Vows of Revenge

By: Dani Collins

Revenge never tasted so sweet…

Calm and controlled Melodie Parnell has always wanted to experience insatiable passion. She thinks she’s found it in the bed of sinfully attractive Roman Killian. But in the sultry aftermath of their lovemaking, Melodie is catapulted back to reality when Roman reveals his true plans…to ruin her!

Satisfying the longing in Melodie’s entrancing blue eyes was a glitch in Roman’s plan. Convinced she’d been sent by his enemy, he intended to simply punish her! Except it seems that Melodie was innocent, and now Roman’s plan takes a different turn… Could his vows of revenge become vows of marriage?

“What do you really want from me, Melodie?” Roman asked in his deadliest tone, willing her to come clean.

“Just, um… Honestly?” She blinked up at him, practically virginal with her gaze damp and defenseless, her mouth working to find words. “For you to kiss me again,” she said, voice a thin husk. “To see if…” She licked her lips, leaving an expectant silence.

“Come and get it, then,” he said gruffly, trying to scoff, telling himself he was only seeing the extent she’d go in this industrial espionage of hers, letting her demean herself when he had every intention of rejecting her.

But it didn’t happen that way.

She absorbed his command with a small flinch, then lifted her chin as though gathering her courage. As she stepped up to him, her hands opened on his rib cage in a feathery tickle that made his entire body jerk in reaction. She was tall enough that when she lifted on tiptoes, her mouth reached his.

She pressed pillowy lips to his. He told himself to shove her back and tell her—

The rocking of her mouth beneath his parted his lips. He closed his arms around her, pulled her into him with a strength he barely remembered to temper and slanted his mouth to take full possession of hers.

She opened to him, arched and pressed into him and moaned capitulation.

Rational thought evaporated in a groan of craving.

In my heart, my books are always dedicated to my husband and kids, my sisters and my parents. They’ve always been incredibly supportive, both emotionally and by physically doing dishes and making meals so I could write.

When it comes to writing dedications, however, I often look to my editors. Writing is a lonely business. I’m a big enough control freak that I don’t ask other writers to look at my work and weigh in. It’s all on me until I hit Send. Then I rely on my editor to ensure I’m not embarrassing myself.

Kathryn Cheshire is my latest wing-woman in the Harlequin Mills & Boon® offices. This is our first book together and she’s everything an author wants and needs: warm, insightful and encouraging.

I couldn’t do this without my family or you, Dear Reader, but a great editor is the linchpin in the whole operation. Thanks for being awesome, Kathryn.


SURROUNDED BY OLD money and cold-blooded cynicism for the first part of her life, Melodie Parnell wasn’t half as ingenuous as she looked. In fact, she actively tried to give off an air of sophistication by straightening her curly brown hair into a shiny curtain, adding a flick of liquid liner to downplay her round blue eyes and painting a bold red lipstick over her plump, pink lips. Her clothing choices were classic business style: a pencil skirt, a sweater set and her mother’s pearls.

At the same time, she privately offered people the benefit of the doubt. She believed the best whenever possible and always sought the brightest side of every situation.

That attitude had earned her nothing but contempt from her half brother and more than once resulted in a sting from social climbers and gold diggers trying to get closer to the men in her family. Being softhearted had definitely been her mother’s downfall. But, Melodie often assured herself, she wasn’t nearly as fragile or susceptible as that. The fact that she’d lost her mother very recently and kept slipping into a state of melancholy as she faced life without her didn’t make her vulnerable.

Yet, for some reason, Roman Killian took the rug right out from under her—by doing nothing except answering the door of his mansion.

“You must be the indispensable Melodie,” he greeted.

She was supposed to be immune to powerful men in bespoke outfits, but her mouth went dry and her knees went weak. He wasn’t even wearing a suit. He wore a casually tailored linen jacket over black pants and a collarless peasant-style shirt, three open buttons at his throat.

Not that she really took in his clothes. She saw the man.

He had black hair that might have curled if he let it grow long enough, tanned skin and gorgeous bone structure. Italian? Spanish? Greek? He certainly had the refined features of European aristocracy, but Melodie knew him to be a self-made American. His brows were straight and circumspect, his eyes decidedly green with a dark ring around the irises. He was clean shaven, urbane and acutely masculine in every way.