The Real RomeroBy: Cathy Williams
The Secret Billionaire
Billionaire Lucas Romero is many things—brooding, talented and a consummate womanizer. The one thing he’s not? The “ski instructor” beautiful, innocent Milly Mayfield thought she was giving herself to in a sumptuous, secluded French ski chalet! And now she’s livid!
Arrogant playboy Lucas is bewildered by Milly’s decidedly unusual reaction to the revelation of his substantial wealth—he’s never had complaints before! But even Milly cannot ignore the sexual chemistry between them. So when a family emergency means he needs a willing woman by his side, Milly suddenly finds herself whisked away to Spain…and engaged!
“You lied to me?”
“I wouldn’t exactly call it a lie…” Naturally Lucas had expected surprise, incredulity even, but at the end of the day the ski instructor had been swapped for a billionaire. He had taken it as a given that his newfound status would have done its usual job and brought a smile of servile appreciation to her lips. It hadn’t.
“Well, I would.” Milly was struggling to contain her anger. How dare he? How dare he play her for a complete fool?
“You made false assumptions,” Lucas told her with barely concealed impatience. “I chose not to set you straight.”
She sprang to her feet and stormed over to the window, stared out for a little while and then stormed back toward him, hands on her hips. “Why didn’t you just tell me who you were?”
Because I was enjoying the novelty of being with someone refreshingly honest… Because in a world where wariness and suspicion are bywords, it had been a holiday not having to guard every syllable, watch every turn of phrase, accept instant adulation without being able to really distinguish what was genuine and what was promoted by a healthy knowledge of how much I was worth…
“When you’re as rich as I am, it pays to be careful.”
“In other words, I could have been just another cheap, tacky gold digger after your money!”
“If you want to put it like that…”
His dark eyes were cool, assessing, unflinching. She could have hit him.
But there was no denying that she still wanted to kiss him.
‘AMELIA? IS THAT Amelia Mayfield?’
Milly pressed the mobile phone against her ear, already regretting that she had been stupid enough to pick up the call. How many more instructions could Sandra King give about this job?
She was going to be a chalet girl! Two weeks of cooking and looking after a family of four! Anyone would think that she was being primed to run the country. It wasn’t even as though she hadn’t done this before. She had, two years ago, for three months before she’d started the hotel job in London.
‘Yes.’ She sighed, allowing her eyes to drift over the pure, dazzling canvas of white snow all around her. It had been a fantastic trip, just the thing to clear her head and get her mind off her miserable situation. She had travelled in style and she had enjoyed every second of it. It was almost a shame that she was now in the back seat of the chauffeur-driven SUV with her destination only half an hour away.
‘You haven’t been picking up your phone!’ The voice down the other end was sharp and accusatory. Milly could picture the other woman clearly, sitting at her desk in Mayfair, her shiny blond hair scraped back with an Alice band, her long perfectly manicured nails tapping impatiently on her desk.
Sandra King had interviewed her not once but three times for this job. It was almost as though she had resented having to give the job to someone small and round with red hair when there were so many other, more suitable candidates in the mix: girls with cut-glass accents, braying laughs and shiny blond hair scraped back with Alice bands.
But, as she had made clear with unnecessarily cruel satisfaction, this particular family wanted someone plain and down to earth, because the last thing the señora wanted was a floozy who might decide to start flirting with her rich husband.
Milly, who had looked up the family she would be working for on Google after her first interview, had only just managed not to snort with disbelief because the husband in question was definitely not the sort of man any girl in her right mind would choose to flirt with. He was portly, semi-balding and the wrong side of fifty, but he was filthy rich, and she supposed that that was as compelling an attraction as being a rock star. Not that she was in the market for flirting with anyone, anyway.