Book Blitz & Excerpt: Silk + Giveaway

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Aurelia T. Evans

Book 10 in the Arcanium series

Word Count: 87,767
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 305



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Book Description

Beauty in Arcanium has always been in the eyes of strange beholders

After her husband-to-be destroys half her face because she refuses to marry him, faerie princess Sera flees to Arcanium for sanctuary.

Fae royalty are defined by their usefulness and beauty. In Arcanium, Sera has some usefulness, frivolous though a silk aerialist is. But with the sex demons’ magic rousing all the desires she was never permitted to indulge in before marriage, she is all too aware that her disfigurement repels any hope for relief.

Except a certain legless Torso can’t take his eyes off of Sera, and the Horned God of Arcanium still bows before her.

Arcanium protects her, as it protects all the circus cast, but it has been breached before, and her desperate betrothed continues to pursue her within it. He and her family’s fae army are willing to do anything, even take Arcanium again, to get Sera back.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of public sex, domestic violence, arranged marriage, gay and ménage sexual interactions, references to past torture, PTSD and consensual coercion.


When Sera emerged from the woods, the cacophony from the circus assaulted her. So did the light. Squinting didn’t help, but still she stepped out into the sun, half afraid that she’d start smoking.

An iron fence lined the circus’s borders. Arcanium was now secure enough in its own offerings that it no longer had to attach itself to another event or park. Rumors continued to flit about that Bell had lost his nerve, that the empathic, empathetic, pathetic self-styled leader of Arcanium had finally tasted humble pie—humility that edged awfully close to mortality. But the gradual return of Arcanium to its former glory suggested that if Bell had been spooked by the demonic theft, he had since regained confidence.

Sera could scale the fence, but there were too many people who might see her doing it, and climbing it physically in a more innocuous way would hurt her hands.

She followed the fence to the entrance, an iconic, elaborate iron gate more theater than security. A place like Arcanium didn’t need iron for security.

She hesitated to enter. Too many people were coming and going, and they all stared at her, but she forced herself to press forward. She didn’t have time to waste fearing the stares or letting them bother her. She could suffer self-consciousness and question her decision later, when she was safe.

If necessary, Sera could have fooled the ticket-takers into letting her in free of charge, but the golems took one look at her and assumed she was just another member of Arcanium. That the soulless automatons of Arcanium used their limited deductive skills to conclude she was an oddity ached in her chest, but she passed the ticket booths with the fool’s gold coins in her purse untouched.

As she strode through Arcanium, some of the adults she maneuvered around turned to admonish her as they would any child in a brightly-colored, multilayered chiffon skirt and faerie wings. The sight of her face drew their sharp words up short, and her determination ensured that she didn’t have to see their shock for too long. Like the ticket-takers, once people got a good look, they assumed she belonged there.

She knew exactly where she wanted to go but not exactly where it was, because Bell changed the arrangement of the circus at every location, more to suit his ever-changing whims than to disorient. Her gait was resolute, her footsteps quick. The uneven ground couldn’t unsettle someone accustomed to soil, stone and bark rather than slats of wood or concrete. A few of the glances intended for her face or her dress dipped down to her heels—sturdy heels, yes, but her people liked to give themselves a little height for special occasions, like weddings or going out among the ungainly people who had taken over the wild places and made them barren for their less steady feet to walk. It took more than a stray stone or clump of grass to slip her to the ground.

Urgency finally rose in her chest when she’d searched the entire circus with no trace of the tent she was looking for. She’d found many tents, from those in Oddity Row to the big top, but not the tent she was trying to find. Fear—bright, unkind and rare as lightning splitting a tree—quickened her heart and her step.

If she had been there for sightseeing, oh, the sights she might have seen. She might have even enjoyed herself. Arcanium wasn’t the average carnival or circus, although those had sometimes been pleasant, too, on the occasions her kind hadn’t been forcefully kept out. Magic made for far more convincing illusions, and none of the Arcanium oddities were disappointments, enhanced and enchanted and real as they were. But Sera couldn’t dwell on them, even when they noticed her and tried to stop her—perhaps simply to talk or make sure she was all right. She avoided their attempts, brushed by them without a word. She couldn’t afford to stop looking.

After the third circuit through Arcanium, tears like seawater slipping down her cheek, she understood. She couldn’t find the fortune teller tent because he didn’t want it to be found. Bell had let her into Arcanium, but he had no intention of letting her stay, no intention of giving her a chance to stand in front of him to make her case. He’d let her in so she could see what she was not allowed to have, to torment her with her last bit of failed hope.

