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Exclusive Excerpt: The Athlete and The Aristocrat
Billionaire businessman Lucien has just discovered he’s going to be working with retired championship soccer player Simon Wood to set up a charity sponsoring underprivileged kids.
Lucien thanked Paul and ended the call, reading through the provided information again and making notes for himself. He pushed down the thrill of excitement that crept through him. This program was the kind of thing he’d always wanted to get started but hadn’t because of time constraints and parental expectations. He’d always been a huge football fan, went to as many matches as he could and watched the rest on TV, but aside from casual matches with friends as a teenager or school sports, he’d never played. His father hadn’t approved, insisting he had other responsibilities.
The last page of Paul’s notes was a profile of Simon Wood, and this time Lucien couldn’t stop the zing that shot through him. Simon Wood, age thirty-four, retired championship footballer. There was a list of his charitable endeavors, and a paragraph about his schooling—apparently the man had found time somewhere in his career to get an MBA—but nowhere had Paul included one very important fact: Simon Wood was hot.
So hot that he’d consistently made hottest bachelor lists around the world over the last decade.
He was also rumored to be bisexual. There had never been any confirmation, not even a tell-all tabloid story, but the gossip mill murmured that while Simon publicly only had girlfriends, his bed was not restricted to a single gender. When Lucien had been a horny fourteen-year-old struggling to understand his own sexuality, the rumors about then-nineteen-year-old football sensation Simon Wood had grounded him and helped him get his head around exactly why he could be turned on by both Jennifer Lopez and Hugh Jackman.
Not to mention, the man himself had played a starring role in many of Lucien’s teenage fantasies.
Just the sound of his name was sexy… Sigh-mon. And he was so utterly sigh-worthy.
Louisa Masters started reading romance much earlier than her mother thought she should. While other teenagers were sneaking out of the house, Louisa was sneaking romance novels in and working out how to read them without being discovered. She’s spent most of her life feeling sorry for people who don’t read, convinced that books are the solution to every problem. As an adult, she feeds her addiction in every spare second, only occasionally tearing herself away to do things like answer the phone and pay bills. She spent years trying to build a “sensible” career, working in bookstores, recruitment, resource management, administration, and as a travel agent, before finally conceding defeat and devoting herself to the world of romance novels.
Louisa has a long list of places first discovered in books that she wants to visit, and every so often she overcomes her loathing of jet lag and takes a trip that charges her imagination. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she whines about the weather for most of the year while secretly admitting she’ll probably never move.
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