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Illicit Monster (Audiobook)

Illicit Monster (Audiobook)

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My father sold me to his enemy.

He stole my innocence—right after he dressed me in white and made me vow to be his for all of eternity. 

Now I’m cut off from my family.

Subjected to my husband’s warped rules and laws.

At the mercy of a tyrant who leers at me with green heated eyes until I beg him for things I shouldn’t.

Every day, I promise myself I’ll grow stronger and resist the urge to appease him.

It’s a losing battle I can’t win.

All I want is to love him, but I tell myself not to be foolish.

After all, a monster will never love.

He’ll only go deeper into his sinister ways.

Illicit Monster-Prologue

Maeve Fitzpatrick

Rain falls harder, making it nearly impossible to see. I pick up my pace and step under the porch's roof, snapping my umbrella shut. I reach for the door and freeze.

Something isn't right.

Goose bumps break out on my skin. A shiver runs down my spine. I stare at the doorknob and the light shining through the partially open door.

Please. Not again.

I glance behind me, but the rain still obstructs my view.

My heart pounds harder, and I squeeze my eyes shut briefly, hoping I'm wrong.

A man's muffled voice hits my ears, and I cringe.

God dammit, Da!

I take a deep breath and push the door open, stepping into the hallway. Da's faded green paddy cap hangs on a hook, blending against the worn wallpaper.

"I swear I'll pay ya," Da claims.

My stomach flips. I shake my head and ignore the growing quiver.

Get it over with.

What am I going to give them this time?

I rack my brain, but nothing comes to me. We're down to the bare bones. Da promised he'd stop gambling the last time this happened.

"Da," I yell, hurrying down the hall and entering the dining room. "Da—" I freeze. Bile creeps up my throat, and I swallow it down.

A rope is wrapped around Da's body, restraining him to the chair.

A man with broad shoulders, long legs, and chestnut hair turns toward me. He pins his green eyes on me, and his lips twitch. More shock fills me as he taunts, "Well, if it isn't the troublemaker Maeve."

My gut churns faster.

Not him.

Anyone but him.

I gape at the man, holding my breath, feeling the buzz of electricity build in my veins just like it did the first time I met him.

It was in a pub. He sat right next to me, with his brother across from us. I didn't understand my reaction then, and I don't now—especially when this makes my father's situation worse than I thought.

This man is the youngest O'Connor brother, and an enemy of my family's clan. So this situation is worse than I anticipated.

All I've ever tried to do is get my da to stop gambling. Ever since my ma passed, he's bet himself into one situation after another. So, while this isn't the first time his life's been in danger due to his debt, I don't understand why Tynan O'Connor stands in our house. My da places bets with O'Learys. There's no way he'd cross clan lines.

Or would he?

I disregard Tynan's statement and blurt out, "What are ya doing to my da?"

His expression turns darker. "Why do ya think I'm here?"

I tear my eyes off of his green gaze and question my father. "Ya took money from your enemy?"

Guilt fills Da's expression. I've seen it too many times to count. It always breaks my heart, and this time is no different.

Tynan provokes, "How are ya going to rescue him this time?"

The quiver in my belly grows, along with a feeling in my lower region I wish would disappear. I don't know why I react to him so much. He's never been nice to me. He knows who he is and who I am, even if I don't care about clan business.

"Well?" he pushes.

I seethe. "Leave my father alone." I step toward Da and reach to untie him.

Tynan lunges between us, pushing me back several feet. He warns, "Be careful what you're doing, lass."

"There's no need to tie him up."

He grunts. "Isn't there? Your father owes me money, but something tells me ya already know that."

I shake my head. "I didn't know he owes ya money. How much is it?"

"More than ya can afford, lass."

My gut drops.

Tynan's expression hardens, but there's also pleasure in it, as if he likes our little scenario.

The hairs on my arms rise higher. I repeat, "How much?"

He grabs my father's coin purse off the table and dumps it in his hands. Then he holds it in front of my face. He slowly opens his fist, and the coins drop onto the floor. He states, "More than your da has."

