Tags: #Fiction, #Romance
Temptation Court – Book 3
By Angel Payne
Bold Beautiful Love
Temptation Court, Book 3
Copyright © 2016 by Angel Payne Writes, LLP
All Rights Reserved
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9962861-9-0
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9977080-0-4
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Characters in this book are purely fictional, and are the product of the author’s imagination.
Saya and Tracy at Red Quill Editing
Readers everywhere have already fallen in love with the Cimarrons of the Isle of Arcadia: a kingdom sealed off from the modern world…until now. Slowly, Arcadia has opened its borders to outsiders from the western world—but in this brand-new spin-off story, a native Arcadian ventures beyond the safety of her world, trading six months of her life for the kingdom’s financial stability. Manhattan might as well be another planet to innocent Mishella—and her keeper, the beautiful but bewildering Cassian Court, just as terrifying a mystery. He connects to her soul, challenges her mind…and awakens her body in ways she’s never dreamed. But how does she keep him from taking—then breaking—her heart?
Bold Beautiful Love
Cassian Court—powerful, beautiful, sensual—is the commanding alpha male who changed Mishella Santelle’s life with the world’s most unconventional business contract. That was before capturing her heart with a destiny neither of them can deny.
But passion has come with a price. Both Cassian and Mishella have had to confront demons, banish ghosts, face fears, and dig to the deepest truths of their souls—hells that have been worth it for the promise of finding their heaven.
Until fate delivers a crushing new blow.
When crisis strikes the Mediterranean island of Arcadia, Mishella rushes home—and is unsure how to reconcile the woman she has become with the girl she is still perceived as. Things go from difficult to devastating when Arcadian court politics are schemed into high gear, setting up Cassian as the Judas responsible for the devastation.
A love demanding everything…
Now, Mishella is issued an ultimatum: her country or her lover? The choice agonizes as much as the truths it exposes, the trust it tests—and unveils a love that must survive its most brutal crucible yet.
For my man—my connection—my all.
The one who teaches me, more and more every day, about my heart…by showing me yours.
Thank you for taking care of me in so many ways, big and small, during the summer
I just HAD to get this story spilled!
You are, and always will be, my bar of gold.
Cassian and Ella’s story has seen such a journey! I can’t believe we’re here, at the end at last—and while it feels a little sad, it’s also a celebration of completing a cool milestone: the first serial of my career. Like every milestone, it could NOT have been accomplished without the AMAZING support of some incredible people. I’m so grateful for you ALL!
First, to Liz Berry—for the magical phone call that started it all and gave this concept some wings at last. Just you believed that much in me—well, it was transformative. I will be forever grateful for you and the Dark Nights Discovery project!
My partner, my sister-friend, the woman who sees it all, hears it all, and holds me up through the good times and the bad: Victoria Blue, you are a woman of such incredible, boundless worth. I am so blessed and humbled to have you in my life.
Melisande Scott: WHERE do I start to relay the gratitude? To give you back the OCEAN of support and love and TIME you’ve so selflessly devoted to Cas and Ella’s journey? I think I’ll sail that ocean forever, trying to figure it out. Thank you, incredible goddess—for everything and all things that are uniquely, amazingly, you.
Audrey Carlan: you are my cheerleader, my soul sister, my constant and never-ending source of love and support. I am so lifted by you! I adore you and am thankful, daily, for the light of your luminous spirit.
Lisa Simo-Kinzer: There aren’t words to convey how your input, advice and adorable “But what about…”-isms have made these books so much tighter, stronger, better. More than that, you inspire me to be a better person. Thank you!
To all the girls in the Sprint group—Carrie Ann Ryan, Meredith Wild, Carly Phillips, Stacey Kennedy, Jenna Jacob, Shayla Black, Julie Kenner, Kennedy Layne—for kicking my ass day in and day out. I adore you ALL, and am so thankful for being the inspiration for the sis-friend-hood.
All Da Words
Shayla Fereshetian: For all the midnight sprints. And the cat videos. And the Jamie love. And the Harvey love. And the rock and roll riffs. And knowing there’s someone in this world as crazy, strange, and juuuuust “a little to the left of normal” as me. You are my wings in more ways than you’ll know. Thank you, honey.
