by Becker Gray
(A Hellfire Club Novel)
Publication date: November 17th 2020
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
The new girl doesn’t belong here. So why can’t I stop thinking about her? Iris Briggs a goodie two-shoes with a headmaster father who aims to ruin my school year before it’s even begun. She gets under my skin. With her demure skirts and braided hair, Iris flits around the periphery until she runs right into me, hot coffee soaking me as she looks up at me with wide, innocent eyes. We start off scalding.
In the library, we reach lava levels.
And then in the city? We go nuclear.
She’s a good girl, but I’m a Constantine. My duty is to my family. At least, it was until I started unbraiding the good girl and realizing there’s more to life than duty.
“Keaton Constantine, what the hell?”
My brows popped. My mother rarely swore. “Wow, Mom. I didn’t even know you knew that word.”
“That relationship is important,” Mom explained, sounding like she was struggling for patience. “It’s your future.”
“Mom, I’m eighteen. You can’t really expect me to date the same girl for the rest of my life.”
“I can, and I do. You’ve been raised together. Groomed to be together. It’s not like you need to get to know her. You know exactly what kind of family she comes from. You should know that the expectation is that you two will get married.”
I laughed at that. “Again, we’re eighteen. We’re not going to marry anyone any time soon. And while I care about her, I don’t love her.”
I could envision her pinched face. “You’re being very naïve,” my mother said in a brittle voice. “Constantines marry well. That’s what we do. And it’s your role in the family to connect us with the Blairs.”
“And if I don’t want to?”
Mom didn’t say anything for a second. “Keaton, don’t make me compel you.”
“With money?” That was, after all, my parents’ go-to move.
She didn’t answer, but she didn’t need to. I had a trust fund and a monthly allowance that would balance the budgets of most Midwestern states—but both of those could be fucked with. By her. The first wave of trust fund money would be released once I graduated—and it would be enough to see me through college until I could get my own job . . . if I didn’t choose a career in rugby, that was. If I chose rugby, I’d need fuck-all from the family.
But again, I couldn’t start playing pro until after graduation at the soonest.
“You’re telling me that if I don’t keep dating Clara, you’re going to starve me out financially?”
“Don’t be gauche,” she said. She disliked overt money talk. “I’m just reminding you that the benefits of this family are tied to service to this family.”
“Does it matter to you that Clara doesn’t love me? Never mind how I feel?”
“This isn’t about love, sweetheart, this is about a merger of the families. Something better and stronger. You’ll see.”
I ground my teeth together. My gaze went outside my window again.
About the author:
Becker Gray is the brainchild of two best friends who love rich boys in peacoats. The Hellfire Club is their first series together.