I try to keep my composure. It's not the first time I've been up against brutal men, trying to save my father, but something tells me this time it'll be different. And I don't know why or what that means, but I can't shake the dread washing over me.

Still, I lift my chin and square my shoulders, trying to sound as confident as possible and demanding. "I asked ya how much."

Tynan crosses his arms. "More than everything in this house."

"Bullshit," I say.

He scoffs. "Ya calling me a liar, lass?"

"Tell me how much he owes ya and get out of my house," I order, my voice shaking.

He softly chuckles.

"This isn't funny!"

His face falls. He shakes his head. "No, you're right. It's not funny. Your da's debt is large. It would take him years to earn the money to pay me back what he borrowed."

I struggle to not flinch, feeling queasier. I sneer, "Then why did ya let him borrow it?"

A sinister expression explodes on Tynan's face. "Why does any bookie give money to a gambler?"

"Ya knew he wouldn't be able to cover that bet!" I accuse.

"Did I?" Tynan innocently asks, but his expression says it all. He knew damn well.

I try to think about what I could give him to cover my da's debt. I know what happens in this scenario, and I don't want my da to have broken bones or die. I squeeze my eyes shut and shake my head.

Tynan taunts, "Aw, don't look so sad, lass. It'll be okay."

I curl my fingers around my mother's wedding ring. I've been wearing it since she died. I swallow hard, slide the gold band off, and hold it out to him. "Here. Take it."

He once again snorts. He grabs the ring and holds it up in the air. "This isn't going to cover it."

"It's pure gold," I state.

He shrugs. "What else do ya have?"

I rack my brain and glance around our house, which doesn't have much left in it.

"Don't think you'll find it here," Tynan adds.

I cringe. The only thing left is my father's ring. He's somehow managed to keep it, but I know the time has come.

It'll break his heart.

There's no other choice.

I grab his hand and put my fingers around the ring.

Da cries out, "Maeve, no!"

I quietly mutter, "I'm sorry, Da."

"Don't!" he orders.

I pry the ring off his finger and hold it out to Tynan. "Here, take it."

He glances at the band and then locks eyes with me.

More anxiety fills me. I shake my hand in front of his face, demanding, "What are ya staring at? Take it and go."

He slowly picks it up and holds it in the air.

The sound of the clock ticking grows louder.

Tynan slides Da's band over his ring finger.

"It doesn't belong on your finger," I snarl, pissed off that he's taking the only things I have left of my mother and the only thing my father holds dear to his heart besides me.

His disturbing smirk grows, and he aims it at me again.

Da protests, "Give us our rings back. I'll find another way."

Tynan slowly tears his eyes off me and focuses on Da.

Tension builds, and I reach for the table to steady myself. I order, "Go."

Tynan's voice turns neutral. He declares, "I'll allow your daughter to have her ring back."

I gape as my heart beats faster.

It's a trap. Don't believe him!

Tynan taunts, "What do ya say, old man? Double or nothing."

"He's done gambling! Now leave!"

The addictive adrenaline bursts into Da's eyes. "What's the bet?"

"Jesus, Da. Can ya just stop?" I beg.

He glances at me. "I'll get those rings back."

"No. Just stop. Enough," I insist. "Tynan, go. Get out of our house."

Tynan ignores me. He unties Da and claims, "Tell ya what, we'll solve this right now."

Da pulls his arms from around the chair and rubs his wrists. "How?"

"Da, no!"

"Quiet, Maeve!" Da orders.

I blink hard, willing myself not to cry in front of Tynan.

He sits down on the chair next to Da. "Your da and I are going to play a game. Aren't we, Malachy?"

"Da, don't," I repeat.

He holds his hand in the air. "Shush. So what are we playing?"

"Da," I warn.

Tynan interjects, "Blackjack. Winner takes all, and your daughter will wear her ring again either way."

Da glances at me and back at Tynan. "You'll let Maeve keep her ma's ring even if you win?"

"Aye. Of course I will," Tynan states, like it was never in question, but I don't trust it.

I barely get out, "Da, please. Don't!"

"Deal," Da agrees.

I wince, hating everything about this situation. I add, "We don't have double to give ya when he loses!"

