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Wicked Queen

Wicked Queen

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The final chapter of the Blackmoor Heir series.

They tried to make me their slave. But I’m going to turn myself into their queen. 
Blackmoor has tried to take everything from me.

My home. My family. My dignity. Even my life.

But instead, I’ve found myself. I’ve found love, even if it’s not what the storybooks say it should be. I’ve found purpose, even if it’s revenge. I’ve found three men who might not die for me, but they’ll sure as hell kill for me.

I was given to them as a pet. A trophy. A
slave. A meaningless prize to bolster their claim to a town steeped in blood, sacrifice, and murder.

I became their goddess instead. 

My name is Athena Saint. And I’m about to show you all just how wicked I can be.

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Main Tropes

  • Bully Alpha Romance
  • Enemies To Lovers
  • Reverse Harem


Cruel Lord is the first book in the Blackmoor Heirs series. The series is now complete.

Saint might be my last name, but they’re determined to make me into a sinner.

My father is dead. My home is ash. And my mother and I are one step away from death ourselves. Our only protection against the Devil’s Sons MC? The St. Vincent family, who rule Blackmoor.

When I run into Cayde, Dean, and Jaxon for the first time on the steps of my new prep school, I don’t think twice about it. Even with all the rumors surrounding them, I know how to take care of myself.

But when I embarrass Cayde St. Vincent, I wind up with a target on my back. A target that, unbeknownst to me, is going to follow me way past high school.

When I wake up in their house on the university campus on the first day of the semester with no memory of how I got there, all I want to do is leave. But they’ve got me under contract.

A contract that threatens my life, and my mother’s life, if I break it.

Soon enough, I realize they want to break me.

Cayde St. Vincent. Dean Blackmoor. Jaxon King.

The three heirs to the town of Blackmoor.

And now? My worst nightmare.

Cruel Lord is the first book in the Blackmoor Heirs series. The series is now complete. It is a bully series. It contains material that may be sensitive to some readers. There are no heroes in this series, only deliciously devious villains. It will get much darker before the dawn. This book is for those who like their men cruel and damaged, their romance dark and questionable, and their emotions toyed with until the very end.

Intro Into Chapter One


         “Athena. It’s your mother. We have to go, now.”

         The words don’t sound real. They ring in my ears, telling me a truth that I don’t want to listen to. That I don’t want to know. I feel a sinking in my stomach, like the afternoon that bus rounded the corner, and I saw smoke billowing into the sky without even knowing where it was coming from, and I want to fall to the floor as I did to the street that day.

         I want to cry.

         I want to scream.

         But I don’t.

         “What’s happened to her?” My voice sounds clearer than I would have expected, stronger. Beside me, I can feel Jaxon hovering, waiting to catch me if I start to fall. But if I were going to, it would have already happened.

         “Athena, we just need to go. Come on, please.” Dean’s face is pale, his eyes pleading. “Get dressed.”

         Something about the tone of his voice jolts me into action, a knee-jerk response now to him giving me an order. I nod dizzily, reaching for my clothes on the floor, kicking off my jeans so that I can slip my panties back on. I see Jaxon stuffing himself back into his jeans out of the corner of my eye. It suddenly feels like a lifetime ago that he had me pinned up against his bedroom door, fucking me frantically, instead of just a few seconds ago.

         I drag my jeans back over my hips, breaking a nail on the button as I try to do it with fingers that feel thick and numb, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is getting to my mother before whatever terrible thing that’s in Dean’s face happens.

         If it hasn’t already.

         “I’ve got the car out front,” Dean says. “Come on, let’s go.”

         I couldn’t have said how long the drive takes. I sit in the back, sandwiched between Jaxon and Cayde as Dean drives, and once I realize the direction we’re going in, it’s as if having them there is the only thing holding me upright.

         We’re going to the hospital, I know it. I can see the signs as we pass, and I feel like I might faint.

         Not my mother. I can’t. I can’t lose her.

