American Queen by Sierra Simone
Release Date: October 25th, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Hang Le
It starts with a stolen kiss under an English sky, and it ends with a walk down the aisle. It starts with the President sending his best friend to woo me on his behalf, and it ends with my heart split in two. It starts with buried secrets and dangerous desires…and ends with the three of us bound together with a hateful love sharper than any barbed wire.
My name is Greer Galloway, and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.
This is the story of an American Queen.
The romantic in me swooned with the very first words in this book. I mean, come on, they were the same ones the officiant said at my wedding. Did I mention the opening scene is a wedding? Yeah. So, it’s hard not to think I was meant to read this book. But this story is loaded with kismet everywhere else, too. From the time we see Greer as a young child at a party with Grandpa Leo, to a cascade of meetings and moments throughout her life that have a profound impact on the course of it. It’s kismet.
Greer Galloway has always known “The Party” and her Grandpa Leo’s place in it. He may have been her doting and beloved Grandpa, but he was also the former Vice President. As a bright and observant child, she was often by his side at events when she came to visit. Often his eyes and ears. It’s at one of these events where she meets Merlin, a new political consultant to “The Party”, and his soft words, almost like a curse to a young Greer, start the kismet train rolling. As the years pass and Greer meets Ash and Embry, it’s right there where you need to hang onto your seat. That kismet train? Well, it takes some sharp turns you don’t see coming. (Sorry, no spoilers here.)
This book has all of my unicorns. Love, heat, kinky fuckery, and Machiavellian twists, all of which are layered over touches of the legend of King Arthur. With divine witty banter (The emphasis on witty; My favorite is a double entendre involving Steinbeck), dynamic primary and integral secondary characters, and H.O.T., hair-pulling, on-your-knees-begging-for-it sex, all woven together in a story full of angst and intrigue? I couldn’t help but be drawn in. I was meant to read this book.
Copy provided to CGSR Book Blog
“I kept thinking about what I wanted to give you today for our wedding day, and honestly, Greer, there isn’t really anything I couldn’t give you. Jewelry or exotic vacations or rare editions of the books you love, anything I could have dreamed of, I could get for you—but they were just things. I didn’t want to get you a thing for a curio cabinet or a jewelry box. I wanted to give you something that you could carry with you through our new life together. Something that would make you a promise.”
The best man’s hand brushes up against my stocking-covered ankle and I gasp.
“What is it, princess?” Ash’s low voice comes over the phone line.
“Embry…I mean, Ash, I—” I can’t find the words just then, because Embry’s hand slides up my calf and everything stops. My thoughts, my feelings, my guilt—my world shrinks to Ash’s voice on the phone and the fingers moving past my knee and Embry’s face, so controlled. But lust and anger and determination are fissuring across that control, and I can see his wide pupils and the pulse pounding in his neck and the trembling of his lips.
What is happening? I think distantly to myself. What am I letting happen…and all while I’m on the phone with my soon-to-be husband?
And then the world slams back into motion, and I make a strangled noise, stumbling backwards, away from Embry. He starts to stand and come toward me, and I hold out one of my hands, moving backwards until my back is pressed against the floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the skyline.
Embry looks down at my shaking hand and then back up to me, those fissures in his control now full-on fractures, and he says, “Greer…”
“Don’t test me,” I whisper, not sure if I’m whispering to the groom or the best man. “Don’t test me like this.”
This isn’t happening. I missed a connection somewhere, misunderstood something vital, because there is no way, no fucking way, that Ash is offering his best friend to me as some sort of wedding present. This is my wishful thinking turned toxic, this is my darkest fantasies turning into delusion—
“I want you to let Embry give you my gift,” Ash tells me. “While I listen. That’s what you’ll give me in exchange: every single moan, pant and cry will be for me.”
“You can’t be saying what I think you’re saying,” I say.
“Oh, don’t worry, angel. I’ll get something out of this for me too.”
I hear the dark roughness in his voice and I realize I’m so very, very wet.
“Close your eyes,” Ash orders.
I do, my panting somehow louder in my head when I can’t see anything. The glass window against my back is cool and strong, just like Ash’s words in my ear.
“I know you’re wet. I know it like I know Embry is hard right now, just from the mere thought of touching you. You want it, don’t you? You want it so much that you’re shaking with the effort it’s taking to hold yourself back.”
“But I don’t want to hurt you.” It’s my final plea, my final argument, my final grasp at some semblance of sanity. My skirts are almost up at my waist now, and I know the moment Embry catches sight of my delicate, hand-embroidered French panties because he takes in a sharp breath, as if punched in the gut.
“It all hurts,” Ash says. “It hurts watching you two watching each other. It hurts watching him with other people. There’s no part about this that doesn’t hurt, but what’s the alternative? Living without the pain means living without each other.”
Sierra Simone is a USA Today Bestselling former librarian (who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk.) She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City