Sunday, March 1, 2015

Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancée by Julia Kent

Title: Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancee
Author: Julia Kent 
Series: Shopping for a Billionaire #6
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance
Release Date: February 26, 2015
All of our best dates end up in the emergency room….

I planned the perfect proposal. Plenty of lobster, caviar, champagne and–her favorite–tiramisu. The perfect setting. The perfect woman. The perfect everything.

Dad gave me my late mother’s engagement ring, platinum and diamonds galore. Shannon wouldn’t care if I slid a giant hard-candy ring on her finger instead of a three-carat diamond designed to impress. But my future mother-in-law, Marie, will pass out when she sets eyes on that rock, which will give us two minutes of blessed silence. That woman talks more than Kim Kardashian flashes her naked backside on the internet.

I was going to make it perfect, from the color of the tablecloth to the freshness of the roses. And it was perfect.

Until Shannon swallowed the ring.

* * *

Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancée gives near-billionaire Declan McCormick the chance to tell his story in this continuation of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shopping for a Billionaire series.

     Shannon has no idea how many layers of beauty she has. And that’s exactly why she’s so exquisite.
     When I was sixteen, the year before my mother died, Mom took me and my little brother, Andrew, to New York City for a long weekend. Pulled us out of school over the objections of the headmaster at our academy. Mom didn’t care. We spent three nights at the Waldorf Astoria, skated at Rockefeller Center, had the best seats at the top Broadway musicals, and dined on the finest footlongs you could get for $3. Loaded with mustard and sauerkraut, plus a cream soda or two.
     (Do you have something against footlongs? Too bad. Two teenagers can only handle so much caviar and lobster.)
     What I remember most about that trip, and what Shannon reminds me of every moment I look at her, was our trip to the Museum of Modern Art. Mom insisted we go, and Andrew and I rolled our eyes like sets of dice at a craps table.
     And then.
     And then I got it, right there in front of a Vincent van Gogh masterpiece. In art history class we’d covered this painting in detail. We were taught the biography of Van Gogh, how he came to create the series of paintings, his motivation, and his flaws. We’d dissected the meaning so thoroughly that I felt like I could recreate the art by automation, our elite prep-school instruction clinical and impeccable.
     Standing in front of the painting, a few feet away, with my eyes trailing the curve of brush strokes, my mind taking in the nuance of color, my senses dazzled by the sheer essence of the whole, I halted.      Froze. Was completely in the painting’s spell.
     You can study something in the abstract. Know it’s real somewhere out there in the world, and understand intellectually that what you read in a book or what you’re told by someone else is true.
     You have to stand in front of it and have it stare back at you, though, to really know it.
     That’s how I feel when I look at Shannon. Every single time my eyes find her. Shannon’s smile is warm and sweet, yet better every time she flashes it at me. Her honey-colored hair shines in the sunlight but looks richer when it’s tangled, in bed, highlighted by the moon and messed by me. Those warm eyes see only me when we’re together. That luscious body craves my touch. My hands. My...all of it.
     When I’m with her, the world is more nuanced. Deeper. Authentic. Real.
     She’s a work of art, one of a kind. And one I get to hold next to my body, tuck away in my heart, and...grow old with.
     I have planned the perfect proposal. No footlongs and sauerkraut, unfortunately, but plenty of lobster, caviar, champagne and—her favorite—tiramisu. (What is it with women and tiramisu? It’s cream, cheese, sugar, cake and rum, not some magic potion that generates mouth orgasms. My Y chromosome scratches its head in confusion, but hey, if it’s her favorite...I give my woman what she wants.)
     Dad gave me Mom’s engagement ring, platinum and diamonds galore, a monstrosity he’d bought for her nearly four decades ago as his business took off. The ring is designed to impress. I doubt Shannon would care if I slid a giant hard-candy ring on her finger instead of a three-carat diamond.
     And, frankly, I don’t care, either. But the thought of my Shannon sharing such an important part of my mother’s life makes my chest swell. Only Shannon—and my mom—can do that. Only love can do that.
     Plus, Marie will pass out when she sets eyes on that rock, and that will give us two minutes of blessed silence. That woman talks more than Kim Kardashian flashes her naked ass on the internet.
     “It’s not as if your brothers are planning to tie themselves down to one woman any time soon, if ever,” Dad had said when he gave it to me. He’s about as sentimental as a pet rock. After having it resized to fit my future fiancée, it was ready to rest on yet another McCormick woman’s finger.
     It was going to be calculatedly perfect, down to the color of the tablecloth and the freshness of the roses.
     And it was perfect.
     Until Shannon swallowed the ring.

