Magnificent bastard, p.1

Magnificent Bastard, page 1

 

Magnificent Bastard
 


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Magnificent Bastard


  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  All Rights Reserved

  About the Book

  PROLOGUE

  CHAPTER ONE

  CHAPTER TWO

  CHAPTER THREE

  CHAPTER FOUR

  CHAPTER FIVE

  CHAPTER SIX

  CHAPTER SEVEN

  CHAPTER EIGHT

  CHAPTER NINE

  CHAPTER TEN

  CHAPTER ELEVEN

  CHAPTER TWELVE

  CHAPTER THIRTEEN

  CHAPTER FOURTEEN

  CHAPTER FIFTEEN

  CHAPTER SIXTEEN

  CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

  CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

  CHAPTER NINETEEN

  CHAPTER TWENTY

  CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

  CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

  CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

  CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

  CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

  CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

  CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

  CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

  CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

  CHAPTER THIRTY

  CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

  CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

  CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

  CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

  CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

  CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX

  CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN

  CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT

  CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE

  CHAPTER FORTY

  CHAPTER FORTY-ONE

  CHAPTER FORTY-TWO

  CHAPTER FORTY-THREE

  CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR

  EPILOGUE

  Sneak Peek

  Acknowledgements

  Tell Lili your favorite part!

  About the Author

  Also By Lili Valente

  Magnificent Bastard

  By Lili Valente

  All Rights Reserved

  Copyright Magnificent Bastard © 2016 Lili Valente

  All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. This erotic romance is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners. This e-book is licensed for your personal use only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with, especially if you enjoy hot, sexy, emotional romantic comedies featuring alpha males. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author’s work. Cover design by Helen Williams. Editorial services provided by Leone Editorial.

  About the Book

  F*ck Prince Charming. Sometimes, you need a Magnificent Bastard.

  Face it, ladies: love sucks and then you cry…while your ex rides off into the sunset banging your best friend.

  But why let a breakup end in tears when it can end with sweet revenge? Enter Magnificent Bastard Consulting and me, chief executive bastard. I’ve got it all—looks, brains, a heart of gold, and the killer instinct guaran-damn-teed to make your ex regret the day he said goodbye.

  With the help of my virtual assistant, I’ve built an empire giving broken-hearted women the vengeance they deserve, while keeping myself far from the front lines of the heart. Life is a bowl of cherries, until my virtual assistant shows up on my real doorstep for the first time, begging for a Magnificent Bastard intervention of her own.

  Damn… She’s a bona fide sex kitten.

  I pride myself on being a true pro, but pretending to be her lover soon leads to giving it to her good, hard, fast, and up against the wall. And somewhere between getting balls deep in my sweet and sexy assistant and watching her ex beg for a second chance, I break every last one of my damn rules—professional and personal.

  So what’s my next move? Fight for the girl who makes me want to get up on a white horse and ride to her rescue, or stay a Magnificent Bastard to the end?

  Warning: MAGNIFICENT BASTARD is a stand-alone erotic romance told from the hero’s point of view. No cliffhanger. Lots of dirty talk.

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  PROLOGUE

  Picture this: it’s a rainy spring day in the city. The streets are covered with a fine layer of mud and soggy garbage, the sun is a distant memory from another, brighter time when you were still stupid enough to believe in happy endings, and you’ve just been dumped so hard your heart looks like it’s gone three rounds with Mike Tyson.

  You’re ugly crying in a corner with a box of wine and a chocolate bar the size of your forearm, wishing Prince Charming would come swoop you up on his white horse and carry you far away from all those nasty memories of Mr. Wrong, but I’m here to tell you, ladies—

  You need to stop that shit.

  Stop it. Right now.

  Why? Because Prince Charming is a crock of shit. Like unicorns, mermen, and other fairy tale creatures, he doesn’t exist.

  When you’re down and out and your heart has been ripped to shreds by an asshole with a dickish-side a mile wide, you don’t need Prince Charming. You need a man who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty, a man who can teach Mr. Wrong a thing or two about what it feels like to be deceived, betrayed, and laid low by the one person in the world you thought you could trust. What you need is a Magnificent Bastard, your very own one-man vengeance machine.

  Love isn’t a fairy tale, sweetheart; it’s war, and now you’ve got a soldier with an anti-asshole missile on your side.

  Want to ruin your ex’s reputation? No problem. Every true asshole has a few skeletons in his closet and I specialize in spring cleaning. Want to send that human come stain to jail? A little harder, but often still possible. I only accept cases involving the very worst examples of mankind, the most miserable liars, cheats, and scoundrels. Truly terrible people tend to be good at covering their tracks, but I’ve delivered exes in cuffs before.

