This week’s featured book is The Sacrifice. It’s part of the Dark Wedding Duet. They are standalones so they can be read in either order, but This is Macy’s book (The best friend in The Proposal.)
Also, here are the reader shareable graphics if you’d like to share on any of your social medias or reader groups.
And here’s the Teaser Scene: (This is the first full day of Macy’s captivity with Colin. This scene is in Colin’s POV:)
Copyright (c) Kitty Thomas. All rights reserved.
She continues to focus on her food, avoiding my gaze. Then she does the strangest thing. She picks up the saucer and turns it over to inspect the bottom of it.
Is she looking for a brand name? A price label? Could I have a gold digger hostage of all things?
“I knew it. Bone,” she says as if satisfied by this knowledge.
“Excuse me?” I ask.
“Do you know the difference between fine china and bone china?”
I have no idea what to say to this so I just shake my head.
“Bone china has cow bone ash in it. It’s what gives it the softer warmer color and translucence. But it’s no stronger than fine china. That’s a misnomer. It’s just a way to alter the color.”
“And how do you know this?” I still can’t believe that the first non-terrified thing she’s decided to say to me is about the difference in fine and bone china. I didn’t know the difference—largely because I don’t care—but I’m fascinated she just opened her mouth to tell me this. Maybe I seem less scary in the daylight.
“Livia didn’t know when we were registering for her china for her wedding, and so I looked it up. I like bone better because it just looks more elegant to me. It’s not as harsh.”
Her face falls, and I know immediately what she’s thinking. She’s thinking she won’t get to register for a china pattern for the wedding that won’t be happening now. I don’t know why, but this crestfallen look on her face bothers me.
Jeffrey brings her tea, then disappears again. She seems to suddenly realize she’s been explaining the finer points of china content to her captor, and the discomfort and anxiety returns to her face as she distracts herself with her tea.
We finish eating in silence and Jeffrey takes the plates away. When the table has been cleared, she looks a bit awkward then starts to get up. I place my hand over hers, stopping her retreat.
“Sit. We have business to discuss.”
“W-what kind of business?”
It hasn’t escaped my notice that she hasn’t called me what I told her to call me, but I decide to leave that for the moment. I take the stack of papers from the nearby island and place it on the table in front of her.
“This little arrangement protects Soren’s stock prices from falling, and it also helps me. I need a Mrs. Black to make me look more normal and family-oriented. You will fulfill that role.”
Her eyes go wide. “I-is this a pre-nup?”
“No. I have no interest in getting into a threeway with the state. This is a private contract that is meant to protect you and provide for you should I at any point choose to discard you. It was Soren’s condition for giving you to me. It goes without saying that you won’t be initiating an end to our arrangement. And, as stipulated in the contract, you will of course be giving me heirs.”
She slides the papers across the table and crosses her arms over her chest. “I’m not signing this.”
I’m surprised by this rebellion but I don’t let it show on my face. “Not today you aren’t. It’ll be several weeks before I can take you out in public, and then we’ll sign them properly at the attorney’s office. I’m just informing you.”
“No. You can keep me captive, but you can’t make me sign these papers pretending a relationship we don’t have.”
I can’t stop my eye roll. “Don’t be ridiculous. These papers protect you. And from what I hear from Soren, you don’t love the man you were going to be marrying anyway. So what difference does it make? My offer is better than his.”
“You can’t absolve your guilt by giving me the security of marriage. We’re not in the Victorian age.”
I place my palms flat on the table and lean forward so that I’m towering over her. “I don’t feel guilt. You are mine, and this is a gift. And I really do need a Mrs. Black.”
She shakes her head. “I’m not signing them.”
“You’ll sign them if I have to break you into a shell of your former self. You will sign them.” I don’t know what’s come over me. I don’t threaten women this way. I thought it was my one redeeming quality, but maybe it’s just that no one’s been brazen enough to challenge me.
“What happened to the girl who begged me not to hurt her last night?”
“She got some sleep and some food.”
She’s actually glaring at me as she says this.
“Great. So I only need to starve and sleep deprive you, and you’ll be ready to sign? It’s not the best idea to reveal all your weaknesses to me. Don’t think I won’t use them to get what I want.”
A flicker of last night’s fear moves over her face, and I’m satisfied this is only a bluff and boundary testing. It’s her attempt to fight back, so she can say she tried and feel good about it. Fine. I’ll let her have it.
“When were you supposed to be marrying this other uninspiring joker?”
“March twenty-eighth,” I repeat. “We’ll be legally bound long before that, but I’ve got nothing planned that day if you want to have a wedding. Though you’ll have to break it off with the other guy first. It might be awkward if we both showed up.”
She stares at me like she can’t tell if I’m serious or f*cking with her. I can’t believe it, but I’m actually serious. I’m taking everything from this girl—the life she knew, her choices, even her choice in who to marry. If she wants a wedding, well it’s already partly planned, why not just trade out the groom?
Thanks for reading!