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His Taste (Pine Grove #1)
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I got one taste of him and now I can’t stop.
I know I should stay away from Case Hammett. First, there are the rumors: killer, thief, bastard. Then, there’s the fact that he’s a player and an a**hole.
He’s notorious for a reason: handsome face, muscular body, enough money to own the entire town. The confident and cocky bastard is totally all-wrong for me, and I should be very afraid.
But I take a job cleaning his house to help support my sick mother against my better judgement. And I was right to be nervous: he loves getting me down on all fours to scrub his floor. He’s always teasing, his hands on my skin, his cocky grin pushing my limits.
Things seem fine on the surface, but there’s a darkness in his house that I can’t escape.
I’m starting to think the rumors are true.
But when his hands brush against my skin, I don’t care about anything else. I just need more of his taste, more of his body.
He corners me in his bedroom and asks a simple question: Do you want me to take care of you?
I’m terrified, but I think the answer is yes. If I can’t escape, I might not leave this house ever again.
Welcome to Pine Grove, the darkest and dirtiest little small town in America!
Pine Grove is a steamy and over the top dark standalone romance featuring a gorgeous hero with a dark past and the heroine he can’t enough of. If you like dark plots with lots of steam, this book is for you! It’s a standalone, no cliffhanger, absolutely no cheating, and of course features an HEA!
Note: All of my books can be read in any order!
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I push open the old wrought-iron side gate and head up the front driveway toward Hammett’s End, grumbling to myself. I left my car down by the curb, and it’s a little annoying that I can’t park in the driveway, but I forget all about that when I get a good look at the house in front of me.
It’s like a freaking Victorian novel or something. The estate has gone to seed over the years, although the grass is freshly clipped and most of the bushes are pruned. Otherwise, it’s bare, Spartan, basic. There’s no flashiness or any sign of the extravagant wealth that built this place.
Everyone in Pine Grove knows the Hammett family. They’re about as famous as you can possibly get here, considering they own half the town and their paper mill employs the other half.
But that’s not really why they’re famous. Oh, yeah, that helps, but it’s all the other stuff that makes people talk. All the rumors about death, abuse, missing people, deviant activities. People have been telling ghostly horror stories about the Hammett family for as long as I’ve been alive.
Everyone told me not to answer that ad. I’m insane, totally insane, I’m basically asking to get murdered. Everyone knows that you stay far, far away from Hammett’s End if you ever want to see the light of day again.
Except I have no other options, and the pay is absurd. I’m fresh out of college with a degree in English and it turns out that there aren’t a ton of high-paying jobs for literature majors in Pine Grove, Indiana. Since I have student loans hanging over my head, I felt like I had no other choice.
Now, walking toward the house, I may be rethinking that.
But no, the money is too good. They’re offering me a $50,000 per year salary to basically clean the house. It’s not exactly the glamorous job at some big fancy New York publishing firm that I always imagined, but it’s honest work and good money.
So here I am, walking up the front steps to Hammett’s End, wondering if I’m about to be murdered or not.
The house itself is still in good shape. It’s an old Victorian-style mansion with a large wrap-around porch, a spire in the middle, and more than a few random peaks to the roof. Clearly, it’s been built and rebuilt over the years until it started to resemble what it is today, a mishmash of new and old, and yet still totally beautiful.
There’s nothing like this house in all of Pine Grove. And I can see why people are so afraid of it.
I take a breath and stop in front of the door. I consider running away for the thousandth time, but I know I can’t. Student loans are one thing, but I know why I’m really here.
I sigh and knock. It echoes into the house like it’s one big, empty space. I wait for a minute before knocking again.
After another agonizing wait, the door finally slides open.
The man looking out at me is the strangest looking person I’ve ever encountered. Not because he’s ugly or deformed or anything, but because he looks completely ageless. His hair is long and full but completely gray. His eyes are light blue and seem to be shining, but there are wrinkles at the corners. I can’t tell if he’s sixty or twenty.
“Uh, yes, hi. My name is—”
“Eden Ricks,” he drones. “Yes, I was expecting you.”
I bite my lip and suddenly recognize his voice. I spoke with him over the phone when I answered that ad.
“Are you Mr. Hammett?” I ask.
The man chuckles. “No, my name is Fox. I’m, well, I suppose you’d call it a butler.” His laugh is a little rueful. “Come inside, dear. I’ll take you to Master Case.”
I bite my lip and nod as Fox turns and heads inside. I follow after him at a quick pace, which doesn’t give me much time to look around as the door swings shut behind me.
Paintings line the hallway and the floorboards creak with every step. Somehow, Fox doesn’t seem to make any noise, and I feel like a stampeding rhino barreling along behind him.
We turn a corner, and he stops in front of a wood-paneled door with a large, ornate knob. “This is Master Case’s study,” Fox says to me. “You may only ever enter here with permission. Do you understand?”
I blink. “Yes,” I say. “But, um—”
“Wait here.” Fox knocks once then enters.
I catch a glimpse of the room. Big bookshelves, a fireplace with a fire crackling along, plush velvet chairs, an enormous wooden desk, and a man sitting behind it, the man I’m here to see, his handsome face glancing up from a laptop, his mouth opening—
“Are you the new girl?”
I nearly jump out of my skin.
I turn just as Fox closes the door behind him. A woman stands near me, maybe a couple years older than me. She’s pretty with long blonde hair, light brown eyes, pale milky skin. She’s wearing a light sundress, pale yellow in color, and it shows off her breasts and arms. I can’t help but look at her and it takes me a second to realize that she’s waiting for an answer.