USA Today Bestselling Author
An impossible spell. An unwanted lover. A dark tale in the making. Nightmares can frighten even the bravest of men, but when dreams become reality, Bella will not know whether she is asleep… or awake. When a mysterious man ventures to Paris, havoc will shake Bella to her core. All malicious activities point to her, but she has no memory of it. Her only ally is her husband, Adrian. As the spell is moments from fruition, Adrian offers to take her place. Meddling with magic, after all, always comes with a price.
This book opens with us seeing Bella come to the LeGume law building to meet her husband Adrian for lunch. She would avoid coming here at all if it wasn’t for Adrian, Gaspar LeGume is a horrible person and is always hitting on her. She takes it in stride though and has her husband’s support and almost constant apologies for his boss.
This is a favorite scene.
The walls were painted a cream color, the front office desk surrounded by a glass chamber of sorts. Molly, the receptionist, smiled her sweet smile when Bella approached.
“Hi, Missus Fontaine! Here to see Mister Fontaine?” The woman had strawberry blonde hair in pinned curls atop her head and the sweetest freckles on her nose. She appeared youthful, maybe just out of her university.
Bella nodded. “Please, I asked you ages ago to call me Bella. I’m not so much into formalities.”
Molly nodded and picked up the phone, pressed a few buttons, then spoke into the receiver. “Hi, Mister Fontaine. Your wife is here.” She paused for a moment. “Yes, sir, I’ll send her back to you. Thank you.” She hung up and smiled once more.
Bella returned it and approached the main entrance. “Nice to see you, Molly.” The receptionist waved to her and Bella stepped inside the firm.
The wall paint continued through to the workplace and the individual offices inside were embellished with current-style furniture.
Bella made her way back to where Adrian’s office was located. He was granted a corner unit next to Gaspard’s. She occasionally wondered if this were to keep an eye on Adrian, though she knew her husband earned the position he was in.
Where Gaspard boasted of his money and manhood, Adrian kept everything to himself. That included the fact he owned more land in Paris, and had a family wealth worth more than Gaspard. Bella knew it. Gaspard even knew it. But in the work place, it made no difference. Adrian enjoyed working for the people of Paris, wanting to make a better community for them. He knew he could do this by working for the man he despised at the most successful law firm in Paris.
As she approached his door to knock, a familiar, loathsome voice called out to her.
“Bella! What brings you to my neck of the woods?” Gaspard’s voice boomed across the office and Bella sighed and glanced his direction. The man dressed well for his business. He closed his lips around a cigar and puffed it.
She put on a false bravado and smiled. “Good morning, Gaspard. I’m here to see Adrian. My husband.”
“Oh, Gaspard,” Rita called from a nearby distance. “Can I have your attention for a moment?”
Gaspard ignored the request and closed the distance to Bella. He ran a hand over his thick, smoothed-back raven hair and smirked. “Why do you waste your time with a man like Adrian, when I can show you the world, Bella?” He casually touched her chin and winked.
She stepped back and shook her head, the smell of the cigar invading her nose. “Do not pretend to have any interest in me, Gaspard. You only want me because you can’t have me.”
“Mmm, indeed,” he growled. He began to back her to the wall when Adrian’s door opened.
“Bella, I’m ready to… excuse me, Gaspard? What are you doing?”
Gaspard chuckled and lifted a brow. “Nothing Bella doesn’t want me to do.”
“Excuse me?” Adrian asked again then slipped an arm around Bella’s shoulder. “I would appreciate it if you would leave my wife alone.” He tucked her close to him.
Bella felt exposed, disgusted.
“I’m not above kicking your ass once more outside,” Adrian told him. A part of Bella perked up at the idea of Gaspard lying on the street, beaten by her husband.
Gaspard laughed. “Go ahead. You may have best me once but at an unfair advantage.”
“Unfair?!” Bella cried out. “Unfair? Getting a sucker punch in on my husband is something I would call unfair from you!”
Gaspard chuckled and waved it off. “Besides, if I recall,” he leaned toward Adrian, “you work for me. I could just as easily fire you before any fists were to fly.” He paused then continued his taunt. “What do you think would actually happen? Face it, Adrian. You need me for the bounty I pay you. Now, be a good lad and scurry off with the missus.” He bowed slightly to Bella and grinned. “Bella, I’ll see you later?”
She huffed and shook her head. “No.” She slipped her hand into Adrian’s and pulled him away from the office door all while Gaspard smirked. “Why do you allow him to talk to you this way? Why not leave and start your own firm?”
Adrian pressed the down button on the lift and turned to face her. His blond hair had grown out to his shoulders and today, he pulled it back with a leather tie at the nape of his neck. He wore a white button-down shirt, red tie, black dress coat and pants. He looked sexy as hell to her, in which she smiled.
“As if I have a choice,” he started, then tilted his head. “The people need me and who would protect them against Gaspard?” He looked down at himself, then back to her. “What is it?” he asked and grinned.
The lift doors opened and they stepped inside. He pressed the L button to return to the lobby. As the doors closed, Bella stepped closer to him. She laid her hands on his chest and lifted on her toes to kiss him. “Nothing. You look amazing today.”
He smiled and ran a finger across her cheek. His smile left and he cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, again, for Gaspard.”
She nodded and took a step back. “I wish things were different. I hate that you work for him.”
“I know, Bella. But the people…”
She nodded and knew he was right, and she hated Gaspard for it. There had been a time or two Adrian considered employment elsewhere, but Gaspard managed to find out and squashed the opportunity before it was offered.
“Soon, something will happen soon,” Adrian said with a sigh.
Julie Morgan. The Beast Underneath: The Fairytale Chronicles (Kindle Locations 46-90).
Gaspard doesn’t like being told no and comes up with a plan to finally have Bella.
What happens is disturbing in more ways than one and definitely not what I had expected. True love does win over all though, so all is right in my world.
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USA TODAY and Award-winning Bestselling Author, Julie Morgan, holds a degree in Computer Science and loves science fiction shows and movies. Encouraged by her family, she began writing. Originally from Texas, Julie now resides in Central Florida with her husband and daughter where she is an advocate for Special Needs children and can be found playing games with her daughter when she isn’t lost in another world.