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The Billionaire Playboy's Regret

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Blurb

Lark Hoffman spent her entire childhood as the third wheel to the richest and most spoiled twins in the country, the Villeneuve twins, Ollie, and Max. By the time Lark discovered boys, she had eyes only for Max, but Max was interested only in any girl who wasn’t Lark. The night of their senior high school prom, a series of circumstances pointed out with glaring fact, her love was all one-sided. Knowing she couldn’t continue to live her life in the shadow of her crush, she left her friends behind and made a life of her own, cutting off all contact with Max for her own sanity.

Twelve years later, after a bitterly failed relationship, she moves back home to lick her wounds. Her parents still living next door to the family her life was once so intertwined with puts her smack dab in the middle of Max Villeneuve’s radar. This time though, Max is no longer the teenage boy behaving like the spoiled brat she was used to. The man presenting to her now was focused, persistent and for the first time in her life, intent on winning her affection.

For Lark, trying to recover from a cheating boyfriend, the last thing she wants to deal with is a womanizer possessing skills the equivalent of Max’s. She didn’t walk away from one cheater to get mixed up with another philanderer. However, after Max has a health scare, and at the insistence of the twins, Lark agrees to try over as friends but swears she won’t let the man ever be viewed romantically by her heart again. Unfortunately for her, Max is pulling out all the stops. He lost her once before. He wasn’t going to let her go again without a fight. Can Lark’s fragile heart survive another round of the Villeneuve playboy, or will she remain his greatest regret? With his sister egging Lark on, she is about to find out if time really does heal all wounds.

