Authors: Rachel Lyndhurst
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Contemporary, #Series, #Entangled Publishing, #Rachel Lyndhurst, #Induglence, #Passion Creek series, #Romance, #romance series, #contemporary romance, #brewery, #blackmail, #lovers, #Billionaire, #modeling
He makes the rules, she blows them sky high...
Piper Reilly is in trouble. She needs a cash infusion, and she’s just left a scorching
hot man in Florida to get her life in Colorado back on track. Then her surfside one-night-stand
turns out to be her new boss, billionaire Matt DeLeo, with an offer she can’t refuse—agree
to be the face of his brewery’s newest concoction or lose her job. A few weeks modelling
for the billionaire playboy and her money worries are over, and she can definitely
resist Matt’s gorgeous smile and muscular, tattooed arms—it’s strictly business.
Matt DeLeo is in trouble. He’s found the perfect woman to sell Passion Creek Brewery’s
newest brew, but if he wants her on his posters, he’ll have to keep his hands to himself.
His problem? All he wants to do is drink in Piper. It will take more than blackmail
for Matt to get his way.
Blackmailed by the Billionaire Brewer
a Passion Creek novel
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product
of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events,
locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Copyright © 2014 by Rachel Lyndhurst. All rights reserved, including the right to
reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding
subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Entangled Publishing, LLC
2614 South Timberline Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Visit our website at
Edited by Kate Fall & Alethea Spiridon Hopson
Cover design by Liz Pelletier
Manufactured in the United States of America
First Edition May 2014
This book is dedicated to Colin, my wonderful soul mate and living proof that dreams
can come true.
She was real…
Matt DeLeo, ex-IT entrepreneur and billionaire microbrewer, clutched a paper bag of
groceries to his chest as he jogged along Periwinkle Avenue, Sanibel. The early morning
Florida sunshine was warm on his face and a grin spread across his lips.
No doubt about it: he was wide awake and his dream woman really did exist. The flame-haired
goddess he’d left sleeping in his bed fifteen minutes earlier had soft curves, fragrant
skin, and a cinnamon-sweet mouth. Even her name sent shivers of pleasure up his spine.
Piper…Piper Reilly, the supple shell collector he’d watched from a distance over the
last six days, was a revelation. When she’d finally stepped into the Parrot Bar last
night and asked for a Long Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against a Cold Hard Wall with
a Kiss, it was as if an atomic sex bomb had exploded in the room. She had stolen his
breath and now, after a night of passion he would never forget, he was just a few
yards away from breaking one of his own rules of engagement with women.
He was going to make the green-eyed siren breakfast.
He knew little about Piper Reilly, but he did know she didn’t drink beer and she hated
the color pink. No problem, he could fix that. Living in Florida, she’d clearly never
tasted any of his Colorado microbrewery’s beer.
Today, he felt great. This was the life, the reason why he’d made his millions in
IT, quit working for other people, and started his own business. Three years of twenty-four
hours a day, seven days a week had taken its toll, and he deserved his reward. And
the best things had been worth waiting for: freedom, philanthropy, and now, the perfect
woman. He’d been imagining her for so long and now she had walked into his life.
He’d done the right thing coming south to scout new opportunities for his brewery
business. Life was good here, the sun shone, and people drank a lot of beer. He only
had to finish the big spring beer launch back in Colorado and then he’d start Project
Florida. And Project Piper. He’d come back in a few weeks and they could pick up where
they’d left off.
Except he didn’t want to leave her for more than fifteen minutes. He had to go back
to Passion Creek, because he had commitments and jobs to secure in Colorado before
he moved on. There was no way around that unless she went with him. He bit down on
his bottom lip. “Now why would a girl I’ve only just met want to do something as crazy
as that?” He realized he was talking out loud and clamped his jaw shut.
He’d offer her the trip of a lifetime, all expenses paid, and tempt her back to Colorado
with him. She’d laughed in his face the previous night when he’d told her he was a
retired computer tycoon who tended bar from time to time just for fun. He hadn’t wanted
anyone to know he was checking out the Sanibel bar scene undercover. He’d tell her
the truth over breakfast.
She was self-employed, so if she came to Colorado with him, he’d introduce her to
more business contacts than she could ever dream of getting on her own. And, God,
she was gorgeous. Stunning enough to be a top model…
“Holy crap.” Matt’s feet left the ground as he punched the air. He could see it now
as clear as day; she’d be the perfect woman to advertise his new beer.
