Meet the Author:
is a USA TODAY bestselling Contemporary Romance author with Entangled Publishing. Under the name Jen McLaughlin, she also writes New York Times
, USA TODAY
, and Wall Street Journal
bestselling books with Penguin RandomHouse. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and three cats. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.
About the Book:
Samantha Taylor turned her back on her wealthy family to focus on social work. Those who know her think she’s the heart of kindness. Those who know her really well know she’s in a never-ending battle to make up for the harm her family’s companies inflict on the world. Which is how she finds herself at a charity bachelor auction of all places.
But oops, she was supposed to bid on her bff’s brother as a favor and accidentally bid on the wrong guy. Sue her for not being able to tell one stick-in-the-mud CEO from another.
Backstage, she goes to tell him not to worry about having to go through with a date or anything, but the oafish billionaire cuts her off dismissively. Looks her up and down, hands her a card with his assistant’s contact details, and reminds her that sex is definitely off the table.
Oh, she’ll call the assistant all right and have her make sure he wears jeans and comfortable shoes and to pick her up at seven a.m. The only “hammering” this guy is going to be doing is at Habitat for Humanity.
Too bad he turns out to be nothing like she expected.
“Ms. Matthews?” the woman said.
Sam took a second to be impressed that the lady had discovered her name in the ten seconds it took her to walk over to the makeshift cashier station, then forced herself to pay attention. “Uh…” she searched the room for Andrew. Where was he? “Thanks.”
“We appreciate the donation you made, and want to make sure you know that all the money from tonight will be going to help those children with cancer that we showed on the screen before the bidding, and their families. Not a dime will be taken by us, the country club, or the staff of Helping Children.”
Sam nodded, looking over her shoulder.
Was he behind her?
“That’ll be fifteen hundred. Will you be paying with cash or credit?”
“Um, yeah, no.” Sam choked on a laugh. “Neither.”
The woman frowned. “I don’t understand.”
“Don’t worry, you’ll get your money. It’s just…I’m here as a favor, you know? I bid on him so he didn’t have to go on a date because he’s my best friend’s brother. I did it for him. Well, actually, I did it for her, because I don’t know him, you know?”
She stared at Sam, her mouth parted. “I…”
“Can I speak to Andrew? That’ll fix this.”
She blinked. “Andrew?”
“Yes, the man I just bid on. Andrew Michaelson.”
The lady stared at her for so long that Sam thought maybe she’d drank a little too much of that champagne, and time had frozen somehow inside her head.
After what felt like a million years, the woman shook herself slightly and cleared her throat, staring at something behind Sam. “Miss Matthews…I fear there’s been a mistake made…”
“No, there hasn’t. Like I said, you’re getting your money,” Sam interrupted, her cheeks hot because everyone in the room was staring at her. Everyone except the man she needed. “Andrew knows what’s going on. If you get him, and let him know—”
“I’m sorry, but that’s not possible.” The woman wrung her hands in front of her. “You see, Andrew already left. With his date.”
His date? Sam’s heart thudded against her chest, and her legs weakened for an entirely different reason now. “He…left? I…don’t…understand.”
“He left with his date. There was a last minute schedule change, and Andrew needed to go first, so he changed places with the original beginning man.” The woman hesitated, then added. “Andrew went first, Miss Matthews.”
The nervous guy. That had been Andrew.
Sam’s heart fell to her stomach, rolled out of her, and hit the floor with a sickening thud. If Andrew had already left, then she hadn’t bid on him at all, and the man she had just offered to pay fifteen hundred dollars for was her own responsibility…and she needed to fork up cash.
Cash she didn’t have.
“But if I didn’t bid on Andrew, who did I bid on?” she asked slowly.
“Me,” a deep voice said from behind her.
The masculine voice sent shivers down her spine, and her whole body tingled with something she didn’t fully understand or welcome.
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