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Irish Betrayal

Irish Betrayal

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Connor has his own conditions for marriage. His own stipulations—and his own games to play. He claims he doesn’t want anything I have to offer him—not the Kings, or my hand in marriage, or even my innocence. But just like me, his body says something else. And with his brother’s life on the line, the choice is his. Marry me, and save his brother’s life—or live with Liam’s blood on his hands, and the death of his family legacy on his conscience.

Irish Betrayal is book four in the Irish King Series. The series is complete. Reading order Irish Savior, Irish Promise, Irish Vow, Irish Betrayal, Irish Princess and finally Irish Vow.

Major Tropes

  • Enemies To Lovers
  • Arranged Marriage
  • Billionaire

Synopsis

Betray me once, shame on me. Betray me twice—

With my engagement broken and the future of the Irish Kings hanging in the balance, I’m being offered up to the one man my father thinks can make a difference, the lost Boston heir, Liam’s elder brother.

Connor McGregor.

He goes by a different name now, but that doesn’t change why I’m here in London—to play the game my father has set up, and lure the other McGregor brother back to Boston…and into wedded bliss with me. In theory, it seemed easy enough—but I hadn’t counted on Connor’s resistance to returning to his old life…or the new and unexpected desire he’d arouse in me.


Connor has his own conditions for marriage. His own stipulations—and his own games to play. He claims he doesn’t want anything I have to offer him—not the Kings, or my hand in marriage, or even my innocence. But just like me, his body says something else. And with his brother’s life on the line, the choice is his. Marry me, and save his brother’s life—or live with Liam’s blood on his hands, and the death of his family legacy on his conscience.

Betray me once, shame on me. Betray me twice, it’s the end of the McGregor Kings.

Click Here To Read An Excerpt

This isn’t me.

I don’t recognize the girl in the hotel room mirror, despite her having my features, my dark strawberry hair, my green eyes, my figure. 

In these new clothes, purchased just for tonight, I feel like an unfamiliar person in an unfamiliar place, and my heart skips a beat in my chest as I run my fingers anxiously through my bone-straight hair, all the usual waves ironed out of it.

On the foot of the bed next to me there’s a file, open with documents and photos spilling out of it, like I’m some kind of agent or one of Viktor Andreyev’s new assassins-in-training on a mission instead of the daughter of an Irish King, the closest thing to royalty there could be on American soil. 

I glance at the folder, feeling my heart speed up a little as I catch sight of the pictures again—pictures of a man I also hardly recognize.

When I knew him, he was polished, smooth, and elegant, always with a clean-shaven face and his dark reddish-brown hair carefully styled back, always in a suit or a button-up and slacks. If those arms were ever visible, they were smooth and bare, without a speck of ink in sight.

This man in the photos is someone else. More muscular, stubble where his cheeks used to be smooth, a scar running down one side of his face from the corner of his eye to below his chin—something that might make another man look less handsome, but only serves to make him look even handsomer and more dangerous, a roguish sort of sex appeal. 

I push the pictures around the duvet, glancing at each of them as I try to steady my heartbeat, but seeing his face in every one doesn’t help matters. 

In some photos, he’s wearing a t-shirt and jeans, tattoos covering every inch of his exposed arms and crawling up his throat; in others, he’s wearing a well-worn leather jacket, sometimes a beanie in the colder weather, other times with that thick auburn hair that I remember so well loose and messy around his face.

Connor McGregor.

The man I was once supposed to marry—and that, tonight, I’m supposed to pretend to seduce. A concept completely unfamiliar to me.

 I’ve spent my whole life protecting my virginity, a thing that was drilled into me from a young age because being “pure” constituted the majority of my value to my family. 

While I’m not expected to give it up tonight,  I am supposed to seduce this man into thinking he’s coming to my hotel room to fuck me. 

It’s not as if I’ve never thought about sleeping with Connor McGregor. But I’d always pictured it as a cold, transactional kind of thing. A clinical coupling, to join our families and produce an heir. I hadn’t thought much about pleasure or passion back then. 

