THE BILLIONAIRES: THE STEPBROTHERS – Calista Fox
A Lover's Triangle Novel , Book Three
St. Martin's Griffin
San Francisco, California; The Hamptons, New York – Present Day
Scarlet Drake is an insurance fraud investigator who has been chasing a stolen art collection from several years before. Even though the statute of limitations is over, the insurance company wants her to dot all the i's and cross all the t's. Scarlet is extremely thorough and good at her job, and she's been chasing Michael Vandenberg, the Wolf of Wall Street, for months. Finally she found him in a restaurant in San Francisco, and just wants to discuss the theft with him. The art collection was given by Michael's father to his second wife, and during a party at their estate in the Hamptons several years ago, the collection was stolen, leading to an eighteen million dollar payment to Michael's father, Mitcham. But the handsome Michael arouses all of Scarlet's carefully banked passion, and the next morning Scarlet comes to the conclusion Michael is probably innocent. Now she just has to investigate his step-brother, Sam. Scarlet goes to Montana to visit Sam and also finds herself in lust with him. After a night spent with Sam, she believes his story that also matches Michael's.
Sam and Michael were entertaining two women during their parent's party all those years ago, and claim not to know what happened to the paintings. Michael has a tentative relationship with his father after he married Sam's mother less than six months after Michael's mother died of cancer. The art was a present to his new wife, Karina, who apparently loved the extravagant gift. But Michael and Sam each received five million dollars just weeks after the insurance claim was made. Did they have something to do with the theft?
When Michael and Sam and Scarlet go to Michael's family estate, they come together in a hot ménage that can't be denied. Sam is hesitant about having feelings for Scarlet since his fiancée and their unborn child were killed by a drunk driver several years ago, and he's still working through the pain. Michael is a businessman headquartered in New York, and he doesn't know how a relationship with Sam in Montana and Scarlet in San Francisco will work. But what will happen when Michael's father and stepmother are confronted by Scarlet, and their story just doesn't seem to add up after Scarlet finds holes in Karina's history.
Calista Fox's story of Scarlet, Michael, and Sam resonates with the passion and attraction that throbs between then. You can feel the lust, and yet each of them is self-aware and surprised about the attraction that flows between them. Sam is still living with the death of his fiancée and hasn't moved on with his life. Scarlet hasn't had a boyfriend in over two years and loves the work that she does. Michael's relationship with his father has been troubled since the death of his mother and the quick remarriage. Was his father involved with Sam's mother before his own mother died? It doesn't help that Mitcham has never opened up about what happened all those years ago.
THE BILLIONAIRES; THE STEPBROTHERS is an excellent story of three people with just a touch of the erotic thrown in to keep things interesting. Scarlet keeps investigating the art theft and leads all of them into a direction no one expected. Also in the Lovers Triangle series are two of Scarlet's friends featured in THE BILLIONAIRES: A BILLIONAIRES MENAGE (April 2017) and THE BILLIONAIRES: THE BOSSES (September 2017). Several twists and turns and Rachel's excellent investigative abilities make this an outstanding read this month.