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Charlotte Byrd

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What would you do… if you had to pay a large debt you never knew you had. Would you sell yourself at an auction to a man of your wet dreams?

When I see her, I go all in. I crave her. I buy her. I want to give her non-stop pleasure with no strings attached. I have more money than I know what to do with. My body is chiseled out of stone. I love sailboats and I don’t believe in relationships. But then things get more serious…is this what they call love?

WARNING: This is a HOT modern day STANDALONE erotic romance with an alpha billionaire for fans of EL James, Pepper Winters, and Alexa Riley. It contains NO CHEATING and a Happily Ever After.

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Charlotte Byrd Books

Chapter 1 – Blake

I fill my lungs with the dense, salty air and feel the misty spray hit my face as the boat plows into the light chop. Where the Potomac empties into Chesapeake Bay, the seas can be confused as wind-driven waves interact with complex currents. But the vessel I am sailing takes no notice, carving a straight, strong line back toward the Annapolis boat yard where she was built. This is her first time out on the water and she has performed admirably. At fifty-five feet with a narrow bow and the beam wider aft, she points well upwind and is remarkably stable. She is also fantastically easy to sail single-handed, which is my preference. There is something about being alone on a sailboat, no sound but the wind and water, the snap of the sails, and the creak of the standing rigging. Of course, the vessel is performing exactly as well as I expected. It should, I designed it, after all.

E.B. White once said, “If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most.” A lot of people become obsessed with sailing over time, as the grind of having a real job makes the idea of giving up everything and sailing around the world more and more appealing. But for me, I was born with the ocean in my veins. My family has been involved in shipping for generations, with branches of professional sailors and ship owners going back until they disappear into the mists of time. I’m not much involved in the big business shipping side of my family. My mother always told me I had a romantic soul and wasn’t cut out for business. So, I followed my passion and started designing sailboats. Unexpectedly, at least as far as my family was concerned, my designs took off and now I am one of the premier naval architects and yacht designers in the world. My boats fill the fleets of boat makers like Amel, Garcia, Hanse, Oyster, and Beneteau.

But this beautiful sloop-rigged cruiser was a custom creation. The guy paying for it had made a fortune as a lobbyist in D.C. and now he wanted a symbol of his success. He wasn’t much of a sailor. I had taken him out on another boat before I agreed to take on the commission. It was important to figure out how a person sailed, what their goals were, their capabilities, when you design a vessel that they are going to be sailing. This boat was as idiot-proof as it was possible to get on a sailing yacht. In reality, this boat is probably going to spend most of its life sitting in its slip, hosting parties so the owner can show her off. What a waste. I almost want to just tack about and point her back out to sea. But I keep my course.

I pass Smith Island, home to about two hundred and eighty people. Accessible only by boat, the island has been shrinking for centuries. Now it is mostly wetlands. The people there have an odd accent, more English than American. It is one of those strange little places, the places you only see if you got out on the water. That is why I love sailing. One of the reasons, at least.

Not that there weren’t drawbacks. My work takes me all over the world, to boatyards in Germany, France, Sweden, England, Korea, Taiwan, and South Africa. When I’m not in an office in front of a computer or sketching new designs, I am on the water, often for days or weeks at a time. Most of my romantic relationships have either been long distance, short term, or both.

The hull cut through the cold green water with a hiss. I check the GPS display and do a quick calculation in my head. I should be tied up at the slip in an hour. I call ahead to a restaurant at the marina and order some takeout. I give them a lot of business. Even though I travel around the world, Annapolis is my home port and O’Leary’s is my place for a meal after a day, or week, on the water. They have my phone number in their system, so as soon as I call, they have my order entered. I let them know I will be there in a little over an hour and then toss the cell phone back into the cup holder on the side of the helm station. I’m back to the pure sounds of the boat and the water. Sometimes, I like to go out without my phone, turn off all of the electronics, and sail without any modern conveniences, steering by compass, map, and stars. But today my growling stomach is happy I can order food ahead of time.

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