Publication date: August 14th 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance
“I own you. I have the piece of paper to prove it. It’s undeniable and unbreakable. You belong to me until you’ve paid off your debts.”
Nila Weaver’s family is indebted. Being the first born daughter, her life is forfeit to the first born son of the Hawks to pay for sins of ancestors past. The dark ages might have come and gone, but debts never leave. She has no choice in the matter.
She is no longer free.
Jethro Hawk receives Nila as an inheritance present on his twenty-ninth birthday. Her life is his until she’s paid off a debt that’s centuries old. He can do what he likes with her—nothing is out of bounds—she has to obey.
There are no rules. Only payments.
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THE WORLD WAS a dangerous place, but I was worse.
The human race left the dark ages behind—technology improved and ruined our lives in equal measure, and the devils in society hid with better camouflage.
As the years rolled by, and we left our barbaric ways behind, people forgot about the shadows lurking in plain sight. Men like me morphed into predators in sheep’s clothing. We preyed on the weak with no apology, and everything landed in our fucking laps. Civilization cloaked us, hiding the animals at heart.
We traded caveman mentality and murder for suits and softly spoken curses. I hid my true temper beneath a veil of decorum. I mastered the art of suave.
People who knew me said I was a gentleman. They called me distinguished, accomplished, and shrewd.
I was all of those things, but none of them. We might live in a civilized world, but rules and laws didn’t apply to me. I was a rule-breaker, curse-maker, life-stealer.
The projection was a farce—but even the worst of us had someone who owned us. Whether family, honour, or duty.
I’d embraced my inner barbarian, yet was governed by a hierarchy and when the Hawk matriarch snapped her fingers, we all came running.
Including my arsehole of a father, Bryan Hawk.
There, in the cigar and cognac laced library, I learned a truth that forever changed my life.
My family owned another.
An IOU on their entire existence.
To this day, I didn’t know why, and I didn’t bother asking.
Who gave a shit why a wealthy family called the Weavers were indebted to us? Who gave a damn that they’d royally fucked off my family and earned the wrath of my ancestors?
All I cared about was the news I’d inherited something more than just money, possessions, or titles.
My twenty-ninth birthday gave me a pet. A toy.
A responsibility I didn’t want.
Debts I had to extract from unwilling flesh.
A job to uphold our family honour.
One mistake six hundred years ago put a curse on her entire family.
One mistake sold her life to me in a mountain of unpayable debt.
I inherited her.
I preyed on her.
I owned her life and had the piece of paper to prove it.
And my task…
“You think you’ve got it all figured out, don’t you?” His arm hoisted me onto the tips of my toes. Breathing was difficult, not fighting was impossible, but I permitted it. All I did was stare silently into his golden eyes.
“I understand what you’re doing.” He smiled. “But mark my words. You won’t win.” Shaking me, he unwound his fingers, then smoothed the front of his jeans. The sun gleamed on the gold buckle of his crocodile skin belt.
My stomach clenched, but I held my ground. Raising my chin, I whispered, “Mark my words. I will win. Because I am right and you are wrong.”
I didn’t look back.
I should’ve looked back.
I should never have placed my hand into that of a monster’s.
That was the last day of freedom. The last day that was my own.
My life was never mine.
My destiny was already written.
My story began the night he came for me.
Pepper Winters is a NYT and USA Today International Bestseller. She wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex... her books have sex.
She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. She's also honoured to wear the IndieReader Badge for being a Top 10 Indie Bestsellers, best BDSM series voted by the SmutClub, and recently signed a two book deal with Grand Central. Her books are currently being translated into numerous languages and will be in bookstores in the near future.