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📝Review📝: 5 Stars ~ Hook (Neverland #2) by Gina L. Maxwell, Genre: Dark, MM, Modern Day Fairytale Retelling, Romantic Suspense is Available Now!

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Hook
NeverLand Book Two

By
Gina L. Maxwell

Genres:  #DarkRomance #MMRomance #RomanticSuspense #ModernDayFairytaleRetelling #Triggers #ChildAbuse

My Rating:  5

Cover:  5

POV:  First-person dual perspectives

Kindle:  387 pages

Publication:  October 29th 2019

Read:  November 3rd 2019  *Review copy provided by Gina Maxwell

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48639802-hook

Purchase:
AMZ US: http://bit.ly/HookNovelKindle
AMZ UK: http://bit.ly/HookKindleUK
AMZ CA: http://bit.ly/HookKindleCA
AMZ AU: http://bit.ly/HookKindleAU
B&N: http://bit.ly/HookNovelBN
iBooks: http://bit.ly/HookNovelApple
Kobo: http://bit.ly/HookNovelKobo
BookBub: http://bit.ly/HookBookBub
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/GoodreadsHook

Follow Gina L. Maxwell on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ginalmaxwell/

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Synopsis:

Journey back to Neverland, NC with NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author Gina L. Maxwell as she turns your favorite villain into the hero you never knew you needed.

THEY CALL ME HOOK

I’m Captain of the Pirates; a villain by design and a loner by nature.

I don’t need anyone. More than that, I don’t want anyone. Especially Officer John Darling who insists on seeing the good in everything, including me. If there was ever any good inside of me, it was snuffed out long ago.

I’ve avoided him for years, but now I need his help to save my brother’s life and take down Fred Croc, the monster from my childhood and my current employer.

Now Darling is undercover in my crew, living in my loft and forever working out shirtless. Taking Croc’s operation down from the inside is dangerous as hell, but Darling’s probing gaze and the natural way he defers to my dominant side might just be the end of me.

But I’ve lived in the dark for too long, and no amount of light can save me. Not even one as bright as Johnathan Darling.

HE CALLS ME DARLING

I’m a Task Force Officer with the FBI; a protector of the innocent and a man in love with a villain.

Before I was even old enough to understand it, I had a crush on the broody teen called Captain Hook, following him around like a puppy and hoping he’d show me the slightest bit of attention.

He never did, though, not for years. Not until I became his only viable option for getting his crew member back and throwing Croc behind bars. Now he can’t ignore me, and he can’t hide the desire burning in his eyes when I sink to my knees, eager to serve my Captain however he needs.

But secrets are hard to keep in close quarters, and when I discover the darkness lurking in his past, eradicating the evil in Neverland is no longer my only mission. Come hell or high water, I’ll make Hook see that he’s never been the villain of this story…he’s the hero.

*Trigger Warning for readers sensitive to characters with sexual assault in their pasts. Please read the Author’s Note in the beginning of the book for more details.

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📝My Review📝: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Hook (Neverland #2)Hook by Gina L. Maxwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hook by Gina Maxwell was a very dark, intense and disturbing read. I will warn you….. for those of you who are triggered by child abuse of a sexual nature you may want to be extra cautious. While there is no current abuse, there are flashbacks. That said, the flashbacks are not all explicitly graphic, however the author is very talented at painting the picture regardless. There will be no mistaking what you’re reading about.

I praise Gina Maxwell for the boundaries she crosses in her writing. These details are not easy to read, so I know that are even that much more difficult to write. that being said, I read a review copy but I understand in the original finished copy has an alternate chapter.

This book brought forth many emotions the most prominent being anger, and heartbreak. So, you are probably wondering why I read such a book? Life isn’t always painted with blue skies and butterflies. Sometimes we need reminders that this world isn’t perfect. Books like Hook bring that reality into perspective. And when we are given a beautifully written, believable happy ending our feeling of joy and elation will be that much more appreciated. I praise this author for writing realistic and believable text.

Hook is one of my favorite MM romances. Hook was a character whose whole purpose in life was to protect those around him. No matter how high and despicable the cost. Hook is a criminal by trade but not by choice. He is careful not to let people too close knowing the end will result in more despair for him and those he loves.

John Darling had a connection with Hook since they were children. But it wasn’t until more than a decade later these two amazing men would be able to explore a relationship, albeit extremely carefully. I don’t want to give any of the story away. This is a book you’ll want to read without any spoilers. I don’t even want to comment on the last chapter; the ending. I will say that while I was pleased how things are going well for John and Hook, I am anxious for the next book in this series to assure me they are still going strong.

