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Savage Assassin

Savage Assassin

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Levin says I’m too young. Too innocent. That I’m his responsibility. That he’d never be able to live with himself if he did the things I want him to. But I’m old enough to know I don’t want to die a virgin–and that I want the one thing I never thought I’d have....The chance to choose.

Savage Assassin is the first book in the Savage Trilogy. The trilogy is complete. Reading order Savage Assassin, Savage Princess, Savage Love. 

Main Tropes

  • Protector to Lover
  • Marriage of Convenience
  • Unexpected Pregnancy

Synopsis

A man with no mercy wants my hand in marriage. But this princess won’t be bartered away.

My sister angered Diego Gonzalez, the most powerful cartel boss in Mexico, when she refused to bend to his will. Now, with her out of his reach, he’s turned his attention to the only means of getting his revenge–demanding that my father hand me over, or start a war.

But my father has alliances. And they send someone to rescue me. Someone who will turn my entire world upside down.

Levin Volkov is something out of a fantasy. Nearly two decades older than me, handsome beyond belief, a dangerous man–and an honorable one, who’s only job is to get me out of danger, and back to Boston where I can be safe with my sister. As far as he’s concerned, I’m a job, and nothing else.

But fate has other ideas. Before we know it, we’re stranded–trapped together with no hope of rescue, and the clock on our lives ticking away. I know there’s things I want to do before I die–and one of them is standing right in front of me.

Levin says I’m too young. Too innocent. That I’m his responsibility. That he’d never be able to live with himself if he did the things I want him to. But I’m old enough to know I don’t want to die a virgin–and that I want the one thing I never thought I’d have.

The chance to choose.

Levin Volkov thinks he’s all wrong for me. But this savage assassin is the one I want.

Click Here To Read An Excerpt

Chapter One

Elena


In all the years I’ve known him, my father has rarely ever raised his voice.

It’s terrifying to hear him raise it now. Especially to my mother.

I’m crouched outside the heavy wooden double doors that lead into his office, listening as they argue. It feels even worse than a normal argument because they’re arguing about me.

“This is real danger, Lupé,” I hear my father say, his voice low and urgent. “Diego isn’t going to stop. He’s not ever going to stop, not until he’s dealt with or we give him what he wants. We’re on the verge of all-out war–and I refuse to give him my daughter.”

Our daughter,” my mother hisses. “This is Isabella’s fault. The match was perfectly suitable; it just wasn’t what she wanted. She ran off with that Irishman, all because of her selfish decisions, and now we’re left to pick up the pieces. Elena is left to pick up the pieces.”

A jolt of fear pierces through me. I don’t fully understand what she means, but I can feel the tension in the air, seeping out from the room until my stomach feels like a series of cold knots, my heart beating hard in my chest.

“You are right about that,” I hear my father say tiredly. “Diego wants her to make up for losing Isabella. But I’m not giving in to those fucking demands. He can’t have her. It’s not an option, no matter what he threatens–”

“You might consider that it’s possible to make it work.” My mother’s voice is taut and haughty, the tone I’ve always heard her use when she’s insistent that she be listened to. But I can hear a thread of fear in it too, and I know she’s scared.

We’re all scared. Ever since Isabella left, it’s been nothing but fear. We all heard how Diego sent her to the bride-tamer for her insolence, for how she’d refused to give in to him. It had only been a few days later when my father had received the first threat from him, and we’d found out that she’d escaped.

The communication from the Kings had come a little while later, and we’d known then that the Irishman had saved her and taken her to Boston. She’s safe now, far away from here.

We’re anything but.

“He could make assurances that he won’t hurt her,” my mother insists, her voice carrying louder now. “Make that a term of the deal. Her safety. That he treats her the way a husband should treat his wife.”

“You’re out of your mind, Lupé.” My father’s voice is rougher now, angrier. “What will we do if we make that deal, and he goes back on it? How would we enforce that? How would we protect her? He’ll have her then, and we’ll still be where we are now–weaker than ever, because he’ll have the threat of her life to hold over us.”

There’s a moment of silence, and I can see in my mind’s eye the way my father must be shaking his head, his arms crossed stubbornly over his chest. I’ve seen it before, when I’ve caught sight of them arguing.

“I’m not going to throw her to the wolves like that,” he says, so quietly that I almost don’t hear it. “It’s not going to happen. We’ll find another way.”

“He’s going to kill us,” my mother murmurs, and this time I can hear the panic clearly in her voice. “You have to do something, Ricardo. We can’t rely on the Irish–”

The same panic floods through me, and I clench my fists against my stomach as I crouch there, listening, my blood turning to ice. 

