Monday, November 5, 2012

The Billionaire's Heart Excerpt!

Happy Monday!!

Below is an excerpt from The Billionaire's Heart (available November 9!).

Gallivanting around Venice, ignoring cell phones, swooning, and a surprise addition to the museum tour...

Hope yall enjoy the snippet! :D

The Billionaire’s Heart Excerpt
Copyright 2012 Ava Claire

Colors swirled and weaved across the ancient canvas, telling a story as powerful today as when it was first created.
A man in a busy Hawaiian shirt stepped up beside me, snapping a picture. “Wow, huh?” He hustled away without another word, off to fall in love with another painting.
I turned back to the vibrant strokes, nodding my head in silent agreement. Wow was right. Wow that I was in Galleria dell'Accademia, surrounded by art spanning centuries.  Wow that I'd spent the morning with Jacob Whitmore, the billionaire CEO of PR firm Whitmore and Creighton, playing the gawking tourist. And it was even more surprising that I was able to walk when everything seemed so surreal, so perfect, that I felt like I was floating.
With his hand in mine, it was impossible to deny that he did a number on me. It was doubly hard to cage the butterflies when he'd ignored his buzzing cell phone, instead, wrapping an arm around my shoulder as we took in the sights. But after whoever was intent on raining on my parade spent three hours blowing up his cell, I insisted he answer it. I needed the break anyway. When he was close he occupied every part of me, leaving nothing but a single truth.
I love him.
I cleared my throat and turned from the painting. There was something about the red that was visceral, evoking emotions that would do nothing but complicate things. Guys like Jacob Whitmore didn't say those words. To love was to show weakness and Jacob had to be anything but.
I glanced down at the museum map and when my eyes shot back up, a woman stood firmly in my path. My brain formed the words ‘excuse me’ but nothing came out when I recognized familiar green eyes. Ripe with contempt.
"Rachel?" I said, peering at her with surprise. The sound of her name garnered a scowl as she pulled the visor of her hat down a few inches.
Decked in a non-descript white tee, jeans, and floral flats, she was a long way from the glamorous Rachel Laraby that had the rest of the world enamored. Unfortunately, even dressed down, she was breathtaking. Eyes glittered in the shadow of her baseball cap; round, plump lips sang even without the sheen of lipstick; curves taunted—she was a stunner even playing incognito. I found myself trying to stand a little taller, pangs of self-consciousness ringing even though I knew the summer dress I wore flattered my curves and the high bun on top of my head elongated my neck.
"What are you doing here?" I asked, regretting it as soon as it came out. What a dumb question. Why else would she be here? "Rachel, if this is about Jacob-"
"Shh," she hissed, glancing about nervously. She slouched futilely, her droopy shoulders molding her into a model-esque pose. "I need to talk to you. Privately."
I raised a brow. "Say what?"
She put a hand on her hip and gave me a look of urgency. Impatience. "Do you have a minute?"
"You gotta be kidding me," I scoffed. “No, Rachel. I don’t have a minute.”
 “I’m wearing a ball cap for Christ’s sake,” she glowered. “Trust me, I wouldn’t be dressed like this, talking to you, unless it was really important.” She saw that I was seconds from just plowing past, so she gave it another shot. “Please, Leila.”
"After you've given me hell since the minute we met, what could we possibly have to say to one another?" I said, not wavering. Well, not until I saw the muscles in her face tighten and she snapped her mouth shut. Whoa. Was she actually holding back a quip?
She took a step closer. "What I have to say needs to be said. I'm trying to do you a favor, Leila."
I looked at her incredulously, remembering our last exchange. She called me fat a rainbow of ways and admitted to setting me up with the paparazzi. " thanks."
I moved around her, pausing only when she gripped my elbow. I let my gaze drop to her hand then slowly creep back up until I had her in my sights. When our eyes met, she released me immediately.
"Wise choice," I said, fighting to keep my cool. "Now, if this has to do with the junction, if Jacob is no longer involved with the event, then neither am I."
"This isn't about the junction," she said, frustration lacing every word. "This is about Jacob."
“Of course it is.”
“Not about me and Jacob,” she snapped.
“Uh huh.” I said, rolling my eyes. “You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t believe you. Or want to spend one more second talking to you.”
I was all but ready to leave her in the dust until she jutted her chin out defiantly. I watched as the odd nervousness melted away like someone was standing just out of sight and suddenly screeched “Cut!” She rolled her shoulders back and her stance went from unsure to confident. Her bright eyes took on the self-righteous glint that I knew all too well.
"You'll want to give me a few minutes of your time, dear,” she said with her trademark condescension. “If you think having ass shots all over the internet was bad, just you wait until the world finds out about Jacob's bdsm arrangements with his assistants."
My jaw dropped open. The tourists and museum goers around us chirped and bustled, but the only thing I heard was ‘bdsm’ echoing over and over in my ears. She knew.
I should say something. Act like I don’t know what she’s talking about. Refute it. But I was frozen. Worried a single word, a single movement would set her off.
"Good." Her features were like chiseled stone. Cold as the grave. "Thank you for not insulting me by playing stupid."
I glanced over her shoulder, looking for my lifeline. I saw Jacob near a marble statue in the far corner, head bowed in concentration. If he only knew this psychotic woman was armed with information that could ruin him…
I returned my attention to Rachel, searching for some tell-tale sign that she was bluffing. I rushed over the vindictive curve of her lips, the stubborn set of her jaw--all of that was old news. Someone so full of anger would always wear disgust like an outfit. But her eyes would hold the truth.
My heart leapt to my throat.
She'd do it. Without hesitation.
"Bathroom," she said, a victorious smile slicing across her face. "Now."


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  1. Oh my gosh...Rachel drama is always the best drama haha. Hopefully she doesn't screw anything up b/w Leila and Jacob. :/ Can't wait to read more!

  2. That was awesome. Can't stand Rachel and all her drama.

  3. OMG!!!! How come I am not getting notifications when you post new stuff!?!?! I signed up! Sigh. LOVE THIS!! Cannot wait!! ;-D <3.

  4. Omg!!! I can't wait to read the rest!!! It sounds amazing. I really hope Rachel's drama doesn't mess up anything between Jacob and Leila.. I'll be counting the days for the release :)

  5. Holy s#@*...Rachel is a real piece of work huh? Hope Leila finally gets to put the screws to her or beat the tar out of her one. LOL Can't wait for the new one!!

    1. I cant wait for the next one either just finished this one so when is the next one

  6. Cant wait for the new one to see what happens next with L/J.