         It feels like some kind of sick twist of fate that these three boys, the sons and descendants of the men responsible for every terrible thing that’s ever happened in this town, are the ones by my side as we walk into the hospital. The clean, cold scent of it makes me feel sick, but I push forward to the reception desk, giving the tired-looking woman there my name and my mother’s name.

         “I think she’s here,” I say hurriedly. “I—”

         The woman’s expression changes almost immediately, softening to something sympathetic and sad that makes my guts twist. I know that look; it’s the look people gave my mother and me right after we found out that my father was dead. It’s the look my mother got when she found out that she couldn’t see his body, that it was going to be a closed-casket funeral because of what they’d done to him.

         That the last time she’d kissed him goodbye was going to be the last time she’d ever see his face, and she hadn’t even known it.

         What if the last time I saw my mom was when I dragged information out of her that she didn’t really want to tell, is the last time I’ll ever see her?

         “She is here,” the woman—her nametag says Deborah, I notice dimly—“But you can’t see her, Miss Saint. I’m sorry. She’s not in any condition to receive visitors.”

         “She’s with us,” Dean says sharply, stepping up next to me. I feel Cayde do the same on my other side, Jaxon bringing up the rear. “Don’t you know who we are?”

         “I do,” Deborah says crisply. “At least you, Mr. Blackmoor and Mr. St. Vincent. But that doesn’t change anything. Her mother is in the burn ward. She’s in critical condition, and she can’t have visitors.” Her voice softens as she looks back at me. “You wouldn’t recognize her right now, Miss Saint. And she wouldn’t be able to respond to you if she even knew you were there. It’s better that you don’t see her like this.”

         My knees turn to water. They’re not knees anymore. They’re liquid, gelatin, something formless and unable to support me. I feel myself start to fall at the same moment that Dean and Cayde reach out to catch me simultaneously, and I feel like I’m going to be sick.

         Burn ward. Critical condition. Burn ward.

         I am sick, all over the spotless white floor that smells like lemon cleaning chemicals. I feel hands in my hair, pulling it back, the yelp of the woman behind the desk, a ringing as she presses some button probably, getting someone to come and clean up my mess. But I can’t even feel bad about it right now.

         I’m instantly back there, back on the day when I saw my childhood home burning to the ground, except this time it isn’t my home that’s been burnt. It’s my mother, and as the nausea momentarily stops churning in my gut, I have a sudden, visceral need to know what the fuck happened.

         I mumble the question aloud, through lips that feel numb, and Dean lifts me up, helping me towards an empty seat in the row of chairs by the window.

         “She’s not going to tell us anything,” Jaxon says disgustedly. “Since we’re not family.

         “I’ll call my father.” Cayde fishes his phone out of his pocket. “He’ll know something, I’m sure. He knows everything that happens in this town.”

         Because he runs it, owns it, are the underlying words, but at least Cayde has the tact not to say it right now. Not to turn this awful, horrifying night into part of the dick-measuring contest the men of this town have been doing for centuries.

         I don’t hear anything Cayde says. He steps away, still probably within earshot, but I’m too overwhelmed to try to listen in. Instead, I let Dean pull me against his chest, gently wiping at my mouth with a napkin as I lay my head against his shoulder. My eyes are burning, but I can’t seem to cry, probably because I know that if I start, I’ll never stop.

         “Here.”  Jaxon kneels in front of me with a small paper cup of water. “Drink this. You need it.”

         I shake my head, but he pushes the cup forward insistently. “You need it,” he repeats. “At least rinse your mouth out.” He hands me another empty paper cup. “I know it’s hard, but you’ll feel better.”

         It’s the gentle insistence in his tone, the worry, that makes me give in. These three boys, who at one point were my captors, my tormentors, savage and cruel and merciless in the way they broke me and used me, are now my support. My friends. My lovers, even—boyfriends seem like too casual a word for what we’ve shared. Too ordinary.

         There’s nothing ordinary about our relationship. And definitely nothing casual about it. Casual was never a word that could have been used for anything that’s happened among the four of us. And now—

         I nearly choke on the water as I take the first sip after I rinse my mouth out. It takes everything in me to sit there with Dean’s arm around me, sipping water while Cayde makes a phone call, knowing that my mother is in a burn ward somewhere in the hospital, possibly dying. All I want to know is what happened, how things could possibly have spiraled out of control so quickly.

