered where she’d gone, but that she’d been gone at all. Their paths didn’t cross frequently in the past, on purpose. She’d avoided him and his overbearing attitude. “Good.”

The work experience had been great. The personal life not so much. But she wasn’t going to go into detail. Not with Jackson.

“Emory?” Ryder’s jaw dropped.

“Your mother is going to be glad you’re home.” Jackson looked at her and then at his brother. His gaze went quizzical. “Good to see you,” he said before heading up the stairs and through the front door.

“Emory?” Ryder shook his head as if trying to get her name straight.

Disappointment speared through her chest. Her fantasy had ended sooner than expected. They weren’t even going to have drinks together. “I suppose your invitation to the party has been withdrawn now you know who I am.”

“No.” He shook his head again still appearing shocked. “No. Of course not.”

She raised her brows. “Are you sure? Do you still want to dance with the housekeeper’s daughter?”

He waved a hand in front of his face and his expression cleared. His gaze roved over again as if assessing her shape. “This is the twenty-first century.”

Her stomach squirmed with misgiving. That wasn’t really an answer to her question.