Mila’s story is Book Two in the Molyneux Sisters
The tycoon she never forgot…
Mila Molyneux had always harboured a secret crush on her childhood friend Sebastian Fyfe—until he married another woman. She buried her feelings and moved on, knowing it was best for everyone…
Meeting Seb years later—now widowed and still gorgeous—their long-lost connection is as deep as ever. Only now difficult emotions challenge not only Seb but Mila, as well. Dare she hope they can now find happiness—if she can confront the hold this brooding tycoon still has over her?
Are Mila and Sebastian ready to put their hearts on the line? Or are they destined to just remain good friends?
A fantastic story about healing, learning to trust again and the power of love, The Billionaire From Her Past is a poignant romantic read that will strike a chord with readers everywhere. Sensitively written, wonderfully engrossing and a joy from start to finish, The Billionaire From Her Past will make readers laugh and cry as they get swept up in this emotional, feel-good and stirring romantic tale.
With characters you cannot help but care about, heart-wrenching pathos, humour and heart, The Billionaire From Her Past continues to cement Leah Ashton’s standing as one of romantic fiction’s most gifted writers! – Bookish Jottings
This is one of those second-chance-at-love novels but so artfully done that it breathes a new life into the subgenre. Generic title aside, this is definitely one of the better romances out there. – Marsha (Goodreads)
Read an excerpt
That was what Mila Molyneux remembered.
And bubblegum-pink. Crocodile-green. Little-boy-blue.
So many colours: primary and pastels, and in stripes and polka dots. Everywhere. On party dresses, balloons and pointed party hats. Or scrunched and forgotten in the mountains of desperately ripped and dismissed wrapping paper that wafted across the lawn.
A rainbow of happy, excited eight-year-olds beneath a perfect Perth sky.
But Stephanie had definitely worn purple to her birthday party all those years ago. Purple tights, purple dress and glittering purple cowboy boots.
Mila remembered how excited her best friend had been that day. She remembered how excited she’d been, too—what eight-year-old girl wasn’t excited by a birthday party? It had been years before their dreary Gothic black high school days, so Mila guessed she’d been wearing some shade of red—her favourite colour—but that detail of her memories had faded. As had the memory of what Seb had worn, but he’d been there, too. Three friends, neighbours all in a row, although back then Seb had most definitely still had ‘boy germs’.
But that had changed later.
As had Stephanie’s back yard.
Today there were no balloons in Mr and Mrs van Berlo’s garden. No patchwork of forgotten wrapping paper. No mountain of presents or shrieking of excited children.
And definitely no purple, nor even the tiniest hint of a rainbow.
Instead the guests wore black as they mingled amongst tall tables topped with elegant white flower arrangements. In this same garden, where Stephanie and Mila had played hide and seek hundreds of times, it just didn’t seem real. Didn’t seem possible.
But then—none of this did, did it?
‘If anyone else tells me how lucky we are to have such amazing weather today I’m going to—’
Sebastian Fyfe stood beside her, staring out at the monochrome guests beneath the unseasonably perfect winter sky. His voice was strong and deep, as it always was.
It had been years since they’d spoken face to face. Almost as long since their emails and social media messages had dribbled out into nothing.
‘If anyone else tells you how lucky we are to have such amazing weather today you’re going to nod politely—because you get how no one has a clue what to say to a man at his wife’s funeral,’ Mila finished for him.
Seb raised his untouched beer in Mila’s direction. ‘Correct,’ he conceded. His tone was as tired as his grey-blue eyes. ‘I don’t know what to say at my wife’s funeral either. Maybe I should steal their material and start the weather conversation myself.’
Mila managed a small smile. ‘Do whatever you have to do to get through this,’ she said. ‘Personally, I’m just not talking to anybody.’
Even her mother and two sisters were giving her the space she needed. But they stood nearby, in a neat half-circle, just in case she changed her mind.
‘Is Ben here?’ Seb asked, not really looking at her.
Mila shook her head. ‘No,’ she said. ‘We broke up.’
A few months ago now. Steph had known, but obviously she hadn’t passed on the news to Seb. Not that long ago Mila would’ve told Seb herself—but things had changed.
For a long while they just stood together silently, Seb was tall and stiff and stoic in his perfectly tailored suit, looking like the successful businessman he was—but it was impossible to ignore the flatness of his expression and the emptiness in his eyes. His dark hair was rumpled—it always was—but today it looked too long, as if he’d missed a haircut. Or two.
A waitress offered canapés, which they both refused. Mila swirled her remaining Shiraz in its glass, but didn’t drink.
She desperately wanted to say something. To ask how Seb was—how he really was. To wrap her arms around him and hold on tight. To cry tears for Stephanie that only Seb could understand. But it had been too long since their friendship had been like that.
It had been six years since Seb and Stephanie had moved to London, and maybe they should have expected things to change with so much distance between them.
‘Did Steph—?’ Seb began, then stopped.
‘Did she what?’
He turned to meet Mila’s gaze. ‘Did you know?’ he said. ‘What she was doing?’
Did you know about the drugs?
Mila shook her head. ‘No,’ she said.
Something shifted in his eyes. Relief?
‘Me either,’ he said. ‘I hate myself every day for not knowing. But it helps—in a way—that she hid it from you, too.’
Mila blinked, confused. ‘I wouldn’t say she hid it from me, Seb,’ she said gently, not really wanting to disagree with him on a day like today, but also knowing he deserved her honesty. ‘The last time I spoke to Steph was her birthday.’ Almost six months ago. ‘And we weren’t really talking regularly before that. Not for a long time.’
Seb’s expression hardened. ‘But you’re her best friend.’
Mila nodded. ‘Of course. It’s just…’
‘You should’ve been there for her.’
His words were clipped and brutal. His abrupt anger—evident in every line of his face and posture—shocked her.
‘Seb, Steph always knew I was there for her, but our lives were so different. We were both busy…’
It sounded as awful and lame an excuse as it was. Mila knew it. Seb knew it.
Maybe everything had changed when they’d moved to London. Maybe it had been earlier. Not that it really mattered. No matter how rarely they’d spoken recently, Stephanie had been her Best Friend. A proper noun, with capital letters. Always and for ever.
Until death do us part.
Tears prickled, threatened.
She looked at Seb through blurry eyes. The sunlight was still inappropriately glorious, dappling Seb’s shoulders through the trees. He was angry, but not with her. Or at least not just with her. She knew him well enough, even now, to know that he was simply angry. With everything.
So she wasn’t going to try to defend herself with words she didn’t even believe. Instead she could only attempt to turn back the clock—to be the type of friend none of them had been to each other for this past half decade and more.
She reached for him, laying her hand on his arm. ‘Seb—if I can do anything…’
He shrugged, dislodging her hand. His gaze remained unyielding. ‘Now you just sound like all the others. You’ve just skipped the bit about the weather.’
And as he walked away her tears trickled free.
Text Copyright © 2016 by Leah Ashton
Cover Art Copyright © 2016 by Harlequin Enterprises
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books SA. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprise Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.