Title: Art of Loyalty
Series: A Stern Family Saga #4
Author: Monique Orgeron
Genre: Contemporary Romance w/ Suspense
Release Date: May 24, 2018
Cover Designer: Erica Alexander at Serendipity Formatting
Cover Designer: Erica Alexander at Serendipity Formatting
In life there are things that will never leave you and loyalty that can never be broken.
As a boy, Vincent Stern suffered abuse that continues to haunt him long after the physical scars have healed.
His hatred turned into a need for revenge.
That need turned into guilt that would never leave him, creating a darkness in his life, festering and tormenting his mind.
But with all his darkness comes light.
A woman he never even considered, could one day become his home.
Does she possess the ability to save him from himself?
Sometimes life makes decisions for you.
Isn’t it funny how things turn out when life forces your hand?
In tragedy you do things you would never see yourself doing.
Choices had to be made, even if she was too young to make them.
She will never regret those decisions, but she will also never allow herself to dream beyond the life that she has already resigned herself to.
Until one night, her life changes and with it, her heart.
Can they save each other and find the love they both deserve?
I wake, feeling his body jerk. Raising my head, I find that I’m still lying on top of him. Shit, what time is it? I look over seeing it’s after seven in the morning. I can’t believe he’s still here. What’s wrong with me? How could I let him spend the night? Shit! His body jerks again and this time I raise up more. Maybe I’m smothering him but quickly realize he’s having a bad dream. Rising up to a sitting position, I move to the side of him as softly as I can. He jerks again, and I see his hands making fists. I don’t want to wake him, but he looks like his dream is severely bothering him. I remember what my mom used to do when I had bad dreams, so I try to do the same thing.
I lean over and lay my hand over his heart and whisper, “You’re safe and sound with me by your heart. Do you feel me?” Then I put a hand on his head, “When you think of me, the monsters have nowhere to live inside of here.”
It takes a few minutes, but I’ll be damned it works; his body relaxes more and his breathing calms. I sit back up and look over his body. He’s beautiful even with all the scars. I don’t know how he got them, but they are scattered all over him. But beyond the scars, his body is a beautiful masterpiece. You can tell he spends a lot of time working out. His arms are strong, his chest is large, and his thighs, what can I say, I’m kind of weird that way. I like his thighs. They’re thick and strong. He looks so powerful even in his sleep. His back side’s not too bad either. His shoulders are just as wide and his ass, I’m all about that ass. I caught him one time in the casino without his suit on. He was wearing tight jeans and Jesus, that’s the only thing I saw for the rest of the night. That ass, in those tight jeans helped me through a miserable date. Even with all the beauty lying in my bed right now, I’d have to say my favorite part of him are his eyes. I never really noticed them before until tonight. It’s the way he stared at me, like he’s looking deep into my soul, trying to get to know me like no other. I knew his eyes were brown, but I never saw the golden amber color in them until we were up close to each other. They’re beautiful, yet haunted.
I look him over one more time, taking in all his beauty, starting at his military buzz cut down to his body. Then my attention goes to his tattoos. There’s something sexy about a man with tattoos. I don’t get many men with them; the white-collar men I see would never have them. But Vin has some dangerous, almost scary looking ones. There are no colors, nothing bright or vibrant. They start on one side of his body and travel up his arm. I see the marine initials U.S.M.C written under two large bulldogs, then a rifle with a helmet on top, then the Semper Fi Do or Die written out entangled in skeletons. There’s an eagle with its wings spread wide. On top, there’s the grim reaper inside a boat, the boat has the phrase, ‘In death there is rest.’ There’s other things scrolled around them making it look like a sleeve. Laying on his shoulder are two roses. One is completely filled in with dark ink, dwindling like it’s dying. The other is just outlined but some of the petals have fallen down his shoulder. There’s nothing joyful or hopeful about them. You would think a man with his power and position would have a lot to be grateful for. All I see is dark sorrow painted on him. Even his military tattoos look ominous.
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