Tabitha is destined to marry a king and unite her powerful family with another. But she’s never been one to do what she’s told, and she’s decided to make her own destiny.
Vlad has devoted his life to guarding his king and never thought about taking a wife. But all bets are off when a sassy, dark-haired princess appears.
These two are hot and fast, but when Tabby’s parents step in, things get messy. Can they forgo tradition and make their own way, or will the divide break them?
Warning: Okay, okay…stop asking. They get their story. Happy now?
Putting one last curl into Al’s hair, I step back and take a look at my handiwork.
“You look like a hooker. One of those American ones,” I tease her, smiling. I think we nailed it. My obsession with my favorite movie Pretty Woman gave me the idea to go with a Vivian Ward look. I love doing Al’s hair, but she hardly lets me anymore. It’s not like when we were little and I did it every day before she learned to do it herself.
She doesn’t like her long blonde locks, but I love them. They always make me think of a fairy tale, which seems appropriate since we are both princesses.
“As long as I don’t have to dress like a hooker, it’s perfect,” she tells me, making me laugh. I don’t think I could get Alena to show that much skin, even if I held her down and put the outfit on her myself.
“I say keep it simple on the outfit.” I walk over to the bed, picking up a dress I know will look perfect on her. I talked her into getting it forever ago, but it’s sat in the back of her closet since then. “This.”
I hold up the green dress, knowing it will make her blonde hair even brighter. She might not like her hair, but I think it makes her shine like a star. Plus, the dress is somewhat modest, coming to her knees, with little capped sleeves. It will look perfect on her. Maybe a little too perfect for our plans though. This dress might not scare away her future husband.
“I can’t wear that. I’ll have to wear heels.”
I have to stifle a laugh. Alena is the worst in heels. It’s actually pretty comical to see her in them. Like a little baby deer learning to walk.
“Yep. I’ve seen you in heels. You’re a walking accident waiting to happen. So heels it is.”
I pick up a pair of black heels that will go well with the dress. The point is to make her seem like a mess if we want to scare away the man demanding her hand in marriage. The man who will take my sister away from me. It’s always been the two of us. I still remember when Mom brought her home from the hospital. I thought she’d be mine to take care of, to protect from the crappy-ish parents we had, and that’s what I did. And that’s what I’m doing today.
We are going to send this potential husband running for the hills. Though after the picture I saw of him, I’m not sure he’s ever run from anything in his life. He has his sights set on my sweet, innocent little sister, and I don’t know if he can be stopped. She’s too soft for a man who looks like he could rip someone in half with his bare hands.
Handing her the heels, I grab my own dress. Unlike Al, I love dressing up. Hair, makeup, and clothes have been my obsession since I could walk. I slip on the tight red dress and pull at it a little to make sure it’s all in place.
“Wait, are you trying to get his attention so he’ll marry you? I thought we were scaring him off,” Alena says.
I watch as panic lights up her face. I did try and take Al’s place when I found out someone had called for her hand in marriage. I knew she didn’t want to get married, just like me. At least not to a king. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life as royalty. I want something more simple. But for Alena I’d do anything, including asking if I could take her place. I was older and had been asked multiple times, but each time, my parents turned them down. The one good thing they’d ever done for me. But when King Roman called for Al, our parents jumped all over it and he would have no one but her. From my understanding I don’t think trying to get him to look at me could possibly work. He was intent on having Alena. The only thing we could do was make him think she wasn’t that great of a catch. It’s all we could come up with. Though I have a feeling this isn’t going to work. Alena never gets how much she really glows without even trying.
But I can’t help but wonder at the look on her face. Is there jealousy there? Maybe she likes the king a little more than she’s willing to admit aloud.
“Whatever you want,” I tell her. Because I will do whatever she needs me to do. We always do that for each other. We’re a team. A team that is about to be split up.
“Girls!” my mom yells before the door opens. “Let’s go.” She gives us a glance to make sure we look presentable because that’s all she cares about. She turns and heads out of the room, a glass full of wine in hand like always. Hopefully she’s had enough to not be a total pain-in-the-ass tonight.
I watch Alena slip on the heels and almost fall over. I snort, unable to help myself, while putting my own on.