Sera swiped at her eye and ducked behind a midway booth, leaning back against the wood. The structure was flimsy, intended for transport and easy assemblage, but, like most temporary structures, it would stand most stress short of a tornado, even without magic. It shifted a little when she leaned against it, but she had no concern that it would topple, any more than the tents would fly away in a powerful breeze. The flimsiness here was as much an illusion as the cheap material.

She closed her eye to surround herself in far more comforting darkness. “I’m here in peace.”

The purr of his voice arose in the darkness she had given herself. “You do not bring peace with you.”

She opened her eye, expecting him in front of her. But there was only her. “I need your help.”

Contempt surrounded her like incense smoke. “And why should I help you?”

“I didn’t hurt your circus.”

“You watched and did nothing. I’m not accepting new recruits, darling. Go back home.”

“I can’t go back there. Please…” Just saying the word was like swallowing needles. “Help me.”

Silence followed her plea. But the contempt, too, dissipated, and she still sensed his presence around her, inside her. Had he been a demon, such presence would have been unbearably intrusive. But jinn, though hot as fever, were not the danger that those who called themselves demons could be.

When he said nothing more, Sera took a deep breath and rounded the booth again to search, desperately, for the fortune-teller tent once more.

This time, it was next to the entrance of the big top. It hadn’t been there before—or rather, Bell had kept it from her and only her, based on the number of people standing in line outside the closed tent flap.

It went against her training—and her principles, even for those who showed her people less consideration—but she couldn’t afford to wait. She superseded the line, billowing the closed flap open. Any protests from the people waiting died as soon as they saw her more clearly.

When the people to whom Bell was giving a reading took in the sight of her—with her opalescent dress, faerie wings, pink braids and half her face smashed into nothing—the couple stepped out. Maybe they thought, based on her grim half-expression, that she had come to tell Bell some kind of terrible news—a fire in the big top tent, an injured member of the cast, a fight among guests or perhaps that someone in his family was hurt or dying or dead.

Sera spared them a moment’s gratitude. Then she gave the whole of her attention to the man slouched in the parlor chair. He didn’t try to stop the couple from leaving nor did he demand that she leave, intended for paying customers only.

He said nothing, stroking his lip as he took in the sight of her. His posture remained deliberately casual—his legs spread, chest bare, spine curved—as though he couldn’t destroy her in less than a second if she tried anything against him.

Unlike the guests and his cast, she didn’t startle him—no recoil, no automatic disgust, no double-take. He considered her as any arrogant ass might consider a woman for his bed, although if he thought he’d have her in his in return for any favor, he would learn better quickly.

“I seek sanctuary,” she said.

“Does this look like a sanctuary to you?”

“Yes.” Sera crossed her arms, her face heating with his regard, with the prodding of his magic. It was nothing like the magic she was used to among her own. That was kindling sparks in comparison with the forest blaze of him, though he appeared as innocuous as any delicate human being, his human disguise more seamless than any other she had seen. He would be confused for human by even the keenest demon or god if he held his magic secret, rather than the way he made it known to her.

Sera lowered her eyes. It would be a mistake to believe that she could stand against him if he intended to make her kneel. But she didn’t kneel. Not yet. “If I wish myself in, what would you do to me?”

Bell didn’t move and blinked only once, more like a feline in derision than a sign of weakness or weakening. “I told you I’m not accepting recruits. As much of a headache as the humans have been, I am not taking in a stray faerie, especially not a member of the royal family—not when that same royal family availed itself of Locke’s Arcanium all too often. I know every single instance one of your brothers or cousins—and even your father—reveled in the downfall of my circus. In fact, I have one of your brothers here with me now.”

The lid to a chest next to the display sideboard swung open. Bell conjured a cluster of spirit quartz onto the parlor table. It gleamed against the dark velvet, shone different rainbow colors from different angles as she slowly approached the prison of her brother Falconell. He had been given up for dead, like all of the demons, monsters and immortals from the night Bell had taken back Arcanium. Sera reached for the crystal but Bell clicked his tongue, gathering the spirit quartz in both hands to rest on his lap.

“He’s mine now. He isn’t suffering. He isn’t anything. But when I release him from this prison, it will not be to save him. It will be to make my people stronger, not to give your people closure. All of you should know better than to step foot in Arcanium.”

“That’s why I came. They’d never think to look here first.” The fear that had cracked her chest had since warmed and melted away, leaving mere wariness in its wake. He had given her a chance to find his tent, to argue her case, and he hadn’t spirited her away into her own spirit quartz prison. That was something. “Look at me.”

