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Man Candy (Billionaire Bachelors Book 4), page 1

 

Man Candy (Billionaire Bachelors Book 4)
 


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Man Candy (Billionaire Bachelors Book 4)


  Man Candy

  Billionaire Bachelors: Book 4

  Lila Monroe

  Lila Monroe Books

  Contents

  Copyright

  Man Candy

  Prologue

  Also by Lila:

  1. Alice

  2. Alice

  3. Alice

  4. Alice

  5. Alice

  6. Nick

  7. Alice

  8. Alice

  9. Alice

  10. Alice

  11. Nick

  12. Alice

  13. Alice

  14. Alice

  15. Nick

  16. Alice

  17. Alice

  18. Alice

  19. Nick

  20. Alice

  21. Alice

  22. Alice

  23. Nick

  24. Alice

  25. Nick

  26. Alice

  27. Alice

  28. Alice

  Epilogue

  I. How to Choose a Guy in 10 Days

  1. Gemma

  Lucky in Love Series

  The Billionaire Bargain

  Also by Lila:

  About the Author

  Copyright 2018 by Lila Monroe

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including emailing, photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.

  This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

  Man Candy

  Billionaire Bachelors: Book 4

  Welcome to Billionaire Bachelors Inc, where the sexiest men in the city are about to meet their match..

  What’s hotter than a sexy man and unlimited chocolate?

  Private investigator Nick Cameron is six foot two of chiseled, hunky trouble. He needs a fake fiancée to help him go undercover at the hottest candy company around, and he picks… me?!

  OK, he thinks I’m the safe, reliable choice. But what he doesn’t know is that I’ve been waiting for the chance to get out from behind my desk and indulge my Bond girl fantasies.

  Goodbye, Moneypenny. Hello, femme fatale!

  It’s my chance to take a risk and prove I’m more than just a secretary… but I didn’t bank on the sizzlin’ hot chemistry and Nick’s lick-able abs. And between our wild cover stories, after-hours investigation, and not-so-fake romps, the line between fiction and reality is melting faster than a Hershey’s kiss in the summer sun.

  Can our delicious fake relationship turn into something real? Or will my sexy sugar rush crash before we can unravel the chocolate conspiracy? Find out in the latest BILLIONAIRE BACHELOR romance from Lila Monroe!

  Billionaire Bachelors Series:

  1. Very Irresistible Playboy

  2. Hot Daddy

  3. Wild Card

  4. Man Candy

  5. Mr Casanova

  ***

  Want more sexy romantic comedy reads?

  Sign up for my mailing list and receive a FREE copy of my novel RUGGED BILLIONAIRE.

  CLICK HERE to claim your book.

  ***

  Follow me on BookBub:

  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lilamonroe

  Also by Lila:

  Billionaire Bachelors Series:

  1. Very Irresistible Playboy

  2. Hot Daddy

  3. Wild Card

  4. Man Candy

  5. Mr Casanova

  The Chick Flick Club Series:

  1. How to Choose a Guy in 10 Days

  2. You’ve Got Male

  3. Frisky Business

  The Billionaire Bargain series

  The Billionaire Game series

  Billionaire with a Twist series

  Rugged Billionaire

  Snowed in with the Billionaire (holiday novella)

  The Lucky in Love Series:

  1. Get Lucky

  2. Bet Me

  3. Lovestruck

  4. Mr Right Now

  5. Perfect Match

  6. Christmas with the Billionaire

  1

  Alice

  “I bet if I changed my name to Pussy Galore, I’d get so laid,” my sister, Gemma, says loudly as we exit the movie theater after a James Bond double bill.

  “Gem!” I laugh, looking around to see if anyone heard. But we’re on a busy street in Manhattan, so this is probably the tamest conversation for blocks.

  Gemma gives me a wink. “You trying to tell me you wouldn’t give young Sean Connery an Oddjob? Or let him give you a Goldfinger?”

