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Her Billionaire Ex-Boyfriend Fake Fiancé (Ebook)

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A billionaire who wants to grant his mother’s dying wish and the only woman who can make it happen.

Librarian Ashleigh Hopkins loves Christmas, which is when she holds a big fundraiser for the Emerald Falls Library. Eager to raise money for more computers, books, and other critical supplies, when the auctioneer announces that a date with Ashleigh is on the auction block, she goes with it. Too bad her ex casts the winning bid.

Billionaire Chase Matthews hadn’t planned on spending December in Emerald Falls. And he certainly hadn’t planned on offering the winning bid for a date with his ex. But now that both of those things have happened, he’ll have to deal with the fallout.

When Chase tells Ashleigh that his mother is dying and that her only wish is to see him happily engaged, he makes her an offer she can’t refuse. But will her wounded heart be able to remember that this is all pretend?

This is a clean and wholesome standalone romance.

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Chapter 1

“Who does he think he is?” Ashleigh Hopkins glared at the screen of her phone as she sat on her couch, the picture of Chase Matthews taunting her.

“Who are you talking about?” her sister Melanie asked as she walked into the living room. It was Ashleigh’s house, but her sister and four-year-old niece lived there with her.

Embarrassed that her sister had caught her noticing anything about Chase Matthews, Ashleigh felt her face heat. “No one.”

Melanie sprang forward and snatched the phone from Ashleigh’s hand. “You don’t get away with it that easily, Ash. I want to know who’s getting under your skin.” Melanie looked at the screen, her eyebrows shooting up, then her eyes shifted to Ashleigh.

Embarrassed for her sister to find out that she ever thought about Chase, Ashleigh let her emotions rule her voice. “Give that back to me.”

Tilting her head, Melanie asked, “Since when do you follow Chase Matthews on social media?”

Sighing heavily, but only because she couldn’t come up with a good excuse as to why she was looking at pictures of her ex-boyfriend, Ashleigh stood and held out her hand. “That’s none of your business.”

Melanie murmured, “Uh-huh,” but at least she gave the phone back.

Tucking the phone in her back pocket, Ashleigh asked, “Isn’t it time for you to go to work?”

Melanie chuckled. “Not yet.”

Just then, an adorable little girl came bounding in the room, flinging herself at Melanie. “Mommy!”

Melanie swung her up in a hug. “Hi, Avery.” 

Glad her sister was distracted, Ashleigh took the opportunity to go into the kitchen and take another peek at the picture Chase had posted. In it, he was dressed in a tuxedo and had not one, but two gorgeous women with him—one on each arm.

As she stared at the picture, she remembered when she had been the one on his arm. His one and only, he used to say. Well, that certainly wasn’t the case any longer. Sure, it had been six years since she’d last seen him—in person, that is. But it still hurt when she saw him with another girl.

“What are you doing?” Melanie said from right behind her.

Ashleigh let out a yelp as she jerked away from her annoying older sister and spun around to glare at her.

Melanie chuckled. “I thought you were over him.”

“I am over him. Totally over him.” She hoped she’d convinced Melanie, because someone needed to believe it.

“Right.”

“I am. Now, I do have to go to work, so if you’ll excuse me.”

“Of course.” Sweeping her hand out to the side, Melanie stepped back.

Frowning, Ashleigh walked past her, grabbed her purse from the kitchen counter, and walked out the front door.

On the way to the Emerald Falls Library where she worked as the librarian, Ashleigh struggled to push aside the image of Chase galavanting with those women. Of course, she didn’t know if he was actually galavanting. For all she knew, once the camera was turned off he’d sent them both on their way, that they meant nothing to him. 

Just like she meant nothing to him.

Shoving down the memory of their last conversation, when he’d shattered her heart and left Emerald Falls, she focused on driving.

She pulled into a parking space, tossed her purse over her shoulder, and climbed out of her car. As she unlocked the single glass door and walked inside the library, the absolute quiet immediately soothed her, and the familiar scent of rows and rows of lovely books sent a blanket of calm wrapping around her. She loved the library—always had. Ten years earlier, when she’d turned sixteen and had gotten her driver’s license, the first place she’d driven on her own was the library. Browsing aisle after aisle of books without worrying about having to call someone for a ride had been an unknown luxury up until that point. Now though, it had become routine.

She went to her desk, which was in the front of the library where patrons could easily find her to get help, and booted up her computer.

The glass door opened and a woman about the same age as Ashleigh walked in. Ashleigh smiled at her. “Hey, Taylor.”

Taylor strode over to Ashleigh’s desk and set down a stack of books with a frown. “Hey.”

“What’s wrong?” Wait. Did she really want to know? Inevitably it had to do with Taylor’s boyfriend, Seth.

“Seth—”

Ashleigh threw her hand up. “Let me stop you there.”

Taylor’s eyebrows shot up and her mouth fell open. “What?”

After seeing the pictures of Chase, she just wasn’t in the mood to hear about someone else’s boyfriend problems—not that there was a chance Chase would ever be her boyfriend again. Even hinting at that thought brought a rush of heat to her face.

“If you don’t want to know what’s wrong,” Taylor said with a frown, “then don’t ask.”

This was Taylor’s boyfriend they were talking about. Not Ashleigh’s ex. She sighed. “I’m sorry. What happened?”

Taylor grabbed a chair, dragged it over to Ashleigh’s desk, and plopped into it. “Well…”

Oh boy. This was going to take a while. Bracing herself, Ashleigh relaxed her shoulders and gave her full attention to Taylor.

“On Saturday Seth was supposed to take me dancing, but at the last minute he said his friend got tickets to the Sacramento Kings game. Well, you know Seth. He can’t pass up an opportunity to watch the NBA. So, he dropped me and our date like a bad habit.”

Ashleigh nodded. So typical. “See? This is exactly why I’m on a man-fast.”

Taylor burst out laughing. “A what?”

Was it really such a ridiculous idea? “A man-fast. You know, staying away from all men.”

“Oh. I can figure out what it means. I just don’t know why you would want to be on one.”

Really? Did she have to explain? “Every man I’ve dated has turned into a flake. We go out once or twice, and then poof, it’s like he was a figment of my imagination.”

Taylor shook her head. “You just haven’t found the right man yet.”

“You’re saying you have?”

“Well, I love Seth and he loves me. It’s just, sometimes, you know, he forgets that he wants to be with me every minute.”

Chuckling, Ashleigh shook her head. 

Taylor smirked. “I’ll get you on a date one way or another.”

Ashleigh rolled her eyes. “There’s a big stack of books that came in over the weekend that needs checking in.

“All right, all right.” Taylor stood. “We’re putting up the Christmas decorations today, aren’t we?”

With the distraction of seeing the picture of Chase, Ashleigh had completely forgotten about that. She adored Christmas and had been looking forward all weekend to decorating the library. She’d made herself wait until the beginning of December. Now, the wait was over. “That’s right.”

“Yay!”

Just what she needed to forget about Chase Matthews.

* * *

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