The marriage is fake. But for a sassy chef and an arrogant billionaire, the sparks are real… Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux is rich, gorgeous, and unbelievably rude to the staff at Chef Bianca Hardwick’s New Orleans restaurant. Bianca would sooner douse herself in hot sauce than cook for Jackson again, but when he asks her to cater his fund-raiser, Bianca can’t refuse, knowing the cash will help pay her mother’s medical bills. Then Jackson makes another outrageous request: Marry me. The unconventional offer includes an enormous sum—money Bianca desperately needs, even if it does come with a contract—and a stunning ring.
The heir to a family bourbon dynasty, Jackson knows the rumors swirling around him. The truth is even darker. Still, he needs a wife to secure his inheritance, and free-spirited, sassy Bianca would play the part beautifully. Soon, though, their simple business deal evolves into an emotional intimacy he’s built walls to avoid.
As the passion heats up between them, Bianca and Jackson struggle to define which feelings are real and which are for show. Is falling for your fake fiancé the best happy ending…or a recipe for disaster?
Astonished, I watched Jackson go until finally he disappeared into the night, melting into the darkness like a phantom.
I went back into the restaurant in a daze, avoiding Eeny’s and Pepper’s excited questions with an order to get back to work that must have sounded appropriately sharp because they did what I asked, lickety-split.
The rest of the night was a fog. I kept seeing Jackson’s face when he told me I was beautiful. I kept going over everything he said.
I kept trying not to think about how a million dollars would change my life. And Mama’s. I kept wondering what woman would take him up on his offer.
Because one would, I was certain of that. Somehow he’d find a woman who would be more than happy to take his money and give five years of her life in return. Lord, I could think of half a dozen off the top of my head. And then she’d be living in that icebox of a mansion and interacting with that sweet boy Cody and getting to see Jackson every day.
Maybe even getting to kiss him. Or share his bed. That was the part that really tripped me up. No sex. We could be married, and he wouldn’t expect sex. For heaven’s sake, what man in his right mind would offer that?
One who wasn’t in his right mind, that’s who.
Or one who was desperate.
I supposed Jackson Boudreaux was a little bit of both.
I didn’t know it then, but after another few weeks went by, I’d find myself both of those things, too.
About J.T. Geissinger
A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.
She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.
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