Promo: New Contemporary Romance--NEVER TRUST A BILLIONAIRE Excerpt


Can working girl Claressa Lauriano outwit a not-to-be-trusted billionaire who is determined to have his way with her?


Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Billionaire Elliot Beaumont has a laissez faire attitude concerning women... or in other words, he takes them and leaves them. After casually giving one of his American Rose homegrown blooms to his company’s newest employee, Claressa Lauriano, he then learns his father, the CEO, wants him to pursue her to obtain her family’s small vineyard. Elliot assumes she’ll be flattered by his advances, only to learn that she has a laissez faire policy as well; she wants him to leave her alone. She doesn’t trust him... and rightfully so. The only way he can think of to get his hands on the grapes is to arrange to be fake engaged to Claressa. However, the longer she is his faux fiancée, the more he wants the engagement to be real. Can he convince his prickly American Rose to take a chance on a billionaire?


Claressa Lauriano has been working at her new job for only a month, but she also tends to her family vineyard on the side. When she shares a sample of grapes with her office, she comes to the CEO’s attention... which then means she comes to the company’s Chief Biotechnology Officer’s attention--playboy, billionaire Elliot Beaumont. Oddly enough, Elliot suddenly bulldozes his way into her life by becoming fake engaged to her. She doesn’t trust him or his motives, and why should she? Billionaires and working girls come from two different worlds. Why is he so insistent that she is meant to be his?

Scene Set-Up:

Responding to his father, the CEO of Beaumont Industries’ request for a meeting, Elliot Beaumont steps into the elevator and sees an attractive new employee.


Entering the elevator, Elliot reached over to press the seventy-fifth button, but it was already lit up. It was then that he saw he wasn’t alone in the elevator.

Standing toward the back was a cute-as-a button girl, with an elaborate hairdo of thick, shiny dark hair arranged in curls on top of her head. Her eyes were midnight brown and twinkled as if lit from within. If he wasn’t mistaken, she had a hint of dimples that flashed at him as her silver-hanging earrings also flashed at him.

Not that he was interested in cute-as-a button girls, but he had to be polite, didn’t he? So he nodded at her. As he did, he raked his gaze over her pleasing feminine form. She wore a conservative outfit that most likely hid some very shapely curves.

Was she enrolled in the student work program? Shadowing one of the employees? Was she going to see his father? Was it possible that she was the reason Elliot’s presence was requested on the seventy-fifth floor?

He deliberately pressed button number seventy-four. The old man could cool his heels before this “important” meeting while Elliot investigated what was going on.

“Hello.” Facing the girl, he broke the silence. “Sorry I didn’t notice you before. Are you new here?”

He wanted to add that she didn’t look old enough to work at Beaumont Industries, but discretion was the better part of valor. He held his tongue.

A pink blush spread on her cheeks. “I’ve only been here a month. I’m still learning my way around.”

And now she was learning her way up to the CEO’s floor. Interesting.

“Are you? What Division do you work in?”

She ran the merest tip of her tongue over her lips. Oddly enough, his body snapped to attention.

“I work in the Biotechnology Division. Mrs. Plummer’s my supervisor. I do admin support.” Then she shifted some file folders from one hand to the other. “How about you?”

He wanted to say, “I’m your supervisor’s supervisor’s supervisor’s supervisor. In other words the head of Biotechnology.” But he didn’t. There was time enough for her to learn who he was. And vice versa.

Instead, he prevaricated. “I’m with Beaumont Industries’ Welcoming Committee. Glad to have you aboard, Miss...?”

“Lauriano. Claressa Lauriano.” She held out her hand for a shake.

Very professional. Instead of a shake, he handed her the single rose that he’d intended to give to his father’s assistant. “For you, Claressa. An American Beauty rose for an American beauty.”

Her eyes widened and she took the thornless rose with her free hand. Then the elevator dinged as they arrived on the seventy-fourth floor.

The door opened. “My stop. I’m sure I’ll see you around, Claressa. Have a good day.”

Stepping out into the corridor, he then headed for an empty office where he could use the phone. He needed to call Human Resources and find out everything he could about Claressa Lauriano. Sometimes the old man pulled a fast one on him. Elliot needed to learn what the hell was going on before he entered his father’s executive office.

* * * *

Frowning, Claressa ran her fingertip over the soft rose petals. That man was a player, from the top of his wavy, caramel hair, to the tips of his Italian leather shoes. From his lantern-shaped jaw to his broad masculine shoulders. Dressed for success in a highly fashionable Armani suit, Elliot Wagner Beaumont was a player, a playboy, and a prince of a billionaire. His masculine scent of patchouli, persimmon, and citrus made her nostrils flare.

He hadn’t introduced himself, but she’d recognized him, of course. Not that she’d seen him before in the Beaumont Building, but from her studying the company website just a few short minutes ago.

Welcoming Committee--ha! Instead, he was the Chief Biotechnology Officer, in other words, the head of the Biotechnology Division.

And the way he insultingly had raked his gaze over her like she was a fresh piece of meat... well! Mr. Super Rich could just... just go stick it up his rear end!

Then again, she had seen him before. She remembered reading about Elliot Beaumont and his philandering ways in the latest issue of People Magazine.

When the elevator dinged for the seventy-fifth floor, Claressa waited until the door opened, and then stomped out. What in the world was she going to do with this “American Beauty” rose that he had given her?

The answer lay straight ahead. Behind a U-shaped desk area made of the finest red cherrywood, a lone woman sat dressed in grey and white colors that happened to match the reception area’s décor. From the woman’s somber expression, it was easy to discern that she was the guard dog protecting the elder Mr. Beaumont’s privacy.

The sound of Claressa’s heels echoed down the expensive Italian marble of the flooring. She stepped up to the desk counter. The woman’s nameplate read: Marnie Otts.

“Hi, I’m Claressa Lauriano. Mr. Beaumont’s expecting me at noon.”

She placed the rose in front of the woman. “Would you like this lovely rose? A... A panhandler gave it to me on the way up here.”

Marnie Otts, a rather colorless middle-aged woman with platinum hair bound into a tight bun, suddenly blushed as pink as a cherry blossom. “How very kind of you, I’m sure. I do adore roses.” She then pointed to a closed door to the right of her. “Mr. Beaumont’s expecting you, Ms. Lauriano. Please, go right in.”


Happy Reading!


Susanne Marie Knight

Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!

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Ana Maria said...

Your blog is a testament to your passion for the subject matter.