Crash

By: Vanessa Waltz


Blurb:

Will Pardini is a temptation Natalie does NOT need right now.



Months after calling off her engagement, Natalie is trying to rebuild her failing career and impress her eternally disappointed parents. She has too much on her plate already, but the offer Will gives her - to travel the world working as a graphic designer for his luxury hotels - is much too tempting to refuse.



Reformed bad boy billionaire Will Pardini has had his fill of ditzy gold diggers. Natalie is everything he'd ever hoped for but never dreamed could be real. Around her, he's just a normal guy.



Around her, he doesn't feel like such a monster.



Will has been hiding a dark secret... one that shows up just when he thought he would be able to move on with his life. One that threatens to tear apart the fragile connection he's been building with Natalie and turn his world upside down.



Is it right to let someone love you more than you deserve to be loved?



Be sure to buy the first book in the series, Break! Crash is a full-length, standalone sequel. If you haven’t read Break, don’t worry! Sign up for my newsletter, here! No spam. I only send information on new releases, excerpts, and giveaways!





Chapter 1

When the door to my apartment opened, I sat bolt upright in my chair. His loud, booming voice called for me and I was paralyzed with fear. My cheeks were stained with dark pink streaks from crying all day, because I knew what I had to do and desperately did not want to do it.

He didn’t cheat. He revealed something to the media about my best friend, Jessica, and lied to me about it after he promised he wouldn’t say anything to them. How much money did they give him? The evidence of his betrayal was splashed all over TMZ in gaudy headlines:

Billionaire playboy Luke Pardini hires escort to dupe dad

Luke Pardini’s girlfriend’s drug-fueled past

Luke Pardini and blonde escort no more!

The ‘escort’ was my best friend; she was dating a billionaire whose reputation was already fragile. This would destroy both of them. She was out of the apartment, shopping, because doing something was better than sitting around, thinking of how they were no longer together. And the reason why just walked through my front door.

She must hate Ben.

I couldn’t take it. I had to do it now.

I got up from my chair and opened the door. I didn’t want him to corner me in the bedroom, where there would be no escape. My tall, hulking blonde fiancé stood in the kitchen. The crack of his teeth slicing open an apple made me cringe. A tiny bit of anger punctuated the fearful thoughts running through my head. How dare he come in here as if nothing was wrong?

He jumped slightly as he saw me standing there, watching him. “There you are. Gosh, you scared me.”

Ben smiled at me, still without a clue. I trembled as I walked forward, my mouth hanging open helplessly. He would get angry. He would pound the walls with his huge fists and maybe he would cry, and I would feel so guilty for doing that to him, but I needed to do it. Jessica was my best friend.

“Ben, I—”

“Hey, do you want to get dinner tonight at that new Chinese place? We’ve never tried it.”

His eyes shined with excitement and I was halfway towards smiling and agreeing, never mind that Ben knew perfectly well that I never really liked Chinese food. Why do I always want to please him? “Um, Ben, we need to talk.”

“Okay,” he chuckled at my serious voice. “About what?”

The anger dug in like sharp spurs. “I know what you did.” I almost said it apologetically.

Immediately, the painfully obvious look of feigned confusion appeared on his face. His blonde eyebrows knitted down and his eyes wandered the walls of my kitchen. He was stalling to search for a good lie.

“I know you talked to the press about Jessica. Don’t lie.”

He balked at the uncharacteristically harsh tone in my voice. His huge body stood up, as if to remind me how large he was and how much strength it held. Finally, his brows knitted in concern. He was finally noticing.

Dumbshit.

“Natalie, have you been crying?”

His huge hand cradled my cheek and the unexpected warmth made my anger stumble a bit. No, he’s trying to distract me.

“Ben, stop it. Don’t make this any harder than it has to be.”

My feet took me away from him, but he followed.

“What do you mean?” he asked, almost angrily. “Hey!”

A vortex of energy whirled inside. My legs were trembling and I didn’t want to look at him, didn’t want to shake the incredible resolve I found within myself to get rid of him. I slapped his hand away as he stroked my face, finally letting some of that energy escape.

“You hurt her. How could you do that?”

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