Exclusive Giveaway Winners + Send A Little Love

Hi there! I have very important things to share with you today.

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has grabbed their copy of The Unknown Billionaire which released on the 30th of September. I’m truly grateful for all your support.  Most of the readers and reviewers who connected with me after reading Marilyn and Jarryd’s story said that they loved it! If you don’t have the book yet, you can find the links to the stores here.

Exclusive Giveaway Winners

Today it’s time to announce the winners of the giveaway exclusive to my newsletter subscribers. Thank you to all those who entered! I enjoyed reading all your answers. And guess which of my book covers was the favourite by those who entered the giveaway. It is the cover from The Unintended Fiancé! I can see why. I so love this cover too!


As for the favourite couple among all of my characters, Lucas and Jade from The Unwilling Executive came out on top, followed closely by Carter and Cassie from The Undercover Playboy. Woohoo! Interestingly, each couple in all of my eighteen titles has been mentioned at least once. I was really thrilled by that.

Now for the winners of the giveaway! These names were chosen randomly and I’ve double-checked their emails to make sure that they are indeed on my mailing list, which was a requirement to enter.

First Prize Winner: Rachel

Congratulations, Rachel! You won signed paperbacks of Books 1 to 6 of the Captured by Love series.

Captured by Love Books 1-5 smaller size


Second Prize Winners: Angelica and Jana Leah

Congrats, ladies! You each won a signed paperback of The Unknown Billionaire.

Winners, I’ll be emailing you with a request for your shipping addresses so I can send you your prizes. Watch out for it.

I have to say I enjoyed that giveaway so much that I’m excited to do another one soon!

Send A Little Love — Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Most of you in my mailing list know about my recent battle with breast cancer. I know first hand how simple acts of thoughtfulness can lift the spirit of someone who needs it most.

This October, I joined with over 100 authors to donate over 2,000 books to cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and their families. If you know someone who has been touched by cancer, send them and their loved ones one of the books we’ve donated for this cause. Go to http://RomanceHasAHeart.org and browse through the selection of books that can be given as a gift. Supplies are limited so hurry before they run out.

Well, that’s all from me today. I can’t wait to tell you what I have in mind as a contest for next time. It will be linked to the cover for my upcoming book, The Unmasked CEO (Captured by Love Book 7). More on that in a few weeks.

Till then, take care.

Much love,
Miranda xoxo



The Unknown Billionaire: Out Now!

unknown-billionaire-release-3Finally, the time has come! Happy release day to The Unknown Billionaire! I’m so excited for you to read Jarryd and Marilyn’s story. Today, if you haven’t already done so, you can grab your copy from the following stores:

Amazon US | Other Amazon stores | Apple iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | All Romance Ebooks | Google Play

Will his billion-dollar fortune cause him to lose the woman he loves?
Jarryd Westbourne is shocked to have inherited a billion-dollar fortune from the mother who’d given him up for adoption. Unfortunately, business complications force him to keep it a secret from everyone for a period of time, even from Marilyn Grant, the woman he’s crazy about. When his birth mother’s husband suddenly challenges the will and accuses him of foul play, he ends his relationship with Marilyn to protect her from any scandal. But can he ever win Marilyn back if she discovers what he’s been hiding from her?

Can her love survive a necessary deception?
Marilyn Grant was heartbroken when Jarryd Westbourne dumped her unexpectedly. But she believes that Jarryd broke up with her only because he’s intimidated by her parents being billionaires while he’s only of average means. She’s keen to prove to Jarryd that she doesn’t care one bit that his wealth is nowhere near her family’s. After all, love and trust, not money, are the foundations of a lasting relationship. And Jarryd is one guy she knows she can trust…


I truly hope you enjoy The Unknown Billionaire. I have definitely loved writing it.

And if you haven’t entered the exclusive giveaway yet, don’t forget to check it out!

Exclusive Giveaway To Celebrate The Unknown Billionaire’s Release

Happy reading, and let me know what you think of The Unknown Billionaire, ‘kay?

Much love,
Miranda xoxo




The Unknown Billionaire: Chapter Two + Other News

Hi! Did you get to read Chapter One of The Unknown Billionaire yesterday? Hope you enjoyed it.

You can now pre-order The Unknown Billionaire from iBooksBarnes & Noble and Kobo. The links to Amazon, Google Play and All Romance eBooks will be available soon.

Also, The Unyielding Bachelor (Captured by Love Book 2) is on sale for US$0.99 to help boost the visibility of the Captured by Love series, but only until the 1st of October! If you already have a copy of this book, thank you so much! You might want to share this news to friends who would be interested in this limited time sale. (At the time of writing, the price on Barnes & Noble hasn’t reduced yet. Please check there again in a few hours as it should go on sale there too.)

As promised, here’s Chapter Two of The Unknown Billionaire for your reading pleasure. Just a handful more sleeps before the book releases! Yay!

The Unknown Billionaire: Chapter Two

Marilyn’s heart skipped before banging hard in her chest. Jarryd was walking towards the patio. What had Lucas told him?