Bell straightened, shifting his entire demeanor. Just like that, he became a coiled predator, his golden eyes gleaming, although she doubted the humans in his employ had ever seen them like this. They might have interpreted his change in posture as attention and concern, but Sera knew better. He had been at his most dangerous when most casual, but that didn’t mean showing her his claws meant she was safe—only that he respected her enough to cast off the mask and present his cards in anticipation of her own.

“I see you.” He held out a hand like a king to his subject.

After a beat, she allowed him to pull her in, close enough for him to take her chin and lift it.

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About the Author

Aurelia T. Evans

Aurelia T. Evans is an up-and-coming erotica author with a penchant for horror and the supernatural.

She’s the twisted mind behind the werewolf/shifter Sanctuary trilogy, demonic circus series Arcanium, and vampire serial Bloodbound. She’s also had short stories featured in various erotic anthologies.

Aurelia presently lives in Dallas, Texas (although she doesn’t ride horses or wear hats). She loves cats and enjoys baking as much as she dislikes cooking. She’s a walker, not a runner, and she writes outside as often as possible.

You can follow Aurelia on Facebook here and on her blog here.


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Book Blitz & Excerpt: The Au Pair and the Beast + Giveaway

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The Au Pair and the Beast
Aurora Russell

Word Count: 54,799
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 205

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Book Description


Veronica’s new job comes with a darling little boy, a Gothic castle and…a beast?

When recently laid-off Francophile Veronica Carson is recommended for an au pair job by the elegant leader of her French conversation group, she isn’t sure what to expect—but a Gothic castle deep in the wilds of Maine is certainly not it. Still, she’s drawn in by her joyful little charge, Jean-Philippe, and even more drawn to his brooding father.

Ruthlessly successful businessman Alain Reynard has loved before and has no wish to repeat the painful experience. The tragedy of his recent past is still fresh in his mind, and he wants nothing to do with his son’s lovely new au pair. Despite his best efforts, though, he can’t seem to get her off his mind.

A passionate romance begins to blossom but is put to the test when painful reminders of Alain’s past return. As ugly rumors swirl, the truths of the past and the present collide. Veronica must decide if Alain really is a beast and, if so, whether she can love him enough to break through the dark memories and secrets that tether him to what once was.


“Wait… He’s sending his own car and driver to pick you up from the train station? And take you to his castle? How deliciously Gothic! It’s probably set high up on some cliffs, overlooking an impossibly picturesque view of waves crashing onto the rocks.”

Veronica quirked her lips into a smile at Katrin’s words as they crackled through her cell phone, the reception seeming to go in and out as she rode along. Her best friend had a pronounced flair for the dramatic, which had only been enhanced by a number of drama classes in college.

“Well, when you put it that way…it does sound pretty glamorous,” she laughingly agreed. “If it looks anything like that, I’ll definitely text a picture of the view, complete with fog and sea spray.”

Her friend’s answering chuckle was amused. “How does Madame Montreaux know this guy again?”

Thinking back on it, Veronica wasn’t sure the woman who led her French conversation group had ever actually told her…not specifically, anyway. “Weird. I’m not really sure… She just pulled me aside after our group one day and mentioned she’d heard about a job she thought I might be perfect for, you know, since she knew I’d lost my job when Dumfries & Partners was acquired. I got the impression—maybe just from her voice or something?—that he’s some sort of family friend, but she was super skimpy on details.” She drummed her fingers on her armrest as she considered. “I had to sign a confidentiality agreement before they even sent me the job description.”

“Hmm-m.” The one short word seemed filled with both skepticism and suspicion. “How old are the kids?”

“Just one child. A boy. I think he’s four… Not in school yet, but he goes to preschool.”

Veronica watched as the increasingly rural and wooded landscape flew by outside the window. The day was gray and dreary, but the beauty of the wilds of Maine was still undeniable. The well-modulated, incongruously feminine automated voice of the announcer came over the loudspeakers.

Next stop, Grant’s Cliff. Grant’s Cliff is a flagged stop. Please notify the conductor if you are getting off at this stop.”

Excitement and nerves combined into one powerful spark that set off a flurry of butterflies in Veronica’s stomach, even as she stood and started to gather up her things.

“Sorry, K… Gotta go. They just called my stop. Call you later, okay?”

“Yes! Call, text, everything… I’ll be waiting impatiently to hear that you haven’t been chained up in this guy’s basement—or dungeon. Whatever. Be careful! And good luck!”