Top 10 Most Embarrassing Moments Caused by Your Future Mother-in-law
10. That time she banged a spoon against a wine glass to get you to kiss Shannon as you went out for your first business meeting.
9. When she invited you to the yoga class she taught and encouraged the old ladies to pinch your ass.
8. When she talked about her sex life.
7. When she talked about her sex life.
6. When she talked about her sex toys.
5. Where was I? I just bleached my brain....
4. The time she stormed into your father’s corporate offices and yelled at him for blaming you for your mom’s death. And then your future-father-in-law showed up. And then your dad and future father-in-law got into a brawl worthy of WWF Wrestling.
3. When she brought Shannon’s pet cat, Chuckles, to the mall when you were playing Santa and made the cat wear reindeer antlers.
2. That time she brought a camera crew to Shannon’s apartment and barged in on you making love, cameras rolling.
1. Come to think about it...every waking moment around her.

Q: Why a mystery shopper and a billionaire? Isn’t that an odd combination?
A: Yes! And that’s the point: you don’t think about someone who mystery shops for a living finding herself dating a high-powered billionaire. Most mystery shoppers go into stores and do customer service evaluations (in secret!) to make a little money and get free stuff. Billionaires are the opposite: their time is more valuable than anything else. It seemed like a neat combination, and one that would give me some great material to work with.

Q: Shannon struggles in the first book (Shopping for a Billionaire) with her feelings for her ex-boyfriend, Steve. Declan is full-on attracted to her, and has no problem putting Steve in his place when they meet. Why didn’t Shannon just dump Steve right away?
A: Shannon’s ex does NOT appear in Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancee (though he will appear in future books...spoiler!) because it took 670 pages in the first book to deal with that! Shannon is a deeply loyal person, but at the beginnning of the series she’s also insecure. She’s trying to figure out who she is in relation to other people -- and what she wants out of life. Navigating that road can be tough, but she does it so well. She admire’s how Declan just knows what he wants, and gets it.
At the same time, Declan really treasures the fact that Shannon is a deep feelers. She isn’t shallow like so many women he’s dated.

Q: You’ve turned a cat into a character. Chuckles the Cat is, um...evil personified. Tell us about Chuckles.
A: To be fair, we meet Chuckles in Shopping for  Billionaire when Shannon is petting him and her mother appears suddenly in the apartment. Shannon turns the poor cat into a weapon, flinging him at her mom. I’d plan mayhem and destruction is someone did that to me. :)
When I write Chuckles I imagine an evil little frustrated man is trapped inside him. Poor cat. Shannon’s mom makes him wear reindeer costumes for Christmas pictures, for goodness sake!
But Chuckles LOVES Declan. He’s a kindred spirit.

Q: Declan does the classic “slip the ring in a glass of Champagne” proposal, but...
A: It goes horribly wrong. The ring never ends up in the Champagne, but it -- whoops! SPOILER. Can’t tell the rest. Let’s just say Declan turns out to make mistakes, too. And he pays dearly for them.

Q: You used a lot of Twitter jokes in your Shopping for a Billionaire series. Will we see more Tweets in this book?
A: A few. Jessica Coffin (Steve’s girlfriend and Shannon’s nemesis) makes a brief reappearance that involves a particularly gross hashtag involving poor Shannon’s ring debacle.

Q: Are there more books planned in this series?
A: Oh, yes. Writing one as we speak. :)

Author Bio:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge, and new adult books that push contemporary boundaries. From billionaires to BBWs to rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every book she writes, but unlike Trevor from Random Acts of Crazy, she has never kissed a chicken.


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