WaterFyre Rising #1
by Nadia Han
Cover & Excerpt Reveal
Release Date: June 9, 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Trope: Brother’s best friend, billionaire, workplace relationship, suspense, revenge, protector romance
He thrives in the dark until she sparks his flame, igniting his new purpose.
Magnetic, brilliant, and achingly stunning, Remington Starke is a dangerous man with a vision, a mission, and a threatening past that haunts him. That alone should keep him away from the only woman who has ever made him feel anything.
Creative, cautious, and canny, Audri Wu is imprisoned by a guilt that torments her soul. Despite the darkness, she sees the rainbow in the rain and the spark that lies beyond the hardened façade of a man who has a reputation for shattering hearts.
Her brother’s best friend.
Water to her fire.
As their romance begins, that past catches fire and burns away the lies, revealing deadly secrets that could destroy them both.
The Mastermind is a brother’s best friend, billionaire boss, and a suspenseful contemporary romance. It is Book One in the WaterFyre Rising series but can be read as a standalone.
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My phone buzzed, and a message popped onto my screen. I miss you. Love that ass.
My stomach clutched, and I frowned, glancing around the restaurant. I met Remi’s gaze briefly, but I didn’t want him to see my concern, so I whirled back.
“What’s the matter?” Michelle asked, “The color on your face just drained.”
“Some jerk’s been texting me.”
“How long has this been going on?” Kiera grabbed my phone to peek.
“A month or so? It was on and off. I thought it was—”
“You thought it was who?” Remi pulled out the chair across from me and folded himself into it. Those aqua eyes bore into me, and my body went from nerves about the stalker to a unique set of nerves. His presence sucked the surrounding air, and I had to take a deep inhale just to breathe.
“It’s nothing,” I said, biting the inside of my lips.
“It’s not nothing if it turned your face ghost white just now.”
My eyebrows pushed together. “Why do you care? Don’t you have some billion dollar meeting to attend?”
Kiera and Michelle watched our exchange, turning their heads from me to him.
“I do, but he can wait.”
The energy at the table sizzled between me and Remi. I didn’t understand why he was so concerned about my business. Had he heard our conversation from all the way over there? He couldn’t have. The surrounding crowds were pretty loud on top of the music and sports games on the TV screens.
My gaze slid over to Kiera, who held my phone in her hand.
Remi reached for the phone before I did. “Do you know this person?”
Irritation clawed at me. Who did he think he was charging over here and taking over like he owned the place? Like he owned me.
Tasha brought out the food and cut through the stillness. “Hi, Mr. Starke. So good to see you here.”
“Hello, Tasha. How’s college?”
“Excellent. The scholarship from work really helped me last semester. Thank you for offering that to the employees. Enjoy, ladies.” Tasha walked off when someone from a nearby table caught her attention.
“You own this place?” Kiera asked.
He nodded. “This meal is all set for you, ladies.”
No one made a move for the food.
His gaze slid back to me, his eyes hard. “Who texted you, Audri?” His voice was low and firm, with a commanding undercurrent.
I didn’t reply. Instead, I glared at him. I didn’t have to answer him.
I leaned in to the table. “You’re not my father. Not my uncle. Not my brother. And you’re not my boyfriend. Why do you care?”
He also leaned into the table, his large form overwhelming me. The aqua eyes turned an artic blue that should have chilled me, but they scorched me, sending heat pooling at my core. Why was I reacting to him like this? I should be infuriated at his intrusion into my conversation, and how he took over like some damn CEO of my life. I was sick of arrogant men like Kevin, Lawrence, and now Remi.
Kiera and Michelle observed with smirks on their faces.
“I’m your brother’s best friend, and that makes you my family.”
He considered me as family? My mouth opened slightly, wanting to say something, but nothing came out. I didn’t expect those words coming from Remington Starke, the enigma, the reserved man who hardly smiled. My anger subsided a bit, but I couldn’t seem to break the tundra stare that froze me, making my body want him and hate him at the same time.
“She doesn’t know him. She’s been receiving messages for a month,” Michelle said, turning to me. “Sorry babe. Maybe he can help you. The creep could be dangerous. I’ve watched enough of Law & Order to know that.”
The muscle on his jaw ticked as he took a screenshot of the message. “I’m sending this to myself. I’ll look into it for you. If you receive any new ones, let me know.” He got up from his seat, rounded the table, and stood next to me. His energy embraced my body, and it almost tilted toward him. I shifted, regained my composure, and glanced up at him. My heart went pit-a-pat at the stunning beast of a man looking down at me. “I mean it. I want a screen shot of every message you receive, okay?” He held out the phone to me.
Why couldn’t I say a damn thing? Where were my words?
I nodded and reached for my phone. Our fingers touched, and a spark zapped between us. His fingers curled as though he sensed it too. “Ladies, enjoy your lunch.” He walked back to the table with the white-haired man as though nothing had happened.
“What the hell was that?” I said, gripping my phone tighter.
“That was a man protecting what he considered his.” Kiera sipped her drink. “I knew it! How about we test out my theory? I was going to suggest this earlier, but got interrupted.”
She looked over to me for confirmation. I shook my head and stuffed some sweet potato fries into my mouth. I needed to calm my body from my powerful reaction to Remi.
“What theory?” Michelle stabbed her fork into her salad.
“That Remi has the hots for Audri.”
I swallowed and blinked. “No, he doesn’t. He sees me as family, remember?” I held up a sweet potato fry. “He sees me as a sister.”
“He’s just saying that as a cover. Men do that when they’re unsure about stuff, but they can’t help being protective. Maybe he doesn’t even know he wants you,” Kiera said, taking a bite of her wrap.
“Don’t you want to know?” Michelle asked, her eyes wide with interest.
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About the Author
Nadia Han is a dreamer, a visionary, and a believer in karma and kindness. She lives in New England with her family and spends most of her time crafting stories. When she’s not writing, she practices yoga, reads, explores nature, and eats all kinds of foods.
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