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One Night Bride
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JUST ENGAGED. WHO SAID ANYTHING ABOUT LOVE?
The plan was simple: find the perfect girl, wife her for a few months, and save my parents from a stinging case of heartbreak.
That was before I got my first taste of Skye’s whip-sharp tongue.
Before she woke up wearing my ring and a hundred questions.
Before I found out it takes more than a million dollars to put the sun back in her smile.
She needs a friend. A protector. A relentless caveman who won’t quit until her haunted, uptight good girl act is history.
Too bad he isn’t me.
Cade Turnbladt doesn’t do serious. I built my name on fast money, vicious good looks, and a rebel charm that never beguiles the same woman twice.
I expected this one night bride thing to be complicated. I didn’t know how wrong I could be.
She’s scandalizing my very soul.
Every secret, every touch, every smoldering glance is fresh insanity. We’re on a collision course.
There’s no hiding the truth when Skye, my delicious little lie, has me asking the unthinkable.
What if the woman I’m about to pretend marry is chaos incarnate? What if her kiss is an obsession? And what if I can’t let our sweet madness end?
Another fake marriage romance? You ain’t seen nothing yet. This complete stand alone novel has the tears, lip-biting alpha hotness, and drama dreams are made of. Happily Ever After guaranteed. Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow knows how to bring it!
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Duty Bound (Skye)
A man brings a woman to her knees three times in a lifetime: once with his passion, once with his promise, and once when he shows her his heart .
Our love just trashed the cardinal rule. I think it hurts because he’s not the one to blame .
It’s my own fault I’m on my knees crying, knowing it’s too late. There won’t be a fifth time to fall down and let him save me .
I don’t even recognize my own reflection in the spotless mirrors. I’m on my hands and knees, crawling the university’s polished marble floors, suffering the earthquake left in his wake .
Tremors are all I have since he walked out. It shouldn’t be such a surprise .
Oh, I knew there’d be heartbreak .
That was in the cards since the night we met, and branded in the morning after, when he thrust this stupid ring on my hand that’s become emotional corrosion. It’s a tiny diamond paradox worth more than this building. Hell and happiness in equal balance .
Snatching it off my finger, I hold it up, asking for the hundredth time how it’s possible to love and hate an object this much .
I need to start seeing it differently. It’s an absurd, teasing remnant of something we never had .
Something I was foolish to ever hope for .
“Ridiculous,” I whisper, voice trembling .
Ridiculous and beautiful .
Somehow, it’s more priceless than the heavy Roman bust laying against my hand. I knocked it off the table in my fit after he stormed off. Thank God it didn’t break. I don’t need to cause more grief for a school I’ve already cheated .
I sigh, gently holding the artifact, looking for cracks through my tears. One day, the end will come for this eighteen hundred year old statue, just like it does for everything, but not today .
Staring is a mistake. The longer I do, the worse the pain twists my intestines .
If I deserve this – and after the anger and disappointment in his eyes I certainly do – I still don’t like it .
It just isn’t fair .
The dead things I’ve devoted my life to get off easy. They stay dead, inert and timeless as the Marcus Aurelius face I didn’t break, thank God again. Their existence is abstract, casual, painless .
Everything I wish I had when I remember my last words, before I put the look on his face that destroyed me. “Stop making me your problem. I don’t need you, and neither does Vinnie. We’ll handle it like we always have. I’ll pay back the money and move on. I don’t want your damn job or your money, Cade. It’s over. I’m sorry .”
I don’t know how he held my gaze without exploding. The sadness in his soft blue eyes was enough to drown any woman with a conscience – even a shrinking one like mine .
His last words were brutal. “And what about love, Skittle? You want to stand here and tell me you don’t need that, too ?”
I shook my head. I turned my back. I didn’t answer .
Coward me didn’t look back. Just watched him in the mirror on my desk, one more tool we use to help clean the museum pieces .
The same thoughts looped in the space of ten seconds, over and over, shaken to a core I was so sure no man would ever break. Everything I desperately wanted to, but wouldn’t let myself say .
Damn it, Cade, can’t you see I have to do this ?
Don’t you know it’s for our own good ?
Can’t you fucking see what you’ve done to me ?
He doesn’t. I didn’t give him the chance. And so I’m on my knees alone, gently wiping grit off this ancient bust with my shirt, surrounded by a wealth of history, art, and learning that feels like poverty after his blazing blue eyes .
Cade is nothing now. Just another needle in my heart. Toxic venom, denial, and loss .
I’m not cut out for this hero thing, especially when I can’t tell him the real reason we’ll never work .
It’s for my good, and for his, and for Vinnie’s. If I could make him understand, then maybe it wouldn’t hurt so bad to lose it all .
There were no second options .
I’m a smart young woman. I don’t need another PhD to know pursuing this…this thing with a man who promised me the world would be the end. The consequences, the danger, just keeping him around wouldn’t end our love. It could easily cost us our lives. Apocalyptic, guaranteed .
Loving him already is .
And that part, I can’t control, when a man this rare poached my heart .
Cade is the unthinkable, the one I didn’t plan for .
Scary, sexy perfection in lightning blue eyes and a five o’clock shadow. Muscle and depth. Jagged smirks and piercing smiles .