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Book 4: Straw and Diamonds (Getaway Bay® Resort Romance)

Book 4: Straw and Diamonds (Getaway Bay® Resort Romance)

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Escape to Getaway Bay and meet your new best friends as these women navigate their careers, their love lives, and their own dreams and desires. Each heartwarming love story shows the power of women in their own lives and the lives of their friends.

Each book can be read as a standalone, with a happily-ever-after ending, and clean, sweet-without-losing-the-heat romance!

About STRAW AND DIAMONDS: She's barely making ends meet with her beach side drink stand because her ex stole from her and fled the island. So Sasha Redding does what she has to in order to support herself—she takes a job cleaning a house in an exclusive gated community. She just didn't know she'd been hired by a billionaire beast...Can Sasha open her heart to the possibility of a second chance at love? Or will she get burned again?

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Sample Chapter 1 Now!

Sasha Redding arrived last to the beach, the group of women before her already laughing about something. Of course they had things to giggle over. Boyfriends. Dates that evening. Diamond rings.

She dropped her beach chair to the sand with a little too much force. Fine, maybe she threw it. No matter what, sand sprayed out and hit Esther on the right and Tawny on the left. Esther glanced up at her, her ultra-blonde hair practically white in the sunshine.

Tawny kept on talking as if she hadn’t even noticed Sasha’s arrival. And wasn’t that the epitome of Sasha’s life? She sighed as she sprayed sunscreen on her bare arms and shoulders and settled into her chair.

Tawny had recently broken up with her boyfriend. Or her fake fiancé. The fake fiancé that she’d fallen in love with. But even though they weren’t speaking at the moment, Sasha knew they’d get back together. It was only a matter of time before the article in that poker magazine came out and Tyler—the fake fiancé/boyfriend—would come around and forgive her.

Sasha didn’t have a fiancé, real or otherwise. Nor a boyfriend. Nor anyone interested in becoming her boyfriend or fiancé. It was a problem that, until very recently, all the women in the Beach Club had been dealing with.

But one by one, love had claimed them all. Okay, just three of them, but it felt like all of them to Sasha, as the other ladies were a bit older and adamant they didn’t want another boyfriend or husband.

Sasha secretly did though, and when Tawny finally finished talking, Esther turned her and asked, “Everything okay?”

No, everything was not okay. Sasha didn’t want to talk about it, but at the same time, she didn’t have anyone else to tell. And wasn’t that why she came to these little get-togethers? It wasn’t to see the glinting diamonds, that was for sure.

“I’m taking a second job,” she said. “Starts tomorrow.” She stared out across the water, the winter sunlight still bright enough to hurt her eyes as it reflected off the bay.

“Things are that bad?” Esther leaned forward and peered at Sasha, obviously trying to get her to face her.

“Yes.” Sasha didn’t want to admit that she used money for her drink stand, The Straw, that she should’ve used to pay her electric bill. But if she didn’t have The Straw, she wouldn’t have any income. So she was a bit behind right now. She’d get caught up as soon as she started getting paid from this new job.

“What are you doing?” Tawny asked. “For the new job, I mean.”

“I’m cleaning some rich guy’s house,” she said, the words like poison on her tongue. She’d definitely had enough of wealthy men, that was for sure. Stacey, Esther, and Tawny didn’t seem to mind them, but Sasha preferred to meet a simple fisherman, or maybe a busboy. They, at least, wouldn’t give her unsolicited advice about how she should run her business.

“Who?” Tawny asked, and Stacey and Esther looked more than interested too. Winnie, another Hawaiian woman in their group, kept her face placidly turned toward the sun as if she wasn’t listening to the conversation.

“I don’t know,” Sasha said. “Jasper something.”

“Jasper Rosequist?” Tawny practically screeched the name, which finally got Sasha to look at her.

“Yeah. Do you know him?”

“He’s friends with Tyler.”

“And Fisher,” Stacey said. 

“And Marshall.” Esther’s right eyebrow cocked, and a small smile joined the party.

“So what?” Sasha asked. “I’m not going to fall in love with him.” They all knew about Newton and what he’d done to her stand, her life, her heart. No, she didn’t need another man with money to come and shred everything she’d had to rebuild. Not again.

