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Lost Love Audiobook

Lost Love Audiobook

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★★★★★I read it practically in one sitting, the book was so absorbing.

★★★★★ When I first started this series I got hooked pretty much straight away. I never thought I could love anyone more than Barrett and Lourde. But now I’ve read Connor and Pepper I’m not so sure about that anymore. Lost love is a ~ best friends brother Love triangle Secret relationship Friends with benefits… - Reviewer Ella.

*Audiobook narrated by new age AI

BLURB

***A TOP 100 AMAZON SERIES!***

Connor

My reputation was, well… different.
An heir to a media empire, I stopped trying a long time ago and just existed.
But with my father about to step down, the legacy sits squarely on my shoulders.
Then there's the other thing, the public announcement of my arranged marriage.
And with all that going on… I can’t erase how my sister’s best friend tastes on my lips after one night together.
So I think of an alternative that might please us both…

Pepper

When my long-term relationship blows up in my face, I'm determined not to let it get in the way of an epic party.
But after a drunken night, I end up in my best friend's older brother’s bed.
What I didn't expect next was his proposition.
But that was only the beginning.

A stand-alone steamy romance with a HEA, guaranteed!

Although characters are interconnected throughout the series, this book can be read as a stand-alone.

CHAPTER 1 LOOK INSIDE

CONNOR

She was drunk.

Perfect.
I never said I was a saint. Far from it. I’d fucked my way through most of Manhattan, and I wasn’t ashamed of it. Women swarmed around me like moths to a flame. Who was I to deprive them?


With my back against the wall, I watched her. Pepper Little swayed to the DJ’s beat, her hourglass curves seductively drawing me in.


I’d just learned Pepper and Jake, her long-time boyfriend, had broken up. As of tonight, they were no longer an item, and by the way her eyes zeroed in on mine from across the room, she wanted to forget about him. She was my sister’s best friend, but I could forget tonight and give her that, if only for tonight. 


I’d never fancied Lourde’s best friend. Not like that anyway. Pepper was much younger. Eight years to be exact, at just twenty-three. But I never saw age as a barrier before. She was cool and gorgeous, just not my flavor of gorgeous—tall, skinny, blonde, and pillows for titties. 


Pepper was the opposite, with olive skin, long black curls, and dark brown eyes thanks to her Greek roots. She was petite, had curves that wound into a tiny waist and a booty that made both men and women alike turn their heads.


Challenging her to make the next move, I lifted the tumbler to my lips without breaking her gaze. The amber liquid slid down the back of my throat like liquid candy. Her lips peeled upward into a grin before she closed her eyes, letting her hands sink over her scarlet dress, then ran them over the curves of her breasts, down the sides of her body to the swell of her hips. My dick thickened in my pants, watching her touch her body so seductively.


It was only when my sister, Lourde, and her friend, Grace, started dancing next to Pepper did my attention wane, and so did hers.
I wandered back to the bar table where my friends were seated. Ari and Barrett were engaged in conversation while Magnus stared at me like I had two heads.
Had he seen me gawking at Pepper?
Lightheadedness and haze swept throughout my six-foot-three frame, and I steadied myself, putting my arm against the wall.

It took an awful lot to get me drunk, but clearly, tonight, I was reaching that threshold.
Along with the last few weeks, I’d been giving an alcoholic cause for pause with the amount of alcohol I’d been consuming. It made me forget about what was coming—my future obligations as an heir to a billion-dollar media empire and an arranged marriage decided for me at an early age. 
Alfred—who I stopped calling Dad since I could remember— was about to step down as the President of Diamond Incorporated, which meant it was my turn to step in. Not only into a position and responsibility I didn’t want but with the announcement of my arranged marriage to Francesca, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cavendish.


With the new role came the impending jail sentence to her. Okay, maybe, a jail sentence was a slight stretch. She was gorgeous. My fake type of beautiful and not too bad of a fuck, either. But that was it. She was blander than a cracker, and oftentimes, I found the ground more appealing when she spoke.
The alcohol numbed the pain, and after the week of hell my father had put me through as Vice President, I needed to let off some steam.

