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About the author:
Meet Amerine Graham, a new kid on the block when it comes to self-publishing but her background as a prolific reader and an avid entrepreneur could only have resulted in this merger. The billionaire romance series featuring the men you love to hate and to love in turns is her latest project. Amerine enjoys quiet times, gospel choirs and simple activities with her three very active children.
What inspired you to write your book?
I have always enjoyed a hot romance especially with a bit of mystery thrown in, so I tried to capture some of that in writing this book. I hope I was successful. Do Enjoy.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Chapter 1: A morning only princes can afford
A buzzing phone was the most annoying way to wake up. It kept on ringing non-stop. For a moment, it felt like he was doomed to hearing it for the rest of his life – there was no escape from it.
Khalid groaned. His half-awake brain refused to cooperate. Not when a sharp jolt of pain blazed in his head the moment he tried to open his eyes. He pushed the phone under his pillow to muffle the sound as he turned onto his other side in the hope of getting a little bit more sleep.
No such luck. The bright rays of the sun fell on his pillow. He cursed himself for forgetting to shut down the curtains before going to bed last night. How did he get to bed last night?
Wait, he did not have a window near his bed. Then where was he?
Collecting all his willpower to fight a headache that was getting worse every minute, Khalid forced his eyes open, and blinking a few times – to let his eyes adjust to the bright morning light – he looked around.
This was definitely not his bedroom.
The room he was in was exquisite. Furnished in dark mahogany, gold, and wine red colors, it looked like a royal bedchamber or something like that. The gold sigils printed on the heavy burgundy curtains caught his attention. He knew the place. He was in the presidential suite of Hotel Royale. The suite that was located on the two-hundredth floor. How the hell had he appeared here?
He squeezed his eyes as the pounding in his head got almost unbearable. This hotel was co-owned by his father’s corporation.
He could only hope that whatever he did last night he had not gotten too much off the deep-end. As much as Khalid loved shocking the media with his notorious deeds, causing havoc on one of his father’s business ventures was not a good idea. His father was one of the few people he respected endlessly. Scandalous behavior here could cause harm not only to his family’s reputation but earn dissatisfaction from their business associates.
A loud bang on the door made him jump.
“Khalid, are you awake yet?” Brandon called.
Ah, so Brandon was also here. This made sense then. Most probably Khalid had partied really hard with his best friends last night and somehow ended up here. It was not that often that he woke up with a complete blackout of what had happened.
“I believe I am,” he forced himself to answer. His voice was hoarse. Probably, he had consumed way too much alcohol last night. “Will need a shower to be sure I truly am awake.”
He did not wait for an answer as he climbed out of the king-size four poster bed. And, cautiously stripping along the way, he headed for the bathroom.
Hmm, why were there was no woman or women around? Waking up alone in a hotel suite was not his usual norm.
Fighting the headache, Khalid entered the bathroom. He recalled from previous visits that the bathroom of this presidential suite was one of his favorites. He didn’t pay much attention to the tasteful design right now.
Though fighting the disorientation of the headache, he still remembered to carefully take off the three silver rings he always wore on his right hand. These were symbols of three life-altering events that had happened to him; the milestones that had made him who he was. He wore them not to forget those days. Never to forget…ever. Inside every ring, there was a date carved that only he knew. For anyone else, those were simple rings with a beautiful design. Some would even wonder why a man of his wealth wore such simple silver rings. Being the son of the reigning sheikh meant that he could afford amount of gold or precious stones that he desired but he has these silver rings for a specific reason. Khalid carefully placed the rings on the small plate that was set on the sink. He never showered with them. Not sure why; it was just a habit.
He stepped into the gold shower and turned the water on, slowly adjusting the temperature to make it cooler and cooler to get his exhausted body to slowly wake up. A cold shower was his best medicine against hangover. An aspirin would not hurt either. He hoped Brandon had some with him although; those little amenities usually come standard in the presidential suite. He could depend on Brandon who was a fountain of preparedness when it comes to his friends’ welfare.
The shower he took was heavenly and seemed to wash away some of the effects of the hangover. Khalid found the silky white bathrobe and wrapped it around his body. He then walked out into the main room of the suite. To his surprise, he found both his friends – Brandon and Alexander – awake and looking pretty fresh.
“You look like shit,” Alexander greeted him.
“You look very awake,” he greeted his friends in reply. He could use another hour or ten to sleep. Sadly, that was not a luxury Khalid bin Rashid Al-Qasim could afford. “How exactly did we end up here last night?” He cocked a brow at his friends.
Both of them burst into chuckles. That did not augur well. Did he miss something really important? How hard did they party last night for him to completely forget it all?
