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Claiming His Mountain Bride
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My mountain. My cabin. My woman – she just doesn’t know it yet.
I left civilization and my demons a long time ago, seeking solitude up on Blackthorn mountain. Just one ex-marine, a remote cabin, and the wilderness, with no distractions.
But then she turns up, blowing in with a winter’s blizzard like a very fucking big distraction.
Blonde, beautiful, and mouthy as all hell, even when I save her from freezing that sweet little ass off.
A rough mountain man like me should want nothing to do with a rich little city girl like Katrina. Except one look at her sweet, tempting curves, and one taste of those sassy, pouty lips, and I want everything to do with her.
I saved her from freezing, but maybe it’s her who’s going to save my frozen heart.
We’re trapped up here for the storm, locked in a cabin with only the heat between us to keep us warm. Her wealthy, city family thinks they can marry her off to some rich little shit. But they’re very wrong.
My mountain. My cabin. My woman.
I’ll make Katrina my bride, and I’ll be damned if I let them take her from me.
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The blast of freezing cold wind hit the car like a thunderclap, making me jump. The Land Rover jerked on the icy road, the steering wheel lurching in my white-knuckle grip as I eased on the gas and wrestled back control. I shivered despite the heat cranking inside the vehicle, my eyes narrowed as I tired to peer through the wall of white coming down in sheets across the small mountain road in front of me.
Shit, maybe this was a terrible idea.
But then, I hadn’t known what else to do except run. My gut instinct had been to flee to the only place I knew where I could just escape everything. Of course, I hadn’t exactly expected the snow storm of the century coming down like some sort of biblical plague.
My mind slid back to three hours before, back at the restaurant where Paul, my fiancé had decided to remind me exactly how much of a piece of shit I always knew he was.
“C’mon, Katrina, calm the fuck down. This doesn’t change anything.”
In a way, he’d been right.
I can’t say I was heartbroken having just been told by my fiancé that he was screwing another woman. Heartbroken would imply that I’d cared enough for Paul to well, be heartbroken. But I hadn’t, so it wasn’t broken. I was pissed the hell off though.
The truth is, I’d never wanted to marry Paul, but in the world I grew up in, things like that don’t matter. Paul and I marrying just “made sense,” as my father Milton put it. After all, the Bartholomew’s were a family just as connected, and stately, and rich, and well, obnoxious and pretentious as mine. Paul’s father was a VP at some huge financial institution, just like mine was. We’d gone to the same level of snooty, snobby private schools, had the same stern-faced, hugely expensive nannies growing up, and had gone to the same calibre of bought-and-paid for ivy league colleges. In the world I grew up in, Paul and I would get married, he’d become VP of some other bank or hedge fund, and I’d sit at home redecorating our mansion on the shore every two months and popping out three perfect little children.
And to some girls, that was the dream. To some people, that was a life worth living.
But to me?
…The thought made my skin crawl.
I hated the idea of being a stepford wife — of being this trophy sitting in some rich, smug asshole’s big pretentious house. And on top of that, I really didn’t like Paul, like, as a person. He was a prick, and rude, and the thought of being physical intimate with him made my stomach heave. But thankfully, it hadn’t come to that yet. See, if I was going to be forced into this bullshit, antiquated arranged marriage thing, well then, I’d do it antiquated all the way. They wanted to force me to marry some jerk like Paul as if we lived in Elizabethan England? Fine, then I‘d pretend I was a woman of the same time, and women of arranged marriages did not sleep with their betrothed until marriage.
Yeah, take that, assholes.
I can tell you, watching the smug look fall from Paul’s face when I told him point blank he wouldn’t be getting any was almost worth the lifetime I’d have to spend with him. But then, apparently, Paul had gone out and gotten a little side piece. And told me about it, in the middle of a three-star restaurant, two minutes before our parents walked in for a dinner where we’d be discussing wedding locations.
“You’re a real piece of work, Paul,” I’d spat out shaking my head and jerking my arm away from him.
“Listen ice-queen, you brought this on yourself. A man had needs, Katrina.”
Again, I wasn’t upset about Paul fucking some other girl — hell, she probably deserved a medal. I’d certainly never done anything with him, but a girl I’d gone to private school with apparently had, and through the rumor mill, I’d heard every gross detail about how small he was and how downright abusive in bed he’d been.
Yeah, no thanks.
So, whoever this side girl was, fuck it, she could have him. I didn’t have feelings for Paul, but I did have pride.
“Sit down,” he’d hissed. “Sit your tight ass down, shut the fuck up, and smile pretty, Katrina.”
My blood boiled.
“Look, our parents are here,” he’d hissed, nodding past me at the door to the restaurant. He’d put a big plastic smile on his face and waved.
“This marriage is happening. It makes sense for our families to be connected. We’ve got good genes, and our children—”
“Not fucking happening,” I’d spit out.
Paul had sneered.
“The wedding is next month, bitch. And after that, you’re going to damn well learn to spread those legs and let me get a piece of what’s mine.”