But this man—even in still images—oozes sex appeal. This man doesn’t look like the kind to spend fifteen minutes thrusting into a woman in missionary, and then rolling over to sleep. 

This man looks like he’d throw a woman up against a wall. Toss her over his shoulder and carry her into the bedroom, whether she wanted him to or not. 

Demand things from her, filthy things, things that I’m not even sure I have the capacity to describe with my narrow concept of sex and complete inexperience. 

Connor never really excited me, not the way Liam had. But looking down at the photos, I feel a throb between my legs, an unfulfilled ache as my mouth goes dry and my pulse speeds up. 

Between my thighs, I can feel my arousal, dampening the lacy panties that I’m wearing underneath the abnormally tight jeans. 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Saoirse. If you’re not careful, he’ll be the one seducing you.

I grab the photos, shuffling them into a pile and turning them over quickly. The only way this is going to work is if I maintain control of the situation, and I can’t do that if I’m salivating over a man who I haven’t seen in years, who doesn’t even know I’m coming. 

The documents in the file, all procured by men my father has sent out looking for information on Connor these past months, tell me a few very important pieces of information. 

First, that Connor is running his own gang out of London now—a mid-level operation dealing in things like party drugs, a bit of money laundering, weapons between them and Ireland. He hasn’t cut off all Irish ties, that much is clear, but he’s going by an English name, a fake identity.

William Davies.

There’s a knock at the door. 

“Come in,” I call out, my heart pounding a steady rhythm in my chest as I close the file, turning towards the door as it opens. 

It’s my father, as I knew it would be—Graham O’Sullivan, right hand to the Irish King, as the O’Sullivans have been for generations. 

Tall, bearded, handsome, the one that I take after more than my mother, a commanding presence who instilled in me a strength that’s served me well all these years, even if it causes us to butt heads at times. 

Though I’ve always known it was my place to serve the family through marriage to the right man, my father taught me that didn’t mean I had to be weak or subservient.

An Irish rose is no wilting flower.

“You look perfect.” My father looks me over from head to toe. “He won’t be able to resist you.”

I glance in the mirror again. 

It’s not as if I’ve spent my entire life in evening gowns and jewels—I went to college, after all. I wear normal clothes. But this—the black jeans are skin tight, outlining every curve I have, made with some sorcery that makes my Pilates-firm ass look bigger than it actually is. 

Not to mention the dark green top, sleeveless and with a draped wrap neckline low enough that I can’t wear a bra. It shows off the swell of my full breasts, and god help me if I move too quickly to one side or the other—someone might catch an eyeful of an entire breast, nipple and all.

Which, I suppose, is the point.

The rest of it feels just as out of place. Huge silver hoop earrings, biker-style Doc Martens with the jeans tucked in, a buttery-soft black leather jacket to cover up against the chilly London rain, which seems to persist here even in summer. 

The jacket I actually like—I might keep it. But the rest, including the dark eye makeup and false lashes, feels so antithetical to my usual style that it’s like wearing a different skin. 

The last time I wore green to meet a man I was supposed to marry, I was in silk and diamonds, swathed in candlelight, dressed like royalty to have my betrothal to the Irish King blessed by the priest. 

Tonight, I’m dressed to seduce.

I make eye contact with my father through the mirror’s reflection. “I don’t feel like myself.”

“Good,” he says. “We don’t want you to look like you, Saoirse.”

“Right, got it,” I mumble, pulling at the uncomfortable clothes to try to cover more breast. “Don’t want him to recognize me until I get him up here to the room.”

“Thatta girl,” my father says like he’s praising a livestock. Probably not far off from that, actually. 

“He knew you for a long time before,” Father continues. “And while you’ve certainly changed in the years since he left, he might remember you.”

Speaking of livestock, now he’s beating a dead horse. “The less I look like the girl he was supposed to marry, the better.”

Father grins, but to me, it’s just words. Just telling him what he wants to hear. Inevitably, what I really want to say bursts out as I whirl to face my father again.

“He probably doesn’t remember me!” 

I press my lips together, frowning with remembered annoyance. 