“Come on.” I lock my arm with hers to help her walk so she doesn’t hurt herself before we even get there. We make our way towards the great room with only a few minor stumbles along the way.
“I don’t know if I can do this,” Al whispers. I hate the tremble in her voice. It makes a protectiveness rise up in me “I’m so shy. I don’t know if I can make a fool of myself.”
“I’ll be right here. We’ve got this,” I reassure her.
I’m not going anywhere, and I’ll be right here to make a fool of myself right along with her. Hopefully this king will think we’re a hot mess and run for the hills, wanting nothing to do with us. She looks up at me and nods.
When we turn the corner into the great room we both freeze. Everyone looks at us, but my eyes go to one spot, and I feel every part of my body come alive.
“Holy fuck,” I whisper to myself.
The man standing against the far wall has his eyes trained on me. They are the greenest I’ve ever seen in my life. His giant arms are folded over his chest, and I know instantly from his stance he’s a guard. He’s built like a tank, with big muscles and a wide chest. His hair is so thick and dark, I know our babies would have hair just like him. Oh. My. God. I can’t believe I had that thought.
As if he can read my mind, a smirk pulls at his full lips.
Someone steps in front of him, blocking my view. I don’t know if I’m thankful for that or not. It’s then I notice it’s Roman. His eyes are focused fully on my sister. He looks almost angry. It’s then I realize it’s because she’s looking where I was looking. At the mystery man with green eyes. I can see jealousy written all over Roman’s face.
“Sweetheart, this is King Roman,” I hear our mother say.
I glance over at her and see she’s got a giant smile on her face. She’s all too happy to pass her daughter off so easily. She doesn’t care if Alena even wants to go. No, not my mother. I stare at her for a moment, and for the first time, I really feel hate for her.
Lost in my reverie, I miss Roman come flying across the room. He grabs Alena, who was tripping over her own shoes. He pulls her towards him, and I watch my sister melt into him as if she’s done it a thousand times.
I glance back to my mystery man, who’s now moved closer. He stares right at me. I feel like he can see though my clothes. His gaze roams over me as if he owns me, as if he has personal knowledge of my body. I’m used to men looking at me, but this feels different. I know he wants me, but it’s more than that. He wants to own me. The thought should piss me off. It’s why I’ve never liked this arranged marriage crap. A man showing up and taking me just isn’t going to happen. But why now, with this stranger, am I feeling a tingling all over my body at the thought?
“Hi,” I hear Al say, and it pulls my eyes reluctantly away from the man.
Her voice is awkward and doesn’t sound anything like her. I can’t help but snort. I know the sound gets her, because she starts to fight a laugh.
“Tabby,” she says, her eyes still locked with Roman’s. I’m a little shocked she’s holding his stare. “I think our plan is working.”
His eyes narrow on her. It takes everything in me not to burst into laughter. I can feel my body shaking, wanting to let the laughter go, but I fight it back.
“You can’t say that out loud. He can hear you,” I say out of the corner of my mouth, but I know everyone can hear me.
I sneak a glance at my green-eyed mystery man, wanting to focus my attention on him again, wanting to make sure those eyes are still on me. Damn, maybe I’m starting to feel that ownership crap, too. Yep, eyes still on me, only this time he’s smiling at me. It makes him not look so deadly. Unlike Alena, I can’t hold a stare, so I look away, feeling my face heat at being caught ogling him. I’m never shy, but something about him makes me feel that way.
“Roman.” My mystery man speaks for the first time. “I think she’s good.” I glance back to Alena, who’s still in King Roman’s arms, feet dangling off the ground. He places her on her feet and takes a step back. I can tell he’s fighting it. He doesn’t want to let her go.
“Tabby?” Roman says my nickname but doesn’t look at me. He won’t look away from his betrothed.
“No, I’m Alena.” My sister corrects him like she thinks it’s an honest mistake. Yeah right, this man knows who she is. If I had to guess, from the way he’s acting he knows everything about her.
“I know who you are, my princess.” He looks over at me, taking his eyes off Alena for the first time since we walked into the room. “Tabitha.” He says my full name this time. Only Alena calls me Tabby. “Can you take my princess to her room to remove these ridiculous shoes before she hurts herself?”
“Hey, she isn’t my servant,” Al snaps at him, and I watch her square her shoulders in a very un-Alena-like way.