Hook is book two in Gina L. Maxwell’s Neverland series. The first book titled, Pan is Peter and Wendy’s story. It is also where we learn the dynamic of the Lost Boys, Hook and his pirates and the evil that is Fred Croc. Hook is a standalone but I think you’ll get more out of the story if you read Pan as well.

This is my honest and unbiased review. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

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NEW RELEASE: Hook (A Neverland Novel Book Two) By Gina L. Maxwell is Available Now!

Add to Goodreads

Journey back to Neverland, NC with NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author Gina L. Maxwell as she turns your favorite villain into the hero you never knew you needed.   

THEY CALL ME HOOK

I’m Captain of the Pirates; a villain by design and a loner by nature.

I don’t need anyone. More than that, I don’t want anyone. Especially Officer John Darling who insists on seeing the good in everything, including me. If there was ever any good inside of me, it was snuffed out long ago.

I’ve avoided him for years, but now I need his help to save my brother’s life and take down Fred Croc, the monster from my childhood and my current employer.

Now Darling is undercover in my crew, living in my loft and forever working out shirtless. Taking Croc’s operation down from the inside is dangerous as hell, but Darling’s probing gaze and the natural way he defers to my dominant side might just be the end of me.

But I’ve lived in the dark for too long, and no amount of light can save me. Not even one as bright as Johnathan Darling.

HE CALLS ME DARLING

I’m a Task Force Officer with the FBI; a protector of the innocent and a man in love with a villain.

Before I was even old enough to understand it, I had a crush on the broody teen called Captain Hook, following him around like a puppy and hoping he’d show me the slightest bit of attention.

He never did, though, not for years. Not until I became his only viable option for getting his crew member back and throwing Croc behind bars. Now he can’t ignore me, and he can’t hide the desire burning in his eyes when I sink to my knees, eager to serve my Captain however he needs.

But secrets are hard to keep in close quarters, and when I discover the darkness lurking in his past, eradicating the evil in Neverland is no longer my only mission. Come hell or high water, I’ll make Hook see that he’s never been the villain of this story…he’s the hero.

*Trigger Warning for readers sensitive to characters with sexual assault in their pasts. Please read the Author’s Note in the beginning of the book for more details.

Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Get Your Sneak Peek of HOOK Here!

Don’t miss PAN, Neverland Novel #1

Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo
From NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Gina L. Maxwell, comes a brand-new series with a fresh twist on an old classic.

Once upon a time, in Neverland, North Carolina–I fell in love.

I was twelve when Peter first climbed up to my balcony.
Thirteen when I sneaked out to see him at the School for Lost Boys.
Seventeen when his touch made me fly,
And eighteen when his words made me cry.

We were magnetic, drawn to each other from that very first night, and what I thought would be forever. But when it came time for me to leave, he wouldn’t come with, soI left town with a map for my future and a shattered heart.

Ten years later, I’ve returned to Neverland, hoping to find a man in place of the boy.

Peter was partially right, growing up is no fun. After quitting my fancy career that sucked the magic out of life, I’m now organizing the fundraiser of the year. In a move that could make or break the event and my new company, I’ve hired Peter, master mechanic and owner of LB Automotive, to help me pull this off–trusting him to rebuild a classic car for the auction that could help hundreds of foster kids in need.

I thought I was prepared, but the boy who refused to leave is now a man hell-bent on getting me to stay, and as sparks fly between us, that undeniable fire flares back to life, deeper and hotter than ever.

But that ripped body doesn’t mean Peter’s matured enough to make us or this event work, and not everyone in Neverland is happy about my return.

Not every wound heals.
Not every heart can be fixed.
Not every boy grows up.

And after all this time, the love we found might be lost to us again…this time, forever.

Pan is an adult contemporary romance retelling of Peter Pan, complete with Wendy, Hook, Tink, and all the Lost Boys. There are no fantasy elements in this world, other than the “magic” that happens between the sheets. 😉


Gina L. Maxwell is a full-time writer, wife, and mother living in the upper Midwest, despite her scathing hatred of snow and cold weather. An avid romance novel addict, she began writing as an alternate way of enjoying the romance stories she loves to read. Her debut novel, Seducing Cinderella, hit both the USA Today and the New York Times bestseller lists in less than four weeks, and she’s been living her newfound dream ever since.

When she’s not reading or writing steamy romance novels, she spends her time losing at games to her high school sweetheart, hanging out with their adult teenagers as they learn to fly on their own, and dreaming of her move to someplace warm once they finally do.

