Cover Design by Samantha Young
The sexy and emotional companion novella to the New York Times bestselling romance HERO.
Nadia Ray is not just a broadcast meteorologist. She’s Boston’s morning television It Girl. Successful and independent, she’s put a past she’s ashamed of behind her and is forging a future she can be proud of. However, when her new boss discovers her secret he blackmails her, intent on using Nadia’s popularity to make them the number one morning show in Massachusetts. He wants her to be part of uncovering the city’s biggest scandal – a secret billionaire Caine Carraway is hiding.
Soon Nadia is thrown into the path of Caine’s best friend: sexy, wealthy bachelor Henry Lexington. But she doesn’t encounter the dashing high society gentleman Henry is purported to be. Instead she’s faced with an insulting and defensive villain who misjudges her at every turn.
When Henry finally realizes the truth, and decides to make amends, Nadia wants nothing to do with him. But she underestimates his determination and charm and soon they find themselves embroiled in an intense, passionate affair.
An affair Nadia knows must come to an end before their feelings grow any deeper and he discovers her secrets.
After all, Henry Lexington isn’t the only one who played the part of a villain once…
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If I was going to be honest with myself, I was discounting sex with the guy because of Henry Goddamn Lexington.
I desperately tried to shake him off. If I gave James a chance, something could develop between us and I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass that I weighed twice as much as he did. He obviously couldn’t care less, if the way he kept running his eyes over me when he thought I wasn’t looking was anything to go by.
“I was concentrating on my career for a while,” I finally replied. “But I need to start prioritizing my personal life too.”
“I get it.” He nodded. “After my divorce I realized how little time I’d prioritized my personal life. It was why my ex left me. I knew then I had to make some changes.”
“So … you didn’t want to get divorced?” I asked tentatively.
James shrugged. “I know it’s for the best now. But at the time, I was pretty wrecked by it.”
“Haven’t you ever considered trying a reconciliation with your ex?”
He frowned at me and I flushed, realizing what a stupid thing it was to say on a date. “Well … she started dating pretty quickly.”
“So she’s seeing someone.”
“No. They broke up a few months ago.”
“Maybe you should talk to her.”
“Okay, wait.” He held up a hand. “Are you counseling me to get back together with my ex on our first date?”
“It does sound like it,” a deep, familiar voice said from behind me.
James looked beyond my shoulder and not wanting to but drawn to, I half turned in the booth to find Henry sitting in the one directly behind me.
Our faces were so close it took me a second to recognize the anger burning in the back of his blue eyes. It was still there even as he flashed me a cocky grin and stood. “Mind if I join you?” he said, and sat down beside me, forcing me along the booth.
This was not happening!
How was this happening?
He was supposed to be in Panama or Seattle or something!
“Henry Lexington,” he held out his hand to James who shook it in bemusement. “A friend of Nadia’s.”
“Nice to meet you.”
“You too. Although to be honest, I’m surprised to meet you.” I could feel him looking at me but I stared straight ahead at James. I was beyond tense, bracing myself for what Henry was about to say or do. “I was under the impression Nadia was off the market.”
My jaw almost hit the table.
He did not just say that.
James looked between Henry and me. The smart man cottoned on extremely quickly. “Look, I don’t want to get in the middle of something.” He slid out of the booth and pulled out his wallet but Henry stopped him.
“Let me pay for your lunch. Compensation for a colossal waste of your time.”
The anger slipped out in his words and James paused. He looked at me. “Nadia, are you okay with this guy?”
I gave him a weak smile, grateful that he’d asked. “I’m sorry, James. Henry and I have a little unfinished business. I didn’t mean for you to get caught in the middle.”
“As long as you’re okay?”
I nodded and he pulled out money from his wallet and threw it on the table, despite Henry’s offer. “It was nice to meet you anyway.”
“You’re a gentleman,” I said as he walked away. And he was.
Why did I have to be attracted to the asshat beside me and not the one who was walking away?
I didn’t even have to look at Henry to be overwhelmed by him. He was so much bigger than me in the booth, his heat and anger pulsing as he pressed his knee against mine.
“Look at me,” he seethed.
Not wanting to be a coward, I finally did and winced at the awful look on his face. “Henry—”
“You can either play this out in public—and I can’t promise it won’t get loud—or you can get that sexy-as-fuck ass of yours out of this booth and into my car. Your choice.”
“That’s not much of a choice,” I snapped.
“Nadia …” he warned between gritted teeth.
With an exaggerated, exasperated sigh, I grabbed my purse and nudged him with my knee. He got out and despite his anger, he held out his hand, helping me up out of the booth. As soon as I was on my feet, his fingers curled tight around mine.
There was no hope of escape.
Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us was published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017. Play On is an adult contemporary romance and the first in a brand new series set in Scotland. Villain is a companion novella to the New York Times bestselling romance HERO.
Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.
Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.