Only a Date with a Billionaire
Only a Date with a Billionaire
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She’s a baker. He’s a boxer. Their businesses are side by side and completely incompatible. But are they?
- Opposites attract
- Slow burn
- Holiday season
he’s a baker. He’s a boxer. Their businesses are side by side and completely incompatible. But are they?
Sophie Johansson moves to New York City to be free of entanglements from the past and to prove to herself she can make it on her own. She also wants to fulfill her dream of opening a bakery. Unfortunately, the business next door disturbs the peace she desires.
The infamous boxer, Teagh Coyle, pounded his way to the top then found himself back at the bottom after an ugly divorce. He starts over in a new city and opens a boxing gym in an effort to remake his life. Then he meets the total knockout next door.
Soon they’re rivals in business, but it also turns out they live in the same building and keep crossing paths—including with his ex who starts to make life difficult. When Sophie has a close call in the alley behind her bakery, Teagh steps in...and sweeps her off her feet. Literally. But when he needs her help in a time of crisis, a secret from her past comes to the surface, making her feel fragile and unsure if she can trust what’s heating up between them.
Can they make it through the challenges facing their relationship and win the fight for each other?
This is book 1 in the Only Us Billionaire Romance series. Each book stands alone but reading them in order provides a deeper, richer experience. It is a sweet, “clean and wholesome” romance without swearing or mature content and contains a happily ever after. If you like opposites-attract love, sweet chemistry, and a dash of clever suspense, then you’ll adore this heartwarming romance.
Chapter 1 Look Inside
Chapter 1 Look Inside
Chapter 1: Sophie
Call her crazy, but Sophie Johansson loved Mondays. It was her favorite day of the week, especially as she walked down Madison Avenue in Carnegie Hill, a Manhattan neighborhood just east of Central Park. The area was entirely new to her as was her week-old bakery baby Honey and Lavender.
The outside air had just transitioned from the hot stickiness of summer to the cool, crisp of fall. The leaves had barely started to turn from green to the vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows of autumn in the northeast. But it was just before dawn, so she’d have to wait for her return walk home to check their progress. She kept a baker’s schedule.
During those wee hours, the streets were quiet in a way that was rare for the city. At least until a guy jogged by Sophie briskly as if he owned the sidewalk. A rock song blared from his earbuds.
“Excuse me,” Sophie harrumphed.
It must’ve been loud enough for him to hear despite his music because he turned and narrowed his eyes at her, but kept jogging. “Watch where you’re going,” he called over his shoulder.
She quickened her pace to catch up with him. “Wait. What? Me, watch where I’m going? You’re the one who almost slammed into me, buster.” She was a polite, small-town girl still finding her way in the city.
In the dim gray light, she caught a glimpse of his expression —harsh, accusatory. She slowed.
“You should’ve seen me coming.” He had an accent, but she couldn’t place it as he breathed deeply with exertion.
She should’ve heard him coming too, but she was thinking about the baking menu for the day. Sophie huffed and cut a glare at his back as he turned the corner and disappeared.
“Good riddance,” she said, but made a note to pay more attention when walking to work.
The seasons were milder in her native North Carolina. Much like the seasonal change, Sophie welcomed the events unfurling in her life: new city, new career, new life.
A broad smile lifted onto her cheeks, replacing her annoyance, as she slid the key into the lock of the space that she’d rented to pursue her dream of having a community gathering place with friendly faces and delicious home-baked sweets. She also had a few savories on the menu like quiche on Saturdays to takeaway for brunch and herbed scones with a hint of buttermilk —combining her southern roots with her mother’s heritage. Mostly though, she stuck to the classics: muffins, croissants, fruit-filled pastries, breads, tarts, cookies, and specials that rotated weekly.
She breathed deeply. The scent of flour, butter, and sugar had already infused the cozy and inviting space that she’d recently restored to its early twentieth-century splendor.
Thankfully, the contractors made quick work to rid the years’ worth of paint, grime, and tacky linoleum hiding the black and white checkered hexagon tile floor, the tin ceiling, and the period embellishments that really gave it character. Although, the workers’ swift pace may have had something to do with Sophie plying them with baked goods every day. She’d been finalizing the menu and doing a lot of testing, so she gave the extras to them.
Getting the bakery up and running had been a labor of love. She’d dreamed and journaled about it for years, planning every last detail. Only, she never expected it to become a reality, and certainly not in New York City of all places. She’d visited once, during her senior year of high school when she was touring colleges and enjoying her freedom before being saddled with tuition debt. All those years ago, she didn’t foresee her broken heart or the piece of mail she’d received on the same day of the breakup that had changed her life forever.
Donning a handmade apron with a bright cupcake print—one of many in her collection—Sophie already felt completely at home in the new kitchen.
As she worked—mixing, kneading, rolling, and baking—the rhythm was almost meditative. The morning sky lightened to a faint purple just beyond the large front window with a prime view of the city scene as it came to life for the day. However, an altogether different sort of rhythm abruptly pounded from the adjoining wall next door, breaking the morning peace.
She startled as a heavy rock song suddenly blared with a guitar solo from the wall Honey and Lavender shared with the business next door. It was the same song the jogger early that morning had been listening to. In fact, it could’ve been the boxer from next door on his way to the new gym who almost barged into her.
The guy had some nerve.
She yelped as she burned the edge of her hand on a hot tray of blueberry muffins fresh from the oven. A yelp escaped her lips, but even if she was open to customers for the day, no one would’ve heard it anyway because the music was so loud.
Her best friend, Jennifer, would’ve banged on the wall and told the person to turn it down. But the wall was brick and banging would likely hurt worse than the minor burn.
Plus, Jennifer lived in London.
Sophie kept an aloe plant on the shelf near the front window because she’d learned at an early age that kitchen burns were common and the plant had soothing properties. She broke off a length of the succulent and massaged the gel-like substance into her skin like an ointment.
The week before, the construction next door was bad enough, but Sophie knew it was temporary. However, the boxing gym on the other side of the wall seemed like it would be permanent. She’d recently had a crew in her space for weeks but had been as respectful of her new neighbors.
As it came close to the opening hour and the music didn’t subside, she let out a huff, gathered up a box of warm pastries, and hurried over to see if she could persuade her new neighbor to keep the noise down with good old-fashioned southern hospitality.
Sophie paused outside the steamy glass window of the boxing gym and peered inside.
A burly man, wearing tape around his knuckles, glistened with sweat. A red speed bag hanging from a support on the ceiling swung rapidly as he punched it with precise motions, alternating right-left, right-left. For a moment, she felt like a cat, watching a toy being batted back and forth.
Sophie swallowed hard.
He looked more city of hard knocks and not welcoming of her sweet small-town charm.
She’d seen the guy coming and going throughout the week before, barking into his cell phone and pacing past the bakery window. If he was the business owner, she was afraid he’d holler at her too, even if she used her best manners and politely asked him to turn the music down.
He stared down the red punching bag like he had a vendetta against it and only paused once to chug some water. His profile revealed a certain kind of rugged handsomeness that she forced herself to ignore. It was something about the cut of his jaw, his commanding lips, and the strength in his arms. And he was definitely the jogger from early that morning who rudely ran by her. He had a lot of nerve. Not only did he think he owned the sidewalk, but the city block too—without regard for his neighbors.