Passion Creek Brewery discovers America’s favorite poster girl…you’re still a genius,
Why would she turn down an all-expenses-paid trip to Colorado that promised fame and
fortune? She wouldn’t, he knew it.
“Have I got a surprise for you, Miss Reilly,” he murmured as he reached the back steps
of his rented condo.
Breakfast in bed and an offer you can’t refuse.
Matt hitched the groceries against his ribs and let himself into the small condo.
Silence. The bag crackled annoyingly in the narrow kitchenette, and the coffee machine
was making loud noises. His heart beat faster as he peered around the doorframe toward
the living area with the fold-down bed. Cold air swept down over his brow. The bed
was empty. The bathroom door was wide open to show that it, too, was empty. There
was no note, just the faintest trace of her melon scent.
Blood pounded in his ears as a cold, rational voice in his head chimed that one-night
stands were like that. People just got up and left sometimes, and he should know because
he’d done it enough times himself. Why would this be any different? Except it
different. It wasn’t him who’d walked out the door. Karma had sneaked up behind him
and bitten him right on the ass.
He slid his hand into his back pocket and the corner of a business card pricked the
tip of his middle finger.
. It was still there. All he needed to track her down.
And he would. What was the point of being rich if you couldn’t find the one woman
Sanibel Island seemed a world away already.
Piper Reilly cringed as her key ground in the lock of her apartment’s front door.
She’d been meaning to rub some oil into the workings for weeks, but something always
seemed to happen to distract her.
The cold air of Passion Creek, Colorado, didn’t help matters. Her hometown had been
too cold for months for Piper to want to leave the door wide open just to oil the
She nudged the door open with her knee and was hit by a blast of warm air and TV audience
laughter. Her sister Sophie had it turned up loud.
Piper took a deep breath of foul air, burned popcorn, and soiled cat litter. Sophie
hadn’t been too hot on the housekeeping while she’d been away. “It stinks in here.”
“Hi Piper!” The voice from within was cheerful, but Sophie didn’t bother to move off
the sofa before saying, “It’s the litter box, hun, massive disease risk. The doc says
not to touch it on account of being pregnant.”
Piper bit back a sarcastic reply and squeezed her eyes shut. Her cell phone vibrated
in her pocket. If the doc could see the sink full of dirty dishes she just glimpsed,
he’d probably conclude Sophie’s immune system could handle anything. “I’ll deal with
it in a sec. Where is that cat anyway?” On cue, a blur of silver shot out from behind
the sofa and threaded its sleek, velvety body around her calves like a furry eel.
“Still here, huh? Did
Sophie let you out at all?”
“Lazy thing doesn’t want to leave,” Sophie said. “I opened the front door a few times,
but she ran and hid under the bed. Looks like she’s chosen you as her new owner, big
“No, she tries to scratch me every time I pet her. That savage beast is all yours.”
“You’re not a beast, are you?” Piper bent down and picked the cat up. “Maybe one of
those phone messages is your real owner who’s seen the found notices I stuck up all
over Passion Creek.”
“Or the cops warning you about littering.” Sophie chuckled.
“That would be just my luck.” She ran the palm of her hand over the cat’s middle and
sighed. “And she is pregnant, isn’t she?”
Sophie nodded sadly. “Yep, no doubt about it. You’ve got two homeless hussies on your
She was dirty, tired, jetlagged, hung over, and, she realized after glancing at the
email that had just come in on her cell phone, had just thirteen hours to scrape together
an office outfit before starting a new temp job in the morning. She’d been dying for
a good night’s sleep, but if she didn’t clear up the airborne toxins, it would probably
mean none of them would actually wake up in the morning. Her throat felt dry.
“Can you put some coffee on, Soph?” Piper’s stomach clenched as she dragged in her
suitcase. Last night should not have happened, for so many reasons. A one-night stand
with a complete stranger? What was she thinking? “Got work in the morning and I feel
“So don’t go.” Sophie bounced up from the sofa with a grin, her pink, sweater-clad
pregnancy bump looking a gigantic marshmallow.
“I have to go.” Piper wished for once that she didn’t have to be the sensible, reliable
sister. It had been fun to let it rip in Florida, but now it was over. “We have no
other regular income right now, remember?”
Sophie’s freckled nose twitched and her blue eyes grew wide. “Business slow?”
“It’s doing fine, sweetheart, but silvering pretty shells for a living only works
for one person, not two with a baby due any day. Still, I just got an email to say
I have a temp gig in a finance department tomorrow.”
