This is one of the most fun parts about writing a book… sharing a preview! Today I’m thrilled to give you a sneak peek at Billion Dollar Boyfriend, the next book in the “A Hollywood Dating Story” series. It will be out later this year, and you can pre-order now at Kobo and Apple iBooks! (Pre-order for Barnes & Noble coming soon. This book will also be available at Amazon.)
Ready? Here we go…
A scene from Billion Dollar Boyfriend
Content subject to change in editing
It was a setup. She knew it. And it was going to be trouble.
Not just any kind of trouble, but the weak-at-the-knees, Taylor-Swift-had-probably-written-a-song-about-it variety that ripped away Shelby Marlowe’s ability to speak. That was new. Shelby always had something to say and often said it, and not once in her twenty-six years of life had she stopped in her tracks or become speechless at the sight of a guy.
None of this went unnoticed by Emily Watts, Shelby’s best friend and roommate. Emily didn’t say anything, but she didn’t have to, since the twitch at the corners of her lips gave her away. She recovered quickly, but not before Shelby saw the knowing glance she shot at her boyfriend, Raine Kingston.
Shelby pursed her lips and also looked at Raine. For someone whose acting ability had earned him Hollywood A-list status, and who raked in millions of dollars per film for the same reason, he was doing a horrible job of hiding what was really going on. Shelby couldn’t decide what made Raine’s plans for her and the hottie sitting at his dining room table more obvious: the merry twinkle in his chocolate-brown eyes, or the smile that grew wider when Emily nudged him with her elbow. Now Shelby knew why both of them had insisted she come to this dinner party at Raine’s house tonight.
A few choice words ran through Shelby’s mind, but she couldn’t say them here where she was also in the company of Raine’s friends Olivia and Matt, who were visiting from New York. And she definitely couldn’t voice her thoughts in front of the yet-to-be-identified, drool-worthy Adonis who’d clearly been invited here to be her dinner companion, whether he knew it or not.
Shelby leaned in close to Emily, her light brown curls bouncing around her shoulders as she did. “Nice try,” she murmured, keeping her voice at a volume only the two of them could hear. “You know I need some time off.”
“Time off?” Emily repeated. “Aren’t you taking a few weeks off from work soon?”
“That’s not what I meant.”
Emily’s forehead crinkled at Shelby’s words, then her hazel eyes widened. Shelby had to give her credit—she was better at feigning innocence than Raine was, and Raine was the actor in the room.
“Can you help me with something?” Emily turned toward the dining room entrance, gesturing for Shelby to come with her.
Shelby followed her out of the room and down a hallway. Emily stopped walking when she got to the kitchen and waited for her to catch up.
“There’s no ‘nice try’ going on here,” Emily said, keeping her voice low. “Or if there is, Raine didn’t tell me about it.”
Right, Shelby thought, folding her arms across her chest. She leaned against the kitchen counter and studied Emily’s face, searching for any signs of a cover up.
“There are six people here, and only two aren’t part of a couple,” she pointed out. “If you and Raine were trying to be subtle about it, you failed.”
“We’re not trying to be anything, or at least I’m not,” Emily said. “I don’t even know who he is, or that he isn’t dating someone. He could just be a friend of Raine’s who also knows Olivia and Matt.”
“Uh-huh. So explain why you looked overjoyed when you spotted him at the table?”
“I looked overjoyed?” Emily asked.
“I saw you trying not to laugh.”
Now Emily did laugh. “You’re right, but that was about the look on your face. I know you, and I’ve never seen you react that way to anyone. Admit it—you want him to be single.”
“No. I want me to be single, and for a very long time. You know I just ended things with Darren.”