“It’s worse than I thought,” Alexander shook his head.
“As could be expected,” Brandon agreed. “I shall give you a quick reminder of our adventures, I believe.” He spoke in his low, calm voice and the heavy British accent that never failed to earn a smile from Khalid. His words flowed like thick, warm honey. “Last night, my dear friend, we went out to celebrate my thirtieth birthday. At your suggestion, we invited quite a big group of top models and show business stars, who kept us well entertained and we all ended up very drunk.”
When Brandon put it like that, it sounded almost like a royal party, not like the filthy orgy it most probably had been. They were known as the most notorious party beasts for well-deserved reasons. No woman left their parties with her panties still on her.
“Why are there no pretty naked chicks around then?” Khalid spread his arms to his sides and looked around the luxurious living room as if searching for the women who had entertained them so hard that he couldn’t even remember it now.
“Xavier made sure they left after he somehow carried you to the bed,” Brandon let out a throaty laughter.
“Such a killjoy,” Khalid muttered.
His phone buzzed again. Khalid cursed himself while reaching for the phone. He had somehow buried it under the pillow just before he fell into a drunken sleep but remember retrieving it on his way to the bathroom. Now it was making its presence felt in the pocket of his robe.
Dhanya again – he knew it from the ringtone.
“Baby, oh baby, love me hard,” were the not-so-tasteful words of the song that was Dhanya’s ringtone. They fitted Dhanya perfectly.
Alexander rolled his eyes. He could not tolerate the woman even if he knew Khalid enjoyed her scandalous company from time to time.
“She had been calling since seven in the morning,” Alex complained. “You were dead asleep, while we – in the connecting bedrooms – woke up to the annoying sounds of her ringtone.”
“I’ll make sure to tell her you are grateful for the wake-up calls,” Khalid teased his friend as he retreated to his bedroom to answer the call. “Hello?”
“How dare you?” Dhanya yelled from the other side of the line.
“Well, good morning to you too,” Khalid answered.
He was used to her drama. Not that he liked it, but the woman was smoking hot even if she is a notorious troublemaker. That fitted perfectly to his plans and that was why he did not mind hanging out with her and coping with her endless scenes of jealousy.
“How many of those slutty top models did you screw last night?” She was pissed off. Again, that was absolutely not surprising.
“I cannot remember,” he laughed. Not that he was obliged to answer her interrogation. Still, at times, truth was funnier than a lie he could come up with. “And even if I did remember, last time I checked you were neither my wife nor the girlfriend to have the right to question me about my when-where-and-with-who-about. Is that not right?”
“So that’s how you want it? You think I’m your private call girl? Someone you can fuck whenever you please and put side when you find a new toy?” Dhanya’s voice rose with every word.
Khalid could not agree more with her words. Things were exactly as she described and he was not going to deny it.
“Quite an accurate summary of what you are to me, darling," he teased.
“Don’t you dare call me darling,” Dhanya spat. “Save those filthy words for your sluts. And don’t you think you can call me ever again. Farewell, Khalid. We are breaking up.”
She cut the call without letting him respond that they were never together in the first place, for her to break up with him now. Still, the whole drama made his headache return. Khalid rubbed his forehead as he stepped out of the bedroom again.
“Let me guess, she broke up with your cheating ass again,” Brandon laughed.
“Old news,” Alexander shook his head apparently bored with all that Dhanya-drama.
“Shall we find some fresh clothes for me and head out for breakfast?” Khalid suggested.
“Too late, man,” it was Brandon’s turn to cross his arms and shake his head in disbelief. “Xavier orgainised with your housekeeper for her to be here early. She came about an half an hour ago and laid a breakfast table for us. He said we should at least have healthy, homemade breakfast to survive our unhealthy lifestyles throughout the day. I wonder how a five-star hotel’s breakfast is not good enough for Xavier’s taste.”
All three of them rolled their eyes. Not that they could complain about the amazing breakfasts that his housekeeper Mrs. Finnigan made for them. Still, Xavier was supposed to be their friend, their brother in crimes, not the overseeing and over-caring fatherly figure, who was always one step ahead, planning their daily lives.
That was what one got for being best friends with an Oxford graduated attorney. Not that the rest of them were not Oxford graduates. That was how they had met years ago and forged a life-long friendship.
Years ago, they were rich kids who found each other on the campus and swore to be brothers for life. Today, Alexander Eklund was a self-made billionaire who ran three successful IT companies in the US while based in UAE with his friends.
Khalid was an heir to his father’s multi-national corporations and ran some of his own businesses as well. One day he would also inherit his father’s title and position among the leaders of his country.
