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Summer with the Billionaire

Summer with the Billionaire

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She’s fighting to save her town. He’s fighting for her. These strong personalities have met their match, but who will win?

Includes a town map and a story-inspired recipe!


  • Small town to save
  • Enemies to lovers
  • Fake relationship
  • Family secrets
  • Found family


She’s fighting to save her town. He’s fighting for her. These strong personalities have met their match, but who will win?

Billie Fisher’s restaurant, Coconut Cove Café, is a staple in the Blue Bay Beach community. The waitstaff has an ongoing dare that they have to date the next guy they wait on. It’s the last thing she wants to do as she struggles to keep her business afloat and keep resort developers from ruining the close-knit beach town she helped create.

Rhodes Bishop is a billionaire investor who blazes into town and prepares to level the buildings down to the sand. His vision for the Sand Dollar Resort is income-producing perfection. But he runs into a snag. The woman who owns his next target asks him on a date. With her sea blue eyes and feisty personality, he simply can’t say no.

After his grandmother mistakes them for being a couple, as ridiculous as the sworn enemies think it is, they’re forced to go along with it to spare her embarrassment. Billie agrees but only to stop construction. Rhodes quickly sees that paradise is being with her. That will mean losing the biggest investment of his career. He always gets what he wants, but the one thing he can’t have turns out to be Billie.

Will these enemies call a truce for love?

This is book 3 in the Blue Bay Beach Reads Romance series. Each book stands alone but reading them in order provides a deeper, richer experience. It is a sweet, Hallmark style “clean and wholesome” small town romance, is faith-friendly, and contains a happily ever after.

Chapter 1 Look Inside

Chapter 1: Billie

Billie Fisher hurried along the sandy street of Blue Bay Beach as the sun lifted over the lip of the horizon. She was rarely late opening Coconut Cove Café. She’d been working there since she was old enough to have a job, and even quite a while before that. In all those years, she could count on one hand the number of times she’d overslept.

The routine was like clockwork.

Six days a week, she woke before dawn, got ready, set everything up for the day, and then unlocked the doors for the early morning regulars.

The night before she’d had a hard time sleeping because of the rumors that had been carried into town on the breeze, rustling the palms, creating ripples across the water in the bay. They’d since drilled themselves into her mind. If they were true, what did that mean for her livelihood, her future, and all the people she employed and served?

Usually, she ignored gossip, but the restaurant was already on shaky ground, or a rickety old dock as it were—it needed repairs for sure. But after her quarterly meeting with the accountant, things were worse than she’d feared. The chatter about a resort developer disturbing her small, idyllic town didn’t help matters.
Billie would never admit to anyone she’d lost sleep over the issue, but the dark circles under her eyes told a different story.

The squat and tall silhouettes of Alvin and Elmer, just two of the regulars, stood on the dock by the front door.

“There she is,” Alvin called. “We were just about ready to send out a search party.”

“Yes, here I am. Sorry that I’m running late, fellas.”

“Not to worry. You’ve had the lights on by six a.m. every day excluding Sundays and Christmas for how many years running?”

Billie had lost track of how long she’d been working at Coconut Cove Café but knew it had been eleven years since her father, the founder of the restaurant and her best friend, had passed.

“I guess we can cut her some slack,” Elmer joked.

“I’ll have your coffee out in less than five minutes. The Bimini bread will take a bit longer. My apologies.” She turned the key in the lock and flipped on the lights and overhead fans.

“Make yourselves at home.” She gestured to the otherwise empty dining room with its worn hardwood floors, mismatched tables—with some made of driftwood—and beachy flair that only came from decades of genuine dedication and passion for the establishment.

“We always do, Billie,” Elmer said, settling at the counter.

As she went about the opening tasks, Alvin glanced at a laminated piece of paper outlining what she’d long ago memorized. He then went to the walk-in and got out the containers of milk and cream.

Elmer hopped up and set out the sugars at each table, including the counter.

Meanwhile, Billie got the coffee started then turned on the ovens and put in the first batch of Bimini bread for the day.

They prepped the lightly coconut-flavored bread the day before so it was always ready in the morning.

Alvin and Elmer lowered onto their usual stools. One opened his newspaper, and the other clicked on his phone as they grabbed the headlines they’d use to engage in friendly debate for the next couple of hours while they drank coffee and ate their bread. Usually, they’d return for lunch.

According to them, it was exactly the kind of life they’d wanted to live after retirement.
Soon, Billie had brought their coffee. “Thanks for your help, guys.”

“You’ve done enough for us over the years.” Alvin nodded in gratitude.

“Every town should be so lucky as to have a gal like you.”

Alvin started to say something about Blue Bay Beach, but the timer for the oven dinged to indicate it was up to temperature—usually something that happened before Billie had unlocked the doors for the day.

She twisted her long blond hair into a knot on top of her head and went about the rest of her tasks, which thankfully weren’t too many since over the years she’d transformed the restaurant into a well-oiled machine where much of the prep for the next day was done the night before. She found it satisfying to thank her past self for making life easier for her present self—especially early in the morning and especially since she was running behind. That day she needed all the help she could get.

As more customers filtered in, she felt slightly out of focus and preoccupied. It didn’t help that the murmurs that an investment company set up a temporary, mobile office on the other side of the cove came in with them.

More rumors reached her ears when she checked if anyone needed more coffee. “I heard it’s that same firm that built the Barracuda Beach Resort.”

When she stopped to chat with folks she hadn’t seen in a while she caught snatches of conversation. “Did you hear they’re talking about calling the resort the Sand Dollar?”
While she did her sidework, she overheard the fuss and fear over what would happen to their town. “They intend to buy up all the oceanfront property, even this place.”

