Naughty Little Gift

Make a wish…
Engineering genius. Billionaire icon. Consultant to kings. Golden-haired god. Cassian Court is a legend before he even steps foot on the remote island of Arcadia—but from the moment he locks eyes with Mishella Santelle, she can see only the man beneath the power, the presence, and the muscles…the bruised soul for whom hers has been destined…

But destiny isn’t a luxury for a woman of the Arcadian Court.

Close your eyes…
When six months of her life are bargained to Cassian in a multimillion dollar contract, Mishella must learn the rules of a more ruthless kingdom: New York City. In this glamorous jungle, paths are harder to discern, enemies are more cleverly camouflaged…and passions are impossible to ignore, especially when awakened by the man who can read her every desire with a glance, control her every arousal with a touch…

And leap…
Helpless against how her body and soul react to this man, Mishella dreads her heart is soon to follow—for the ghosts from Cassian’s past will never free him to return her love. In six months, she’ll simply be a memory to him…the naughty little toy he played with for a while…

Unless she can prove the impossible.

That their love is worth fighting for.

Other Books In This Series


“The declaration of love marks the transition from chance to destiny, and that’s why it is so perilous...”

—Alain Badiou




“DEAR, SWEET CREATOR. That man’s ass needs its own web page.” “Right?”

“Maybe it already has one. Have we tried looking it up? What would that search string even be?”

“Cassian Court’s Glorious Glutes?”

“Sounds about right.”

I scowl at the exchange between my best friend and my princess of a

boss. Debate adding a huff, though that might make them giggle harder. As it is, Vylet lifts her head, lets the wind blow her black waves as if she is shooting a scene for a movie, and slowly bats the thick lashes framing her huge lavender eyes.

“Is there an issue, Mistress Santelle?”

Her purposeful drawl on the s’s turns her query into a tease—though before I can properly purse my lips, she is answered by a long, snorting laugh. I add a groan to my own response, stabbed at the sound’s source. Brooke Cimarron, Princess of the Island of Arcadia, might have the loyalty and love of thousands across our land, but her royal in-laws are not in that legion—and outbursts like that are no help to her cause at all.

The groan might be forgotten but the sigh is not. Even after three months in her employ, my work is still clearly cut out for me. In my princess’s own words, I am to do everything in my power to “whip the

royal decorum into shape.” Some days, the task is easy. Some, like today— are entries in the Sweet Creator Help Me journal.

I have one of those. Literally. Though on the outside, as I observe right now, the book simply says Action Items.

Despite the lists taunting me from the pages of said journal, there are many more checks in Brooke’s “plus” column than not. Brooke has a good heart, a willing spirit, and a loyalty to Arcadia rivalling that of many native-born to the island. If I can only work out a way to keep Vy from enabling the woman’s snarky American side...

Not likely anytime soon.

Most certainly not during this week.

Cassian Court’s arrival in Arcadia has sealed that certainty solidly


Cassian Court. Just rolling my mind over the man’s name jolts me

with such intense heat, I wonder if the Earth has rolled too quickly on its axis, shifting my chair into the sun instead of beneath the table on the Palais Arcadia lawn. That only forms the start of how he has upended my world in just two days.

Two. Days.

Cassian Court.

I cannot help myself. The syllables are synonymous with so many other expressions. Engineering genius. Corporate wizard. Billionaire icon. Consultant to kings. Yes, that includes the leader of our land, Evrest Cimarron, who has invited his friend for a “modernization think tank” with Arcadia’s leaders. Yanking a kingdom forward by two hundred years in two days is no small feat.

Two. Days.

World. Upended.

Not to mention my thoughts. And my bloodstream. And the very

wiring of my nervous system... “Mishella?”

Vylet’s playful prompt is perfectly timed. “Hmm?” I am grateful to leave behind a memory that has been taunting, of the man in his formal wear from the party King Evrest threw for him last night. Out of respect for Arcadian tradition, he wore a doublet-style jacket with his tailored Tom Ford pants, everything flawlessly fitted to his tapered torso and long legs. The black garment had featured one modern touch: a moss green zipper instead of buttons, drawing out the same shade in his eyes.

