(Black Shamrocks MC #1)
Publication date: September 30th 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Can you really call him your past, if he refuses to stay buried?
Only daughter of the volatile President of the Black Shamrocks MC and long-suffering sister to four overprotective brothers, Madelaine O’Brien has survived circumstances that would have broken a lesser woman.
Mikhail “Mad Dog” Kennedy is her salvation, her reward for continuing to fight, and the matching piece of her soul.
With her life happy and on track, will the reappearance of the monster from her past be the event that finally breaks her? Or will he be the catalyst she needs to put it all behind her, once and for all?
They say when life gives you lemons; make lemonade. What happens when life keeps sending you demons who refuse to stay buried? Do you lie down and accept defeat or rise to the seemingly unwinnable challenge, and start SEIZING CONTROL
WARNING: This series contains graphic situations and is not suitable for all readers. While this series isn’t dark-dark, basically everything that could need a trigger warning is included at some stage. Please consider yourself warned.
Seizing Control is the first book in the Internationally Bestselling Black Shamrocks MC Series. If you enjoy gritty, authentic, and sexy MC reads, then you’ll love Kylie Hillman’s unique take on MC romance.
The complete series:
Brotherhood before blood.
It’s that simple.
Until, the brotherhood betrays blood…
On the surface, the Black Shamrocks MC is exactly what an outlaw motorcycle club should be. Unapologetically brutal. Unquestionably ruthless. Unwaveringly loyal.The brotherhood appears rock solid, allied and impenetrable. Their various blood ties only serve as a reminder of the generations of kinship and family that came before them.
Dig a little deeper and the illusion begins to shatter. Beneath a well-cultivated facade of unity, old tensions simmer and new alliances are created. Game plans are being put into action. Legacies are being secured. Deals with the devil are being made.
While these betrayals are being executed with cold efficiency, a new love is born. It’s a love that those undermining the club never saw coming. It’s a love that threatens to derail the upcoming coup. It’s a love that could unite them all and stop evil in its tracks if it’s allowed to prosper.
When those closest to you are plotting your downfall, is it possible for love to conquer all? If the war needed to defeat those responsible could cost you a loved one, would you be willing to pay the price? Unfortunately, the answers don’t matter anymore … because, ready or not, the Black Shamrocks MC is about to be engulfed by BLOOD & BETRAYAL.
SEIZING CONTROL PROLOGUE:
“When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” ~Unknown~
This has been my motto for the past four years. I was certain I’d proven to myself, and anyone who mattered, that I’d let my past strengthen me, not destroy me. I’d survived every woman’s worst nightmare and I was still standing. I was chasing my
dreams, my family was thriving, and so was my relationship. As far as I was concerned, I exemplified the positive essence of the saying.
Unfortunately, everything I thought I’d overcome was about to rear its ugly head. He refused to stay in the past where he belonged. He was determined to conquer me and keep me for himself—to control me, alienate me from my loved ones, and force me to submit to his will. His latest attack was going to prove his most lethal, and he was going to teach me that, even though he hadn’t destroyed me in the past, he had absolutely defined me.
A heavy hand lands on my shoulder. Lost as I am in my own world—a world filled with painful memories that make the fear that is now my constant companion kick up a notch—I don’t recognize the owner until I’ve flinched away from their touch, putting space between myself and the person I perceive to be my newest attacker. Swinging around with looping punch that would have my self-defence instructor shaking his head, I follow with an ear-splitting shriek that makes me cringe.
“Fuck. Lainey. It’s me.” Mik holds his arms out in front of himself. He looks me dead in the eye and waves his hands as if he’s trying to settle a spooked horse. Even his mouth is shaped in a circle as if he’s about to tell me to “whoa”. My heart’s trying to pound out of my chest, fearful trembling seizing control of my body, while heat rises up my neck and warms my cheeks. I feel like a damn idiot, but I can’t seem to stop overacting to the smallest thing.
“I thought you heard me coming, Angel. I’m sorry.”
His apology makes me feel worse. Adding his slumped shoulders and strained expression into the mix only drives home how much he’s suffering with me. The green flecks in his hazel eyes have been dulled by the pain he carries. Every time I flinch away from him, the light in them—that cheeky spark that used to illuminate his face—dims a little bit more.
“It’s all good, I was daydreaming,” I say in a voice that doesn’t sound nearly as breezy as it did in my head. Forcing my stiff, shaking body to loosen, I fake my best smile and close the distance between us in three steps. Ignoring how my hands tremble, I press my breasts against his hard chest and wrap my arms around his neck.
Bringing his head down to mine, I press my lips against his and initiate a kiss that’s deeper than the quick pecks that we’ve exchanged since I was released from hospital eight weeks ago. Mik was rigid when I put my arms around him; yet, he manages to take it to another level altogether at my touch. His arms hang at his side and he doesn’t return my kiss past allowing the initial joining of our mouths. Feeling like I trying to make out with a statue, I pull back an inch and sink my teeth into his bottom lip with deliberate viciousness.
“Fuck!” He yelps, the blank expression on his face changing to one of annoyance. Gripping me with infinite gentleness by the tops of my arms, he moves me back so that he can look down at me. “Why’d you fucking do that?”
Pushing away the embarrassment that’s threatening to overwhelm me—first from my overreaction to his innocent touch and secondly from his refusal to kiss me back—I shake my head at him. Wrenching out of his grasp, I sit on the dining table in the same spot I was before he interrupted me.