She swallowed, marshalling her courage. “Why, hello there, stranger,” she called out, keen to pretend she was in no way affected by his proximity.

Jarryd smiled back, making her heart race faster.

He stopped in front of her, his chest heaving from his deep inhalation as he eyed the vacant space in the two-seater couch. He seemed to be hesitating.

Her excitement disappeared in a flash. Damn him. Couldn’t he make it less obvious that he didn’t want to be close to her?

“You don’t have to sit next to me if you don’t want to,” she said, meaning to sound teasing but hearing the hurt in her own voice.

“Marilyn,” Jarryd said, his tone chiding.

“What?” she asked, arching an eyebrow.

“Don’t say it like you think I have something against sitting next to you.”

She gave him a saccharine-sweet smile. “Well, you do, don’t you? Don’t worry. You won’t burn yourself. There’s no spark between us, remember?” Ugh, what the hell was wrong with her?  Did she really need to pick at that wound right now?

Jarryd’s lips curved into a semblance of a smile as he proceeded to sit next to her on the love seat, his fingers grazing her knee as he settled himself.


Startled, she glanced up at Jarryd.

His eyes were round, probably as much as hers were.

“Sorry,” Jarryd said, his voice croaking. “Must be some static.”

“Yeah, what else could it be?” she asked tightly.

Jarryd sighed. “Lucas said you’ve been wondering about my real reason for ending things between us. I thought I’d explain.”

She sat up straight and fixed her gaze up ahead. No way would she look like a yearning mess of a woman who was missing him terribly—even if she was that.


“Look,” she said, giving Jarryd a small smile. “I don’t have a problem with you ending things between us. I’m not someone who’d force a person to be with me against their will. My problem is I can’t relax about something when I think I haven’t been given everything I need to know. And what you told me as your reason for not wanting to see me anymore just struck me as being untrue.”

Oh God. She hoped she didn’t sound like an egotist who couldn’t believe that a guy had ditched her.

Jarryd stood up and went to the nearby chair.

Her eyes smarted. Was he really that uncomfortable with her now?

But her breath caught when Jarryd dragged the chair so he was facing her fully.

“Marilyn,” Jarryd said as he sat down, holding her gaze. “Two months ago I was totally muddled. Someone close to me died nine months ago, and complications had arisen because of that. I was having a hell of a time with personal problems.”

Her brows furrowed in concern. “Died? Who?”

“A… relative. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to involve you in the mess. Like I said, I was totally muddled back then.”

“Are you okay now?”

“Things aren’t fully sorted, but yes, I’m okay now.”

She stared at Jarryd, her heart constricting. So he’d been grieving and he hadn’t needed her comfort? He’d had a difficult problem and he hadn’t wanted to share it with her? That said a lot.

“I didn’t mean what I said when I broke up with you,” Jarryd said.

She frowned. “Which bit? That we have no spark?”

Jarryd nodded eagerly. “Yes! I didn’t mean to say that.”

“And yet you did.”

“Like I said, I was totally muddled.”

“So what did you mean to say?”

“Well, I actually meant to say that we didn’t have enough spark. But I wouldn’t have meant that either.”

She shook her head to clear her confusion. “What?”

“We have extraordinary chemistry, Marilyn. That can’t be denied.” Jarryd looked down to the ground. “But I needed to pour a lot of time and energy into my issues, plus I didn’t want to involve you in them. So with everything I was going through, I thought it was best not to continue with our relationship.”

She took a deep breath. Okay, right. Not ready for a relationship. That she understood. How many times had she used that same excuse with some of the men she’d dated after she’d discovered she didn’t want something long-term with them?

But she had to know something else. “Did my parents have anything to do with your decision?”

Jarryd looked at her sharply. “What do you mean?”

“I have a feeling you weren’t impressed by the fact that I’m the daughter of Barry and Alice Grant of Grant Ace. I thought you might have been… well… intimidated by them being so rich.”

Jarryd’s brows furrowed. “No. I was surprised when you told me who they were, but I’m actually impressed. Not by them being rich, but with you not using your parents to get ahead in your business. I bet not many of your clients know who your parents are.”

“I see,” she murmured, her chest compressing further. There it went—the final sliver of hope she’d been hanging on to. Clearly and plainly, Jarryd just didn’t see her as someone he could share deeper and more meaningful things with.

She nodded, finally accepting it. For Jarryd, all they’d had was a strong physical attraction. They might have had extraordinary chemistry—still did, if her body’s reaction to his closeness was anything to go by—but it was still only physical.

The feelings weren’t mutual, after all.

Marilyn squared her shoulders and rose to her feet. She’d had to break a few men’s hearts in the past herself. She could understand Jarryd, even if he was hurting her.

“Thank you for explaining things to me,” she said with a smile as she smoothed her dress. “Anyway, I’m feeling a bit hungry. I’m gonna go get something. See you later.”

She hurried away from him and made a beeline for the dessert table. Something sweet should make her feel better, shouldn’t it?

She stared at the different cakes on offer, forcing herself to ignore the ache in her chest. She wasn’t going to show him how much she was hurting.

