Title: Art of Seduction
Series: A Stern Family Saga, Book 1
Author: Monique Orgeron
Genre: Contemporary Romance w/ Suspense
Release Date: November 10, 2017
Love was never supposed to be part of the end game.
Fallon’s life has been a road paved in misery and loneliness,
then one day she’s propositioned with a way to change it all.
From that day forward, she planned on never looking back.
That is, until, she met her target, the man who could destroy everything.
Fallon’s a survivor, but can she survive him?
Gabriel is independent and brutal.
He learned early on about his mother’s games.
For years she has tried to control every aspect of his life.
Born to be her successor, he refused to be her chess piece.
But when a mysterious woman shows up, Gabriel’s life is turned upside down.
Is she his mother’s pawn?
Soon, both of them will learn the games Gabriel’s mother, Catherine Stern, plays are for keeps.
Secrets and deception always find a way of being revealed.
I can’t sleep, so I find myself in Catherine’s library, looking for a book to help my mind settle. I hear the beeping of the alarm and hear a rustling noise coming from the kitchen. I walk slowly down the hall. As I get up to the doorway to the kitchen, I see a jacket over a chair, then the light from the fridge comes on. It’s Gabriel; he’s here. I turn on some of the lights, not all: I didn’t want to wake everyone in the house. He has blood covering his skin and shirt. I allow myself a second of shock, then I pull it together and walk over to him. I close the door to the fridge and grab his hand. I walk him over to the table and sit him down in a chair. Without a word, I go to the cabinets to locate a bowl and towel. I fill it with some warm water and soap then carefully bring it over to the table, without spilling any of the water as I go. I wet the towel and wring it out, then kneel and grab Gabriel’s hand again. His knuckles are busted, so I start to wipe the blood off with the cloth as gently as I can. He just stares at my face as I go. As I finish with one hand, I go to the next, repeating the same procedure. We still have not said a word to each other. I glance up at him and down his neck, and I see blood under his collar. So, I start to unbutton his shirt. He grabs my hands, and we just glare at each other.
“Let me, Gabriel.”
He releases my hands, and I proceed to unbutton his shirt, praying I don’t see any injuries. Once it is fully unbuttoned, I slide my hands to his shoulders and remove the shirt. I pass my hands through all the blood to check for wounds, then let out a sigh of relief when I don’t find any. Glancing back at him, his eyes are closed and his breathing is deeper. His chest is muscular and tight, with just enough hair. All I want to do is run my fingers lazily through his chest hair. Instead, I grab the towel again and wash him off. Starting at his neck and going down his chest I repeat on his arms.
As I do, he whispers, “Don’t you want to know why?”
“No, not unless you want to tell me. I trust you know what you’re doing.”
I pause, “Do you want to tell me what happened?”
He answers, “I took care of a problem for our family; I did what I had to. It wasn’t easy, but I do it for the people I care about.”
“Then that’s all I need to know. You are welcome to tell me more, when and if you want. I can handle it. I’m a lot stronger than I look.”
“I see you, Fallon. I know there are things you are hiding, but I see you.”
He opens my satin robe and sees my matching light pink cami and panties. His fingers slide gently over my collar bone. He releases a breath and grabs my wrists, then leans down to put his forehead on mine
“Why are you here, Fallon?”
“You know why I’m here, Gabriel.”
“It won’t work, Fallon.”
“You sure it won’t?”
“Yes, Fallon, I can’t.”
I stand, and as I walk away, I hear him call my name. I turn my head, look over my shoulder and tell him, “I know, Gabriel.”
I leave, with nothing left to be said. He won’t allow himself to feel for me, so, I have no choice but to move on. Hopefully, Catherine won’t be too disappointed; I did try.
Written by Monique Orgeron’s eldest, most beautiful, and intelligent daughter. (My sister is going to hate this part.)
My mom happens to be the most caring, loving, and stubborn person I know, well anyone knows. She gives 100% percent of herself to everyone and has given up so much of herself for my sister and I. For twenty-one years she has poured her heart and soul into making sure we know that we are loved and that we can do anything we put our minds too, but it was about time she figured that out about herself.
Up until this year I hadn’t seen my mom do anything for only her, but this book has allowed her to travel the world through the pages of a book, make new friends, and feel the joy of doing something exciting.
There is a new light behind her eyes and it is just making me feel more joy than she can ever imagine. While she might be annoying most of the time, I am so thrilled that she is finally allowing herself to grow as a person and not spend all of her energy on her family.
It has been a long journey of self-discovery for my mom; she has gone from domestic supermom to domestic goddess throughout the process of writing.
We are so very excited and proud of you! I love you as big as the world.
-Bria and Tony