A billionaire searching for his pregnant lover, a woman with more reasons than most to stay hidden…
Billionaire polo-player Harrison Richmond turns his back on his glamorous lifestyle when he discovers the one woman who touched his heart and who promptly disappeared is pregnant with his child.
Paris Knight refuses to allow her child to be raised by parents forced together for the sake of their child. She knows from personal experience the devastation that can wreak on a child’s life. So she disappears.
But Paris hadn’t counted on Harrison’s own powerful motivation. He refuses to be like his father and allow his children to be raised by other people. There is only one way, and it’s his…
The Billionaire's Secret Baby is the third book in Diana's British Billionaires series.
The Billionaire’s Contract Marriage (Sebastian)
The Billionaire's Impossible CEO (Alexander)
The Billionaire's Secret Baby (Harrison)
Publisher : Bay Books (February 26, 2023)
Language : English
Paperback : 206 pages
Item Weight : 10.1 ounces
Dimensions : 5 x 0.47 x 8 inches
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Harrison Richmond and his two friends roared up to the thatched building on their motorbikes, coming to a halt in a cloud of dust. The bar was wedged between the tropical forest and a crescent of white sand, which curved like a smile around the crystal-clear azure waters of the Caribbean. A bicycle leaned against its wall and a couple of rusting cars with windows caked in dust were parked outside. A mangy dog stood barking at them, obviously annoyed at having his sleep disturbed.
“Where the hell have you brought us?” Harrison asked his friends, who’d insisted on traveling to the remote island. “Have we really endured those treacherous roads for this?”
“I was told there’s a bar here,” said one of his friends. He looked at the lone building sheltered by swaying palm trees. “I guess that’s it.” He turned to Harrison with a shrug. “What do you reckon, Frío? Might as well have one drink before we leave.”
Harrison ignored the nickname, which reflected his fierce reputation on the polo fields of Argentina. Some people might have objected to being described as a cold-hearted man—El hombre de corazón frío, or frío for short. But Harrison reckoned it was a compliment and a useful warning to his competitors. He never let emotion get in the way of winning.
“Leave the island, you mean,” he replied. “This place is dead.”
“I was told it was beautiful.”
“It may be beautiful, but there’s nothing going on,” said Harrison, surveying the picture-perfect scene, which stirred only anxiety in him. He liked noise. He liked variety. He liked anything which didn’t leave him alone with his thoughts and feelings, although he’d never admit to those.
“Yeah, how about we don’t even bother with a drink? Just get the hell off this island?” said his other friend.
Harrison was about to agree when the dog was silenced by a sharp command from inside the bar, and he heard something which robbed him of any thought. Someone was playing Chopin on a piano. And not just picking out the notes but playing it with a sensitivity which took his breath away.
Harrison pushed his sunglasses onto his head and walked around to the front of the building.
“Come on, Frío, let’s go!”
Harrison held up a hand, silencing his friends. The bar’s frontage was open to the elements and the chairs and tables outside were empty, save for a plastic cup, which rolled back and forward in the breeze. He sheltered his eyes and peered into the dark interior. The place was nearly empty, except for a couple of old men seated at the bar and a woman in the corner playing a small upright piano, which was missing its back. It sounded like an old saloon piano but, despite that, the effect of the music was devastating. It filled the air, reaching out to him with invisible tentacles which wrapped around him and held him firm.
“Frío?” called his friend. “Are you coming?”
He wasn’t going anywhere soon. There was something about the music which got to him and he couldn’t figure out why. And, until he did, he wasn’t leaving. “Change of plan,” he called out to his friends, who were already returning to their motor bikes. “I’m going to stay awhile. You two leave if you want.”
“See you back at the hotel, then.”
He heard the roar of the bikes retracing their journey back to the small, one-horse town where they were staying as he walked inside, drawn by some instinct he couldn’t place. He forced himself not to stare at the pianist, whose head was bowed away from him, as if she were lost in some faraway world. A quick glance had revealed long, slender tanned arms and dark hair piled into a messy bun. She was barefoot and wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Unremarkable, and yet the magic she created with her music was anything but unremarkable.
He continued on to the bar, greeted the bartender, and ordered a beer. He turned his back to the piano so he could listen more intently to the piece, while he took a long slug of his beer. He’d heard it before. It was some kind of dreamy classical piece, except he remembered it sounding very different—not so tinny, not so jangly. He assumed it was the dilapidated state of the piano which gave it that quality. He tried to place the memory, which nudged at the edge of consciousness.
And then it hit him. Full force. He closed his eyes as the long-hidden memory, usually too painful to remember, blasted into his mind with the force of a freight train, pushing everything aside and filling him with all the vivid senses associated with the memory. It was two years ago when he’d last heard the piece of music being played. He’d been on a brief trip to the UK and had called in for a few hours to see his Aunt Beth—the person he’d felt closest to in the world. She’d wanted him to stay longer, but he’d had to get back to the US.
The summer dusk had been inching toward night and candles had flickered around his aunt as she’d concentrated on her music. She’d always been like that. Whatever she was doing, whoever she was talking to, held her full attention. It was one reason people found her so charming, so magnetic—as if they were the only one in the world in whom she was interested. But he knew it was especially true in his case. He’d been the son she’d never had, and he’d never doubted her love for him. And, as soon as the music had faded away that long ago evening in Marsh House, she’d looked up at him and smiled. He’d loved that smile. And he’d loved that woman. He’d only spent a few hours with her then because he had a plane to catch. He’d have spent longer if he had known it was to have been the last time he saw her.
He blinked as the memory receded. An islander with a weathered face wearing a sweat-stained cap shifted on his stool, and he found himself gazing directly at the pianist. Later he’d wonder if it had been partly the residue of feeling remaining after invoking Aunt Beth’s memory, which made him react so strongly to this woman—this stranger, this siren who’d lured him to her with her music. Whether or not it had been, he couldn’t have said, because it was soon woven tight with other emotions and the two became inseparable.
All he knew at that moment, when his gaze first locked onto hers, was that he knew her. Even as his instinct told him this, his brain refuted it. But, it seemed, for once his brain had no say in the matter and he found himself walking over to her, following that visual connection.
If the first meeting of the eyes had been one of recognition, the second had been of instant desire. She’d remained completely still. Her hands lingered on the keys of the dying notes, her eyes fixed on him. It was like someone had shot a connecting line between them and neither could look away.
He rested his glass on the piano, which bore the water marks of countless other glasses.
“That was beautiful,” he said.
She withdrew her hands and gave him a brief smile.
“Thank you.” She ran her fingers over the notes, in a last caress, and looked up at him once more. “Chopin probably isn’t what these guys”—she glanced at the barman and the handful of regulars who sat at the bar—“would prefer to hear. But they humor me.”
Of course they would humor her, Harrison thought. Who wouldn’t? Her voice was a sexy mix of English and Italian, and just one look into those burnt amber eyes made you forget everything, except trying to coax that flare of warmth from them again so you could lose yourself in them. He cleared his throat.