“Can’t decide?” a voice said next to her.

She smiled at Simon Alexander. “They all look so tempting.”

Simon leaned close to whisper in her ear. “I have it on good authority that Jarryd likes chocolate mud cake. I’m sure he’d be over the moon if you spoon-fed him some on that love seat.”

She frowned at him. “Have you been speaking to Lucas?”

“Hey, everybody knows that Jarryd’s got the hots for you. So he finally ’fessed up, huh? He’s done nothing but look at you all day.”

Marilyn rolled her eyes. What bad timing for people to be bringing up this Jarryd’s-got-the-hots-for-you crap. “Turns out I’m not ideal girlfriend material.”

“What?” Simon asked in shock.

She shook her head, trying to look nonchalant. But her expression must have betrayed her, because Simon was now inspecting her face.

“Hey, it’s cool,” she said. “A person can be physically attracted to someone, but not be interested enough to want a relationship with them. It happens. It’s not a crime. I’ve been guilty of the same thing in the past.”

“Was he asking you for a no-strings affair back there?” Simon gestured to the patio.

“No,” she scoffed. “Can we talk about this later? Now’s not a good time.”

“Sorry,” Simon said, putting an arm around her and giving her a sympathetic squeeze. “I didn’t mean to be nosy. Want me to be your date for the rest of the day and keep him away?”

She dipped her head onto his shoulder. Simon was her best male friend whom she’d known for over ten years. A few years back, before Simon had decided he much preferred the bachelor lifestyle, they’d tried dating for real. But when it came to trying to sleep together, they’d ended up laughing so hard at their attempt to end up in bed that they’d given up then and there. Much as they adored each other, they simply didn’t have that physical chemistry.

“I doubt you’d need to keep him away,” she said with a little sniff. “I bet he’s the one who’s going to keep on avoiding me, not the other way around.”

“Hey, it’s his loss. Anyway, let’s change the subject. Have you decided on whether to go on Biz Q&A or not?”

“Not yet,” she said, picking a strawberry and nibbling on it. Jarryd wasn’t a big fan of strawberries. So there must really be something wrong with the man to give her up, right? Hah!

“It’ll be great for your charitable works,” Simon said as he led her towards one of the several outdoor seats.

“I’ve thought about that. I’m still surprised that Patrick contacted me personally after my parents declined the offer. I don’t like being in the spotlight, as you know, but I get that it’s about helping the young entrepreneurs who go on it. And, yes, I suppose I could mention some of my charity fundraising events and lift their profiles.”

“Starting with our Captured by Love game,” Simon said with a laugh. “Imagine asking people from all over Australia—the world, even—to bet on which bachelor will be the next to get stupid and give up their freedom.”

Marilyn chuckled. “Don’t give me ideas, because I’m liking the thought of taking this game to another level. And when I do, I’m gonna campaign so hard for everyone to bet on you,” she said, wagging her finger at Simon. “There’ll be so much pressure that even you will have to seriously consider finding a nice girl to fall in love with.”

Simon snorted. “I’m not susceptible to that kind of pressure.”

She sighed. “I wish I could go back to not caring about finding someone special. I don’t know why I’m so intent on finding my soulmate all of a sudden.” Her gaze involuntarily went to the patio. Jarryd was no longer there. Against her will, she searched the yard for him and found him sitting with a bunch of others near the outdoor bar. She caught him watching her and Simon, before immediately averting his gaze.

“I’ve never known you to be such a quitter,” Simon quipped.

She frowned at him. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me,” Simon said unapologetically.

She saw her scowling image reflected in the lenses of Simon’s dark sunglasses. “And what would you have me do? Force myself on someone who doesn’t want a relationship with me?”

“But he’s still attracted to you, right? So what’s wrong with no-strings? You’ve done that a few times in the past. And it’s not like you’re in that much of a hurry to get hitched, are you?”

“I don’t know if he’s still attracted to me right now,” Marilyn said with a pout.

“That he can’t make himself stop looking at you tells me a different story.”

“Is he looking this way again?”

“Yeah,” Simon said with a chuckle. “Like he doesn’t want to but can’t help himself.”

Too bad she’d left her sunnies on the coffee table on the patio. She, too, would love to watch Jarryd without being obvious about it.

“I think he still has a huge crush on you.”

“You think?” she asked in a pathetic voice.

“Maybe Jarryd’s just the type who thinks he might be insulting you with a suggestion of booty calls. Have you considered a casual fling for the time being?”

“No. I should have spoken to you earlier, Mr. Playboy,” she said with playful sarcasm. “Only you would suggest something like that to me.”

Simon laughed. “Tell me again why I never got to show you how good I am in bed.”

It was Marilyn’s turn to laugh out loud. “Because this was what we ended up doing whenever we tried to have sex.” She pointed to herself, chortling.

“Yeah,” Simon said with a wide grin. “So what’s stopping you from telling Jarryd you’re okay with no-commitment fun? Snare him the sneaky way, I say.”

She let out a long breath. “I don’t know.”

