The Billionaire’s Christmas Vows: A Jet City Billionaire Christmas Romance

BOOK: The Billionaire’s Christmas Vows: A Jet City Billionaire Christmas Romance
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The Billionaire’s Christmas Vows
A Jet City Billionaire Christmas Romance
The Billionaire’s Christmas Vows
A Jet City Billionaire Christmas Romance
Gina Robinson

C
opyright
© 2015 by Gina Robinson

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Gina Robinson

http://www.ginarobinson.com

Publisher’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, events, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental.

Cover photos and Design: Jeff Robinson

The Billionaire’s Christmas Vows/Gina Robinson. — 1st ed.

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The Switched at Marriage Series

Part 1—
A Wedding to Remember

Part 2—
The Virgin Billionaire

Part 3—
To Have and To Hold

Part 4—
From This Day Forward

Part 5—
For Richer, For Richest

Part 6—
In Sickness and In Wealth

Part 7—
To Love and To Cherish

The Billionaire’s Christmas Vows

Gina Robinson’s Contemporary New Adult Romance Series

The Rushed Series

These standalone romances can be read in any order. But it’s more fun to read them all!

Book 1—
Rushed
, Zach and Alexis’ story

Book 2—
Crushed
, Dakota and Morgan’s story

Book 3—
Hushed
, Seth and Maddie’s story

The Reckless Series

Ellie and Logan’s love story begins one hot August night. This series should be read in order.

Book 1—
Reckless Longing
—FREE

Book 2—
Reckless Secrets

Book 3—
Reckless Together

Chapter One

C
yber Monday
, December 1st

Kayla

Like most self-made billionaires, my husband was a workaholic. That stereotype about billionaires jetting around the world on vacation or cruising idly on their yachts for months at a time? Myth. If you wanted to stay a billionaire, anyway. No one I knew wanted to lose that third hard-won comma in their net worth.

The only yachting we were going to be doing this holiday season was on Lake Washington past our lakefront home. As part of the Christmas Ships Parade Friday night. On our friend, and Justin's business partner, Riggins Feldhem's yacht. At his invitation. His yacht. His party. A Seattle tradition.

I was looking forward to participating from the water on a private yacht this year, rather than as a landlocked bystander onshore in a crowded public park. I would be drinking a hand-mixed cocktail instead of clutching my usual Styrofoam cup of watered-down Swiss Miss. The perks of being married to a billionaire and hanging with his young, hot billionaire buds.

I just hoped I didn't have to go solo to the party because Jus was working. Jus was cofounder of one of Seattle's fastest growing online retail operations, Flashionista. And this was their busy season.

Since agreeing to play the part of Justin Green's wife six months ago, I'd gotten to know more than a few billionaires. Like so many other successful execs, even when they were vacationing, they were working.

Multibillion-dollar companies didn't run themselves. And your competitors were always out to get you one way or another. Out-innovate. Outsell. Outsmart. Outmaneuver. And in retail, undercut.

On no other day was that more true than the most vicious online retail day of the year, Cyber Monday. While savvy customers rushed to snap up the best deals of the year, a retail war for their dollars raged. This year, Thanksgiving had been one day short of the latest it could possibly be. Which had Jus, and everyone in retail, "concerned," as he liked to put it. Which, translated from guy-speak, meant panicked. Fewer than normal high-volume sales days to get out of the red and into the black.

With the short season, the competition was going to be fiercer than
ever
.
Bring out the pots of boiling oil, men! Make sure our prices are rock bottom, our ads the catchiest, and our loss leaders the hottest deals on the planet! We must fight back the retail attackers!

Jus wasn't the only one stressing. I was panicked about the unusually brief holiday season, too. So much to do! So many presents to buy and parties to plan. So
little
time.

In my first holiday season as a billionaire's wife, and pregnant, I felt the usual holiday stress, magnified a mere
one hundred times or so
.

I was expected to plan and/or host so many parties, my head spun—one for the Flash execs and upper management; one for our friends and family; one for the children at the children's hospital; one for the employees at Flash. The last one I was simply helping Justin's new assistant with. He'd fired his last assistant in September. She was now awaiting trial for a variety of crimes related to her obsession with Jus.

And given the lift in my financial status, I was also certain my friends and family were expecting particularly expensive, and thoughtful, gifts this year. I prided myself on taking the time to find the perfect present for each person on my list. I had a reputation, and expectations, to maintain. Like Santa, I didn't want to let anyone down. No one on my list rated a lump of coal or anything remotely close.