Cradling the phone between her shoulder and cheek as she reached for her bag from the overhead storage, Veronica barked a laugh, and it was muffled. “Thank you?”

“Anytime! Bye!”

“Bye,” Veronica answered, letting her bag drop into the seat and clicking to end the call on her phone. And it seemed it wasn’t a moment too soon as she caught the conductor’s eye and the train began to slow. She’d told him earlier where she was getting off and she was glad she had, since it didn’t look like anyone else on the train was making a move to leave. Grant’s Cliff was apparently not a popular destination.

“Right this way, miss.” The conductor’s weathered face creased into a kindly smile as he motioned her with one work-hardened hand.

“Thanks.” She gave an answering grin and slipped the strap of her suitcase over her shoulder crosswise, sliding it to her back so she could hurry down the center aisle more easily. “Am I the only one getting off?”

“A-yup,” he said, his Maine accent plain. She thought that was all he’d say, but as she stepped out of the open door onto the small platform, she heard him add, “Not much out here nowadays, apart from the castle and the beast.”

Startled, she turned back, but the doors had already swished closed and the train began to pull away. Okay then.

She turned back and surveyed the deserted station. It was really more of a booth set next to a concrete slab platform with steps leading up to it. The metal sign for the station name was no bigger than a street sign and looked weathered. The dreary day had given way to fog, and now that the train had left, the only sound was the muffled rustling of the wind through thousands of trees. Where the heck is the driver? she wondered. Even as she looked around, half of her mind was still on the conductor’s strange words. What did he mean by the beast? Why hasn’t anyone else mentioned it? Is this, like, a hotspot for sasquatch hunters? Or the home of a rogue grizzly? Wait! Are there even grizzly bears in Maine? She thought maybe there were only black bears. But still, a rogue black bear could definitely be a beast.

When someone’s gentle hand touched her shoulder, pulling her from her thoughts, she screeched and jumped what felt like three feet off the ground.

“Mademoiselle Carson? Veronica Carson?” The middle-aged man’s accent was unmistakably French, and he pronounced her first name as Vehr-oh-nee-ka. She quickly raised her hand to her neck where her pulse was still racing.

“Yes,” she nodded, a little breathless. “So sorry. I didn’t hear anyone.”

The man, who she noticed now was wearing a dark suit and even a driver’s hat, smiled understandingly. “The fog. When it is thick like this, well…everything is hushed.”

“Of course, that makes sense.” She was relieved at such a simple explanation.

He held out his hand formally. “Claude Hormet, in service to Monsieur Reynard for many years.”

She held her hand to meet his, and it was immediately taken into a firm handshake. “Nice to meet you, Monsieur Hormet.”

His smile widened at her pronunciation of his name, and she thought she saw surprise flicker in his eyes. “It’s a pleasure to meet you as well, Mademoiselle. We were told you spoke French well, and I can already hear it, if you don’t mind my saying so.”

“Thank you. That’s very kind of you. I’m happy to switch over if you’d like, so you can really hear me.”

Monsieur Hormet smiled again. “I would enjoy that, but later. For now, I will escort you to the château.”

He took her bag from her and led her to a shiny, black Lincoln sedan that looked pristine in spite of the fact that it must have been at least thirty years old. He opened the back door, and once she’d slid onto the back seat, he gave a little bow before closing the door behind her. She didn’t even hear the trunk close after he’d put her suitcase in, and when they began to move, the ride was so smooth that it felt like they were floating.

Monsieur Hormet didn’t speak again, and sensing that it would possibly be considered too informal for her to initiate conversation, Veronica maintained silence as well. Instead, she took out her folder with a copy of her resume and list of references. She reviewed her notes again, but they were sparse. From the barebones details that had accompanied the job description, she really didn’t know a lot about the open position and still didn’t know anything more about her prospective employer than his last name, so she rehearsed again in her head what she could say about her experience.

She was so deep in thought, comfortable on the sumptuous leather of the seats, that she didn’t really look up until the car began to slow. Then…wow. The mansion that loomed before her was truly a castle, made of stone with towers and turrets. If it had had a moat and not located in Maine, she would not have been surprised if someone had told her it was from the Middle Ages.

She must have made some sort of sound because Monsieur Hormet caught her gaze in the rearview mirror.

“Ah, the château is beautiful, no?”

Looking back at the lines of the massive structure, Veronica noticed that they were surprisingly delicate as well. Large it might be, but this was also a masterpiece of artistry, balanced and elegant. Still trying to look at every part of the castle at the same time, she answered with enthusiasm, “Oh yes, absolutely gorgeous!”

