How far would you go to set yourself free?
Imported from Japan and wed to a stranger, Noriko struggles to stick to the rules of a Good Wife. Drake can’t seem to love her, not the way she wants to be loved. She dreams of freedom beyond the gates of Blackwell Manor.
She meets Keir, a passionate young gardener who shares her desire to break free. He gets under her skin and ignites a fire in her she can’t ignore. In the midst of her quiet desperation she thinks she has found happiness. And a glimpse of hope.
But this affair can’t last…can it?
There is a darkness lingering, but not how you’d expect. There are monsters, but not as you usually know them. The truth is, in this story, no one is completely innocent. And it’s always darkest before the dawn.
Although part of a series, this is a standalone novel with no cliffhanger.?WARNING: For ages 18+. There are scenes in this novel that infer or allude to physical violence.
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Almost a full head taller than me, he towered over me as he glared down at me. “What do you want, hime?”
For a second I was so taken aback I couldn’t speak. Hime is the Japanese word for princess. My chichi − my father − called me hime.
My surprise turned back into anger when I realized he was using the term as an insult. “I demand you show me around my gardens.”
He laughed. “I’m not your personal tour guide. Ask your husband to do it.” He turned to walk away.
Of all the rude, arrogant, insolent, rude−
I was so furious I just reacted. I grabbed his arm, whirling him around to face me. Our eyes locked. He froze, his mouth slightly parted, air sucking back into him.
His eyes were the richest, deepest brown I had ever seen, like melted chocolate with flecks of a lighter pecan brown. His lashes were so naturally thick and black that they seemed almost rimmed with kohl. They drew me in and held me like a lover’s grip. I forgot what I was about to yell at him. I forgot why I was even mad. I almost forgot how to keep myself breathing.
He glanced down and I followed his gaze. He was staring at my hand still on his arm, my fingers barely reaching halfway around his forearm. I felt the strength in his marble-sculpted muscle, the smoothness of his skin under my palm, the heat radiating from the blood that flowed through his veins.
Oh God. I was touching him.
I snatched my hand away. His eyes darted back up to my face.
“Yes?” he said, the word filled with impatience.
“You work for my husband,” I said.
“That’s right. I work for your husband. I don’t work for you.”
“If he were here−”
“He’s not here.”
“If he were here,” I said louder, “he would tell you to take me around the gardens. So do it. Now.”
He glared back at me, defiance flaring in his eyes, his cheek twitching as he tensed his jaw. The air between us filled with a thick, hot electricity. I got the distinctive feeling I had met my stubbornness match.
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Eternally restless, Hanna has lived in Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Scotland, England, Croatia and Ireland - everything she owns fits into one suitcase. She's planning her next move with her gorgeous (and understanding) partner right now. If not writing, she can be found wandering a dusty market in Marrakesh or trekking a mountain in Peru, often using her travels as settings in her novels.
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