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Authors: Ruth Cardello

Rise of the Billionaire

BOOK: Rise of the Billionaire
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Book 5: Rise of
the Billionaire

The Legacy Collection


Dreaming of Alethea gave Jeremy Kater the strength to survive a difficult childhood.
Now that he has influential friends who owe him some big favors, he’s determined to become the kind of man Alethea would be interested in: rich and dangerous. Jeisa Borreto was hired to help Jeremy morph into that man. It’s a job she would enjoy, if it weren’t tearing her heart to pieces.


How can she help him change once she’s realized she’s fallen in love with the man he’s always been?


Hint: Sleeping with him doesn't help.



The Legacy Collection


ook 1: Maid for the Billionaire

Book 2: For Love or Legacy

Book 3: Bedding the Billionaire

Book 4: Saving the Sheikh

Book 5: Rise of the Billionaire

Book 6:
Breaching the Billionaire (Coming Fall 2013!)



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Gentling the Cowboy
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Rise of the Billionaire

By Ruth Cardello

Copyright © 2013 Ruth Cardello

All Rights Reserved


This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the copyright owner except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, places, events, business establishments or locales is entirely coincidental.


Author Contact


[email protected]

Author Ruth Cardello




I am so grateful to everyone who was part of the process of creating
Rise of the Billionaire. Thank you to:

Calista Taylor for designing t
he covers for my series.

My very patient beta readers: Karen Lawson, Heather Bell, Marion Archer, Yeu Kue
, and Kathy Dubois—who read multiple versions of the same chapters until I felt they were right.

My editors: Karen Lawson, Jan
et Hitchcock, and Nina Pearlman.

Melanie Hanna
, for helping me organize the business side of publishing.

Brendan Hanna and
Tony Archer, for help with Jeremy’s computer lingo.

Tory Alyson McCord
, for helping me choose a suit style for Jeremy.

Roadies, whose kindness and support often bring out my sloppily grateful and sometimes tearful side.

And, finally, to my readers
: Two years ago, when my teaching job was once again cut because of budget issues, I was afraid. Since then, publishing my romances has not only given me more time with my children, but it has also given me a more stable means to support my family. I cannot thank you enough.

Oh, and last, but not least
. . .

Thank you to my husband, Tony, who listens to the story so many times he dreams about the characters.
I love you, hon.


Table of Contents



A Note to my Readers

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen



An excerpt from Danielle Stewarts’s Chasing Justice

An excerpt from Cali MacKay’s The Highlander’s Hope

A note to my readers:


Ray Denton is a completely fictional character. His bad behavior in no way represents what an actual first boxing lesson would be like, how a professional trainer would behave, or the author’s opinion of boxers.


Chapter One


Second thoughts don’t belong in a boxing ring.

Jeremy Kater held his ground even as his head snapped back beneath the gloved fist of
the man he’d hired to teach him the basics of boxing. What had seemed like an essential component of his transformation was proving to be more painful than he’d anticipated.

had just raised his gloves to try and block the next hit to his face when his opponent took advantage of the movement and punished his unprotected abdomen with enthusiasm. Ray Denton was a legend in the world of boxing. Not only had he reigned as the world champion heavyweight boxer for several years during his youth, but after his retirement he had gone on to train more than one fighter who had won the same title.

You’d think that a man like that would be happy to give beginner lessons for a generous fee. However, convincing Ray to work with an amateur had been no easy feat. But Jeremy wasn’t a quitter. He’d countered every refusal with an offer of more compensation until he’d reached a number that Ray hadn’t been able to dismiss.

Years of playing Mighty Punch-Out on his vintage game console hadn’t prepared him for the reality of a trained professional. Nor had his one actual fistfight during his senior year of high school given him any skill when it came to breaching the defenses of the man who was currently dancing around him, easily blocking his punches, and landing almost every one of his physical rebuttals.

Another swing, another miss, another failed attempt to block what felt like a sledgehammer to his skull. Jeremy shook his head to clear it. The room spun and tilted. He took a step back to steady himself

I probably should have waited until after the first lesson to pay him,
Jeremy thought
. At least he would have had incentive to make sure I survived it.

He’d expected his first lesson to include agility work, maybe some
shadowboxing. He’d read how boxers used uppercut bags and speed bags to work on resistance. He’d even looked forward to an introductory light sparring match.

This was something entirely different.

The next well-placed hit sent Jeremy to his knees. He sat back on his heels, braced himself, and gasped for air. Ray’s face twisted with satisfaction, and Jeremy saw the ugly truth in his eyes.

