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I’m always one decision away from becoming the devil.
The Martin family is the enemy.
Only I’m not supposed to love their princess.
We live in a cruel world created by our fathers.
A world that wants to keep us apart.
I want to protect Kennedy and defend her in the war brewing between our families.
But now, too many years have gone by.
The reins of power have passed to me.
I’m the king of this city and there’s only thing standing in my way.
She’s not the girl she used to be.
Emboldened with power and vengeance, she wants to rule the empire.
The woman is more gorgeous than ever.
The ruthless world has opened her eyes and she sees me as the threat I’ve become—
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Excerpt from Her Mafia King
I rummaged through the liquor cabinet and revealed a bottle of vodka. “Drink?” I offered.
Kennedy nodded. “Yes, please.”
I poured one for each of us and sat on the edge of the chaise, allowing room for her body to slide next to mine.
“Are you friends with the Castilles?” I asked. I’d never seen her before. I’d remember legs like hers. When she sat, the hem of the black dress rose along the tops of her thighs. I wondered if she was the kind of girl who ran miles with a personal trainer to have a body like that. Or was she naturally a knockout.
She shook her head. “No. Or yes? I’m not sure.”
I chuckled. “What does that mean?”
She blushed, pressing the glass to her lips. Fuck. They were full and lush. “It means I moved to New Orleans a few weeks ago. I don’t know anyone. I’ve met a few people, so I guess that’s not entirely true, but not anyone here. My father isn’t feeling well tonight, or he would have been here. I’m representing the family name. Those are the instructions he gave. ‘Kennedy, you must represent the family name,’” she mimicked her father with a decent baritone voice.
“Ahh. A new family in the area? Interesting.”
“Is it that unusual?”
“This is New Orleans. Everything is unusual.”
She laughed. It was light and airy. For a second, it opened something in my chest. Her laughter pried apart something I thought was sealed with darkness.
“What about you? Bride or groom?” she questioned. “Which side brings you to the party?”
“Bride,” I answered. “The bride’s brother, actually.”
“Then, I should ask you why you’re in here and not at the party with your family. I have a good excuse. I’m hiding from strangers. You’re hiding from everyone you know.”
I could see Kimble’s silhouette through the blinds. Every few seconds, he looked over his shoulder to stare through the window.
“Hiding? I don’t hide.” I took another swallow of vodka and stared in her eyes. For a second, I thought I stumbled into an abyss. I didn’t know where it could take me, and I didn’t care. I wanted to keep falling and see where I landed.
“Will your sister be upset you’re in here?”
“Yes,” I admitted. “Very.” If there was one person who needed me tonight, it was her. But I couldn’t fight the wolves who surrounded her. She was lost to me. Lost to herself. Things would be different when I ran the family. But the original families couldn’t handle a revolution now.
“You should probably go then.” She licked her lips after another sip.
“Another minute.” I leaned closer. I wanted to steal minutes. I’d take seconds if that’s what I could grab. “Does Kimble go everywhere you go?” I asked.
She nodded. “Everywhere. Well, for the last two weeks he has. He’s my keeper. An unwelcome addition to my days and nights.”
“Did something happen?” I smelled her shampoo. I inhaled the lotion off her neck. The proximity made me drunker than mixing liquors.
“Not a security threat. It’s my own fault. Just something stupid I did.”
My eyebrows rose. “What was that?”
The way she looked at me made the world shift. I’d have believed there was a fucking earthquake if someone told me there was seismic activity in New Orleans.
“The worst sin of them all. I embarrassed my father.” Her gaze darted across the room. I saw the shadow too. I jumped back.
It wasn’t Kimble barging in this time.
“Mother.” I rose from the chaise. She held the train of her gown in her right hand. It draped over her wrist in cascades of rich designer fabric. It was likely she had paid thousands for the dress. It would end up in a heap at the back of her closet and never worn again.
“What are you doing out here?” She wasn’t looking at me. However, she noticed Kennedy with a deep suspicious glare.
Kennedy stood quietly, taking the brunt of my mother’s scowl.
“Having a drink. Welcoming a new resident to town.” I grinned. “Have you met Lucien Martin’s daughter?” I introduced my mother to Kennedy. “They’ve only been in the city a few weeks. We’re getting to know each other.”
“No. I haven’t.” Her chin jerked upward.
“Kennedy, this is my mother, Felicia Corban, the one and only queen of New Orleans.” My mother had a love-hate relationship with the title.
“Nice to meet you, Mrs. Corban. Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding.”
There was tension. Pressure. They immediately disliked each other.
“We’re about to toast your sister and Brandon. You’re needed in the house. With your family. The Castilles have been asking about you.”
“Of course.” I extended my arm toward Kennedy. “Shall we? I don’t want you to miss my father’s toast. He’s known for oratorical masterpieces.” I winked and saw Kennedy cover her mouth to hide her laughter. I was pleased she wasn’t intimidated. The girl was impressive.
Kimble followed us across the lawn and into the party. His attention on us was as lethal as my mother’s.
I didn’t care. Suddenly, my night had gotten a lot more interesting.
Meet The Author
USA Today Bestselling author, Violet Paige, lives in North Carolina and would rather be by the water than anywhere else, maybe it’s because she’s from OBX, yes that OBX. Writing full-time, mom’ing full time and taking any stray dog that walks by the porch keep her inspired, busy and mostly exhausted, let’s be honest. She writes hot, edgy and angsty romances with strong heroines and fierce loves.
Interview with Violet Paige
Q: Hi, Violet Paige! Tell us a little more about yourself.
VP: I’m a Pilates teacher on the side. It’s a passion project of mine and absolutely love it. Writing is my full-time job.
Q: What is your favorite trope to write and why?
VP: I love writing second chance romance. It’s fun to have the layers to explore from the past and also dig into who the characters are now and if they can overcome what tore them apart. I love angst! Knight and Kennedy have plenty of it to go around in this story.
Q: Why did you choose your setting?
VP: I think setting is its own character in any story. New Orleans was perfect for this one because of all the romance and darkness. It provides so many opportunities for noir settings, but along with big money. I loved playing with the ideas of an actual underground life in the city.
Q: Tell us about your heroine. What inspired her quirks and struggles?
VP: Kennedy is probably the character I’m most proud of writing. She starts off in this world that she was born into and has no interest in and we get to see her not just come into her own, but also become powerful in the eyes of everyone around her. She is complicated because there is still a softness to her when it comes to love and the heartbreak she experienced losing Knight. The way she was raised by her father created an inner struggle to not be like him, yet harness everything he taught her so she could remain in control. There is a constant push and pull within her for power and love and makes her so interesting.
Q: What were some challenges while writing this book?
VP: I wrote this series during the pandemic lockdown. That was its own challenge because I had three kids underfoot, trying to figure out virtual school along with all the other changes we were facing. I wasn’t able to set aside writing time like usual and had to fit it in late at night, which I think ended up helping me with some of the darker scenes, the night mood and oddly how isolated Kennedy and Knight were on their own before they found each other again.
Q: Are you a fan of podcasts? Recommend a podcast to readers.
VP: I have so many podcasts on rotation. I try to walk everyday and listen to them. It’s actually one of my favorite things, when I can just zone out alone and listen and learn something new. We Can Do Hard Things has been one of my favorites and I also love You’re Wrong About!
This Or That Questions:
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Morning or Night? Night
City or Country? Country
Print or Ebook? Print
Summer or Winter? Summer!
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