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How To Marry A Billionaire

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«How To Marry A Billionaire» - Элли Блейк

Dream job – dreamier man – nightmare situation!Cara Marlowe's new TV job will make her career, as long as nothing goes wrong.So it's bad news that billionaire Adam Tyler wants the show stopped, and it's worse that Cara can hardly concentrate with the gorgeous tycoon around! Cara doesn't need billions, but she does want Adam the man – and her job, too!Will she have to make a choice?
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How to Marry a Billionaire Ally Blake

Was he saying what she thought

he was saying?

Was the gorgeous, emotionally unavailable, confirmed bachelor, billionaire Adam Tyler saying that he would like them to try each other on for size?

Adam watched her with his usual quiet patience. Well, he would have to wait. Her answer would be one of the most important of her life.

Think, Cara. Think!

Gorgeous—God, yes.

Emotionally unavailable—surely as much as ever. But aren’t you the same?

Confirmed bachelor—meaning he would never try to change you so as to keep you. Isn’t that perfect?


That was where it all fell apart.


worked in retail, danced on television and acted in friends’ short films until the writing bug could no longer be ignored. And as her mother had read romance novels ever since Ally was a baby, the aspiration to write novels had almost been bred into her. Ally married her gorgeous husband, Mark, in Las Vegas (no Elvis in sight, thank you very much), and they live in beautiful Melbourne, Australia. Her husband cooks, he cleans and he’s the love of her life. How’s that for a hero?

How to Marry a Billionaire

Ally Blake

To one grandmother for the treasure troves

of romance novels that were always to

be found under her spare bed, and to the other

for coloring my life with Dr. Seuss’s ABC.


About the Author

Title Page













IT WAS love at first sight.

‘I have never seen anything more beautiful,’ Cara said as she stared through the window of the stylish Chapel Street shoe store.

‘You simply have to have them,’ Gracie agreed, her nose pressed up against the window-pane.

‘They’re frivolous. Certainly not a necessity.’

‘So be frivolous, while you’re still young enough for it to be charming.’

‘But they’re Kate Madden Designs!’ Cara pointed out, hoping that at least would be argument enough to stop her from making such a rash purchase.


‘So, they cost more than my father used to earn in a week!’

Gracie turned to her. ‘Now that’s the strangest reason I have ever heard for not spending one’s own hard-earned money. Even from Cara, the Queen of Thrift.’

Cara decided it was best to keep focussing on the shoes.

‘And how much do you earn a week?’ Gracie asked as though talking to a two-year-old.

‘More than my father,’ Cara admitted.

‘So there you go!’ Gracie grabbed Cara by the upper arms and turned her so they were face to face, the shoes glistening on the periphery of their vision. ‘You have no choice. This is the big time. This is not mucking about with styling mousse and safety pins in converted warehouses, styling emaciated models for magazines. This is not getting kudos for finding designer clothes at bargain-basement prices. This is gold credit cards. This is limousines. This is television!’ Gracie spread her hands before her as though indicating the way of the future. ‘You want to make an impression and these are the shoes that will do it.’

Cara’s gaze was irresistibly drawn back to the stunning creations sitting atop their own black velvet stand. The shoes were elegant, they were red, they were embroidered satin, and they had heels one could use as a lethal weapon if ever one found the need. In a word, they were unforgettable.

‘And just think,’ Gracie said, leaning her head on Cara’s shoulder as she returned to her vigil before the coolest shoes ever made, ‘if you don’t get the job, at least you’ll have a killer pair of shoes to console you.’

Cara nodded. The thing was, she had to get the job. She would be twenty-seven in a couple of months, the same age her father was the first time he filed for bankruptcy, and if her serious plans to have the St Kilda Storeys apartment building paid off by that time were to come to fruition, bar winning the Lotto, this was the only way it would be done.

And it would be done. There were no two ways about it. The property would be hers. Every brick. Every roof tile. Every grain of dirt. Only then would she be free of the constant feeling that one of those bricks resided in her chest.

Gracie was right. The fact that Cara was infamous for scouting out vintage pieces at charity shop prices would not hold her in much stead in the new crowd in which she would be moving. Television was about being cutting edge, not thrifty. And if she was going to land the high-paying job styling the star of the biggest television show ever to hit Australian screens, she would have to be unforgettable or bust.