“Think about it while I get a drink. Want me to get you one since Jarryd’s sitting right next to the fridge?”

She shook her head. “I’ll join you over there after I go to the bathroom. Might as well prove to Jarryd I’m okay with being around him.”

Simon snickered before heading off.

She chewed her lip as she walked towards the house. Would she really consider a casual relationship with Jarryd?

Well, didn’t some long-term relationships start out as sex-only affairs? She only needed to look at some of her happily-in-love friends to know that was true.

Her brain traitorously reminded her of her hot days and nights with Jarryd. Oh, she’d had the strongest orgasms of her life with him. “I don’t mind booty calls as long as they’re from Jarryd,” she mumbled to herself.

Problem was, from what Marilyn could gather from their brief chat, her being hurt further had a much higher probability of happening than Jarryd falling for her. Would she really be so stupid as to put herself in a hurtful, embarrassing situation when Jarryd had already given her everything she needed to have closure and move on?

***End of Chapter Two***

Hope you enjoyed that. As I’ve mentioned above, you can now pre-order The Unknown Billionaire from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. The links to Amazon, Google Play, All Romance eBooks and Smashwords will be available soon.

And don’t forget to check out the exclusive giveaway happening right now where you can win signed paperbacks of some of my books!

Talk to you again in a few days when all the book links are available.

Much love,
Miranda xoxo

The Unknown Billionaire: Chapter One

September 30 is almost here! I can’t wait for the official release day of The Unknown Billionaire. It’s a book that took me longer than usual to write, but I absolutely love it. Early ARC reviews on Goodreads show that the ARC reviewers are loving Jarryd and Marilyn’s story too.

Well, the 30th is still a few days away, but today there are a couple of things I want to share with you: Chapter One of The Unknown Billionaire and the link to the exclusive giveaway open to my newsletter subscribers only. Let’s start with Chapter One first. Here it is!

TheUnknownBillionaire-600x900The Unknown Billionaire: Chapter One

“I’m betting on Jarryd.”

Marilyn Grant frowned at the glowing Jade Renner-Bilton before nodding and calling up the Notes app on her phone. She opened the document where she recorded her friends’ bets for their Captured by Love game and tapped J-A-R-R-Y-D next to Jade’s name.

“Are you annoyed at me?” Jade asked in surprise.

She showed some teeth as she forced a smile. “No.”

Jade stared at her, confused. “You don’t want me to bet on Jarryd?”

“You can bet on anyone you want,” she said with a despondent sigh, letting her mask slip.

“What’s wrong?” Jade took her arm and led her to a wicker love seat on the patio by the back entrance of Rick and Lexie Donnelly’s house, where their gang of close friends and select relatives were celebrating an engagement and four pregnancies, including Jade’s.

Marilyn plonked herself next to Jade on the sofa. Good thing they were now out of earshot of their other buddies, most of whom were congregated in the expansive garden decked out with ample outdoor seating. Others were having a dip in the inviting swimming pool, enjoying the perfect Sydney weather on the second day of the Australian summer.

“I just don’t want to imagine him winning our Captured by Love game, that’s all,” she answered Jade truthfully.

“Why not?”

She let out a big exhale. “I didn’t want to tell anyone this because I don’t want to make a big deal of it, but Jarryd and I dated for three weeks. Then two months ago, he dumped me.”

Jade’s mouth dropped open.

“Apparently, we don’t have enough chemistry.”

“That’s what he told you?” Jade asked incredulously.

Marilyn nodded, glancing in Jarryd Westbourne’s direction. Her heart galloped at the sight of him lounging casually as he chatted with the other guys, his dark brown eyes slightly squinting from the brightness of the afternoon sun. She’d been tempted to comment that his newly trimmed black hair suited him when they’d greeted each other earlier. But all they’d exchanged was a brief “hey, good to see you”—their first verbal conversation since Jarryd had told her two months ago that, while he found her attractive, he didn’t think there was a spark between them.


If there had been any more of a spark between them, they’d have spontaneously combusted.

Whatever his real reason, it sure as hell wasn’t the flimsy excuse he’d given her. They’d smouldered together, damn it!

Marilyn shook her head vigorously to clear the hurtful thoughts from her head. Argh, she hated that her feelings for the man hadn’t abated. Worse, seeing him today wearing a plain blue shirt that clung to his well-sculpted torso reminded her just how hot of a hunk he really was. And she so needed closure!

“Hey,” Jade said softly, placing a hand on her arm.

“Do you know if Lucas has ever mentioned my parents to Jarryd, since your husband is his bestie among us?”

“I don’t think so. Why?”

“Well, Jarryd has known from the beginning I’m well-off—having a big house and driving a luxury car—but I’m sure he thought that was due to me running a successful business brokerage firm. Two days after we had a conversation about my parents, he ditched me. So I don’t think he’d known before that I’m the daughter of the Grants of Grant Ace Holdings. I mean, my name doesn’t normally appear alongside Mum and Dad’s in the media since my business is independent from Grant Ace, and Jarryd probably didn’t have a reason to make the connection before.”

