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One unforgettable night…with the wrong man.

If there’s one thing Liza excels at it’s making bad decisions. Which is why she knew it was stupid to invite the guy she’d just started dating to the gala she was hosting. When he gets overly familiar, she asks him to leave. He refuses…

Until sinfully sexy billionaire, Matt Russo, intervenes, leading to Liza’s worst decision ever. Because a holiday hook-up with Matt, her family’s enemy, would definitely land her on the naughty list for life.

If Matt’s past has taught him anything, it’s that true love doesn’t exist. Then he spies Liza—the only threat to his simple existence—across the hotel ballroom. A slow dance leads to a heated embrace that ends in his hotel room. And for the first time ever, he imagines a very different future for himself.

Unfortunately, it’s one he can never have.


Mari Carr

Expected Release Date: 14 November 2023

Book Series: 

A sexy new one-night stand, enemies to lovers, Holiday romance in Mari Carr’s Italian Stallions series is out next week, and I’m so excited to share a little sneak peek with you!

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Liza slowly dragged her weary body out of the ballroom, and she had just reached the end of the long hallway that led to the hotel’s front foyer when she heard a familiar voice raised in anger, and then a loud slap.

“How dare you end things this way!” Patricia yelled.

Liza caught only a brief glimpse of Matt and Patricia facing off in the foyer of the hotel before she quickly took one huge step to the right, hiding behind a large pillar so she was out of sight of the couple.

She glanced back down the hall and considered returning to the ballroom, but dammit…her feet hurt too much. 

Unfortunately, there was no way to pass Matt and Patricia without them seeing her. 

She had enough energy to get to the elevator and up to her room and that was it. She had zero desire to have yet another confrontation with Patricia or another…whatever the fuck had been going on between her and Matt.

“Keep your voice down, Patricia. I have no interest in drawing a crowd,” Matt said, so low Liza barely heard him.

“I will not keep my voice down. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for me to expect my date to treat me with courtesy. To pay attention to me. I didn’t enjoy watching you staring at her all night.”

Staring at…her?

“She has nothing to do with this,” Matt replied.


“Bullshit,” Patricia scoffed.

“You’re looking for excuses that don’t exist,” Matt replied wearily.

“Is this because I suggested we get married?” Patricia asked.

Liza sucked in a quiet gasp. Married?

“You see a much different future than I do, Patricia.”

Patricia laughed, though there was no humor in the sound. “You’re wrong, Matt. Everything I offered you is exactly what you want, what you need. You’re making the wrong decision. And one day you’re going to realize it. I suggest you figure it out soon because I wait for no one.”

“I’m not asking you to wait,” Matt said softly, though Liza wasn’t sure Patricia heard, considering she’d already started walking away. Liza tracked the angry stomping of the other woman’s heels across the marble floor. 

She remained hidden, out of sight, listening for Matt’s retreating steps as well. 

Luck was not on her side tonight.

“You can come out now,” he said.

Great. Busted.

She stepped around the pillar. “I didn’t want to interrupt.” As far as excuses went, that was probably the lamest.

And Matt called her on it. “So you opted for eavesdropping instead.” He didn’t sound angry. In truth, he sounded like she felt. 




Just fucking done. With everything.

Liza moved closer, looking at the bright red mark on his cheek, shining out even through his beard. 

“She slapped you?” She fought not to roll her eyes at herself. Of course she did, Captain Obvious.

“Yes.” Matt didn’t bother to touch his cheek. “I will admit she’s not the first woman to slap me.”

Liza couldn’t resist. “I suspect she won’t be the last, either.”

The edges of Matt’s lips twitched and for a second, she thought she might get a real smile out of him.

It wasn’t that he was a humorless bastard all the time. She’d seen him smile on a few occasions, but it was never directed at her.

“You broke things off?”

Wow. She was batting a thousand on the stupid questions.

Matt nodded.

“Because you were staring at…someone?” If she wasn’t running on fumes, she never would have asked that question. But he’d thrown her for one too many loops tonight. She was off-balance, and she hated it.

“You know I was,” he said, holding her gaze. “Because you were staring back.”

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Italian Stallions - Recommended Reading Order

(standalone stories with interconnected characters)

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