For all that I was always meant to marry a McGregor son, neither of them ever noticed me much. Connor was too busy learning his place as the McGregor heir, and Liam—well, Liam was too busy being himself, the reckless, playful, funny younger brother who had no responsibilities and no one watching him.

Except for me.

“He’d be a fool not to,” my father says gruffly, his eyebrows still raised at my sudden outburst. “But for our sake and the sake of the plan, let’s hope you’re right. Now come on, lass, let’s get you downstairs.” 

When I don’t jump to move, he looks at me again, his gaze hardening. “This is an important night, Saoirse, for all of us. Everything depends on you getting Connor back here, to this room, for him and I to talk.” 

He reaches for my left hand, thumb rubbing over the space where a ring used to be. “Liam left you in disgrace,” he reminds me—as if I needed reminding—“with a broken engagement. This is your last chance to do what you were born for, lass.”

Ugh. Puke. At this point, I just want to get it over with so I can move on in life and pretend I’m not just cattle to my family. 

“If you don’t succeed,” he continued, “who knows what man will take you. If Liam keeps his seat, it’s likely that I won’t keep mine. The O’Sullivan family will fall, and I’ll be forced to marry you off to whoever can offer us some alliance, and cushion that blow.”

That won't leave me with many options, and the options it would leave me with would only have me become more of a prisoner. With some of them, I might not make it through the marriage alive.

I meet his gaze unwaveringly. “Don’t worry,” I tell him calmly—more calmly than I feel inside. “I know what this means for us. I’ll do my duty.”

“Don’t let him take liberties with you, either,” my father adds. “It’s important that he’s your first man—in your wedding bed. Don’t let him take for free what he has to earn. Seduce, but don’t give in.”

I feel a flush creeping up my cheeks. “I understand,” I tell him through gritted teeth, looking away.

If there’s one thing I’m looking forward to above all else out of being married, it’s that the endless conversation around the state of my virginity will finally come to an end.

We take the elevator downstairs, where there’s four other women waiting—all strangers to me, women that my father has paid to be here tonight, to flesh out our plan. They’re all dressed in tight, revealing clothing too—short bandage dresses with skyhigh heels, tight jeans and lowcut tops, big earrings and flat-ironed hair, heavy makeup. 

They look as foreign to me as I feel to myself, and I feel a wave of discomfort as I step away from my father and go to join them. 

“Nice evening out, ain’t it, luv?” one of the women says in a thick accent, as we pile into the town car that my father rented for us while we’re in London, complete with driver.

“Ah—is it?” I frown, squinting against the still-falling rain as I follow her into the car. “It hasn’t stopped raining since we landed.”

“New to London, I see,” one of the others, a pretty blonde, says. “It never stops raining here. Just whether it’s cold rain or warm rain, y’see.”

“It feels like cold rain to me.” I’m grateful for the leather jacket, at least, even if I’m supposed to leave it in the car before we go into the warehouse where I’ve been told we’ll find Connor and his men. “But yes, it’s my first time in London.”

Truthfully, though I wouldn’t say it to anyone, it’s my first time out of the States. 

I’d always pictured that first trip being on my honeymoon, somewhere warm and sunny with sand between my toes and a fruity drink in my hand. When I’d pictured that honeymoon with Liam, it had been full of passionate sex in a crisp white hotel bed with salt air coming through the windows, while he taught me everything I never knew about how to make love.

Things have turned out…a bit differently.

“And thanks to you, we’re riding in style!” the first girl crows, leaning back against the smooth leather seat. “Not how I usually go to my outcalls, that’s for sure.” She eyes me, picking up on my nerves as surely as only someone who is a veteran of this sort of thing could. “New to this, are you, luv?”

“Mm. A bit.” 

I’m careful with my words. Once I get Connor’s attention and get him away from the warehouse, I won’t see these women again. They’re just my in, a way to make my arrival there look less conspicuous, and sell the whole story that I’m just taking him back to my hotel room for a quick fuck. I don’t want to give anything away. 

“And that man in the hotel, he was what? Your pimp?”

I clench my teeth at that, a flare of anger flushing my cheeks at the thought of anyone insulting my father like that. But I rein it in. 

