After serving four years for a murder he didn’t commit, ex-cop River tries to avoid the human race. He runs street cons to make enough money for the dilapidated room he rents and the booze he drinks to stay numb. But when he tries to scam a gorgeous stranger who’s robbing an ATM, he soon realizes he’s tangled with the wrong man.
Braelan is the prince of the Seelie Fae, just arrived in the human realm to avoid becoming King. He also has unfinished business with his half-brother, who he owes a debt that may be impossible to repay. When a scruffy, unkempt human attempts to take the money he’s stealing, Braelan offers to pay him in exchange for spending the night with him–though he has no idea why he’s attracted to the man.
Despite himself, River agrees to one night only–and after the most incredible sex of his life, he realizes there’ll be no getting over Braelan anytime soon. But River doesn’t want to feel anything, and Braelan feels too much. While neither can deny what might be love, River’s past is coming back to haunt him…and it will drag Braelan down with him.
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An excerpt from UNFORGIVEN:
River turned the shower off and crouched on the stained plastic floor. Shivering slightly, he worked to wring out the sodden heap of clothes at his feet. Sharing a bathroom among six people, where the water didn’t work half the time anyway, meant being efficient. He always washed his clothes whenever he managed to snag the shower.
Of course, this time he could’ve afforded a Laundromat. But the stares and the humiliation weren’t worth the convenience.
Damned if the shower hadn’t sobered him up a lot more than he wanted. He’d slammed down half the bottle of JW and expected to pass out, but it didn’t happen. He still felt like shit. The unrelenting crush of guilt almost made him want to donate the money to orphans or something, even though he’d amputated his conscience years ago.
But that wouldn’t change what he’d done to Braelan. He’d just have to learn to live with himself. Shouldn’t be too hard. After all, he’d done it many times before.
By the time he’d wrung as much water from his clothes as he could manage, his hands were red and chapped. He flung the clothes over the curtain bar, reached out and grabbed the towel he’d left on the floor. After he dried off, he cinched the towel around his waist and plucked the faded lanyard with his room key from the showerhead to drape it around his neck. Couldn’t leave keys lying around here. Especially with the fortune stashed in his room.
He headed out carrying the damp bundle of clothes. The hall was empty and fairly quiet. Even street people had to sleep sometime. He shuffled to his room, surprised to feel the first pangs of exhaustion seeping into his bones. Must’ve been the shower that relaxed him.
The door didn’t give him any trouble. Strange. Damned thing always stuck for at least a few seconds. He stepped inside, closed the door and locked it behind him.
A sense of wrongness hit him just before he noticed the shadowed figure seated in his sole chair. Reacting on instinct, he dropped the clothes, grabbed the gun he kept by the door and leveled it at whoever it was. “It’s loaded,” he said.
It wasn’t. He’d never risk the chance that Diamond or little Jack would find their way in here somehow. But the intruder didn’t have to know that.
“Well, then. It is a good thing you said you’d not shoot me.”
He almost fell back against the door. “Braelan?”
“Ah. So you do remember me.” The figure stood and moved into the scant light pooling beyond the threadbare curtain over his window. Definitely the same guy he’d Tased. Just as gorgeous — and a lot more pissed. “And I thought you’d left behind all but the money. River.”
A chill snaked through him when his name left the man’s lips. He could conceivably be in a lot of trouble here. “I lied. I will shoot you,” he said. “Get out.”
Braelan folded his arms. “Go ahead. Make my day.”
“You –” He blinked and had to steady his aim again. “Did you just quote Dirty Harry at me?”
“Sudden Impact, is it not?” A smile chased the fury from Braelan’s features. “I do enjoy movies.”
“Oh, Christ.” Heart hammering, he reached back and fumbled for the doorknob. Might have to make a quick exit here. “You’re either crazy or a cop. Which is it?”
Braelan advanced a few slow steps. “I am simply a traveler looking for company,” he said. “We made a deal. You’ve taken your end of the bargain, so I’ve come to collect on mine.”
“Yeah, right. I’m supposed to believe you didn’t come here for the money?” He unlocked and turned the knob behind him as unobtrusively as he could. “And speaking of coming here… How the fuck did you find me, and how the hell do you know my name?”
“Never mind that.” The man was almost on him, and River couldn’t look away from those dazzling blue eyes. “If I had wanted the money, I would have simply taken it. I know where you’ve hidden it. But I’ve come here for you…River.”