“I help Alena with stuff all the time.” I jump in. Maybe if he thinks she needs me, I can go with them when they marry. It would be a fight with my parents because they want to marry me off, too, but Roman is very powerful. Alena frowns at my random comment, clearly not getting it. I can tell this man will do anything to have her, so maybe now I can convince him that I need to go with her. That’s what’s really been bothering us this whole time—the thought of no longer having each other. It’s always been Al and me.
“Then help her remove the layer of what’s painted on her face as well,” Roman adds.
Alena takes a step back from him, and I think she wants to smack him. She isn’t seeing what I’m seeing. I’m guessing he’s seen pictures of her before and he wants that Al. Not this made-up one we created in hopes of scaring him away. I kind of like that.
“Alena. Do as you’re told,” our mother half-whispers, half-scolds. Her scolding tone is no different, even in front of a king. I can’t fight my eye roll.
Roman turns to look at our mother. Her face is scrunched, and I can tell she’s pissed. We’re going to get it later.
“You don’t give her orders. She will be Queen in one week’s time. She doesn’t take orders.” Roman’s voice is stern and final. He just gave her a command, and it will be followed. He earned a few points in my book right there. He stood up for her and put our mother in her place.
“Except from you, I guess,” I hear Alena say, looking down at the floor and taking another step back from Roman. Clearly she’s trying to get space from him.
“All your whispers are too loud. Keep them in your head,” I tell her, a little too loudly myself. Crap, we are terrible at this.
“Alena,” Roman says, drawing our attention. He doesn’t look mad. In fact, he looks like he’s fighting a smile. Yep, we are definitely terrible at this.
“Please.” The word, laced with urgency, comes from his lips, and I can tell it’s not a word he uses often.
Al grabs my hand and pulls me from the room, clearly wanting to escape. I glance back over my shoulder to my mystery man. I don’t know his name, but from the look on his face, I don’t think I will ever escape him.
Alexa Riley is two sassy friends who got together and wrote some dirty books. They are both married moms of two who love football, donuts, and obsessed book heroes.
They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read. If you want something SAFE, short, and always with a happily ever after, then Alexa Riley is for you!
Heavenly and Carlos have been best friends their whole lives. But it’s almost time for Heavenly’s birthday, which means she’ll be married off to a king.
Carlos has been King for a few years now and is being pressured to choose a bride. But he’s only ever had eyes for one princess, and he’s had to wait for her to turn twenty-one.
Heavenly doesn’t have any idea the plans Carlos has made for her, so when she offers to marry his brother, things don’t go so well. Girl, they don’t go well at all… Carlos isn’t having that. She gets a dose of alpha when Carlos lays down the law. But when she runs…how far will she actually get?
Warning: Do you really wonder if there’s a happily ever after? Because you know that’s kind of our thing, right? Look, he chases her, but it all works out.
Also it’s really hot. Get it!
Each book in The Princess series is standalone & about a different couple.
I flip through a magazine while lying on the floor of Carlos’s office. I’m bored as I lie on my stomach, swaying my feet in the air. I roll over when I come to a picture of Princess Star. I’m not shocked to see her in the magazine. I’d be more shocked if she wasn’t. The paparazzi are always trying to find out what she’s wearing and what she’s doing. Or better yet, who she’s doing. What kind of name is that? It makes me want to roll my eyes as much as her face does.
“You sure you don’t want to pick Star?” I tease, rolling fully to my side to look at Carlos. His eyes are trained on me, his face set in a hard stare. I don’t know why he looks so angry. He’s been grumpy for the past few months, which isn’t normal for him.
Okay, that’s not true. He’s usually pretty abrupt and a little cool with people. Except with me. I’m always the one who can get away with anything. I can show up at his office, flop down, and do whatever I want. Like I am now. It’s been that way since I was a little girl. But then he wasn’t always king. He’s only held the title for the past few years. I thought things might change. That he wouldn’t have time for me anymore. Instead I’ve only been granted further access into his family’s castle.
His eyes move to my legs, and it’s then I see my dress has ridden up. I sit up quickly and pull it down, my face turning red knowing he saw my underwear. I want to die. Of course when the man I’ve been in love with since I was fifteen sees my underwear, I’m wearing plain white ones with little hearts on them. Kill me now.
