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Rule number 123: Once upon a time is for fairy tales, not for broken ex dancers who live at home with Daddy and a textbook evil stepmother, and who only manage to get through life by counting every single step.
Amy knows her rules inside out…who to spend time with, what to eat, what to drink and what to do – until danger shows up in a leather jacket on a shiny chrome motorbike. Suddenly, breaking the rules seems to be all she can manage no matter how hard she tries, and her rigid control starts to slip.
Peder’s violent past has shaped him into the man he is, much the way he has learned to shape dolls with the help of his grandfather. He used to have only one rule in his life, courtesy of his absent brother and their shared gang past. When Amy is sent to write an article on his grandfather and his history of doll making for a paper her father’s company owns, she captures Peder’s interest and his heart. After his brother makes an ill-timed return and issues an instruction that threatens his future with Amy, Peder becomes trapped in a fresh web of lies and family ties. He must decide if he should start breaking the rules he didn’t know he lived by to take a chance on a future with Amy while knowing he could still lose her if she finds out.
Is Amy brave enough to put her faith in Peder, and can he overcome his past and convince Amy to follow their destiny, rather than her rules?
Lost in her thoughts of the past, Amy reached to grasp the ballet dancer’s tiny form.
“I’ve brought the cake, if you want to come and sit with us for your cup of tea?” A new male voice, deep and confident, startled her.
She jumped and straightened, coming nose to nose with the unhinged grin and vacant leer of a circus clown.
A gasp tore from her lips. “Oh, my God.” She backed into something warm and solid, and shrieked before spinning round.
“Sorry. Sorry…it’s just me.” The man’s eyes, rich with the colours of wild woodland moss, held an unexpected glint of danger. She shivered as an electric jolt shot straight through her when she met that green gaze. It glimmered with mischief and laughter, and he didn’t look quite as sorry as he should have.
Reflex led to her almost leaning into his strong grip as he reached out to steady her. Almost. She tugged her arm away and held out her hand.
“Pleased to meet you.” Superficial manners and years of rules kicked in, and she averted her gaze from the man who hadn’t introduced himself, and especially from his dangerous eyes. Her heart continued to race over her close encounter with the clown…yet the warmth in her arm lingered where the man had wrapped his strong fingers around her.
“Quite,” came his polite reply, and the obvious disinterest in his tone echoed through her, but what had she expected? Rule Number 15: Know your place, always.
She sneaked a quick look at him, and his very attractive lips upturned in an amused smile. One she almost returned, while wishing he’d speak more words once she could hear him over the rushing of blood in her ears.
His voice melted her, creating sparks and exploring long-forgotten depths of attraction. It made promises for ways they should spend time together he couldn’t even be aware of, and she wanted him to talk forever. She took an uncertain step away. Space seemed necessary…safe.