Abandoned by her mother and spurned by her father, Reina St. James is tired of being treated like a dirty little secret. It wasn’t easy making her way into the high-risk, high-reward Wall Street world ruled by financial kings and trust fund tyrants. But now that she’s got a stiletto-clad toe into one of the swankiest firms in Manhattan, Reina is determined to prove she’s more than just a pretty face hiding an ugly past.
For Tristan Xavier Bettencourt IV, escaping the shadow cast by generations of family fortune has been difficult, and success hasn’t come without sacrifice. Tristan has always put business before pleasure… Until Reina’s curved lips prove an invitation he can’t resist.
Walking away from their explosive night together won’t be easy, even if the heat between them might consume both of their careers. Will Reina and Tristan risk everything by betting on each other?
My eyes skipped over a blonde in a red dress, and then quickly returned. I hadn’t realized I’d started walking towards her until a waiter nearly spilled my drink. She was gorgeous. And when she tipped her head back to laugh at something the man beside her said, I decided that word was entirely inadequate. Stunning was much more apt. Exquisitely stunning, actually. Her creamy skin was flawless. And she was tall. I looked down, or at least she appeared tall with the five-inch stilettos on her feet. When her open-mouthed laugh faded into a generous smile, her wide eyes met mine. If she’d been an investment, she would have been labeled high risk, high reward, with a warning—Don’t buy if you can’t afford to lose
Her lips closed around the edge of the glass in her hands, our stare unbroken. Her eyes were the bright shade of freshly cut, well-tended grass. And after she took a sip, white wine by the looks of it, she didn’t look away. Her open appraisal was a lure, and I took the bait. She could have been a model on a billboard in Times Square, or in the GQ magazine I subscribed to but never had the time to read. I know I should’ve turned away. This girl was clearly trouble with capital T, something I needed as much as a hole in my head.
After doing well with the first fifty million I’d been able to raise, I was just about to open my fund up to new investors. I didn’t have any official commitments yet, but I had no doubt my fund was about to grow to at least $500 million. I had a lot to consider, and a ton of work to do. This was the most important time in my career and I couldn’t afford to fuck it up by becoming a lovesick fool over some girl, exquisitely stunning or not.
I stopped in my tracks, maybe ten feet away, although I couldn’t tear my eyes from her face. She was young. Maybe too young? But then she smiled again. And not just any smile. This one wasn’t polite, or friendly, or casual in any way. No, her smile was so bright it heated the drink in my hands and blinded me from seeing anyone else in the room. Her curved lips were an invitation I couldn’t resist. Even though I knew I should.
Tara Leigh attended Washington University in St. Louis and Columbia Business School in New York, and worked on Wall Street and Main Street before “retiring” to become a wife and mother. When the people in her head became just as real as the people in her life, she decided to put their stories on paper. Tara currently lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut with her husband, children and fur-baby, Pixie.