In a bar in Rancho Cucamonga, California, the “trifecta of goddesses” was born. Carey Sabala and Cynthia Gonzales, you two have been a source of such laughter and fun and love over these months—sometimes needed more desperately than you’ll probably ever know. I love you two so much and thank you!
To the readers who discovered Cas and Ella early, and have been completely unflagging in your support: you cannot KNOW what your support and love have meant! Truly, I see it all and I appreciate it all even more!
To every single blogger and reviewer who took the time to believe in these books, and share that love with the world in your written thoughts and feedback: if I have not told you already, it is appreciated more than you will ever, EVER know. I’m beyond grateful, and always will be.
“The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.”
—Gilbert K. Chesterton
sky of stars
. A cushion of clouds.
Heaven is nearly close enough to touch, and it doesn’t matter.
The woman I love, attempting to sleep as we fly through the night to the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, is going through hell.
The recall of what sent her there still burns hard in my mind. We’d clutched each other in the middle of a suite at the Marriott Marquis, oblivious to the bustling heart of Manhattan below, as a news report dominated the monitor on the wall in front of us. The images, fed live from the only home she’d ever known before coming to New York with me two months ago, depicted Arcadia Island’s main bridge as it exploded apart. The river below it had instantly been turned into a mire of floating wreckage—
The bodies of people she’d known. The friends she’d loved.
Soldiers…protecting the country she was equally devoted to.
Including the man who’d been preparing to marry her best friend.
That had been four hours ago.
Fifteen minutes after I’d proposed to
Fifteen minutes before I’d picked up my phone and ordered this jet be prepared to take off, so we could immediately fly back to that island.
It wasn’t a decision that made my CIA super spy of a brother—or
Arcadian super soldier of a brother—anything close to thrilled. Not that their stress could be blamed. There was a damn good chance the explosion had been orchestrated by a terrorist not even bearing a holy cause for his evil. Rune Kavill’s simply a sick fuck who jacks off to the idea of global domination, and is hell-bent on acquiring Arcadia as his forward operating base from the Mediterranean. Add the masochistic ax he has to grind against the Arcadian royal family, and the recipe’s been right for the bastard to form a dozen shell companies, all disguised as contractors for the infrastructure projects I’ve been getting ready to start on the island.
Because God forbid Mishella Santelle and I have a
of smooth waters during this wild ride we’re calling a relationship.
Or that the world will ever let us think otherwise.
Ella mumbles and sighs. Turns to her side and burrows against me.
Her tawny lashes flutter open—with new tears sparkling on their russet crescents.
I settle to the pillow next to her, brushing red-gold coils off of her lush face…the features I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with. Hers is a face so unlike any other, as if clinging to the past just like the ways of her island home. Until recently, Arcadia was a kingdom stoically committed to old-fashioned ways and a more pastoral lifestyle. In the same way, Ella’s face belongs more in a Victorian cameo instead of paparazzi glare—to which she’s been ruthlessly exposed since I dragged her back to New York with me two months ago.
It’s the word that says too much and not enough at the same time—referring to one of the most brilliant business moves I’ve ever made, yet the one inducing my harshest cringe of shame. There was likely another way to free Ella from her parents’ stifling grip but at the time, it sure as hell wasn’t making itself known, so I resorted to the drastic. Put a number on it. Purchased six months of her life for forty million dollars.
No. Not even that. Not anymore. Beyond that.
The thought sears me as her beauty overwhelms me…as her tears gut me. I’d cut off my balls to prevent even one more of them from leaving her in sorrow—but as more trickle down her creamy cheeks, I must accept that for now, this is all I
do. Gather her closer, silently willing the plane to go faster, to get her to the land she loves so deeply…
Ripped apart by a tragedy we still can’t fathom.
Her whisper, a broken breath against my chest, heightens my senses. I smell her, flowers and sleep and the wine I made her sip after we boarded. I feel her, full of nerves and despite the Cabernet. I crave her, just as strongly—
—as the last time she was on this plane and we were headed for the six months in New York I’d planned on using to flush her from my system. I’d been determined to take her virginity, pay her back for the gift with self-confidence to last a lifetime, then send her into that life without a backward thought for New York or me. My own sanity would be free for the same focus, back to running Court Enterprises with the same single-minded aim on my three-pronged formula for success: taking care of my mother, taking care of my employees, and taking care of my dick.