“So here’s an idea,” Esther said. “Why not just give him a try?”

“How about we don’t?” Sasha glared at her friend.

Tawny nodded, more enthusiastically than the situation warranted. “You might like him.”

“I don’t care. Number one, he’s my boss.”

“And number two?” Stacey asked.

“I won’t even see him. He made it very clear he works all night and sleeps during the day. I’m supposed to show up at six AM.” She groaned just thinking about being up that early. “Work for a few hours—pretty quietly too—and slip out so I don’t disturb him.” She made air quotes around the last two words. “He’s high maintenance already.” The complete opposite of a busboy. 

“So then we’ll bet,” Esther said simply. 

Sasha growled, but the other girls didn’t care. In fact, Winnie said, “I’ll put in fifty bucks if she’ll ask him out.”

“I’ll match that,” Esther said.

“I’ll double it,” Stacey added.

“I’m poor,” Tawny said. “But I’ll put in twenty if he says yes.”

Sasha started shaking her head about the time Stacey had spoken, but the thought of two hundred and twenty dollars had her reconsidering. That could pay for a lot of cups…or get her electricity back on.

“I’m not asking him out,” she said, though the idea was still tickling the back of her mind.

“Well, if you do.” Esther shrugged.

“There should be a time limit,” Stacey said. “Within the first week or something.”

“Two weeks,” Tawny said. “Maybe she won’t even see him in the first week. You know?”

“All right.” Esther beamed as brightly as the sun. “Sasha has to ask out Jasper within two weeks, starting tomorrow, for a grand prize pot of two hundred and twenty dollars.”

“If he says yes,” Tawny amended. “I’m only paying if he says yes.” She grinned at Sasha, who couldn’t quite return the gesture. “Which I’m sure he will, because you’re gorgeous.”

“Fine.” Esther looked from Tawny to Sasha. “Two-twenty if he says yes. Two hundred if she asks him, no matter what he says. We’re all in agreement?”

Everyone agreed, except Sasha, who rolled her eyes and said, “I hate you guys,” before facing the bay again and wondering if she really could make an easy two hundred dollars with a simple question.

* * *

The following morning, Sasha certainly didn’t feel gorgeous. She wore her strawberry blonde hair in a high ponytail and tight-fitting athleisure wear that she could get sweaty in and not care. 

Jasper had given her the code to the lock on the front door, and she tapped it in to the chorus of beeps. Something clicked and she pushed open the double-tall entrance. This place was ridiculous, and she waffled again on whether she’d even be able to look a man like Jasper Rosequist in the eye.

She was five minutes early, but he wasn’t paying her by the hour. He’d said over the phone that he’d leave her a list on a table in the foyer each day, and she’d get paid five hundred dollars every Friday if she completed the jobs. Simple. Easy. Way more money than simple, easy housecleaning required. But she wasn’t complaining about the salary. 

The table sat ten feet from her, a gorgeous display of flowers standing in a vase in the middle of it. She inhaled the fresh blooms before picking up the list for the day.

It read:

Welcome! Cleaning supplies are in the janitorial closet off the kitchen. 

*Main floor bathrooms (2)

*Vacuum formal living, library, and great room

*All windows/glass doors on main level

Thanks!

So she definitely wouldn’t be seeing Jasper today. He’d probably stay on the second level—or were there three in this house?—every morning when she came. She navigated her way into the kitchen, which held the scent of food without any evidence of anyone being there to cook it. No pan sat on the stove. No dish rested in the sink. It was like someone had sprayed the scent of buttered toast and scrambled eggs into the air and then disappeared.

She wasn’t entirely sure what a janitorial closet was. She lived in a one-bedroom condo a block from the beach and only had two closets. One for jackets near the front door, and one in her bedroom. Though, while she opened one door and found mostly empty shelves, she supposed she had a linen closet too, if the floor-to-ceiling cabinet in the bathroom counted.

She closed the pantry door and tried the one next to it. That led to a mudroom, and another door that probably went into the garage. 