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Grand Prize

$25 Amazon eGift Card

Hook Pillow, Hook Canvas Portrait, and an Autographed Paperback of HOOK!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bfcad764166/?

 

RELEASE BLITZ: Falling for the Beast, A Modern Fairy Tale Duet #2 by Skye Warren

 

 

Title: Falling for the Beast
Series: A Modern Fairy Tale Duet #2

Author: Skye Warren

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Release Date: April 30, 2019

 

Blurb

 

FALLING FOR THE BEAST is the second book in A Modern Fairy
Tale duet.
He can never turn back into a prince…
A troubling revelation puts Blake’s newfound career in
jeopardy–and even worse, puts Erin’s impending graduation at risk. He can’t
risk her future no matter how much he wants her.
She will never have a happily ever after…
A dark legacy threatens everything they’ve worked to build.
When old debt comes between them, both Blake and Erin must fight to protect
each other–and their love.
Since their forbidden beginning, Erin and Blake’s
relationship has been marked by deep sensuality and intense emotion. The couple
is tested at every turn. They’re running out of time. Blake and Erin will have
to trust each other to forge their own sexy ending. 
Author’s Note: This book was previously published as a
serial in multiple parts, including Beauty Becomes You and Loving the Beast.
They’ve been collected into this volume and revised for new readers.
Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Also Available
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Author Bio

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.

 

 

Author Links

 

RELEASE BLITZ: Title: After Dark by Various Authors ~ Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal and Fantasy Romances ~ Available Now!

 

 

Title: After Dark 
Authors: Lena Maye, Lizzie Hermanson, Rose Amberly, RA Winter, 
Polly J Brown, K C Freeman, Roxanna Haley, Vianne Sophie May & Stella Knights 
Genres: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal and Fantasy Romances
 
 
Add to your #TBR Goodreads 
 
 
 
 
 
9 Favourite fairy tales get a grown-up make-over. Charming heroes, dangerous royals, Hollywood stars, farmers and mysterious neighbours take you on a sensuous magical journey from London to Washington DC, Tuscan hills to a rugged Canadian nature reserve. Nine stories full of passion, glitter and unexpected twists.

Includes: The Ugly Duckling, Goldilocks, Robin Hood, The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio, Labyrinth, Snow White, Mother Hulda the Snow Maker, and Rumpelstiltskin.

These charming old favourites are retold as passionate love stories (contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy romances) Experience tears, heartbreak and happy smiles as our heroines make life-changing choices, overcome troubles and find true love.

Equinox romance carefully selected nine exciting romance authors to create this collection with high-quality writing and delicious escapism.

“A great anthology with some unexpected interpretations. Happy ever after comes in so many ways, sometimes sweets and sometimes so sexy that you must read in private but always worth the wait.” EMMA GREENFIELD. ROMANTIC FICTION LIST



Whether contemporary, magical fantasy or paranormal, they’re all romantic, passionate, sometimes funny always moving.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lena Maye: 
Lena Maye writes about twenty-somethings finding their way in life and love. Her books are full of second chances, shadowed pasts, and kissing. (Lots of kissing!)
When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family–which usually involves a board game or two. She also enjoys gardening, reading, and is always up for a game of eight-ball. She lives in Colorado with her amazingly supportive husband and fabulously sweet son.
 

 

Find Lena Here:

 

 

 

 

Lizzie Hermanson:

 

Lizzie Hermanson writes feel-good romance – a place to escape to at the end of a hard-working day. She’s married with two grown-up sons, one and a half cats (long story!) and a crazy dog. When she isn’t writing, she can be found roaming the countryside with her trusty camera. 
Find her other publications: Wanted: Plus One For Christmas. A Romance Anthology. Wanted: Plus One For Christmas
 
Find Lizzie Here: 
 

 

Rose Amberly:

 

When Rose Amberly was little, she pestered her mother for stories every night (and morning and afternoon.) In the end, her parents taught her to read so they could have some peace, but very soon she pestered them for books and more books. By the age of six, she started to make up stories and tell them to her parents pretending she’d read them in a book. Happily, now she’s all grown up and no longer has to pretend
She travelled widely and tried different careers is education, therapy, art management and even briefly, bookkeeping but none of them were as much fun as making up stories.
Rose Amberly lives in London which she thinks is the most fabulous city in the world. She loves to set her stories in England to share with readers some of her favourite places.
 