‘You have to be kidding me!’ Adam said, his voice a mix of shock and laughter.

‘Nope,’ Chris returned with a big sunny grin. ‘I’m going to be on TV as the main attraction in my very own dating programme.’

Adam’s laughter dried up the moment he realised this was no laughing matter. Though his friend and business partner was practically a genius when it came to creating cutting-edge telecommunications innovations, he was not a practical joker.

‘The contract was signed, sealed and delivered as of this morning,’ Chris said.

Adam shot from his chair and paced up and down the room. ‘I wish you had told me you were considering doing this, Chris. You really should have consulted me first.’

‘Ah, no, I shouldn’t have.’

Adam stopped pacing and glared at his friend. But Chris, who usually gave in to Adam’s will, stared right back. This would take some care. ‘You’re the one who put me in charge of the public face of this company, and, as such, if you plan on doing anything that might alter Revolution Wireless’s image in any way, you must consult me first.’

‘This is not about the company,’ Chris said. ‘This is about me. Thus it is officially none of your business as Head of Marketing for Revolution Wireless. But as my friend, I wanted you to know.’

‘Fine. Now, as your friend, I’m telling you it is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. A television dating show? Come on! If you’re looking for a girl, I’ll take you out and find you one. I know plenty of women who would be happy to escort one of Australia’s most eligible bachelors.

When Chris didn’t budge, Adam grabbed him by the arm and made to tug him out the door. ‘There’s literally millions of them out there in the real world. I can find you one on any street corner right now!’

Chris shrugged out of Adam’s grasp, his fists clenched at his side. ‘I don’t want some escort girl I can pick up on any old street corner.’

Seeing how upset Chris was becoming, Adam took a moment to rein in his concern, which was fast running out of control. ‘That’s not what I meant and you know it.’

‘I want a woman with whom to spend my quiet moments,’ Chris explained. ‘I want a wife. I certainly don’t want one of your cast-offs. The women you date are the complete antithesis of what any sane man would want in a wife. Any man apart from your father, of course. While we’re talking about relationships, let’s talk about yours.’

Adam decided to ignore that final jab and focussed on the bits he wanted to focus on. ‘This is about you, mate, not me, and my point is you could have anyone you want. Where has this all come from all of a sudden? Why now?’

Chris shrugged and softened a very little, his palms flattening out until they hung straight by his side. ‘It’s time. I work too much to go the regular route of dating by numbers. The years have slipped away without my even knowing it. I’m turning thirty-five this year.’

‘I’m thirty-five already.’

That earned Adam two raised eyebrows.

‘Chris, by the way you’re acting anyone would think that was middle-aged. We’re still young men, with our whole lives in front of us.’

‘Exactly my point. While I am still a young man, I want someone with whom to share as much of that remaining time as possible.’

Adam felt himself running out of arguments and it bothered him to see Chris so certain. Sunny, cheery Chris, always glued to his laptop, creating brilliant business solutions for their hip, rising-star telecommunications company, was suddenly searching beyond the limits of his clever mind for satisfaction. The world outside had finally beckoned.

And despite his protestations about the effects Chris’s plans would have on the image of the company, that wasn’t really what had Adam spooked. He was perfectly aware that the big bad world could swallow a good-natured guy like Chris whole.

‘OK, then,’ Adam said, rallying his forces, focussing every lick of attention on his foolish friend, ‘please explain to me why you think you need to go on a TV dating show to find a wife?’

‘Because it’s the only way I can meet women who have no idea who I am.’

Adam shook his head. ‘Run that by me again.’

‘The producers have gone to incredible trouble to pick out thirty women from all over Australia. Thirty attractive, accomplished, interesting women who have been given extensive compatibility tests. Thirty women who have no clue who owns Revolution Wireless, and thus have no idea how much I am worth. They will get to know me just for me. Chris, everyday Aussie bloke. Not Chris Geyer, richest single Australian man under forty.’

And that Adam understood. As two of the young owners of the Revolution Wireless telecommunications giant, one of Australia’s fastest expanding business empires, he and Chris were considered prime pickings by the women in their regular social circles who knew exactly what they were worth.

