They say be careful what you wish for. Which can sound silly, because of course, if we wish for something we want it to come true! But then, the problem with things you THINK you want is that you tend to run into expectation v reality.
It’s easy to romanticize the things we don’t have to deal with in a practical way.
That pretty much sums up what my heroine Leah Holt experiences when she gets the crazy, totally unexpected chance to marry the man she’s always loved.
You see, it’s Ajax’s wedding day. And Ajax is marrying Leah’s much prettier older sister. So of course, Leah thinks it’s maybe time to finally give up hope on Ajax ever loving her.
Then the bride doesn’t show up, leaving the groom with a thousand guests and hundreds of reporters...and a business deal that won’t close if he doesn’t marry one of the Holt heiresses.
That’s where Leah steps in. It’s the perfect chance for her to get the man she’s always wanted, after all.
Well, be careful what you wish for Leah!
Ajax isn’t the man of her fantasies. Nope, it turns out Ajax is a whole lot darker than Leah ever imagined.
The realities of being married to a man like Ajax definitely don’t conform to Leah’s expectations. He’s cold, he’s distant, he’s a little mean, and he certainly isn’t looking for love.
But Leah’s a tough girl, and she’s good at covering up her pain, and her feelings, and returning volley with a sarcastic comment.
But both of them are going to have to let the walls down if they ever expect their marriage to work. If they can manage that then maybe Leah will get even better than she expected. ;)
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Failure would not be half so bad. There are much bigger things, much darker things to fear.” He set down the bag he’d been carrying and walked toward the far end of the room. “Let me ask you a question, Leah.”
“Go for it.”
“Do you think you’re a good person?”
She blinked. “Yes. I...suppose so. I make candy, not war, and I smile at people when I walk by them on the street. Never took money from my grandma’s purse. Yes.”
“All right, but do you trust that if your circumstances changed, you would remain a good person? That you would have morals, morals that took hold deep inside of you, that would keep you from ever changing?”
“I’d like to think so,” she said, sensing she wouldn’t like where he was leading her.
“I trust that I am not a good person. Not just that I might not be if things were to change, but that if I ever take my eyes off of the prize in front of me, if I let myself slip up, I will go right back into the darkness I came out of and I’m not willing to do it. Not just for me. For everyone I might hurt. Emotion, need, lust, those things distract. They are unpredictable. I don’t trust them.”
She laughed a little, not because anything he said was funny but because it was the only way she could release the tension, the unease, building inside of her.
“You wouldn’t...hurt anyone, Ajax.”
He laughed, and his was obviously not borne of humor either. “Oh, you say that, Leah but you don’t know anything about me, not really. You think you do. You think I was born the minute I appeared on your family’s estate? No. By then...by then I had lived more life in sixteen years than a girl like you will have lived at the end of her days. And that’s not an insult. You don’t want to have seen what I’ve seen. To know what I’ve done. I don’t want to know it. But I do. And the memory is what keeps me going this way. It’s what reminds me, every day, of how important it is to keep your eyes on the goal.”
“We’re done talking about this.”
“No we aren’t,” she said. “You told me yesterday that you were worse than most men, today you’re telling me you’ve done things...I think I deserve to have an idea of what I’m dealing with here.”
“Why? I thought you knew me so well?”
“No. I knew your mask. And I liked it better.”
“Everyone does,” he said.
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