 

Find Rose Here: 

 

 

 

 

RA Winter:

 

A cowgirl stuck in the suburbs, RA loves animals and sipping drinks in a secluded cabin in the winter time while the snow falls outside. Long walks calm her but raunchy humor is always bubbling to take over. Beaches are her second love. White sand, the sound of the surf as it splashes against the shore and watching pelicans dive for food energize her, She’ll survive anywhere as long as she has family and friends around. 
RA has lived in many countries including Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Germany. Now you can find her in the US in Pittsburgh, Pa.
She has written 3 previous books under her married name
Today she is writing her sixth novel and fifth novelette.
 

 

Find RA Here: 

 

 

 

 

Polly J Brown:

 

 

Polly J. Brown writes stories of hope and romance with Atlantic Canadian connections. She lives near the ocean in Nova Scotia with her husband, three children, and an ever-changing number of pets. When she isn’t dreaming up new problems for her characters to solve, she can be found at the beach hunting for sea glass or searching for inspiration on the hiking trails.
 

 

Find Polly Here: 

 

 

 

 

K C Freeman:

 

After leaving the corporate world to raise five rambunctious children in North Carolina, I eventually caved to my lifelong desire to write fiction. First, I dipped her toes in the writing world by freelancing for various clients through a freelance internet service. Gaining confidence in my skills, I quickly dove into ghostwriting. I have ghostwritten two cozy mystery series and one contemporary romance. Recently, I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute a short story to the Autumn/Winter 2017 anthology The Bowman’s Inn, currently available on Amazon.
I write mostly urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels. My current work, a trilogy for the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series, is in progress. I spend a lot of time on Scribophile with my author friends who have encouraged me and always make my work better.
When not writing, I am running my children to practices, football games, swim meets, wrestling tournaments, and generally all over town. In my spare time…who are we kidding? That doesn’t exist.
 

 

Find KC Here:

 

 

 

 

Roxanna Haley: 

 

 

Roxanna Haley has been writing for many years as a way to keep the craziness from taking over her life. She loves to read and has been living in Regency England for as long as she can remember. When she finds herself in the modern world, she is usually in Southern California with her husband, a spoiled dog and a flock of parrots and other birds. She loves to hear from her fans, so please contact her or follow her at the links below.
 

 

Find Roxanna Here: 

 

 

 

 

Vianne Sophie May:

 

 

Vianne Sophie lives in the heart of Germany. When she is not writing one of her diverse, from steamy hot to deliciously sensual romances, you can find her with her face hidden behind a camera, having fun with all kinds of people. She loves to travel the US, hang with her family and watch movies and the behind the scenes. 
 

 

Find Vianne Here:

 

 

 

 

Stella Knights:

 

 

Stella Knights has lived and worked in several countries across four continents, journalling her life experiences along the way. She enjoys blurring the lines between what is real and what is fantasy and hopes her stories will inspire others to break free and live the life of their dreams.
Having spent a good part of her life in Australia, Stella wrote her first novel series based on things she experienced and learned about while living there. Stella hopes that The Dusty Rider Series opens others to the resilience, hardship, beauty and eternal love of those living in the Australian bush. 
 

 

Find Stella Here: 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

NEW RELEASE CHAPTER REVEAL For Owning Olivia, A Modern Day Fairytale Retelling by Mila Crawford is Available Now! ~ Released January 25th 2019

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Buy link – smarturl.it/OwningOliviaMC

Goodreads – http://bit.ly/2HsnlJQ

 

Synopsis

 

He was a beast covered in vicious scars, she was the beauty he would do anything to have.

Silas always knew that he was a monster, and not just on the outside. People feared him, but he liked it that way. It gave him strength, power.

But that all changed when he walked into a deserted bar and saw her.

It was supposed to be easy; collect his money and go, but she made him want more. He struck a dangerous deal that would change their lives forever.

But all the beast could think about from the moment he saw her was: owning Olivia.

 

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Chapter 1 Reveal 

PROLOGUE

Silas

​Having a fucked up face doesn’t always make people stare like everyone says—it makes people avoid you. They look anywhere else they possibly can to avoid looking in your eyes, because pity and shame are emotions better kept hidden. My face wasn’t always marred like this. I was born a cute kid, took after my momma with dark blond hair and bright blue eyes. People treat you differently when you’re attractive. But in my line of work, I don’t need to be a pretty boy, instead I’m an avenging angel. I’m the last face criminals see before they face full justice. I’m a bounty hunter. I work for myself and I answer to no one.