I could handle most of it. Probably. Except for Jus. What did I get the man I loved beyond measure? Who meant more to me than anyone else? What do you give a billionaire? An "our first Christmas together" ornament, even dipped in gold, wasn't going to cut it.

I sat at my kitchen table, facing Lake Washington, with a steaming, freshly made peppermint mocha and my phone in front of me, repeatedly refreshing and checking the deals on the Flashionista website. Just, you know, to make sure all of Justin's hard work ensuring the site could handle that extra holiday traffic had paid off. And that Flashionista.com was running smoothly. Never mind that I was probably doing my share of weighing it down with all my refreshing and browsing.

So many cute things! So many fabulous deals. A silver tassel necklace that would look
fantastic
with the new blouse I'd just bought. A shiny maroon satchel handbag with a kiss-lock closure. Who didn't love a kiss-lock closure? Even the sound of it was romantic.

Shiny things. Shiny things
everywhere
just in time for Christmas. I
wanted
.

And look at the adorable baby clothes. My finger trembled as it hovered over the "add to cart/buy now" button.

If I hadn't been Justin's wife, I would have been scooping them up and maxing out my high-limit black credit card. Of course, I wouldn't have had the high-limit card to begin with. Details! As it was, I was under strict instructions from Jus
to leave the deals for the customers, babe
.

Scrooge.

I made a mental note to ask the merchandise buyers if any samples of these adorable handbags were going to find their way into the fabulous, fantastic, stupendous annual employee-only Santa Sample Sale I was managing on December 23rd. Couldn't I just buy one? So many women on my list would love it!

Magda, my excellent housekeeper and cook, made the best peppermint mocha around. But I drank it distractedly, barely tasting it. Jus had been upgrading Flashionista.com since September, and preparing it for the increased holiday traffic they were hoping for. I crossed my fingers the site didn't crash. Cyber Monday sales would keep the company in the black for a full year and allow Jus to grow the company the way he envisioned.

Jus and Riggins founded Flashionista several years ago while Jus was still in his teens. It had gone public earlier in the year. After the IPO, they maintained the majority share.

Flash, as we called it, was a strictly online retail site that catered to the under-forty, mostly female crowd who loved bargains, boutique fashions that made them stand out as stylish and unique, and had practically no time in their hectic lives to shop except online. Busy career women. Young moms. College women on limited budgets. The limited-quantity deals on Flash lasted only a few days and sold out quickly, often before noon.

Since September, Flash had been in peak season. It was getting so I hated that word "peak" with a passion bordering on obsession. Everything could be blamed on it. Everything
was
blamed on it. And every understanding was expected
because
of it. It had made me a work widow.

Vacation and personal time-off days were on blackout until the retail dead zone of mid-January. Overtime was not only authorized, but expected and practically mandated. And our first Thanksgiving as a married couple had been a disaster because of it. In my opinion, at least.

A quick slice of turkey, three olives, a bite of yams, and half a roll at his parents' house, all before two in the afternoon.

No time to linger! No time for
more
. Hurry, hurry, hurry! Must dash to my parents' house across town like skittering reindeer.

Gobble, gobble a mouthful of my mom's famous whipped pumpkin pie topped with honey whipped cream. Down a quick holiday toast.

Jus, feeling guilty for not being in the office for the
entire
day—damn those Thanksgiving Day bargains—was out the door for the Flash offices before halftime of the second football game of the day. Leaving me to feel decidedly single and lonely again.

At least he left me at my parents' house, not his. Though his family loved me, as a newlywed, I still preferred the comfort and familiarity of mine. And our own holiday routine.

I hadn't seen Jus since. He'd been working 24/7, catching naps here and there and sleeping at the office. At least that's what he told me. I had no reason to doubt him. But in my pregnancy hormoned-up state, it was easy to feel all kinds of slights, even imaginary ones. And even a little jealous. Hey, if he could blame everything on peak, I could blame my hormones without guilt.

The baby kicked. I rubbed my nearly six-month baby bump and cooed to calm the baby. If Justin's absence kept up, this baby would be born not knowing the sound of her daddy's voice. At least she wouldn't be born during peak. Can you imagine the horror of that?

In my family, Thanksgiving kicked off the holiday season with a well-established succession of events. Mom decorated and cooked as if she were Martha Stewart. Her house looked like it should have been in a holiday edition of a women's magazine. And we never ate Thanksgiving dinner before seven. Eating pie at three in the afternoon? Unheard of! And a testimony to how much my parents loved Jus that they were willing to bend on that and eat pie before dinner.