Brandon Hyde was simply a rich heir to a British nobleman and was bored with his calm life in the UK, so he preferred wasting his time and money in the company of his best friends. He hated running the family business. He preferred simply being a royal ass.
The three of them moved to the other room, where Mrs. Finnigan had laid a true morning feast. Xavier joined them shortly. The man looked smart in his gray suit. As always, he was inseparable from his iPod.
“You should hurry with your breakfasts,” he spoke after he greeted them. “Your father, Khalid, is expecting you in his office within an hour.”
“Dude, relax,” Khalid shook his head.
At times, Xavier was being too much of a mother hen. That was annoying, to say the least. Still, having a man who coped with all his bullshit and remained sane to help him out from every mess he and his friends got into, was invaluable.
“Sit down, put some brandy in your coffee, enjoy the start of this beautiful day,” Brandon spoke lazily. His thick accent matched perfectly with his words.
That was exactly what Brandon did – adding two teaspoons of brandy to his coffee was a holy tradition. They all knew how careful Brits were about keeping their traditions. Even Mrs. Finnigan had accepted that little habit of his and made sure to always put a small bottle of brandy next to his freshly brewed coffee. She never understood, though, how one could fill their body with a filthy drink like coffee when there was heavenly tea on the table.
“I’ve had my special breakfast with Mrs. Finnigan in the morning while you – a useless bunch of brats – were still asleep.”
“Xavier, my brother,” Alexander shook his head in disbelief at Xavier’s words. “Let me explain you something. What is the use of those billions of dollars that each of us owns if we cannot have the luxury of fooling around and sleeping as long as we please?”
Khalid knew Alexander was only messing with Xavier’s mind. Most of the time, Alex was the first to get up and start his work. He usually said that business never slept. For an IT business owner, time mattered little. Some of his employees lived in the USA, others in Japan. He needed to be aware of everything all the time. That was how the man became who he was – a business magnate before he was even twenty-five.
Still, Alexander’s Swedish and German roots made him very humble, as well as added some very light sense of humor, which was a mix of sarcasm and straightforwardness. Something that Brandon with his very British sense of humor could never grasp, even after almost a decade of friendship.
“I offer a bet,” Khalid said. “Ten thousand dollars to the person who can mess with Xavier’s mind to the extent that he forgets his iPod for one whole day.”
“I’d take it one step further,” Brandon grinned wickedly. “I’ll add another five thousands if Xavier is late for some important event on that same day.”
Khalid whistled – amused with the bet. Xavier simply narrowed his eyes at the three who were having fun at his expense.
“Bet all you please, idiots, I know the value of my time and attention,” he said.
Alexander also narrowed his icy-cold gray eyes at Xavier. Alex had a special skill of sensing people’s weaknesses. That was how he often played and manipulated on their emotions, getting what he wanted.
“I believe I should accept the bet,” he finally nodded.
The four enjoyed the feast of breakfast that Khalid’s housekeeper had made for them. It was a ridiculous thing to do while being in one of the top hotels in the world. Still, a luxury only they – the princes that owned the world could afford.
Xavier checked the time on his watch.
“Time to go, Khalid. I have already checked you out of the hotel,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Can I take the bathrobe with me?” Khalid beamed. He imagined the reaction of the public when he walked out of the hotel in nothing but a silk bathrobe. He did hope a dozen or two paparazzi were waiting for them outside the hotel. They always did when he and his friends partied.
“I’ve paid extra for any damage you’ve caused. I’m sure that could cover the cost of several hundreds of bathrobes. I’d strongly suggest going home and changing before meeting your father, though.”
That was true. Khalid could fool around all he wanted, but one thing his father – Rashid bin Saeed Al Qasim never accepted was when his only son and heir behaved like a spoiled brat in his presence. The man did not have many rules, but those few he had, were never to be overlooked.
Unhappy about having to leave the heavenly comfort of their presidential suite, the four friends went out as soon as they finished their breakfast. Alexander and Brandon bid them goodbye. They had their own businesses to attend while Khalid was heading to the meeting with his father. The emergency of that meeting did not promise anything good.
“Do you think I’ve fucked up majorly again?” he chuckled nervously.
Xavier shook his head.
“You never fail to do that, man. Yet, I’m sure this meeting if is a different nature. Your father said it was strictly confidential.” That was all the information Xavier gave him. Khalid had a suspicion that his friend knew a bit more than he said but Xavier would never break his father’s trust. Thus, he simply sat back and waited until they got to the headquarters of Al-Qasim Enterprises, where his father’s main office was located.