​Most people would think I’d have ended up on the wrong side of the law growing up on the streets as I did, but when I witnessed firsthand what drugs did to my family, I vowed to dedicate my life to making sure no other kids had to go through what I suffered. I now put criminals in jail. If they want redemption, that’s on them. My job is to get them to trial alive and let the powers that be judge them.

​The place was disgusting, some abandoned dive bar off the highway leading to nowhere. The greyish building looked rundown, like it’d been ignored for decades The paint on the siding was peeling, curling into itself, and garbage floated aimlessly in the wind. The scent wafting in to the open window of the car was stale smoke and desperation. A place where dreams went to die—a no-way-out dead end.

I sat in the car looking the place over. I’d made a pretty good reputation for myself over the years as a ruthless man who got what he wanted—at any cost. I’d worked hard and liked the look of fear I’d earned in the eyes of my opponents. I liked the speeding of my heart and the pure exhilaration of adrenaline pumping in my veins when their eyes exhibited defeat. I still had a little of that delinquent left in me and that’s why so many of these so called criminals were petrified of me. One look at my face and most of them cringed or backed away like maybe they thought being ugly was contagious. I liked that they were scared of me; fear was the only way to cultivate power and I needed the power. I never wanted to feel helpless again.

No one messed with me. My reputation was enough to make men much braver than Paul Sutton quiver in their boots. He was becoming a regular, which wasn’t a good thing when it comes to running from the authorities. A life on the lam was no way to live, especially if kids were involved, and in this case, his daughter Olivia was my main concern.

I’d been on both sides of the law and I knew the ins and outs of everybody in the business. I had connections on both sides, loyalty to none. I’d gone from criminal to cop and come out a bounty hunter working on my own terms and making bank like I never saw on the force, and without the guilt that a life of crime had burdened me with. I worked hard to establish who I was. There were two types of criminals: bosses and henchmen, and I knew early on that I was never going to bow down to anyone—even the lords of the underworld respected me. Fear guaranteed they would. I worked alongside Kyle and no one else, he was a brother to me and there wasn’t anyone I trusted more. Kyle was a lawyer by trade, my best friend, and the only human I allowed to bring in a fugitive with me. We didn’t always work together, but whenever I needed back up, he was there. Kyle was my ride or die and I’d take a bullet for him without any hesitation whatsoever. He and his mother rescued me from the streets and they were my family. Annie always said that she and Kyle owed their lives to me, but it was the other way around—without them I’d have ended up an anonymous body in a morgue.

Our inside connections with law enforcement got us our marks, and our background in the underworld gave us the snitches to give up where they were hiding out. No one could keep up with us, let alone beat us. We delivered the most wanted into the hands of law enforcement and in return made an unintentional killing. Our reputation as ruthless bounty hunters wasn’t far off. Maybe we barked worse than we bit, but we took no shit and we took no prisoners.  

Paul had no fucking idea how to run a business and to top it off he was a complete mess. He was busy shooting up what profit he made. It wasn’t the first time we’d brought him in. When we started doing bounty work, he was one of our first. Served his time, got out, but made even worse connections on the inside.

To make matters worse, Paul’s daughter Olivia had been left parentless when we put him behind bars. The schmuck had the wherewithal to ask me to keep an eye on his daughter. I did as I promised because I’m a man of my word. I checked in almost daily. Hired a security officer to camp out on the premises so that she wasn’t left alone—ever. Last thing I wanted was one of Paul’s piece of shit clients to show up and think Olivia owed them something on behalf of her father. I had groceries delivered and made sure her car was in working order so she could get to and from her classes. If it were up to me, I would have shut the whole shit operation down, gasoline, matches, problem solved. But the girl seemed to have an attachment to the place, or at least the routine. So I kept my distance, stuck to the shadows and took her in from afar. She was so fucking beautiful it broke my black heart. A girl like that would make any man beg on his knees. Delicate and precious and so very innocent. The girl flushed pink when she made eye contact and would lower her face. I’d stay silent in her presence, and the most she’d say to me was a whispered, “Thank you so much, Silas.”

I’d kill for a woman like that, an absolute slice of heaven on earth. Beauty and perfection all wrapped up in an angelic being—one hell of a girl. Quiet and contemplative. She knew the straight business side of the operation and balanced the books, pencil behind her ear.

If I blessed with someone as special as her, I’d do every single thing in my power to never let her go. That’s what made me irate when it came to Paul Sutton. He’d already lost a year with Olivia, and here he was, back at it, fucking up her chances of ever having the life she deserved. A woman like that deserved life handed to her on a silver platter, yet her piece of shit father had her constantly anxious, her face marred with worry lines and her eyes shadowed by dark circles.   

