Love is for peasants; nobles marry for power. These are the rules Jocelynn has lived by. She is expected to be the poised and perfect vision of relentless power. Set to inherit the House of Akillie, she was bred to rule, and no man has ever turned her head—until now.
Madden achieved the impossible, the first in over a century to escape the life of hard labor and earn a place among the elite. With the chance for a fresh start, he has to stay focused, not damn himself by falling for the one girl forbidden to him.
Madden was Jocelynn’s experiment in freedom, and she didn’t mean to fall. But now she can't live without him. He’s worth running from everything she’s ever known.
With no other options, Jocelynn turns to a formidable group of rebels to escape her fate. But with a war to be won, the rebels have their own agenda. Drowning in a game of power and politics, Madden and Jocelynn can’t trust anyone if they want to make it out alive.
“What do you mean?” she asked, her voice laced with sleep.
“I’m not so ignorant I don’t know you could have invited any guy to your bed, and they would have come.”
She glanced up at me. “Because you don’t treat me like they do.”
“Because I didn’t know who you were.” I laughed it off.
“No, even after. You’re intelligent but not superior. Kind but not soft and witty but not mean. The attitude of those born here is entitlement. You’re refreshing.” She paused. “Plus you don’t pander to me to stay on my good side. You say what you’re thinking.”
I winced a little. “You mean when I yelled at you?”
“Why do you seem to love all the parts of me I hate?” I brushed my lips over her temple.
“Because you see them as weaknesses, and I see them as strengths.” She rolled half on top of me to set her chin on my chest.
I grew semihard, trying not to squirm too much under her when we were having a serious discussion. “Because I want to be seen as strong, not weak. I want to be respected. The qualities you like about me don’t bring that about.”
She shook her head. “You’re wrong. You can be kind and well respected.”
“It’s seen as feminine. I don’t want to project that.”
“You don’t have to be macho to be manly. I hate when men are like that.” Her stare was harsh.
“Well you must be the only one.” I slid my hand down her spine, painfully aware of how close we were and what we could be doing up here so far from both our realities.
“Do you care what anyone else thinks?” She raised both brows.
I wasn’t sure how to answer her. “I do care how people see me. But I don’t care if anyone else feels the way you do.”
“Good, but you should stop caring what everyone else thinks.” She pushed her knees between mine and slipped between them.
I parted my thighs, welcoming her there. My arousal grew hard against her stomach.
“You’re so easy.” She rocked over me softly.
“I’m not easy, you’re good.” I lifted my head to chase her mouth, demanding a kiss. She gave in, slipping her tongue into my mouth.
When she broke the kiss she looked down at me with heavily lidded eyes. “Let’s go back.”
My heart sank. “I’ll take you back, if you want.” She always pulled back when we got heated. I was starting to think she had no interest in more.
“You ask me to trust you. Have a little faith in return.”
I nodded and waited.
She blew out a breath. “I trust you, and I need to get back. Come to my chambers with me.” She looked right into my eyes as she said it, and it may have been the most alluring thing I’d ever heard.