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I NEED A WIFE TO SAVE MY DAUGHTER. SHE NEEDS MY MAGIC.
I loved her like a sister forever ago.
Before life served us tragedy with a bitter cherry on top.
Before I learned love isn’t a damn fairy tale.
Before I became a single dad.
Protecting my little girl is all I still care about. Kendra is my lifeline if she’ll just play along.
Her job is easy.
Wear my ring. Turn my scowl into a family man’s smile. Help save my daughter from a scorched earth custody fight.
She gets the Cinderella treatment in return. My money, my mansion, my reputation. I’ll put the glass slippers she’s slaving over on main street and bend the world to her designer genius.
Simple. Painless. Mutual.
If only she was the shy thing I remembered, and I wasn’t the same red-blooded maniac who wanted her under me years ago.
My wall of ice isn’t working like it should. Not when we trade barbs that make me throb. Not when I grab her hair. Not when I can’t decide if I want to push her away, or drink those lips in an unending kiss.
Complicated. Messy. Cruel.
That’s our crazy truth.
This madness ends one way: Cinderella undone, or me in stitches.
This book may cause frantic overheating and an ugly cry or two. Complete full length standalone romance novel. Alpha male abundance. Happily Ever After like a rainbow at the end of the storm. Find out why Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow makes readers swoon!
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Please Just Stay (Kendra)
Once upon a time, he was beautiful.
Not because he was my high school crush.
Not because he survived the world crashing down around him like a toxic storm.
Not even because of his rogue good looks, or his family’s money – and he had plenty of both to go around.
I mean, how could I ever forget my best friend’s strapping older brother the second I laid eyes on him? How could I ignore those shoulders, built wide as the Arizona sky? What about the hard blue eyes that cut through everyone? The chiseled jaw framing the world’s warmest, sweetest, most mischievous smirk?
How can I pretend I didn’t squeeze my thighs together the first time he walked into the room a man, wearing his crisp new uniform, a proud Marine ready for duty? He turned every woman’s cheeks in the neighborhood a subtle red. His special gift, and he knew exactly how to use it to get his way.
He was dangerous, scary, and still divine in his heresy.
He kept his charms close, and his secrets closer.
But even when he was a tease, a frustration, and a damn enigma all at once, he was gorgeous.
As long as I live, I’ll never see Knox Carlisle as anything less than a striking, brilliant, beautiful beast.
Not even after the night he left, and came home ugly.
Four Years Ago
“Knox, you don’t have to do this. Don’t go. A man can only take so much…listen to me!”
Of course, he doesn’t. Not until I beg.
“I can’t stand to see you hurt. Stay, Knox. Please.”
When he spins around and looks at me, I’m expecting scorn. But what do I know, really?
I’m barely eighteen, a year into college. I haven’t lived a fraction of his hell, only imagined it.
“No more, Kendra. You want to help? I asked for good karma and a little help making sure Jamers treats my baby girl right. It’s long past time for me to fucking go.”
I hear the adorable infant upstairs let out a cry. Then Jamie’s voice, soothing her little niece, just six weeks old and already losing both her parents. One to business in one of the world’s darkest corners, and another to God only knows what.
No one’s seen her mom since the week she left the hospital. We don’t know where Sam went, or what happened to her. It’s got to be eating him alive, but he never shows his pain. There’s nothing in his eyes except a tender love for his daughter, Lizzie, his sweetest creation.
Born to tragedy like a typical Carlisle, through and through.
His face is turned toward her innocent cries. The noise stops him with his hand on the garage door. He looks down for a brief second, before he turns his face up, hitting me with a strained spark in his eyes.
I see my chance.
“You hear that?” I say, walking up to him, reaching for his shoulders. I have to stand on my tip-toes to touch him when he towers over me. “Don’t leave her. Lizzie needs you.”
So do I. That’s the part I don’t say, but I know he picks it up subconsciously because his strong face softens. He’s listening – I hope.
“Look, I get it. You didn’t ask for my advice, but I can’t help it. You’re not the same man who left the military and came home. This job, the stress, chasing that stupid, reckless woman…it’s killing you. I’ve read about that place you’re going, the chaos and danger. I’m worried, Knox. Scared you’ll make a mistake over there, and maybe you won’t come home.”
“Let me do the worrying, Sunflower. It’s not your place. I’ll live. And I’ll find her when I get back from this gig. There’ll be hell to pay when I do, walking out on me and my little girl like that.”
My heart sinks, thinking he’s done. Then he grabs my wrist, shoves me against the wall, and holds us there, locked in a gaze beyond words.
He wants me to understand. He wants me to believe he’ll be okay. He wants me to think it’s business as usual.
But I don’t. I’m doubt incarnate.
Having his hands on me doesn’t help. Every fiber in my being wishes he’d do more than a friendly touch, but I have to remember my place, who I am in his eyes.
I’m his annoying little sister’s friend. Practically a surrogate sis.
To him, I’m Sunflower. Too young, too precocious, and too clueless to ever be anything more than a stormy night’s sick fantasy.
“What if you make a mistake over there?” I whisper, trying not to shudder when I imagine how dangerous his work can be. He’s told Jamie before about the friends who never came home. Chasing diamonds is a dirty business, and always has been. It’s as brutal, dangerous, and risky as everything he survived in Afghanistan – sometimes more so. “You’re a father now, Knox. And that little girl up there doesn’t have a mother.”