Sunday Snippet: Romancing the Billionaire by Jessica Clare

A modern day Indiana Jones? Check. Oh who am I kidding, all I needed to say was a modern day Indiana Jones and we were all on board right? The fact that he’s a billionaire is well the ice cream to the cake that is a MODERN DAY INDIANA JONES. I just started this book and I’m loving it so far. So I’m super excited to share this snippet with you all. 

When the plane landed at Santorini’s airport, Violet was roused from her nap by Jonathan’s gentle caress. “Come on, sleepy,” he murmured as he woke her. “Let’s get you to the hotel.”

She might have protested or said something about working on the envelope hunt, but her brain was mush after the intense orgasm she’d had earlier. She’d fallen asleep before he’d even emerged from the bathroom. Now, it was late at night and Santorini was lit up and beautiful, but her eyelids were so heavy they wouldn’t stay up.

She vaguely remembered a taxi ride to the hotel and checking in to the hotel while leaning against Jonathan’s arm, and then sleep. Blissful, delicious sleep.

When Violet awoke the next morning, she was in a room by herself. That was . . . a little disappointing. No, it isn’t, she chided herself. He’s giving you space like you’re always demanding. Still, she glanced around the room, frowning. Where was Jonathan if not with her?

Her gaze fell to a note on the bedside table, scrawled in his familiar bold handwriting.

I’m in room 211 if you need me. Call me when you get up and we’ll have breakfast & plan our next move.—J

She studied the note, looking for hidden meanings, some signal about what they’d done on the plane. Any regret? Any declarations of love? Did “plan our next move” refer to something relationship-wise or was she reading too much into it? Violet didn’t know. It seemed . . . awfully casual.

She showered and dressed, opting for jeans and a blousy, off-the-shoulder top with a tank underneath. The time for her schoolteacher armor was past, she supposed. Tucking her hair behind her ears in a nervous habit, Violet dialed Jonathan’s room.

“This is Jonathan,” he answered.

“Hey, it’s me.”

A pause. “Good. You up for breakfast?”

For some reason, his nonchalant tone bothered her. This was Jonathan, Mr. Born-and-Bred-Intensity. Wasn’t he supposed to be reciting poetry to her beauty and vowing that he loved her above all others? That was his normal MO. To have him so casual after the mind-blowing incident on the plane rattled her. She cleared her throat, settling her thoughts. “Breakfast is fine.”

“Downstairs, then? I can be there in ten.”

“See you then,” she said, and hung up, vaguely disgruntled and not sure why. She got up, slicked on a bit more lip gloss, and added a touch of mascara so her eyes would seem bolder, and headed down to the hotel lobby.

The Kallista Hotel hadn’t changed much in the last ten years, and as she walked through the lobby, the Greek columns and tiled floor reminded her of times past. She crossed her arms, feeling vulnerable, and waited for Jonathan in the lobby.

He arrived a few minutes later in his usual casual blazer, T-shirt, and jeans. He was unshaven and his hair was a bit tousled, as if he hadn’t bothered to fix it since it was just Violet he was meeting. She wasn’t sure if that irritated her or if she wanted to run her fingers through his hair and smooth it into place.

“Shall we eat?” Jonathan asked, gesturing at the doorway to the hotel restaurant.

She nodded and let him open the door for her, lost in thought.

They got a table and sat down, ordering a pair of coffees. Jonathan glanced at the menu and set it down, then pulled a small tablet out of an interior pocket of his jacket. “I had scans made of our newest letters while we were flying,” he told her, tapping the screen. “Now that we’re here at the hotel, maybe we can figure out our next move.”

“Sure,” she said lamely, and fought a swell of irritation. Was he just going to ignore what happened between them last night? She couldn’t. Every time she looked at him, her gaze went to his mouth, and she remembered how he’d teased her clit with his tongue for what felt like hours. When he reached for his silverware, she gaped at his hands, remembering how those fingers had found just the right spot inside her to drive her mad with need.

“Do you have any ideas?” Jonathan asked, spreading his napkin in his lap.