"I'm not losing," Da interjects.

"Ya will!"

Tynan turns his gaze on me, and I freeze. Heat fills his greens, and the throbbing in my core fights to overpower my disgust for him.

"Here are the terms." He leans into Da's ear and mumbles something.

Da's face turns white.

Tynan leans back and says, "Unless ya think ya can't win."

"What did ya just say to him?" I question.

No one speaks.

"Well?" Tynan pushes.

"Da, don't!" I cry out, sure that whatever his terms are can't be good.

"Deal," Da seethes.

My chest tightens, and my pulse skyrockets. I shake my head in disapproval.

Tynan deals the cards, laying a ten of clubs and a seven of spades in front of Da. Then he sets the king of diamonds and the ten of hearts in front of himself.

I squeeze my eyes shut.

Tynan mocks, "Ya only got one option. Or do ya just want to fold now?"

Da mutters, "Hit me."

I open my eyes, and Tynan flips another card, turning up the eight of diamonds. My gut dives to the ground.

Tynan rises. "Well, then. I guess we know what's what. Consider your debt paid."

Da tries to stand.

Tynan pushes him back down, warning, "Sit and don't move until we're gone."

Da's eyes widen. "Double or nothing again!"

Tynan chuckles. "Ya don't know when to stop even when there's nothing left, do ya?"

The worst feeling I've ever felt rolls through my bones.

He twists my father's wedding band on his finger, then holds out my mother's ring to me, ordering, "Put it on, Maeve."

I hesitate.

He lowers his voice. "I said to put it on."

I don't move.

Tynan warns, "Don't make me tell ya again." He turns toward my father. "A bet's a bet. Unless ya want other consequences?"

Da's face pales even more.

"Da?" I whisper, not understanding what's happening.

He instructs, "Do what he says."

Tynan waves the ring in front of me.

I take it and slide it on. It feels different. It's heavy, as if he somehow tainted it.

I force myself to square my shoulders and lift my chin. I declare, "Ya can leave now."

Tynan chuckles.

"What's so funny?" I seethe.

He steps toward me and slides his hand over my waist. He leans down and mutters in my ear, "Ask me what your da wagered."

My insides tremble so hard my knees almost buckle. I catch myself and slowly meet Tynan's gaze.

"Ask," he orders.

My mouth turns dry, and a crack fills my throat. I barely get out, "What did he bet?"

Tynan's eyes flare with heat and a wildness I've only seen in evil men. His lips curl. "You."

  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Narrated by: Aaron Shedlock & Felicity Cole

Don't let her get under your skin. I'm the one in charge.

I step toward her, reach around her head, and take a handful of her hair in my fist. I gently tug it, and she inhales sharply. Her eyes widen. I lean over her so our mouths are only an inch apart, studying her perfectly plump lips.

"Stare much?" she mumbles.

"How old are you?" I ask.

"Twenty. How old are you?"


"Do ya always go after younger women? Ones you can take advantage of?" she asks.

"Tell me how I'm taking advantage of ya, Maeve."

She says nothing, keeping her intense glare on me.

"I gave ya a choice. Ya made your decision. Ya could have told me to kill your da, but ya didn't. Ya chose to marry me."

More hatred fills her. "Ya know I would never let ya kill my da."

I insist, "But that's your choice. We all have choices, lass. I make mine, and you make yours."

She shakes her head, not that she can move it a lot. I have a firm hold on her.

Father Michael comes in and clears his throat. "Sorry, am I interrupting?"

I wait a moment, release Maeve, then turn to face him, sliding my hand around her waist. "Not at all. Let's get this show on the road."

Find what happens next in Illicit Monster

Read Illicit Monster if you love:

  • Dark Mafia Romance
  • Arranged Marriage
  • Age Gap
  • Enemies to Lovers

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ " Maggie Cole does a great job of re-exposing old characters from books to make everything tie in, and it’s great to see all the mafia families in this finale."-Reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "What a great read ! Illicit Monster did not disappoint. Maeve and Tynan were captivating from beginning to end !"-Reviewer

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