“Oh, honey. I know you don’t like parading the fact that you are Barry and Alice Grant’s daughter, but what makes you think that that’s Jarryd’s reason for breaking up with you?”

“I spent days and nights wondering what went wrong or what I might have done to turn him off,” she said glumly. “We were having such a great time getting to know each other, and it wasn’t until I mentioned my parents—specifically that they own several shopping centres around the world—that he suddenly started acting distant. Then he ditched me soon after.”

“Surely he doesn’t have anything against your family’s shopping centres?” Jade asked with a frown.

“I think he might have been intimidated.”

“Intimidated? But why? It couldn’t be because your parents are super rich. We have millionaires and billionaires within our circle and he seems comfortable with all of us. In any case, no one here makes a big deal about anyone’s financial standing.”

“Maybe for him, being friends with someone from a billionaire family and going out with that person are two different things,” Marilyn said with hurt in her voice. “He’s not the first guy I’ve dated who couldn’t seem to handle that I’m the only child of one of the wealthiest couples in Australia. Once they knew, either they took advantage of the fact they were dating a Grant, or they started acting funny around me. It’s like they suddenly believed being with me would be hard work, or that I’d be too high-maintenance, or that they have to give me extravagant things to please me. That really hurt! I’ve shown time and again I’m completely happy with the simple things, like walks in the park or eating takeaway as opposed to being wined and dined in five-star restaurants. I’m just another girl wanting to find her special someone.”

Jade patted her knee sympathetically.

“You know what?” Marilyn said with a huff, letting herself rant away since only Jade could hear. “If Jarryd believes that we’re not compatible simply because he’s not at the same level of financial means as my family, then he can take a hike. I have not given him any reason to believe I care about how much he earns or what his net worth is. Does he think I’m a snooty bitch?”

Jade squeezed her hand. “No one who knows you will ever think that. And I’m sure Jarryd knows you well enough.”

“So what’s his problem, then? It’s definitely got nothing to do with lack of chemistry, because we had that in spades. Spades! And if he really knows me well enough, then he should also know that I don’t give a stuff that he doesn’t have millions of dollars to his name. All I want is his love.” Her face burned at her last statement.

“You love him?”

She shrugged, glancing at Jarryd again. “I was getting there.”

“Oh, Marilyn. Well, maybe it is a money thing,” Jade said tentatively. “You know how some men feel like they always have to be the breadwinner?”

“Yeah,” she said sadly. “Thing is, I don’t care about that. I know how hard he works in his business. So what if his income is still small at this time? His business is growing. He has to tighten his belt until his hard work bears fruit.”

Jade sighed. “Please don’t tell anyone what I’m about to tell you, because Lucas told me that Jarryd doesn’t want anyone else to know.”


“When Jarryd started hiring trucks and equipment from Bilton Machineries, he wasn’t satisfied with the answers to the technical queries given by the BDM assigned to him. Lucas stepped in to iron things out and, since my husband is a mechanic at heart, he actually enjoyed answering Jarryd’s long list of questions. That was how they became friends.”

Marilyn nodded. That part she was aware of. The two men had gotten along like a house on fire. Lucas had even referred Jarryd to Natasha Garrett, another close friend of theirs, which had resulted in Garrett Electricals working on one of Jarryd’s projects. In fact, it was because of Jarryd’s friendship with Lucas and Natasha that Jarryd had become a regular attendee to their group’s get-togethers in the last five months. Now, Jarryd was considered part of their gang. And Marilyn had no choice but to continue to socialise with him, especially since their brief affair was unknown to most of their friends.

“When they became close,” Jade said, “Lucas told Jarryd that if he wanted to buy some of the machineries—which would be better for Jarryd’s construction company in the long run—Lucas would be willing to give him extended payment terms with an interest rate lower than what’s available elsewhere. Bilton Machineries offers that only to a select few. But Jarryd said he couldn’t afford to buy. Apparently, one of his major clients went bankrupt and couldn’t pay progress payments amounting to several hundred thousands. What was worse was he’d focused on that big project and held back on other ones, so he was really cash-strapped. I don’t know where he’s at right now, but I doubt he could have turned his fortunes around in a matter of months when construction projects take a long time to complete. So maybe he’s a bit embarrassed about the state of his finance after knowing your parents are billionaires? Maybe it’s a pride thing for him?”

Marilyn shook her head, wondering why Jarryd hadn’t told her all of those things. She would have suggested cheaper dates when they were still going out, especially when Jarryd had insisted on paying most of the time.

Pfft. As if you’re special enough to him that he’d reveal his deepest secrets and fears to you.

She sniffed.

Pity the feelings weren’t mutual.

And that statement just felt like a bucketful of hogwash.


“Jade, slap me.”


“Slap me.”


“Because I’m being stupid,” she said with a whine. “I want to believe that Jarryd still wants me but that something else that’s totally fixable is holding him back. But whether his problem is chemistry or money or whatever else, the fact remains that he doesn’t want to be with me. So give me a hard slap and tell me to wake up. Please.

