But while cutthroat corporate espionage took its toll on Javier, nothing was as devastating as the seemingly senseless murder of his wife. It propelled him into a year of punishing rage and guilt…until Xander came to his rescue. After a decade of tragedy and struggle, London is determined to make a fresh start—and these sexy billionaire brothers are more than willing to help. In every way. London is stunned to find herself open to every heated suggestion…and desperately hoping that her love will heal them. And inescapable danger. But a killer is watching, on a single-minded mission to destroy everything the Santiago brothers hold dear, especially London.
As fear and desire collide, every passionate beat of her heart could be her last. About the Author Shayla Black aka Shelley Bradley is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 30 sizzling contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances for multiple print, electronic, and audio publishers. She lives in Texas with her husband, munchkin, and one very spoiled cat. In her "free" time, she enjoys reality TV, reading and listening to an eclectic blend of music.
Praise for the novels of Shayla Black "Sizzling, romantic, and edgy, a Shayla Black story never disappoints! I loved it! Black is the master at writing a steamy, smokin'-hot, can-I-have-more-please sex scene. Belong to Me is a fabulous read. You know what they say about curiosity and the cat…but if you still want to know, read below. Shayla Black aka Shelley Bradley is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 30 sizzling contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances for multiple print, electronic, and audio publishers.
Catherine stayed by his bedside, but Diane kept away, "for fear", in the words of a chronicler, "of being expelled by the Queen". At times he even felt well enough to dictate letters and listen to music. Slowly, however, he lost his sight, speech, and reason, and on 10 July he died, aged From that day, Catherine took a broken lance as her emblem, inscribed with the words " lacrymae hinc, hinc dolor " "from this come my tears and my pain" , and wore black mourning in memory of Henry.
Francis II became king at the age of fifteen. She was not strictly entitled to a role in Francis's government, because he was deemed old enough to rule for himself. The Guise brothers set about persecuting the Protestants with zeal. Catherine adopted a moderate stance and spoke against the Guise persecutions, though she had no particular sympathy for the Huguenots, whose beliefs she never shared.
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His troops surprised the rebels and killed many of them on the spot, including the commander, La Renaudie. He sought the support of France's constitutional bodies and worked closely with Catherine to defend the law in the face of the growing anarchy. On 20 August , Catherine and the chancellor advocated this policy to an assembly of notables at Fontainebleau. Historians regard the occasion as an early example of Catherine's statesmanship. Catherine ordered him to court and had him imprisoned as soon as he arrived. He was tried in November, found guilty of offences against the crown, and sentenced to death.
His life was saved by the illness and death of the king, as a result of an infection or an abscess in his ear. She wrote to her daughter Elisabeth: "My principal aim is to have the honour of God before my eyes in all things and to preserve my authority, not for myself, but for the conservation of this kingdom and for the good of all your brothers".
At first Catherine kept the nine-year-old king, who cried at his coronation, close to her, and slept in his chamber. However, she was never in a position to control the country as a whole, which was on the brink of civil war. In many parts of France the rule of nobles held sway rather than that of the crown.
The challenges Catherine faced were complex and in some ways difficult for her to comprehend as a foreigner. She summoned church leaders from both sides to attempt to solve their doctrinal differences. Despite her optimism, the resulting Colloquy of Poissy ended in failure on 13 October , dissolving itself without her permission. In the words of historian R. Knecht, "she underestimated the strength of religious conviction, imagining that all would be well if only she could get the party leaders to agree".
For the next thirty years, France found itself in a state of either civil war or armed truce. They formed an alliance with England and seized town after town in France. She therefore told him: "Since you rely on your forces, we will show you ours". Catherine visited the deathbed of Antoine de Bourbon, King of Navarre , after he was fatally wounded by an arquebus shot. The murder triggered an aristocratic blood feud that complicated the French civil wars for years to come. On 17 August , Charles IX was declared of age at the Parlement of Rouen, but he was never able to rule on his own and showed little interest in government.
To this end, she set out with Charles and the court on a progress around France that lasted from January until May She also met her daughter Elisabeth at Bayonne near the Spanish border, amidst lavish court festivities. Philip II excused himself from the occasion. He sent the Duke of Alba to tell Catherine to scrap the Edict of Amboise and to find punitive solutions to the problem of heresy. In , through the ambassador to the Ottoman Empire , Guillaume de Grandchamp de Grantrie , and because of a long-standing Franco-Ottoman alliance , Charles and Catherine proposed to the Ottoman Court a plan to resettle French Huguenots and French and German Lutherans in Ottoman-controlled Moldavia , in order to create a military colony and a buffer against the Habsburg.
