The Right to Remain Silent
Crescent City Kings Book 3
by Anya Summers
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
He never expects to find her there…
Officer Quinten Blackthorne is working undercover to bring the Rudnikov Mob Empire to its knees. He never expects to find his best friend’s baby sister, Becca, in the center of a powder keg situation at the infamous mobster’s home. With her life on the line, he does the only thing he can think of to save her – he pretends that she’s his fiancée, who knows nothing of his clandestine activities with the criminal enterprise, and stands as her stalwart protector.
Forced into marriage…
But Quinten never expects the mob boss to force them into marriage at gunpoint as a test of loyalty. Not to mention, the idea of her belonging to him isn’t unappealing, nor is he as averse to the prospect as he lets on. Becca, with her sweet curves and take no prisoners attitude, fascinates him, stirs him, and leaves him craving her submission. Yet his past is fraught with broken dreams and death, so he uses his friendship with her brother as a shield against his yearning to claim her as his own.
Resistance is futile…
However, circumstances soon compel Becca and Quinten to become the most unlikely allies in a deadly game of deception. Now they must depend on one another for survival. As they race to unlock the keys to breaking the case, will Quinten be able to maintain his hands-off policy with Becca? Or will he surrender to the earth-shattering passion and turn their marriage of convenience into the real deal?
Publisher’s Note: This steamy friends to lovers romance contains elements of power exchange. While it’s the third in the Crescent City Kings series, it can be enjoyed independently.
Becca said a silent prayer at the echoing clomp of multiple footsteps approaching. Her anxiety ratcheted up to cataclysmic levels.
The double doors swung inward. Becca wasn’t sure what she’d been expecting, but it wasn’t a relatively trim man with salt and pepper hair, dressed in gray tweed slacks and a button up navy cardigan sweater over his ivory dress shirt. He looked much more like a history professor than a criminal mastermind—at least, until you looked into his eyes. They were cold, devoid of any humanity or warmth, and calculating. Rudnikov assessed her from head to toe as she rose. That stare made her feel underdressed in her jeans and Kelly-green chenille sweater. A sense of helplessness invaded her soul. The uncertainty infused by doubt that she would live through the next hour.
Rudnikov didn’t travel alone. He had four of his paid thugs guarding him. Becca skimmed her gaze over them. They were all similar in manner and form to Konrad, as if they had come off an assembly line. But it was the last man her gaze landed on who brought her up short. She kept her jaw from dropping to the floor, but just barely.
Quinten Blackthorne was a member of Anton Rudnikov’s mob team? What the hell?
Not six weeks ago, she’d danced with the man at her brother’s wedding. Quinten was an officer with the New Orleans Police Department and one of her brother’s best friends. He’d been a groomsman in the wedding party, and had looked downright sinful in his tux, like a dark prince of the underworld.
Why was he here? What was he doing with Rudnikov?
Tonight, Quinten wore a charcoal gray suit, almost identical to the rest of the crime lord’s hired goons. Shock flitted through his warm cognac eyes the moment his gazed landed on her. The man was mister badass personified. The utter confidence Quinten exuded in his pinky made the hired goons look laughable at best in their attempts to seem imposing. He was the alpha of alphas, top of the food chain, and he knew it. The suit, combined with the ivory dress shirt, was unbuttoned at the neck and stretched over muscles that should be indecent. Becca knew that from experience. The night of the wedding, as he’d held her on the dance floor, she’d had the good fortune to feel those muscles flex beneath her hands. The man was ripped, and solid as a tank. He wore his hair, black as midnight, in a military style cut. And he had one of those masculine faces that tended to have perpetual dark stubble which, combined with his strong angular jaw, full lips, and dark slash of eyebrows, only served to make him hotter. As in: five alarm fire, panties have disintegrated into ash, and a woman was ready and willing to do whatever the man wanted.
“Miss O’Malley, a pleasure to meet you. I thank you for coming to meet with me on such short notice. I’m Anton Rudnikov. My associate, Sasha, speaks highly of you and your gallery. I admit, I’ve not had the chance to attend one of your showings, but I am impressed with your use of color in your art,” Anton Rudnikov stated with a friendliness that belied the underlying air of hostility in the room.
“Thank you, Mister Rudnikov. You have a lovely home with some rather spectacular artwork. If I’m not mistaken, you have an original Renoir in your entryway.” Becca redirected her attention to the mob boss. She shook his hand, hoping she was hiding the dread coursing through her.
“You’ve got a good eye. If we had more time, I would give you a tour,” Rudnikov said with a frigid smile that didn’t reach his eyes. Did that mean her time was running out?
Quinten marched up beside Rudnikov, directing a scowl her way. His fury was evident; he glowered, apparently angry that she was there. Well, that made two of them. Becca wasn’t thrilled about the fact either. But he held her gaze, trying to impart some indistinct meaning that went straight over her stunned head. If she were being fanciful, she would have said he was pleading with her.
Crescent City Kings Book 1
Far Reaching Consequences
Crescent City Kings Book 2
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.
Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.
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