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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.
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.