Jade patted her cheek instead. “For the record, I think that Jarryd still likes you a lot, judging from the glances he’s been throwing at you all day. I vote for fixing what’s holding him back.”

Marilyn groaned. “You are so bad for my sanity. I bet it’s the pregnancy hormones that’re making you think like this.”

“Probably,” Jade said with a chuckle, rubbing her slightly swollen belly. “But I’m starting to change my mind about what a nice guy he is. If he thinks you’re shallow and snobbish, then he’s a poor judge of character.”

She smiled at her friend’s show of loyalty. “I’m just unlucky in love.”

“Hey, don’t say that! It’ll happen for you soon enough.”

She made a sad face. She was starting to worry that the one didn’t exist for her. At twenty-eight, she’d been on plenty of dates, some of them with the most eligible bachelors in Australia. But the three times she’d thought the guy could be the one, she’d been left disappointed and heartbroken.

Why did love keep on eluding her?

“You know,” Jade said, “I do find it weird that after being infatuated with you like a lovesick puppy, Jarryd would suddenly change his mind after three short weeks, especially since you said you were getting along just fine. So how about I get Lucas to do some interrogating? Seeing that Lucas is his bestie in our group, he just might tell him something.”

Marilyn nodded, liking that idea. She was tired of being in limbo, shackled there by her feelings for Jarryd and the belief that his reason for breaking up with her was nothing but a smokescreen to hide something he wanted to keep hidden. With only three weeks left before Christmas, she at least wanted to have some sort of clarity so she wouldn’t spend the coming holidays thinking of nothing but him.

“Can you ask Lucas now?” she pleaded with Jade.


Jarryd Westbourne scanned Rick and Lexie’s large yard, seeing the happy faces of friends as well as those of a handful of people he’d just met today. But where was Marilyn? He leaned back on his seat, glancing around.

Ah, there she was on the patio, frowning at her phone. She was probably attending to something important to be sitting there by herself. Anyway, it was good she wasn’t near him. The farther she was, the easier for him not to stare.

He forced himself to avert his gaze, shaking his head for wanting to keep on gawking. But could he really blame himself? He hadn’t seen her in two months and she looked absolutely beautiful today, with her layered shoulder-length blond hair dancing in the gentle breeze. And, heck, she was downright sexy in that green sundress that almost matched the colour of her eyes, her lithe figure showing every time a gust of wind wrapped the soft material of her outfit around her.

Maybe if he hadn’t been missing her so badly, he wouldn’t be—

Oh, for fuck’s sake, why couldn’t he stop himself from pining for her? He was thirty-one, not fifteen!

“Hey, dude.”

He looked behind him with a start.

“Hey,” he said to Lucas, who had a funny smirk on his face.

“Talk to you for a sec?”


“So what’s this I’ve been hearing about you and Marilyn?” Lucas said in a low voice as they walked towards the perimeter of the garden.

Jarryd glanced at his buddy sharply. “What have you been hearing?”

“That you slept with her, then dumped her.”

Heat rose to his face, his jaw slackening.

“So what happened?” Lucas asked. “You couldn’t wait to go out with her before. Even today, you can’t take your eyes off her.”

He ran his fingers through his hair, glancing back to ensure no one was following them. “Dumped is a harsh word. It was more like I thought it wasn’t going to work out.”

“And why wasn’t it going to work out?”

“Because…” Damn. What excuse could he give? “It hit me that we were going way too fast towards a serious relationship and that scared me,” he said with enough gravity to sound convincing.

“Really? I thought you were already falling fast for her even before she agreed to go out with you.”

Jarryd flushed, but kept an impassive face. “Obviously not. Anyway, who told you?”

“My wife. She’s been talking to Marilyn. Apparently, Marilyn doesn’t buy your reason for breaking up with her.”

He pressed his lips into a thin line, not at all surprised by that.

He’d actually meant to say there was not enough spark between them, but for some reason he’d ended up saying they had none—probably from his agitation at having to end things with her. The hurt and bewilderment on Marilyn’s face had stopped him from correcting himself, lest he make things worse by inadvertently giving away too much. In any case, all he’d succeeded in doing was sounding like a heartless liar.

“What exactly did you tell her?” Lucas prodded.

Jarryd’s phone rang, saving him from answering Lucas. “Sorry, it’s my lawyer. I have to get this.”

“Sure. We’ll continue this later.” Lucas clapped his shoulder before walking away.

“Hello, Carl,” he greeted after Lucas was out of hearing distance.

“Hello, Jarryd. Is this a good time to talk?” asked Carl Peters.

“Yes, I’m just at a party.”

“Oh. Is Marilyn Grant there?”


“I’m surprised you risked being in the same place as her.”

He sighed. He knew he shouldn’t have come today. But these people were his friends, even though they had no knowledge of the drama happening in his life. Besides, he’d missed them, especially Marilyn.

“Anyway, I have some good news for you,” Carl said. “Probably great timing since you’re there with Marilyn.”

Jarryd straightened. “Uh-huh.”

