Her Bad Boy Billionaire Lover (Billionai - By Bretton, Barbara


San Diego

The need to see her again had grown stronger with the passage of time.

He hadn't expected that.

When their marriage broke up and she'd left him for the pleasures her father's money could provide, he had trusted that time, healer of all wounds, would dull her memory until it was just an ache, and not a searing pain.

Instead she remained along the edges of his consciousness, like the ghost of a painting that shadowed the wall long after the canvas had been put away in some forgotten attic. The pain was gone but the sense of unfinished business remained.

"Six years," he said out loud, staring at the brochure that rested on his desk. Six years that had seen him climb to the top, his rise fueled as much by anger as ambition.

By the primal need to prove himself to the one woman he'd ever loved.

And now he would finally have that chance.

She was here on board the yacht. The last piece of the puzzle was about to snap into place and when it did he would finally be free of the past.

Everything about them had been wrong from the start. She'd been too young. He'd been too hungry. He had dreams she couldn't understand; she had expectations he couldn't meet. He'd moved too fast, wanted too much, been unwilling to settle for anything less than all he could get. He'd married her the way another man might claim a prize, as if taking her as his wife would somehow grant him his place in the world.

Later on he realized she'd been looking for a hero. Someone bigger and bolder than her father, someone who could wrap her in luxury and keep her safely away from real life where people worked hard for their pleasures. But there were no heroes. Not in this world. And if there were, he sure as hell wasn't one of them.

When she walked out on him she'd been a spoiled little girl, her daddy's pampered darling, a child in every way but one. The passion between them had been hot and demanding, as powerful as a force of nature and even more destructive. He'd never believed in love or the concept of happily-ever-after. He'd never known how it felt to be part of a real family. Yet from the first moment when he looked into her eyes, he knew he had to own her, body and soul.

Six long years since their divorce and nothing had changed. She was frozen in time, untouched by life or sorrow, still the same girl he'd loved unwisely and too well.

Yet the face that looked up at him from the glossy brochure was a woman's face. Hauntingly beautiful. Eminently desirable. Shadowed by experiences that were hers alone.

The face of the stranger who once was his wife.

There'd been many women since she left him. Accomplished women with ambition to match his. Beautiful women who could stop a man dead in his tracks. But not one of those women had come close to touching his heart the way she had. He would know her in the dark, her scent, the satiny feel of her breasts, the sounds she made in the back of her throat when he--

"Tomorrow," he said out loud, turning the brochure face down.

Tomorrow he would see her again and whatever magic it was that she held for him would be dispelled once and for all.

He needed to start living his life once again.

Chapter One


Someone was watching her.

Megan McLean glanced over her shoulder at the laughing crowd milling about on deck. Women in jaunty nautical outfits, men in blazers complete with gold crests on the breast pockets--everyone seemed engrossed in conversation. Not a single pair of eyes was turned toward her.

The odd feeling receded but didn't quite disappear. She turned toward the woman standing next to her at the railing.

"Sorry," she said. "You were saying?"

"You look green," said Sandy, a travel agent from Orlando. "Do you need Dramamine?"

Megan shook her head. Seasickness was the least of her problems. From the first moment she saw the Sea Goddess, resplendent in the Florida sunshine, she'd been awash in bittersweet memories. How many times had she stood on the deck of a yacht, equally as majestic, and considered the event as commonplace as brushing her teeth?

Another lifetime, she thought. Another world.

"It's the strangest thing," she said, casting a second glance over her shoulder as she brushed away the hand of memory. "Ever since we boarded, I've had the feeling someone is watching me."

"Of course someone's