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Coming Home
Descending the escalator in the airport towards the baggage carousel, her bright blue eyes scanned the horizon looking for the one familiar face in the crowd which always made her trips home more tolerable. “Lark!” Ollie’s voice rang through the crowd as she jumped up and down like a pre-teen girl at a boy band concert instead of the approaching thirty-year-old CEO she was. Lark giggled at her friend as she walked through the security barrier and into the wide-open arms of her best friend since birth. “Oh my god, Ollie, I missed you.” “I missed you too. I’m so happy you’re here. I can’t wait to hit a club or ten.” “Yeah, last time we hit the clubs I bailed you out of jail.” “Was it my fault the man didn’t appreciate his wife would rather be with me than her? I mean look at me, Lark?” she waved her arms in front of her svelte, perfectly attired frame. “She knew damn well I was going to be a far better roll in the sack than his lumpy ass was going to be.” “You beat him into the ground.” “He hit me first.” “Thank God there was video surveillance to prove it. I swear you must have Dad on speed dial.” “Nope but Dad does. The triplets are causing ruckuses on campus at the university every other week. I swear they’re making it easier for my baby sister because Mom and Dad are so busy dealing with the triplet drama, Margot could come home drunk, high, and naked, riding a bull and neither of them would notice.” “They have six kids,” Lark shuddered as they walked arm and arm to the baggage carousel. “I’ll never figure out why your mother got pregnant again when the triplets were three.” “My great-grandmother called it,” Ollie grinned. The Villeneuve Witch was eerie in her predictions. “I’m glad I’m neither related nor on her radar.” Lark smirked tossing her dark hair over her shoulders. “She is at least a hundred years old now,” Ollie smirked. “She came to dinner a few weeks back and told Max he was about to find himself at a crossroads and he would have to choose between continuing his crotch-rotting behavior or finding true love. She told him it would be steep climb for him to get the girl who hates him and since he’s a man-w***e, there is far more likelihood his d**k will fall off than him having someone love him despite his behaviors. Dad was pissed.” “Your Dad was angry she called him a man-w***e?” she tried not to react to the name of the man who once was the sole focus of her every teenage fantasy before he destroyed it. “No, he was mad at Max because Max said his c**k wasn’t going to fall off because he uses rubbers and double downed and commented he was certain he was safe because they were the ones, he designs so he knows they’re fool proof.” “Only Man-w***e Max would build an empire on s*x toys and condoms.” She made a face. “Your mother must be so proud.” “You know who isn’t proud? Grandpa Gael. Good thing I’m his favorite grandchild.” “I can’t believe he let you out of the office mid morning on a Friday.” “It’s my office. I can do what I want. He nearly stroked out when I relocated the offices from Houston to Dallas. It didn’t take him long to come along though once he knew I was staying where my parents are.” “You’re such a daddy’s girl,” Lark teased her best friend, tugging on one of her long spirals of curls. “I really am. I spent four years in Houston, and I swear we facetimed so much every single day, my data plan was useless.” She looked to Lark tellingly, “you know what I’m talking about. Don’t tell me you don’t chat with your dad every day.” “My Dad and I chat every day, so what? I talk to Mom more. I mean, am I a daddy’s girl? Sure, but I’m also a mommy’s girl and a Nana’s girl. I miss them. Houston has been a wonderful place to start my career, but corporate law is really cutthroat. I can handle it, but I swear I need to scream into a pillow at least once a day.” She reached for her bag as it came around the carousel. “Is that all you brought?” Ollie lifted an eyebrow. “Yes, it’s all I brought.” She decided now was as good a time as any. “The moving truck is bringing the rest.” She started to walk away from Ollie pulling her suitcase behind her. “Lark!” Ollie yanked her back, “moving truck? You’re moving back to Dallas?” She nodded, tears in her eyes. “Yup.” “What happened? Why? I thought you and Douglas were living in bliss in the condo and you were doing amazing at the law firm. You’re coming back? What about –” Ollie trailed off and cupped her cheek, “why are you crying? What happened? Who do I need to have killed?” “I caught Doug f*****g his secretary in the office at the law firm and I made a scene. Guess who got fired for throwing a potted plant through the glass door to expose their naked asses to the rest of the offices?” Ollie’s mouth opened and closed multiple times as she stared at her best friend. “Why didn’t you call me?” “It happened yesterday. I was already planning to come for Mom and Dad’s anniversary so thought I’d simply tell you when I got here. It happened at nine in the morning. Bastard f****d me before getting out of our bed at six and then went to the office and by nine was balls deep in her, with his tie in her mouth gagging her. He was yanking on the tie like he was riding a pony, and he didn’t even see me enter the office. I opened the door. Closed the door. Then lost my s**t and put the plant through the glass. He saw me then. I got called into HR within an hour for violence in the workplace. He was fired for f*****g a subordinate. He came back to the condo and blamed me. He actually blamed me for him getting fired. He said he was going to his parent’s house for the night. I had a moving truck there in twenty minutes and all my s**t out in two hours. I went to a hotel for the night and then caught my flight and ta-da.” “We need to go back to Houston,” Ollie said seriously. “They need to pay.” “He lost his job. I think he’s paying for his shit.” “It’s not near enough.” Lark knew the expression on her best friend’s face was not one to trifle with and she quickly moved to dissuade her before Ollie called in favors with the rumored mob her grandfather hung out with. “It’s fine. It’ll be fine.” “You got fired? You shouldn’t have gotten fired.” “Dad’s working on my wrongful dismissal case already. He was the first person I called, and I called him while I was still in the meeting with HR. They weren’t pleased but f**k them. They offered me a severance package and I declined it telling them my lawyer would be in touch. Dad’s laugh was almost scary when he hung up the phone.” “I’m really sorry you’re going through this,” Ollie squeezed her hands. “How can I help?” “Just be you,” she smiled softly. “Just be my best friend like you always are and always have been.” “Well,” she pulled her suitcase out of Lark’s hands, “we are definitely going to a club tonight.” She twisted her lips, “do we have to? Mom and Dad are going to want to spend time with me.” “Your mother will support me in telling you the best way to get over a man is to get under a new one. She hated Douglas. Hated him. She didn’t hide it, Lark.” She chuckled as she thought of her mother. Everly Hoffman was a strong-minded woman who pulled no punches. She was a self-made entrepreneur who never hesitated to speak her mind. Not a year ago when she moved into the new condo with Douglas, her mother asked her if she was sure this was what she wanted because she felt strongly Lark was not in love with him and Everly was certain the man didn’t love her the way she deserved to be loved. Instead, she’d disregarded her mother’s worries, citing not everyone were lucky to have the fairytale loves her parents or Ollie’s parents did. Both sets of their parents experienced love at first sight, undying love, and devotion and despite both men being strong, arrogant men with huge bank balances, they adored their wives. She moved in with Douglas because she felt she loved him, and she knew it was not realistic to expect anyone in the real world to have love the way her parents were gifted. But a part of her heeded her mother’s warning. Instead of outright buying the condo together, they rented it. Douglas then f****d his secretary on the one-year anniversary of them moving in together. He’d made love to her before going to work with the promise of a special anniversary dinner. She was so excited for her day she arrived at the office earlier than usual and was thrilled at the flowers delivered to her desk at work. Arriving to his office to thank him and found him with his secretary. She pushed the memory away. She found herself smiling wickedly as she considered she called the rental company the evening before going to the hotel and let them know she wasn’t renewing the lease effective immediately and was leaving the city. She even paid the three months penalty. Douglas was going to have to deal with the fact he was now homeless, and she hadn’t even given him an opportunity to get his belongings out of the condo. f**k him. “What are you smirking for?” Ollie asked as they walked to the car waiting for them. “I might have turned over my keys to the condo lease company this morning before catching my flight. I cancelled the lease and told them they could rent it immediately.” Ollie giggled as her driver lifted the suitcase into the back of the car. “Lark, your vindictive streak is almost as good as mine.” “Wait until I tell you what I did about his car.” As the girls climbed into the back of the town car they giggled and Lark decided if she was going to go through heartbreak, there was nobody else she would want to hold her hand than her best friend.

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