By the time Billie got back to Alvin and Elmer, they were in one of their famous debates.

“They’ll have to build the resort around my cottage.” Alvin crossed his arms across his chest defiantly. “They can call me the old man on the beach instead of the old man on the mountain.”

“What’ll you do if you’re smack dab in the middle of the golf course and get whacked with a golf ball?” Elmer asked.

“I’ll throw it back, that’s what. What are you going to do, Elmer? Sell out?”

“Not over my dead body, but these guys know what they’re doing. They’ll do their best to drive us out. We have to be smart.”

“And strong.” Billie winked.

She was younger than the old guard in town, but Blue Bay Beach was her home, and if what she was hearing was true, despite her anxiety, she would fight for it. She knew they relied on her too, especially as a business owner, to form an alliance and bolster them. “It wouldn’t be the first time. We’re Blue Bay Beach strong. We’ll charm the pants off ‘em and send them on their way.”

“That’s a girl,” Alvin said with a jovial laugh.

“Your father would be proud of you, Billie.” Elmer tipped his hat.

She nodded. Yeah. He would.

But even if he could, he wouldn’t see the knots forming in her stomach. Coconut Cove Café was her entire life.

Nothing would come between her and keeping its legacy going except finances.

Shortly before eight a.m. Betty arrived for the morning rush.

She was significantly shorter than Billie, which was saying something because even she needed the step stool to reach the top shelf in the walk-in. Her shock of white hair and always smiling eyes brought Billie instant comfort.

“Morning, morning,” she said, greeting Alvin and Elmer, who were pulling out their wallets to pay.

“It’s on the house today, fellas,” Billie said, refusing their payment.

“We’re paying customers, Billie,” Elmer said.

“You were working employees today,” she corrected them.

“We hardly lifted a finger.” Alvin shoved the money at her.

She held up her hands, refusing it. “Come back later and get the lunch special. You can leave a big tip.” She winked.

“You’re pulling a double shift today?” Alvin asked.

It was more like a triple, but she did have the evening off.

“Don’t worry, Claudia will be here later too.”

The two guys started talking about Claudia and her boyfriend’s recent piano recital at the community center. Billie took the opportunity to dash off to bring out an order.

Betty had technically been waiting tables at Coconut Cove Café longer than Billie had been alive—first while her kids were in school to help with the bills and later because she enjoyed the social aspect. She always joked that she wasn’t going to work but to entertain her best friends. She slipped seamlessly into the morning routine.

The two women worked in companionable silence in an almost choreographed dance as they swept from the waitstaff station to the tables, to the counter to the cook’s window.

When the morning rush started to slow, Betty poured Billie a glass of coconut lemonade and broke them each off a piece of Bimini bread then added a few dabs of vanilla-cinnamon-infused butter to the still-warm bread.

It melted in Billie’s mouth as she took a much-needed bite.

She’d never tire of its subtle coconut sweetness and pillowy, soft center. The smell and taste always brought her home—not that she often left.

Not with her responsibilities or financial situation.

The Coconut Cove Café was a Blue Bay Beach institution and the thought of something happening to it nearly caused Billie to want to crawl under a mangrove tree, but instead of telling Betty, she asked about her weekend spent at an antique car show with her husband Gus. There were a lot of classic cars in town, including Billie’s own Chevy, which was passed to her from her father.

“Gus is thinking of starting a classic car club with an annual show here in Blue Bay Beach. We could have a barbecue, Coco’s Cones could set up for ice cream, and if you’re up for it, Coconut Cove Café could have a refreshments table and sponsor a gift card for a raffle.”

Betty twirled her straw in the coconut lemonade.

“That’s a cool idea. I think it would go over well. I’m surprised no one has thought of it before,” Billie said.

“It’s a lot of work to organize, but Gus has something of an apprentice now. It was his suggestion and he offered to help with it. The young man comes over a few times a week and Gus teaches him how to fix old cars—our garage has been hopping lately. Gus always says, ‘They don’t make ‘em like they used to.’”

“He’s right about that. It’s a good, practical skill to understand auto mechanics.”

Billie took a sip of the coconut lemonade.

Betty grinned widely. “He seems to be very good with his hands, is around your age, and...”

Billie flashed the ring on her right hand.

“Oh, right. You’re fake engaged.”

“I’m not looking for a relationship.” Billie didn’t have time for romance—except on Sunday nights when she settled in with a rom-com or sweet romance special on TV.

“Because you’re married to this place. I know, I know,” Betty joked.

The trickle started for the lunch rush and they both got back to work even though neither had sat down while chatting, but had organized supplies and restocked behind the counter.

Billie found herself tired and preoccupied and had a case of the butterfingers. Sunday, when she could relax, couldn’t come soon enough.

“You okay, dear?” Betty asked after they nearly collided.

“Oh, me? I’m fine.” Billie picked up a knife that had slid off the plate she’d cleared.

“You sure?” Betty lifted an eyebrow.

Billie nodded.

However, Betty was right to be concerned. Billie prided herself on rarely being out of sorts.

“Good, because today is your day.” Betty waggled her eyebrows.

Today was not Billie’s day, but she didn’t want to upset Betty so she kept why she felt slightly less than fine to herself—though Betty had certainly heard about the rumors about the resort. Billie had to be strong and solid for everyone and not let them think she was worried or saw the resort as a real threat.

“It’s your turn,” Betty prodded.

“My day? My turn?” Billie asked, not understanding—maybe she missed something and was much more tired than she thought.

The last thing on her mind was the dating dare...

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