Fragments of Ash
(A Modern Fairytale #7)
Publication date: October 1st 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales, Romance, Young Adult
From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes a dark and twisted retelling of the beloved fairytale, Cinderella!
My name is Ashley Ellis…
I was thirteen years old when my mother – retired supermodel, Tig – married Mosier Răumann, who was twice her age and the head of the Răumann crime family.
When I turned eighteen, my mother mysteriously died. Only then did I discover the dark plans my stepfather had in store for me all along; the debauched “work” he expected me to do.
With the help of my godfather, Gus, I have escaped from Mosier’s clutches, but his twin sons and henchmen have been tasked with hunting me down. And they will stop at nothing to return my virgin body to their father
…dead or alive.
** Contemporary Romance. Due to profanity and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**
My eyes skitter to the barn, where I can hear voices raised in increasing anger. Suddenly a man comes stalking out of the door, wearing a T-shirt, jeans, and black leather gloves that cover his forearms. He takes them off and tucks them under his arm as he approaches me.
“Are you kidding me, Jock?” he asks over his shoulder, practically spitting the words. “Goddamnit.”
Jock calls to the man from the barn door, and that’s when I see a reddish-brown hound escape from behind Jock, rushing across the driveway toward me.
I feel my face split into a grin. I love dogs. With the exception of Mosier’s attack animals, I have always loved dogs, but Tig never let me have one. There’s a dog here? Oh, God, please let this work out. Please let me rest here a while.
I squat down, holding out my hand to the animal as he approaches. He sniffs my hands before letting me pet him behind pendulous, curtainlike, velvet-soft ears. “Hello, baby. You’re so beautiful, you sweet, sweet girl.”
“He’s male,” spits a voice over my head.
I look up, rising slowly, unable to look away from the man yelling at me.
Bright green and heavily lashed, they widen in surprise, staring into mine for a long and life-changing moment before they narrow with anger, sliding away from me and back to Jock.
I don’t hear anything as his voice lowers to a point of fury, likely telling Jock all the reasons I am unwanted here. Usually it would sting a little to watch someone reject me summarily on first meeting, but I am so mesmerized by his face, by his body, by his rugged and innate beauty, I can barely breathe, let alone force my ears to function in any sort of meaningful way.
He is tall. Taller than me, six two or six three, with a clearly defined, muscled body under a gray T-shirt and beat-up jeans slung low on his hips. He wears boots that, in the sunlight, appear to be flecked with a million pieces of diamond dust—they twinkle every time he moves them. With his hands on his hips, the cords of sinew in his forearms pop just enough to create a map of trails that lead to his wrists and hands. The backs of his hands, like his boots, are dusted with diamonds, and when he raises one to reinforce one of the many reasons I absolutely may not stay here, it catches the sunlight and sparkles.
As I stare at his hand, I realize it’s quiet—really quiet—and the silence startles me back to reality.
I look at Gus, who darts a quick and disappointed glance at Julian.
I slide my eyes—slowly, bracing myself for impact all the while—to Julian, watching him flinch, his jaw tight and his pink lips pursed as he regards me.
“I’m not trying to offend you,” he huffs.
“I’m . . . not offended,” I answer, my voice lower than usual. I’m being honest. I haven’t heard a single word he’s said.
“Of course she’s fucking offended,” says Jock, the expletive almost comical when delivered in his British accent.
But Gus knows better, and the expression on his face proves it. He knows that I am accustomed to being rejected and it doesn’t bother me in the way it would shock and distress another woman.
“She has nowhere else to go,” he says quietly.
“And this is my land,” Jock adds with quiet steel, his gentility back in check.
“So you’re going to force me to have this . . . this . . . this girl stay here.”
But this does offend me, in fact, because I’ve been waiting to be a woman for a long time, and at eighteen, I’m allowed to wear the title.
“I’m an adult,” I hear myself say.
“Barely,” he shoots back, his eyes changing color to a dark and angry evergreen.
“I’ll stay out of your way,” I assure him. “I’m good at that.”
“Fuck this,” mutters Julian, running a hand through his hair and looking pissed. “Fine! But I stay rent free as long as she’s here.”
“Done,” says Jock, holding out his hand to shake on it.
Julian raises his sparkling hand and shakes with his landlord before putting his gloves back on and leveling an angry gaze at me. “Stay the fuc—” He pauses, his jaw ticking as he struggles for self-control. Finally he manages to grind out: “Stay out of my way.”
“No prob—” I start to say, but he turns on his heel and stalks back to the barn, disappearing into its inky depths. The dog stares up at me for a moment, his hound eyes mournful, as though wishing he could apologize for his owner’s rough behavior. After a beat, he turns forlornly and lumbers after his master.
“That went well,” says Gus.
“Moody bastard,” mutters Jock.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Fragments of Ash is part of the ~a modern fairytale~ collection: contemporary, standalone romances inspired by beloved fairy tales.
The Vixen and the Vet (Beauty & the Beast) – available now
Never Let You Go (Hansel & Gretel) – available now
Ginger’s Heart (Little Red Riding Hood) – available now
Dark Sexy Knight (Camelot) – available now
Don’t Speak (The Little Mermaid) – available now
Sheer Heaven (Rapunzel) – available now
Fragments of Ash (Cinderella) – coming October 1, 2018
Swan Song (The Ugly Duckling) – coming soon
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract, and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.
Forty books later, Katy claims authorship of the multititled New York Times and USA Today bestselling Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other stand-alone novels and novellas, including the critically-acclaimed, 2018 RITA© nominated, USA Today bestselling contemporary romance, Unloved, a love story.
Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, became a New York Times e-book bestseller.
Katy’s books are available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.
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