“Silas, you’re too invested in this case. Bro, it’s like you’re taking it personally. You sure you want to do this?” My best friend and business partner asked as he looked at me. I could see the worry in his eyes. Kyle didn’t like the fact that I still got my hands dirty, but he didn’t understand. He’d never had to sleep on the frozen, hard pavement, bones shaking from the ruthless cold wind, so hungry that your stomach hurt too much to stand. I knew better. I had to go in myself and make him pay the price for his actions. Men like Paul Sutton were a stain on society. Worthless and completely selfish, they were the true monsters lurking in plain sight. No regard for anything or anyone other than his sorry self. My whole adult life I’d made it my mission to make sure that men like Paul knew there were people who would hold him accountable.  

​“You don’t need the money man. You don’t need to deal with any of this. Just let it go,” Kyle pleaded. He never liked seeing the monster come out. I think, deep down, the dark side of me made him nervous; he was never quite sure if I was animal or man. To be honest, some days I woke up unable to answer that question myself.

​“I’ve come to take what’s mine. There’s no turning back.”  

​A few years ago, Paul had gotten in some trouble. He owed money to the wrong people, dangerous people who would have done anything necessary to get back what was owed them. Even if it meant hacking Paul and members of his family into pieces. That’s when I got way too involved. I wasn’t about to watch him put his daughter through the wringer again. His complete disregard for her well-being had me on the verge of slitting his throat already. So I made him a deal he couldn’t refuse, even if it meant I’d had to step back into the dark side for a spell. I lent the asshole the money he needed to bail himself out of his predicament. I told him upfront I was doing it for Olivia and I didn’t give a fuck about what happened to him.

​I never intended to have any shady dealings with Paul. His property wasn’t worth a third of the money he wanted from me. After one of our early interactions, I’d gone back to the bar to tell him no, and that’s when I saw her. My whole world changed in that moment—she was it for me. One look and I was already ruined.  

​ She was dressed modestly for such a beautiful girl. Wearing baggy jeans and a white turtleneck, her long dark hair pulled back in a simple ponytail. She was a masterpiece against the backdrop of that derelict den and I’d never seen anything so stunning. As soon as she put her books down after skipping in from school, she grabbed a broom and began cleaning up the trash all around her. She moved like poetry, gliding effortlessly, almost floating. I couldn’t stop looking at her. She had me, in that moment, under her spell, bewitching me when no other had before. Then the loud crash of a dropped glass brought me out of my hypnotic trance and I focused on the broken glass surrounding her feet. I moved toward her wanting to make sure none of the glass could hurt her. Nothing should ever touch such an angel, nothing. I forgot myself, my place, the fact that my appearance might scare her.

“It happens all the time. I’ve got it, don’t worry,” she said as I approached.  

​I was beside her in an instant, lifting her into my arms, cradling her delicate body. To this day, I’m not sure why I grabbed her like I did. It was instinct to care for her, to protect her. I didn’t want her to get hurt; the idea, for some reason, seemed unbearable. I felt my hands, which were normally steady, begin to shake. Fear of frightening her rattled my body. Her head was down so she wasn’t looking at my face. She didn’t need to know a monster had her, it would only heighten her fear. I shifted myself to ensure she couldn’t feel my rigid cock reacting just from the pressure of her slight body in my arms. The scent of her skin, so fragrant in that old dusty bar. From the first touch, I never wanted to let go.

“It’s okay, really, I’m fine. It happens all the time. I’ll just go grab the dust bin. You’re Silas, right? Thanks for helping my dad.”

That was it for me—there was no turning back.

Perhaps I was overreacting, but I placed her on the stool and proceeded to sweep the broken shards away, careful to angle my head in a way that ensured she wouldn’t have a good view of my face. My scars elicited fear and disgust in most people. It was the main reason I wore my hair shaggy, letting it grow to the length of my chin. It helped me conceal who I really was—a beast. She hopped off the stool, intent on helping with the mess. Instinctively, my right hand shot out and held her in place and took the dust pan from her.

​“Glass can cut you,” I said matter-of-factly. Inwardly, I wanted to whip myself for being so stupid. I was never a man of many words. Words didn’t help anything and most people who speak too much dig their own graves. There was strength in silence.  

