Sebastian Sovrano is ruthless, arrogant, and fixated on me….
Mafia Vows, an all-new enemies-to-lovers mafia romance full of steam from bestselling author L. Steele, is available now!
Sebastian ‘grumphole’ Sovrano is ruthless, arrogant, and fixated on me.
The first time we meet at a bar I dump my drink all over him.
He retaliates by following me into the ladies’ …
We seem to rub each other up the wrong way every time we are in the same room.
He’s arrogant, high-handed, full of himself, and…
So very appealing.
No way can I act on the attraction that sizzles between us, right?
But I need to get custody of my daughter,
And he promises to help me.
Provided I pose as his wife.
Only problem? I can’t resist his mean smirk, his wickedness that appeals to the darkness inside of me.
But when he discovers my secret, the tables are turned.
Now my fake husband is also my worst enemy…
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He holds out one of the tulip shaped glasses, and I snatch it from him. Before he’s raised his own glass, I’ve tossed mine back. The alcohol leaves a trail of heat in its wake. It hits my stomach, and a ball of heat radiates out from the point of contact. I cough as my eyes water. “Jesus, what is that? Paint remover?” I glance up through my spiky eyelashes to find him watching me with something like disdain.
“What?” I sputter. “Never seen a grown woman act like a wuss?”
He merely tosses his own drink back—the action is so elegant I want to lean in and follow his every move, with my tongue—then places it on the table with a controlled snap. The kind that manages to be authoritative and demanding. Bloody hell, how can one man convey all of that with such a small gesture?
Out of the corner of my eye, I spot the bartender hurrying to refill his drink.
Seb takes the glass from me, and his fingertips brush mine. A current of electricity shoots out from the point of contact. Oh, shit. Not good, not good. Don’t want to have this kind of a reaction to this man.
“I’m not going to sleep with you. Even if you were the last man on earth,” I blurt out.
A touch of humor sparks in his eyes.
“We’ll see.” He tilts his head. “You’re a little thing, aren’t you?” He frowns, as if only now noticing my lack of height. Well, I’m five-feet-four-inches, which is pretty decent, or so I’d thought until I stood before this monster of a man.
“You’re a big, mean alphahole, aren’t you?” I scoff.
His jaw drops, but he recovers quickly; I’ll give him that much credit. “That’s not a word in the English language,” he says in a tone that could have chilled my grappa if I were still holding it in my hand, which I’m not. More’s the pity. I would have dumped it on him, just for the satisfaction of taking him by surprise again.
“It is now,” I inform him, “and by the way, I may be small, but I pack a punch.”
“Somehow I don’t doubt that.” He lowers his head until we share breath, then murmurs, “But whatever it is you’re offering, I’m not interested.”
It’s my turn to gape. “What the—?” I sputter. “I’m not offering you anything. I’m not sure what makes you think—”
He chuckles, the sound so deep, it seems to reach all the way to my toes.
“Jerk,” I snarl. “Stop laughing at me. I don’t know who you think you are, but—”
“I have to admit, your response was most satisfying.” He smirks. And damn it, that shouldn’t be so hot. And I shouldn’t still be staring at that beautiful face of his. But honestly, while I’ve only heard of men being referred to as fallen angels before, now I get where the phrase comes from. If that description fits anyone, it’s this larger-than-life guy who’s looking at me like he’s the most superior thing ever to have walked this planet.
“Only because you caught me by surprise.” I poke my finger in his chest. “I’ll have you know, normally, I am far cooler and more collected.”
“No doubt, it’s my presence that unnerves you,” he drawls. “It’s your presence that makes me want to leave this bar,” I retort.
“No one’s stopping you.” He raises his hand in a dismissive gesture, much like the one I used on him earlier. “In fact, I’ll give you a drink to go.” He jerks his chin at the bartender.
For the second time in a few minutes, I gape at him.
“And I thought Italian men were such charmers.”
“Only with the right kind of women,” he shoots back.
“Which I am not—when it comes to you— thank god.” I pretend to wipe my forehead. “I wouldn’t be interested in you if you were the last man on this planet.”
He yawns. “I believe you already mentioned that. Are you done with your childish tantrum?”
I resist the urge to stamp my foot; that would only confirm his misogynistic remark, and I am not going to validate his misplaced perception.
“I’ll have a beer,” I say in a casual voice.
“Eh?” A line appears between his eyebrows, marring the expanse of that gorgeous forehead.
“A beer.” I stab my thumb over my shoulder. “Tell him I want a beer to go.”
“Instead of grappa?” He wrinkles his nose like I’ve suddenly developed a bad smell.
Not that I didn’t like the taste of it, but there’s a reason I’m asking for beer. “In fact, make it a pint. You know us Brits; we never settle for anything less.”
He shoots me a look filled with disgust.
“There, there, it can’t be all that bad.” I pat his chest. The heat of his body instantly soaks through his shirt to bleed into my skin. I shiver. To say the man is ripped is an understatement. I mean, I have touched walls which were less firm. Okay, maybe a tad exaggerated on my part, or not. I swear, the man must spend all of his spare time working out.
He glances down at where my hand seems to have developed a relationship with the front of his shirt.
“Oops, sorry.” Not. I lower my hand to my side.
“Your hair…” He points to where I have piled my hair on my head. Half of it has come undone, and strands now hang about my face. The curse of having thick hair. Not to mention, the humidity in this establishment pretty much means my hair is frizzy and escaping from its messy bun.
“What of my hair?” I scowl.
“I’ve seen bird’s nests that are tidier.”
“Such sweet compliments. Keep that up, and I’ll be sure you have a crush on me.”
I glower up at him.
The skin around his eyes creases. Then he reaches over and tucks a strand of hair behind my ear. Tendrils of loathing—it has to be loathing—shiver out from where his fingertips brushed my earlobe.
Someone clears their throat. That’s when I realize Theresa is standing beside us.
Meet L. Steele
L. Steele loves to tame alphaholes. She writes romance stories with possessive growly men who meet their match in sassy, curvy, spitfire women 🙂 She also writes dark sexy paranormal romance as NY Times bestseller Laxmi Hariharan.
Married to a man who cooks as well as he talks. She lives in London.