Author: Lisa Cardiff
Published by: Xpresso Book Tours
Publication date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Once upon a time, I was the woman you envied. I had it all. A wonderful family. The perfect fiancé who also happened to be my best friend. Money and resources. The power and influence that came with sharing the Trassato name.
One night my fairytale became a nightmare, and I’ve been living in Hell ever since. A rival family killed my fiancé. My father succumbed to cancer. In the middle of it all, I bargained away my future to Konstantin Trincher, a member of the Russian mafia. It seemed like the perfect solution at the time—my brother’s girlfriend in exchange for me.
Only things weren’t that simple. I promised myself to Konstantin and my family promised me to Nico DeAngelo, the underboss of the Trassato Crime Family.
Konstantin and I form an alliance to unravel our bargain. The only problem? We didn’t expect to fall for each other in the process. Now I’m forced to choose between love and loyalty. One choice will break my heart and the other will break my family.
She embodied every fantasy I had when I was still a naïve farm boy living the simple life in Nebraska, and not a nasty criminal with a lengthy list of sins.
Exotic amber eyes that reminded me of sunshine. Long dark hair with the right amount of wave. Skin the color of golden honey. Curves that made my hands twitch with the urge to grab a handful. Lips the color of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. And like the forbidden fruit led to Adam and Eve’s ruin, I knew Carmela Trassato would be mine if I let down my guard around her.
“Mr. Trincher.” The measured burn of her stare scraped down my torso and back up again as she dragged her finger through the condensation on her water glass. She wasn’t touching me, yet I felt the swipe of her soft hands all the same. “Sorry I can’t say the same about you. You look like shit. Did you attempt to drown yourself in a fifth of vodka last night or is this a standard look for you?”
Leaning back, I folded my arms across my chest and offered her my trademarked grin. It started at one corner and leisurely spread to the other. “Is that any way to treat the love of your life and your future husband?”
She recoiled and her elbow caught the edge of the table. The cutlery rattled and the water glasses wobbled. She closed her eyes momentarily and hitched a breath. “Is that why you’re here? Did you finally decide to go through with this?”
“What do you mean?” She studied me, and beneath the layers of distrust I saw hope. I saw happiness. I saw excitement. My gut twisted with the need to be the prince charming for once in my godforsaken life. Unfortunately for her, circumstances had already cast me as the villain, and I didn’t think that would change any time in the near future.
He pulled a money clip from his pocket and plopped a wad of hundreds on the table in front of me. For a beat, I stared, unmoving. His tattooed hand captivated me, so large, and strong. I couldn’t look away from the tiny stars, crosses, and swirling designs.
I opened my mouth to object, except I didn’t have the chance. His head dipped closer, and his lips were on mine. I stopped breathing for a fraction of a second, and I fully intended to break contact, only I didn’t. The increasingly familiar pull between us dragged me under like quicksand.
One graze, and I startled, electricity crackling through my nerve endings. A quick nip of his teeth, and he stole my breath. Seconds. Minutes. Hours. I didn’t know how much time passed with his mouth lingering against mine, his exhalations becoming my inhalations. My head buzzed and my lips tingled, but worst of all, he tasted good—full and smoky, like whiskey and sin, except a thousand times more lethal. One of my hands cupped the side of his face, silently willing him not to stop. His stubble felt like sandpaper beneath my fingers.
After months, maybe years, of feeling nothing, I felt a spark of something and my heart softened a little toward him.
“Good luck, solnyshka,” he whispered as he broke away,his voice rough and low. It vibrated through me from the top of my head all the way to the soles of my heel-clad feet, rippling into the floor, and I felt unsteady for a beat like my entire world had shifted without my permission.
After spending years practicing law and a million other things, Lisa decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer and she must confess that inventing characters is so much more fun than writing contracts and legal briefs. A native of Colorado, she lives with her husband and three children in Denver.
Giveaway (US/CAN - ends November 10th)