​I took the broom from her and meticulously cleaned up any remains of shattered glass on the floor. I wanted to make sure even the smallest sliver was removed to ensure that nothing could harm her. That was our very first interaction and looking back on it now, I can see why such a beautiful, young girl, surrounded by jagged glass and broken chairs, graffiti carved tables, mildewed sinks and greasy windows, gave me the impression she was even more fragile than she looked. I cringed when I thought of her working that joint when it was filled with bottom of the barrel, high on drink and power—the kind of assholes who treated women without an ounce of respect. I felt responsible for her right away; I wanted to take care of her.    

​“Thank you. This is very kind, but not necessary.”

Her voice was lovely, she sounded like a heavenly creature to my ears. I wanted to listen to her talk for all of eternity, but I knew that wasn’t possible. Once I was done, I handed her the broom and walked away as quickly as I could. I couldn’t stand being around her any longer, her light was too strong and I was pure darkness that could eventually contaminate her. Once I’d placed a safe distance between us and was shrouded in shadows, I dared to look up and saw her gazing at me, smiling softly.

I grew roses at home and tended to them meticulously. I used them to compensate for a life lived without beauty. My rose garden was full of every color and species. Tenacious flowers they were, built to withstand the harsh demands of nature. Olivia reminded me of a perfect rose, strong and delicate, gorgeous, fragrant silk petals armed with barbs underneath. Just like with my flowers, I watched her grow from afar, admired her strength and beauty, but held my feelings inside.

Then Paul came out and interrupted, like the sniveling junkie he was. How could such a worm produce the shining light that she was, goodness personified? Maybe her mother was a saint and Sutton nothing more than a lousy sperm donor.   

​“Silas, it’s nice to see you. Thank you for coming in. I see you’ve met my step-daughter.”

​Sutton could act civil, but that’s exactly what it was—an act.

The angel came by and placed two beers on the table. I dropped my head again, avoiding eye contact with her. When she left, I looked up again and stared at Paul directly.

​“Let’s not waste time. I’ll give you the money and you’ll have three years to pay it off. If, in that time, you don’t pay it off, I’ll be here to take your daughter as payment instead,” I said bluntly, and pointed to the young girl at the bar. It was a bold move even for me, but if Olivia never wanted me, at least she’d be safe, cared for, and comfortable in my charge—something her father had proved time and time again incapable of procuring for her.  

​“What could you possibly want with her?” He was less aghast at my proposal of owning his daughter than he was at my willingness to take her. I already knew he was blind to her value, but it made me hate him even more.

​“That’s not your business. Do we have a deal?”  

Paul took a sip of his beer and immediately spat it out. He walked over to the girl and, out of nowhere, pulled her hair, dragging her over to the table, yelling about how the beer wasn’t cold. Maybe he was putting on a show for me, but what he didn’t know was that I had no qualms about killing him on the spot.

Seeing men treat women like garbage wasn’t new to me, I always kept my cool, I always looked on, gritting my teeth because I had a job to do. But this time something in me snapped. I got up, broke a beer bottle on the side of the table and tossed the sharp edge at Paul, landing it right beside his eye. She looked at me with her eyes bulging in pure shock. I wanted to kill Paul in that moment. I wanted to break each one of his fingers, slowly, hearing him scream in agony. I wanted blood. His.

Paul placed his hand on his eye and looked shocked at the blood that was there when he pulled it away. I could practically smell his fear as his hands began to shake.  

“You make a habit of harming women, Paul?” I askedquietly, walking toward him.

“No, but she should know better. She should never have served you a warm beer. She’s a goddamned barmaid for Christ’s sake!” I removed his hand from her arm patiently and looked into his face making sure he truly saw the beast that lurked inside me.

“Do we have a deal?”

The girl would be mine and he could live his life alone, just like he deserved to be.

“Yes, yes. I can have the money by then so it won’t be a problem.” It was always a problem with Paul Sutton, his word was worthless.

“Then you will never touch my merchandise again. If you do, and I will know if you do, I will come back and I will kill you.”

I looked at the sweet rose, lifted my hand, and gently pushed back a strand of her hair that had come loose from her ponytail. I handed her my card and watched as her delicate fingers took it from me.  

“If he or any one of his friends hits you again, you tell me.”

I walked out of the bar then, but every day for years after that encounter, I went back to the shithole and checked in on her. I was there guarding her when Paul got tossed into the slammer shortly after for possession. I had no idea if she remembered our bargain, that more slip ups from her dad brought us one step closer to an eternity together. She barely spoke—she never touched me. But whenever Olivia approached me, she cast her eyes down avoiding my face, yet treated me with nothing less than tenderness. I chalked it up to her nature and not to any special treatment for my part.