  I snort and push my glasses up my nose. “You’re terrible,” I say.

  “Are you kidding? I’d let young Sean Connery give me a whole Goldfist,” Gemma says. “Or … wait … a GoldMEMBER.” She giggles at her own joke.

  Trying not to smile, I give her my best stern look. “You know Goldmember was Austin Powers, right? Not exactly the sexy icon you’re looking for.”

  She shrugs. “He’s cute, in his own way.”

  “It’s a mystery why you’re single,” I reply, then check my phone to see if there are any new messages.

  Gemma snatches it away. “No work! You promised.”

  “OK, OK!” I smile and look around. “Drinks?”

  “Always.”

  We head across the street. Not that I’d mind spending the rest of the evening on my couch, drinking wine in my pajamas, but Gemma is just in town for a few days from San Francisco, so I want to maximize my sister bonding time—even despite her horrible puns.

  “I just have time for one,” Gemma warns me as we walk the summer evening street. “I have a date.”

  “What?” I exclaim. “How? You’ve been in town like, three hours! And two of those were just in a dark theater with me.”

  “It’s called multitasking,” Gemma grins. “You should try it sometime.”

  We reach my usual post-movie hangout, an old-school bar that feels like something out of a movie: all dark, polished wood and leather booths. It’s dim, and cozy, and feels like Connery himself should be lighting up a cigar at the bar. If it weren’t for the whole “no smoking” law.

  “I multitask fine,” I tell her, heading inside and straight for my usual booth. “I’m juggling four different background research reports at work.”

  “Wouldn’t you rather juggle four hot guys?” Gemma asks, waggling her eyebrows.

  “Who has the time?” I ask. “Seriously, you know all those stories about guys who have a secret family stashed away and two mistresses on each coast? How do they manage? I can’t find time to go pick up my dry cleaning, let alone build a fake life!”

  Gemma laughs. “Well, it doesn’t matter if this guy has a fake family, because I’m only in town until Wednesday. He’s a menswear buyer from Macy’s,” she explains, “Mike something. Or is it Mark? Anyway, he’s pretty cute. Great taste in suits. Want me to see if he has a friend?”

  “No thanks,” I say automatically.

  “Oh?” Gemma asks, faking surprise. “So you’re seeing someone?”

  I give her a look.

  “C’mon, Alice!” she cries. “How long has it been now? You know, it can grow back,” she says, giving a meaningful glance down at my lap until I realize what she means.

  “Gems!”

  “I’m just saying. You’re never going to be this young or hot again. And you are.”

  “Young? I’m twenty-nine,” I reply. “That’s like fifty in New York years.”

  “I meant hot.” Gemma grins. “But it’s all downhill from here. Gravity
waits for no boob. Come on, Al, when was the last time you went out?”

  “I date!” I protest.

  She rolls her eyes. “But you hate them all and never call back.”

  “So? That’s not my fault. I’m busy. And they’re …”

  Boring. Predictable. Arrogant. Timid. Take your pick, I’ve seen it all. If first dates were an Olympic sport, I’d take gold—in the marathon. Because usually, by the time the check comes, I’m tired and listless, limping for the finish line so I can collapse in a hot bubble bath. Alone.

  The sad truth is, I can’t even remember when I last had a great a date. You know, one of those knee-trembling, heart-pounding, “just shut up and kiss me!” kinds of dates. But I’m not about to let Gemma pull out my Perfect Match app profile (again), so I just give a vague smile. “I’m just waiting for the right guy. And maybe I’ll even remember his name,” I add, teasing.

  Gemma laughs. “I only just met him today,” she explains. “I’m sure I’ll learn his name by the end of the night. Otherwise, ‘baby’ will work fine,” she smirks.

  “Are you sure it’s safe, going out with a total stranger?” I frown, slipping into big sister mode. “You could wind up in an alley somewhere.”

