Read Taken by Passion: King of Hearts (Wonderland Book 1) Online

Authors: Jaymie Holland,Cheyenne McCray

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Taken by Passion: King of Hearts (Wonderland Book 1)

BOOK: Taken by Passion: King of Hearts (Wonderland Book 1)
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

TAKEN BY PASSION

COPYRIGHT

BEGINNINGS

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

EPILOGUE

Cheyenne writing as Jaymie Holland

Also by Cheyenne McCray

Stranded

Excerpt…Hidden Prey

About Jaymie Holland

TAKEN BY PASSION

Wonderland Series

Jaymie Holland

WONDERLAND: Taken by Passion Copyright © 2015 Jaymie Holland All rights reserved. No part of this eBook may be reproduced in whole or in part, scanned, photocopied, recorded, distributed in any printed or electronic form, or reproduced in any manner whatsoever, or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or hereafter invented, without express written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.

Published by Pink Zebra Publishing.

Formatting by Bella Media Management.

Cover by Scott Carpenter at www.pandngraphics.com e-book ISBN: 978-1-939778-69-7

BEGINNINGS

DEAR READER, The Wonderland series is back! The award-winning
Taken by Passion/King of Hearts
has been expanded by almost
thirty percent
of never-before published material. That’s the equivalent of nearly
sixty pages
of new and expanded scenes!

I have more great news for Wonderland fans! As countless readers have requested,
a new fifth book
will be coming soon in the series, entitled
Owned by Fire
.

St. Martin’s Press published
Taken by Passion
in trade paperback only, with the pseudonym Jaymie Holland. Ellora’s Cave published the series primarily in e-book, the first as
King of Hearts
under the name Cheyenne McCray
.

Taken by Passion/King of Hearts
has won numerous awards and accolades, including the
RT Book Reviews Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Award.
Other awards include
The Road to Romance’s
Reviewer’s Choice Award
, the Gold Star Award from
Just Erotic Romance Reviews,
and the Cupid and Psyche Award from
The Romance Studio.

Accolades include five roses from
A Romance Review,
five hearts from
The Romance Studio,
and it was awarded a 4 1/2-star TOP PICK from
RT Book Reviews Magazine.
Many review sites gave it high praise, including
The Best Reviews, Round Table Reviews,
and
Romance Reviews Today.

I hope you enjoy
Taken by Passion
and have fun on your own trip down the rabbit hole.

Cheyenne McCray
aka Jaymie Holland

CHAPTER ONE

IT HAD BEEN THE MORNING FROM HELL. Possibly the worst day of her life, but Alice O’Brien was still reserving judgment on that one.

A thick San Francisco fog shrouded the city, perfectly mirroring her dark mood as she stood on the landing outside her apartment door and searched her purse. She’d just climbed the three flights to her apartment, which was above the dim sum restaurant on Grant Street. On the trek up, she had managed to snag her last pair of queen-sized nylons because
somebody
had left a mop bucket out on the second floor landing.

Damn but she had to get a new apartment and a new landlady.

And before that lovely icing on her day, when she’d made the hike from her ex-job on Market Street, all the way up to Grant, she’d stepped into possibly the deepest puddle in the whole freaking city. And definitely the most polluted.

But of course that hadn’t been good enough. Oh, not by a long shot. Not only had she stepped into the mud puddle, but she’d stumbled and dropped her new cell phone half in and half out of the puddle. Maybe it would work when it dried out, but right now she doubted it.
Nothing
was working in her favor.

Alice shivered, her toes growing numb in her soaked walking shoes.
Now where’s that damn key?
After this morning, it would be just peachy if she’d gone and lost her house key.

Normally Alice would be at work right now, efficiently performing mundane secretarial duties for Mitch, that slimeball of an accountant she used to work for. However, when she’d insisted this morning that her name was not Monica and that he was not the president, and that her administrative duties did not include sucking his dick, he’d canned her.

The bastard freaking fired me.

Well, he’d be one dick-less sonofabitch CPA when her twin sister, Alexi, got ahold of him. A dynamic attorney, Alexi specialized in sexual harassment and divorce cases, and Alice fully intended to hire her and make that bastard pay.

Alice gave a cry of frustration and almost threw her purse onto the cracked concrete landing. Where was that damn key?

A splatter landed on Alice’s shoulder. Very slowly she turned to look, knowing what would be on her trench coat even before she saw it.

Pigeon shit.

Alice groaned and banged her forehead against the wooden door of her apartment.

Perfect. Just perfect.

How could the day possibly get any worse?

She banged her head against the door, harder this time. It swung open. She stumbled over the threshold, barely managing to keep from falling on her face. Smells of stale bacon and moldy carpet assailed her.

Damn Jon.
Her somewhat forgetful—make that irresponsible—fiancé, had forgotten to lock the door again.

Well, this time it might be the one thing in the whole miserable morning that had worked out in her favor.

