The Heir

By: Ellie Danes

(An Alpha Billionaire Romance)





Book Description

The instructions are simple.

Go back to school.

Live your dreams.

Don't get married.

Following her grandfather's wishes should be easy for Riley Cullen as she packs up her life and heads to the west coast to start over, leaving everything and everyone she's ever known behind. Until she meets him.

He has it all.

Money. Power. Connections.

Landon Michel is the sole heir to his parent's fortune, but following in their footsteps comes with a price and conditions. And Landon has no intentions of agreeing to any of them. Until she shows up.

As they both risk it all, will they realize that love is the one thing that an inheritance can't buy?





Chapter One

Riley

I leaned on the kitchen doorframe of the farmhouse and only heard echoes of both my past and of him, stirring in the other room.

This farmhouse was over one hundred years old. It felt strangely empty without my grandfather in it. Empty even though my ex-boyfriend was still living in one of the guest rooms.

This place just hadn’t felt the same since Grandpa died.

The kitchen was empty except for the pile of moving boxes next to me. The long farmhouse table with benches was gone. The sunny window that had warmed dozens of bright green plants was bare. I conjured the memory of copper pots hanging from the rack, the glass-fronted cupboards full of colorful plates, and the Sunday newspaper spread out between steaming cups of coffee, but it faded too fast.

I’d forgotten to drink coffee this morning.

"Wow, you're up early." Owen sidled past me and headed for the empty refrigerator. He pulled open the door and then scrubbed the back of his neck. "What's going on?"

"The same thing that's been happening for the past six months," I snapped.

"Oh, come on, Riley. We both know you want to stay here. Why are you torturing yourself like this?" Owen reached out to pull me into a hug.

I spun away. "No. You want to stay here. I need to move on. I need to make something out of my life. I promised I would."

With my back turned on the sunny kitchen, I could imagine my grandfather at the sink, and what he would look like if he were alive and watching this exchange. He would be trying not to eavesdrop, but he’d still be nodding vigorously in agreement with me.

“Never settle, Riley,” Grandfather said as he sat next to me on the swing. “You have too much to offer, just like your mother. She had such a kind heart, but she settled in life, settled for a man who did nothing but take.” He put his arm around me and pulled me closer. “Promise me, someday you’ll get away from here and make something of yourself. Enjoy life. Live your dreams.”

“I promise,” I said.

Owen’s voice pulled me out of my brief daydream. "Calm down, sweetheart. We've still got time." Owen snatched my purse off the moving boxes and fished out my wallet. "How about you run down to the corner store and grab some coffee and donuts?"

"And what are you going to do?" I asked, turning to him again. "Take these boxes out to the moving pods? Get your shit together? Have you even started packing?"

Owen shrugged and handed me a wad of my own cash. "Relax. You'll feel better after a little coffee."

I covered my face with both hands and then swept back my hair. "It's over, Owen. We broke up. The new owner moves into this house in two days. I'm leaving today, and you better move out, too, before you cause problems with the new owner."

The worn out words brushed past him like the light breeze from the farmhouse's open front door. He dropped the cash back in my purse and shook his head. "Riley, people do crazy things when they're grieving. I get that."

I marched down the hall away from him. The first-floor guest room was to the right of the entryway. I shoved the bedroom door hard against a pile of Owen's dirty clothes. I grabbed a flat moving box and popped it into shape. "I'll help you pack."

He took the box from me and tossed it on the unmade bed. "I know he called me lazy and I know he didn’t really like me, but your grandfather never really saw us together."

"He helped you move into this room. It was a favor to me. I should have known better." My throat was tight and the words were sharp.

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