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Million Dollar Devil (Million Dollar #1)
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Big-city sophistication meets carnal hunger in this devilish contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans.
Heir apparent to her father’s company, Lizzy Banks needs a man. The perfect man. But when the rich “fundbabies” she usually rubs shoulders with prove impossible to hire, she takes a chance on a raw beast of a man salvaged from the wreckage of a bar brawl.
James Rowan earns a modest income as a YouTube daredevil, but he can’t refuse Lizzy’s million dollar deal. As she polishes his rough edges, creating a sophisticated gentleman fit for the highest circles of society, not only does she bring out the perfect man—it’s like she’s making the man of her dreams. How can she resist?
Though Lizzy loves seeing James in his clothes—and out of them—he isn’t the kind of man you bring home to Daddy. Her father’s disapproval and the pressure of the campaign have her eyeing the straight and narrow, but Lizzy’s finding it awfully hard to resist the devil on her shoulder…
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THE ONLY MAN IN THE ROOM
The room is packed—everyone who is anyone in the city is here. All the movers and shakers. The most influential reporters, bloggers, you name it. I grip his arm tighter as he leads me into the ballroom of the five-star hotel we rented out for the launch. I suppose I’m more nervous than he is. I glance up to my left and see his masculine profile, and my stomach clutches. He has a face that—until now—only existed in my dreams. Hard jaw, chiseled to perfection. Firm, plush, kissable lips. Sharp, pristine blue eyes that feel like lasers zeroing in on me. He catches my gaze, and the devil’s smile suddenly playing on his lips is worth a million bucks.
That’s exactly how much it cost me. What this guy cost me. I would’ve paid so much more.
It’s like he’s the only man in the room. Like he belongs here. Confidence oozes out of his every pore. Masculinity envelops him as perfectly as his custom black suit. He walks like he owns the place. My heart beats harder and harder for him.
I can’t believe I got him to agree to this.
Women are vying for his attention. His moves are smooth. Sophisticated. Elegant.
“An autograph?” a young woman asks shyly.
He takes the notepad and pen she extends and scribbles his name, his voice low and rough. “There you go.” Beneath all that polish is his raw masculine energy. The determination that brought him here.
“James . . .” I halt him before we go any farther. “Whatever happens . . .”
He looks at me. A thousand words lingering in his look. “I know.”
But does he? I’ve fallen in love with my own creation. I polished a diamond, and now it’s flawless. Perfect. But it’s not mine to keep.
He is not mine to keep.
This elite world he’s about to join isn’t one he was born into. These fans only know him because of me. His place at the top? That’s not where I found him.
THE PERFECT MAN
Three months before . . .
My father has been staring in nerve-racking expectation at me for the past three minutes, and I can barely hear myself think. As I sit across from him at his massive oak desk, I’m nervous. I’m more nervous than I ever remember being. I prepared for this meeting all last week, when he gave me permission to bring him my proposal for the much-anticipated launch of our new line of men’s designer suits. But it’s one thing to talk to my reflection and quite another to have the Harold Banks staring back at me. My father isn’t always easy to please—hell, try never—and his office always intimidates me. It serves as a reminder of one little bitty thing I can’t ever seem to forget: I’m not what he wanted.
You see, his office is a shrine of collectibles. All around me, there are pre-Columbian artifacts, old tapestries, framed stamps. My father collects everything, the best of everything, except the one thing he wanted to collect the most. Sons. On their first try, my parents had me. And before they could keep trying for long, she left him. Leaving my dad with only me.
I’m twenty-five, dark haired, and green eyed; slim, thanks to healthy eating habits and exercise; and well groomed, thanks to the habits instilled in me by my nannies. A good girl who has never gotten into trouble. I’m a perfect daughter by anyone’s standards. But still a daughter—one who’s trying her best to thrive in a company that caters mostly to men.
I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to finally prove to my father that I’m a woman who can be an asset to his company—to our company.
But a man like my father never takes anyone’s word. He expects results, and he expects them fast.
Hence my nervousness. I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew. And our new line of suits has been a huge investment for the company. I know my father wanted someone more experienced to handle this launch.
I, however, have other plans and hopes.
“Have you started up that nonprofit yet to help the sick children of Uganda?” he finally asks. He always seems confused about why I want to work in his business rather than do things “women should be doing.”
“And what happened to decorating your new place? Don’t you have something to buy?”
I pretend nothing he just said bugs the hell out of me.
“I started that nonprofit last year, and it’s been doing incredibly well. My apartment is perfect; it doesn’t need anything else.” There’s a pause. I hesitate, then plunge in. “I can work in your business, Dad. Just because a bunch of old-fashioned stuffed shirts run this place doesn’t mean I can’t run it too. My Stanford degree is just as good as theirs. And besides, I think nobody knows what a perfect man should be like better than a woman.”