Will what started as Trent’s innocent deception create a chasm between Trent and Cassie too wide to cross?
THE BILLIONAIRE’S DECEPTION by Shawna Delacorte, a contemporary romance novel from The Wild Rose Press. Release date: September 12, 2022 www.thewildrosepress.com
My idea for this book first came to mind several years ago. I was in Seattle and made a spontaneous decision to take the car ferry to Vancouver Island for a few days. I also decided to stay a couple of days at one of the ferry stops before continuing on to Canada—Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, Washington. I fell in love with the place.
Jotted down lots of observations, took lots of pictures. Later that day, while watching the car ferry arrive at the ferry dock and the cars drive off, a story idea started forming in the back of my mind. A couple of days later, I continued on the car ferry to Vancouver Island in Canada, but my stay at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island kept rattling around in my mind.
I finally decided on my main characters and a specific location/business on San Juan Island. The heroine, Cassie Brockton, owns a diner/bar across the street from the ferry dock and marina. The hero, Trent Nichols, only intends to make a brief stop there—just a day, two days at the most—to do a favor for a friend.
The San Juan Islands, a group of islands off the coast of Washington state, make up San Juan County. The island group includes hundreds of islands—some uninhabited, some privately owned. San Juan Island is the largest and most populous of the group with the town of Friday Harbor being the County Seat. The other primary islands with ferry service are Orcas Island, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island. Even though the story is set in Friday Harbor, I only identified San Juan Island in the story and not the name of the town.
Blurb: High-powered billionaire Beverly Hills attorney Trent Nichols takes a three-month sabbatical to shake his feeling of career burnout and ends up in the San Juan Islands off Washington State. Right away, he encounters a beautiful, down-to-earth owner of a diner/bar and feels an immediate attraction to her. But when she expresses a hostile opinion of attorneys, he decides to keep his profession to himself, a little deception he believes won’t matter. He’s not there to stay.
As a transplanted Chicago banker with a contentious divorce from a lying, cheating attorney, Cassie Brockton loves her new life on the island where she inherited a diner/bar from her great aunt. A stranger in town grabs her full attention, and though he’s not telling her everything, she senses she can trust him and lets down her guard.
But when the island draws him in—just the change his life needs—and his affection for Cassie grows, Trent’s deception has him caught in a web that threatens both their futures.
Cassie surveyed the shelves, then her gaze landed on the sought-after carton sitting on the top shelf in the storage room. Who put something in constant use way up there? She grabbed the rickety, old wooden stepladder and placed it below the shelf. Steadying herself with one hand against the wall, she climbed up four steps. I should have listened to Mike about buying a new ladder. As she cautiously reached for the carton, she heard the front door open and close.
“Is that you, Mike? I could sure use some help in here.”
Cassie stood a petite five feet three inches, not quite tall enough to reach the carton. She tentatively climbed one more step to the top of the ladder. With both arms stretched above her head, she tried to coax the box off the shelf with her fingertips.
The unstable old ladder swayed and shook. Her heartbeat jumped into high gear. Panic shoved hard at her. She desperately tried to grab something, anything to keep from falling. Almost like a slow-motion scene in a movie, she felt the ladder give way and went tumbling backward out of control.
Shock jolted through her as a pair of strong arms caught her, followed by the sound of an unfamiliar voice—a smooth, sexy male voice. “Mike doesn’t seem to be here. Will I do?”
He seemed to be well-groomed in spite of his shaggy hair. His faded and worn jeans had a couple of holes in the knees, and his T-shirt looked old, but the garments were clean. “I’ve never seen you before. Are you new on the island?”
“Yes, I just arrived.”
She glanced out the window and saw the Washington State Ferry pulling away from the dock. “So I see.”
Trent Nichols found her statement confusing until he turned and followed her line of sight to the ferryboat. He started to correct her but caught himself and allowed her incorrect assumption to stand rather than admit he arrived on his sixty-foot yacht. Discretion became the word of the day until he had time to accurately assess the situation. The less said to the locals, the better. “This is the first restaurant I saw, so here I am.”
Cassie jumped up and hurried behind the counter. She grabbed a menu and handed it to him. “You can look over the selections. We start our switch over to the lunch menu in about ten minutes if you’d like to wait, but breakfast items are still available.”
He took the menu from her. “I was just next door at the motel—”
“I’m sorry, but Bob Hampton has misled you.” Her clipped words had a sharp edge to them. Anger darted across her face as her green eyes darkened and narrowed. The sudden change in her demeanor caught him completely off guard. “This restaurant is a separate business from the motel. There are no provisions for his guests to charge meals to their room and pay for them at the motel when they check out. I hope this doesn’t inconvenience you.”
“Whoa!” He threw his hands up in a defensive posture as he registered surprise at Cassie’s sudden and unexpected verbal attack. “I was going to say I had just been next door and was surprised to find the motel closed. Even if it’s only a seasonal business, it seems that it should be open by now.”
The crimson flush of embarrassment spread across her cheeks as she glanced at the floor. “I’m sorry. It’s just that…well, uh…I obviously made a wrong assumption. Please accept my apology.” She offered a shy smile.
“No harm done.” He extended a smile that said he had dismissed the matter from his mind, a reality far from the truth.
About Shawna Delacorte
I’ve lived most of my life in Los Angeles and earned my living for twenty years by working in television production. I was always interested in writing and dabbled at it, but not seriously. I combined my interest in writing with my avocation of photography and began doing magazine articles featuring my photographs. After selling several articles, I discovered I enjoyed the writing process as much as the photography.
My friends told me I should make use of my television contacts and write scripts. I enrolled in a screenwriting class at UCLA. By the close of class, I knew screenwriting was not for me. The other thing I knew was that I wanted to try writing a novel rather than magazine articles.
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More excerpts and other information available on my website: www.shawnadelacorte.com
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