by: Aurora Russell
Genre: Contemporary Billionaire Romance
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
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Veronica’s new job comes with a darling little boy, a Gothic castle and…a beast?
When recently laid-off Francophile Veronica Carson is recommended for an au pair job by the elegant leader of her French conversation group, she isn’t sure what to expect—but a Gothic castle deep in the wilds of Maine is certainly not it. Still, she’s drawn in by her joyful little charge, Jean-Philippe, and even more drawn to his brooding father.
Ruthlessly successful businessman Alain Reynard has loved before and has no wish to repeat the painful experience. The tragedy of his recent past is still fresh in his mind, and he wants nothing to do with his son’s lovely new au pair. Despite his best efforts, though, he can’t seem to get her off his mind.
A passionate romance begins to blossom but is put to the test when painful reminders of Alain’s past return. As ugly rumors swirl, the truths of the past and the present collide. Veronica must decide if Alain really is a beast and, if so, whether she can love him enough to break through the dark memories and secrets that tether him to what once was.
Physical Description: Tall with a large frame to match my height, striking features although I’m not quite handsome, with a Roman nose, thick, wavy hair, and eyes the color of melted dark chocolate (so I’m told). I project an air of power and wealth, but walk with a limp that I’m sometimes unable to hide.
Occupation: CEO and President of a major multi-national company based in France, and my specialty is hostile takeovers and acquisitions.
3 likes in no particular order:
A surprisingly attractive young au pair
3 dislikes in no particular order:
The French paparazzi
Anyone who might interfere with my relationship with my son
Drink of choice: Pastis (an anise-flavored alcohol from Provence)
Favorite food: Freshly-baked bread, which my chef makes every morning.
Favorite dessert: Veronica, my son’s new au pair…but I also have a weakness for chocolate pastries from Mrs. Hooper’s café.
Favorite song: Sur le Pont D’Avignon, when sung by my four-year-old, Jean-Philippe, accompanied by Veronica.
Favorite color: Previously, I would have said black, like my custom-tailored suits, but I’ve recently become very attached to the deep red of the party dress Veronica wore to the function at the governor’s house.
Choice of transportation: A tasteful black luxury sedan with supple leather interior and room to work, preferably driven by Hormet, my long-time butler.
Most prized possession: A severely misshapen clay creation (I’m not sure if it’s an ash tray or really squat-looking vase) sculpted and painted by Jean-Philippe as a birthday gift for me.
Favorite way to unwind: Well, um…I’ll leave my favorite way to unwind to your imagination. My second-and third-favorite ways are to play the violin in my Music Room with Jean-Philippe and Veronica, and to walk on our private beach.
Favorite way to spend an evening: At home, with my family, although I frequently have to go to evening parties for my job. I have recently found, however, that Veronica makes even those awful events much more enjoyable.
Best friend: My brother, Marius, is also my best friend and one of the few people I trust.
Best memory to date: The day my son was born…although the first time I kissed Veronica might tie for first place.
If you could have a do-over, what would you do differently? If you had asked me several weeks ago, I would have answered differently, since it cut me more deeply than I realized to be so utterly betrayed by those I trusted. Now, however, I don’t know. Every challenge in my past has led me to where I am now, and I can’t truly regret anything that took me here.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I love what I do, and I’m extremely good at it, but I would like to attempt more charitable work. I think I might just donate a few million dollars or so to a new foundation.
What profession would you not like to do? Anything requiring that I be nice to lots of people. I would be an abysmal store clerk or barista.
Most romantic gesture: I am always trying to improve, but I am rather proud of the way that I apologized to Veronica.
Words to live by: Family is anything you make it, and family is forever.
*Author’s note* ~ I couldn't find a good inspiration photo of a man on any of the usual photo stock sites (apparently Alain with his huge frame, dark and hair and eyes, and constant suit-wearing is an anomaly), so I have instead attached a nice inspiration picture of the setting (taken by me).
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