“Bray Hayden, my PI, managed to find out that Barry and Alice Grant have never met with Patrick O’Neill about appearing on Biz Q&A. There was no need for a meeting because both of them declined the written invitation to appear on the show.”

His heart raced in excitement. “And Bray is certain that the Grants and Patrick are not connected in any other way?”

“Yes. Apparently, Patrick is keen to have high-profile billionaires like Alice and Barry to be guest mentors on his show. But the Grants are not friends with Patrick. It appears they haven’t even met in person.”

Sheer relief washed over Jarryd. Thank God for that. “Do you know when Patrick plans to formally challenge the will’s validity?” he asked.

“He’s still holding off on it. But that doesn’t mean he won’t ever do it. What did he call you two months ago when he stormed into your office?”

“A scheming thief and evil manipulator,” Jarryd said dryly. “I still find it strange that he waited seven months before claiming I manipulated Margaret into writing a new will for my benefit.”

“Well, his lawyer said he’d been too shocked and grief-stricken to do anything those first seven months since Margaret’s death. Apparently, Patrick was supposed to be in California with Margaret when Margaret slipped and hit her head on those blasted marble stairs. He’d felt guilty about not being with her.”

Sadness hit Jarryd at the memory of his birth mother, whom he’d met for the first time less than two years ago. When he’d received a call from her out of the blue, asking if he’d want to connect, he’d been shocked. Apparently, Margaret had wanted to find him for a long time, but had been waiting for him to instigate the connection—until she hadn’t wanted to wait any longer.

He hadn’t hesitated agreeing to meet her. He’d already toyed with the idea of searching for his birth mother, with the encouragement of his wonderful adoptive parents. But the last thing he’d expected was to come face-to-face with the Margaret O’Neill, widow of Harold Greeves—the business genius who’d steered Greeves Minerals Corp into becoming one of the world’s biggest miners of diamonds and other gemstones.

Five years ago, Margaret’s grieving face had been all over the news when her billionaire husband and their son—their only child together—had died from injuries sustained in a car accident in Germany.

The spotlight had been on Margaret again three years ago, when she’d married Patrick O’Neill, the charismatic and popular head panellist of the respected TV show Biz Q&A. The man who, two months ago, had vowed to make Jarryd’s life hell for Jarryd’s supposed manipulation of Margaret.

“Don’t worry, Jarryd,” Carl was saying, dragging his attention back to their conversation. “If Patrick makes any legal or public accusation that you coerced Margaret into giving you the bulk of her estate, we’ll pull out all the stops to prove that he only wants to ruin your character so he can end up with Margaret’s money. Besides, he might have the adulation of his fans and the support of some very influential people, but you have the money to fight him on this. You’re the billionaire, Jarryd. You.”

“Well, I don’t plan to live like one until all the question marks on my character are gone. And I can only hope that Patrick will give due respect to his departed wife by not publicising any of this.”

“I hope so too,” Carl said. “But personally, I don’t think we have to worry about Patrick bringing this out in the public arena until he’s sure he can win. And right now, he knows he can’t. He has no proof. But he’d want to protect his image to the fullest, so he wouldn’t want people to know that his wife decided to leave most of her wealth to a son that she’d never told him about.”

Jarryd ran a hand over his face. Even he had been stunned to learn of his inheritance. Margaret had never told him about it.

What made it worse was that, apart from his parents, he hadn’t told anyone about meeting his birth mother either. Margaret had requested that they keep their reunion a secret for a short period so they could get to know each other without the unwanted attention that might arise from Margaret’s public profile as CEO of Greeves Minerals. Then Margaret had asked him to continue keeping their relationship a secret when Greeves Minerals started negotiations to buy Well of Brilliance, a diamond retail company and custom jewellery maker that Margaret had been especially keen on acquiring. She’d been concerned that juicy news about her personal life might result in negative publicity that could affect their success.

Now that Margaret was gone, he was still duty-bound to hide his relationship with her. Olivia Greeves, Margaret’s sister-in-law who was now Greeves Minerals’ CEO, was trying to get the negotiations back on track to acquire Well of Brilliance. Olivia, too, had asked Jarryd to stay quiet until the Well of Brilliance deal was finalised. The talks had been going on and off for far too long, and Olivia didn’t want anything that might stall it again. Of course he’d agreed. He now owned fifty percent of Greeves Minerals and wanted what was best for the company.

He shook his head to clear it. “Anyway, Carl, is there anything else you wanted to talk to me about?”

“That’s it for now. Have you spoken to Marilyn today?”

Carl’s sudden change of topic made Jarryd’s breath hitch. “I’m just about to. Apparently, she wants to know exactly why I broke up with her. You have no idea how relieved I am to know that her parents aren’t connected with Patrick.”

“But hasn’t Olivia asked you to stay quiet about your relationship with Margaret?”

“Yes, for now. I don’t have to mention Margaret to anyone. I’ve managed to keep it to myself for all these months.”

“Well, good luck with Marilyn today.”

“Thanks,” he said before they said their goodbyes.

Jarryd took a minute to compose himself after hanging up.

If only he hadn’t been so muddled two months ago.