He wants me to fail.

He thinks I don’t belong here.

He’s wrong.

Regaining his footing, Jeremy adjusted his headgear, clamped his teeth down on his mouth bit, raised his hands, and swung, a bit wildly, at his opponent. But Ray was too fast for him. Two quick jabs and a cross sent Jeremy stumbling backward against the rope of the ring. Whatever Herculean strength he’d hoped would surface in response to this beating was sadly absent. Even the sting of the blows lessened as they became more severe and his body weakened. His new challenge was no longer his opponent but a growing numbness.

Before he could pull himself off the ropes, a blur of feminine fury flew past him and took a protective stance in front of him.

Barely as tall as the boxer’s shoulders and chicly dressed in a sleeveless black jumper, oversized sunglasses, and high heels, his image consultant looked ridiculously out of place in the ring. She flipped her thick, dark mane of hair over one shoulder and waved a hand aggressively at Ray, who seemed momentarily surprised into inaction. Her normally light Brazilian accent thickened as she said, “Stop! He’s had enough.”

Jeremy pushed himself off the ropes. Although he appreciated her concern,
he didn’t want her in the ring. This was between Ray and him. Jeisa may have been able to advise him in many other areas of his ongoing transformation, but not in this one.

He didn’t expect her to understand why he needed to be here.

He didn’t expect anyone to.

Ray looked Jeisa over, whistled in appreciation
, and said, “You’re one lucky bastard.”

Jeisa stepped closer to the boxer and snarled, “And you are a poor example of a trainer.”

As Ray’s jaw tightened at her evaluation, Jeremy quickly intervened. He put a gloved hand on one of Jeisa’s shoulders and turned her around gently. “I told you not to come, Jeisa. This doesn’t involve you.”

Jeisa spun fully on Jeremy. She gripped his arm and said urgently, “If you want self-defense classes, I can sign you up for karate or something less violent.”

In a mocking tone, Ray said, “You should listen to your girlfriend.”

“She’s not my girlfriend.”
This is for Alethea

The trainer’s eyebrows lifted as he assessed Jeisa for a second time.
He winked at her and drawled, “Then maybe she’ll be mine.”

Something in the man’s tone made Jeremy straighten to his full height. A rush of adrenaline seared through him. He met and held Ray’s eyes. Without glancing down at Jeisa, Jeremy
ordered, “Jeisa, get out of the ring.”

. . .” she said.

“Get out.”

With obvious reluctance, Jeisa slid between the ropes back to the area around the ring. “Fine,” she said, “kill yourself if you want to. You’re right—I shouldn’t have come. I’m leaving.” But she didn’t. He knew she wouldn’t.

A dark emotion
he didn’t take the time to identify surged within him, and he went at Ray with renewed force. Ray saw him coming, but he underestimated the momentum his nearly beaten opponent had mustered. Jeremy landed one punishing hit to the boxer’s face.

The two men circled each other. Jeremy met
the boxer’s aggression with his own. Ray might knock him out, but he would not force him to back down. Ray threw a punch at Jeremy’s abdomen. Jeremy surprised him by blocking him and then retaliating. His punch connected and set the boxer back a step.

everything changed.

Ray’s face went red with fury. Trainer turned fighter
, and Jeremy prepared himself for what he knew was going to be a very painful rebuttal. Heaving for air, Jeremy planted his feet with determination. There’d been times in the past when he’d allowed the opinions of others to hold him back.

This was not one of those times.


Jeisa Bor
reto gripped the back of a wooden chair in the dingy South Boston gym to stop herself from hopping back into the ring. The man who called himself a trainer was clearly on a sadistic ego trip, and Jeremy seemed not only to recognize that fact but also to accept it.

Still, the smell of sweat and
the sound of fierce exhalations were both incredibly intimidating and disturbingly exciting at the same time. Her own adrenaline was coursing through her, making it impossible for her to look away even when she knew the fight was only going to become more painful to watch.

She jumped when Jeremy’s punch connected and Ray’s head snapped back.
Normally she didn’t condone violence, and she was definitely not a fan of this sport in particular, and yet her heart was racing and she felt as if Jeremy’s triumph was her own. Was this the high the Romans had sought when they pitted man against beast? Although Jeremy’s chance for survival seemed as slim as that of a gladiator, he blocked Ray’s next hit and landed another of his own.

BOOK: Rise of the Billionaire
5.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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