Unwillingly His – Gilded Decadence Read Online Zoe Blake, Alta Hensley

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Billionaire, Dark, Forbidden Tags Authors: ,

Total pages in book: 80
Estimated words: 75705 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 379(@200wpm)___ 303(@250wpm)___ 252(@300wpm)

The moment she slapped me, I knew I'd chosen the right bride.

To be fair, I had just stolen her entire inheritance.

As Lucian Manwarring, billionaire patriarch of the powerful Manwarring family, my word is law.
She's a beautiful and innocent heiress, raised to be the perfect society trophy wife.
Although far too young for me, that won't stop me from claiming her as my new prized possession.

What I hadn't planned on was her open defiance of me.
Far from submissive and obedient, she is stubborn, outspoken and headstrong.
She tries to escape my control and fights my plan to force her down the aisle.

I am not accustomed to being disobeyed.
While finding it mildly amusing at first, it is past time she accepts her fate.
She will be my bride even if I have to ruthlessly dominate and punish her to get what I want.

Dive into the seductive world of dark romance featuring New York's high society as they navigate treacherous schemes and guard their scandalous desires, expertly woven by the USAT Bestselling authors Zoe Blake and Alta Hensley.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************



Istormed across the courtroom and slapped Lucian Manwarring across the face.

Unlike in the movies, there were no shocked gasps, no outraged cries, no laughter.

Definitely no laughter.

There wasn’t even the repeated frenzied slam of a gavel as a red-faced judge screamed, ‘Order! Order in the court!’.

There was only silence.

Tense, repressive, ominous… silence.

After all, I had just slapped a vengeful god.

At least that was what everyone was thinking around me. I could literally feel their mortal terror. It radiated off the assembled courtroom like a wave of heat after a bomb blast.

Lucian Manwarring was the foreboding patriarch of the powerful and rich Manwarring family. His exploits in business were famous… or rather infamous. There were few people in New York who weren’t terrified of this man.

When crossed, he didn’t get angry, he got even. Scorched earth even. His billion-dollar whiskey empire was built on the charred remains of countless other businesses and men.

He was feared, respected, reviled, and envied.

My father had hated him with a burning, white-hot passion.

Which was why it made no sense. Why would he name Lucian Manwarring the trustee over my inheritance in the event of his death?

A sharp pain pierced my chest.

They were gone. Both of them. My parents had been taken from me in an instant.

A vision of twisted car metal, the smell of blood, and my mother’s moans as snowflakes gently drifted down on me from the opening in the torn roof floated across my inner eye. I shook the disturbing image away.

I needed to focus.

If I didn’t do something, Lucian would succeed in not only stealing my entire inheritance, but in having complete control over my life until I turned twenty-nine. That was three years from now!

The very idea of being under this man’s thumb for that long was untenable.

My right palm stung, but I resisted the urge to rub it against my thigh.

I didn’t want to give the bastard the satisfaction of knowing he had hurt me.

Trying to match his glare, my eyes watered as I refused to blink.

Or were they tears?

Through clenched teeth, I threatened, “You won’t get away with this.”

The corner of his mouth lifted. “Little one, I already have.”



How amusing.

Stella Deiderich had struck me.

In public, no less.

Of course, now I would need to teach her a lesson.

She’d need to learn what happened to bad little girls the hard way.

The easy way never seemed to stick.

Rising slowly, I raised my hand to the judge to signal he was not to interfere.

I circled the plaintiff’s desk as I buttoned my suit jacket before stepping up to her.

In business, I used every advantage, no matter how trivial, to get the upper hand.

One such advantage was my superior height.

Usually taller than the average man in the room, I completely towered over Stella’s slight frame.

She really was uncommonly beautiful, despite her age. With more maturity and life experience, I could see her becoming an absolutely stunning woman. At the moment, she was a little too thin, perhaps from her sudden grief. And her eyes held the wild, unguarded emotions of youth, rather than the calculated intelligence of a woman who knew her place in the world.

Recent events had shown me I needed to make some changes to my life.

Marriage, for one.

This wasn’t about love or any superfluous need for affection, but more about preservation.

My children had shown an admirable, if inconvenient, rebellious and stubborn nature as of late. It had become clear: if my vision for the future of my company was to be realized, I would need more offspring. And for that, I needed a wife.

The idea of searching for one was as distasteful as it would have been inconvenient.

Fortunately, the perfect prospect had practically fallen into my lap.


Her father, that moron Wallace Oliver Deiderich, had decided to travel in an ice storm several months ago. He’d managed to kill himself, his wife, and the driver in a terrible crash. He had also very nearly killed his daughter.

It was chilling to recall. I had held her in my arms not moments before when she’d accidentally bumped into me on the sidewalk that night after slipping on the ice.

If I had known…

I recalled being intrigued not only by her beauty… but by her obvious hatred—of me.

Clearly her father had been distasteful enough to share his business woes with his wife and child. I imagine they were regaled over the dinner table with tales of my evil manipulations as I’d divested him of numerous companies and investments, significantly reducing not only his fortune but his influence.

I wouldn’t apologize for it.

Wallace was an idiot who had run those companies into the ground.

While the world and my peers may have perceived my actions as the worst of corporate greed, I knew the truth.

Over five thousand people, close to thirty-five hundred families, and four entire towns in the Midwest would have been eviscerated with unemployment, bankruptcy, and debt when his factories eventually closed from mismanagement—had I not stepped in.