The Billionaire's Largesse, Part One (The Billionare's Largesse Book 1)

The Billionaire's Largesse, Part One (The Billionare's Largesse Book 1) by Aurora Rhodes

Book: The Billionaire's Largesse, Part One (The Billionare's Largesse Book 1) by Aurora Rhodes Read Free Book Online
Authors: Aurora Rhodes
    Chapter 1
    Mary sat behind the counter of her bookshop, and looked around contentedly. She had a fresh cup of tea at her elbow, next to a stack of new paperbacks that she was either going to shelve or read, depending on how she felt later. In front of her, shelves laden with gorgeous books, painstakingly arranged, marched away into the distance.
    With comfortable armchairs deployed in strategic nooks, and a limitless supply of strong coffee available from the machine behind her at the counter, she knew it was a bibliophile’s paradise.
    It was just a shame it was quarter past eleven and she’d not yet had a customer that morning.
    “Oh well,” said Mary, taking a sip of tea, “they know where I am.”
    She brushed imaginary biscuit crumbs from her plain white blouse and navy blue skirt, and grabbed the new Paul Magrs YA novel from the top of the stack.
    Growing up, studying at university, and yawning her way through lowly admin jobs, Mary had always dreamed that running her own bookshop would be amazing. And after five years of managing “Between The Covers” in leafy Richmond on the outskirts of London, she had to acknowledge that it absolutely was the best job she could ever have found for herself.
    So maybe she wasn’t overrun with customers, but there were always a few dedicated readers who knew the value of a decent bookshop, and when they came in for one of their fortnightly shelf sweeps, they just about covered the bills. And as she owned the building outright, that was pretty much all she needed.
    Mary had always wanted to have her own business, her own home and a stable love life by the time she was 30. Now she had two of the three, but at the age of 28, Mary thought she had a reasonable chance of getting the full set in the next 18 months… if only she could find a guy that wasn’t a self-obsessed illiterate jerk.
    She remembered her last date. She’d made every effort and turned up at the restaurant in a full-length ocean blue dress with a comfortably low-cut neckline to display her assets to full advantage, and a generous slathering of lipstick to bring out her full lips and contrast with her long raven-black hair. She knew her ass looked big in the dress, and she also knew from the open stares of appreciation that she drew as she walked to the restaurant that none of the guys she passed had any problem with that at all.
    And so she’d sat down with Joe, and he seemed quite charming in an endearingly inept sort of way. It was as though he’d read about hipsters and, remembering that he’d been cool at school, had decided to try and be one. So he was wearing a half-hearted beard and a checked shirt, and when she arrived, was already nursing a craft beer which he clearly couldn’t stand from the face he pulled at each sip.
    By the time they’d ordered and the starters had arrived, though, Mary had heard all about his design agency start-up, wealthy parents and views on immigration, while for her part she’d only been able to nod and confirm that she was indeed on the sunny side of 30.
    While he paused long enough to take another dainty sip of his vile craft lager, giving the openly amused waiter room to set down the starter dishes in front of them, Mary popped the crucial question. “I know, what’s your favourite book?”
    Joe had frowned at the abruptness of the question, and sat thinking for a moment while Mary demolished the breaded calamari in front of her while she had the chance, filled with complete certainty about how the next two minutes were going to play out.
    Eventually Joe cleared his throat. “Well, I guess, Atlas Shrugged . Ayn Rand, you know? Or maybe The Fountainhead. How about you?”
    Mary had smiled sweetly. “Excuse me, I just need to make a quick phone call.” With that, she’d stuffed a bread roll in her handbag, drained her glass of wine, walked straight out of the restaurant, and got a taxi home, without even bothering to pretend to take her phone from her

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