Chris’s earlier comments slammed into his thoughts. So what if he dated women dripping in diamonds and lofty aspirations, just like the ones who had taken his father to the cleaners over and over again? That way at least he had no chance of ever mistaking his feelings for any of them and therefore would never succumb to the same fate. And he had no intention of allowing his kind-hearted, naive friend to fall into that trap either. Especially with some buck-toothed ignoramus chosen by a TV exec with nothing on his mind bar ratings.

‘I’m on my way to the television station now. Are you coming with me? I could do with some moral support, if that’s on offer,’ Chris said as he swung his jacket over his shoulder and headed for the door.

‘Oh, I’m coming,’ Adam said. ‘But only so that on the drive over there I can do everything in my power to talk you out of it.’

‘OK, but you’re not coming into the meeting with me,’ Chris said. ‘You’re too bloody good-looking. They’ll forget about me in a heartbeat and do everything they can to snap you up instead.’

‘Don’t panic, mate,’ Adam drawled. ‘I wouldn’t be in your shoes for the world.’

Cara checked her lip gloss in her compact mirror for the third time on the cab drive over.

She had dressed conservatively, as she figured that was how they would want her to dress their guy. She wore a vintage black jersey crossover dress and simple silver antique jewellery. Her short curly bob was pulled away from her face and anchored with a large red hibiscus, and her make-up was subtle, all so that nothing could take away from her new red satin Kate Madden Designs shoes, which were expensive enough to make that month’s mortgage payments a squeeze.

The feeling of a brick in her chest grew heavier at the recollection of the price she had paid for them. But if she got the job it wouldn’t matter—she would be free and clear. And that was the goal she had to keep dangling in front of herself like a carrot in front of a mule.

She closed the compact, smacked her lips together once more and found the taxi driver watching her in the rear-view mirror. She sent him a self-conscious smile.

‘Big date?’ he asked.

Cara shook her head. ‘Job interview.’

‘At the TV station? What sort of job? Are you a news-reader or something?’

‘No, nothing like that. I’m hoping to land a job on one of those new dating shows. I don’t even know the title or anything. It’s all pretty hush-hush, actually.’

She jolted forward lightly in her seat as he unexpectedly pumped the brakes.

‘Really?’ the driver said. ‘Are you going to be one of those girls in bikinis who sit in a hot tub all day?’

‘Gosh, no!’ she declared. ‘I’m a behind-the-scenes type. I’m going for the job of styling the male lead in the show.’

‘Oh,’ the driver said before focussing more fully on the road ahead. Obviously hot tubs and bikinis were much more his scene.

He soon pulled up outside the old concrete building that housed the television studios. Cara hopped out and handed the cash through the driver’s side window.

‘Good luck,’ the driver said. ‘And I’ll look out for you on the small screen.’

He gave her the once-over and Cara knew he didn’t believe her for a second and was happily measuring her up for a bikini. Knowing she looked more like a ballet dancer than a Baywatch babe didn’t stop her from blushing in humiliation as he gave a little shrug as if to say he’d seen better.

Cara tugged at her born-again dress, patted down her curls, took a deep breath, and headed inside.

Adam sat upstairs in the top-floor foyer of the television station, cracking his knuckles.

He could have waited in the car. He could have browsed in the shop windows near the television station. He could have taken advantage of the heretofore unheard-of spare time and chosen to stop and smell the flowers in the park nearby. But he hadn’t. He wanted to be where Chris was. And since Chris had been taken into a closed-door meeting, the foyer was as close as he was going to get.

After a good hour spent counting tiles on the ceiling of the open-plan waiting room Adam was itching to leave. And to take Chris with him. If there was even the slightest hint that Chris might change his mind, Adam wanted to be there to snap him up and take him back to the real world of stock prices and innovative technologies. A quantifiable world that never pretended to be anything other than what it was.

So Adam waited close to the source, his knuckles cracking, his eyes seeking out any movement that passed his way.

Cara checked her reflection in the lift doors.

