Cusp of Darkness
(The Cusp Series, #1)
Publication date: January 20th 2023
Genres: Adult, Mafia, Romance
Valerius CafarelliIn my world, we live and die for our family. We brand our skin with symbols of loyalty and rank that bind us together. It’s time to step from behind the scenes and claim my birthright, leader of the Cafarelli family. But the mafia is nothing if not set in tradition. Marriage is the only way to claim what’s rightfully mine.When the angel I’ve protected from a distance suddenly needs me as much as I need her, I make an offer she can’t refuse.She is a candle in the night.She is a prayer to the gods.She is the knife that brings me to my knees.
—Adaliya SolarinI took an oath to save lives, trying to redeem myself from a bloody night where I played judge, jury, and executioner. I worked hard to erase all traces of the night I claimed revenge, but my mind can’t forget the man who ensured I’d never be put away for my crime.
Now I need someone to help me save my father from himself. When I’m left desperate and defeated, the man who saved me once offers one last chance at survival. What can I do but make a deal with the devil?He is the bump in the night.He is my darkest temptations come to life.He is my salvation.
Cusp of Darkness is book one of the Cusp series but can be read as a standalone. It has a guaranteed HEA, swoon-worthy anti-hero, and badass heroine. This is an interracial mafia romance containing explicit sex scenes, graphic violence, and is recommended for readers 18+. Please check the author’s website for the full list of content warnings on the author’s website.
Valerius suddenly hiked up a leg, holding it firmly with one hand on my calf and the other discarding the slipper on my foot.
“Hey!” I protested; the motion propelled me back onto my elbows and I scrambled to keep the towel from riding up. I froze, unsure of what he was doing. Unsure of what I wanted him to do. I was hyper-aware of my lack of underwear and his proximity. My mind told me to wiggle my foot out of his hold, but my body wanted to have his hands on me for as long as possible.
Valerius ignored me and inspected the pad of my food intently, stroking his thumb over the sole and narrowing his eyes. A strangled sound escaped my throat as tingles shot straight from his touch to my core. Valerius’s hand was rough and easily clasped my ankle, pulling the entirety of my focus to his touch. I never thought my feet were erogenous zones, but God was I wrong. He flicked his gaze to mine briefly and his bright green eyes were now dark. The cruel, cruel man then suddenly dropped the one foot and picked up the other, repeating the same treatment without a word.
“Listen,” My voice strained too much to sound normal, but I continued anyway. “Foot fetishes are super common, or so I’ve heard. I don’t judge. But I’m not really into that kind of kink.”
“Oh yeah?” His eyes caught mine and he started kneading my foot, hitting a pressure point that made my body simultaneously light up and release pressure at the same time. My head fell back onto the bed, and I stifled a moan. “Then what is your kink, angelo?”
“I don’t have one.” Lies. I had fantasies, don’t get me wrong. But I would never bring them to life. The romance books I read gave me a slew of ideas, but it was one thing to read about bondage and voyeurism and a complete other to act on them.
He stopped his stroking of my sensitive flesh and I almost pouted. Instead, he traced his hand up my calf to bend my knee and stepped into the narrow space between my thighs. He maintained a firm grip on my leg, and I yelped as the towel started to ride up and cool air touched me. I was naked under the towel, and he was getting closer than I should allow. But Valerius kept his eyes on mine the entire time, not once glancing toward my almost exposed pussy. “What did I say about lying?”
I swallowed as he brought his face to mine, balancing his weight on his arm right above my head and fanning his warm breath over me. The position was too close, too intimate. If he lowered himself a fraction more, the length of his torso would press into mine. I bit my lip and turned away, but he caught my chin and forced it back to face him.
“My kinks are none of your business. It’s not like we’re lovers.” I tried to sound matter of fact, but it came out too breathy. His eyes hardened and he dropped my leg before pulling back suddenly.
“Your feet have healed well from when you stepped on glass,” I appreciated him not explicitly referring to the night of Derrek’s death. “But you could have easily torn them again last night without shoes.” Valerius turned away from me and walked to a chair by the window, leaving me to catch my breath on the bed. He was giving me whiplash with this conversation.
“You need to take better care of your body. I will not have you neglect your needs and unnecessarily harm your body.”
“It’s my body.” I huffed. I didn’t intentionally seek to harm myself, but who was he to tell me what to do with my body.
“Wrong. While we are married, it is my body. And you will treat it well.” He sat in the chair and watched me. I clenched my thighs together. Why did my stomach knot and face flush when he said it was his body? That should make me furious. “And you can keep your deepest, darkest fantasies to yourself for now. But I’ll learn them soon enough. And angelo, you’ll be glad I did.”
I scrambled off the bed. The power dynamic seemed too unbalanced with me––vulnerable and on a bed, practically naked and him radiating power and dominance on a chair.
“I told you, I’m not having sex with you.”
Olivia Preya is a romance fanatic and author living in Toronto, Canada. She writes about what she loves—love, spice, and panty-dropping men with a soft spot for the love of their lives. When life gets a little tough or bland, she finds that fictional men are the best medicine.
Olivia considers herself to have two personas, like Wonder Woman, but with a pen––corporate marketing specialist by day and spicy romance author by night. She also likes to embrace all forms of sensuality, from pole dancing and erotic novels to good food; she believes that sometimes the best things in life are a little sinful.
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