The third door finally revealed what she was looking for: A bucket filled with cleaning supplies, brooms, mops, and vacuums in a variety of sizes, and several shelves with bottles of liquids and cans of powder.

Sasha decided to vacuum first, as it was a chore that she actually enjoyed. She could see the work being done, and she liked making perfectly straight lines in the carpet. As she pushed and pulled the vacuum over rugs in the library, and a light beige carpet in the formal living room, and a darker brown carpet in the great room, she yawned.

So she’d be tired. Didn’t matter. This job would provide her with what she needed to keep her drink stand going and pay all her personal bills too.

She finished the windows and the bathrooms with only thirty minutes to spare, feeling sticky and sweaty despite the air conditioning filling the house. She wondered what on earth it would cost to heat or cool a place like this, once again glad she’d taken the job.

With her electricity out, she couldn’t cool or heat her place, and she was at the mercy of Mother Nature. Not only that, but she hadn’t had a hot shower in a week. With just enough time to spare before she had to leave to get to The Straw and get open for the day, she ran back out to her car and grabbed her bag.

She hadn’t intended on showering at Jasper’s place, but down at the recreation center like she’d toyed about doing for a solid week. But he was sure to have hot water, and she wouldn’t be competing with all the morning lap swimmers.

And he won’t even know, she told herself as she tiptoed back inside and cast a long look up the magnificent staircase to the second floor. She hadn’t heard a peep from anyone or anything inside the house. Not a squeaky floorboard, not a phone ringing. Nothing. So he’d never know she’d used his shower. She’d be in and out in twenty minutes tops, ready for a long day making tropical drinks and smiling at tourists.

Sasha made sure to lock the door behind her, and she stood in the hot spray as relaxation coursed through her whole body. Though it had only been a week, she’d forgotten how wonderful and soothing hot water could be. She just had to get the electricity back on—and soon.

She towel-dried her hair and cracked the door two inches so the steam would filter out. She hated getting dressed in the same room where she’d showered, as if Hawaii needed more humidity than it already had.

Even with the cooler air from the hall coming in, her clothes still stuck to her as she pulled them on. She’d just loaded her toothbrush with minty paste when someone said, “Hello?” and the door drifted open to reveal a tall, broad, sandy-haired man standing there.

Jasper Rosequist.

Sasha sucked in a breath. Well, it was really a breath full of toothpaste and water, which caused her to choke. And cough. And spit white foam everywhere, as if she were a freaking rabid dog.

“I’m sorry,” he said, moving into the already too-tight space and pounding on her back. “I startled you. You okay?”

Of course she wasn’t okay. The heat from his palm against her back sent shockwaves through her system, and he smelled like he’d just gotten out of the shower too. One where he’d lathered up with pine trees and warm apple cider.

Her eyes met his for a brief moment, and Sasha thought sure lightning would strike her. She managed to spit in the sink—so attractive, she thought—and take a drink of water to clear the evidence of rabies.

“I’m fine,” she said, her voice much higher than it normally was. “Sorry, I was….” She glanced at her bag, where certain unmentionables were still visible.

She practically dove onto the bag to conceal them, and when she looked at Jasper again, he’d backed to the doorway. He had to be perfect, of course, wearing a pair of pressed black slacks and a polo the color of the sky on a perfect summer day. If he put on a suit coat jacket, he’d be a twin to Newton, the last man who’d made her heart try to fling itself free of her body.

“You showered here?” he asked.

“I, uh….” Sasha didn’t know what to say, and her pulse pounded now for an entirely different reason. This man had no idea what her life was like, and he’d never understand unless he had to live without hot water. Or air conditioning. Or the ability to keep food cold.

“Yes,” she finally said, deciding to own it. Maybe she could still get paid for the cleaning she’d done that morning. “I showered here. I had a few minutes before my next job, and I was kind of gross from all the cleaning. It won’t happen again.” She gazed evenly at him, telling herself that he wasn’t more important than her just because he had money and she didn’t.

He said nothing for so long that Sasha’s nerves started to fray. “Are you going to fire me?” she asked, lifting her chin and hoping with everything she had that he’d say no.