But he’d been taken aback by Patrick O’Neill suddenly accusing him of something so unthinkable as coercing his birth mother into writing a new will so he’d get the bulk of Margaret’s billion-dollar estate. Patrick was an influential, well-known and well-respected man. Jarryd knew that plenty of people would believe Patrick’s words without a question, while there Jarryd was, a nobody who’d suddenly become a billionaire after the death of Margaret O’Neill—who’d never told anyone she had a living son she’d given up for adoption, much less that she’d found him.

He still couldn’t believe the timing. He’d been succeeding at warding off his disquiet at Patrick’s accusations by being in Marilyn’s arms, when Marilyn had informed him that her parents were Barry and Alice Grant of Grant Ace.

He snickered dryly, remembering how he couldn’t wait to ask Carl to find out if the Grants were acquainted with Patrick, and how he’d just stared into space for minutes when Carl’s PI had informed him that Barry and Alice were being asked by Patrick to appear on several episodes of Biz Q&A.

He’d still made the right decision breaking up with Marilyn then, right?

Knowing what he knew then, yes. He’d assumed that the Grants and Patrick were well acquainted and he’d wanted to protect Marilyn and her parents from any negative publicity that could fall on them because of his conflict with Patrick.

But now he would have done things differently. He would have fully prepared himself for a let-her-down-gently breakup instead of refusing to think about it and only blurting out the words when he was already in front of her.

Now the coast was somewhat clear again, and he couldn’t wait to smooth things out with her. But how would he start wooing her again after he’d used the wrong fucking words?

No spark between them.

Seriously, he was an idiot.

***End of Chapter One***

Hope you enjoyed that. Tomorrow, I’ll share with you Chapter Two.

But before I go, remember that I mentioned I’ll be running a giveaway exclusive to my newsletter subscribers? It’s my way of showing how much I appreciate you being on my mailing list. Well, it’s now started! Here’s the link to giveaway page:

Exclusive Newsletter Giveaway

All you need to do is answer up to three very easy questions, with each answer giving you one entry point. You can even browse my website to help you answer two of the questions, specifically this webpage: Books by Miranda

First Prize: One winner will win signed copies of books 1 to 6 of the Captured by Love series (The Unwilling Executive, The Unyielding Bachelor, The Undercover Playboy, The Unintended Fiancé, The Unforgettable Ex, The Unknown Billionaire)

Second Prize: Two winners will win a signed copy of The Unknown Billionaire

I can’t wait to see your answers, and I can’t wait to send out the prizes to the winners!

Here again is the link to the giveaway: Exclusive Newsletter Giveaway

Good luck! And don’t forget to check your inbox for Chapter Two of The Unknown Billionaire tomorrow!

Till then, take care.

Miranda xoxo


The Unknown Billionaire: Coming Very Soon

Finally, I’ve finished writing Jarryd and Marilyn’s story! It took me longer than usual, but The Unknown Billionaire (Captured by Love Book 6) is now currently being edited and proofread. And I’m happy to announce that it will be released on the 30th of September!

Here’s the hot cover and the synopsis:

TheUnknownBillionaire-600x900Will his billion-dollar fortune cause him to lose the woman he loves?

Jarryd Westbourne is shocked to have inherited a billion-dollar fortune from the mother who’d given him up for adoption. Unfortunately, business complications force him to keep it a secret from everyone for a period of time, even from Marilyn Grant, the woman he’s crazy about. When his birth mother’s husband suddenly challenges the will and accuses him of foul play, he ends his relationship with Marilyn to protect her from any scandal. But can he ever win Marilyn back if she discovers what he’s been hiding from her?

Can her love survive a necessary deception?

Marilyn Grant was heartbroken when Jarryd Westbourne dumped her unexpectedly. But she believes that Jarryd broke up with her only because he’s intimidated by her parents being billionaires while he’s only of average means. She’s keen to prove to Jarryd that she doesn’t care one bit that his wealth is nowhere near her family’s. After all, love and trust, not money, are the foundations of a lasting relationship. And Jarryd is one guy she knows she can trust…


To celebrate the release of The Unknown Billionaire, I’ll be doing a giveaway which will be open only to my newsletter subscribers. The contest will start soon and continue until the 2nd of October. One of you will win a signed paperback copy of each of the first six books of the Captured by Love series. Yup–Books 1 to 6, autographed, for the winning subscriber. Two others will each get a signed paperback of The Unknown Billionaire. I’ll give you a link to the giveaway when it opens, so you can enter.

Captured by Love Books 1-5 smaller size

Win Books 1-5 of the Captured by Love series! Book 6, The Unknown Billionaire, is not shown on the photo because it’s still being done!


I’m so excited for you to read The Unknown Billionaire. And you know that I’ll be sharing with you Chapters One and Two prior to release date, right? Stay tuned for those!

Till then, take care.

Much love,
Miranda xox

P.S. I recently opened an Instagram account and discovered that I love posting non-book related photos there, like yummy desserts and places I’ve been to, in addition to book stuff. Check out my profile and follow me if you’re on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mirandapcharles_romanceauthor/