Book #4 of the Bad Boys of Wall Street series


His soul mate is engaged…to somebody else.

A second chance/nanny/billionaire romance.

This book is releasing first into Kindle Unlimited, and then will be reaching all additional retailers in September 2023.



Trace joined me in the back hallway. He stepped a little too close. And I didn’t give him the room I might normally allow.

We were nearly chest-to-chest, and the urge to step closer and tilt my head up to his was greater than ever. Why was it still so second-nature to seek that kiss from his lips? We hadn’t kissed in six years. This was madness.

“Mercedes.” His voice came out low, gritty. He tilted his head, sizing me up. “How’s the completely normal fiancé?”

I squeezed my eyes shut, wondering if he could feel that pulsing desire to brush our lips together. I straightened my back and forced myself to meet his gaze. “Where’s Willow?”

The smirk returned. “Is that what this was about? She’s safe at home with my mother.”

“I was just curious,” I whispered, my gaze wandering over the details of his business casual attire. The cream button-up, undone enough to allow a few curls of chest hair to poke out, and matte navy slacks. The derby shoes that forever made something clench deep inside me, dizzy with need. Caleb could have worn the exact same outfit and it wouldn’t have affected me half as much.

There was just something about Trace. His powerful frame; the fire that swirled in his eyes. The way he could penetrate me instantly, see me in a way that nobody else could. Sometimes he used that talent as a salve; other times, as a weapon.

Today I got the feeling he’d be using it as a weapon.

“My mother is with Willow right now. She came over so I could do some networking. But Willow and I enjoyed a lovely day at the indoor playland at the mall.” He sipped at his tumbler, a challenge lighting up his gaze. “Anything else?”

“I’m here with my family,” I said in a low voice, gnawing at the inside of my lip. I looked over his shoulder, toward the entryway of the hall, to make sure nobody had followed us. “This a warning and also a request. Can you promise me you won’t show up at the table?”

Confusion knit his brows together. “A warning? You just really can’t stand to be associated with me in public, huh?”

“It’s not that.” I swallowed hard, steeling myself against the sudden wash of his scent—vetiver and leather and that untouchable hint of working man. “They can’t know I work for you. I just want to make sure we avoid any interaction, because I value my job too much.”

“Avoid interaction.”


His gaze was heavy on me. “So they don’t know you work for me?”

“No. And I don’t want them to stand in the way or make trouble. It’ll just be easier if they remain in the dark.”

Trace’s jaw ticked and he nodded slowly. “Fair enough. Request accepted.”

I let out the breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding, my shoulders slumping. “Thank you.”

“Though I can’t imagine you’d really think I’d have anything to say to your family.” Trace hefted with a laugh. “Maybe to Caleb only. About you-know-what.” He jerked his chin in the direction of my ring before sipping at his tumbler again.

I covered my ring finger with my handbag. “Now would be the time to mention it. We’ve been prepping for the wedding all day. Though I should say they have, not me.”

Trace’s brow lifted. “What’s that mean?”

Frustration burbled up inside me, bursting past my lips before I could think better of it. This wasn’t the place—or the person—to air my grievances. But I couldn’t stop it. “They’re planning it all as though I’m not even part of it. My ideas or preferences don’t matter in the slightest.”

Trace studied me for a moment. “Where will the reception be? So I can come crash it with all the things you would have preferred.”

I smiled but it faded quickly. “Acrewood.”

Trace grimaced, swirling the liquid in his tumbler, ice clanking. “That’s about as stiff as I expected. I thought you would have picked that winery out toward Lexington. The one with the barn, and the gardens and trellises. What was it called?”

I almost couldn’t answer him, the way my throat seized up. Of course he’d known with hardly a moment’s thought the best place to exchange vows. One of our favorite places, a little family-run winery that had wowed me with its quaintness, its cuteness, its humility. The date we’d had there had been one of our best days together. The memory was wrapped up in so much warmth, laughter, tenderness. The way all of my memories with Trace were, until he’d stopped responding.

I needed to get a grip. We were in the back of this hallway with the clock ticking.

“You would have loved to have it there, wouldn’t you?” Trace stepped closer, eliminating the distance between us. I sucked in sharply, goosepimples flaring on my forearms.

“That would have been the perfect place,” I said softly, hoping he didn’t catch the waver in my voice. “For us.”

He rumbled low, dipping his chin, our faces growing even closer than before.


All I could see, hear or smell was him. Each passing second sent me into a deeper tailspin. I’d come here to make sure I could preserve the status quo, but if we were discovered, everything would be ruined. I needed to get out of here.

But I couldn’t pull myself away.

“What, Mercedes?” I could hear the jauntiness in his tone, the clearcut challenge. The smile tugging at his lips only proved it. “Why are you breathing so quickly?”

“You need to stay back,” I bit out. “I need to act right, and I…I can’t, when you’re…”

“When I’m what?” This time, he slipped the fingers of his free hand along my jawline, bringing my gaze to meet his. Whatever remaining distance between us disappeared then. Each inhale brought my breasts flush against his chest. I looked up into his eyes because I had to. Because he demanded it. Because I had never been able to fucking look away.

I swallowed hard, shaking my head. But it was a display. I was only acting like I needed to get away. Really, here was the only place I wanted to be.

“We’re too close,” I said on a whisper. “And I don’t want to walk away.”

The smirk on his lips blossomed into a full-blown smile. “But shouldn’t you want to? Being that you’re engaged and all.”

I clenched my teeth, forcing myself to look away from his captivating dark gaze. “I do want to. Except when you’re this close. I don’t want to hurt anybody, Trace. I just want things to stay…amicable.” Deep inside, something began laughing raucously. “Okay? Can we do that? I don’t want to act improperly.”

A low laugh rumbled out of him, and he dragged his thumb so gently across my lips I thought I imagined it. I squeezed my thighs together, that nearly-imperceptible movement heading straight for my clit. Then he straightened, stuffing his hand into his pocket.

“I would never want anything improper to happen,” he said, backing away slowly. His gaze raked over me, igniting small fires wherever he looked. “At least not here,” he added, before turning to walk away.

“We’re too close,” I said on a whisper. “And I don’t want to walk away.”


The smirk on his lips blossomed into a full-blown smile. “But shouldn’t you want to? Being that you’re engaged and all.”


The Price of infamy

His soul mate is engaged…to somebody else.