“Where did you go, man?” Ari slapped me between the shoulders, nearly sending me off balance.

“Noo… wherrre.” Did that come out in a slur?

“I think you better hold back on the booze,” Ari cautioned, moving the bottle of Hennessy closer to him.

“What the fuck, Ari?” 
“Hey, man. Just trying to help is all.”
“It’s a party, lighten up,” I snapped, grabbing the bottle from his claw-like grip.
“Man, you’ve got a set of balls,” Magnus said to Ari, his eyebrows raised in disbelief. 

“Hey, bud, we’re all concerned, that’s all,” Barrett reassured.
“I’m fine,” I leveled back, but looking around the table, all I saw was concern on my friends’ faces.

“Geez! All right, here,” I conceded, sliding it back across the bar table. “Take the fucking bottle. Now, will you leave me the fuck alone?” I questioned with an over-the-top hand gesture that nearly sent me tumbling over my own feet.

“Jesus fuck, Connor.” An arm circled my back, propping me back upright. Blinking a few times, I tried to regain my composure and shake off the umbrella of haze.

“See, I’m fine.” I straightened. “Now, who’s getting laid? Magnus, since your wife cheated on you, you up?” I gloated like the drunk dick I was.

“Connor, that’s low.” Magnus narrowed his eyes, his tone clipped.
Fuck, what did he expect marrying a prom queen who had decided the handyman was a better option three months into the marriage?

“I think we need to get you some water.” Ari pressed his arm around my shoulder, dragging me toward the bar. Reluctantly, I went, casting my gaze toward Lourde’s living room turned dance floor. 
If I couldn’t drink my distraction, at least there was Pepper.

A younger guy hovered crazy close to her body, wriggling his way into her space and wrapping his arms around her waist. Clean-cut, fresh-faced, and a younger version of myself, he was a distraction, nonetheless, but an annoying one at that.


Approaching the bar, Ari signaled the bartender, who was distracted by a busty redhead. “Water, thanks.”
I let out a groan.

“You’ll thank me when tomorrow rolls around,” Ari said. “You know I love you like a brother, man, we all do. But this has got to stop.”

I rolled my eyes. “What are you, my dad?”

“No, and if Alfred saw you, he’d send you on a one-way ticket to rehab.”

“Yeah, well, fuck him,” I spat out just as the bartender slid across the ice water.

“Thanks.” Ari nodded, grabbing the glass and shoving it into my chest.

“Drink this, and go home. Sleep it off,” he said and walked toward our table. Magnus hovered over to a nearby girl, and Barrett had disappeared.
I gulped down the water, slamming down the empty glass as the bartender watched on. All the while, I couldn’t keep my eyes off Pepper. Thankfully, Lourde had disappeared, so now it was time to go over and see exactly how much she wanted to forget about her ex. She would not be doing so with the guy currently pawing at her if I had anything to say about it. 


Pushing through the crowd of people, I found my way toward Pepper. His hands were now on her body, sliding around her waist, and my skin bubbled with rage, watching him touch her. 
I towered over her petite frame as I approached her. The scent of orchids and roses invaded my senses, and I couldn’t stop myself from breathing deeply. 
When she looked up at me and I stared down, her delicious tits caught my eye before I met her gaze again.

“What is it, Connor?” She placed both hands around the guy’s neck like my presence meant nothing to her.
Had she done that on purpose? Little did she know it took a hell of a lot to scare me off.
Anyone else would feel self-conscious watching another couple dance, but I didn’t give a flying fuck. I didn’t give him the time of day as I kept my focus on her. Apparently, it bothered him to some degree, as his attention fell on me. 

“Hey, man. Can’t you see we’re in the middle of something here,” he huffed out before immediately recognizing me and lowering his arms. His posture stiffened. 

Ignoring him, I whispered in her ear, “So no Jake then?”