She lifted a hand to pat down her hair. She was pleased to see the new caramel highlights in her curly chestnut bob gave her the exact hint of sophistication she was after. The huge red flower that held her hair back was securely fastened but still she dug it in deeper. It would be just like her to have the thing fall out of her hair and dangle at an illogical angle down her back for the whole day without her knowing, her intelligence and talent and new caramel highlights becoming blurred behind her often clumsy exterior.

Her best friends called her ‘classy Cara’ because she was always so put together, but it was also half a joke since they knew what it took for her to be that way.

She looked down at her unforgettable shoes for moral support. It took almost all of her concentration to remain upright, they were so high and delicate. And she was someone who had to lift her feet so as not to trip even when walking in bare feet.

The lift grumbled to a halt on the top floor and her stomach dropped away. At the last minute she closed her eyes, tapped the heels of her red shoes together and made a wish to whichever good fairies might have been listening.

‘Let me have this job and I will never want anything else again.’

The lift doors opened, as did her eyes, and she stepped ahead, unforgettable red shoes leading the way.

Adam looked up at the whir of the lift.

A woman exited, walking like a ballerina: head held high, shoulders back, deliberate, as if she had a book on her head and had no intention of letting that book fall.

This woman had enough going for her that Adam stopped cracking his knuckles and let his hands drift to rest casually across the back of the couch.

She stopped outside the lift and checked the staff listings, bending slightly from the waist and affording Adam a nice view of…a very nice view. Seeming satisfied she was in the right place, she walked his way.

Only when she came closer did he notice evidence of nerves. She swallowed too many times, her eyes flitting about the place as if she was cataloguing everything in the room, and her knuckles showed white against the sleek black portfolio she clutched in her hands like a lifeline.

Finally her fluttery gaze cut his way.

She managed half a smile, her smooth full lips kicking up at one side, highlighting the sexiest little smile line along one pale cheek.

‘Excuse me,’ she said in a charmingly husky voice, ‘but is this the place to wait for the guys from…?’ She paused, her mouth closing in an adorable little pout as she found the words she was looking for. ‘I don’t even know what it’s called. The new TV dating show?’ A concerned crease appeared above her dainty nose as she awaited his answer.

‘This is the place,’ he said, drawing his eyes from the crease to her blinking eyes. Green, they were, and magnetic. Like a cat’s eyes.

‘Oh, thank goodness,’ she said, a slim hand moving to her chest while her cat’s eyes went back to their dazzled flickering. ‘I’ve had one heck of a time finding where to go. Seems it’s all so secretive most of the staff in the building knew nothing about it. But after my bumbling efforts I’m sure the whole place knows by now.’

She took a seat on the opposite couch, sitting upright, with her portfolio still clutched in her hands.

‘Are you here to be interviewed?’ he asked.

‘That I am. And I can’t believe how nervous I feel. I’ve never done anything like this before.’

Ready to ask, Like what exactly? Adam suddenly realised that this woman could be one of Chris’s dates. And his first uncensored thought was that Chris was a lucky guy. Adam shifted in his seat, suddenly feeling a mite uncomfortable in the woman’s sparkling presence.

Then he also remembered that none of the women was to know whom they were going to be meeting on the show. Just some guy, some poor slob hankering for a woman. Not his friend Chris; sweet guy and a billionaire.

But the funny thing was this woman seemed like a sweet girl too. A sweet girl with eyes that deserved a double take and a mouth that begged to be kissed.

Adam shook his head to clear the muddy thoughts. What did it matter that she was seriously attractive? He was only finding himself so quickly riveted by her because of any possible harm she might bring to Chris.

It was a defence mechanism. That was all.

Chris was too nice to know what was best for him and it was Adam’s job to look out for the guy. He owed him that much. If not everything.

The door to the offices beyond opened, and a young, hip television-exec type, with unironed clothes and too much gel in his hair, popped his head out.

‘Cara Marlowe?’

Adam’s lady friend stood up.

‘That’s me.’

‘Great,’ the guy said with an encouraging smile. ‘Come on through.’

The woman shot Adam a parting grin that included the sexy smile line once more. ‘Wish me luck.’

Luck meant that within days this fresh-faced, sweet and seriously compelling woman could be dating his best friend. And he found that all he could say was, ‘Go get ’em.’

