Title: Cold Hearted Bastard
An Underground Kings Series Standalone
Author: Jenika Snow
Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance
Release Date: October 5, 2021
From USA Today bestselling author Jenika Snow comes a full-length gritty mafia romance that blurs the lines between right and wrong... and love and hate.
He didn’t have a heart... but he wanted hers.
All I knew about life was anger and violence. Pain and suffering. Kill or be killed.
I was a “fixer” for the Ruin—a syndicate for the Bratva, Cosa Nostra, Cartel, and any other organized crime faction that dealt in the darker, crueler aspects of humanity.
I was a free agent who was called upon to do things weaker men didn’t have the stomach for.
And when you surround yourself with death for long enough, soon, you didn’t remember what it felt like to be alive.
And then I saw her. She was a fragile little thing who tried to be strong. But I could tell she’d seen too much horror in the world, too much of the ugly within people. I should have stayed away. I’d only bring her farther down into the darkness.
But for the first time in my life, I felt a stirring in my chest, this protectiveness and possessiveness toward another living person. And it was painful. It made me feel alive.
Lina tried to hide how broken she was, but I was an old friend of being ruined. She held secrets I’d find out. Because for the first time in my miserable life, I wanted something for myself. I felt something more than apathy and indifference.
I wanted to possess the innocence she clung to. I wanted to break it open and consume it for myself.
I could look into her too trusting blue eyes and knew I’d maim for her. I’d kill for her. And that became our truth when her past finally came back for her, when my present tried to destroy her.
They thought they could take the one thing—the only thing—I’d ever wanted for myself. They were wrong.
When I looked at her, I felt some of the monster that made me who I was retreat back to my black soul. He’d never leave... but he’d share the space.
A complete standalone novel in the Underworld Kings series.
He had me off the ground and spun around so fast I grew dizzy. And then my chest was pressed against the boxing ring rope, Arlo’s massive body against mine, every inch of him burning me where he touched.
“You should get your money back if this is what they taught you.” I could hear the teasing, annoyed note in his voice, and my own irritation rose.
“You’re bigger than me, stronger.” I turned my head to the side so I could look at him, but that was a foolish move, as it brought our mouths dangerously close together. “I don’t have my pepper spray, and I don’t have the added benefit of fearing for my life and getting that kick of adrenaline.”
My breath caught, my lungs tightening, when this dark, strange look covered his face.
“You should be afraid right now, moy svet.” His words were low… deadly. “You should be more afraid of me than anything else in the dark.” He leaned in an inch. “If you knew who I truly was, you wouldn't be so close to me.”
I looked down at where his hand gripped the rope on either side of me, the tattoos on his fingers sneaking up the back of his hand disappearing and going up his wrist and forearm. I’d never been one to think tattoos were attractive, but on Arlo, it made him brutally beautiful to me.
“You’re so tiny, moy svet.” He made a low, gruff sound and pushed away from me. I closed my eyes and breathed out just as he said, “Again.”
And so for the next several hours, I sparred and grappled with Arlo until I was sweaty and sore, more tired than I’d ever been, but had never felt more liberated in all my life.
Starting out as an avid reader, Jenika took up penning her first story and published it in 2009. Since then, she’s written books in just about every trope and sub-genre in romance.