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About the author:
Veronica Eden is the author of dark new adult romances + reverse harem romances with spitfire heroines and irresistible heroes. She loves exploring complicated feelings, magical worlds, epic adventures, and the bond of characters that embrace us against the world. She has always been drawn to gruff antiheroes, clever villains, and the twisty-turns of morally gray decisions. She believes sometimes the villain should get the girl and is a sucker for a deliciously devilish antihero. Veronica Eden is the pen name of romance author Mara Townsend. When not writing, she can be found soaking up sunshine at the beach, snuggling in a pile with her untamed pack of animals (her husband, dog and cat), and surrounding herself with as many plants as she can get her hands on.
Here is a short sample from the book:
I gulp at the icy chill in his voice.
With no remorse, my father lays out my sentence.
“You will go to the gala. It’s not a party for appearances.” Dad eats up what little ground I’ve gained and glares down his nose at me. How can he look at me like that? My throat and eyes sting and my chest heaves with each agonizing breath. “The whole point is to announce your engagement to Cohen Decker.”
“Dad,” I try, not ready to give up the fight even if it’s clear I’m losing.
“No, Annie. This entire spectacle has been organized because you asked for time.” Dad’s expression twists into a cold, closed off mask that I have trouble reading. “If you don’t do as you’re told, I’ll freeze your accounts and stop paying for school.”
His words slice me to the core, but nothing could prepare me for the latest ultimatum that cinches the noose around my neck.
Dad inhales slowly before he continues. “I’ll do all of that, and then I’ll take you straight to the courthouse to marry Cohen before going through the rest of the contract negotiations. Consider it a show of good faith to Decker and his extended family.”
My father could stab me with a thousand tiny needles and the pain would never compare to how he’s razed my world. I suspected he didn’t give a shit about me, but having the truth laid out like this cuts me deep. A shudder of indecipherable emotion wracks my petite frame.
“Are we clear?” Dad narrows his gaze.
All I can manage is a weak nod. Time to lick my wounds again. I need to come back stronger if I’m going to win.
Swallowing past the thick taste of betrayal in my mouth, I shrug my saddle bag higher on my shoulder. I’ll escape before there’s a chance for the tears welling and sticking my lashes together to fall. Small victories.
“Have a good day, Dad,” I mutter.
“Bye, princess.” Dad’s angry expression melts away, and he bends to kiss my forehead.
I stand tall as I cross the room, shoulders back and head high. Once the elevator doors close, I’ll have the privacy to break down. My pulse thumps and I hear the rush of it in my ears.
Dad turns back to peer through the floor-to-ceiling windows at the city, posture relaxed like he has no qualms about what he’s planned for me.
There’s no way in hell I’ll play along and marry Cohen fucking Decker. I’ve done plenty Dad demanded of me over the years. But this is where I draw the damn line.
The elevator doors close and I cross my arms across my stomach, holding the shattered pieces of myself together.
I’m a princess all right, one kept locked up tight in my steel tower. I don’t have time to worry about my father’s shady business dealings because I’m too busy collapsing under the weight of his control—everything in my life is decided for me.
Including who I’m supposed to marry.
A lioness kept captive lies in wait, pacing the bars, anticipating the right moment to strike.