  “Only if I’m lucky.” Gemma winks again.

  “I meant dead!”

  She laughs. “Relax, it’ll be OK. I always text my friends my plans before I go out, and we have a date-tracking app on our phones, too.”

  “Oh.” I sit back. “That’s good.”

  Gemma gives me a pitying look. “For someone who loves adventure movies as much as you do, I can’t imagine what would happen if James Bond suddenly showed up and wanted to whisk you away. You’d probably ask him for references and run a thorough background check. And then tell him to come back next month, when you have a window in your schedule.”

  She says it affectionately, but her words still sting.

  Because deep down, I know she’s right. I always say I want an adventure. A reckless escapade to get my adrenaline pumping, something unexpected and wild.

  But the truth is, I’ve built my life to be about as predictable as they come. I get up, go to work, and sit behind a desk all day, organizing other people’s wild adventures at The Agency. Then I come home, run a bath, and lose myself in a spy novel or a classic movie, imagining life as a femme fatale until it’s time to turn out the lights.

  Wild, right?

  But I’m just not the outgoing type. I’ve always been the shy one; it’s not in my nature to get out there and be noticed the way Gemma does. Even her style is bold and risky. Sure, she’s in the fashion industry, but there’s nothing to stop me from showing up for work in a va-va-voom vintage suit that would put Pussy Galore to shame.

  Instead, I pick up sexy outfits on sale—and keep them stashed in the back of my closet, never letting my inner Bond girl out in public.

  Unless you count my shoes. That’s the one place I let my wild side show.

  I wriggle my toes happily. Tonight, I’m wearing a pair of scarlet pumps I found at a consignment store in Brooklyn. It turns out you can score some real bargains when you’re willing to stake out a designer label for months.

  And also maybe hide them behind a hideous kaftan so nobody else sees them.

  “Let me guess, martini?” Gemma asks, when the waitress finally comes over. “Shaken, not stirred?”

  “Thanks, but I’ll take a Screaming Orgasm tonight,” I say casually, wanting to show my sister I’m not so repressed, after all.

  I’m rewarded with a laugh. “Make that two!”

  Her phone buzzes and she checks her messages, so I sit back and look around the room. The bar is just filling up now, with a mix of cool, creative types, and the more traditional after-work crowd, unwinding with a—

  Hel-lo.

  My eyes zoom in on a man sitting alone at the bar. I can’t see his face, just a strong profile and broad shoulders clothed in a dark, well-fitted jacket that just screams money—and taste. I quickly take in the rest of him: shoes showing scuffs of wear but not worn down, a sliver of bright red socks, dark hair freshly cut.

  I always notice the details. I can’t help it. As office manager-slash-researcher at The Agency, it’s my job to screen potential clients and learn all their dirty secrets. Just call me Moneypenny—without the international intrigue, but with a dozen hot billionaires.

  This guy would look totally at home walking through the doors of our office.

  He suddenly turns and looks toward the door, and I’m treated to a glimpse of his face.

  OK, never mind The Agency, this guy could be in the running to replace Daniel Craig as the next Bond, because hello, hotness.

  Dark hair. Chiseled features. Strong jaw. Blue eyes, and a flash of a charming smile.

  “Ooh, I approve.”

  Gemma’s voice makes me snap back. “What?”

  “Mad Men over there,” she grins. “You know, I think he was in the movie with us. I remember the briefcase. Who even carries a briefcase these days?”

  I glance over at the hard-sided leather case on the floor beside his stool. “It fits the look. He’s probably a businessman. Wall Street, maybe.”

  Gemma screws up her face. “Okay, so he’s a businessman who leaves work on a Thursday, travels from Wall Street to Hell’s Kitchen to go to a James Bond double feature by himself? And then hits a bar, also by himself? He’s probably got duct tape, knives, and other murder supplies in that briefcase.”

  OK, so I’m not the only one in the family with an active imagination.

