It’s time to introduce my new series for 2019!
The first book out in January will be Casanova, a standalone, but if you read it you’ll also be able to spot the first mention of a very important character – Hal, the son of Brock from the Three Wise Men series, who is going to be the star of the first book in my new series.
My Best Friend, the Billionaire, will be the first book of The Billionaire Kings, and it features Hal and his best friend Izzy, who both work at Noah’s Ark, an animal rescue shelter. Hal and Izzy are veterinarians who also work for the Animal Welfare Unit, rescuing wounded and mistreated animals in the local community.
You might remember Noah from A Secret Parcel (Three Wise Men Book 3). (If you haven’t read the Three Wise Men yet, the box set is currently only 99 cents, so it’s the perfect time to catch up!)
Noah runs the Ark, a no-kill shelter that treats and re-homes rescue animals, as well as providing important veterinary services to the Bay of Islands. It’s situated high on a hill overlooking the bay, somewhere like this:
The series is set approximately 30 years after Three Wise Men (and Casanova), and you’ll be able to catch up with Brock, Charlie, and Matt, as well as their wives, and their children. Book 2 will be about Matt's son, Leon, and Book 3 will feature Charlie's son, Albie. There are lots of other characters for you to meet and fall in love with, and plenty more books to come if readers decide they want them! You'll also meet up with Ryan, Summer, and Noah, and find out what happened to them, too!
Here is a basic family tree so you can see the relationship between them.
So why did I choose to write about this family? Well there are several reasons. The Three Wise Men was my first big-selling series, and the box set also made the USA Today bestseller list, which told me that readers found the characters as appealing as I did when I wrote them. I loved the three King brothers, and I really enjoyed researching and writing about the childhood respiratory illnesses that their company helps.
I kept thinking about their children, and how their sons, especially, would be so like their fathers, with the same generous nature, but strong personalities. This new generation of King heroes are cousins, and they've been born into the family wealth, but that makes them no less philanthropic.
I wanted to write about a subject that I personally found as appealing as heroes who care for sick children, and rescue animals was the logical step. After calling Georgia's son Noah, the step to creating Noah's Ark was an easy one. Once you read about what's happened to Noah over the years, you'll understand why he felt the need to run a place for both wounded animals and wounded hearts. Noah is a recluse, but providing you all enjoy the series, he'll hopefully get his happily-ever-after later too :-)
So, let me introduce you to the new heroes!
Hal is a veterinarian who is also a director of the Ark. He helped establish the building right at the beginning, along with his cousins, Albie and Leon, and his step-cousins, Ryan, Summer, and Noah. Hal runs the Animal Welfare Unit with his best friend, Izzy, and another good friend he met at veterinary college, Stefan. Hal's gorgeous. If you don't fall in love with him immediately, I'll be very surprised! He and Izzy have been friends forever, but recently something has changed, and he's started to see her in a different light...
Albie is Charlie's boy. Unlike his sister, Poppy, he hasn't inherited his father's Aspergic tendencies, but, like Charlie, he's warm, affable, and caring. It's well known that there's a close connection between violence toward animals and violence in the home, and Albie works with the others at the Ark to run educational programs that teach children, especially, how to care for animals. He's the contact with the Ministry for Children, the Women's Refuge, and the Police - he's the one who knows people, and he prides himself on being able to talk anyone into anything!
Leon is head of HR so he's in charge of the personnel at the Ark, as well as running the offices and overseeing the business side of the shelter. He's the smart one, and he's tough and not afraid to tell it how it is! The others turn to him when they need to get something done. He works closely with his PA, Nix, who seems to be the only one who understands that he's not the ogre everyone thinks he is...
Book 1 is written and just needs editing, and I feel with this that I've very much written from the heart. As an author, it's easy to get swayed by what you read online, comments from readers, reviews, and opinions from other writers. Over the past year or two, I feel that I've reined myself in sometimes - I've written a little sweeter, I feel, than my earlier books, and more small town, more down to earth. I've loved my Brides and my Blue Penguin Bay stories, and I'm certainly not turning away from what I think I do best - stories where families and friends feature highly.
But with My Best Friend, the Billionaire, I've injected a little fantasy back into my writing, returning to what I really enjoyed - gorgeous rich guys with larger-than-life personalities and strong, sizzling, heartfelt romance. I've written exactly what I wanted, and as a result I'm very happy with the feel of the book. It's first person, present tense, as hot as it needs to be without being an erotic romance, and it's very... I don't know... me, I guess!
The book will be available on February 2, but I’m not putting it up for pre-order this time, and it’ll only be available on Amazon, to take advantage of the Kindle Unlimited program. I appreciate this might disappoint some readers who only buy from other retailers, and I’m sorry about that, but at the moment this makes the best business sense for me.
Here’s the blurb to the story. In a week or two I'll share a short snippet for you, to introduce you to Hal and Izzy. I hope you love them too :-)
MY BEST FRIEND, THE BILLIONAIRE
I met Hal on the first day of high school.
I also fell in love with Hal on the first day of high school.
But although we were good friends from the start, I knew he’d never be mine.
He’s gorgeous, confident, sexy, and he’s also incredibly rich.
I’m scarred – physically and emotionally – quiet, and my family has always been poor. The two of us are poles apart.
So I’ve trained myself not to think of him in that way.
Not to think of kissing him, undressing him slowly.
Of sliding beneath the bedclothes. Of having his hands on my skin.
I don’t think of it at all.
I can’t. Because Hal never stays with a girl for long, and if he were to have me, then leave me, my heart would break into a million pieces, and I’d never be able to put it together again.
But then he tells me he’s fallen in love with someone. I try to guess who, and he just smiles.
“Izzy,” he says patiently, “it’s you.”