I am so excited that CLAIMED BY HIM, the first of the Billionaire’s Club digital novella series from St. Martin’s, is already up for preorder on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. This series means the world to me. As many of you know, I was unable to write for two years due to my health, but seeing these stories – which I was able to finish several months ago – means that every single effort I made to get healthy and get better paid off. I am so grateful to be alive, well, and writing again! Also, I worked with the best editor at St. Martin’s on these and have to say that they have an amazing team of people. I truly hope all of you love these stories like I do. These men are so powerful and so sexy, I can’t pick a favorite if I wanted to. These heroes are to DIE for – and yet they’re the ones who would die for their ladies. Soon.
I’m going to launch this series with a huge contest where you can win a Kindle Fire or a Nook ereader, so I hope you check back in mid to late March for more details. In the meantime, I leave you with a short excerpt.
The Billionaireâ€™s Club: The wealthiest, most powerful men, not only in Chicago, but in the world. They are used to getting whatever they want, whenever they want it.
For Graves Buchanan, the only thing he desires, but can never have is Chloe Lexington. Heâ€™s been secretly obsessed with this innocent â€œprincessâ€ who also happens to be his best friendâ€™sÂ sister.Â Â But Graves would never dare touch herâ€”heâ€™s too badly damaged from his past, his desires are too erotic, too deepâ€¦too dark.
Chloe is just as obsessed with Graves.Â Sheâ€™s dreamed about him for so long, despite her brotherâ€™s warnings that she could never handle a man like him.Â Now that Chloe has turned twenty-five, what she wants for her birthday is Graves and sheâ€™s determined to break down his walls to get him.Â However, once she has him, can Chloe handle the torments of his past and the dark depths of passion he will unleash inside herâ€¦?
Graves Buchananâ€™s balls were up on the poker table, and if he lost this hand, it was going to hurt like hell. He was already a million dollars under, and up on that table, his second million sat nice and tight on a blue chip stack, right atop the felt green center.
One would argue that two million didnâ€™t even put a dent in his bankroll. For every second that Graves sat on his butt in his friendâ€™s state-of-the-art study, his businesses were racking up a couple of millions more. So no, it sure didnâ€™t put a dent in his bankroll. But it sure as hell hurt his pride.
Yeah, he was already smarting. Big time.
Especially when he well knew that this pitiful losing streak was all because his concentration had been shit for a whole damned year.
Seated with three of his closest friends on their usual Wednesday poker night, he worked on keeping the mask of indifference on his face while dwelling on the indisputable fact that, with a measly pair of Jokers, he was going to have to bluff his way to a winning hand.
He surveyed his opponentsâ€™ faces. Today he played with his best friend, Daniel Lexington, who leaned back in his chair, cool as a cucumber in a pair of Ray Bans. Then there was Cade West, who was one pissed-off motherfucker. Guess you just didnâ€™t bury your young wife two months after the wedding and have nothing to show for it. And of course, there was Luke Preston, the incorrigible playboy, who couldnâ€™t keep his mouth shut to save his worthless life.
â€œWell, well now, Iâ€™ve got some game here. Woohooo. Hold on to your pants, boys. Iâ€™m out for the big momma tonight and going all in.â€ Luke pushed all his chips into the center, and while Gravesâ€™s brain immediately began calculating how much he was going to lose if he called it, the shiny steel door to Danielâ€™s massive Public-Library-sized study cracked open a notch.
â€œDanny?â€ a female voice asked.
Graveâ€™s entire body went rigid as he recognized the speaker. Suddenly, a cluster of strange, complicated feelings rolled around inside his chest, and all the blood started rushing to his groin. It was a miracle he managed to maintain his impassive expression, because every tiny nerve and cell and atom in his body came alive with a roar.
â€œYeah, Chlo, come on in.â€ Daniel waved his younger sister in, and Graveâ€™s wind pipe clamped shut as he watched her approach. Holy Mother of God, this girl was going to kill him.
Chloe Lexington had grown up to be the hottest hottie he had ever laid eyes upon. She was slender, light, and delectable, with a dimple on her chin and a wide, sensual mouth, and big green eyes that gutted you. Her curves were in all the right places, curves a guyâ€™s hands would itch to mold and hold and play with.
She wore her straight, lustrous blonde hair at an illegal length now, and Graves had noticed a couple of days ago that the longest tips teased the top of her fanny when she walked. And what a perfect fanny, oh man. Graves had fantasized about Chloeâ€™s delectable rear in ways he had no business fantasizing about itâ€”but he just couldnâ€™t get over those perky rounded cheeks, held up in the air by a pair of angels.
Tonight she wore a simple black strapless dress that made his mouth water inexplicably. Graves could take the rest of the night surveying her perfect figure and not want for anything else, but instead he tore his eyes away before both Daniel and she noticed the giant erection growing in his lap, even if he was shielded by the table.
A monster hard-on right now was not what heâ€™d consider good news.
Graves was a bad, bad boy with his hard-ons, and the kind of shit he liked to do with them wouldnâ€™t sit well with a nice girl like Chloe. Much less with her brotherâ€”who was known to do even worse things with his hard-ons.
Daniel Lexingtonâ€™s motto of â€œNo pain, no gainâ€ extended far beyond the gym, they all knew.
â€œHey, Chlo, get over here and let me have a good look at you. Let me give that rump a nice little pat, woman,â€ Luke purred, waving her over.
â€œLay off, Luke,â€ Daniel growled.
Luke laughed. â€œRelax, man. Sheâ€™s your sister. Even I have my limitsâ€”plus you know I like my sex rowdy.â€
â€œYouâ€™d fuck your own mother if itâ€™d get you off,â€ Daniel replied.
Chloe was being a good sport about it though, coming forward with a seductive sway of her hips and sparkling green eyes. â€œEat your heart out, Luke,â€ she said, ruffling his blonde hair. Then her smile faded and her eyes slid along the table until they stopped at Graves. â€œHey guysâ€¦Hi, Graves.â€ The merriment had fled from her face, and her voice dropped a decibel when she spoke his name.
Fuck me. It did all kinds of things to him, to meet those green eyes and think of Colorado forests, to hear her say his name in that seductive murmur. Her voice was fluffy like marshmallows, and it made Graves feel like the freaking smore being burnt on all ends and crushed in the middle.
His pants strained painfully under the table and his chest cramped in ways he absolutely loathed. â€œHey, Chlo,â€ he said, and flicked his eyes back to his measly pair of Jacks.
â€œAre you losing again?â€ she asked. â€œDanny said you were on a bad streak lately.â€
She slid over to him and bent down to see his cards, and Graves knew that very second, he was fucked. The guys would look at her face, see that little O forming on her mouth, and know that Graves had shit. But he still sat there and let it all happen. Because her minty scent teased his nostrils and tortured his senses.
Strands of honeyed hair fell to his shoulders as she bent to take a closer peek, and then she turned her head so that he could see every golden speck in her lovely eyes. Her stare was full of amusement and pity, clearly saying, You are so screwed, Graves.
Yeah, but she didnâ€™t even know the half of it.
Because Daniel was his best friend, and Graves was crazy sick in love with his little sister.