“I suggest you get rid of that dress, Heavenly. I’m sure whoever your intended might be wouldn’t like hearing his wife wore dresses and flashed what was his to other men.”
My mouth falls open at his words, then I narrow my eyes at him. He’s never talked to me like that before. I take the magazine and throw it at him. My aim is terrible, and it ends up knocking a vase off the table next to his desk. It causes it to crash to the floor, shattering into a hundred pieces.
I roll back over and grab another magazine, ignoring him. I’m not even sure what I’m mad about. Maybe it’s the casual talk about me being passed to whoever my husband might be. My coming of age is fast approaching, and I’ve been ignoring it, hoping that maybe no one will call on me. My heart already belongs to a man who’s been searching for his own wife since he became king. I’m not even a blip on his radar in that area. I’m like his cute little sister in his eyes, someone he has to protect and shelter.
He’s been my everything from the first moment we met. I came to stay with my grandma, whose home is right on the edge of Carlos’s land. I’d moved here after both my parents died and my brother had taken the crown. I love my brother, but he had no idea what to do with a grieving little sister. He had a country of his own to run.
I climbed the wall that surrounded the castle from the rest of the world, only to come up against two guards when I’d landed on the other side. Boredom and curiosity had gotten the best of me that day. They dragged me kicking and screaming back to the castle with the intent to have me arrested for trespassing. Which I was. But it was Carlos who’d saved me.
I’d broken away from the two guards and taken off, only to run right into Carlos. He was like a hard wall of muscle, and I would have fallen on my ass that day if he hadn’t grabbed ahold of me. He pulled me back to him and stopped me from falling.
I’d never seen someone go from angry to sweet in a flash. He ripped into the guards for having sent a girl running from them in fear. Since that day a guard has never touched me or stood in my way here. Most won’t even make eye contact with me. No place ever been off limits to me either. Something about that makes me feel special, but I have a feeling it’s something I’ll soon lose. I can’t imagine whoever Carlos chooses as a wife will allow me to still roam the castle and estate like I do now.
Sometimes when I can’t sleep at night I sneak over from my grandmother’s and climb into his bed, where he’ll hold me close until I fall asleep. I don’t think that will be happening anymore once he takes a queen. Especially since he asked me to stop the last time I did it. It cut deep. Deeper than I thought it would. Yeah, things are going to change, but I don’t want them to. I want to stay here forever. This feels like my home now—the only home I’ve known since I lost both my parents.
The room remains quiet as both of us know I’m not going to clean up the mess. I glance over at him, and his eyes are still on me. We stare at each other for a long moment.
“I’m sorry, Heavenly. You know I’m very protective of you.” I nod, understanding. He has always been that way with me, even when it comes to men or boys poking around me. “I don’t like the idea of men being able to see up your dress.” He leans back in his chair, rubbing a hand over his face. “Things have to change,” he mumbles, and I feel my stomach turn.
“I’m not going to be allowed here after you choose your wife,” I say, and I hear the defeat and sadness in my own voice. This wife thing has been hanging over my head for two years now. It’s bittersweet. Part of me loves the fact that he hasn’t picked one yet, and another part wants him to do it so I have to face the music.
“Why would you say such a thing?” He sits back up in his chair.
“I mean, I know I can come over, just not like now. You already won’t let me in your room.” My gaze drops back down to the magazine.
Carlos gets up, coming around his desk and picking up the magazine I threw. He looks at the page that’s open to the picture of Star. He rolls his eyes and tosses it into the fire that’s cracking quietly in the fireplace.
“You’re days away from coming of age,” he reminds me.
I know. I turn twenty-one soon. I’ve been dreading it, wondering who might be calling for my hand in marriage. I secretly hoped that my brother had forgotten all about me and I wouldn’t have to worry about that day. But I think that chance is slim to none.
“I know,” I mumble. “Maybe you should worry about your own little problem. You know, picking a wife? How many women have showed up here and you still haven’t picked one.”
His jaw clenches at my words. He hates when they come. That makes two of us. I want to say it out loud, but I keep it to myself. I always try to keep the anger out of my voice. I can’t let my jealousy show. That wouldn’t be good. Then I really wouldn’t be allowed over anymore.
