Authors: Gina Robinson
© 2016 by Gina Robinson
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Publisher’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, events, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental.
Cover Design: Jeff Robinson
Lazer Focused: The Billionaire Matchmaker 1/Gina Robinson. — 1st ed.
an expert at making perfect matches. Until she meets hers.
he lonely single
men of Seattle have a problem—a shortage of eligible women. Across the county, Manhattan has the opposite problem, a shortage of eligible men. Sexy Seattle billionaire and entrepreneur Lazer Grayson thinks he has the perfect solution. Now all he needs is a little cooperation from Manhattan's premier matchmaker, a beautiful, seductive woman he wants desperately. For a lot more than her matchmaking skills.
Manhattan matchmaker Ashley Harte has never seen the New York marriage market so desperate. With so few men in her matchmaking pool, she has to turn away female clients. Which is very bad for business. And her reputation. Will hot billionaire Lazer Grayson's proposal be her path to matchmaking success? Or will he break her heart?
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The Billionaire Matchmaker Series
Part 1—Lazer Focused
Part 3—Pair Us
The Billionaire Duke Series
The Billionaire Duke
The Duchess Contest
The Temporary Duchess
The American Heir
The Switched at Marriage Series
A Wedding to Remember
The Virgin Billionaire
To Have and To Hold
From This Day Forward
For Richer, For Richest
In Sickness and In Wealth
To Love and To Cherish
Gina Robinson’s Contemporary New Adult Romance Series
The Rushed Series
These standalone romances can be read in any order. But it’s more fun to read them all!
, Zach and Alexis’ story
, Dakota and Morgan’s story
, Seth and Maddie’s story
The Reckless Series
Ellie and Logan’s love story begins one hot August night. This series should be read in order.
"There are certainly not so many men of large fortune in the world, as there are pretty women to deserve them."—
Sex. Food. Sleep. There's a myth out there that guys think about sex once every seven seconds. It's just that—a myth. No reliable studies have confirmed it. When someone finally got around to doing at least a rudimentary experiment, the results were startling. Guys think about sex only an average of 18.6 times a day. Or a little less than once an hour. About the same amount as they think about food and sleep. And, as one report concluded, "Men are about as likely to develop a meaningful relationship with a high-def shot of a cheeseburger as with a picture of a woman."
I cry foul. Have you ever seen a mechanic shop whose walls were plastered with photos of naked cheeseburgers? Suppliers who send out calendars with food in provocative positions to their clients at Christmas?
No? Neither have I.
I would add,
What kind of women are these guys ogling that a cheeseburger beats them out on the salivation scale?
Sex. Business. Money. Those are my top three. And I think of each of them a hell of a lot more than once an hour. Which one wins the hourly total depends on the time of day and the markets.
I have a low BMI, a fat wallet, and a reputation as a playboy. That gives you some kind of hint how I often I think about sex compared to food. I'm a billionaire. That's not a brag, just a fact. With the money and notoriety comes a fair share of groupies and beautiful women who are attracted to power and money.
I'm human and subject to temptation, so of course I've indulged my appetite. What kind of masochist could resist a delicious cheeseburger when it was wafted beneath his nose? I'm not a monk. Nor on a diet.
What can I say? I
women. They fascinate me. All those lush curves and intricacies of emotions that guys lack.
They also baffle me. I enjoy the challenge and the mystery of them. What fun would life be if we understood everything?
While I love pursuing them, I'm not big on commitment. Too many variations of cheeseburgers still to try, if you know what I mean. I was still looking for the elusive one that would permanently sate my hunger for any other. And not give me heartburn.
I started out life as a geek guy. A gamer. A programmer. A quiet guy the girls didn't notice. Over the years, as I've earned my wealth, I've also improved my social skills and honed my reputation as a ladies' man. I've been named Seattle's Hottest Bachelor.
. To be honest, the geek guy part of me still can't believe the billionaire me scores so easily.
Lately, though, business has consumed my thoughts. And food and sleep were creeping up there, vying for the most-thought-about category. Especially sleep. My kingdom for a good, straight consecutive eight hours of it. Business stopped for no man. And the markets had been as flighty and temperamental as a woman in the throes of PMS.
A hot August Friday was waning into evening as I left the office a little before six. Early for me. I was beaten up and beat, period. Sleep. Sleep.
. Three times in less than a second.
Damn you, sleep
. You really were edging out sex.