This plan also had the added advantage of removing the Huguenots from France , but it failed to interest the Ottomans. On 27 September , in a swoop known as the Surprise of Meaux , Huguenot forces attempted to ambush the king, triggering renewed civil war. From that moment, she abandoned compromise for a policy of repression. The Huguenots retreated to the fortified stronghold of La Rochelle on the west coast, where Jeanne d'Albret and her fifteen-year-old son, Henry of Bourbon , joined them. Catherine looked to further Valois interests by grand dynastic marriages. Catherine was also eager for a match between one of her two youngest sons and Elizabeth I of England.
Margaret, however, was secretly involved with Henry of Guise , the son of the late Duke of Guise. When Catherine found this out, she had her daughter brought from her bed. Catherine and the king then beat her, ripping her nightclothes and pulling out handfuls of her hair. Catherine pressed Jeanne d'Albret to attend court. Writing that she wanted to see Jeanne's children, she promised not to harm them. Jeanne replied: "Pardon me if, reading that, I want to laugh, because you want to relieve me of a fear that I've never had.
I've never thought that, as they say, you eat little children". Jeanne finally agreed to the marriage between her son and Margaret, so long as Henry could remain a Huguenot. When Jeanne arrived in Paris to buy clothes for the wedding, she was taken ill and died on 9 June , aged forty-three. Huguenot writers later accused Catherine of murdering her with poisoned gloves. Three days later, Admiral Coligny was walking back to his rooms from the Louvre when a shot rang out from a house and wounded him in the hand and arm. Catherine, who was said to have received the news without emotion, made a tearful visit to Coligny and promised to punish his attacker.
Many historians have blamed Catherine for the attack on Coligny. Others point to the Guise family or a Spanish-papal plot to end Coligny's influence on the king. The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre , which began two days later, has stained Catherine's reputation ever since. Kill them all! They chose therefore to strike first and wipe out the Huguenot leaders while they were still in Paris after the wedding.
The slaughter in Paris lasted for almost a week. It spread to many parts of France, where it persisted into the autumn. In the words of historian Jules Michelet , "St Bartholomew was not a day, but a season". Huguenot writers branded Catherine a scheming Italian, who had acted on Machiavelli 's principles to kill all enemies in one blow.
Two years later, Catherine faced a new crisis with the death of Charles IX at the age of twenty-three. His dying words were "oh, my mother However, three months after his coronation at Wawel Cathedral , Henry abandoned that throne and returned to France in order to become king of France. Catherine wrote to Henry of Charles IX's death: "I am grief-stricken to have witnessed such a scene and the love which he showed me at the end My only consolation is to see you here soon, as your kingdom requires, and in good health, for if I were to lose you, I would have myself buried alive with you.
Henry was Catherine's favourite son. Unlike his brothers, he came to the throne as a grown man.
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He was also healthier, though he suffered from weak lungs and constant fatigue. He depended on Catherine and her team of secretaries until the last few weeks of her life. He often hid from state affairs, immersing himself in acts of piety, such as pilgrimages and flagellation. His choice thwarted Catherine's plans for a political marriage to a foreign princess. Rumours of Henry's inability to produce children were by that time in wide circulation. The papal nuncio Salviati observed, "it is only with difficulty that we can imagine there will be offspring On one occasion, in March , she lectured him for six hours about his dangerously subversive behaviour.
In , in a move that endangered Henry's throne, Francis allied with the Protestant princes against the crown. The treaty became known as the Peace of Monsieur because it was thought that Francis had forced it on the crown. Under Salic law , by which only males could ascend the throne, the Huguenot Henry of Navarre now became heir presumptive to the French crown. Catherine had at least taken the precaution of marrying Margaret, her youngest daughter, to Navarre. Margaret, however, became almost as much of a thorn in Catherine's side as Francis, and in , she returned to the French court without her husband.
Catherine was heard yelling at her for taking lovers. In , Margaret fled Navarre again. Catherine sent her only enough "to put food on her table". Catherine asked Henry to act before Margaret brought shame on them again. D'Aubiac was executed, though not, despite Catherine's wish, in front of Margaret. Catherine was unable to control Henry in the way she had Francis and Charles. She travelled widely across the kingdom, enforcing his authority and trying to head off war. In , she took on the task of pacifying the south.