They pulled up right to the front steps, and Monsieur Hormet came around to help her out of the car. The air that buffeted her face was cooler than at the train station, damp and heavy, carrying the unmistakable salty tang of the ocean. She curved her lips into a small smile when she heard the distant crash of waves on something. Katrin was going to be overjoyed that her guess had to be at least partly correct.

“If you’ll follow me, Mademoiselle, I’ll show you to the large salon.” Monsieur Hormet glanced at the front windows and nodded slightly at some small movement inside. “Eveline will let Monsieur Reynard know you’ve arrived.”

Still craning her neck as discreetly as possible to see everything at once, Veronica followed him up a large number of stone steps and into the château. She had only a glimpse of the enormous entry hall before they went down a spacious hallway into a room that looked like some sort of formal parlor. There were several seating areas around the room, and he motioned for her to sit in a straight-backed armchair in the cluster nearest to the windows. Even with the fog, she could still tell that the windows here overlooked the ocean. A gray-green expanse of icy-cold Atlantic water, the view looked imposing rather than inviting. She loved it.

Fighting the urge to press her nose to the glass of the windowpanes, she sat down on the chair instead in what she hoped was a professional, dignified manner. She took out the folder once again and waited. An ornate gilded clock, which looked like an antique that would have been at home in the art museum in Boston, ticked, and the sound was loud in the otherwise-silent room. At the snick of the door handle turning, she leaped to her feet and turned to greet her interviewer. The figure that entered was considerably shorter and faster than she’d expected, though.

As he barreled toward her at full tilt, Veronica saw that the little boy had a mass of golden-blond hair, bright blue eyes and cheeks that glowed pink with good health. His happy face was dominated by a huge grin. She braced for possible impact, but he stopped abruptly right in front of her and eyed her curiously.

“You’re pretty,” he said in French, “but I don’t like your coat. I’m not supposed to say ‘hate’ or ‘ugly’.” He looked up at her expectantly.

Veronica stifled a laugh as she darted a glance down at her suit coat. It was something she’d bought for interviews, and she internally agreed that it wasn’t the most attractive thing she owned—more about practicality than fashion. But still…

“It sounds like you’re doing a good job listening, then,” she answered in French, skirting around the question. She set her folder, which she’d still been clutching, on the seat of the chair and crouched down so she was eye-level with the boy. “What’s your name? Mine is Veronica.”

“Jean-Philippe. Yvette says you’re here to take care of me, but only if Papa likes you. I don’t have a maman. She died. Our dog died too. Sometimes I get sad and cry and Papa says that’s okay.” Veronica’s heart clenched at the childish words, but she fought another laugh at what he said next. “Did you bring a present? Papa always brings a present and hides it in one of his pockets. Oncle Marius too. Is that why you’re wearing that coat, to hide presents?” He eyed her outfit with more enthusiasm.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Jean-Philippe,” she answered, then shook her head regretfully. “I didn’t know, so no presents today, but I promise that if I stay, I’ll bring you something next time I go into town. How’s that?”

He bobbed his little head as he nodded, making his fine blond hair glint, even in the dim sunlight from the gloomy day. “That sounds good,” he agreed. “I hope you go to town soon.”

She couldn’t have hidden her smile this time if she’d tried, so she didn’t bother. Another noise made her look up again, toward the door, where a young woman stood, looking a bit harried. Her chest rose and fell rapidly, as if she’d been running. She wore some sort of uniform dress, not black-and-white but something about it made Veronica think she might be a maid or housekeeper. Her look at Jean-Philippe was a mix of exasperation and affection.

The man who entered on her heels, though, made Veronica shoot to her feet and straighten her back. He was tall, probably close to six-and-a-half feet, and his shoulders and chest were broad and muscular. He wore a suit that must have been custom-tailored to fit his large frame so perfectly, and he exuded an air of pure power. Confidence. She would have had to be blind or utterly oblivious not to feel an awareness of such a man.

Where his frame and his very presence seemed to fill the room, it was his face that really captivated her. Dark, wavy hair framed the most attractive face she thought she’d ever seen. He wasn’t what she would call handsome—his Roman nose was just a little too prominent—but his features were masculine, strong and absolutely stunning. His eyes, which she could tell even from this distance were a deep brown like melted dark chocolate and framed with thick dark lashes, seemed to see all the way into her from across the room. She felt goosebumps rise on her arms and up her neck, and she couldn’t seem to tear her own gaze away.

