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What’s better than one sexy protector? Two.

Hazel knows she’s in serious trouble when her shady uncle threatens to implicate her in his crimes. When two police officers show up at her apartment, she’s forced to flee Boston in the dead of night. Philadelphia feels like a big enough place to hide…until the seedy motel she’s staying in burns down.

Kayden and Aldo’s protector instincts rise to the surface after they spot a shivering redhead standing alone at the scene of a fire. Discovering everything she owned was destroyed, the sexy cop and charming firefighter offer her a place to stay.

None of them is able to resist their instant, scorching attraction to each other. The three give new meaning to the term “hot and heavy.” Aldo and Kayden want more…hell, they want it all. But Hazel is in too deep, and as her lies begin to unravel, she’s caught between a rock and a hard place.

Especially when the past catches up to her. Unless she puts her fears aside and offers Aldo and Kayden the one thing she’s never given before–her trust–she stands to lose everything.


Mari Carr

Expected Release Date: 18 July 2023

Book Series: 

A sexy new Cinderella story in Mari Carr’s Italian Stallions series is out this week, where the heroine doesn’t find just one Prince Charming, she finds two dominant alpha males—a devastatingly handsome firefighter and his cop best friend/boyfriend—and they are ready to do whatever it takes to make the heroine theirs. Their story includes lots of steamy open-door bedroom scenes where nothing is off the table, including spanking, sex lessons, and, it has to be said, the boys don’t just touch the girl but each other as well. I’m so excited to share an excerpt with you!

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“Are you okay, Hazel?”

“I’m tired,” she whispered, hoping he’d just think her sleepy.

“Tired of what?”

“Everything,” she said, forgetting to shield her words.

Kayden nodded slowly, but he didn’t reply right away. She didn’t dare look at him. Instead, she pretended to be fascinated by the curb at their feet.

“Who hit you?”

She shook her head, lips tightly pressed closed, as she locked the vault on that.

Kayden didn’t push her, though she could tell he wanted to. “Okay. Fine. You don’t have to tell me. Yet.” He added the last word after a pause, saying it softer. But it was still there, hovering in the air between them. 

He was destined to be disappointed because she could never give him the answer to that question.

“One night,” Kayden said.

Her gaze flew up, confused by his words, by the resolute look on his face. 


“You’re going to take a break for one night.”

“I can’t. I have too many things to figure—”

“You don’t know us well, but you said Aldo and I don’t scare you. Did you mean that?”

This time, she didn’t hesitate, didn’t need to think it through. “Yes.”

“Then we’ll start from there. I get the feeling trust isn’t something you give easily.”

She snorted at that, proving he’d hit that nail on the head.

Kayden didn’t acknowledge the sound. He just kept talking. “So instead, I’m asking for a leap of faith.”

She frowned, confused. 

“Hand us the reins tonight.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means we’re going to call the shots for the next few hours. We’re going to take you out for a nice meal, and then…” He paused, changing direction. “When did you eat last?”

She didn’t want to say. Not because it would put more paint on the picture taking shape in his mind. No. It was because she knew—instinctually—that her reply would upset him.

“When, Hazel?”

There was something about his dark tone that had her replying before she could think it through. “I had a peanut butter sandwich yesterday.”

His scowl was exactly what she’d expected. Kayden said Aldo pushed for what he wanted, but there was no denying what she was seeing right now on his face, in those damn expressions of his. 

Determination and dominance. 

And underlying that…concern.

It was the concern that had her swallowing the lump forming in her throat. Because she couldn’t remember the last time anyone had looked at her like that. Suddenly, she wasn’t thinking about finding a corner to sleep the next decade away. 

Instead, she wanted to curl up in his arms or Aldo’s—or better yet, with both of them—and just disappear. Forever.

She’d never been the hugging type. Probably because no one ever offered, but Kayden looked like the kind of guy who could give a bear hug she’d feel all the way to the depths of her soul. 

Tonight, she needed a hug.

Kayden reached his hand out, not taking hers. He was letting her make the decision. It wasn’t a hard choice. She placed her hand in his, noticing how large, how strong, how warm it was compared to her icy one. 

“So let us make all the decisions, solve all of the immediate problems for you. Dinner first,” he said. “And then, we’ll find you a safe place to stay tonight, a soft bed to lay your head down.”

“It doesn’t have to be soft,” she murmured.

Kayden’s only reply was to squeeze her hand gently, the gesture no doubt meant to be comforting, but she couldn’t help imagining that hand squeezing…other parts of her as well. She felt herself blushing, her wayward thoughts going to places they really shouldn’t go.

And, of course, the astute cop didn’t miss her sudden discomfiture.

She needed to learn how to school her expressions because the second he mentioned that soft bed, she envisioned herself sleeping between him and Aldo.

God. She’d clearly gone round the bend. And she must have plastered that racy thought all over her face because she could swear Kayden’s eyes darkened with…interest? With lust?

He ran his fingers along her bruise again, the touch so gentle and kind she had to fight back tears. No one had ever touched her with such care.

“What do you say, Hazel? Give yourself the night off. Let us take care of you.”

“Leap of faith?” Her voice was suddenly too hungry, giving away her desperation. She couldn’t recall a single day in her life when she’d simply stepped back and let someone else take over. It had always fallen to her to make the decisions, pay the bills, work the jobs, bail everyone out.  

Handing all that over to someone else—even just for one night—was the most tempting offer of her life.

She might be a fool, and this might be the dumbest decision she’d ever make, but one fact kept screaming louder than all the rest.

She had nothing left to lose.

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Italian Stallions - Recommended Reading Order

(standalone stories with interconnected characters)

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