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Take the Bride (The Knight Brothers #1.5)
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From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carly Phillips comes a new story in her Knight Brothers series…
She used to be his. Now she’s about to marry another man.
Ryder Hammond and Sierra Knight were high school sweethearts. Despite him being her brother’s best friend, their relationship burned hot and fast…and ended with heartbreak and regrets.
Years later, she’s at the altar, about to marry another man.
He’s only there for closure, to finally put the past behind him.
But when the preacher asks if anyone has a reason the couple shouldn’t wed, she turns around and her gaze locks on his.
Suddenly he’s out of his seat.
And ultimately stealing the very pissed off bride and taking her to a secluded cabin.
He wants one week to convince her they’re meant to be, to remind her of the fiery passion still burning between them.
When their time together is up, will she walk away and break his heart this time, or will he finally have the woman he’s wanted all along?
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
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One Thousand and One Dark Nights
Once upon a time, in the future…
I was a student fascinated with stories and learning.
I studied philosophy, poetry, history, the occult, and
the art and science of love and magic. I had a vast
library at my father’s home and collected thousands
of volumes of fantastic tales.
I learned all about ancient races and bygone
times. About myths and legends and dreams of all
people through the millennium. And the more I read
the stronger my imagination grew until I discovered
that I was able to travel into the stories… to actually
become part of them.
I wish I could say that I listened to my teacher
and respected my gift, as I ought to have. If I had, I
would not be telling you this tale now.
But I was foolhardy and confused, showing off
One afternoon, curious about the myth of the
Arabian Nights, I traveled back to ancient Persia to
see for myself if it was true that every day Shahryar
(Persian: شهريار, “king”) married a new virgin, and then
sent yesterday’s wife to be beheaded. It was written
and I had read, that by the time he met Scheherazade,
the vizier’s daughter, he’d killed one thousand
Something went wrong with my efforts. I arrived
in the midst of the story and somehow exchanged
places with Scheherazade – a phenomena that had
never occurred before and that still to this day, I
Now I am trapped in that ancient past. I have
taken on Scheherazade’s life and the only way I can
protect myself and stay alive is to do what she did to
protect herself and stay alive.
Every night the King calls for me and listens as I spin tales.
And when the evening ends and dawn breaks, I stop at a
point that leaves him breathless and yearning for more.
And so the King spares my life for one more day, so that
he might hear the rest of my dark tale.
As soon as I finish a story… I begin a new
one… like the one that you, dear reader, have before
A cellist played Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” as Sierra Knight’s bridesmaids, her maid of honor, and the flower girl made their way down the aisle in a large church located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Sierra couldn’t see the procession but she’d been at the rehearsal, and she knew what was happening in the sanctuary of the church. From behind closed doors, where she stood with her oldest brother, Ethan, the deep strains of the string instrument reverberated around her, her heart beating hard and fast in her chest.
She smoothed a hand down her fit-and-flair style wedding gown with lace and beading that she’d loved the moment she’d slid it on. The cathedral-length veil in tulle was matched by the long train flowing behind her. She’d never felt more beautiful… or more nervous.
“Are you sure this is what you want?” Ethan asked, obviously reading her nerves as he put a hand on her trembling arm. “The car’s out front, the engine’s running,” he said, half joking, but she heard the serious note in his voice.
As her oldest brother, he was the father figure she’d always needed since their own parent never lived up to the role. Although Alexander Knight was sitting in one of the pews up front with wife number four, he wasn’t the man Sierra wanted walking her down the aisle. He hadn’t earned that honor nor had he seemed insulted that he hadn’t been asked to play the traditional role.
She thought about Ethan’s question, swallowed hard, and nodded. “Jason is a great guy,” she said, meaning every word.
She’d been with Jason Armstrong, a lawyer, for over a year and she knew him well. They’d met through friends and begun dating soon after. He had a calming presence and he catered to her every desire. He was a kind, decent man.
“I know I’ll have a good life with him,” she reassured her brother, glancing at his strong jaw, which he’d set as he narrowed his gaze.
“I married a woman I thought I knew,” Ethan said, digging into his own pain to make sure Sierra was okay. “Mandy wasn’t who I believed she was. I just want you to be sure you want to marry him.”
Ethan had recently lost his wife to an accidental drug overdose, then gone on to find out she’d been having an affair and stealing from the family company to subsidize her drug addiction. He was not only grieving, he was coming to terms with the betrayal.
But his words now were coming from an honest and good place, one of love. “Don’t get me wrong,” he continued. “I like Jason. We all do,” he said, referring to her two other brothers, Parker and Sebastian. “But are you passionately in love with him?”
She did her best not to blush at the question asked by her brother. He pushed the point, forcing Sierra to wonder if Ethan saw something in her relationship she hadn’t wanted to acknowledge.