Title: Art of War
Series: A Stern Family Saga #3
Author: Monique Orgeron
Genre: Contemporary Romance w/ Suspense
Release Date: March 23, 2018
Cover Designer: Erica Alexander at Serendipity Formatting
Cover Designer: Erica Alexander at Serendipity Formatting
“The storyline is fantastic, it will have you on the edge of your seat, will have you bawling, and will have your cheering and rooting for this family! This is absolutely a Must Read!!” ~ Amazon Review
“I LOVED THIS BOOK!! . . . If you have read the first two books this one is even better!” ~ Amazon Review
The minute Murphy Larussa stepped foot in New Orleans, her life changed forever.
Murphy was meant to remain in the shadows, hidden from prying eyes, like any good bastard.
She finds herself hunted by a dangerous family for a debt she has no knowledge of.
Everyone wants her gone, but they underestimate her. She refuses to allow them to push her back into obscurity. From now on, everyone will know her name because she is here to stay and claim what is rightfully hers.
There will be a war, one Murphy is hell bent on winning!
Sent on a hunt for a person who owes his family, Zander will not stop until he has his man.
How was he to know who he would find?
Murphy Larussa is not what any of them saw coming.
So unexpected, she’s the only woman to ever bring the great Zander Stern to his knees.
Now he will do anything to protect her, even if that means protecting her from his own family.
Everyone wants a war.
He will give them one, but this is a war he plans on winning!
Once Zander leaves, I hug myself, knowing I’m the one becoming stupid when it comes to him. I just have to be careful not to let it show. I feel everything he says that he does when we kiss. It’s a draw I have never felt, something I didn’t think existed. A spark that stays burning long after we’ve separated. It’s a spark that I can’t help wanting more of.
Kyle sneaks up on me and begins questioning. “Are you realizing how much you want him?”
“What? No! Leave me alone!”
Kyle jumps with glee. “You are! Oh my God, Murphy you like him. Like, really like.”
“Shut up, Kyle, get out of my way!”
I march right past him, slamming my bedroom door. Oh God, I do like him, probably more than any other man I’ve ever met. What does that say about me? I know, that I’m glutton for punishment. How can I possibly find him, the man who belongs to the family that is holding my life in their hands more attractive, more interesting and more annoying than any other decent guy out there? Maybe because I never truly met a decent guy, and for some reason I think Zander is decent. And the way he makes me feel. I can still feel his hands on me, gently cleaning my injuries.
I can maybe deny him during the day but when I sleep there is no denying in my dreams. Every night since we’ve met, I can see and feel his touch, the way it felt to be in his arms or the way he controlled my body. The orgasms that he gave me, nothing has ever come close to that.
Shit, what am I thinking? I can’t have these feelings. He is nothing to me, or at least that’s what I need to keep telling myself. I will not be like my mother and fall for the wrong man, or any man. So, I’m in like with him, but it’s not love. Love doesn’t truly exist; not for me, it doesn’t.
I’m startled from my thoughts as Kyle barges into the room. “I wasn’t finished with you yet, Murph.”
“Oh yes, you are. I don’t want to talk about Mr. Zander Stern again.”
“Mr. Zander Stern, that’s what we’re calling him now? So professional. Is that a way for you to feel less comfortable with him?”
“What the hell are you talking about now?”
“I’m talking about how that man is sweet on you and you keep pushing him away like you always do. Except this time, I see something different.”
“Really? Do tell, I know you’re dying to.”
“Oh I will. I see the smoldering heat that comes off you two when you’re around each other. I see the desire in your eyes for him.”
“You’re full of shit, Kyle. It’s almost laughable.”
“Except that neither one of us is laughing. Why do this to yourself, Murphy?”
“Do what, Kyle?”
“Why do you try so hard to keep people at bay? Why are you so determined not to let anyone in, especially men? That man cares for you so much that he has his mother waiting to collect from you, and you still push him away.”
I can’t answer, I have no answer for him other than I refuse to be used or hurt. I hang my head, not from shame, but for the time to build my defenses back up. Kyle’s right about me; over the years I let him in, I let him close enough to me that he recognizes my faults, but he has no right to throw them back in my face.
He refuses to stop. “Listen, Murphy, be smart. Even if you don’t want to admit how much Zander gets to you, you should still consider his mother’s offer. I heard everything. I know his mother wants you to marry him. I think you should do it. He can protect you, and you can keep a percentage of the casino. It’s a win-win.”
I’m done, that did it. “What the hell are you talking about? You want me to be forced to marry a man I don’t love to keep a small percentage of a casino I already own? You want me to be tied down to a man who is dangerous, not to mention a womanizer, to just piss away everything that’s mine by right? If that is my choice, I choose to just leave, go back home, let the Sterns have it all, just forget it ever existed. But I’m not. I will find a way to pay them back and keep what is mine without having to sacrifice the rest of my life.”
Kyle’s shaking his head in defeat. “Fine, Murph, do what you have to do, but honey, if you can’t pay them, you will lose everything, including Zander, and you won’t believe me now, but that will hurt more than losing the casino.”
I continue to watch in shock as he disappears into his bedroom. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I don’t care about Zander, and he definitely isn’t mine, so how could it hurt worse than losing my casino?
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