She peeled her arms away from the guy, and he grumbled out something inaudible over the reverberating bassline.

“There are a million girls here. Go find another fuck.”
 Pepper arched a mocha-colored eyebrow and, with a nod of her head, motioned toward the balcony. I followed.

“Was that necessary?” she asked, turning to face me. “I know you’re Connor Diamond, but fuck.”

Why did I like the way my name rolled off her tongue?
“I am Connor Diamond, and I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks of me.”

“Hunkholes,” she quipped.
“Hunkholes?” I laughed out loud.

“What is it you want, Connor?” she asked, a blush creeping up her exposed chest. 
Wearing a red dress with a tight-fitting bodice that pushed her tits up, it was difficult to stop staring. But my manners carved into me since childhood lifted my eyes back up to meet her scowl.
“You.” 
She laughed. Then when she realized I wasn’t joking, she went silent.
“You need to get over the heartache of what’s-his-name, and I just need to forget.”

“There are a million girls here like you said.”

“There are.” I glared at her.

“There are,” she repeated in a hoarse whisper, and her timbre tone set my dick alight.
“There’s also Lourde…” she said, her gaze falling to the floor.
Fuck, my sister could be a problem. But not if it was a one-time thing—which it definitely would be.

“It’s one time… I can keep a secret if you can.”

Her full lips split into a smile. “Maybe.”

“Maybe?” Well, that wasn’t a no.

“You deaf, rich boy?”

“That depends on how loud you scream, Pepper.”

Her mouth fell open, her brown eyes like saucers. She toyed with the end of her black curls that framed her face. “You’re a bad boy, Connor.” 

“And, why do I think you like bad boys?”

Her lips twisted into a smile. “Goodbye, Connor,” she said, turning around and heading back inside. 

What the fuck? I think she just rejected me. No one ever did that. Pepper just became a challenge I couldn’t ignore, and it brought a smirk to my face. 


As the party kicked on into the early morning hours, I settled around the living room with my friends and sister.

“Have you guys seen Pepper? I thought that wherever she’d gone, she’d be back by now?” Lourde asked.
“I saw her a while ago,” Ari said.

“Wasn’t she talking with you on the balcony, Connor?” Magnus shot me a look.

“Before, yes.” All sets of eyes pointed in my direction, waiting for me to what? Elaborate?
“What? She was upset, telling me about how she split from Jake.”

“They split?” Barrett asked, looking confused. 
“Yes, they split! What the hell do you care?” I exclaimed, then suddenly all eyes were on me again.

Barrett put his hands up in surrender. 
Christ, what the fuck was his deal? A vein ticked in my neck as I looked away for her.

Lourde cleared her throat. “We all thought they were solid. Regardless, she’s not picking up her phone. She’s not here, and I’m worried.”

“I’m sure she’s fine, Lourde.” I had known Pepper and Grace, her two besties, since elementary school.
No one fucked with Pepper. Maybe that was the feisty Greek in her, but I knew she could handle herself. 

“I wouldn’t worry, hun. Pepper always finds her way,” Grace added, looking like she’d had one too many champagnes.


Only a handful of people remained at the party as final drinks were served.

“Well, this has been fun, sis. I’m happy to see you’re all set up here in your new apartment and out of the family home,” I gushed, so proud of my sister, who finally stepped out of my parents’ shadow.
Lourde sat down next to Grace, who had slumped down beside her and closed her eyes momentarily.
“Thanks, brother. If I’d known living on my own would be this much fun, I would have moved out earlier.”
“Have you seen the old ball and chain?” I asked, and we all laughed. The sound causing Grace to open her eyes and perk up a little.

“No, not since I’ve moved out. I’ve been working.” Lourde smiled at Barrett, and I couldn’t tell if she was being polite or extra friendly. Since staying with him in the Hamptons recently, she’d seemed different. 
But fuck, what did I know? My own life was imploding in front of my very eyes.

