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She’s his sweetest desire…and his darkest secret.

The task was simple.
Sneak into Potomac’s most heavily guarded manor.
Steal back my pendant. Slip out.

Problem number one?
America’s most unattainable bachelor caught me.

Problem number two?
He decided to keep me. As the help.

Zachary Sun’s winter may be the coldest I’ve ever felt,
but he makes my skin burn.

Reserved, calculated, and savagely cruel,
he thrives on the weaknesses of others.

Little does he know, he just met his match.

He may be American royalty.
But this peasant will rise to become Queen.


Parker S. Huntington & L.J. Shen

Expected Release Date: 10 March 2024

Book Series: 

America’s most unattainable bachelor is falling in love…with his maid, in Parker S. Huntington and L.J. Shen’s tantalizing new forbidden romance, out in four days, and I have a little sneak peek for you. This is Zachery Sun’s book, whom we met in My Dark Romeo.

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Zach’s eyes didn’t budge from the board. “You’re about to lose.”

“Keep telling yourself that.”

I stood, stretching my arms and feigning a yawn. He rose to his feet, too, that scowl still wilting his lips. 

I snapped the stone bowl shut. “Well, thank you for th⁠—” 

“When will we finish the game?” 

He removed his phone from his pocket and thumbed through it. His calendar app flashed before me. Goodness, it didn’t even occur to him that I’d say no. 

His thumb shot up with each scroll, probably sorting through dates convenient for him. “Tomorrow is no good for me, and I have a meeting in London the next day, though I will not be staying overnight.” 

My jaw clamped shut with an audible snap. 

It shouldn’t have surprised me. Zach wanted to be challenged. No, he needed to be challenged. Everyone around him bored him. 

Unfortunately for him, I would rather drive home blindfolded and handcuffed than spend another second in his presence. 

I scratched my cheek. “I, uh, have a busy schedule.” 

“More parties to crash?” 

I smoothed a hand over my dress, my palm sweaty. “That’s rude.” 

“But not wrong. Who are you?” 

His eyes were like two barrels of a gun, digging into the soft flesh of my temple, threatening to pull the trigger. 

Death lurked behind those eyes. I wondered what they’d witnessed to suck the soul out of them. 

“I’m a guest.” 

“I’d remember if I invited you.” 

“I’m someone’s plus one.” 

“Name that someone.” 

Would it kill him to budge? 

I conjured the name of a man I guessed would be here. “Pierre Toureau.”

A client of mine. A very wealthy one. He owned restaurants, malls, and a fleet of Mid-Atlantic conservatories. 

I bet Zach had invited him and his pretty grad student daughter Anamika. 

A vein bulged in his neck. 



“Interesting. Does his wife know?” 


“I’m his niece.” 

“The one from France?” 


“Where are you from in France?”


He wasn’t supposed to be hot and smart. 

Again—not a surprise. Just alarming to be on the receiving end of a lethal dose. 

“Uh… Yes?” 

He shook his head, like I was a lost cause. 

“You’re not one of us,” Zach concluded, hands resting in the pockets of his slacks, jaw harder than the granite surrounding us. 


Also—screw you. 

“How do you know?” 

“For one thing, you’re wearing a nightgown.” 

Double shit. 

It was the only dress of Reggie’s that didn’t have feathers, leather, or other dead animal parts. Should’ve known it was too good to be true. 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I kept my chin up, retreating a step, my fingers patting my surroundings, searching for a weapon. How much jail time would I get if I clubbed him with one of these sleep-inducing finance textbooks he couldn’t possibly have finished? “It’s okay not to like my dress, but don’t offend it. I don’t tell you that you look like a penguin in that tux.” 

He stalked toward me, stoic and unrelenting. “Give it up, little octopus. You’re wearing holed sneakers.” 

Little octopus? 


“They’re comfy. You never know when you need to make a run for it.” 

Another step back. 

“Now would be a good time.” He stopped about ten inches from me. Close enough to be intimidating, but far enough not to touch me. “I’ll even give you a head start, seeing as you’re such easy prey.” 

He underestimated me. 

Normally, I loved proving people wrong. But with Zach Sun, I doubted my own abilities. Both physically and intellectually.

I extended my neck to look him in the eyes. At 5’8”, I wasn’t often dominated by men, but Zach made me feel miniature. Smashable as a tender teenage heart. 

He was lean, tall, and muscular. Proportioned like a Roman sculpture. 

Everything about his face was divine. The arches of his thick brows. His bottomless eyes—so dark I couldn’t see where the pupils ended and the irises started. And the pillowy, hand-drawn lips any woman would die to call her own. 

They were all bracketed inside a jaw so square, between cheekbones so high, he looked half-human, half-demon. An art collector that was a work of art himself. 

“Look…” My back hit the door. I grabbed the knob digging into my lower back on instinct. 

The pendant behind him all but winked at me.


I needed to return for it somehow. By inviting me back, he’d offered me a gift, packaged with sharpened spikes and wrapped in poison ivy. But a gift, nonetheless. 

Too bad I didn’t trust either of us to open it. 

I raised one palm. “I can explain.” 

One final step, and he cornered me completely. 

His body pinned me to the door, not quite touching mine but close enough that the invisible hairs on my arms stood at attention. “I wholeheartedly doubt it.” 

“You can’t do anything wholeheartedly. You don’t have a heart.” 

I didn’t know what made me provoke him, but I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. Not with the surge of momentum behind me. With the zap of electricity bleeding into my veins. 

And beyond logic, not with every fiber of my pride wishing to chisel a scar onto Zachary Sun. 

His face remained unmoved. “I may have no heart, but my brain compensates for its absence, and it is telling me to punish you for your⁠—” 

I didn’t stick around to hear what he had in store for me. I whipped around, jerked the double doors open, and bolted outside. 

Zach was at my heels in seconds. His smart shoes clanked against the marble in long strokes. 

I sprinted to the edge of the stairway and hopped onto the banister, zipping down the handrail as fast as I could. 

Zach snapped his fingers. “Chase her.” 

In an instant, two people materialized, scrambling up the stairs after me. Zach was still the closest, but even he wasn’t as fast and nimble as I was. 

Olympic material, baby, I wanted to taunt. 

In another life, Zach and I would be friends. Maybe. We’d play Go. Do mental math. Exchange ideas. 

I’d win. 

Sometimes, anyway. 

Keep him on those even-heeled toes of his. 

At the bottom of the stairs, I sprang off the handrail and did a little twirl and wink before charging for the exit.

Copyright © 2024 by Parker S. Huntington and L.J. Shen.

Find it on Goodreads:  

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