Stroke of Luck
The newest erotic romance from bestselling author Opal Carew, Stroke of Luck.
Good things do come in threes.
April Smith’s luxurious Las Vegas wedding crashed and burned when her wealthy fiancé cheated on her and left her with a hotel bill that costs more than she makes in a year. Even more humiliating, her college ex-boyfriend Quinn Taylor has come to her rescue and bailed her out. They didn’t part on the best of terms and never expected to see one another again.
For Quinn, April was the one who got away and despite the heartache she caused him, he’s never gotten over her. Not wanting to be in his debt, April makes Quinn a tempting offer: she’ll spend the next month with him during his Vegas vacation, fulfilling his fantasies. Being with April has always been Quinn’s number one fantasy, and next on the list is sharing a woman with his best friend and business partner, Austin Wright. Since he can see an undeniable attraction between April and Austin, he makes that a condition of their deal, too.
Enjoying the attention and affection from two hot and handsome men, April gives in to her desires to be with both of them. But with those desires comes a growing love that she fears may force her to choose between Quinn and Austin—or lose them both.
Read an Excerpt
A DAY EARLIER …
April was close to tears as she sat all alone on the cushioned bench in the elegant sitting area right outside the second-largest penthouse suite in the new luxury hotel in Las Vegas.
Today was her wedding day. An hour from now, she should be walking down the aisle wearing the designer gown her fiancé, Maurice, had bought for her, her hair coiled into an elegant updo, her face beaming with happiness.
But instead she sat here, with the head of hotel security standing a few feet behind her to ensure she didn’t take off, as hotel staff went through her room packing up her stuff. She didn’t know exactly what was going to happen after this, but the next stop would be the manager’s office. When she explained she really had no way to pay the huge bill, she was sure she’d be thrown in jail.
She stared at the checkout statement in her hand. The penthouse suite cost more for one night than a monthly mortgage payment on her town house, and the amount for the entire rehearsal dinner was included on the bill. The final total was more than she made in a year.
Maurice had also charged some purchases from the gift shop to the room. She was sure the staff were looking for those items to return to the store. One was a very expensive diamond tennis bracelet, and there were a few other pieces of jewelry.
They wouldn’t find them, though, because he hadn’t bought any of that jewelry for her.
Tears prickled at her eyes as an unwelcome image rippled through her mind. Of last night when she’d gone looking for Maurice and walked into the private hospitality suite the hotel had provided near the ballroom.
She’d found him. He’d been fucking a busty blond bombshell at the time.
And the woman had been wearing a diamond tennis bracelet.
Instead of being apologetic, Maurice had snapped at her to get out. April had backed away, shocked, then turned and run to the elevator. She’d gone right to their suite.
Maurice had shown up an hour later, then banged on the bedroom door, which she’d locked. He’d said they should be adults about this. That when she was his wife he would provide for her well, and she should accept that he’d have the odd affair on the side.
She’d told him to go to hell.
He’d pounded hard on the door with his fist, terrifying her, but finally he’d left. She still quaked inside at the memory of his fury. She’d never seen him like that. It was like she didn’t really know the man. Which she realized now was true. She’d never truly known him, despite the fact they’d dated for two years. He had always been charming and sophisticated, if a little distant, but that just seemed to be his nature. He’d always been generous with her, helping her in her career and life choices. Grooming her to be his wife.
Now she realized he wanted an appropriate wife on his arm while he fucked whatever tramp he wanted on the side.
Which told her she had never meant anything to him. It had been an act, and she’d fallen for it. All because of her need to be loved. To be the most important person in the world to someone. And she’d believed that someone was Maurice.
Her heart clenched.
She’d been such a fool.
This was the worst day of her life.
She glanced up, and her heart stopped. Oh, God, and it had just gotten worse.
* * * * *
Quinn left his suite and walked toward the elevator. He’d been tied up with a call, so his business partner, Austin, had gone ahead to the restaurant for lunch.
Ahead, he noticed a forlorn-looking woman in the sitting area near the other penthouse suite. The next thing he noticed was the security manager standing close by. The man wore a discreet suit, but Quinn recognized him because the hotel manager had introduced them in case he and Austin had any special security needs during this or any future stay with the hotel.
He glanced at the woman again, and his heart skipped a beat.
It couldn’t be …
She glanced up, and her eyes widened.
Fuck, that was her.
April. The woman who had broken his heart in college.
He should keep walking. Just pretend he didn’t recognize her.
But before her gaze had darted down to her hands, he’d seen a deep pain in her sapphire eyes. No matter what she’d done to hurt him, he couldn’t ignore it.
He walked toward her, but glanced at the man behind her.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Johan,” Quinn said, offering his hand.
Mr. Johan stepped forward and shook it.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Taylor. Is there something I can do for you?”
“No, I’m fine. But I know Ms. Smith and would like to know if there’s a problem.”
“I’m sorry, sir. It’s a private matter.”
He nodded. “Fair enough.”
He glanced down at April, who kept her gaze averted.
“April, it’s nice to see you again.”
Reluctantly, she tipped up her head. “Hello, Quinn.”
Her cheeks had blossomed bright red. Of course, she was embarrassed. But her eyes were puffy, and clearly she’d been crying.
Fuck, he shouldn’t care. She’d callously walked away from him without a second thought. He should just walk away now.
He sat down beside her. “Are you in some kind of trouble?”
Her hand was shaking, and he realized she was holding a piece of paper.
“We’re done, Mr. Johan,” a woman’s voice said.
Quinn glanced up to see two female staff in maid uniforms standing beside Mr. Johan, several pieces of luggage on a cart beside them.
“Mr. Taylor, I hate to break up your conversation, but Ms. Smith needs to come with me.”
Quinn raised his hand. “In a minute.”
He glanced at the piece of paper, and when she realized where he was looking, she crumpled her hand around it.
“April, tell me what’s going on.”
“I…” She glanced over her shoulder at the staff standing behind her, then she bit her lip in the way he used to find so appealing.
She sighed, no doubt knowing that there would be no point in trying to avoid his question.
“I can’t pay the hotel bill.”
“That’s all?” He hadn’t known what to expect, but this was such a trivially easy thing to fix. “I’ll take care of it.”
“No, you don’t understand. It’s huge.”
He plucked the paper from her hand and glanced at the amount. Without blinking, he folded the sheet of paper and slid it into his suit jacket pocket, then glanced at Mr. Johan.
“Add it to my bill.”
He ignored April’s wide blue eyes as she stared at him. Her jaw had fallen open, and she shook her head in disbelief.
Mr. Johan seemed just as stunned. “Mr. Taylor?”
“Is there a problem?” Quinn asked, sending the man a steely gaze.
“No. Consider it done.”
“Good.” He stood up. “You can take Ms. Smith’s luggage to my suite for now.”
“Of course, Mr. Taylor.” Mr. Johan nodded to the staffers with the cart, and they rolled it away.
Quinn glanced at April, still sitting on the bench.
“Are you coming?” he asked.
She drew in a shaky breath. “Where?”
“To join my business partner and me for lunch.”