“God forbid you would want to walk over to the little company called Diamond Incorporated and help a brother out.” I raked a hand through my hair. Pressure was a motherfucker, and it was squeezing me, slowly choking the life from me.

“I didn’t know you needed help, Connor.” Her voice was soft, laced with concern, and instantly I felt remorse. 

“I don’t need any help, Lourde.” I pushed off the couch to stand.
“Anyway, it’s late. I’m calling it a night.”

“Really?” Ari asked.

“Yes,” I snapped.

“Nah.” Magnus folded back into the couch and picked up his beer, taking a sip.
Ari, Magnus, and Barrett remained seated and made no move to leave with me. Some fucking friends they were.

“Whatever. See you later.” I leaned over, kissed Lourde on the cheek, and walked toward the elevator, still slightly unsteady on my feet.
I’d made it halfway down the elevator when I remembered I’d left my Hugo Boss jacket hanging off the armchair. Normally, I’d leave it behind, but with a storm rolling in, I’d prefer it on my back.

Dammit. 
I hit the elevator button with an impatient fist, and the doors closed again. As the elevator shot north, I recalled my earlier argument with Alfred.
“You’re not fit to run my company… but you’re my only option seeing we share the same blood.”
I trudged out of the elevator as the door pinged open with renewed irritation. I didn’t know why I let him get under my skin. It’s not like he was going to change in his old age.


Zeroing in on the armchair where I’d left my jacket, it still hung across the back.
Except something had changed. 
Was that the back of Lourde? I walked closer, slower, and in disbelief. 
Fuck me.
Her head rested on Barrett’s shoulder, their shoulders and arms touching.

“What the fuck is going on here?” My voice exploded, cutting through the bass coming through the speakers. Immediately, Barrett moved away from Lourde as she disentangled herself from him.
I heard Ari mumble something, but the pounding of my pulse in my ear was louder. 

“Connor, what are you doing back?” Lourde turned to face me, her high-pitched tone revealing her nerves.

“My jacket,” I snarled out with a hiss.
I took in Ari and Magnus with Barrett’s back still to me. Like two nervous little schoolboys being caught looking through the peephole into the girls’ bathrooms, their faces were grim.
What the actual fuck? Were they a part of this too? 

“I repeat, what the fuck is going on here? Barrett?”

Barrett slowly stood up, turning around so we were at eye level. 
My nostrils flared as I sucked back a large intake of oxygen, my body in fight-or-flight mode and positively raging.
“Maybe we should go somewhere more private, Connor,” Barrett pleaded.

I stared from Barrett to Lourde, then back around at the lingering people in the apartment who were not so subtly staring our way.

“Fine,” I grunted, baring my teeth in barely-there control.
Lourde, who looked like a deer, seconds from being eaten by a lion, now moved to stand next to Barrett.

“Follow me.” Lourde motioned toward her bedroom wing.
With each step I took, my body was fueled with more rage, lies, and betrayal. 
What the actual fuck? What happened in the Hamptons between the two of them? Barrett wouldn’t dare. 
Yet tonight, you wanted to fuck Pepper.
Hypocrite.
I shook away the thought. 
The door shut behind me, and I faced Barrett, who still had his back toward me. 

“Tell me what the fuck is going on because I sure as hell don’t think my best friend would be screwing my baby sister.”

He walked over to Lourde, standing beside her. She held her hands in front of her, fidgeting with her fingers. 

“Look, Connor, we wanted to tell you.”

“You fucking what?” Still slightly inebriated, I stepped forward, a bit unsteady on my feet, but before I could reach him, Lourde stepped between us, forcing me to step back.

“Stop it, Connor, and just listen, please.”

Listen, was she fucking serious? My baby sister and Barrett?

“I love him,” she said with her hands on Barrett’s chest.

“You fucking what?” 
“I love him,” she repeated. But her revelation still made no sense the second time.
Lourde stared at me, then back to Barrett. I was so confused staring between them. What was happening? Someone, please tell me this was just an alcohol-induced misunderstanding. That had to be it, right?