  Want to make your former lover green with envy? Make him wish he’d never kicked you off the love wagon, spat in your face, and walked away? Well, that, cupcake…

  That’s what I’m best at.

  I’ve been blessed with a face that turns heads, worked hard for a body that inspires shudders of lust at twenty paces, and honed my envy-inspiring skills into a razor sharp weapon I wield with ruthless efficiency. I will make you feel like a queen and ensure your ex doesn’t miss a minute of it. You’ll be treated like a treasure, pampered like a princess, and kissed like a slut who can’t get enough of my magnificent dick.

  In reality, of course, things between us will never go further than a kiss, but your ex won’t know that. He’ll see your flushed cheeks, lust-glazed eyes, and wobbly legs and think I’m giving it to you hard every night.

  He’ll imagine my hands on your ass, my fingers slipping between your legs, and your pussy slick just for me. He’ll imagine you screaming my name while you ride my cock and remember all the times he was lucky enough to be balls deep in your incomparable snatch. Before long, he’ll have a jealousy hard-on so bad he’ll come crawling back to you on his belly, begging for a second chance.

  But you won’t give it to hi
m.

  Did you hear that?

  Even so, it bears repeating—

  You. Will not. Give that loser a second chance.

  By the time I’m through with you, you will know deep down in the marrow of your bones that you’re better than that. You’ll realize that you deserve a man whose eyes won’t wander, whose hands won’t hurt, and whose heart belongs to you and only you. You’ll be able to look down at the sniveling, pathetic, limp-dicked excuse for a man you used to love and tell him that he has no power over you.

  Not anymore. Now you’re free to move on with your life without any of the bad breakup, psychic baggage.

  And that, gorgeous, is the most important of the services I deliver. I give you back to you, the only person who can be trusted to steer your course as you ride off into the sunset.

  But if for some reason, you break this all-important rule, if you sour the gift you’ve been given by going back to Major Dickweed, don’t bother contacting me again. No amount of money will convince me to pick up the phone.

  A Magnificent Bastard intervention is a once in a lifetime opportunity. One and done, no exceptions.

  None.

  Not even for her, the woman who made me break all my rules, the woman who made me think—for one amazing week—that even magnificent bastards can live happily ever after.

  CHAPTER ONE

  From the e-mail archives of Sebastian “Bash” Prince and Penny Pickett

  From: MagnificentBastard1

  To: Penny4YourLobsterPot

  Re: Two-Year Anniversary

  What’s up Buttercup?

  Congratulations on surviving two years of ten-a-day e-mails, late night phone calls, crazy client vetting interviews, and general insanity. When I first sent out a call for a virtual assistant, I had no idea I’d end up with someone like you. You make the work possible and ten times better.

  They said we couldn’t do it, kid, but last I checked, we were laughing all the way to the bank.

  Speaking of the bank, check your PayPal account for a token of my appreciation.

  Here’s to another year of kicking ass and taking names,

  Bash

  From: Penny4YourLobsterPot

  To: MagnificentBastard1

  Re: Two-Year Anniversary

  Dear Bash,

  I’m pretty sure you were drunk when you sent that bonus, but ha ha joke’s on you, I’m not giving it back!

  But seriously, thank you for your generosity and your trust. I know it was a leap of faith to hire a cultural anthropologist with close to zero employment history as your assistant, and I appreciate it.

  Love my job, love the work you’re doing, and can’t wait to grow the business in the coming year!

  doing the two-year anniversary celebration dance<–contains twenty-percent more running man than the one-year anniversary dance.

  Penny

  From: MagnificentBastard1

  To: Penny4YourLobsterPot

  Re: Two-Year Anniversary

  At least it wasn’t thirty-percent more running man.

  That would have been weird….

  ;)

  B

  CHAPTER TWO

  It’s the perfect day for a messy, public breakup.

  The sun is glittering on the Central Park reservoir, the New York City skyline stretches like a work of art across the cloudless horizon, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and I’m looking like six feet three inches of Sex on a Stick in black track pants, a skin tight, moisture-wicking blue running shirt, and obscenely expensive reflective sunglasses.

  I usually opt for the just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-hit-the-pavement look for my morning jog, but this run is special. It’s Caroline’s final appointment with Magnificent Bastard Consulting and I intend to make sure she gets everything she paid for, right down to a tear or two if I can squeeze them out.

  If not…well, that’s what the sunglasses are for.

  “You ready, gorgeous?” I ask, as Caroline and I circle around the half-mile marker, moving steadily closer to a large gathering of people practicing Tai Chi in the grass beneath the trees.

  Caroline, a forty-five-year-old betty who deserves much better than the slimy ex-husband I’ve recently helped her ruin, slows beside me. “Maybe we should do another lap. I haven’t gotten my heart rate up yet.”