“Heavenly. You will never not be allowed here. You’re a part of this family, and you know it.”
I want to tell him he’s wrong. If he were mine I sure as heck wouldn’t let him hang out with some girl in his office all day.
Then it hits me. I jump up and rush over to him. “Maybe I could marry your brother!”
I almost run into him I’m so excited at the idea. But he catches me and puts his hands on my shoulders. I’d never have to leave! I could still see Carlos and his mom every day! Carlos’s brother Romy is nice, but if the rumors in the magazines are true, he’s a little bit of a player. But I wouldn’t care. I’m sure his mom will be pushing him to get married soon, too. Maybe we could just be married in name. He could still do whatever he wanted, and I could stay here. Romy and I get along well. We often team up and give Carlos a hard time when he gets into one of his grumpy moods.
Carlos tightens his grip on my shoulders.
“You want to be with my brother?”
The look on his face changes to anger. I’ve seen this face on him many times over the years, but never has it been aimed at me. I don’t understand why he’s so mad. I know he’s protective of me in a brotherly way, but this seems excessive.
“He wouldn’t treat you as you deserve to be treated,” he half-growls. He brings his hand to my cheek and strokes it softly. The touch doesn’t match the anger in his words.
“Romy is sweet to me,” I say, trying to make him understand.
“He wouldn’t be loyal,” he throws back.
Loyalty is everything to him. I know Carlos would be faithful to his wife. He’s a man of great honor. That’s probably why I’ve never seen any magazine pictures of him out on a date. It’s also why he’d never think of being with me. I’m too young. Not only that but although I’m a princess, I’m a little brash and blurt things out in moments I shouldn’t. My parents kept me away from the social scene, then after they died I was out here living with my grandmother. She barely leaves the house. My only social interactions occur with him, when I come over here and hang out. I even completed my schooling at the castle with private teachers. It was easier to do it here. I practically live here, for the most part. If I wasn’t with Carlos, I was with his mother, helping her plan some charity event or dinner, ones I never went to. Carlos always said I was too young. I often wondered if he brought dates to those events. But at night, when he’d get home, I’d sneak over, faking I had a bad dream. When I crawled into his bed there were never any other women. Nor did his bed smell like one had been with him.
The doors to Carlos’s office open, and his mom Nina walks in. Carlos drops his hand from my cheek, but the other on my shoulder only digs in a little tighter. I shake him off, turning to greet the woman who has become like a mom to me over the past five years.
“Nina, I have the best idea! I should marry your son.”
Alexa Riley is two sassy friends who got together and wrote some dirty books. They are both married moms of two who love football, donuts, and obsessed book heroes.
They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read. If you want something SAFE, short, and always with a happily ever after, then Alexa Riley is for you!
Once a Disciple, forever a Disciple.
Ace has been keeping secrets, and not just from his club brothers.
Secrets have a way of coming back to haunt you.
All of his are about to be revealed,
whether he’s ready to face them or not.
A Disciple will fight like a savage—even against his past.
When Quinn waltzes into the Disciples' clubhouse,
she's only after one thing—and it isn't Ace.
She wants closure, an end to what they started so long ago.
But with the heat exploding, Ace and Quinn are far from over.
When this biker is forced to confront his past, everything will ignite.
After our ride, I was silently thrilled Ace brought us back to the house. Max was around, and I didn’t want to be a crappy friend who ditched her after she came all that way just to check on me.
When we walked in, Max and Ham were both there. I had no idea what to make of that, but with both the guys hanging around, I couldn’t ask. Instead, I was stuck agreeing to the invitation for us to order in pizza with them and chill.
“What on it?” Ham asked as Ace and I settled onto one of the couches.
“Pineapple,” Max responded.
Ham pinched the bridge of his nose. “Tell me you’re fuckin’ with me, babe,” he demanded.
She wasn’t. I knew this. In all our years of friendship, we’d never actually shared a pizza. It always came down to ordering two so I didn’t have to choke down the gross concoction she called pizza toppings.
“Just wait,” I warned Ham.
“What the fuck could be worse than pineapple on pizza?” Ace asked.
I looked at Max. “Tell them,” I said with a flick of my wrist, indicating she proceed.
