Francisco never backs away from a challenge.Isabella never bows down to anyone.This scorching hot battle of wills may leave both of them broken.
Finale, an all new captivating and sexy North Security novella from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren and 1,001 Dark Nights, is available now!
Francisco Castille, the exiled Duke of Linares, knows his duty. Even in modern times, the line must continue. So he'll marry and produce an heir.
Yes, a wife will fit into his well-ordered life.
Instead he ends up with the brilliant pianist Isabella. Strong. Spirited. And highly disobedient. She rebels against every custom and every rule, threatening his careful balance.
Francisco never backs away from a challenge.
Isabella never bows down to anyone.
This scorching hot battle of wills may leave both of them broken.
**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.**
We reach the entrance to the cathedral. The powerful organ reverberates through the floor. Every single person—man, woman, and child—stands and turns to face me. It would be so easy to flush. To let my heart pound out of my chest and the blood rush to my face.
Instead I lift my chin. I face them down with a calm expression. A Bradley at heart.
Only, I won’t be a Bradley for much longer. Fifteen minutes, give or take.
My father steps forward. I grip the sleeve of his tuxedo so tight he must feel it. He must feel my terror, but he doesn’t seem to notice. He keeps walking, and so I do the only thing I can—I follow his lead. I float down the long carpet covered in rose petals.
At the end of the aisle, my groom waits for me.
Francisco Castille, the exiled Duke of Linares.
I suppose I should leave the “exiled” part off. It’s probably a touchy subject in his family. I wouldn’t know. I’ve never met anyone on the right side of the church. They move in European high society, while my family has been strictly New York City upper crust. This will be a merger of more than two people. It will combine businesses and connections. And, above all, this wedding will save my family’s entire world. Our livelihood. Our reputation. And the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of employees. So if my groom is as controlling as my brother warned, then that’s the price I’ll pay.
That is the price I’ve promised to pay.
Francisco wears a tuxedo, naturally.
Some men stand stiffly in them. He looks as if he was born in that tux. As comfortable as I might be in my favorite sweater and worn jeans. It’s the royalty in him, I suppose.
Black hair. Thick brows. A stern expression.
So far away. The cathedral has to be huge to fit the guest list. Walking closer is like coming into focus, seeing the brackets around his lips, the small slash in his eyebrow. A scar, perhaps. How did he hurt himself? I have no idea. We’re basically strangers.
We reach the end of the aisle.
My father moves my hand into Francisco’s grip.
Then we’re left alone, two of us standing in a sea of people. About to be married.
“Fancy meeting you here,” he murmurs.
Through the delicate satin of my glove, I feel his strength. His heat. It’s a comfort, even though I barely know him. I match his dry tone. “I heard someone’s getting hitched.”
His lips quirk. “A wedding, you say. Nothing too fancy.”
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Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.
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