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A Fake Love Deal

A Fake Love Deal

Contemporary Romantic Comedy Billionaire Romance

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Treasure Grove is in a bind. Her restaurant's in trouble, and she's out of options. Enter Achilles Lord, the grumpy billionaire, with an offer she can't refuse: a fake marriage to save her business.

As they pretend to be in love, real sparks begin to fly, leaving Treasure wondering if their shame of a romance might turn into the real deal.

SERIES READING ORDER

The Lord Brothers of Manhattan

1 - Crossing The Line

2 - A Fake Love Deal

3 - Boss On Notice

A FAKE LOVE DEAL - LOOK INSIDE

A FAKE LOVE DEAL: THE LORD BROTHERS OF MANHATTAN (BOOK 2) - STANDALONE

CHAPTER 2 EXCERPT

6 Hours Later

I sit in the back seat of the Grove family chauffeured car, staring past sparkling-clean glass into the lobby of the Grove Family Bank Tower. My flight landed in Teterboro less than an hour ago. It felt like forever since I’d flown on a Grove family private jet. My dad couldn’t travel with me. He flew to London to handle Grove Industrial Tech, better known as GIT, business. I’m relieved that we parted ways. I wouldn’t know what to say to him during a five-hour flight to New York City. But I am back in a big way. I have been swept into a world where everything around me is Grove, Grove, Grove. Soon, my bank account will reflect that I am a thorough Grove again, and I will no longer be a cutoff heiress with cash-flow problems. 

On the flight over the Atlantic Ocean, I constantly worried about the deal we brokered going south before the airplane wheels touched the ground. But I made it to my final destination, and as far as I’m aware, the deal is still on. I can already feel the money gracing my fingertips.

The driver opens my door, and when I have two feet on the sidewalk, he says, “I’ll be waiting for you, Miss Grove.”

Before I can say there’s no need to wait, my attention is hijacked by a tall, strapping man wearing an impeccable suit. For some reason, I can’t look away from him. His gait resembles that of someone who descends from royalty. And it’s not his neatly trimmed five-o’clock shadow, perfectly formed forehead, sharp cheekbones, and kissable lips that steal my attention either—it’s his confidence that demands to be noticed. 

As if sensing me staring, the man stops and turns. I suspend breathing when our eyes meet. His face looks… oh my God. I gasp a quick breath of air. It’s him. The man I’m locking eyes with is Achilles Lord. It’s been ages since I’ve seen him in the flesh. 

I absentmindedly fan my fingers over my collarbone with one hand and wave tentatively at him with the other. Instead of waving back, he frowns, leaving me feeling stunned and confused. Why is he staring at me with such a severe scowl? He looks like I’ve just kicked him in the shin or something. 

This morning, my dad stepped out of my trailer to negotiate the details of our marriage contract with Achilles. I watched him through the window. By his gestures, I could tell that my insistence to marry Achilles instead of Orion hadn’t gone down easy. Maybe Achilles is still mad that I refuse to marry his brother. I’m sure he doesn’t know why I’m insistent about keeping my distance from Orion. His brother would never tell him what he did in St. Barts. That incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as I was concerned. 

Even though being given the cold shoulder by Achilles stings a little, I will not change my mind, not at this juncture. And frankly, Achilles should be happy that he’s marrying me. I don’t want to infringe on whatever he does during his free time. There are plenty of rumors about him floating around. I’ve learned that rumors aren’t always true, but I want to assure him that he doesn’t have to worry about my wanting more than a nonexistent relationship. 

I flash a final smile to convince him that his assholish glower hasn’t deterred me, but his frown worsens. Then he stiffens as if he’s just realized the error of his response to me, rips his eyes away from my face and continues to stride a little less confidently into the building. 

“Miss Grove, is everything okay?” the driver asks.

“Yes,” I say, blinking myself back into the moment. Shaking like a leaf in the wind, I tell the driver that his services will not be needed. But still, I can’t get what just happened between Achilles and me out of my head. This arrangement of ours might be more challenging than I thought. 

* * *

Achilles stands in front of the semicircle-shaped reception desk with platinum siding and a white quartzite top. The three women behind the barrier behold his amazingly handsome face as though it’s a never-before-seen masterpiece by Chagall. They only turn to acknowledge me when Achilles does. His disapproving gaze runs up and down my body. Looking into that gaze reminds me that I’m wearing faded bell-bottom blue jeans with a fitted, crisp white button-front blouse with oversized sleeves. My hair billows from a loose topknot. And since the weather is warmer and more humid in New York than in Iceland, I rummaged through my suitcase and found my gladiator sandals as soon as I deplaned. I look down at my feet and then at Achilles. He’s judging me for being the only underdressed person in the room. I probably should’ve worn something else, but I did the best I could with what I had because I didn’t pack any business-formal attire to take to Iceland. So screw Achilles. He doesn’t get to judge me anyway. What an asshole. 

Shoulders back, I finish closing the distance between me and the desk.

“Hi, I’m Treasure Grove,” I say, pretending Achilles is not with us, although his cologne smells searingly delicious. My nostrils detect hints of sandalwood, apple, and black pepper. I can feel him looking at me still. What’s his deal? I never back down from a passive-aggressive challenge, but I’m feeling myself shrink under his glare. I hate that I’m responding to him this way. I should purse my lips and dress him down appropriately, but I can’t do it. He’s won. I’m intimidated by him.

“Yes, Miss Grove. We’ve been expecting you,” the girl whose name tag says Tonia remarks before shifting her dutiful and friendly eyes to Achilles. “Will you both follow me?”

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