In a bold political move, Sir Branford claims a handmaid as his bride instead of the expected princess in an attempt to spark a war. Poor Alexandra knows little of how to behave as the wife of a future king and knows nothing of the man who is suddenly her husband.
Alexandra knows she is being used as a pawn and must do her best to avoid scheming noblewomen and the scorned princess, accept her position as her husband ascends to the throne, and overcome her fears of the man with whom she now shares a bed.
Sir Branford is determined to have it all – the kingdom, a wife of his choosing, and the revenge he seeks for the death of his father. He doesn’t expect the naïve handmaid to become more important than he ever could have foreseen.
“Parnell, I’m only going to say this to you once.” Branford’s voice turned cold. “Regardless of your feelings regarding my marriage, Alexandra is my wife now, and you’ll not speak of her with any disrespect. I will not have you refer to my marriage as ridiculous. Am I clear?”
“Yes, sire,” Sir Parnell responded, the tone in his voice switching quickly from jovial friend and cousin to properly chastised servant. “Forgive me.”
I felt Branford’s hand through my hair again, nearly lulling me into true unconsciousness. The carriage bounced through a rough section of the road, then continued on as the driver called out to the horses. The rain lessened, and the pattering sound on top of the carriage became softer.
“Something has changed, has it not?” Parnell said quietly.
“What is it, Branford?”
There was a significant pause before Branford responded.
“Parnell,” he said, “when I came up with this plan, I thought I was considering everything. Edgar would be angered but impotent to react since he brought it on himself. Whitney would be insulted, and between both those reactions, one of the next blows would lead to war. At the same time, it gets Camden off my back about finding a wife. Sunniva holds her tongue about wanting grandchildren, and I get it all—the kingdom expanded when we invade, the crown, an heir, and nothing else changes. At home, I have someone who can take care of me and my needs. I didn’t have any intention of being faithful, so it’s not as if my life away from home would change with the introduction of a wife.”
“I thought I had gone through all possibilities,” Branford said, continuing. “The woman who would be the catalyst was always nameless and faceless. It didn’t matter who she was as long as she wasn’t Whitney. I decided on one of her handmaids while I was out on the field because they sat close to Whitney, and it would be more…visually dramatic. I could walk up right in front of her and turn away at the last second. It would also anger her intensely, which is exactly what I wanted. There must have been a half dozen of them, and I didn’t care which. They would all be skilled in matters of the home, which keeps me from having to employ any servants whose loyalties are questionable. I only picked Alexandra because she looked at me early on, when I was first declared victorious, and she blushed when her eyes met mine. The color on her cheeks was simply lovely, and she has beautiful eyes.”
“Now your bride is no longer nameless and faceless,” Parnell said.
“No, she is not,” Branford replied. “When I took her up to my room, I had every intention of bedding her. I had been staring at her in that dress all evening, and I was ready to see what was underneath it.”
“And was she lacking?” Parnell asked. “You can still annul since you haven’t consummated the union.”
“She’s a commoner, Parnell.” His voice turned hard and callous. “I could open the doors of this carriage in the middle of a busy marketplace, take her in front of a dozen witnesses, declare her a lousy fuck, and still have the marriage annulled.
Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her
family and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker,
and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters
International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies,
masquerading as a zombie, is a HUGE Star Wars fan, and member of the 501st
Legion of Stormtroopers. When the geek fun runs out, she also loves soccer in
any and all forms - especially the Columbus Crew, Arsenal and Bayern Munich.
Savage holds a degree in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge
into the characters within her stories.
From New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren comes a sexy new novel in the Stripped series…
Once upon a time the daughter of a mafia king fell in love with a foot soldier.
This fairy tale didn't have a happy ending.
My sister and I barely managed to escape alive, and we've lived in relative hiding ever since. I'm safe now, but I can never forget the boy who gave his life to save mine.
Except there's a chance that he's still alive. And he's fighting a war.
