Authors: Rebecca Joyce
The Men of Treasure Cove 5
Destined to live alone, Gabriel Sexton has never said a word about the hunger inside him. Never able to touch her, to hold her, to love her, she lives in his dreams, where he can cherish her as he wishes. Struggling with his desires, he is gifted one night to bask in her glory.
Antoinette has loved Gabriel since childhood. Her protector, confidant, and friend, she prayed that some day he would be hers. She gives in to her desire for Gabriel, only to have her dreams shattered when he walks away.
Alexander Ellis has quietly lived in the shadows of a man he has considered his best friend from childhood. Concerned, he travels to Treasure Cove, only to lose his heart to the one woman his friend desires.
When a secret from the past seems destined to destroy them, can forgiveness soothe the soul or will shattered dreams keep all of them apart forever?
BDSM, Contemporary, Ménage a Trois/Quatre
The Men of Treasure Cove 5
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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IMPRINT: Ménage Everlasting
First E-book Publication: June 2013
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To my husband, over the years we have lived, laughed, and loved together as married couples do. Through it all, we have also yelled and fought, but regardless of the situation, we have done it together, and after 19 years of marriage, we are still running strong. Thank you for never giving up on me, listening when I needed to talk, and holding me when I needed a shoulder to cry on. You are my best friend, my lover, my husband. I love you.
The Men of Treasure Cove 5
Copyright © 2013
Devonshire, England, 1824.
She had no choice.
Even though she refused, the decision was not hers to make. They had signed the contract, and there was nothing she could do about it.
She had made her opinions known, and quite loudly, she thought, but she knew there was nothing more to say that would change their minds.
Even forcing her to do something she adamantly refused to do, they never considered her sheer determination to live her own life as she saw fit. It was that sheer determination that gave her the courage to embark on an idea that was so unheard of. If caught, not only would she be ruined in the eyes of society, she would be shunned to the bowels of Scotland and never heard of again. That was something she could not think about, for tonight nothing was going stop her from achieving her independence.
Silently slipping from her bed, she prayed no one woke as she grabbed her purse and, as quietly as possible, sneaked out of her room.
She was fleeing, running as fast as her feet could take her. She had to get away. Unable to wait a moment more, she could no longer obey their decision. It was imperative that she disappear before they woke. She was not going to be forced to marry into a family she loathed.
She would not be the one her family hung their hopes on.
Silently tiptoeing down the hall, she knew which planks cracked, and she avoided them as if they were the plague. Making it to the stairs, she lifted her skirts, raised her leg, and threw it over the banister. Ever so gently, she slid her way down the rail, silently thanking her little nephews for their rambunctious behavior. If not for them, she would have never considered this option. Reaching the bottom, she once again planted both feet on the hard floor.
Treading quietly, she moved toward the large double doors at the front of the house, her slender fingers reaching the door knob. Slowly turning, she looked about her. This was the only place she had ever known.
She wished her mother had survived her birth. She would give anything to gaze upon her mother, who was loved and adored by many. Her own father grieved at the death of his beloved wife, and shortly after her death, he took his own life, leaving his only daughter to be raised by his relatives. Cherished by her aunt and uncle, she never wanted for anything. Now, as she looked one last time, making sure she left no detail unnoticed, she sighed, for this would be the last time she ever entered this house. She knew the moment she opened the door and closed it that the future before her was not going to be easy; but left with the choice of marriage to a man whose character made her tremble even thinking about it, she chose to spend the remainder of her life as a pauper rather than the wife of a man she abhorred.
Steeling herself, she walked away from everything she had ever known.
The night air was crisp, and she welcomed it. The moon shined brightly, almost as if it were lighting the way for her. She took it as a sign that she was doing the right thing, but until she was safely aboard the
she was not going to take any chances. She walked within the confines of the dense forest, keeping herself hidden from passing travelers and unsavory highwaymen.
She had to get to the ship before sunrise, or she would be found and returned.
was due to leave port at exactly dawn. Determined to be on that ship before it sailed, she did not care which direction it took as long as she was on it.
She had made this journey several times over the last week, timing herself on how long it was going to take and knowing which direction would take her there the quickest. She knew which pace to set and when to stop, but tonight, she was taking no chances and there would be no stopping, so when she heard the sounds of hooves pounding the road near her, she quickly ran deeper into the forest.
Hiding behind a tree, she cursed the late-night traveler and waited until the horse and rider were past, but when she heard a loud snap, she immediately thought she had stepped on a twig. She took a quick breath and held it, silently praying.
After a few minutes of complete silence, she emerged from the forest and continued walking when she heard the moan. Turning around quickly, she saw a body lying in the road. She waited what felt like an eternity, and when the body did not make another sound, she thought it was another drunken man who had fallen too deeply into his cups, and turned to continue on when she distinctly heard, “Please help me.”
“I do not have time for this!” She scoffed, ignoring the strong desire to help the man.
She needed to get to that ship before it left, but her conscience once again ruled, and she could not allow herself to leave this helpless person to the fates of highwaymen that roamed.
“Please help me,” the voice said again.
Sighing, she quickly walked toward the person. As she got closer, she realized it was not just any man, but a man of wealth.
Lying on his back, his face was swollen and bruised—no doubt from taking another man’s wife or gambling and not having the funds to pay the debt, but who was she to criticize? She, too, was running.
The man before her now was not what he seemed. Dressed in the finest linen of satin and silks, he exuded power and wealth. His hair was as black as the evening night and even in the moonlight, its darkness hid its shine. He was a tall man, too, at least six three, maybe four. It was his shoes that threw her off guard, not the dandy slippers the leading gentry wore, but black riding boots. They were worn, not shiny like most she had known.
“Please help me,” he said once more.
“Can you stand?” she asked, hoping he could do so of his own accord, for she was not too eager to help the man up. There was something about him that shouted danger. “I will not be much help if you cannot.”
“I think I can if you can give me your hand,” he replied.
Extending her hand, she waited for him to take hold. She gasped as the man took hold of her wrist and started to stand. The searing heat of his touch made her tremble. She had never touched a man before, and the hard softness of his warm hand awakened something deep within her. Unsure of what it was, she quickly shook off the unpleasant feeling and helped him to his feet.