“It started in the Hamptons when you suggested I stay with him.
”
Confusion now gave way to intense anger.
I looked past her and squared up to Barrett.
“I knew I couldn’t trust you. What did I say to you? I said not to fucking touch her.” I turned to face Lourde. “He is a player, Lourde. We all are. He’s slept with most of Manhattan.”

“That was in the past, Connor,” Barrett said. “Lourde’s different. I’ve never cared about anyone as much as I do Lourde.”

No, this wasn’t happening. This wasn’t fucking happening in my fucked-up existence.

“You fucking asshole!” I leaned over Lourde, grabbing Barrett by the shirt.
Pushing past Lourde, I shoved him against the wall, but he didn’t fight me back.

“Stop, please, Connor,” Lourde pleaded.

“You can fucking hit me, but you won’t stop me from seeing her,” he said calm as fuck, and it only pissed me off more.
My hand smashed into the wall next to his head, but again, he didn’t flinch.

“You can smash my face up, but she means everything to me, Connor.”

Unblinking, he stared back at me. My chest rose and fell sharply as my arm swooped back, ready to strike. Lourde pleaded and said something I couldn’t comprehend with the amount of rage building inside of me.
“Fuck you!” I slammed my fist into the wall, this time breaking through the drywall.

“Do it. I’m a piece of shit anyway. I don’t deserve your sister.”

The way he looked at her made me think twice. Did he actually have feelings for her?
I gripped my hand with the other, the pain radiating up my forearm with blood trailing from a cut. Unfortunately, it did nothing to deter the betrayal I felt.
The door swung open. Ari and Magnus looked from him to me, then at the hole in the wall next to Barrett’s head.

“Are you all right, Connor?” Ari asked.

“So you all knew too?” I asked, taking the cloth that Lourde passed me to quell the blood dripping from the cuts on my hand.

“I didn’t know for sure until I saw them tonight,” Magnus said.

“I knew, man, but it wasn’t up to me to tell you,” Ari admitted, stepping between Barrett and me.

“Is everything all right in here?” Grace asked, taking in the hole in the wall and a shivering Lourde. Shit, what have I done to my sister?
Barrett must have noticed her shivering, too, because the next thing I knew, he had moved behind her, wrapping his arms around her.
My jaw ticked with fury, but I remained still.
“I’m fucking livid,” I said, exasperated. My body vibrated with unreleased tension, and I couldn’t stop myself. “No, you know what? I’m fucking furious. How dare you?”
“I’m sorry, Connor. We were going to tell you tomorrow,” Lourde said in an anxiety-laden voice.

“He’s no good for you, Lourde,” I spat out, and Barrett gripped her tighter in response. 
“Fuck this,” I said. “I can’t believe what I’m hearing and seeing. You’re eight years younger than him, Lourde.”

“I think we all should just go home, regroup with level heads, and talk about it when we have all calmed down,” Magnus said, and maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea because I didn’t trust myself not to throw a punch at my so-called best friend and follow it with another.

“First the shitstorm with work, and now this? Lourde, seriously…”

“I told you, I’m sorry,” Lourde said, stepping out of Barrett’s firm grip and toward me.
I saw the pain in her eyes, but it was too much to take. I was fucking angry, and there wasn’t a damn thing anyone could do to fix this.
I threw my hands up.
“I’m out… and you, Barrett…” I shook my head, my jaw set, glaring at them one last time before turning on my heel toward the door.

“Lourde just happened, Connor,” Barrett confessed.
I craned my neck, throwing him a piercing I-don’t-give-a-fuck stare, then walked out.
After fending off Magnus and Ari, who followed me out, I left them at Lourde’s apartment and pushed them out of the elevator doors.
The elevator descended as I cracked my jaw, grinding my teeth, and as I reached the lobby, anger had utterly consumed me.
The doors opened, and I walked out into a vision of red.

Pepper.


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