  I smile. “You’ve watched too many slasher movies. Maybe he’s a double agent and he was getting pointers from Bond.”

  She laughs. “You’ve watched too many spy movies.”

  I sneak another look. “He’s not alone, he’s meeting someone,” I say, inventing his backstory, the way I used to when we were kids, playing Nancy Drew. “He keeps looking toward the door, like he’s expecting someone. Probably a date, looking like that.”

  “Lucky lady,” Gemma says. “You know, he’s the kind of guy you should be dating.”

  I snort, amused. “Sure. I’ll just waltz on over and ask for his number.”

  “Why not?”

  I don’t reply, and luckily, the waitress delivers our drinks. “Shots?” I exclaim.

  Gemma laughs. “Anyone would think you didn’t know what an orgasm is,” she winks, passing me my glass. “Bottoms up, babe. May the next ones be real.”

  “I’ll drink to that,” I agree, and toast her before swallowing it down in one.

  2

  Alice

  Gemma heads out to her hot date, leaving me alone with my iPhone and those research reports. I probably should have left with her, but I’m a sucker for happy hour hot wings—and I’m curious about the man still sitting alone at the bar. I’ve dubbed him Bond 2.0, and the longer I watch, the more I’m sure he’s waiting for someone. Which makes me wonder: what girl would leave a guy like that hanging around?

  The kind with so many suitors, she can keep them dangling, I answer myself ruefully. Meanwhile, the last date I went on, the guy had the nerve to actually browse Tinder during our conversation.

  Safe to say I won’t be swiping left on him again.

  I’m just finishing up and debating whether it’s acceptable to scoop the last of the hot sauce from the bowl with my fingers when, across the room, Bond 2.0’s head turns toward the door. He straightens, and a look of relief crosses his handsome features. His mystery date has arrived!

  I follow his gaze to see … a man approach the bar and sits beside him.

  Hmmm. Is this guy a friend? Co-worker? Date?

  I watch as they exchange a few words, but their body language is cool and not at all friendly. Plus, the newcomer is kind of a schlub, in shapeless corduroy pants and a baggy jacket, with a battered briefcase that he drops to the ground beside their stools.

  Bond is way out of his league.

  I sigh, disappointed that it’s not
some grand love affair or dramatic scene. Just two dudes making awkward small talk over peanuts.

  Because real life isn’t a movie, I remind myself. Sure, I spend my days engineering outrageous relationships that would put Hollywood to shame—fixing people up with the fake dates of their dreams—but, at the end of the day, I’m just a glorified secretary. I’ve never been out on one of the exciting assignments, let alone had a hot billionaire sweep me off my feet, pretend or otherwise.

  I finish my drink and look around for the waitress, but she’s nowhere to be found. Instead, my eyes go back to Bond at the bar …

  Just as he casually kicks his briefcase closer to the schlubby guy. Schlub looks around nervously, then gets up, grabs Bond’s briefcase, and saunters out.

  Leaving his own scuffed briefcase behind.

  What the hell?

  I blink, but nobody else seems to have noticed. Even Bond himself is casually sipping his drink like nothing happened.

  Did I just imagine the whole thing?

  Nope. I remember, and I never get the details wrong. They totally just did a bag swap!

  My heart starts racing. I’ve only ever seen something like this in spy movies, trading state secrets or compromising information.

  But I’m most definitely not a spy. And besides, what am I going to say to anyone? That these two guys are up to nefarious business over happy hour half-off cocktails?

  You’re drunk, Alice. Time to go home.

  I head over to the bar to get my check. And, of course, it’s coincidence that there’s a free space beside Bond where I can wait for the bartender to free up. I carefully perch on the stool, my pulse still racing, and slide a totally casual glance over at the man himself.

  Who is staring right at me.

  I gulp, my cheeks flushing, but he just gives me a lopsided grin that jets him from being simply attractive into panty-melting territory.

 
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