I thought I needed only one thing in my life—the money and power to crush one man. But the moment I laid eyes on Victoria Corielli, my thirst for revenge was replaced by my craving for her.
No rule would keep me away; no obstacle too large to overcome. Not her will, not our differing social positions, not my infamous past. When she lost everything, I helped her pick up the pieces. When she trusted me with everything, she sealed her fate.
I've convinced Victoria she can put her heart in my hands. Now I have to protect it--from her shady stepfather and my business rivals, from enemies known and hidden. I'll do anything to keep her. And I might have to prove it, because now Victoria''s risking more than her heart to be with me; she's risking her life.
Taking Control is a continuation of the story begun in Losing Control (not a retelling) but can be read alone. It is 92,000 words narrated by Ian Kerr.
Meet Ian Kerr
“What are we making?”
“Pasta and shrimp cooked in lemon and white wine sauce. Why don’t you go over and get some bread? Maybe sourdough rolls, and I’ll meet you at the seafood place.” She points down a ways.
I kiss her again and leave to do her bidding. Inside the bakery, I find dozens of different loaves of bread and rolls. On the advice of a helpful clerk, I buy something called a Tuscan log sourdough, which is shaped like a log roll with short, stubby branches. I figure what we don’t eat, we can use to feed the ducks this weekend in Connecticut. Although I don’t know that we have ducks up there. I might have to buy some.
When I catch up with her at the seafood counter, there’s a man—make that an asshole—chatting her up. He has an arm braced against the glass case, and his eyes are taking off her clothes piece by piece
“Hey, Ian,” she says when I approach.
“Hi, bunny.” I put my hand on her neck and kiss her on the forehead. I need to get a ring on this woman right away. “Are you having problems deciding which fish to buy?”
He smirks. “Just making conversation.”
I run my tongue over my teeth wondering how mad Tiny would be if I punched this guy out. Pretty mad, I guess, so I lean down and kiss her again—only this time on the lips. Hard.
She rolls her eyes. “I’m waiting for our shrimp.”
The guy still doesn’t leave. He hovers, like a stupid dumb cow, on my right as if Tiny is just going to peel away from me and give him her number.
“Check out is over there,” I gesture toward the registers.
“I’m not ready,” he says, confused.
“Oh you are.” I stare at him steadily, and he’s not as dumb as I thought because he finally walks away.
“A pound of prawns.” A tatted, bald-headed man offers Tiny a white parchment-wrapped package. “Where’s the guy who wanted the scallops?” He looks around.
“We’ll take those too,” Tiny says hastily.
We pay, and she waits until we’re in the hallway before questioning me.
“You looked like you were going to punch that guy out.”
“Nah,” I lie.
“Then why is the bread loaf crushed in your hand?”
I look down and the Tuscan log is indeed bent in half as if a sharp wind has sheared off part of the limb. “Looked like it was too soft. Just testing out the wheat-to-oat ratio.”
“Seriously? That is what you are going with?” She laughs. “You know you sound like a caveman.”
“That’s advanced evolution. I thought for sure I wasn’t much past the Neanderthal stage.”
“Ape,” she teases.
“Knuckle dragging when it comes to you, bunny.” I wrap an arm around her waist and usher her into the bakery to buy a loaf of bread.
Losing Control (Kerr Chronicles) Book One
I’d do anything to keep my mother alive.
Anything, including ask Ian Kerr for help. I don’t know much about him, except that he has more money than some small countries. And he’s willing to spend it on me. Just one catch: there’s a string attached attached, and not just the one I feel pulling me into his arms and his bed. There’s also the plan for revenge he wants my help with.
Every time he says my name, it makes my body shiver and my heart stutter. I know he’s going to wreck me, know there won’t be anything left of me but lust and sensation by the time he’s done with me, but even though I can see the heartbreak coming towards me like a train, ready to crash into me, I can’t get out of the way. I want what he makes me feel. Want what he’s offering.
This may have started out as something to save my mother, but now…now it’s about what he makes me feel. I’m in danger of losing everything that’s important. Worse? Ian's whispered words and hot caresses are making me believe that's okay.
“Let me be perfectly frank with you, Victoria. There are lots of things that I’d like you to do for me. Some of them involve you on your knees. Others require you bent over a table. All of them require me to be between your legs. But I don’t pay for that.”
“No, I wouldn’t think you would,” I say faintly. No one has ever spoken to me in such a graphic and frank manner and I don’t know how to respond—at least not verbally. My body is reacting by getting hot and tight.
He nods then in confirmation that I’ve heard him. “I don’t dip my pen in the company ink. Nothing good comes of that. So let me ask you again. Are you certain you wouldn’t rather let me take you out to dinner and then home, where I would make you come so hard that you wouldn’t be able to remember your own name let alone that you have money troubles?”
I’m finding it difficult to breathe normally and it’s hard to remember exactly why I’m resisting him so hard. His hand has moved from my waist to my hip and his fingers are curling around my ass and pulling me close as possible despite the bike frame between us. I can even feel his erection against my hip. “The money troubles will still be there, regardless of my memory,” I manage to choke out.
His eyes narrow because he doesn’t like my rejections. “You should know that when small prey runs away, it only whets the appetite of a predator. Someday, Victoria Corielli, I’m going to get you to say yes.”
He pushes the bike frame upright and my body reluctantly follows.
“I’ll be in touch,” he says and then turns and walks away. I stare after him like a dumbass for at least five minutes.”
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Jen Frederick lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog. She's been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at email@example.com.