On a typical Thanksgiving, after dinner, if my physician father wasn't called out on an emergency, we watched our first Christmas movie of the season. One of our old favorites. Or a new one, if one was out.

On Black Friday, Mom and I rose in the middle of the night and hit the sales. All those stores opening on Thanksgiving evening had eroded the thrills and crowds of the Black Fridays I remembered as a girl, not to mention taken my husband away from me even earlier on Thanksgiving Day. But Black Friday was still fun and steeped with tradition for us—shopping, breakfast out, home to put up the tree.

This year, however, I had been under strict orders by Jus not to put up the tree. It was too dangerous for a pregnant woman whose balance was off. He'd hired a designer who came in on Friday and Saturday, and decorated not only
the
tree, but three trees and the rest of the house.

Jus came into the marriage with several houses and a penthouse. Until October, we'd been living in the penthouse in Bellevue. But because we were expecting a family, Jus and I relocated to his Italianate mansion on Lake Washington. Which explained the three trees. We probably could have done even a couple more, but I drew the line at three. Oh, and did I mention the expert outdoor lighting expert and landscaper who put up our outdoor lights and decorated our grounds for Christmas?

Everything looked lovely. Jus had left all the decorating decisions to me. And while on one level it was exciting, and a dream come true, getting the perfect look, doing it without Jus made the season feel hollow. Was this the way the holidays would always be? Jus missing in action during the happiest time of year?

I missed Jus more than I ever imagined I could. Something about him just made everyone smile. Me, most of all. Jus was that sweet kind of guy that took a girl's breath away when he grinned. Or walked into a room. Or breathed.

I put the finishing touch, my own little Christmas drawing of mistletoe and holly, on the box in front of me. It was packed and ready for the pickup to be delivered to Jus at his office later in the day. I'd wanted to make his holidays special and remind him how much I loved him while he was so crazy busy he could barely think. I'd racked my brain for the perfect thing. And come up with one of those advent calendars for grownups from Seattle's major coffee company.

This year's was a magnetic chalkboard covered with tins, each with a date on it for December 1st-24th. Inside each tin was a little treat—a coupon for a cup of coffee, a chocolate-covered espresso bean, a small cookie for dunking. Jus drank coffee and energy drinks to keep him running the long hours. Flash had their own coffee shop on the ground floor of the offices. So the coffee advent calendar was perfect for him.

I'd added my own touches. Little love notes. Download codes for the Christmas song of the day. That kind of thing.

I shouldn't have been insecure. Jus had had a crush on me long before I fell in love with him. The thing was, even though I was Justin's "wife", I'd never married him. He'd hired me to play his spouse for a year after being drugged in Reno and "marrying" a woman who'd forged
my
signature on the marriage license. Married without a prenup, I might add. Bad, bad news for a billionaire.

Jus didn't remember any of it. While Jus and I were pretending to be in love to sell the fake marriage as genuine, I fell in love with him. We fell in love with each other. And decided to stay "married."

In another strange twist, I'd known Jus in college when he was a young, geeky, techie genius who should have still been in high school. Four years later, when he proposed an arrangement where I pretended to be his wife for a year, he'd become the proverbial ugly duckling who was now filthy rich. All he'd needed was a little encouragement from me in the fashion and style department, and he'd turned completely into a hot swan.

Jus was colorblind and didn't care much about fashion, which was especially ironic given the company he'd founded. But he had the body and the bone structure to pull off any look. It just needed to be showcased properly.

So now here we were, pretending to be married for the rest of our lives. We had never exchanged vows. But, due to that clever forgery and my assertion that it was my signature, our marriage was legal as far as the state was concerned.

Before I "married" Jus, I'd dreamed of a big, beautiful wedding. Now I just wanted to proclaim my love and devotion to him and actually sign a marriage license myself. And hear him pledge his love and loyalty to me until death do us part.

Because of that expertly forged marriage license, there was no way to get legally married now without blowing everything. Including our cover that the marriage had been genuine from the beginning and I'd been the girl who'd said "I do."

We could have a recommitment ceremony at any time. Or a religious ceremony to augment the quickie Reno wedding Jus had had. But we couldn't get a second marriage certificate that we'd both actually, and genuinely, signed. Not unless we divorced and remarried. Otherwise, we'd be committing perjury, as far as the state knew, when we vowed that neither of us was currently married. And the new marriage still wouldn't be legal.

And a divorce? Imagine the scandal! How would we explain it? And the legal mess it would create! I shuddered at the thought.

BOOK: The Billionaire’s Christmas Vows: A Jet City Billionaire Christmas Romance
9.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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