His Heart's Revenge

By: Jenny Holiday

May the best man win…

Twenty years ago, I was too smart and too poor to be cool. Now I’m laughing my way to the bank—the bank I’m CEO of. Nothing can touch me.

Except maybe him.

We met at summer camp. We made out under the stars. Then he stabbed me in the back.

They say revenge is a dish best served cold. But I’m gonna go with hot.

Alexander Evangelista is a millionaire with all the trappings: houses all over the world and hot guys lined up whenever he’s in need of some no-strings-attached company. He’s on his way to world domination.

A CEO in his own right, Cary Bell is competing for a major client with his boyhood crush. He’s never forgiven himself for betraying Alex. But with his professional reputation on the line, he’s going to have to find his inner cutthroat if he wants his new company to succeed.

Alex isn’t about to let his nemesis steal a client out from under him. It’s time to break Cary’s company—and his heart.

Chapter One

Cary Bell woke with a start when an alarm went off in his head.

No, wait, it was just his cell ringing. And seeing as how he’d fallen asleep at his desk with his face resting on the phone, it felt like the ringing was coming from inside his skull. He fumbled for it. It was a FaceTime from Rose, his cousin Marcus’s fiancée. He sighed and accepted the video call, bracing himself for Hurricane Rosie.

“Happy New Year!” she shouted. Then she squinted at him. “Why do you have a dent in your forehead? Wait. I see a printer in the background. Are you still at work?”

He rubbed his head. “I fell asleep on top of my phone.” He didn’t answer her second question.

She furrowed her brow. “I was going to yell at you for not coming to meet us like you promised. But maybe I should yell at you to go home to bed, instead.”

“I meant to come.” He really had. He’d begged off dinner with his cousin and Rose and their friends, but had planned on meeting them before midnight at Edward’s, their regular watering hole. He’d been working flat-out the past couple of weeks nurturing his fledgling business, but even so, he hadn’t planned to stay past midnight because the turn of this particular year was symbolic, and he had wanted to mark it.

This was going to be the year he got out from under his uncle’s thumb, took his skills, and parlayed them into something new. Something his. Following the footsteps of his older cousin, Marcus, Cary was in the process of extracting the silver spoon from his mouth and getting on with life on his own terms. He was going to be successful, and this time it would be because he deserved it, not because he was a lucky kid who had everything handed to him.

It was going to be a great year.

If he could just get this dent out of his forehead.

Twenty minutes later, Cary was hoisting a Manhattan and clinking glasses with Marcus and Rose and their friends. Better late than never.

“I got you a client,” Marcus said, pulling him into a corner after everyone had exchanged New Year’s greetings.

“I have clients,” Cary said. It was true. He’d walked away from his job as manager of the investment firm his great grandfather had founded three generations ago, but he left with a handful of loyal clients who had followed him. He had a staff of two and a small, swish office in a corner of his cousin’s ad agency in Toronto’s prestigious Lakefront Centre. He wasn’t playing in the big leagues yet, but he had a nice pool of capital invested already, and his returns, so far, were stellar. The question was, could he keep it up? Could he truly start over and make something of himself without the Rosemann family name behind him? Could he succeed without the backing of his powerful uncle? He sure as hell hoped so.

But whether he succeeded or lost everything—he’d sold his house and poured all of his personal wealth into his funds—he was going to do it on his own. He was already letting Marcus give him free office space, and that was enough. He didn’t need his successful cousin handing him clients on a silver platter, too.

“You have clients, sure,” said Marcus, “but you don’t have Eleanor Southam.”

Cary fought back against the impulse to press Marcus for more information. Eleanor Southam was the heir to a mining magnate and was a local tastemaker who could probably bring others in with her. Southam would be a coup.

When he didn’t say anything, Marcus said, “Listen, I of all people support your decision to go out on your own, but no one does everything themselves. Success in business is about networking, leveraging connections. If you don’t realize that, you might as well give up now.”

“I’m not going to take a huge client because you just hand her to me,” Cary protested, as much as it pained him to do so. But he had to. If this all went belly-up and he lost everything, he needed to make sure he still had his pride to cushion his fall. Because nothing else was going to.

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