Even knowing the risks, I have to find him. I have to find some way to protect him, the way he protected me. But he isn't the boy I left behind. He's a violent man. A criminal. And he's been waiting for me--the final pawn in a dark game of survival and love.
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dark romance such as Wanderlust and Prisoner. Praised as a “true mistress of dark erotica”, her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, four dogs, and one evil cat.
Particularly when you discover there really is a hell. Aden thinks there’s no way he can avoid going down, but when an angel and demon can’t agree over his fate, Aden is given one more month to gain redemption. He doubts he can find a way to become a better man in so short a time. But it’s worth a try, right?
Particularly when you can’t shake free of an obsessive ex. Brody might be managing to hold down his job as a vet, but his personal life is a mess. If he doesn’t pull himself together soon, he’s going to be sliding downhill too fast to stop.
One wet night, on a dark country lane, two worlds collide and destinies change forever.
Barbara Elsborg Barbara Elsborg lives in West Yorkshire in the north of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Vulcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide. After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.
He knows everything.
She has all the damn answers.
I’ve always been a free spirit. It’s my nature.
I crave control, but with her it’s far more.
He’s a power hungry climber.
Her wealth could buy and sell me.
It’s too much pressure being the center of anyone’s focus.
She underestimates my desire for her, my need to please just her.
When he’s vulnerable, it’s hard to deny him.
Her crooked smile cripples me.
He hides his demons, but I’m no fool.
She thinks not committing to anyone makes her more honest. She’s wrong.
A man like him deserves someone who can offer that kind of love.
She promises nothing, yet I feel like a king when she says my name.
I never let anyone possess me like he did. Not before. Not after.
My greatest regret was compromising. I should have never held back.
Still, when we’re apart I’m not myself.
I miss the days when she was just down the hall.
He’s better off without me, and it hurts.
The ugly truth is I need her more than she needs me.
Our relationship was born out of lust and curiosity.
The lies we told ourselves killed it.
Together, we found Nirvana.
We learned it was all a mirage.
I ruined him.
I broke her heart.
I keep coming back.
I can’t let her go.
KNOT is a contemporary romance and a complete standalone. It is the first spin-off from the best-selling Wake Series.
You do not need to read BAIT, SAIL, or ANCHORto enjoy this book in its entirety, but if you love angst you'll enjoy them, too.
Golden Czermak began as an internationally published modeling/fitness photographer and eventually began working as a book cover model as well.
Having been in the industry for at least four years, he has interfaced and networked with countless authors and other clients. As part of his work as a photographer, he worked with them to create book cover images - now numbering well over 250.
Learning the ins and out of the book world, along with being an avid reader and storyteller himself, Golden finally decided to write and publish his first book, Homeward Bound, in 2016.
The event that shook one small town to its core was never solved. The domino effect of one person’s crime going unpunished is beyond measure.
He’s no saint.
Dover ‘Collector’ Ragnes rides with only five brothers at his back. Nomads with no place to call home, they never stay in one place too long. Together, they are the Devil’s Due MC, and their only purpose is to serve justice their way for unsolved crimes everywhere they go.
She’s not afraid to call herself a sinner.
Emerson Flint still remembers the loss of her elementary school best friend. She is all grown up, but the memories still haunt her of the missing girl. Surrounding herself with men at the tattoo shop, she never questions her safety. Her life is her art. Her canvas is the skin of others.
However, danger is at her door.
Will Dover overcome the history he shares with Emerson in time? Will Emerson lead him to the retribution he has always sought?
Love, hate, anger, and passion collide as the time comes, and the devil demands his due.
USA Today Bestselling author Chelsea Camaron is a small town Carolina girl with a big imagination. She is a wife and mom chasing her dreams. She writes contemporary romance, erotic suspense, and psychological thrillers. She loves to write blue-collar men who have real problems with a fictional twist. From mechanics to bikers to oil riggers to smokejumpers, bar owners, and beyond, she loves a strong hero who works hard and plays harder.