tempting the billionaire

"Charming, sexy, and brimming with wit–you’ll be adding Jessica Lemmon to your bookshelves for years to come!" ~USA Today bestselling author Heidi Betts

LOVE IN THE BALANCE, BOOK 1 ・featuring Shane & Crickitt

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Crickitt Day needs a job . . . any job. After her husband walks out on her, she’s determined to re-build her life and establish a new career. When swoon-worthy billionaire Shane August hires her as his assistant, she jumps at the chance to prove herself. Despite her growing attraction to her boss, she vows to keep things strictly professional. No flirting. No kissing. Definitely no falling in love…

Shane August is all business, all the time. He’s a self-made man who’s poured his heart and soul into his company, and he’d never allow himself to get involved with an employee. Then he hires sweet, sexy Crickitt-and he can’t keep his mind or his hands off her. But no matter how much he wants Crickitt, Shane fears that painful secrets from his past will always come between them. With fate working against them, can these two lonely hearts learn that sometimes mixing business with pleasure is the perfect merger?




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Dear Reader,

Imagine you’re heartbroken. Crying. Literally into your drink at a noisy nightclub your best friend has dragged you into. Just as you are lamenting your very bad decision to come out tonight, someone approaches. A tall, handsome someone with a tumble of dark hair, expressive amber eyes, and perfectly contoured lips. Oh, and he’s rich. Not just plain old rich, but rich of the filthy, stinking variety. This is exactly the situation Crickitt Day, the heroine of Tempting the Billionaire, finds herself in one not-so-fine evening. Oh, to be so lucky!

I may have given the characters of Tempting the Billionaire a fairy tale/fantasy set up, but I still wanted them rooted and realistic. Particularly, my hero. It’s why you’ll find Shane August a bit of a departure from your typical literary billionaire. Shane visits clients personally, does his own dishes, makes his own coffee. And—get ready for it—bakes his own cookies.

Hero tip: want to win over a woman? Bake her cookies.

The recipe for these mysterious and amazing bits of heavenly goodness can be traced back to a cookbook by Erin McKenna, creator of the NYC-based bakery Babycakes. What makes the recipes so special, you ask? They use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil or butter. The result is an amazingly moist, melt-in-your-mouth, can’t-stop-at-just-one chocolate chip cookie you will happily burn your tongue on when the tray comes out of the oven. Bonus: coconut oil is rumored to help speed up your metabolism. I’m not saying these cookies are healthy…but I’m not not saying it, either.

Attempting this recipe required a step out of my comfort zone. I tracked down unique ingredients. I diligently measured. I spent time and energy getting it right. That’s when I knew just the hobby for the down-to-earth billionaire who can’t keep himself from showing others how much he cares. And if a hero is going to bake you cookies, what better place to be served saidcookies than by a picturesque waterfall? None, I say. (Well, okay I can think of another location or two, but admit it, a waterfall is a pretty dang good choice.)

As you can imagine, Crickitt is beyond impressed. And when a rogue smear of chocolate lands on her lips, Shane is every bit the gentleman by—ahem—helping her remove the incriminating splotch. Alas, that’s a story for another day. (Or, for chapter nineteen...)

I hope you enjoy losing yourself in the very real fantasy world of Shane and Crickitt. It was a world I happily immersed myself in while writing; a world I still imagine myself in whenever a certain rich, nutty, warm, homemade chocolate chip cookie is melting on my tongue.

Happy Reading!



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