18++ coz-en (kuz-uhn)
trick or deceive.
obtain by deception.
Release Date: June 2018
trick or deceive.
obtain by deception.
She was named most appropriately.
Cozen Taylor has more than earned her place as one of North America’s most successful thieves. Her name is whispered amongst criminal elite as the go-to thief when someone needs a heist.
She has never failed.
A call from the Miami-based Astor family could change all that with a job that seems almost impossible to complete. The mark should be simple—a stolen family heirloom, the man who has kept it hidden for over twenty years, and six months to return the piece to its rightful owners.
Nothing is ever that easy.
Three-hundred million for a successful heist. No smart thief would turn the offer down. Cozen didn’t expect a complication like him to put a kink in her plans, though. Sargon Makri—tall, dark, gorgeous, and entirely dangerous. For her life, her heart, and for the success of the heist.
The last thing Cozen needs to be thinking about is Sargon, and how she can get him into her bed … especially when he just happens to be her mark’s bodyguard. The thrill of the job has never been more addicting to Cozen, and she will risk everything to make the heist a success.
But at what cost?
From author Bethany-Kris comes a whole new world. A North American network full of criminals battling to stay on top, and painting the streets red in war as they dabble in the game of betrayal. Malicious, cunning, forbidden, and violent—welcome to The Empires and Badlands.
“Who is the one playing dangerous games now, Jett?”
His boss didn’t answer because his attention was now captured by something else entirely. Sargon chanced a look over his shoulder to see what it was that had Jett so moved he was willing to drop an entire conversation.
A woman, apparently.
A very beautiful woman.
At least five foot nine, the russet brunette with the same shade eyes simpered a smile. Her bow-shaped lips curved at the edges as she entered the private dining area.
First, Sargon noticed the perfect cupid’s bow on her top lip, and then the way her dainty features set off the rest of her face. High cheekbones, and perfectly arched brows. She swayed a little when she walked—some women learned how to do that, and others were just born with the ability to look sensual when they moved.
This woman was clearly in the latter group.
Her sway drew his gaze down over her body—a trim waist, hips with enough curve to grab onto, and legs for days. All covered by a tight, black body-con dress. The silver shoes, ones that matched the color of the serving plate in her hand, set the entire ensemble off for her.
It was not the first time Sargon had seen the girls in the restaurant wearing their uniform. It was the first time Sargon had seen this woman wearing it, and she looked far better than any of them, frankly.
To him, anyway.
Sargon was not the type to be silenced by a woman, or the look of her. He was not a boy who got his cock tied up over a woman.
He might enjoy letting this one do it to him, though.
“Where is Rowena?” Jett asked.
The woman’s gaze lingered on Sargon’s face for a moment, and then jumped back to Jett. Her voice sounded like a melody when she spoke. “Rowena and Chase had a bit of a falling out. I am here to serve you today, sir.”
The woman smiled. “I know your name. I thought it appropriate to address you respectfully unless you wished for me to do differently.”
Jett smiled widely—clearly pleased with the woman. “Call me Jett.”
Jett cocked a brow. “And what’s your name?”
“Cozen, but you may address me with Zen, if you prefer. I don’t mind either.”
“Cozen,” Sargon said.
All eyes drifted in his direction. He couldn’t help himself but to look up at the woman. For the first time since she had walked into the room and looked at him, her eyes were back on his face. Piercing within their russet pools. Pinning him in place.
“To obtain by deception,” Sargon added. “That’s what the word means.”
Cozen nodded. “So I have been told, although all the name has given me is a lot of strange stares when people ask me about it.”
Jett laughed, drawing the attention back to him for the moment. “Interesting.”
“I’m glad you like it, Jett.”
Sargon’s throat felt damn tight for a reason he couldn’t name. This woman carefully chose her words with every single sentence. He didn’t miss it. She offered Jett something the man liked in women—submission. The ability to be the person in control, and above everyone else around him.
“It is a strange name, though,” Jett murmured. “Seems that’s a common theme in my life lately. Meeting people with strange names, I mean.”
It too was a musical sound.
Like wind chimes, really.
“I don’t understand,” Cozen said.
Jett gestured in Sargon’s direction, saying, “His name is Sargon. Sargon Makri. But don’t call him Sarg, as he doesn’t like it.”
Cozen laughed again, and her hand came down to brush against Jett’s shoulder over his suit jacket. Her loose, wavy hair fell over her shoulder and exposed the delicate line of her throat. Her skin looked soft, and sweet.
He bet it would taste just like that, too.
It was in that moment that Sargon finally understood the strange burst of heat radiating through his bloodstream.
He was jealous over this woman.
He had no reason to be.
Yet, there he was.
About the author:
Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.
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