“I like pineapple, olives, green pepper, and some kind of meat, but I’ll take whatever,” she stated, unabashed.
Ham blinked, stared at her, then blinked again. It seemed to drag out for a solid minute. Then he found the response of, “That’s the most disgusting fucking pizza order I’ve ever heard.”
“It’s good!” Max insisted.
“Toots, in what universe do pineapple and marinara go together?”
Did he just call her toots? He totally did. And it wasn’t in a funny, fifties throwback way. He just called her that by rote.
“Oh, yeah. I forgot. I also don’t get sauce on it,” Max enlightened him.
“You get sauceless, pineapple, olive, green pepper, and mystery meat pizza?” Ham verified.
Ham looked at me with what seemed to be a bit of concern on his face. “Where the hell did you find her?”
I laughed. “We were roommates in college. Randomly put together freshman year.”
He looked between us, then smiled in a way I could only describe as salacious.
“Damn, I am getting a beautiful picture right now,” he said.
I didn’t inform him the actual picture wasn’t all that great. Mostly, we sat around in sweatpants studying or watching Netflix. Why all men thought women being alone together meant the clothes just disappeared, I did not know. If I had to guess, I would probably blame porn.
“Before you start picturing it, I was religious about making sure there was a sock on the door and a warning text, and Quinn heeded both every time,” Max informed him.
That was true. Max gave me as much warning as she could manage before bringing guys to our room, and I was fortunate enough to never accidentally miss any of those warnings and walk in on something I did not want to see.
“Not enough to kill the dream,” Ham muttered.
“Unless she’s held out on me, I’m pretty sure there was no lesbian experimentation either,” Ace added. I gasped and slapped his shoulder.
“Not in the room anyway,” Max muttered.
I gasped again. “Seriously? You never told me that!”
She shrugged. “It was one time at a party. A bunch of frat guys dared us to make out. Nothing special. She was a good kisser, though.”
Ham cursed in a way that made it clear her words offered a mix of pain and pleasure.
“It’s why I let her slide into second base before I shut it down,” Max went on.
“Okay!” I cut in. “How about we get back to the pizza?”
“Buzzkill,” Ham said under his breath.
“Don’t worry,” Max assured quietly, but not quietly enough, “I’ll tell you the whole story later if you’re good.”
“Baby, I can be as good as you fuckin’ want.”
Turning to Ace, I spoke soft enough the other wouldn’t hear. “I don’t think I want to eat meals with the two of them ever again.”
“Noted,” he replied, grinning at my discomfort.
“How insistent are you on the pineapple thing?” Ace asked then, getting Ham and Max’s attention back on us.
“Completely,” she and I both answered—her firm, me resigned.
“No way in fuck I’m eating pineapple on fuckin’ pizza with no sauce,” Ham stated. I was pretty sure that was seconded by me and Ace without asking. He went on. “Not eatin’ pineapple at all.”
“Why not?” Max asked. “It’s good for you. And guys really should.”
“Why?” I had the distinct sense I would regret the question as soon as the word left my mouth.
“Because it’s supposed to make their cum taste sweeter.”
Good Lord. I was right. I didn’t want to know.
“Can we please just order food?” I asked, my face on fire.
Max ended up with a pizza—if you could call her monstrosity that—of her own, while Ham, Ace, and I shared a classic pepperoni.
We’d all finished our meals, with only Max’s pizza having any leftovers, when Daz came striding in.
“Fuck yeah, pizza!” he exclaimed.
He flipped open the box for the extra large the guys had destroyed with only a little help from me, then moved to Max’s, looking at it for a second before asking, “What’s on this?”
We answered, and he stood there for a long moment before shrugging and taking a slice.
“You’re gonna eat that shit?” Ham asked.
“Still food. Besides, pineapple’s supposed to make your cum taste better,” he replied.
“See?” Max cried.
“We both need new friends,” I declared, and Ace laughed. “I’m only kind of joking,” I informed him.
“Think we’re stuck with the ones we’ve got,” he replied, just as Max shouted, “Bitch, you’re stuck with me!”
“So much for being able to pick your friends.”
Ace pulled me in close to his side, until I had no choice but to settle my head against his shoulder. As he did, I watched Max’s face get soft.
Maybe my best friend wasn’t so bad after all.