“Why did I do that?” I mimic his confused tone. “Gee, I don’t know. Maybe because my boyfriend refuses to kiss me.”
The aggravation leaves his rugged features, sympathy taking its place. It’s the one emotion I can’t deal with; one that he should know better than to send in my direction. The small amount of spirit left in my psyche—the tiny part that survived my ex-boyfriend’s onslaught—flares to life, heating my indignation, and giving me the ability to lash out at him.
“You know, if being with me is too much for you to handle, the door’s that way.” I spit the words at him with a certainty that doesn’t reflect my inner fear that he’ll take me up on my offer. Pointing in the direction of the front door, I continue. “Don’t let it hit you on your fine ass on the way out.”
Swinging back to my feet, I step up into his personal space and glare at him through narrowed eyes.“We both know I’m damaged. Hell, nobody’d blame you if you walked. Nobody wants a woman as scarred as me.”
Putting space between us, I wave my right hand over my abdomen. “Inside and out.”
Turning my back to him, I make my way to our bedroom. Slamming the door shut behind me, I flick the lock before throwing myself face down on our king-sized bed. The tears that are constantly trying to escape from my eyes—the tears that I have to fight everyday—run down my cheeks. The only time I let them fall is when no one else can see them. When I’m alone, they’re stronger than me. So much so, that I should be out of tears to cry since it feels like it’s all I do lately.
Keeping my anguish to myself is becoming too much. It’s making me treat Mik like shit, when he’s the only one who has a chance of understanding how I feel because he’s the only one who knows the full truth of what happened to me. The guilt that my behavior brings just adds another layer to what I’m already struggling under.
If I’d listened to him, none of this would have happened. If I’d gone to him after the first time Brendan hurt me, it wouldn’t have got so bad. If I’d listened to the voice in the back of my mind that told me to tell him the truth, I wouldn’t be broken now.
The handle rattles as Mik tries to open the door, interrupting my mental blame game. He raps his knuckles against the hard wood. “Lainey, let me in. Fuck me dead, I’m trying my best here. If I try to touch you, it makes you freak out so when you kissed me I didn’t have a fucking clue how to react.”
I hear a soft thud, and I can picture him resting his forehead against the door. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I sit up and stare at the wooden barrier that separates us. Wiping my face, I press my lips together so they’ll stop trembling while I breathe deeply through my nose, making my lungs expand before letting the air out slowly. It’s a technique my therapist reckons will calm me, although it hasn’t worked so far.
“Angel. Talk to me. Tell me how to help you. I’ll do anything you want.” He pauses, a loud sigh coming from the other side of the door, telling me that he’s not only confused—he’s hurt and frustrated with me for shutting him out. I open my mouth, unsure what words are going to leave my lips when I speak, when he interrupts me with the words that are the main reason why I can’t confide in him. “Fucking hell, Mo Ghrá. I know this is my fault and I’m fucking sorry. More than you’ll ever know.”
My mouth closes of its own volition. I throw myself backward on the comforter, landing on my back as the tears call an end to the brief reprieve they’d granted me. Flailing my hand toward the head of the bed, I reach for a pillow. Jamming it over my face, I open my mouth and scream … and scream and scream. My mind joins in, shrieking two sentences at me over and over in a matching rhythm to the cries that my pillow is muffling.
It’s not your fault. It’s mine.
Mik must mistake my silence for agreement. A louder thud makes the door shake—I’m not sure if he’s hit it with his head or his fist—before I hear him walk away from our bedroom, his heavy biker boots sounding against the jarrah floorboards. My attention is drawn from my screams as I listen to see if he’s leaving the house.
Ten. Eleven. Twelve. After the thirteenth step, there’s a resounding bang as the front door is thrown open, hitting the wall behind it. I jump on the bed when a louder boom echoes through the house as Mik slams the door shut behind him.
Barely five seconds later, I hear his Harley roar to life before the squealing of tyres heralds his departure from our street. With straining ears, I listen as the rumbling engine gets further away, the sound receding until I can’t hear it anymore.Rolling onto my side, I pull the pillow against me and curl into the foetal position around it. Burying my face in its softness, I drag in a ragged breath and Mik’s scent overcomes me. I must have grabbed his pillow. The familiar smell makes me long for him. Yet, I know that after my actions this afternoon, this might be all I’m left with. An empty house, a broken heart and body, and the slowly disappearing scent of the man I love.
It’s with that thought that the never-ending tears pick up pace and begin pooling on the pillow as a liquid tribute to my sorrow.
Kylie Hillman is the Australian author of the Internationally Bestselling Black Shamrocks MC series, Amazon #1 Bestselling NA/Sports novel, Brawl (Black Hearts MMA #1), and the recently completed Centrifuge Duet. She’s currently working on the highly anticipated spin-offs to the Black Shamrocks MC series, writing the rest of the Black Hearts MMA series, and plotting her upcoming psychological thriller, Blood Oath.
She’s also wife to a Harley-riding, boating and fishing, four-wheel driving, quintessential Aussie bloke and mum to two crazy, adorable, and eccentric kids. A Crohn’s Disease sufferer and awareness campaigner, as well as an avid tea drinker, metal head, and math nerd, Kylie is known for lacing everything she says with sarcasm and inappropriate innuendo.
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