Series: Diamond Doms #8
Author: Ivy Nelson
Genre: Steamy Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 27, 2021
Matthew Bruce has a lot of secrets. He’s legally married to royalty, he’s in love with his wife’s little sister, and he’s not really dead like everyone thinks. To top it all off, it turns out his recently deceased grandfather was part of the international underground organization his friends at Club Solitaire have been tracking down.
Faking his death hadn’t been part of the plan, and having Kendall Livingston, his wife’s sister, track him down most definitely wasn’t in the plans.
Now he has to keep them both safe and keep Kendall out of his bed.
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“I was just at your fucking memorial.”
Matthew hated the grief and anger he heard in Dakota’s voice. Of all the people at Solitaire, she was the one he was closest to, and he’d ripped her heart out by faking his own death. But it had been necessary to keep his family safe. His only consolation had been that she had her Solitaire family.
“I’m terribly sorry about that, darling. How would you like to help raise me from the dead?”
He tried to put a little humor in his voice.
“You better explain yourself, Matthew Bruce, or you’re going to wish you really were dead.”
“OK. I’ll tell you everything, but first, I have to swear you to secrecy until I’m ready for the others to find out.”
Kendall had forced his hand last night, and now he was having to make a comeback before he’d found all the information he needed. He could throttle her.
“I can feel Jax staring at me. He’s going to sense something is up and make me tell him.”
Matthew grinned, despite the grim circumstances. “So, you two have worked things out then?”
Her laugh was joyful and nervous at the same time. “We have. Seriously, I can’t keep this from him.”
“I would rather you didn’t tell him, but I won’t make your relationship harder. If you can brat your way out of not telling him, do it. Otherwise, he’s the only one you talk to. Understood?”
“OK. I’ll call you again in three days with all the details.”
“Three days?” Her voice squeaked as it rose an entire octave. “Are you kidding me?”
“Darling, please. Just have some trust. I’ll call you; I swear it.”
“Drop the damn accent. You sound like a pretentious fuck. I’m pissed at you for not telling me you had a wife.”
He laughed. The wife thing was complicated, and he wasn’t ready to explain, and the British accent really did just slip out after over five months back in the UK. He’d moved to the U.S. as a teenager and lost the accent in high-school but it was easy to pick back up around family.
“I’ll call you soon, Dakota.”
When he ended the call, he looked around the small cottage he’d been staying in the last few days and calculated how long it would take him to pack up and bolt if he needed to. He was on the run from a dangerous group of people he never would have pegged as threatening until a few weeks ago, and last night he’d rescued Kendall and dropped her at a hotel before slipping back to a new safe house.
His grandfather had been wrapped up in some sketchy business, it seemed. Business that had likely caused the pressure to marry Gemma. And now he had to get through the next phase of his escape plan, unfazed.
There was a knock on the door, and he tensed, then relaxed. If they had found him, they wouldn’t bother to knock.
He lifted the edge of the curtain to peer out onto the porch. “Damn it, woman.” He jerked the door open.
“I told you to stay fucking put. You’re going to get us both killed.”
Kendall laughed. “Don’t think you’re going to get rid of me as easily as you did my sister. We’re in this together now, Matthew.”
“Damn it, Kendall. I parked you where I did for a reason. How do you know you weren’t followed?”
“I wasn’t. Just trust me.”
He pulled her into the cottage and shut the door. “You might as well help me load up the car. We can’t stay here now.”
“Oh, but it’s so cute.”
“Well, there’s only one bed.” Not that he wouldn’t mind sharing a bed with Kendall. His feelings for her hadn’t dimmed in fifteen years, but she was still his sister-in-law.
The woman huffed and sat on the couch. “I’m not ready to go anywhere yet. I just got off the road.”
“Well, too fucking bad. Get your ass up or I’ll put you over my knee.”
Kendall flipped him off and kicked her feet up. “I’m not my sister. Stop being an overbearing prick.”
No, Kendall was definitely not Gemma, his wife of eleven years. Theirs was a marriage of convenience and friendship, and they always talked of getting divorced and finding the partners they wanted but had never quite made it work. After a few years, even their friendship became strained, and he couldn’t be sure it was going to survive the most recent barrage of events they were facing.
Matthew clenched his fist, trying to hold himself back from making good on his threat to put the girl over his knee.
He wasn’t sure it would be all together unwelcome; he’d spotted her at Serendipity, the exclusive BDSM club in London, a few times when she thought she was in disguise, but he would know Kendall Livingston anywhere.
He dragged a hand over his face.
“You’re certain you weren’t followed?”
She nodded. “I’m positive, Matthew. It’s disappointing that you think so little of me. I work undercover all the time.”
He sighed. “Darling, I don’t think you’re weak. I think you don’t know what we are dealing with and just how dire the circumstances are. We can stay for a few hours until I come up with a plan to get us out of here, but then we’re leaving. No argument. If you found me, that means they can too. You’re going to walk me through exactly how you tracked me down.”
She flashed him a wicked grin. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”
“Damn it, Kendall. This isn’t a game.”
She held up her hands. “OK. Sorry. You’re right. I’ll tell you on the road. Where are we going next?”
Releasing September 28
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Ivy Nelson writes delicious contemporary romance with kinky alpha heroes and sassy heroines you wish could be your best friend. Club Solitaire is her favorite fictional place to hang out in, and she spends most of her free time spinning tales set there. Ivy currently lives in Las Vegas with her husband of five years and their son. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably reading something dirty or drinking wine with her readers on Facebook. There are lots of ways to keep in touch with Ivy.