The Billionaire's Virgin Temptation

By: Michelle Conder

PROLOGUE


SAM FELT UNACCOUNTABLY agitated as he boarded his jet bound for Sydney. It was later than he would have liked and he was impatient to get underway.

‘Will you be requiring dinner service during the flight, Mr Ventura?’

Sam folded his powerful frame into one of the leather tub chairs and tossed his mobile phone onto the table beside him before addressing his co-pilot. ‘No, thanks, Daniel. Just a Scotch.’

‘Certainly, sir.’

The flight from LA to Sydney would take about fourteen hours, give or take, during which Sam planned to catch up on work and sleep before he had to hit the ground running the following day. Not an uncommon occurrence for him.

Delivering his Scotch, the co-pilot headed back to the cockpit to prepare for take-off, leaving Sam to nurse his crystal tumbler and uncharacteristic edginess. As a general rule he wasn’t the kind of person to second-guess himself once a decision had been made, but the question had crossed his mind more than once as to whether relocating to Sydney was the best thing to do right now.

He had a good life in LA. He surfed regularly, had a thriving legal practice that spanned two continents, lived on a great property on Malibu Beach and had any number of beautiful women he could call upon when he was in the mood for company—all drawn to the combination of power, money and good looks he’d been told he had in abundance.

Not that any of that mattered to his family, who were over the moon that he was returning home. After two years living in the City of Angels they were of the belief that he should settle back in his hometown and were more than happy with his decision to merge his highly successful legal practice with a large Australian enterprise.

The idea had been presented to him by his old university pal, Drew Kent, during a late-night dinner. Drew’s father was retiring and Drew didn’t want to take on the running of their law firm by himself. He was all about work-life balance ever since he’d married, and Sam, who had been in the market for a new challenge, had readily agreed to the idea.

He stared out at the night-dark sky as the plane banked hard to the right. Marriage had a way of changing a man’s perspective on life. He’d seen it happen with colleagues at work and even his own brother, who had fallen in love and then, twelve months ago, got married. Valentino had gone from confirmed bachelor to happily married man with a baby faster than Sam’s Maserati could hit a hundred clicks. Since then Tino had been unfailingly devoted to his lovely wife and son.

Was that what had set off the restlessness inside of him? The fact that Valentino was married and happy about it? Not that Sam begrudged Tino his happiness; quite the contrary. He loved seeing his older brother so fulfilled, and maybe one day he’d even take the plunge into matrimony himself. One day in the distant future when he met a woman who wasn’t either completely obsessed with her own career, or the potential lifestyle his could provide for her.

Of its own accord his mind travelled back to the night, two years ago, when Valentino had met Miller, his now wife. Sam and Tino had been catching up in a Sydney bar when a stunning blonde in come-take-me stilettos had approached them. Ruby Clarkson had introduced herself and explained how Miller needed a date for an up-and-coming business event. Tino had jumped at the chance to help her best friend, leaving Sam and the blonde woman at a loose end. Since they both worked for the same law firm, but had never met, they’d spent the night talking shop and trading war stories until the bar had closed and kicked them out. Not wanting the night to end, Sam had offered to walk Ruby home and that was when the trouble had started.

His blood heated predictably at the memory of what had happened outside her apartment building. Or what had nearly happened outside her apartment building. Despite being incredibly attracted to her, he’d meant only to bid her goodnight, tell her it had been nice to meet her and good luck with her current case, but somehow she’d ended up in his arms and as soon as his lips had touched hers he’d been lost. She’d lit a flame in him that had only been doused when a neighbour had come out on to her balcony calling for her errant cat.

Later his brother would tell him that he had looked as if he’d been hit over the head with a golf club when he’d first caught sight of Ruby at the bar, and Tino had been right. From the moment Sam’s dark eyes had collided with her wide-spaced intelligent green ones he’d completely lost his train of thought.

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