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The Missing Billionaire (Ebook)

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Missing and presumed dead, when billionaire Nathan Hewitt is rescued from a deserted island a year after his yacht disappeared, everyone is thrilled.

Except Chloe James.

Chloe has been best friends with Nathan for years—and has crushed on him just as long—but her sister died on that cruise and she holds him responsible. Wanting nothing to do with him, when she is forced to work with him she will have to come to grips with the emotions roiling within her.

Nathan is desperate to earn back Chloe’s friendship and her forgiveness, but when she rebuffs him at every turn he has to do something drastic. Will she find it in her heart to forgive him or will their relationship be destroyed for good?

This is a clean and wholesome standalone romance.

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Chapter 1

On the hunt for the perfect couch for her design client, Chloe leaned closer to the screen of her laptop, resting her forearms on her desk as she scrolled through the website of a furniture store. Completely focused on her search, when her cell phone rang, she startled. The caller ID said it was Hannah, her best friend. Ready for a break, Chloe smiled as she picked up her phone and swiped to answer. “Hey there.”

“Are you watching the news?”

Tilting her head as if Hannah could see her, she said, “Of course not. I’m working.”

“Turn on the news.”

The request was strange—Hannah knew Chloe didn’t have time to watch TV at work, so there must be a reason. Holding back a sigh, Chloe asked, “Which channel?”

“All of them. Any of them.” Hannah almost seemed out of breath. 

What in the world could be so important that all the news channels would be covering it? And what would have Hannah so agitated? “Okay. Hang on.”

Curious to find out what was going on, Chloe pulled up the website of her favorite news channel where they were broadcasting live. Her eyes widened and her mouth fell open, then she turned up the volume.

“…calling it a miracle,” the news anchor was saying. “The heir to Hewitt Consolidated, billionaire Nathan Hewitt, who has been missing and presumed dead for over a year, has been found.”

Chloe’s ears began to buzz and her vision went to pinpoints.

“Chloe?” Hannah asked. “Are you there?”

Her phone slipped out of her hand and landed softly on the carpeted floor.

Finding it hard to catch her breath, Chloe squeezed her eyes closed and focused on the air going in and out of her lungs.

Breathe, Chloe. Breathe. In and out. In and out.

When she had gathered herself, she opened her eyes, her gaze skittering back to the news broadcast.

The words the news anchor was saying about Nathan—marooned on a deserted island after his yacht had sunk, rescued by men on a fishing boat—barely slid into Chloe’s brain. All the while, she stared at the screen as it showed Nathan. Not the stock photo the news stations had shown when he and his yacht had gone missing one year earlier. No. This was a live shot of the man who was responsible for the death of Chloe’s sister. And he looked fine. Okay, maybe he was a little thinner. But still, he was alive. Unlike Lisa. 

Fury, powerful and swift, slammed through Chloe, replacing the shock she’d felt moments before. At the same time, she was stunned that Nathan had been found. And if she was honest with herself, she was a tiny bit relieved as well.

Growing up, she and her younger sister Lisa had been best friends with Nathan, hanging out all the time. But one year earlier, when Chloe and Nathan were twenty-three and Lisa was twenty-two, Nathan had decided to take an extended trip on his family’s yacht. A cruise to celebrate his college graduation. And he’d asked Lisa to go with him. Only Lisa. Chloe had crushed on Nathan for years, so when he’d chosen her sister—a girl who was all about having a good time rather than having any kind of relationship—Chloe had been jealous. And hurt. Why hadn’t he invited her? Then again, it made sense. Nathan and Lisa were two peas in a pod. So alike that it only made sense that he’d chosen her.

But then the yacht had vanished. Several weeks later, after an extensive search, the yacht—and Lisa’s body—had been found. The body of the yacht’s captain had been found as well. Both deaths were due to drowning, and when Nathan’s body hadn’t been found, everyone had assumed he’d drowned as well.

Now though, seeing Nathan walking off of a plane, perfectly intact while her sister’s remains were buried in the cold ground, Chloe wanted to storm over to the Hewitt mansion and confront Nathan. But the thought of facing him also sent her heart into a painful gallop and she knew she wasn’t ready to see the man whose face she had never been able to get out of her mind.

* * *

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