My office was in the heart of downtown Seattle on Mercer Street. There were dozens of bars and hotspots I could have headed to. Plenty where I was a regular. A few where the girl-to-guy ratio was decent on any given Friday. By Seattle standards, anyway. But I wanted a drink before crashing, not a pickup. Again, not to brag, but women hit on me shamelessly.
Unsurprisingly, the taproom of Mercer Street Micro Distillery was packed. With men. Its location near Amazon and the high-tech companies of the city made it extremely popular with the male-heavy workforce in the area. Its booze and the large-screen TVs tuned to sports appealed to guys. Every table and seat was taken, and the crowd spilled out to outdoor seating.
I squeezed my way in past the crush. Mercer Street Micro had a good selection of food. If you were in the mood for a laugh, and something definitely lowbrow, try their home-cut tater tots topped with a fried egg, over easy. Dip your taters in runny yolk. There was something.
I wasn't particularly hungry. Food wasn't going to hit my top three today. I didn't want to be weighed down during my evening workout. One quick drink to unwind before heading home and I was out of here.
A Mariners game played on the TVs strategically hung overhead. The Ms were winning. But no one was watching. The guys were all on edge, watching something else out of the corners of their eyes while pretending to be into the game. The air was charged with testosterone. Sexual desperation. And fear. That special kind of fear of rejection that glues guys to their seats, makes their pulses race, their mouths dry, their fantasies soar, and renders them spineless idiots unable to approach a woman. Tonight most of these guys would be sleeping alone with their game consoles on.
If I licked my finger and held it in the air, I would have felt the zap of energy all that restraint and desire created. Someone really should harness it. I had the feeling it was better than hydro and more reliable than solar. Especially here. Megawatts of sexual power radiated in that small distillery, looking for an outlet.
I have a pretty decent radar regarding women, especially hot ones. Were we in the presence of a unicorn? Had some stray attractive, unattached woman actually wandered into this gin joint? I, personally, had never encountered one here before. No wonder the herd was restless.
Interesting as it was, the guys' fear and loneliness weren't my problem. But, as someone who'd overcome his natural feelings of inferiority, their insecurity was amusing to watch. And heartbreaking and embarrassing at the same time. I felt for them. Seriously. I did.
But come on, guys. Grow a pair. Give me a soapbox. I'll give you a pep talk.
I glanced around at the mostly techie crowd. Educated, intelligent, geeky guys rendered mute by the essence of a beautiful woman. If I inhaled deeply enough, I bet I'd even catch a whiff of her perfume. I'd lay money it was laced with pheromones, too.
I reconsidered my plan to polish off a drink quickly. My home gym could wait. Maybe I'd grab my complimentary bowl of popcorn and watch the show for a few. I could use a little entertainment. See if anyone eventually got up the nerve and went after the unicorn. She had to be around here somewhere.
You could say the distillery catered to guys. But you'd be wrong. In principal, anyway. It was as desperate for female clientele as its usual customers were for female companionship. More women would mean more men. And more money flowing into the tills. And more of a rep as the place to go. And the ability to expand. Ah, the goal of every entrepreneur.
I made my way toward the bar, looking for the owners, Mark and Cary. Either of them could talk your ear off about the technical details of making grain alcohol. They were masters. The walls were covered with ribbons they'd won for their spirits.
Mark and Cary were doing their damnedest to attract the female crowd. They really were. A glance at the menu and the happy hour specials would tell you that. Why else would a place like this serve lemon drops in ice cups? At these ridiculously low prices. No guy was going to order one.
Boys. Boys. You need the help of a master,
I thought. If only I had time.
As I glanced around, I counted a total of ten women in the crowd of over a hundred. Nine of them with guys. Two of the ladies were ugly as sin. All right. Fine. Call me crass. Say I'm a chauvinist. Tell me I'm a douche. But the truth was what it was. One a scale of one to ten, they were a minus three. I'd never say that aloud, of course.
But give me a break. No makeup? They weren't even trying. A little lipstick, at least, please. Even some colored lip balm would do.
Another four were at least two attractive points below their partners. And remember, we're talking techie geeks, not
here. These ladies were clearly dating up. Remember, I loved these guys. There were
kind of guys. They worked for the companies I invested in. They designed the video games I loved. The apps I used. I admired their work. Their imagination. And their skill with code. I was on
side. For all my acquired
, I still was a geek at heart.
The odds were not in their favor tonight.
. Our unicorn. The girl who was going to be the object of many wet dreams and shower fantasies tonight. She was sitting at the bar, legs crossed as she perched elegantly on a barstool.
