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Here is a short sample from the book:
“I’ve seen you before.”
She nodded, unsurprised, and not just because he had already mentioned her visits to the club. She had always felt watched when she went there, and it must have been his eyes on her. She had been convinced it was the owner of the club, and that seemed to be him.
“You don’t come for the pussy dancers, so why do you come to my club so often? For your sister?”
She nodded jerkily. “To look after my sister. She shouldn’t be at your sleazy establishment, especially since she’s a recovering heroin addict. I’m trying to look out for her and take care of her.”
He nodded, his chin rubbing against the back of her head. “Believe it or not, lisichka, we have something in common. I too watch out for my family, protecting my younger brother and my father. It’s an admirable trait to find in someone, and it’s one of the many beautiful things about you.”
She stiffened, determined to reject the compliment, though she couldn’t pretend like it didn’t warm her slightly. It was a nice change to have her tendency praised rather than have someone complaining about her overprotectiveness. Hoping she might be able to get through to him and make some sort of connection, she asked, “What do you protect them from?”
His reply didn’t do anything to soothe her or give her hope. “From our world, but mostly, I protect them from myself.”
She shivered at the answer. “Are you that dangerous?”
His fingers moved through her hair in a soothing fashion. “You know the answer to that, engel. You’ve seen what I do.”
“Just call me Tara,” she snapped, sick of all the endearments.
“Tara.” The way he said it suggested he was tasting her name, savoring it as he would the finest vodka, and searching for all the nuances and subtleties within. “That’s a nice name, but I think you will always be my little fox instead.”
She shifted on his lap enough to be able to glare at him, though it caused an uncomfortable tugging in her scalp. He hadn’t released his hold on her hair, and he showed no sign of doing so as she wriggled around to look at him. “I’m not your anything, and don’t forget it.”
“Sweet, naïve Tara, don’t you understand how things have changed?”
She shook her head as his face came closer to hers. “Stop.”
He ignored her, his lips almost brushing her own. “I own you now, Tara Noland, and I can do whatever I want with you. It would be better for you to enjoy the experience rather than to keep fighting me. I don’t wish to hurt you, but I won’t accept open defiance.”
Tara struggled to hide her fear, and the disconcerting surge of arousal that accompanied his words. What the hell was wrong with her? It hadn’t been that long since she’d gotten laid, even if her last boyfriend had been lacking in the orgasm-giving department. “I’ll never stop fighting you, you gangster.”
“Bratva,” he said with little expression. “I am the Sovietnik and acting Pahkhan of our city. There are few would go against me, and none who would do so for the sake of you. I’m offering you the chance to be my pampered pet, lisichka.”
She glared at him, almost daring him to close the distance between them and press his mouth to hers. She’d bite his fucking tongue off if he tried it. “I’m no one’s pet. I’m a person, and I have rights. You can’t just do this sort of thing.”
He laughed, clearly amused by her naïveté. “I’m Alexei Varnakov, leader of the russkaya mafiya in our city, and you are nothing to me or compared to me. You are what I want you to be, and right now, I want you to be silent.”
She opened her mouth to make a smartass response, not even really caring what she said as long as she made a point of responding, but his mouth was on hers then. He swallowed any attempt she made at speaking, his lips sealed to hers, forcing her to accept his kiss.
If she were honest with herself, there wasn’t a whole lot of force involved, other than her trying to force herself not to respond. Despite her earlier resolve to bite his tongue if it came anywhere near her mouth, she found herself yielding to his questing appendage when it swept inside her mouth, kissing her deeply and branding her as his. The kiss was like a mark of possession, and though she bristled at the gesture, an annoying part of her purred in pleasure at being labeled as his.
Her own reaction spurred her to shove against him, letting the bloody cloth fall between them and unconcerned about rivulets of blood still streaming from the cut on her head. She tried to slap him, but with her hands bound together, all she managed was to smack against his cheek with little more force than a love tap. “Don’t ever touch me again like that.”
He glared at her as he grabbed her hands, forcing them back to her lap and holding her still. It was clear his intent was to break her resistance and to prove a point when he brought a hand to her button-down blouse and ripped the buttons open carelessly. They flew off and scattered, a couple hitting the interior with little plinking sounds, before her shirt gaped open to reveal her bra.
“No more bras. From now on, you wear what I tell you to wear and what I’ll provide. From the behavior you’re displaying, you’ll have no clothing to start with. You have to earn each piece you get, Tara. You need to learn who owns you now, and you need to maintain respect.”
“You can fuck yourself, Varnakov.” Tears came to her eyes when he wrenched open her bra, the elastic biting into her skin before it broke. Her breasts were bared to his gaze, and she expected him to grab her and start touching her lewdly.
Instead, Alexei seemed content to just stare at her bared breasts. “Beautiful. Generous. I will taste them soon, but you don’t deserve such consideration yet. Until you learn to mind your manners, you’ll receive no pleasure. Only pain.”