(Crowned Criminals, #1)
Publication date: September 27th 2021
Genres: Adult, Dark Romance
Once upon a time, Sasha Petrov had been a mafia princess. Safe and protected in the high-tower of her father’s mansion. She had known her place, and she’d been happy for it. That had been before her family decided to marry her off to their enemy.
Sasha Petrov knew it was her duty to marry, but she never expected her father to give her away to their enemy, the Blanchi family. She’d accepted that it was her fate to end the bloodshed that took her brother’s life, but at eighteen she’d rather be heading off to college than heading down the aisle.
Dominic “Dom” Blanchi saw an opportunity to save his brother’s life. He’d already lost so much, and he couldn’t imagine burying another beloved member of his family. He was certain that his marriage to Sasha Petrov would save his last remaining brother from the grave. Getting a pliant young wife in the deal wouldn’t be the worst thing, at least, that’s what he told himself. But when his family’s warehouses get hit and Blanchi men continue dying, Dominic wonders if his new wife is to blame.
Now, both must make a choice between love and family loyalty.
And Sasha will have to decide if she’d rather be a Mafia Princess or a queen.
Dominic lifted my veil, and I sobbed harder at the thought of what came next. Never before did I imagine my first kiss to be with a man who despised me, and I especially did not imagine it to be in front of nearly three hundred strangers on my wedding day. But, here we were with Dominic preparing himself to steal the first part of my innocence.
Ignoring my tears, Dominic made a big show of sweeping me into his arms before placing a sweet, chaste kiss on my lips. I cried harder as the crowd went wild.
“Smile, Sasha,” he commanded in his rough voice as he took my hand and led me down the aisle amongst cheers and rose pedals. I tried my best to bottle my emotions and smile pretty, but I felt dazed by the day’s events.
The cool air on my face as we finally reached the doorway of the church brought me out of my stupor. People threw rose petals on us, and photographers snapped pictures as we made our way towards the car. I wanted to scream and shout at all of them for not helping me.
“Where are we going?” I asked Dominic as we settled into the limo. I didn’t want to talk to him, but I honestly had no idea what came next. My family had taken care of all the planning, and no one deemed to tell me anything about it.
The largesse of my wedding dress made sitting next to each other impossible, and the distance gave me space to think and take in the events of the last hour.
“Take this,” he said in response, handing me a tissue box. “Wipe your face and fix your makeup. I don’t want to walk into our reception with you looking the way you do.”
His words stung, but I said nothing. Not only did my new husband scare me, but I was too tired to fight so early on into our marriage. Instead, I began dabbing my eyes like the good girl I was raised to be.
The ceremony had been long. Catholic ceremonies always were and considering ours needed to be conducted in both the Orthodox and the Roman way, I was surprised people even agreed to stay.
I was exhausted, and I wanted nothing more than to strip off my heavy dress and take a nap.
Readings, followed by mass, followed by a sermon, followed by vows, and then finally the kiss. So much pomp and circumstance for a wedding we all dreaded. Away from the crowds and the pressure, my tears abated, as I wiped my face and began reapplying my make-up.
No use crying now. I thought. Nothing could be done.
“How do I look?” I asked after applying a fresh coat of lipstick. I silently thanked Nadia for insisting on outfitting the limo with emergency supplies.
Dominic took my face in his large hands, gently turning me one way and then another. Despite feeling like cattle under the auction appraisers, I kept my mouth shut and allowed him to inspect me.
“You look like a child,” he said with disgust before releasing me from his grip.
Kennedy Slope has always had a wandering mind. She’s written a million romances in her head, but “The Duke’s Contract,” is the first one she’s decided to share with the world. In her past lives, she has been a teacher, a waitress, and for a brief moment, she sold copiers. Currently, she resides in Virginia with her husband where she enjoys drinking too much coffee and binge-watching HGTV.
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