During that time, I became consumed with her, memorizing every inch of her. I would drive up to the bar every day at the same time and watch her close up, make sure she let herself into the apartment without anyone bothering her. Those daily visits became an addiction to me, making sure she got home safe became an obsession. As the days went by, the stronger my urge to take care of her became. I would go from five minutes waiting outside the bar, to twenty, and then up to an hour. If she ever needed anything, I made sure she had it. I also wanted to make sure that Paul wouldn’t be able to pay off his debt so that I could really own Olivia. Ruining Paul took very little effort on my part. The man was a perpetual failure and I could basically step back and watch his world fall apart. I didn’t lift a finger to help him or hurt him unless it concerned Olivia.

Making her mine was the only goal I truly cared about.

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About the author

 

Mila Crawford is a book lover and has been around them one way or another her whole life. She is a fan of happily ever afters, sassy heroines, over the top alphas, and most of all safe reads.

 

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RELEASE BLITZ With Excerpt! ~ Owning Olivia: A Modern Fairtale Retelling ~ By Mila Crawford is Available Now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He was a beast covered in vicious scars, she was the beauty he would do anything to have.

Silas always knew that he was a monster, and not just on the outside. People feared him, but he liked it that way. It gave him strength, power.

But that all changed when he walked into a deserted bar and saw her.

It was supposed to be easy; collect his money and go, but she made him want more. He struck a dangerous deal that would change their lives forever.

But all the beast could think about from the moment he saw her was: owning Olivia.

 

 

“Tell me if this isn’t what you want.” He removed my shirt lifting it above my head. I savored the sharp contrast between the cool air and the heat from Silas’ body pressed up against mine.
​“I don’t want you to stop,” I breathed, as I pulled him closer to me. That was all he needed. Suddenly, his kiss became hungry, even more urgent with need. He devoured me as if he hadn’t eaten in days and I was the only meal that could sate his voracious appetite. ​He kissed his way down my body stopping at my breasts. He took one nipple in his mouth and sucked, bringing them both to hard points while he pinched my other nipple between his fingers. There was a pain but the sensation was extraordinary and I felt wetness pool in my panties. My temperature rose from his touch, a combination of gentle and rough, pleasure mixed with pain, exactly as I needed and wanted it to be.
​Silas abandoned my nipples and undid my pants, pulling them down to expose my underwear, my plain, white schoolgirl underpants. I felt stupid for not having something sexier on, but I’d never had a use for lingerie before. He stopped, and a sly smile crept over his lips.
​“These are pretty fucking hot,” he said. I wasn’t sure if he was being serious until the bulge between his legs signaled just how serious he was. Silas leaned in and placed his nose on the white cloth and inhaled. I was self conscious about the wet stain there and tried to squirm away. Silas grabbed my hips and kept me immobile.
​“Where are you going, sweetheart? I’m not done with you, and I don’t think I ever will be.” Hearing SIlas’ voice gave me a sense of comfort and I stopped trying to move away. He slowly pulled my panties down, exposing my sex to his unbridled gaze. He put his hands behind my back supporting my weight.
​“Put your legs on my shoulders.” His tone was strong and authoritative. I moved my legs above his head unsure of how he was going to support my weight or what he was about to do. He nuzzled the inside of my thighs, his five o’clock shadow caused goosebumps to rise across my sensitive skin.
He teased my swollen flesh with his tongue, first delicately, rolling my clit in gentle circles, then alternating to penetrating me fully with his tongue, his mouth incompasing my sex. I rolled my hips, but his giant rough hands pinned me in place. My flesh heated to the point of stinging, while my whole universe whittled down to his mouth devouring my most tender flesh. The sensation ebbed and flowed but continued climbing until I was shamelessly thrusting myself into his sinful mouth. I’d never forget how gut-clenchingly sexy he looked. He pinched my nipples and an orgasmic wave rolled through me, numbing my mind to only his smile, his tongue, and the rhythm with which he thrust inside me.
I came on his face. My thighs squeezed together and felt the scratch of his stubble as the orgasm tore through me.
“Silas,” I said. I was breathless, had no words to fuel my voice.
“Let me hear you, baby,” he said. His voice was muffled, his head still dipped between my thighs.
“Let me see you,” I managed.
He raised his face enough so that I could see the crook in his eyebrow as he sucked my engorged clit into his mouth.
I screamed, and came so hard I thought we’d run Annie, or anyone for that matter, out of the house.

 

 

Mila Crawford is a book lover and has been around them one way or another her whole life. She is a fan of happily ever afters, sassy heroines, over the top alphas, and most of all safe reads.

 

 

 

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