When he started to move, whatever spell that was keeping her silent was broken. To her surprise, she noticed that he walked with a cane in steps that looked like they carefully concealed pain.

“Oh, Monsieur, I’m so sorry. He got away from me when he was supposed to be following me,” the young woman apologized to the man who she guessed must be Monsieur Reynard.

He inclined his head slightly, and although his face remained impassive, Veronica somehow got the impression of tolerance.

“I understand, Yvette. You may return to your regular duties.” His voice was deep and rumbling, full of gravel. It rolled through the quiet room, filling every corner, though he spoke quietly.

The young woman gave a little bow and hurried from the room gratefully, leaving only Veronica, Jean-Philippe and Monsieur Reynard.

“Papa!” the little boy exclaimed, confirming Veronica’s guess at the identity of the man. She saw him grimace almost imperceptibly as his little boy crashed into his leg in a show of preschool affection.

“I see you’ve met Miss Carson, my son,” he said, looking at Veronica as he tousled the baby-fine mop of hair.

“Oh yes! Do you like her? Is she staying?”

The question fell heavily in the quiet room, and Veronica turned to pick up the folder again.

“I brought a copy of my resume and a list of references—”

“No need.” Monsieur Reynard interrupted her, gesturing with his hand as if to wave her words away. “I’ve seen enough. The job is yours.”

Veronica’s mouth fell open. “I, uh… We just met.”

He raised his dark eyebrows. “So we did.”

She shook her head. Why was he making her so unsettled? Good Heavens, she was usually more articulate than this! “I mean, you haven’t interviewed me. Don’t you want to know…more?”

He shrugged and inclined his head to one side. “Mademoiselle, I’m known for being a good judge of character, with very few exceptions. It’s part of what has made me so successful. Jean-Philippe needs someone who is good with children, experienced and speaks French. From what I heard, you are all of these things.”

Veronica felt a warm flush rising up her neck, straight to her cheeks then right on up to her hairline. For some reason, the idea of not being aware of this man, with his outsize presence, made her beyond flustered. “You were listening?” she asked in a voice that was, she congratulated herself, almost normal.

He shrugged in a wonderfully Mediterranean way. “Not on purpose, but the door was cracked open and sound carries down the hallway.”

Mentally replaying her conversation with Jean-Philippe, Veronica couldn’t figure out what she could possibly have said to warrant this instant acceptance. “And I said enough to give you such confidence?”

She thought she had gotten over her initial shock of awareness at how very handsome he was, like someone jumping into cold water who starts acclimating. She was wrong. When he turned the full force of his dark, soulful eyes on her and turned up the corners of his mouth in what might have been the beginnings of a smile, she nearly had to catch her breath. She felt the goosebumps rise again all over her arms.

“You did pass the background check with flying colors, and you must know your accent is beautiful. But mostly, you didn’t miss a beat when my son insulted your er…ensemble.” He motioned tactfully to her suit and she opened her mouth in indignation, only to snap it shut at his next words. “I truly believe you to be a young woman of good sense, patience and kindness. Those are qualities I value beyond all others.”

His praise warmed her and was so close to describing the kind of person she hoped she was that she felt like another piece clicked into the odd connection she might be starting to feel with him.

“Thank you. In that case, I accept the position.” He didn’t return her smile, but she thought maybe his eyes crinkled the slightest bit at the corners.

“I’ll have Monsieur Hormet bring in the paperwork. Come along, Jean-Phillipe,” he said, turning and making his slow, deliberate way to the door with a gait she suspected concealed very-well-hidden pain. Jean-Philippe overtook him to sprint out of the door before his father.

All in all, Veronica was feeling pretty darn satisfied and relieved at avoiding the stress of a real interview when she heard Monsieur Reynard’s last words before he left the room.

“Such a relief to meet a young woman who doesn’t trouble herself too much over her clothes.”

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About the Author

Aurora Russell

Aurora is originally from the frozen tundra of the upper-Midwest (ok, not frozen all the time!) but now loves living in New England with her real-life hero/husband, two wonderfully silly sons, and one of the most extraordinary cats she has ever had the pleasure to meet. But she still goes back to the Midwest to visit, just never in January.

She doesn’t remember a time that she didn’t love to read, and has been writing stories since she learned how to hold a pencil. She has always liked the romantic scenes best in every book, story, and movie, so one day she decided to try her hand at writing her own romantic fiction, which changed her life in all the best ways.

You can find out more about Aurora at her website here.


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