Oh, she had ideas, all right. Violet watched his strong, blunt hands move to the table surface again. Those were distracting her. He said something else that she didn’t catch. “Hmm?”

“Violet? Any ideas on where we go next? I’ll follow your lead.”

She blinked. “Follow my lead?”

He tilted his head, eyes narrowing at her. “You seem distracted this morning.”

Why wouldn’t she be distracted? Irritation flared and she grabbed her own napkin-rolled silverware and tore the bundle apart. “Of course I’m distracted.”

“Thinking about the clue?”

Fuck the clue. “No,” she bit out. “About what happened on the plane last night.”

His gaze was steady, his face unreadable. “What about it?”

Her jaw dropped a little. “Well, it shouldn’t have happened, for starters.”

He shrugged.

A shrug? That was all she got? Violet fought back her temper as she patted her napkin in her lap. The waitress came by and brought coffee, and they were momentarily distracted with ordering breakfast. “Just toast,” Violet said, hating the snappish tone in her voice. God, she sounded like a bitch. When the waitress left, Violet wrapped her hands around her coffee cup—so she’d resist lobbing it at Jonathan’s oh-so-casual head—and frowned at him. “I feel like we need to talk about what happened.”

Again, he shrugged. “I’m listening.”

She ground her teeth at his casualness. “I just . . . I feel like friends with benefits is not the direction we want to head.”

“All right.” He picked up his cup and took a sip, then set it down and picked up his tablet again, studying the screen.

That was it? Violet clenched her fists. What about protests? Utterances of undying love for her? Didn’t he say he’d always loved her and wouldn’t stop? Hadn’t he vowed it just yesterday when he was between her damn legs? And now he just didn’t give a shit?

What the ever-loving fuck?

A horrible thought occurred to Violet. What if . . . what if he was disappointed in her? What if that was why he was so cool now? She tugged at the low neckline of her loose sweater, suddenly feeling self-conscious and dowdy. She wasn’t as thin and athletic as she’d been ten years ago. A few extra pounds—okay, twenty—had settled on her already hourglass figure and made her a little curvier than most. He’d picked up some damn impressive tricks in the last ten years and made her come like wild. But what if he had built her up in his imagination and now he found her performance lacking?

For some reason, that was like a stab in the heart.

It was like . . . when she knew Jonathan was still in love with her, she could hold him at arm’s length, until she was ready to let go of the past and accept him again. If she held on to her bitterness and anger for another year or two, she knew he wouldn’t give up on her. She’d been comfortable to hold him away. It was safe, and Violet liked safe.

But this new, casual Jonathan, who didn’t give a shit if they had sex or not?

This man was a stranger, and she didn’t know what to do. And she wasn’t sure she liked it. “All right?” she echoed. “That’s all you have to say?”

He looked up at her again. “What do you want me to say? I told you that you could call the shots. I said it was about you. If you don’t want to do it again, that’s fine.”

That was fine? He’d given her the best orgasm of her life and taken nothing for himself and that was fine?

“Okay then,” she said, feeling a bit lost. “Let’s go back to just friends.”

“Just friends,” he agreed.

Why did she feel like she was the one losing this battle?

romancing the billionaireThe New Billionaire Boys Club novel by the New York Timesbestselling author.

The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society. Six men of astonishing wealth. But there’s one thing money can’t buy. When it comes to love, success doesn’t come so easily…

Jonathan Lyons. Playboy, billionaire, and adventurer, he lives life on the edge. When he hears that his mentor, Dr. Phineas DeWitt, had a secret journal that leads to a legendary artifact, Jonathan takes action. It stirs his blood, but it comes with a heady challenge: DeWitt’s daughter Violet. She has what Jonathan needs. And she’s not giving it up it to the man who broke her heart.

Violet is Jonathan’s weakness—he’s still in love despite their volatile breakup a decade ago. But Violet’s memories have a sharper edge. She’s never forgiven him for abandoning her. Or so she thought. When Jonathan’s attentions turn seductive, she’s in danger of falling for him all over again. And she can’t help but wonder… does he really want her, or just what she’s hiding?

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