To most people, princes, princesses, counts and dukes are found only in the pages of the most famous of fairytales. Crowns, priceless jewels and gilded thrones belong only in childhood dreams.
But for some, these frivolous fancies are truth.
For some, they are real life.
On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, people have always treated me as someone special. All because of my ancestral name and legacy. All because of a connection I share to our home country’s most important family of all.
I am Caresa Acardi, the Duchessa di Parma. A blue blood of Italy. I was born to marry well. And now the marriage date is set.
I am to marry into House Savona. The family that would have been the royals had Italy not abolished the monarchy in 1946. But to the aristocrats of my home, the abolition means nothing at all.
The Savonas still hold power where it counts most.
In our tight-knit world of money, status and masked balls, they are everything and more.
And I am soon to become one of them.
I am soon to become Prince Zeno Savona’s wife…
… or at least I was, until I met Achille.
And everything changed.
As my papa’s G5 began its descent, I looked out of the window beside me and waited for the plane to break through the clouds. I held my breath, body tense, then suddenly the burnt-orange remnants of daylight flooded the plane, bathing the interior with a soft, golden glow. I inhaled deeply. Italia.
Fields and fields of green and yellow created a patchwork quilt below, rolling hills and crystal-blue lakes stretching as far the eye could see. I smiled as a sense of warmth ran through me.
It was the most beautiful place on earth.
Sitting back in my wide cream leather chair, I closed my eyes and tried to prepare myself for what was coming. I was flying to Florence airport, from where I would be swiftly taken to the Palazzo Savona estate just outside of the city.
I would meet Prince Zeno.
I had met him twice before—once when I was four, of which I had no memory, and again when I was ten. The interaction we’d had as children had been brief. If I was being honest, I had found Zeno to be arrogant and rude. He had been thirteen at the time and not at all interested in meeting a ten-year-old girl from America.
Neither of us had known at the time that that our betrothal had been agreed upon two years prior. It turned out that the trip my papa had taken to Umbria when I was eight was to secure a forever-bond between the Savonas and the Acardis. King Santo and my father had planned for their only children to marry. They were already joined in business; Zeno’s arranged marriage to me would also strengthen both families’ place in society.
I thought back on my New York farewell of nine hours ago and sighed. My parents had driven me to the private hangar and said their goodbyes. My mama cried—her only child was leaving her for a new life. My papa, although sad to see me go, beamed at me with the utmost pride. He had held me close and whispered, “I have never been more proud of you than I am right now, Caresa. Savona Wines’ stock has plummeted since Santo’s death. This union will reassure all the shareholders that our business is still strong. That we are still a stable company with Zeno at the helm.”
I had given him a tight smile and boarded the plane with a promise that they would see me before the wedding. And that had been that.
I was to marry Zeno, and I hadn’t protested even once. I imagined to most modern-day women living in New York, the process of arranged marriages sounded positively medieval, even barbaric. For a blue blood, it was simply a part of life.
King Santo Savona died two months ago. The shareholders of his many Italian vineyards, the stakeholders in Savona Wines, had expected his son, Zeno, to immediately step up and take charge. Instead, Zeno had plunged himself into the party scene even harder than before—and that was quite a feat. Within weeks my papa had flown out to Umbria to see what could be done.
The answer: our imminent union.
If you're looking for a sweet fairytale romance then this book is definitely for you. Me? Not so much. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story, but I had hoped for just a little bit more intensity.
I loved the fairytale aspect of the story. Little girl dreams of marrying her perfect Prince Charming. Young woman is on the road to marrying a real (ish) prince, even if he isn't her ideal one. She would have had anything she ever needed. Except for the true love part.
With the situation surrounding the surprise (predictable to me, but still a good story) I wished there was a bit more turmoil to the whole issue. It was sad and changed the lives of a family, but I wanted more drama from those involved. I needed more resistance. More conflict. It seemed too easily resolved. I wanted a fairytale wedding. I wanted to hear them speak those heartfelt vows to each other.
It really seems like I have a lot of "I needed" and "I wanted" but I really did! I mean, if you love Tillie's writing (as I do) this will be a must read for you. It just missed a little bit of something special to me.
It was an incredibly adorable story (especially that epilogue) with very sweet and loveable characters. I do think there is a certain someone that needs his own story and deserves his very own fairytale too;)
One winner gets a Signed Copy of A Veil of Vines + Limited-Edition The Future Mrs. Marchesi T-Shirt
Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.
After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.
Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.
Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.
When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.
Dirty Sexy Sinner (Dirty Sexy Book 4) by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde
Date of Publication: November 8, 2016
DIRTY SEXY SINNER . . . The surprise fourth book in the DIRTY SEXY SERIES!
If you had read the previous book in the series, Dirty Sexy Cuffed, you were no doubt as excited by the surprise of another brother as I was and a whole new story of the brothers Kincaid.
I loved Tara's supporting character in the other books so it was great to hear her story and see her get a HEA for herself. She broke the mold when it came to woman for Jackson. She's much more unique than all the others and that really sets her apart. She's got a great personality and deserves happiness with all that she's over come.
In true alpha fashion Jackson fit in flawlessly with his new found brothers, that is, once they finally gave him the chance. Tall, dark and handsome with a giant handful of sins up his sleave, and a dirty mouth that was all Tara's to be pleased with.
I loved how all their stories combined at the end, getting to see where they all are in life, just as Jackson and Tara are beginning theirs. It's also always cool to see characters from other authors books in one that is not theirs, HELLO Tate and Logan!
This book was short and sweet with a lot of heat, it made for a great afternoon read. Not my favourite in the series but definitely a must to close it out on a solid KINCAID note.
About Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde
***About Carly Phillips***
Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers. You can find out more about Carly at www.carlyphillips.com.
***About Erika Wilde***
Erika Wilde is the author of the sexy Marriage Diaries series and The Players Club series. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two daughters, and when she's not writing you can find her exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. For more information on her upcoming releases, please visit website at www.erikawilde.com.
Find Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde Online
Seven is about Embyr Quinn and her journey for vengeance. She was a victim of a horrible bet turned blackmail by a group of popular guys in high school known as the PITCREW, each letter representing the first names of her tormenters. Skip to ten years later and she’s changed her name, her appearance and has done thorough research in order to exact her revenge on each and every one of them. The only problem is that she can’t resist the pull she has towards Casen Parker—The C in Pitcrew.
The first half of the book was somewhat slow for me, but I kept going because the story was intriguing enough that I needed to find out what this bet entailed and who was responsible for what action. I understood Embyr’s need to get these guys back for what they’ve done to her, but some of her actions had me shaking my head. She methodically moves from guy to guy with different acts that will inevitably ruin their lives, and in consequence she ruins the lives of several other innocent people who are connected to them. Yes, she felt guilt and she even tried rationalizing her retaliation with some sort of weird reverse logic that I just couldn’t get on board with. This woman was out for blood and didn’t care who she trampled in her path, it was so selfish to me, but I get it. A woman scorned and all.
The book picked up for me in the second half because I was very intrigued by Casen, Reece & Ian and what their connection was in all of this. I also found it hard to believe that you wouldn't recognize a girl you were very well aware of in high school after only ten years, even with changes to your appearance etc… eventually you'd notice, especially after becoming intimate. And NOT ONE of the guys noticed until her true identity was revealed.
Ultimately the book was pretty enjoyable for me and I appreciated how Embyr finally felt remorse for her actions and how capable she was of forgiveness. I really liked Casen, and even Reece grew on me towards the end, because I did not like him in the beginning. There IS a cliffhanger and it was a very abrupt one, so I’m definitely looking forward to reading Casen’s POV in the next book titled CASEN, which comes out in the fall of 2016.
“Am I going to get your name tonight, beautiful?”
“Not interested,” I state, trying not to let the seduction in his voice fool me.
“Not interested? I’ve never heard anyone with that name,” he tries to joke, but I don’t laugh.
This is the kind of shit he uses to pick up women?
“What can I getcha?” Damien asks.
I point at my glass, requesting another drink, and motion towards Casen, “On his tab.”
“Budweiser for me.” Casen tells him before returning his full attention back to me. “If I’m going to buy you a drink, then it’s only fair you tell me your name.” His leg brushes against mine, lifting my skirt and exposing more of my thigh. Goosebumps spread across my skin like wild fire and I will them down.
Stay focused, Em.
My fingers come up to play with my necklace, and I relent, “Embyr.” I pick my gaze up and stare directly into his eyes. I drag them down his body, noticing the long-sleeved, black Henley he’s wearing and faded jeans. His shoes are black, as well, and they look like they hold massive feet. I peek at his hands, seeing exactly what Trinity meant. They are huge.
A moment passes before he says, “Don’t you want to know my name?”
I already know your name. Casen Parker. Fire fighter. Lived with your friends, my other high school bullies, Ian and Reece, up until two months ago, when you all ventured off and got your own places. Homecoming King in high school and graduated with honors in fire science.
But, I don’t say all that.
“Okay, then.” I roll my eyes as if the idea is beneath me. “So, what’s your name?”
He stares for a moment before widening his smile. “Casen.”
His cockiness pulls me in and I can’t bring myself to turn away. His heated tone breaks through my barrier and a flood of emotions take over. Even though it’s been ten years, he still looks the same and I feel a spark of not only hatred but attraction. I didn’t expect that and it makes all of the high school memories come screaming back at me. They consume me. My chest tightens while I feel my face burning. I can’t control the tremble of my hands as I pick up my glass trying to keep this panic attack under control.
I haven’t had one of these since high school.
I take deep breaths, gasping for air, hoping I don’t pass out. It’s not working. The memories continue to suffocate me. I feel constricted.
I can’t fucking breathe.
A gentle touch glides over my back and I jump at the contact. “You okay?” Casen asks concern evident in his voice.
Deep breath in. Deep breath out.
I’m finally able to lift my head and slide off of the stool, grasping my purse to my chest. “Yes. I just…” I stumble. “I need a moment.”
I race to the bathroom, knowing full well I am fucking this up. I’ve managed to screw Patrick and Thad over no problem. So what is so different that, just speaking to Casen twice in the past week, has me turned inside out? The bathroom door slams against the tiled wall when I barge in and lock myself inside. My forehead meets the cold metal of the door as I chastise myself.
Get your shit together, Embyr.
You hate him.
He didn’t stop them.
He repulses you.
I repeat this over and over until I believe what I’m saying. It takes a few minutes, but I gather myself and hold my head up high as I stride back to the bar, shoulders straight, like I didn’t just fall apart in front of my prey. When I turn the corner, I see Casen looking down at his phone typing furiously, and I pray I didn’t lose him. I’ll be pissed if I screwed it all up by letting his good looks and charm suck me in at a vulnerable moment.
Amy-Marie was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and now resides in Virginia Beach with her fantastically crazy husband and two kids.
As an avid reader, she never dreamed of writing her own novel until the characters started haunting her at night and in the shower. Wanting to get it down on paper she set off on the journey that is more than she could have ever dreamed.
When not writing she can be found carting her kids around, breaking up their fights, cleaning up messes, teaching Zumba, or reading.
Three book besties who love to read and discuss books. We are addicted to all kinds of romance with Alpha Hero's, Kick-ass Heroine's and plenty of angst.
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