Matching zippers had adorned his hip boots, making him look very much “at home” in the ballroom’s courtly crowd...

“You truly have no comment?” The edges of Vy’s lips curl up. Little wench. She knows I would sooner watch a storm come in over the sea than have to look at the body part they’ve referred to on Cassian Court’s incredible form.


And magnificent.

And breath-stealing.

And in just two days, has made me painfully aware of how small my

island home truly is. The man and his magnetic pull have actually made me yearn for a land as big as his, though the expanse of America still does not seem big enough for all these new feelings he inspires—sensations that sweep in again, as I gaze upon him training at swords with Jagger Foxx on the palais lawn.

Dizzy. Giddy. Hot. Needy. No.

I cannot. I will not.

Instead, I compress my lips harder. Swing another censuring look at my friend. “I was being courteous, in deference to Her Highness.”

“Oh, here we go again,” Brooke mutters.

Vylet hides a laugh behind her elegant fingers. “But Mishella wants to practice her protocol, Your Highness.”

Brooke glowers. “Am I going to kick your ass about this now, too?” “Not in that pretty tea frock, missie.”

“Oh, even in this rag, ho-bag.”

“Who you calling ho...ho?”

“Say it twice because I own that, baby.” Brooke swirls then stabs an index finger. “Especially after last night’s marathon under that man of mine.”

“Ohhh!” Vy roller coasters the syllable with knowing emphasis. “And I thought you were just walking funny from the platform pumps.”

“See how I did that? Gotta have a cover, girl.”

They snicker harder than before. I fume deeper than before. Attempt a prim glance down at my lap, but only get two seconds of the reprieve. A fresh punch of testosterone hits the air, swinging all our stares back up.

By everything that is holy.

The masculine energy is well supported. Even a hundred feet away, the two men are like gladiators of old, shirtless bodies lunging, gleaming muscles coiling. Jagger Foxx, the Arcadian court’s lieutenant of military operations, does not give his American guest an inch of visitor’s courtesy—a handicap Court would take as an insult anyway.

The result is...


Slanted forward, his body forty-five degrees from the lawn, Cassian

Court is a breath-stealing study of sinew, strength, might, and motivation. His thighs, clearly etched beneath his white fencing pants, wield the force of a stallion. His torso, the color of a lion in the sun, coils with equal power.

Their blades clash. Metallic collisions zing the air. Jagger stumbles back. Again. Grunts hard—though not as deeply as the man besting him. Just like that, Cassian Court turns into an even more exhilarating sight. His beauty is meant for the glory of physical triumph.

All the heavens help me, I cannot stop staring. Or wondering. What would it feel be held by those massive arms? What would it be like, to lie beneath that beautiful body? To spread my legs, allowing his hardness against my welcoming tight readiness...

My throat turns into the Sahara. I swallow, coughing softly as the moisture clashes with the dryness.

“Holy hell,” Brooke murmurs.

“Which has to be where I’m going, after what I just imagined about that man.”

Vy’s confession welcomes new knives of confusion. Logically, I should be reassured. My reaction to Court is not unique or special. But another part, new and foreign, fights the urge to think otherwise. To scratch her eyes out for sliding into my territory.

As Brooke would eloquently put it: what the hell?

Men are a complicated subject in my life—contradicted by their very simplicity. They are like clothing or cars or office tools: needed but not coveted, functional but not desirable. Yes, some exist in higher-end form, but I do not think of them longer than the time it takes to interact with

them. I do not dare. Father and Mother will eventually use me as a pawn to gain what they want from one. It might be the 21st century, but politics are politics—and world-changing decisions are still made by the heads between men’s legs, not the ones on their shoulders. I have to be grateful for reaching my twenty-second year without having to bother with it yet.