Cara followed the young guy, whose name was Jeff, through a maze of corridors and cubicles to his office within the bowels of the top floor of the television station.

‘Take a seat,’ he ordered.

She did.


‘Ah, no, thanks.’ With caffeine in her veins she’d be bouncing off the walls in no time.

‘I’m not so good as you,’ Jeff said, waving his empty mug at her. ‘I’ll be back in a sec.’

Cara sat upright on the plain simple chair as she waited for Jeff to return. She stared down at her red shoes, which glistened prettily back at her. And she winced. Jeff had walked ahead of her the whole time and she was sure he had not even glanced at her feet once.

But the guy in the foyer had. She was sure of that. In fact she was sure he had compiled an internal data file of every inch of her, so intense had been his gaze. It was all she had been able to do to keep her footing. New shoes or no new shoes. A guy like that would make any rational woman’s knees go weak without even trying.

He had dark wavy hair, intense blue eyes, a solid build, hands that looked as though they could play the piano and change a light bulb. He was a hunk and a half. She wondered briefly what he was doing there, waiting in the foyer where those involved with the new secret show had been told to wait.

What if he was the single guy? The one she might have to style? She pictured him in his immaculate suit with his glossy shoes and his expensive haircut. If he was the one, her job would be redundant. She would have nothing more to do than straighten his tie and run her hands through his hair just before the cameras rolled.

The thought of getting so up close and personal with that particular gentleman made her suddenly uncomfortable. She shifted in her seat, then gave a little laugh out loud. What need would a guy like that have to go on a dating show? He was gorgeous. The strong, silent type. She imagined a wave of horror rolling across those deep blue eyes at the mere suggestion.

An alarm went off somewhere in the building and Cara clicked back to the present and remembered she was meant to be preparing for the most important job interview of her life. That was what she should have been focussed on, not daydreaming about the exact shade of some stranger’s blue eyes. But of course she was only thinking about him so much because of the possible boost he could provide her financial status.

It was a survival mechanism. That was all.

Her focus cleared and she saw her red shoes still gleaming up at her. She had more important things to think about then and there than some chance acquaintance with Mr Handsome out there. She had to make a grand impression on Jeff.

She crossed her legs one way but the shoes were still hidden, so she crossed them the other way instead.

She hadn’t even heard Jeff return so as she swung her right leg over her left she connected fully with the poor guy’s upper thigh. His coffee-cup did a triple back somersault over his desk, trailing steaming milky coffee over everything in its path. The accompanying ‘Oof’ that sprang from Jeff’s mouth told her that the connection had not been a light one. She leapt to her feet, disentangling herself as she went.

‘Jeff, I am so sorry! Here, sit down, please.’

She manoeuvred Jeff into her chair, then reached over to place his tilted empty cup upright, as though it made any difference.

‘Are you OK?’ she asked, her attention zeroing in on the guy who held her financial stability in his hands. Hands which were currently stuffed between his legs.

‘Did I hurt you a great deal? What can I do to help?’

He took a few moments to gather his breath before he finally said, ‘When can you start?’

‘Start what?’ she asked, suddenly worried what she might be called upon to do to help.

‘The job. The gig. The show.’

‘I’m hired?’ Cara asked, her squeaky voice showcasing her scepticism.

‘That you are,’ Jeff promised, his breathing returning to normal.

‘Don’t you want to see my portfolio?’

‘No need. We’ve seen what you can do and you come highly recommended by those who’ve worked with you, including Maya Rampling of Fresh magazine, who seems to think you are, and I quote, “a gift from the heavens”, and whose help we will certainly need for marketing the show later on. And that’s enough for us.’

Cara spun about on the spot but had to right herself against the table when her dainty shoes threatened to give way beneath her.

‘So, are you ours for the having?’

‘I am all yours, Jeff. You can have me now.’

The young guy glanced up at her with the beginnings of a smile on his face. Cara snapped her mouth shut and waited for the perfectly reasonable response to her unfortunate phrasing, but instead his kind glance hit the floor once more. He shook his head.

‘Those are some shoes you’re wearing there, Ms Marlowe. And it pains me to imagine what they might have done to me had we not given you the job.’


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