Alice ached from head to toe as she dropped her purse next to the old-fashioned telephone on the table just inside the entryway, then closed the door behind her. Who would have thought that being fired, falling into a puddle the size of the San Francisco Bay, probably ruining her cell phone, and shredding her best and most expensive pair of pantyhose—not to mention getting shit on—would be so exhausting?

And all before noon.

After she shrugged out of her soiled trench coat, she let it drop to the cracked black-and-white-checked linoleum. She kicked off her soaked walking shoes and peeled off her sopping wet nylons. Her low-heeled sandals were in her purse—everyone in the City by the Bay made the hike up and down the steep hills in comfortable shoes and carried their heels for work. With its narrow streets and lack of inexpensive parking, no one drove to work in San Francisco. Instead, they walked or took the city buses or rode the cable cars.

Alice gave a weary sigh as she tugged on her short skirt that had somehow twisted around her ample hips so that the zipper was off kilter. Why couldn’t she be slender, with all those thick, wavy, auburn locks like her twin? Alice wouldn’t have minded at all if they’d been identical, so long as they both looked like Alexi. Their turquoise eyes were one of the few things they had in common.

Alice sighed again as she tightened the blue silk ribbon holding her hair back, away from her rounder-than-Alexi’s face. She lifted her fine, long, and very straight blonde hair out of the collar of her blouse. She started toward her purse to get her cell phone out and sighed. Right. Likely ruined.

For a moment she wondered what it would be like to be able to call her mother and tell her about her day. Even her father. But both had left Alice and Alexi when they were young. Their father had cheated and left with the woman he’d been screwing. They took off together and apparently had twin boys. Her father hadn’t looked back and enjoyed his new family now.

Alice and Alexi’s mother, on the other hand, had lost her mind when their father left. She became transient, a homeless woman who traveled from place to place. They had tried to help their mother, but mentally she was gone, and she up and disappeared and they hadn’t been able to find her since.

Pushing aside things she didn’t want to think about, Alice eyed the old-fashioned telephone on the entryway table. Thank God for old technology. She took a deep breath, snatched up the receiver, and dialed Alexi’s cell phone.
Just wait until she hears what happened.

“This is Alexi,” came the firm don’t-mess-with-me voice that she used for business. Alice’s home phone always came up
private caller
, so Alexi wouldn’t have seen Alice’s name come up on the Caller ID screen.

“It’s your favorite twin,” Alice said as she fiddled with the woven bracelet her sister had given her for their eighteenth birthday, six years ago.

Alexi’s tone changed instantly to that of the friendly, fun-loving sister Alice had grown up with: “Heya, sis. Why aren’t you calling me on your cell?”

Alice’s shoulders sagged. “Because it ended up in the bottom of a mud puddle.”

“Ouch.” Alexi shifted the conversation to her favorite refrain. “Dump that loser yet?”

Alice rolled her eyes to the ceiling of the small entryway. Neither her best friend, Maryam, nor her sister liked Jon at all. They didn’t see the fun side of him, and the way he made Alice laugh. “You’re talking about my fiancé.”

Alexi snorted. “Yeah. The loser.”

“Whatever.” Alice twirled the phone cord like a mini jump rope. “I’m calling from home. Are you down at the office or working out of your apartment today?”

“Right upstairs.” Papers rustled as Alexi spoke. “Shall I stomp twice? I have on my red heels. That’s got to be like clicking ruby slippers to take us out of here.”

“Close enough.” Alice smiled. Alexi could always make her smile. “You don’t happen to have any mocha almond fudge in your freezer, do you?” Alice pulled the phone cord taut in irritation. “Jon ate the last of mine. And damn it, I need to talk.”

“Two whole pints. Is this a pint-each talk, or a two-spoons-in-one-pint problem?”

“Honey, I need a pint all my own.” Alice tapped her long fingernails on the telephone stand, the
click-clack
echoing through the empty hallway. “Something happened today—”

“What?”
Alice could just imagine Alexi bolting out of her chair as she practically shouted the word. “You’re not hurt or anything, are you? I would have sensed it—”

“No.” She had to smile at her two-minute-older protective sister. “It’s nothing like that. It—”

A woman’s passionate cry tore through the apartment and Alice froze.

“What was that?” Alexi asked in her attorney voice.

“Hold on.” Alice’s heart pounded and she gritted her teeth. “I’m about to find out.”

She
thunked
the phone on the wooden stand, and as she walked away she could hear her sister’s voice saying, “Alice? You’d better be back on the line in thirty seconds or I’m coming down with Mace!”

Alice’s head buzzed as her bare feet padded over the cracked linoleum floor toward the single bedroom.
He couldn’t. He wouldn’t.

Would he?

Feminine laughter followed by Jon’s familiar moan of ecstasy confirmed that he would.
The cheating bastard.

But she had to see for herself. Had to see that it was her loser of a fiancé.

She peeked around the doorframe, and the buzzing in her head increased. Sure enough, Jon was naked and between the just-as-naked thighs of Min, their beautiful slender landlady, and he was suckling the dark nipples of her small, firm breasts.

BOOK: Taken by Passion: King of Hearts (Wonderland Book 1)
4.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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