She pushed the three unanswered texts on her phone from the one night stand boy, Matt
DeLeo, to the back of her mind. And then remembered the two unanswered calls she’d
let go to voicemail. The unknown number was probably him as well. What would be the
point of further contact? They lived thousands of miles apart and he was a self-confessed
bum. A bum with a body like a Renaissance marble statue. She shook her head to dislodge
the memory and winced. She didn’t remember giving him her cell phone number…
“I guess your money problems are my fault for turning up here on New Year’s Eve with
a bun in the oven and nowhere to go?” Sophie said.
Piper almost laughed at the drama her little sister injected into her words. Four
years younger than Piper, Sophie had always been a pro at turning on the waterworks.
“I would never turn you away, and you know it. This arrangement is only temporary,
Sophie sniffed and picked at a spot of pink fluff on her tummy. “I couldn’t go back
to Alessandro, you do know that? And Mom and Dad are still angry I hooked up with
him in the first place. I don’t think they’d have me back even if I begged.”
“You could try. They’ll come around when the baby’s here, trust me. Why don’t you
give them a call and try to make up?” Piper yanked open a kitchen drawer. “You may
even change your mind about letting Alessandro back into your life, but somebody has
to pay the bills in this place while you sort your life out.”
“You were the only one I could turn to.”
“I know. It’s okay,” Piper said gently, “but I could really use some help around the
place from time to time. Cat poop excluded.”
Sophie smiled gratefully. “You could always ask the old man for a loan.”
Piper slammed the drawer shut hard, a roll of trash bags gripped in her hand. “Are
you crazy? Mom sold Aunt Jean’s bead collection to get me through college as it is.
I can look after things myself just fine. And you, lady, can do your own dirty work
and ask Dad for money.”
“I’ll bet you’re too proud to even let them pay for your wedding when your turn comes.”
“Wedding? Jeez, everything about this town has to do with love, weddings, happily
ever afters, and pink. So much sickly, disgusting pink. One more wedding commission
will probably make me sick, but I need all the money I can get. Correction,
need all the money I can get.”
“Aw, you sourpuss. That’ll change when Mr. Right comes knocking at your door, just
“No way. I’m a realist and you should be too, in your position. Do you realize I’ve
fallen a little behind on the mortgage? This is getting serious.”
Sophie looked genuinely uncomfortable, enough to make Piper qualify her harsh statement.
“Where’s all the love after the heart-shaped gold sequins are swept away, tell me
that? Divorce stats are ridiculous, sweetheart. They come here to Passion Creek, marry,
leave, fight, and then split up. It’s a joke.”
“Not all of them. I’m sure some couples make it.”
“I guess you’re right, but even so, the only way I’ll marry is if I love someone so
much I’d die without him. And he’d have to ask
obviously, not the other way around.”
Piper tore off a garbage bag and frowned. “Sorry, I forgot. About you, him, the baby,
“Yeah, it’s a freaking mess.”
“And you can’t even drink to forget.”
“I can eat.”
Piper winced as she slid empty cans into the bag. “Good idea, what should I get? Unless,
of course, the fridge is stocked?”
“There’s milk and cookies.”
Piper grinned. “I’ll dump the cat poop and then we’ll order in. Tacos? Pizza?”
“Fish and chips.” Sophie tossed over a takeout flyer. “There’s a brewhouse that delivers.
Never heard of them—think they’re new—but it sounds good and they’re way cheap.”
Piper looked at the menu and laughed. “Well, what do you know? The Railway Tavern,
right next door to where I’m working tomorrow, the Passion Creek Brewery accounts
payable department. Okay, let’s go for it, and if it’s foul, I’ll take it back there
in the morning.”
Forty minutes later, Sophie tore a piece of crispy batter off her fish and closed
her eyes as she crunched down on it. “This is
Piper grinned at the dribble of malt vinegar that trickled onto her sister’s sweater
and offered a piece of fish to the cat that had snuggled up against her thigh. “Yep,
Sophie picked up a french fry. “Oh, I forgot to say. There’s been a whole load of
calls on the landline today, so I guess the shell trade must be picking up. Hopefully
you won’t have to be a wage-slave temp for too much longer if Silver Bells starts
raking in the dollars.”
Piper’s hands stilled over her plate. “Take any names or details?”
Sophie shook her head as if her big sister was crazy. “No way, I have no idea what
to say to people about your business, so I didn’t pick up.” She took a big swallow
of soda and smiled. “Which reminds me, I did some internet shopping for baby stuff
today, and it looks like your business email inbox is crammed too.”