HIS RUTHLESS QUEEN
Black Hearts Series #3
by A.N. Stauber
Cover & Excerpt Reveal
Release Date: June 21, 2023
Blurbs and Baubles
Genre: Mafia Romance Standalone
Trope: Brother’s best friend, friends to lovers, touch her and die, second chance, forced proximity, forbidden love, secret marriage, bodyguard
Fierce, stubborn, strong.
She was the temptation I couldn’t give in to. I would’ve gone through hell for her. Even if it meant removing myself from her life to save her the heartache that comes from being with a Made Man.
But when she needed me, I couldn’t resist her call. I would always be there for her. Even if it meant seeing her in the hands of another man. At least that’s what I told myself. Saoirse was walking temptation, and I didn’t believe I could resist.
Jameson Scott Burne.
Best friend, confidant, protector.
I’d always loved him, but he left me, destroying everything before we even had a chance. He was my everything until he wasn’t. He swore we could be nothing, until I called his bluff.
But when the bratva prince wanted to force me into marriage to cement his hold over Boston, Scotty came back. He claimed me—tried to make up for the past.
Could I trust him to keep me safe? Could the man who left me be trusted with my life, now that I was engaged to someone else?
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Scotty lets out a belly-busting laugh. Steam is coming from my ears at this point.
“I can defend myself.”
Sean buckles over with laughter. I glare at Scotty, who isn’t far behind with his reaction.
“You know what?” I slam my hand on the counter. “Fuck both of you.”
They’re still laughing hysterically while I stomp my way out of the kitchen and toward the front door. Scotty doesn’t even attempt to compose himself, still cackling away in the kitchen. I grab my purse and head out of the penthouse. Scotty has the keys, but Sean’s apartment isn’t far from my place, so I start walking.
Fuck the security.
“Saoirse!” Scotty calls behind me after I’ve made it two blocks.
I ignore him, cursing the fact I’m in heels so I can’t run away from him.
“God damnit, Saoirse.” He catches up to me, his big hand grabbing me by the elbow. “Don’t run away from me.”
I yank my arm from his loose grip. “It’s not running away when your job is to follow me anywhere I go. Not my fault you can’t keep up.”
Scotty pushes me up against a brick building, pressing his chest against me. His weight against me is crushing, debilitating. I can’t think straight as the spice of his cologne invades all of my senses. His mouth is close to my face, the scent of his cinnamon gum right there, too.
I hate that he calms the anger in me. I hate that just the pressure of his chest is enough to make my brain shut off. The smells are just an added bonus that tell my brain to flip off the ‘I hate Jameson Burn’ switch.
My chest rises and falls hard and fast. I close my eyes, reining in my emotions. Anger, Saoirse. You’re mad at him.
I inhale through my nose. Then, I open my eyes. “Get off of me,” I say, my teeth chattering with rage.
“No.” His tone is hard, unwavering.
My back arches into him, and I groan out of frustration. I hate how my body responds. It betrays my very thoughts and emotions, responding to him in the way it should only respond to… Corbin. He grabs my wrists with each of his hands, pinning them to the wall.
“How compromising we look, princess. The governor’s girlfriend pressed against a wall while her guard holds her down. Such a bad image for you.”
“He’s my fiance, dickhead,.” I lie, but it’s partly the truth. It may not be official, but it’s happening soon, and basically already has. I’m meeting him for dinner tonight and wearing the ring when I get there. The velvet box is burning a hole in my purse.
I shove at Scotty. “And your hands are touching a future first lady.”
His brown eyes flicker with a hint of rage. It dissipates, and he steps back. Scotty runs a hand down his face, shaking his head. “I’m sorry, Saoirse. I shouldn’t have done that.”
I clear my throat, then glance down and straighten the ruffles in my pencil dress.
“You’re not taking this seriously, Saoirse. The Russians are actively trying to take you. They won’t rest until you’re married to Vladimir. And I…” His voice cracks. His head is shaking frantically, hands clenched into fists at his sides.
“I cannot fucking lose you,” he whispers. He stuffs his hands in his pockets, then turns back to me. “Congratulations. I’m… Congrats.”
I nod, pushing away from the building. A lump forms in my throat. That’s it? No fighting for me? I’d been hoping when he saw I was moving on from this push and pull thing with him, there’d at least be an argument. Something, anything to show me he regretted pushing me away. There’s nothing, and my heart sinks. I’d been holding on to false hope this whole time. Praying he’d come to his senses.
“I need to go to meet Corbin for dinner, now. Will you drive me to the restaurant please?”
“Sure,” he says, slowly nodding his head. He places his hands at the small of my back, guiding me back toward Sean’s apartment, where the car is parked.
“And stop watching me sleep.”
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About the Author
A.N. is a wife and mother to three children. She enjoys writing dark romance novels with strong female leads, always with a HEA. When she isn’t reading and writing, she spends her days with her family. Other passions include: crafting, horseback riding, and procrastinating.
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