Cherish Me, an all-new sexy and sweet Stark Ever After novella from New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner is available now!
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J. Kenner comes a new story in her Stark Ever After series…
My life with Damien has always been magical, and never more so than during the holidays, a time for us to celebrate the hardships we’ve overcome and the incredible gift that is our family. Over the years, he has both protected and cherished me. He has made my life more rich and full than I could ever have imagined.
This year, he’s treating me and our daughters to a holiday in Manhattan. With parades and ice skating, toy displays and candies. And, most of all, with each other.
It’s a wonderful gift, a trip I will always cherish. But this year, I’m the one with the surprise. And I can’t wait to see the look of delight and awe when I finally share my secret with Damien.
But I’m terrified that when danger strikes, it will take a holiday miracle for me to even get the chance.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
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“We’re a lot alike, Stark. I think you know why.”
Damien moved to one of the equipment banks, pausing in front of a set of monitors with labels in multiple languages. He put his hand on the metal and felt the thrum of information flowing under his palm and through the electronic veins of the deceptively plain-looking metal boxes. The equipment like something he’d imagined as a child while curled up reading science fiction.
“I do,” he said slowly, his attention still on the equipment. “You chased your demons for years. Not because they were yours, but because they were Jane’s, too. You both needed that closure. And now—well, now you’re done.”
Dallas nodded. “Instead, I’m wallowing in the joys of marriage and fatherhood. Sound familiar? Plus, I get the occasional thrill by helping out the Feds or WORR,” he added, referring to the World Organization for Rescue and Rehabilitation, an above-board non-governmental agency with a close relationship with worldwide law enforcement. “Sometimes, I even help out a few less visible organizations. But my role is very behind the scenes,” Dallas added. “And I’m okay with that.”
Once again, he focused on Damien. “Like I said. I’m a lot like you.” His eyes narrowed. “Or maybe I’m wrong about that…?”
Damien frowned. Over the years he’d become skilled at keeping his feelings hidden, but he’d lost some of that ability recently. The fallout of opening up his world the way he had when he found Nikki. He’d let people get closer—not simply as colleagues, but as friends.
And that gave them power.
A few years ago, that would have bothered him. Now he studied it out of intellectual curiosity, not fear.
Slowly, he nodded. “You’re not wrong. I spent my life chasing the dream of making myself into more than what my father would have made of me. Of not letting anyone harness me the way he and my coach had tried to.”
“Chased the dream and caught it, I’d say.” Dallas shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “I inherited my seed capital. You earned every penny you ever had.”
“Earned? Yes. But I also paid. In blood. In pain. The life I built was an escape pod, jettisoning me out of a past I hated and into a future that I’d created.” He waved a dismissive hand, as if signaling that it had all been easy. Maybe in some ways it had. But mostly he’d worked his ass off to get to the top of the mountain. Which begged the question of where one went after reaching the pinnacle.
He looked at his friend, somewhat amazed that he was having this conversation with anyone other than Nikki or Ryan Hunter, his closest friend and chief operative for all Stark International and Stark Security ventures. Or Jackson Steele, for that matter, the half-brother he hadn’t even known existed until a few years ago but now trusted completely.
He trusted Dallas just as much. And with that realization came the knowledge that Damien had loosened the once-tight grip he’d always kept on himself. He had Nikki to thank for that.
Hell, he had Nikki to thank for everything.
About J. Kenner
J. Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over one hundred novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.
Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit.
JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A six time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy) and in 2017 for Wicked Dirty in the same category. Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development as a television show.
Her books have sold over three million copies and are published in over twenty languages.
In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.