I miss Isabella. I miss her so much. She would know what to do, what to say–

It might be objectively true that she’s the reason we’re in this position, but I don’t blame her, not like our mother does. How could I? She had always been the wilder one, the braver one, not much older than me, but enough for me to look up to her. To want to be as brave as she was.

As she is.

She’d gotten everything that she wanted, everything that we’d both been too afraid to dream of for our future. She’d gone out and claimed it for her own, seduced the Irishman, and he’d fallen in love with her. He saved her and took her far away from here, like some kind of fairytale. It was exactly the kind of adventure, the kind of romance that we’d whispered about once upon a time, a story that had never ever seemed like it could come true.

I want my own happy ending now. But I can see that it’s not going to happen.

The best I can hope for is that somehow, my father will keep me out of Diego Gonzalez’s clutches. That he’ll keep him from claiming me as restitution for Isabella–for his lost bride.

I can’t help wondering, as I listen to my parents fight over my fate, if Isabella knows what’s happening. If she would have done things differently if she’d known that Diego would come for me next.

I hope that she wouldn’t. I want her to be happy–and I want my own happiness, too.

The right-side door to the office flings open suddenly, so quickly that I jump and tumble backward onto my ass, letting out what my mother would term a very unladylike squeak of shock.

It’s my mother who is storming out of the office, and she pauses, her face tight with anger as she looks down at me sprawled on the stone tile floor.

“I see you were eavesdropping,” she says icily, her eyes narrowing. “What did I do, to be cursed with no sons and two such rebellious daughters who–”

“Lupé, that’s enough.” My father’s voice booms past her as he pushes open the other door, stepping around my mother as he reaches out to help me up from the floor. “Elena is scared. We all are. There’s no need to make that worse.”

It’s meant to be reassurance, but somehow hearing my father say that he’s scared, lumping himself in with the we all are, makes this all feel a hundred thousand times worse. I can see it on his face, as I get to my feet slowly, dusting myself off. His expression is as composed as ever, but I can see the fear in his eyes, lurking there. 

Throughout all my life, my father has always been the steadfast rock, the one I knew could keep us safe from anything. I always felt secure that he loved Isabella and me, that he would protect us, and I knew we were lucky in that regard. In our world, daughters could be nothing more than a means to make alliances. They are only valuable because they could be used as a bargaining chip. 

I knew our father had never seen us like that. Even when he’d felt forced to promise Isabella to Diego Gonzalez, it hadn’t been because he’d wanted it. It hadn’t been because he’d thought that was her purpose.

And now, he’s trying to protect me from the same thing.

“Lupé, go upstairs.” His voice is colder than I’ve ever heard speaking to my mother. “Let’s take some time to cool down. We’ll talk about this later.”

I see her mouth tighten angrily. She hates when my father orders her around; I’ve always known that. But surprisingly, she doesn’t argue. 

“Are you alright?” He brushes off my arms, looking at me with clear concern. “How much did you hear?”

I press my lips together, feeling a little sheepish now that he’s caught me eavesdropping–but I’m also still terrified. “Everything,” I admit quietly, looking up at him. “Is Diego really going to–”

“No,” he says sharply, cutting me off as he pulls me in for a hug, wrapping his arms around me in the embrace that I’ve always found so comforting, all my life. “I’m not going to let that happen, Elena. I’ll keep you and your mother safe. I promise.”

“But–what can you do to get him to stop? You said he won’t–”

“I know what I said.” My father lets out a sigh, reaching up to stroke my hair as he looks at me ruefully. “I wish you and your sister never had to grow up, you know? It was so much easier when you were children. No one wanted to take you from me. Isabella was still willful–but you were always good. You both would listen better, then. There was less for you to fear. More for you to dream of–”

He lets out a sigh, running one hand through his hair as he looks down at me, his face taut with worry now. “I can’t blame your sister for trying to escape him. I do blame her for the mess of things that she made with that Irishman, but she’s safe with him in Boston now, so perhaps she knew what she was doing all along.”

“But Mama feels like she left us to pick up the pieces.” I bite my lower lip. “Is that how you feel, too?”

“Your sister should never have had to shoulder the responsibility of keeping this family safe. It’s unfair that she should ever have had to do so. I don’t want the same to happen to you.”

“I don’t want to marry Diego.” I feel a cold shudder go through me just at the thought. “He won’t be kind to me, no matter what you make him promise–”

“I know. He’ll take his anger at Isabella out on you. That’s why he wants you. And that’s why I won’t allow it.”

Gently, my father reaches for my upper arm, steering me towards the stairs that lead up to the floor where my bedroom is. “I think it’s better if you’re upstairs in your room for now, though, Elena. I have work to do, and I’ll feel better if I know where you are, with José patrolling.”

