Tragedy and Desire: An Adult Romance


Perla Fae is no stranger to pain. With a tragic past and a present break-up, She finds herself starting over. Again.

Jax Maddox is an enigma. Wealthy, powerful, and a force to be reckoned with. He doesn’t make decisions based on emotions, and complications are what he deals with in business, not in his personal affairs. But he wants her.

Perla and Jax are set on a collision course, but she resists him in an effort to protect her heart. Just when things start heating up between them, a sinister force threatens to tear them apart when a monster from Perla’s past resurfaces.

$3.99〉 $0.99 (Feb 11-12)





The waiter arrived with glasses of water and Jax ordered a bottle of wine.  I assumed it was expensive by the sound of the name and the subsequent year that went along with it.

“Perhaps,” he said once the waiter walked away, “but I am very well versed in the art of seduction.”  He gave a penetrating glare straight into my eyes, and I felt the heat begin to simmer between my legs.  The deep, masculine sound of his voice saying the words sent a thrill straight to my core.

I had to clear my suddenly dry throat.  “So, acquire and conquer?  Is that always your modus operandi?” I asked as my voice gave away my fluster.

“I’m not a tyrant, Perla.  I know how to be respectful to women.  I happen to have a very respectable mother who raised me with a high level of class and dignity,” he chided.

I remembered his mother from the night we ran into her at Abacus, and he was right.  She was a very dignified and classy woman.  I could only imagine she would have imparted a certain level of respect and etiquette in him, and he did seem to have a soft spot where his mother was concerned.

I had to admit, he was doing a fine job so far of breaking through what I thought were heavily guarded walls I had built up to get through the evening.

“Yes, I suppose you do.”  I averted his stare by looking down at my hands folded tightly in my lap.

The waiter brought us our wine and took our orders.  Jax allowed me to order first, and then told the waiter he would have the same.

Alone once again, we sat quietly for several seconds as I felt Jax’s eyes on me from across the table.  Finally, he spoke.

“Maybe you could give me some kind of inside information on how to figure you out,” he suggested.  “I don’t say this often, but I find myself at a loss.  That’s not a position I like to be in.”  He gave a suggestive smile as he raised an eyebrow.

“I’m not sure that’s possible, figuring me out,” I admitted, meeting his gaze.

“Why is that?” he asked.

“My life has been… complicated,” I answered with a shrug.

“Indulge me,” he prompted as he held his wine to his lips, inhaling the aroma before taking a sip.

I eyed him for a moment, debating whether I wanted to open up to him or not.  Something in his eyes made me believe that he genuinely wanted to know.  What the hell, I thought.

“Okay, but you asked for it.  Keep that in mind when you get the urge to run screaming in the other direction,” I warned.

“Duly noted,” he promised.

I pulled in a deep breath and let out a slow sigh.  “Where do I begin?  Let’s see… Well, when I was sixteen, my parents were murdered in cold blood while my sister and I were away at summer camp.”

I watched him nearly choke on his wine before he picked up his glass of water and took in a drink.  He looked back up at me with wide eyes.

I continued.  “So I picked up the pieces of my shattered life, denounced my family inheritance, and made it the best I could ever since.”

The waiter came back in with our food, setting our plates on the table in front of us before making his way back out.

“I had no idea,” he said when we were alone once more.

“Yes, well, it’s not something people talk about in polite conversation.”  I began cutting into my food, but the nerves that knotted my stomach made it hard to take a bite.

“No, I suppose not,” he agreed, picking up his silverware and taking a bite from his plate.  He seemed so at ease, so hopeful with the prospect of this night turning out in any way except the one way I knew it would.  He certainly wasn’t making it easy on me, being so attentive and, surprisingly, quite romantic that evening, despite all the showy fluff that came with being him.

I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to do what I knew I would eventually have to do.  It was now or never, I thought, trying to muster up the courage to go through with it and let him go.




Author: Nicole R. Locker

Nicole R. LockerNicole R. Locker is a resident of Lubbock, Texas. She has a Master of Science in Psychology and a love for pit bulls, Pilates, and romance novels. Nicole dreamed of becoming a writer since grade school after writing her first poem in 4th grade at the age of nine. A Social Worker since 2008, she has published life-coaching books on self-esteem and personal relationships, and has now added Fiction Romance to her repertoire.

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Posted in $0.99 Books, Contemporary, Erotic, Excerpt, Nicole R. Locker, Suspense

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