I’m not Saoirse the Irish princess tonight. Tomorrow, when things are more settled, I can sink comfortably back into the identity that I know so well, and be myself again. But for tonight, I have to be someone else. A woman of the world. A seductress. 

Someone who hears a sentence like that, and laughs it off.

“Something like that.” I look out the window at the rainy streets passing by, wanting the conversation to end. 

“Not very friendly,” I hear muttered from one of the women, but I ignore it. 

The closer we get to our destination, the more my heart races to the point I feel almost sick with nerves, and I wish I could run back to Boston. That I could rewind time and make everything go differently.

That I could make Liam never have become obsessed with that Russian ballerina, and break our engagement—along with all my dreams of marrying the McGregor brother I preferred, and that sunny, sandy honeymoon. 

You can do this, I whisper to myself in my head. You’re an O’Sullivan. You’re strong. You’re brave.

You can do better than marrying a disappointing man. You can be the heroine of this fucked-up fairytale. 

The one who brings the prince back home. 

The car turns down several roads that take us into a less well-heeled part of London, darker and more industrial, with less well-kept roads and buildings in disrepair. 

It doesn’t look anything like the kind of place where I’d find the Connor I remember—the cool, collected, passionless man who used to sit at his father’s left hand—but from what I read in the file that my father put together on him, Connor has done quite well for himself here. 

It reminds me of just how much rides on tonight. Connor has been happy enough to let everyone think he was dead—disappearing into a false identity, leaving his family and everything else behind, and starting a new life here. 

Now my father wants to forcibly resurrect him, and I can’t imagine he’ll be happy about that.

As the car door opens and I step out, my boot splashes down into something wet—some kind of puddle that makes me suddenly glad I’m not wearing the heels I would have chosen. 

The smell of the nearby alley wafts towards me, making me wrinkle my nose, and I grit my teeth, refusing to let any of it rattle me. 

The warehouse door is slightly ajar, and buttery light streams out, the shouts of loud drunk men spilling out into the warm night air. 

I pause at the edge of the door with the other four women surrounding me, my heart hammering in my chest, and I take a deep breath—something I quickly regret, thanks to the heavy smell in the air that I can taste on the back of my tongue.

And then, with my jaw clenched against the fear coiling around my spine, I step into the glow of the warehouse.          

I see him instantly, at the same time I hear the cock of weapons. 

“Stop right there, ladies,” two heavily Cockney-accented voice say, but I don’t bother looking at them, despite the fact that they almost certainly have guns pointed at our heads. 

Instead, ignoring both them and the pounding of my heart, I look straight ahead at the poker table set up in the middle of the warehouse and the man seated at the head of it.

It’s him. For all that he looks so much different, scarred and stubbled and tattooed, in a charcoal t-shirt and dark jeans with that leather jacket slung over the back of his chair, I recognize him instantly. 

I recognize the burnished auburn hair and those piercing bright blue eyes, and all I can do is hope that he doesn’t recognize me, too.

“Nah, let them in, boys,” William—Connor—says, leaning back in his chair with a smirk on his handsome, stubbled face. “The game was getting a bit dull, but I’m sure these ladies can liven the night right up, am I right?”

There’s a roar of laughter from around the table, Connor’s men giving their raucous assent, and the other women push forward, heading straight for their marks. But I hang back a little, my gaze fixed on Connor, my heart beating so hard in my chest that I feel as if I can hardly breathe.

He’d been handsome in the photos, dangerously so, but here—in the flesh and up close.

Everything about this room, from the armed guards to the table scattered with cards, chips and money, the fugue of cigar smoke hanging in the air and the clank of ice in highball glasses screams power, and it’s all his.

He built this, from scratch. It wasn’t handed to him. Connor McGregor was the heir to an empire, but William Davies is a self-made man. 

Looking at the man at the head of the table, his eyes fixed on me as he takes a sip from his glass, I wonder how much of Connor is left in him.

The Connor I remember was smooth, polished, arrogant, without a piece of clothing or hair out of place. He would never have sat at a table with men like these—brutish and dressed in denim and canvas and leather, boots and beards and messy hair, scars on their faces, hands and arms, weapons visible rather than carefully concealed. 

