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Lorana Hoopes

Sweet Billionaire's Full Collection Audiobooks (coming soon!)

Sweet Billionaire's Full Collection Audiobooks (coming soon!)

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Grab all six billionaire books in one collection and SAVE! "I loved this story. I couldn't put it down. I hope the rest of the series is just as good." - Amazon customer

First Chapter

Book 1 - The Billionaire’s Impromptu Bet

Brie Carter fell back spread eagle on her queen-sized canopy bed sending her blond hair fanning out behind her. With a large sigh, she uttered, “I’m bored.” 

“How can you be bored? You have like millions of dollars.” Her friend, Ariel, plopped down in a seated position on the bed beside her and flicked her raven hair off her shoulder. “You want to go shopping? I hear Tiffany’s is having a special right now.” 

Brie rolled her eyes. Shopping? Where was the excitement in that? With her three platinum cards, she could go shopping whenever she wanted. “No, I’m bored with shopping too. I have everything. I want to do something exciting. Something we don’t normally do.” 

Brie enjoyed being rich. She loved the unlimited credit cards at her disposal, the constant apparel of new clothes, and of course the penthouse apartment her father paid for, but lately, she longed for something more fulfilling. 

Ariel’s hazel eyes widened. “I know. There’s a new bar down on Franklin Street. Why don’t we go play a little game?” 

Brie sat up, intrigued at the secrecy and the twinkle in Ariel’s eyes. “What kind of game?” 

“A betting game. You let me pick out any man in the place. Then you try to get him to propose to you.” 

Brie wrinkled her nose. “But I don’t want to get married.” She loved her freedom and didn’t want to share her penthouse with anyone, especially some man. 

“You don’t marry him, silly. You just get him to propose.” 

Brie bit her lip as she thought. It had been awhile since her last relationship and having a man dote on her for a month might be interesting, but…. “I don’t know. It doesn’t seem very nice.” 

“How about I sweeten the pot? If you win, I’ll set you up on a date with my brother.” 

Brie cocked her head. Was she serious? The only thing Brie couldn’t seem to buy in the world was the affection of Ariel’s very handsome, very wealthy, brother. He was a movie star, just the kind of person Brie could consider marrying in the future. She’d had a crush on him as long as she and Ariel had been friends, but he’d always seen her as just that, his little sister’s friend. “I thought you didn’t want me dating your brother.” 

“I don’t.” Ariel shrugged. “But he’s between girlfriends right now, and I know you’ve wanted it for ages. If you win this bet, I’ll set you up. I can’t guarantee any more than one date though. The rest will be up to you.” 

Brie wasn’t worried about that. Charm she possessed in abundance. She simply needed some alone time with him, and she was certain she’d be able to convince him they were meant to be together. “All right. You’ve got a deal.” 

Ariel smiled. “Perfect. Let’s get you changed then and see who the lucky man will be. 

A tiny tug pulled on Brie’s heart that this still wasn’t right, but she dismissed it. This was simply a means to an end, and he’d never have to know. 

* * *

Jesse Calhoun relaxed as the rhythmic thudding of the speed bag reached his ears. Though he loved his job, it was stressful being the SWAT sniper. He hated having to take human lives and today had been especially rough. The team had been called out to a drug bust, and Jesse was forced to return fire at three hostiles. He didn’t care that they fired at his team and himself first. Taking a life was always hard, and every one of them haunted his dreams. 

“You gonna bust that one too?” His co-worker Brendan appeared by his side. Brendan was the opposite of Jesse in nearly every way. Where Jesse’s hair was a dark copper, Brendan’s was nearly black. Jesse sported paler skin and a dusting of freckles across his nose, but Brendan’s skin was naturally dark and freckle free. 

Jesse flashed a crooked grin, but kept his eyes on the small, swinging black bag. The speed bag was his way to release, but a few times he had started hitting while still too keyed up and he had ruptured the bag. Okay, five times, but who was counting really? Besides, it was a better way to calm his nerves than other things he could choose. Drinking, fights, gambling, women. 

“Nah, I think this one will last a little longer.” His shoulders began to burn, and he gave the bag another few punches for good measure before dropping his arms and letting it swing to a stop. “See? It lives to be hit at least another day.” Every once in a while, Jesse missed training the way he used to. Before he joined the force, he had been an amateur boxer, on his way to being a pro, but a shoulder injury had delayed his training and forced him to consider something else. It had eventually healed, but by then he had lost his edge. 

“Hey, why don’t you come drink with us?” Brendan clapped a hand on Jesse’s shoulder as they headed into the locker room. 

“You know I don’t drink.” Jesse often felt like the outsider of the team. While half of the six-man team was married, the other half found solace in empty bottles and meaningless relationships. Jesse understood that - their job was such that they never knew if they would come home night after night - but he still couldn’t partake. 

Brendan opened his locker and pulled out a clean shirt. He peeled off his current one and added deodorant before tugging on the new one. “You don’t have to drink. Look, I won’t drink either. Just come and hang out with us. You have no one waiting for you at home.” 

That wasn’t entirely true. Jesse had Bugsy, his Boston Terrier, but he understood Brendan’s point. Most days, Jesse went home, fed Bugsy, made dinner, and fell asleep watching TV on the couch. It wasn’t much of a life. “All right, I’ll go, but I’m not drinking.” 

Brendan’s lips pulled back to reveal his perfectly white teeth. He bragged about them, but Jesse knew they were veneers. “That’s the spirit. Hurry up and change. We don’t want to leave the rest of the team waiting.” 

“Is everyone coming?” Jesse pulled out his shower necessities. Brendan might feel comfortable going out with just a new application of deodorant, but Jesse needed to wash more than just dirt and sweat off. He needed to wash the sound of the bullets and the sight of lifeless bodies from his mind.  

“Yeah, Pat’s wife is pregnant again and demanding some crazy food concoctions. Pat agreed to pick them up if she let him have an hour. Cam and Jared’s wives are having a girls’ night, so the whole gang can be together. It will be nice to hang out when we aren’t worried about being shot at.” 

“Fine. Give me ten minutes. Unlike you, I like to clean up before I go out.” 

Brendan smirked. “I’ve never had any complaints. Besides, do you know how long it takes me to get my hair like this?” 

Jesse shook his head as he walked into the shower, but he knew it was true. Brendan had rugged good looks and muscles to match. He rarely had a hard time finding a woman. Jesse on the other hand hadn’t dated anyone in the last few months. It wasn’t that he hadn’t been looking, but he was quieter than his teammates. And he wasn’t looking for right now. He was looking for forever. He just hadn’t found it yet.

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Lorana Hoopes

Lorana Hoopes is a USA Today Best Selling Author and now an Award Winning Author as well. She's had two books earn a Page Turner Award Finalist badge and she recently won the Reader's Favorite Book Award for Romantic Suspense.