He just stood there, mute and growing more attractive by the moment as she took in the ripple of his muscles under his shirtsleeves and across his chest, the way his hair spiked in the front like he was trying to be the lead singer of a boy band, and the way he stood as if he knew he’d be able to charm her into doing whatever he wanted.

What was wrong with him? Sasha still needed to put on makeup and get over to The Straw, and with every second he stood there staring with those dark green eyes was another second she’d be late. So whether she found him attractive or not, she needed to break this guy out of whatever trance he’d fallen into. Stat.

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “It was funnny and YET had your heartstrings stretched a bit thin at moments in despair! How's that possible? Elana Johnson is how THAT'S possible Every. Single. Time.” ~Mickey

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Each time I read a new book in this series, I think it's my new favorite. Sasha and Jasper's story is sweet and fun. I love how they complement each other even though they come from very different worlds.” ~CarterandConnersMom

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Ready for some billionaire beach romance? Join the members of the Nine-0 Club at the Sweet Breeze Resort - and they're not all men! 

Dive into eight sweet and romantic beach novels featuring billionaires, beaches, and businesswomen! Binge read them all today.

This clean & wholesome billionaire romance series includes eight full-length novels, with over 10,000 reviews—each with a charming, sweet-without-losing-the-heat romance inside.

This collection of heartwarming beach reads will put a smile on your face and a song in your heart. It’s time to indulge in a sweet Hawaiian getaway! Run away to Getaway Bay and escape into some seriously sweet beach billionaire romance.

  • Book 1: Aloha Hideaway Inn

    Can Stacey and the Aloha Hideaway Inn survive strange summer weather, the arrival of the new resort, and falling for her enemy?

  • Book 2: Getaway Bay

    He never dates the same woman twice. She’s his driver. When Esther gives Marshall a thoughtful birthday gift, roles shift violently in this sweet billionaire romance.

  • Book 3: Women's Beach Club

    He’s a billionaire in hiding. She’s a yoga instructor with an ex-boyfriend problem. When they attend a gala together and Tawny’s ex is there, the next thing she knows, she’s engaged to the handsome Tyler – who the children’s wing is named after.

  • Book 4: Straw and Diamonds

    She’s barely making ends meet with her beach side drink stand because her ex stole from her and fled the island. So Sasha Redding does what she has to in order to support herself—she takes a job cleaning a house in an exclusive gated community. She just didn’t know she’d been hired by a billionaire beast…

  • Book 5: The Billionaire Club

    She needs a break from being a female billionaire in the headlines. He’s her ex-boyfriend…and now her bodyguard on the island of Getaway Bay.

  • Book 6: Sweet Breeze Resort

    She owns a billion-dollar closet organizing company and has relocated to Getaway Bay to expand her empire. He’s a single dad and the manager at Sweet Breeze Resort. They couldn’t be more opposite…but has fate brought them together?

  • Book 7: Rainforest Retreat

    She’s learned her lesson when it comes to office romance, and she’s ready to keep her head down and her eyes focused on her own papers at her new managerial job at the best bank in Getaway Bay.

  • Book 8: Getaway Bay Singles

    She owns and operates a successful cleaning company, and she’s got a daughter and dozens of employees to take care of. He’s her ex-husband and now billionaire of the wildly popular dating app, Getaway Bay Singles. And when they meet through the app – and then face-to-face…sparks ignite.

Get another does of Getaway Bay with these beachy wedding planners!

Join the wedding planners, billionaires, and hometown heroes that live in small-town Getaway Bay! It's the perfect blend of sun, sand, beaches, and sweet romance.

Read this series if you like:

✔ Beach reads

✔ Forced proximity

✔ Billionaires

✔ Military heroes

✔ Fake dating tropes

✔ Friends to lovers

✔ Rockstar romance

✔ Single dads

✔ Perfect small town beach settings

✔ Sweet & Steamy kisses

Customer Reviews

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D
Denice
Great Story

I enjoyed Sasha and Jasper's story. They have to overcome real problems, like financial problems, ageing parents, and dishonest people. I liked how they grew and overcome their difficulties to find their happily after, I am really loving this series.