by B.B. Reid
Borrow the bike. Win the race. Collect the cash. It should’ve been an easy job. Ran out of town with a broken leg and a lawsuit, my mother’s latest flame swoops in like a knight in gilded armor. Blackwood Keep is a place I don’t belong, and I’m not the only one who knows.
To the boy across the hall, my savior’s only son, I’m a stray looking for a bone. He’s lord of the manor. King of the academy. And number one on my shit list.
I have no intentions of becoming a happy family with the social climber and her wild daughter. A bottle of Jameson and a cracked skull gets my problem shipped to reform school, but I didn’t bank on her returning. Four’s out to get even, and she almost had the perfect plan: expose the privileged kid moonlighting as a gangbanger. She’s smart, but she’ll have to be smarter. Sending her away won’t be good enough this time. I’m going to have to tame the little troublemaker.
To the girl across the hall, the one without a name, I’m nothing without my silver spoon. She’s lady of the trailer park. Queen of the swamps. And my new favorite pastime.
The romance can be read as a standalone, however, the series is one story. The plot introduced in The Peer and the Puppet will continue in the following novels. Content suitable for 18+.
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I WAS HAVING a dream. A very good dream. A dream I’d never in a million years admit to having under any circumstances. Not even torture.
Sadly, my dream ended, and I was jarred awake drenched in sweat. The T-shirt I’d worn to bed was bunched around my waist, showing off my cotton panties. I blushed when I recalled in vivid detail what caused such disarray.
And then I froze when I realized I wasn’t alone.
A quick glance at the foot of my bed showed a figure in dark clothing leaning forward with his forearms casually resting on his knees. The scream that tore from my lips was silenced when the figure leaned over and calmly rested his palm over my mouth.
“My father is a light sleeper,” Ever calmly warned. “And I’m sure you don’t want to explain to your mom why I’m in your bedroom at three in the morning.” My heart continued to race even after he lifted his hand, but I didn’t scream. “Good girl.”
“Why are you here?” I hissed while scrambling to pull down the T-shirt still bunched around my waist. I lifted the comforter I must have kicked away in my sleep and covered my lower half.
Oh, God, he’d seen everything. I felt like I had been caught red-handed considering he’d been the one I’d—
Fuck my life.
“You told my father I went to the store for deodorant.”
“And?” I sounded as exasperated as I felt.
“He didn’t buy your story.”
I could imagine considering he was sitting in my room fully dressed at three in the morning. It didn’t take seven hours to buy deodorant.
“Not. My. Problem.”
“But it is. We made this deal together, and we’ll honor it…together.”
I sighed. “So, what did he do to your highness? Take a spoon?” I mocked.
“Grounded,” he grunted.
I didn’t expect his smile. It was soft. Indulging. My overly large T-shirt had slipped from my shoulder, so he trailed his finger over my skin. “I’ll have to punish you, Four.”
“Punish me?” That was laughable. “I’m not your child.”
“No, swamp girl. You’re a puppet. My puppet.” He stood from my bed and headed for the door. “If I’m grounded, so are you.”
I told myself I was still dreaming and that he wasn’t actually saying these words. “What does that even mean?”
“It means I’ll have fun anyway.”
Too exhausted to argue, I sighed and met his gaze. “Get out of my room, McNamara.” I thought there was nothing else he could say or do until his parting words.
“You sound lovely when you come, Archer.”
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