Drew Elyse spends her days trying to convince the world that she is, in fact, a Disney Princess, and her nights writing tear-jerking and smutty romance novels. Her debut novel, Dissonance, released in August of 2014.
When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found over-analyzing every line of a book, binge watching a series on Netflix, doing strange vocal warm ups before singing a variety of music styles, or screaming at the TV during a Chicago Blackhawks game.
A graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a BA in English, she still lives in Chicago, IL where she was born and raised with her boyfriend and her prima donna pet rabbit, Lola.
Special Release week price of only 99c
Amnesia, a Psychological Thriller
Dr. Jaxon Ray has only ever wanted one woman. He's loved her from afar since their Junior School days, worshiping the ground she walks on, intent on having her for his own when the time is right.
Amber St. George isn't interested in the trappings that come with her family's wealth. A simple life as a teacher at an underprivileged school, a comfortable home with her lover, and good friends; that's all she desires.
Once Jax decides it's time to take what's his, Amber finds herself at the mercy of a madman. A sociopath with access to the latest neurological advancements, who possesses the ability to use her own mind to keep her captive. Programmed to forget. Reprogrammed as her captor's perfect partner. Amber's left with medically-induced amnesia and no idea that she's in for the fight of her life.
When the people who know you're missing aren't on your side, and the love of your life has been led to believe that you've turned your back on him, is rescue possible? When you can't remember the real you, is escape even on the cards?
DISCLAIMER: This story contains triggering content and is not suitable for all readers, especially those under eighteen years of age.
“Welcome home.” My mother greets us in a singsong voice. “I trust you’re both feeling relaxed and recharged from your little break?”
Both sets of parents are waiting in the foyer of our house, apparently ready to celebrate our return from our honeymoon. I lean into Jax, close enough so that only he can hear my comment.
“Somebody’s had her Stepford pills today.”
I can feel his low laugh where it rumbles in his chest below my palm. It calms my fears about returning home. During our flight, I was worried that the connection between me and Jax would be lost. He seemed to grow more aloof the closer we got to home. Tension that hadn’t been in his hard frame during our three-week honeymoon became more noticeable by the minute. It diluted the tenderness I felt for him after such an amazing honeymoon, which made me feel guilty, so I’d spent the remainder of the flight trying to find ways to recapture it with small talk and inane observations.
“Seems someone’s missed hers,” Jax replies loud enough for our parents to hear. He takes a step to the side, putting distance between us and causing me to stumble from the unexpected loss of his body. I right myself, bright spots of embarrassment making my face burn. “I have work to do. Amber, you should rest. We have a battery of tests organised for you first thing tomorrow. It’s time to see if you’re able to live up to your end of the bargain.”
Jax strides out of the foyer in the direction of his office, my father and his falling into step with him. Left alone with our mothers, I look between them to see if they’re going to comment on how my husband just acted. They meet my perusal with deliberate blankness, although my mother does seem to be more nervous than usual.
“Is anyone going to tell me what tests he’s talking about?” Their mouths fall open at my belligerent tone. Internally, I shrug it off. They’re lucky I didn’t stomp my damn foot. I certainly want to. “No? No one?”
I give them my back, extending the handle of my biggest suitcase and tilting it so it will roll behind me. I signal the maid to bring the rest of my bags with her. Jax’s luggage can sit in the middle of the entry until the end of time, for all I can. When I reach the curved staircase, I immediately regret my show of defiance. There’s no way I’m going to be able to pull my bag up there.
“Maria.” My mother snaps her fingers at the maid. “Bring some refreshments to the lounge, then have their luggage taken to their room.”
She sniffs when Maria takes too long to move. “Come now, Amber. Tell us about your trip.”
I follow, with reluctance in each step, sitting on the loveseat closest to the window. It’s a beautiful day outside. Bright sunlight and barely a breath of wind. It’s a day that I could spend with my husband, if he wasn’t a workaholic who barely drew a breath before he dived straight back into his job.
“I think you’re mistaken as to how things will run from now on.” Jax’s mother, Elizabeth, speaks first. I run my gaze over her, taking in the perfectly coiffed hair and her straight unnaturally posture with her hands tucked between her knees. Looks like she had her Stepford pills today, as well. “My son is a very busy man. It’s your job to make his life run as effortlessly as possible. There will be no further allowances made for your delicate state.”