The Connor I knew didn’t gamble or smoke, and he drank socially. This man has a pile of chips in front of him, a cigar in his hand and a bottle of expensive cognac at his elbow. He oozes power, money, masculinity—and something else, too.

Sex.

The other women are already in the laps of the men around the table, high-pitched giggling filling the air, but it fades to an echo as I walk towards the table and Connor, feeling as if time has slowed down, each second punctuated by the beat of my pulse, and I can feel my mouth going dry, just as it did in the hotel when I looked at his photos. 

His gaze hasn’t left mine, and he watches me almost hungrily, like I’m prey. A meal. 

He smiles lazily as I approach, and I see a droplet of cognac still clinging to his full lower lip.

What would it taste like, if I kissed his mouth and licked it away?

The thought startles me, makes me suck in a breath. The offensive smells of the alleyway are gone, replaced with the heavy scents of vanilla and tobacco, cigar smoke, and expensive alcohol, gunpowder and something else—a smell that stirs something warm and heavy deep in my belly as I circle the table towards Connor, his gaze following me as if I’d caught his attention from the very moment I walked through the door.

Something masculine, musk and cologne, and I know it’s him.

I feel that ache between my legs again, that gathering dampness of arousal, and I swallow hard. I can feel the eyes of every man in the room on me, even the ones with women in their laps, but all I can see is Connor. And from the way he’s gazing at me, it seems as if all he can look at is me, too.

Good. You’re doing well. Keep going.

The words whisper in my head, urging me forward until I stop a hand’s-length from him, my heartbeat so fast I can hear the blood pounding in my ears.

“Well hello there, love,” he says slowly, that same smirk curling his lips as he looks up at me. “And what could a fine-looking girl like yourself be looking for in a place like this?” 

His eyes rake over me as he speaks, lingering on my breasts, my narrow waist, lower down, before sliding back up the length of me in a blatant show of lust that makes my pulse quicken all over again. 

If I hadn’t seen the file, the pictures, the evidence, I almost wouldn’t believe it’s him. He looks so different, speaks so differently—everything about him is rough, hard, dangerous, all of the polish wiped away and replaced by something else.

But it doesn’t make him less attractive. If anything, it makes him more so, spiking my arousal in a way that the old Connor never had, and I don’t know what to make of it. 

I can feel the heat of him as he looks up at me from his seat, the scent of cigar smoke and warm leather wafting off of him, and something so deeply masculine that it makes my knees feel weak. 

I’m so very close to him again, after all these years, but the feelings washing over me now are nothing like the ones I remember. 

It makes me feel uncertain, off-balance, and then before I realize what’s happening his arm snakes around my waist, and I am quite literally off-balance as he pulls me down into his lap.

His arm is tight around my waist, pulling me against him, and I can’t breathe. Connor reaches out, touching my jaw with rough-tipped fingers. 

“Pretty girl like you, so much prettier than the others,” he muses. “You must be here looking for something. Or someone?” 

He grins at me, and I feel a shiver ripple through me from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, my skin heating everywhere, but especially in all the places he’s touching me. His arm around my waist, his fingers splayed against my hip, his strong, muscular thighs underneath mine. His fingers, still resting gently against the line of my jaw.

Say it. Before you lose your chance, say it. You might not feel like yourself, but you’re still Saoirse O’Sullivan, and you’re here for a reason—not to go weak at the knees at the first touch of a man who turns you on. Do what you came for.

I reach up slowly, and for the first time in my life, I touch Connor McGregor. I slide my fingertips over his cheek, feeling the stubble scraping against my soft skin, in a mirror of the way he’s touching me. 

I take a deep breath, and I meet those bright blue eyes, doing my best to ignore the jolt that they send through me, as if they could electrify me with a look.

“I’ve heard about you, William Davies,” I say teasingly, and I see his eyes widen at his name on my lips. “So when my friends said they were coming here, I just had to come along.” 

I lean forward, my voice hushed, as if my next words are a secret just between the two of us.

“I came here looking for you.” 

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