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I landed in hot water with the tabloids one too many times.

What can I say? My nipple wanted to come out and say hi to the paparazzi.

After that, my father presented me with an ultimatum—either he cuts off the gravy train and stops paying for my lavish lifestyle or I agree to have a live-in bodyguard.

And by bodyguard, I mean a sexy, formidable, out-of-this-world babysitter who just happens to be good at breaking spines.

Ransom Lockwood, ladies and gentlemen.

Now he is forcing me to try all kinds of weird stuff. Stop partying, clean up my act, get a job…

A part of me wants to tell him to get lost. I’m past saving.

But the other part? The other part wants to save him.


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Thorne Princess

L.J. Shen

Expected Release Date: 12 January 2023

What happens when the most infamous woman in Hollywood gets a babysitter…who is also her bodyguard? Find out this week in L.J. Shen’s new enemies-to-lovers, grumpy-sunshine romance featuring a Hollywood princess who is desperate to self-destruct, and the grumpy bodyguard who saves her. And I have a sneak peek for you!

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Excerpt

“Why are you so mean?” I knew the answer. Why were people mean, in general? Because they weren’t happy with their lives.

In his case, I wouldn’t put it past my parents to tell him to be extra harsh on me.

“Because someone needs to teach you a lesson, and unfortunately for both of us, that someone is me.”

He’d drained the entire coffee cup. Even though it had more salt than the Dead Sea. Who was I dealing with here? Now I wasn’t only terrified but also worried he wasn’t entirely human.

Quickly, and before I could chicken out, I grabbed my cup of coffee and plopped in front of him. “Listen, I need my phone back. It’s for work.”

“You don’t work,” he reminded me, finishing his breakfast in two bites. He took his plate and coffee cup and washed them in the sink.

I shifted around in my seat. “I do, actually. I’m an Instagram influencer, for your information.”

“That’s a hobby, not a job.” He made his way upstairs. I darted up, running after him.

“Of course, it’s a job. Actually, I’ve made a commitment to appear at someone’s new bakery on Rodeo Drive with my friends for brunch today.”

I wouldn’t call NeNe and Tara friends, exactly, but they were people I saw on the reg. Besides, I shouldn’t have to justify my life to this guy.

Ransom went up the stairs with me on his heels.

“Fun-fucking-tastic,” he said dryly. “Read the contract, accept the terms, and we can attend your obligation, after I scope out the destination and figure out how and when you’ll make your appearance. Your new budget is a hundred bucks a day, by the way. Use it wisely.”

My what?

Ransom tugged his sweaty wifebeater off by gripping the back, and letting it slap the wall with a thwack! before entering his room. Desperately, I followed him there, too. He was about to get naked. This was the part where I ran for the hills, but again, this man wouldn’t take me against my will. He was too prideful for that.

He turned around, popping an eyebrow. “What are you doing?”

“Negotiating?” I winced.

“Get out.”

I dug my heels deeper into the floor. “Give me my phone first.”

“Read the contract first,” he quipped back.

I closed my eyes. Took a deep breath. Was I really going to share my biggest insecurity to this monster? No. There was no way I was talking to him about something so intimate, so humiliating.

“I…” I licked my lips. “I’m…”

“You are not too busy. Don’t even pretend with me.”

Ugh. “That’s not it.”

“Is this an autonomy flex, or an influencer thing about how you’re too important to bother reading your own emails?” His mocking tone seared through me.

“No!”

The words felt like bullets, piercing through my chest. The air felt hot and charged in my lungs.

“Forget it. I’m not moving an inch until you give me my phone back.”

“Very well.”

With that, he lowered the waistband of his gray sweatpants. I caught a glimpse of the sharp V bracketing his abs. The golden, smooth skin of him, and the trail of hair rolling down from his belly button to…

“Jesus!” I looked away, coughing to conceal my embarrassment. “What are you doing?”

“Making you run away. Or, alternatively, setting the ground for a nice, cushioned settlement agreement after the sexual harassment lawsuit I’m going to file against you.”

I squeezed my eyes shut. He was playing chicken with me. And winning. How was I going to survive him for six months?

You’re not. You’re going to have to make him quit.

“Well?” he asked. With my eyes closed, I could feel his warm breath fanning the side of my neck. Shivers trailed down my spine. “Your move, Brat.”

He saw this as a chess game, as nothing but entertainment. This was my life.

“I’ll read the damn thing,” I heard myself say. I opened my eyes. Fortunately, his pants were still on. Unfortunately, so was a condescending smirk.

“If you come across any big, intimidating words, let me know.”

“Fuck you, Random.” The words came out shaky, and I hated myself for it.

“It’s Ransom,” he corrected.

“Random suits you better.”

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