She stands, pacing in front of me. I assume that her “delicate state” gibe is a reference to my ongoing amnesia.
“You’ll take over the running of this house. It is not my place to do so now that he’s married. However, I am happy to provide some tips so that the transition is smooth. The same goes for Jax’s social calendar. That will require close attention so that your influence as the only St. George heir benefits my son from the outset. Once you are with child, Cynthia and I,” Elizabeth indicates my mother with her jutting chin. “will assist you so that you are able to concentrate on your most important duty—providing as many heirs as possible.”
“So, that’s what the tests are for tomorrow?” I slouch in my chair when they both incline their heads in agreement. “Well, I guess I’d better rest then. Wouldn’t want anything to get in the way of my ability to breed.”
“I feel that you would benefit from a lie down.” My sarcasm goes straight over my mother’s head. “It will improve your disposition.”
My feet are in action, removing me from this conversation before I say something I regret. I can’t take this farce, anymore. We’ve been home for less than an hour and my life is already being dictated by the expectations of “society”.
Isn’t that one of the reasons you ran away in the first place?
My stupid heel catches in the corner of the rug when that random thought pops into my head. I stumble, steadying myself with a hand on the back of the settee. Balance regained, my shoulder clashes with the person currently entering the room as I restart my hasty exit.
“My apologies.” I give Seb a ghost-like smile as I pass.
He takes hold of the top of my arm to slow me, a shopping bag dangling from that same hand.
“It’s time. Be ready.”
Wife to a Harley riding, boating and fishing, four-wheel driving, quintessential Aussie bloke.
Mum to two crazy, adorable, and creative kids.
Crohn's Disease sufferer and awareness campaigner.
She’s also an avid tea drinker, a connoisseur of 80's/90's rock music, and is known for lacing everything she says with sarcasm and inappropriate innuendo.
Formerly working in finance, she was forced to reevaluate her plans for her life when severe Crohn's Disease brought her corporate career to a screeching halt. Restarting her childhood hobbies of writing and reading to alleviate the monotony of being sick and housebound, she found her calling and is enjoying life to the max. A typical day is spent in the "real" world where she hangs out with her awesome family and "book" world where she gets to chill with her fictional characters.
Kylie writes the books she wants to read. A lover of strong men who aren't perfect and aren't afraid to admit it, straight talking women who embrace their vulnerabilities, and real life gritty stories, she hopes these themes shine through her writing. An avid reader of all genres, Kylie hopes to release books that keep the reader on the edge of their seat- be it with suspense, heart-stopping thrills, or laughter.
Throne of Truth, the thrilling conclusion to Crown of Lies from New York Times Bestseller, Pepper Winters, is now LIVE!
Throne of Truth by Pepper Winters Publication Date: February 28th, 2017 Genre: Contemporary Romance
Since my life changed for the second time and not necessarily for the better. Two years since I traded prison bars for streets and hunted a runaway who I’d met in an alley.
Since I forgot how to lie, woke to fists, and chased after the girl who’d been stolen from me.
To save her, rescue her, keep my lies intact. She looks at me full of hate. I look at her full of confession.
For our relationship to switch from mutual dislike to floundering with unknowns. I’ve hurt her. Now, she’s hurt me. I guess we’re even.
For her to listen, to see, to finally know who I am. The answer comes with hardship. The answer isn’t what she wants to hear.
For me to walk out the door.
For it all to be over.
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Start the series with Crown of Lies!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2lH95zL
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About the Author:Pepper Winters is a multiple New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today International Bestseller. After chasing her dreams to become a full-time writer, Pepper has earned recognition with awards for best Dark Romance, best BDSM Series, and best Hero. She’s an multiple #1 iBooks bestseller, along with #1 in Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, and Erotica Thriller. With 19 books currently published, she has hit the bestseller charts twenty-six times in three years. Pepper is a Hybrid Author of both Traditional and Self-published work. Her Pure Corruption Series was released by Grand Central, Hachette. Her books have garnered foreign interest and are currently being translated into numerous languages, including already released titles in Italian and Turkish. Audio Books for her entire back-list will be available in 2017.
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Facebook Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1511645192400372/
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