  “This isn’t about getting your heart rate up, doll,” I remind her. “It’s about dumping your lover in front of the man of your dreams and letting Gary know that you’re fierce, fabulous, and back on the market.”

  “But he’s doing Tai Chi,” she frets, running a nervous hand over her blond ponytail. “What if he’s annoyed by the interruption?”

  “Then he’ll be annoyed with me. I’m the one who’s going to be obnoxious.”

  Caroline chuckles. “I find that hard to believe, Bash. You’re the least obnoxious man I’ve ever met.” She pats my shoulder with an affection that makes me glad her crush is too absorbed in his moving meditation to be paying attention to the couple running toward him. “You’re the very best. And if you ever break things off with your girl, I’d love to introduce you to my daughter’s best friend, Lola. She’s lovely and talented and just a few years younger than you.”

  “Thank you, but Penny and I are very happy together.” It isn’t a lie. Penny—my virtual assistant and the force of nature who keeps Magnificent Bastard Consulting running like a well-oiled machine—and I are very happy together.

  The fact that she’s my employee and we’ve never met in person, let alone formed a long and lasting love relationship, is none of Caroline’s business.

  I care about my clients and give a hundred and ten percent while I’m managing their cases, but I learned early on that keeping fantasy separate from reality is much easier if the women I work with believe I’m in a committed relationship. Even when a job doesn’t require handholding and lingering kisses staged for the benefit of an ex who needs to be taught a lesson about the gem he let slip through his fingers, a certain level of intimacy develops when working closely with someone in a fragile emotional state.

  Take Caroline for example. We’ve kissed exactly twice: once during our practice session, and once in front of her husband’s office, as he was led away in cuffs after being indicted in an ongoing insider trading investigation. But she’s already taken to hugging me goodbye and trying to set me up with her daughter’s friends. As much as I’ve enjoyed our time together—Penny makes sure the women whose cases are accepted by MBC are the sweetest and most deserving—it’s time for Caroline to spread her wings and hop out of the nest.

  Right into Gary Donahue’s strong, Thai-Chi-steadied arms.

  Dropping my hands to my hips, I jog to a stop about ten feet from where Gary and the other peaceful exercise enthusiasts are slow-motion ninja fighting and turn to Caroline, a scowl tightening my face. “You’ve got to be kidding me, Caro. You’re not doing this here. In the middle of the park. Ten minutes into our fucking run.”

  Caroline’s blue eyes go wide and her gaze darts nervously toward the people gathered in the patchy spring shade.

  “Don’t look at him, keep your eyes on me,” I whisper for her ears only before adding in a cutting tone, “Tell me I’m hearing things, Caroline. Because from where I’m standing it sounded like you said you wanted to break up with me.”

  “I’m s-sorry, Sebastian,” she stammers, crossing her arms at her chest only to uncross them when I shoot her folded hands a pointed look. We’ve talked about this. She’s not a victim anymore. Not even a pretend victim. From now on, she rolls her shoulders back and stands up for herself.

  I watch with pride as her spine stiffens and fire flashes in her eyes. “But my decision is final,” she continues in a firmer voice. “I want more from a relationship than this.”

  “More than what?” I shake my head, brow furrowing as I jab my thumb in the direction of the subway entrance. “I took the train twenty minutes so we could run by your apartment instead of mine. And I agreed to go to co
ffee afterward, and I don’t even like coffee.”

  “And I don’t like going to night clubs,” Caroline counters. “Or whiskey bars. Or having to wave my hand in front of your face to pull your attention away from your phone. What is wrong with people under forty, anyway?” She thrusts out her arms as if to embrace the entire park. “The whole wide, wonderful world is rushing by in all its heartbreaking beauty and glory and all you can think about is texting or swiping left or whatever it is you’re doing on there.”

  I blink. Ouch.

  I haven’t been on a dating app in a while, but I have an addiction to refreshing my e-mail that I’ve indulged freely during my time with Caroline, earning my share of heavy sighs from her that I’ve ignored the way I ignore the heavy sighs of my own mother. But the fact that Caro has brought something real into a fake fight stings a little.

  The sting helps add an extra layer of asshole to my words as I sneer, “Well, maybe if you weren’t so boring, sweetheart, I’d have a reason to look up from my phone once in a while.”

  Caroline’s jaw drops and her next breath emerges in a huff, accompanied by a flap of her arms at her sides. “Well, if I’m so boring, then you should be glad I’m breaking up with you! Instead of yelling at me in the middle of the park.”

  My lips part to form a retort worthy of a swift kick in the ass from Gary—if he’s listening and has any balls at all—but Caroline jumps in before I can speak.

 
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