         Cayde comes back to stand in front of us, and he suddenly has the same expression on his face that Dean did earlier, one that makes him look years older. He looks tired and grim, and my chest contracts, my stomach twisting until I think I might be sick again. I’m glad I already finished the water Jaxon handed me.

         “What happened?” I ask in a small whisper, knowing that I don’t want to know and have to know, all at the same time.

         “There was a fire,” Cayde says tiredly, his face so full of pain and worry for me that I feel that sick fear all over again, like I did the afternoon that my mother told me that she didn’t know how to keep us safe.

          I tried, mom, I think helplessly as I look up into Cayde’s face. I really tried. I swear. I tried to keep us both safe.

         Clearly, I’d failed on both counts. I’d almost died, and my mother—

         “A fire?” I whisper the words, thinking of that other fire, the one that consumed my childhood home. I have a sudden awful vision of the Sons dragging my mother out into the middle of downtown Main Street and setting her ablaze, like some witch in the 1600s, but that can’t possibly be what happened. And Cayde confirms it just a few moments later.

         “The house on Blackmoor Estate, where she lived, was attacked,” Cayde says quietly. “They—” he breaks off suddenly. “Do you really want to hear this, Athena? Are you sure?”

         I feel my stomach twist, but I nod anyway. “I have to know,” I whisper, and I mean it. I do have to. If I don’t, then I’ll wonder all my life what really happened.

         “They barricaded the house and set it on fire with her inside,” Cayde says, clearly forcing himself to meet my eyes. “My father wasn’t home, and no one else was able to get to her in time. By the time the culprits left and anyone could be called, it was too late. Your mother was already severely burned, and the house was beyond saving. She—” he breaks off again, but I know what he’s not saying.

         She’s likely beyond saving, too.

         “I’m so sorry, Athena,” he murmurs. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am. I don’t know—we’ll find out who did this.”

         “It must have been the Sons,” I whisper, my hands balling into fists in my lap. “Who else would want my mother dead? They’ve wanted my mother and me both dead ever since my father—” I break off then, my throat clogged with tears. “It sounds like they’re going to get at least half of their wish.”

         “You don’t know—”

         I don’t hear the rest of what Cayde says. Deep down, I do know. And even if she could survive, as much as it hurts to think it, I don’t even know if that’s the best thing. I try to imagine a life after this, after she’s been burned so terribly that I can’t even see her. I can’t let myself picture my beautiful mother like that, disfigured, living in pain for the rest of her life.

         I wish I’d done so much differently on my last visit. I wish I’d asked her all the questions first, so that our last memories of the visit could have been lunch out and antique shops and bad horror movies and ice cream, not her telling me things she’d hoped she’d never have to revisit, reliving my father’s infidelity, his daughter that wasn’t hers, the tangled web that his one mistake had woven for my whole family.

         But that’s just it, I think bitterly. His mistakes have been causing all of this from the very beginning. I’d loved my father so much, and it hurts to think it. But all of this is because of my father. Natalie, my childhood home, my servitude to the heirs, my kidnapping, my mother dying alone in a hospital bed, it’s all because of mistakes he’s made.

        I don’t want to hate him for it, and even now, I feel like hate is too strong a word. But I feel mired in misery, drowning in it, in resentment and grief and regret. I pull away from Dean because it feels wrong that he’s the one comforting me right now.

         “I want to see her,” I whisper helplessly, knowing that won’t change anything. Knowing that my last conversation with my mother will always be the one about my half-sister, about lies and cheating and abandoned daughters and faithless men. Knowing that I won’t ever see her again.

         “Here comes a doctor,” Cayde says, stepping back. I hear the footsteps on the squeaky-clean tile, and I look up, hoping for one brief second that I’ll see something on their face that will tell me the gut feeling churning in my stomach is wrong.

But I take one look at the doctor’s face as he approaches, and I know that all my fears are about to come true.

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