“Diego isn’t going to come here–”

“I hope not.” My father catches the expression on my face and winces. “I shouldn’t be so honest with you. I don’t want to frighten you.”

“I’m twenty years old.” I look up at him, wrinkling my nose. “I’m not a child for you to keep secrets from anymore.”

He laughs ruefully. “Twenty is still a child, Elena. You’ll understand that one day. And you’re still mine to protect, for now. So I intend to do that.”

José is coming around the corner as we walk up, making his rounds of the upper floor. He catches sight of me and my father, and stops, inclining his head respectfully. “Señor Santiago. Is there something you need?”

“Just for Elena to stay in her room for tonight. I have business to take care of, and I’ll feel better if I know she’s here, safe and sound.”

“Of course.”

José looks at me with an unfathomable expression on his face, something darker than I’m accustomed to seeing from him. Not so long ago, when Isabella was still here, he was always in a lighter mood, teasing us and mildly flirting with my sister. However, he was always quick to shut it down when she pushed it too far. We’d both always had a bit of a crush on him–it was hard not to. He’s extraordinarily handsome, deeply tanned with buzz-cut black hair, dark eyes, a strong jaw, and a muscled body that his fatigued cargo pants and tech shirt cling to more tightly than they really have any right to. 

But recently, he’s been quieter, more sullen. He nods tightly to my father, who smiles at me as he pushes my door open. “Goodnight, Elena,” my father says pointedly, letting me know that he expects me to stay put, as he said.

Where would I go, anyway? It’s not as if I have the nerve to leave the compound in search of adventure or an escape the way my sister did. It’s not as if I could go anywhere at all. The most I might do is wander to the library upstairs or go out to the garden, and it’s not a terrible loss to be unable to do that tonight. I can curl up in bed with one of my books and float far away from here, into some kind of adventure that I’ll never be able to live in real life.

I’m about to close the door when José’s arm pushes against it, stopping me as he glares down at me with a bitter expression on his face. “Don’t make me have to chase you down,” José says irritably, once my father is out of earshot. “Just stay in your room like a good girl, alright? Don’t make my life any fucking harder than it already is.”

“I hadn’t planned on it.” I can hear a bite to my own words that isn’t usually there–it’s been a long and scary night, and I don’t quite understand why he’s been like this recently. “Is there something you want to tell me, José? It’s not as if we haven’t known each other for a long time.”

“Why would I want to tell you anything?” he asks irritably. “It’s my job to keep you safe, not talk to you.”

Something about the way he says it makes me feel more upset than before. “No one is making you,” I snap back, retreating further into my room. “I’m sorry I asked.”

He turns away, but before he does, I hear him mutter under his breath.

Spoiled brat.”

I’m at the door in an instant, shoving it open wider as I glare at his back. “I heard you,” I snap accusingly, and I see his shoulders shake for an instant, almost as if he’s laughing–or as if he’s very angry.

Slowly, he turns around, his expression dark and hard. “I don’t care if you heard me,” José says evenly. “In fact, I’ll say it again. You’re a spoiled fucking brat, and your father should have handed you over to Diego Gonzalez long before this.”

I can feel myself start to tremble, a fine shaking spreading through me, but I tilt my chin up, staring him down. “I’m sure he’d love to hear you say that to his face.”

“It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I feel that way, if I did.” José steps closer to my door, his muscled bulk almost filling the doorway. There was a time when I would have felt my pulse leap at him being so close, but now I just feel afraid. It’s clear he’s angry, and I don’t entirely understand why.

“My brother died in the fight with the Gonzalez cartel when he took Isabella,” José says evenly, his every word tight and harsh. “All to protect the Santiago princesses. And I’ll be expected to do the same, if it comes to it. While you face no consequences for not doing your duty.”

He glares down at me. “Your sister should have married Diego like she was supposed to, and none of this would have happened. If she’d done her duty, my brother would be alive. There would be no war going on. And you–”

His gaze slides up and down me, in a way that feels far too personal for who he is and who I am. “You wouldn’t be in danger of following in her footsteps.”

The words are low and threatening, and he smiles tightly down at me, his eyes still hard and cold. “Goodnight, princesa,” he murmurs. “Sweet dreams.”

I manage to stay upright until he shuts the door, harder than he needed to. I stumble backward, feeling my pulse pounding in my throat as I sink down onto the edge of my bed, feeling that same terror that I’d felt earlier, threatening to overwhelm me all over again. 

Diego Gonzalez is coming for my family. For me, just like he had my sister.

Isabella had Niall to save her. 

Who is going to save me?

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