Shelby waited for Emily to flinch at the mention of Darren’s name, and was impressed when she didn’t. It was more than Shelby could say for herself after the last couple weeks of reliving her decision to let her lying and cheating ex-boyfriend from college back into her life. She should have known better. She did know better. That was why she had ended things. It was also why Shelby had vowed that until she had some time on her own to clear her head and figure out why she’d let herself be in a relationship with Darren again, and why all of the dating choices she had made since high school had been a complete disaster, she wasn’t going to get involved with anyone. Period. That included so-called harmless flirting and innocent coffee or dinner dates.
“You were the one who had the sense to break up with him this time,” Emily reminded her. “Maybe you should let yourself be open to someone new.”
Shelby shook her head and started to reply, but paused when she heard footsteps in the hallway.
“There you both are.” Raine’s voice carried into the kitchen. He appeared in the doorway a moment later. “Are you guarding the food?”
Emily’s face lit up when she saw him, even though they’d been out of each other’s sight for under five minutes. “I needed to talk to Shel about something I didn’t think anyone else would be interested in. Whatever is cooking in here smells amazing, though.”
Raine was at Emily’s side in an instant. The tall, dark-haired movie star and the petite, blond-haired writer were like magnets to one another. Shelby watched them, transfixed. She had never seen Emily as happy as she was when she was with Raine, and the adoring look in his eyes told Shelby he was equally as crazy about Emily. While Emily and Raine had only been dating for a couple of months, Shelby had a hunch they had found their Hollywood ending.
“Have you met Aiden yet?” Raine asked, looping his arm around Emily’s waist.
That’s when Shelby noticed Raine wasn’t the only person who had come into the kitchen. The sandy-haired god from the dining room stood in the doorway, and he looked even better standing up than sitting down, if that was possible. With his tall, fit-looking frame, sun-kissed skin, and perfectly-sculpted features, Shelby couldn’t help but wonder if he was also an actor, or maybe a model.
“This is my girlfriend, Emily,” Raine continued. Aiden stepped forward and extended his hand to her.
“It’s great to meet you,” he said.
Even his voice is sexy, Shelby thought. This was going to be a long night.
Aiden turned to her. “We haven’t met, either.”
“Shelby,” she managed to get out, right as he took her hand. A tingle ran through her fingers and up her arm, and she was pretty sure her heartbeat quadrupled its speed.
Her gaze flickered up to meet Aiden’s, and warmth reflected back to her from his eyes. Like everything else about him, his eyes were striking. Shelby took in the deep olive green of his irises, which were ringed with gray and lit up with amber flecks. If she’d thought her bodily response to him taking her hand had been something, it was nothing compared to the electricity coursing through her now.
Look away, the voice inside her instructed. She tried to obey, and failed. This would have been ridiculous under regular circumstances, but the promise she had made herself to cool it from anything guy-related for a while made it even worse.
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About Billion Dollar Boyfriend
An exciting new celebrity romance chick lit novel from Jennifer Farwell, whose books have been featured by Publishers Weekly, Cosmopolitan, and Fangirlish.
Shelby Marlowe has never been lucky in love, but the romantic tides turn in her favor when she meets songwriter Aiden Montgomery. Thoughtful, caring, and undeniably attractive, Aiden would do anything to win Shelby over, and he’s a breath of fresh air after her last lying and cheating ex-boyfriend.
Just as she’s falling head over heels, Shelby discovers Aiden isn’t who he claims. While he pretends to be an average nobody in Hollywood, Aiden is famous in the UK, where he goes by a different name, is the heir to a billion-dollar fortune, and used to be a rock star. The British tabloids are fascinated with him, still trying to understand why he walked out on his music career and celebrity girlfriend a few years earlier, vanishing into the night without a word to anyone.
When Shelby uncovers the truth, she’s left to wonder what Aiden is hiding, and why. Can she take a chance on love with someone she may not know at all?
Billion Dollar Boyfriend can be read on its own or as part of the “A Hollywood Dating Story” series.
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Stay tuned to my Readers’ Group newsletter and my blog for more preview scenes from Billion Dollar Boyfriend, coming soon!