So this was what all the fuss was about. I had to admit, she was scorching. My dick went hard at the sight of her. If she had this effect on a playboy like me, who got his share of action, I could only imagine what she was doing to the other guys in the place.
Her long, dark hair cascaded over her shoulders in waves, and brought out a deep desire to run my fingers through it. I balled my fists. She wore a formfitting red dress and sparkling gold stiletto heels. The thing about heels, the reason they're so sexy, is that they level the average height difference between men and women. It makes guys think about doing the woman standing up. Anyway, that was what it made
think about. Anyone could see she was from out of town and out of just about everyone's league. She might have been easy picking. If she hadn't been so sophisticated.
Yes, she knew what she was doing, dressed in red. If you're a brunette in a dim bar, you have to wear striking colors to stand out. Otherwise, the blonds and their hair that's bright under the lights outshine you. This brunette clearly knew how to attract attention.
It was patently obvious what the big deal was about. We not only had a unicorn, but a totally unapproachable one. Although the taproom was full, the seats on either side of her were open. The guys had definitely put her on a pedestal and on display. It was obvious to the casual observer that fear of rejection ruled the day. If I'd been in on private conversations around the room, I'd have been willing to bet there was a lot of betting going on, ribbing, and even more dares and drinking for courage.
Every guy in this place was sizing up every other guy and trying to determine who was the best looking. Who had the best chance. And every guy was coming up short in his own estimation. My money was on a unicorn of another kind—some unthinking fool who wasn't afraid of rejection making a doomed move on her.
I went to the far end of the bar from the woman and ordered whiskey, neat. Both Mark and Cary were working behind the counter, busy and distracted. Probably as much by the unicorn as anyone. Mark waved at me. But there was little chance of a dissertation on the fine points of making gin today.
I knew the bartender, too. He slid a bowl of popcorn my way as he nodded toward the woman. "She's been here half an hour. Caused a stir the moment she walked in. I feel kind of sorry for her. No one's had the nerve to approach her yet." His tone held a note of encouragement. As in,
Go get 'em, tiger!
I laughed. "Don't look at
. I'm just here for a drink."
"Do I need to take your temperature? What's wrong with you, man? I thought we could count on our resident ladies' man." He gave her a sidelong glance. "Look at the poor thing, all alone. Women usually travel in packs. Makes it hard to approach them. You'd think somebody could work up the nerve to talk to a lone woman. She could use some company."
I glanced at her again. She was smiling at one of the guys across the room. She had a beautiful smile. Sexy. Seductive. Fun. It lit her whole face. Ladies, take note: guys love women who smile. Cut the sultry bullshit and just bestow a smile on us. There's enough bad shit in the world. We want sunshine. Joy. Someone who knows how to laugh. Who wants a sourpuss?
He arched a brow. "Losing your edge?"
I brushed him off with a dismissive wave of my hand. He walked away laughing.
The woman looked calm enough. But the bartender was right. It had to be uncomfortable being on display like that. She had to feel all those eyes on her.
I sipped my whiskey and watched her as the alcohol settled pleasantly over my senses. She smiled at me, directly catching my eye and holding it for a good five seconds before looking away.
I'd just been summoned. Nice try. But I wasn't a puppy. When I didn't make a move in the next few minutes, she tried the old smile trick on another unsuspecting male. I thought his eyes were going to pop right out of his head. His Adam's apple bobbed. The guy was a basket case. But he didn't have any more nerve than the rest of the men around. Or maybe he was just clueless to the way signaling worked. He stayed glued to his seat.
She tried the trick on other men. I tried not to smile at the antics of the guys in the bar. The ones who caught that smile walked past and kept going, losing their nerve before making contact. The look of her pretty face as she lost potential conquest after potential conquest. She was more bemused than dejected.
She was exactly the kind of fresh-faced beauty every guy dreams of. Not overly made up. Natural looking in a way that took skill with makeup. No one looked that good just rolling out of bed.
The enchantress reached into her purse. A lipstick case clattered to the floor at her feet. She was getting desperate now. This was a cue for someone, anyone, to approach and play knight gallant. Actually, it was more a ploy. A cheap trick.
When no one made a move, I gave up, mentally shaking my head. What kind of a sign did these guys need? A billboard?
I grabbed my glass and slid off my barstool. I reached her and bent to pick the lipstick up just as she leaned over to grab it. Our fingers brushed. We nearly knocked heads.
I got to her lipstick first. "I believe you dropped this." I handed it to her as we both stood up. "Throwing down the gauntlet? That's a gutsy move in this crowd."