At the age of fifty-nine, she embarked on an eighteen-month journey around the south of France to meet Huguenot leaders face to face. Her efforts won Catherine new respect from the French people. The Venetian ambassador, Gerolamo Lipomanno, wrote: "She is an indefatigable princess, born to tame and govern a people as unruly as the French: they now recognize her merits, her concern for unity and are sorry not to have appreciated her sooner.
On 25 November , she wrote to the king, "You are on the eve of a general revolt. Anyone who tells you differently is a liar. Many leading Roman Catholics were appalled by Catherine's attempts to appease the Huguenots. After the Edict of Beaulieu, they had started forming local leagues to protect their religion.
In this cause, he recruited the great Catholic princes, nobles and prelates, signed the treaty of Joinville with Spain, and prepared to make war on the "heretics". There is so much treachery about that I die of fear. Henry was unable to fight the Catholics and the Protestants at once, both of whom had stronger armies than his own. In the Treaty of Nemours , signed on 7 July , he was forced to give in to all the League's demands, even that he pay its troops. The Spanish ambassador told Philip II that the abscess was about to burst. By , the Catholic backlash against the Protestants had become a campaign across Europe.
The League took control of much of northern France to secure French ports for his armada. Henry hired Swiss troops to help him defend himself in Paris. The Parisians, however, claimed the right to defend the city themselves. On 12 May , they set up barricades in the streets and refused to take orders from anyone except the Duke of Guise. The chronicler L'Estoile reported that she cried all through her lunch that day. On 8 September at Blois, where the court had assembled for a meeting of the Estates, Henry dismissed all his ministers without warning.
Catherine, in bed with a lung infection, had been kept in the dark. At the meeting of the Estates, Henry thanked Catherine for all she had done. He called her not only the mother of the king but the mother of the state. As Guise entered the king's chamber, the Forty-five plunged their blades into his body, and he died at the foot of the king's bed. At the same moment, eight members of the Guise family were rounded up, including the Duke of Guise's brother, Louis II, Cardinal of Guise , whom Henry's men hacked to death the next day in the palace dungeons.
Monsieur de Guise is dead. He will not be spoken of again. I have had him killed. I have done to him what he was going to do to me. What has he done? Pray for him I see him rushing towards his ruin. He shouted at her, "Your words, Madam, have led us all to this butchery. On 5 January , Catherine died at the age of sixty-nine, probably from pleurisy. L'Estoile wrote: "those close to her believed that her life had been shortened by displeasure over her son's deed. Because Paris was held by enemies of the crown, Catherine had to be buried provisionally at Blois. Henry III's assassination ended nearly three centuries of Valois rule and brought the Bourbon dynasty into power.
In , a revolutionary mob tossed her bones into a mass grave with those of the other kings and queens. I ask you, what could a woman do, left by the death of her husband with five little children on her arms, and two families of France who were thinking of grasping the crown—our own [the Bourbons] and the Guises? Was she not compelled to play strange parts to deceive first one and then the other, in order to guard, as she did, her sons, who successively reigned through the wise conduct of that shrewd woman?
I am surprised that she never did worse. Catherine believed in the humanist ideal of the learned Renaissance prince whose authority depended on letters as well as arms. In an age of civil war and declining respect for the monarchy, she sought to bolster royal prestige through lavish cultural display. Louisiana United States. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Ours to Love , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order.
The brothers have been at odds for years ever since Javier demanded that Xavier be a Dom to his then wife Francesca. Javier and Francesca had a loveless marriage and Javier thought that she needed a strong hand and wanted Xavier to handle her. He refused, the brothers fought and Francesca ended up being murdered.
Xavier has his own set of problems, trying to fill a void in his life he uses sex. A lot of sex. So we have a drunk Javier, man-whore Xavier and London, the insecure virgin they both want. I had issues with this book from the start. There is no way I could believe that this woman would, within seconds of meeting each brother separately, impact them the way she does.
With one look at her, each brother wants her naked, spanked and submitting to them. She makes Javier give up the drinks, she makes Xavier not want to sleep around anymore, they are all in and committed to her. Just like that. However in the past, the sex felt over the top but still hot. Here, it just came across as over the top. The bad guy wants Javier to suffer and now that means London is put in danger.
Books in the Wicked Lovers series tend to either be hits or misses for me and not a lot of in between. This was definitely a miss. Meeting - to I love you - to marriage talk in a week? Rarely, if ever, does that work for this reader. View all 5 comments. Ours to Love didn't live up to the previous Wicked Lovers series. Xander, when he made an appearance in an earlier book, was a dream. A to die for sexy, alpha, who was a womanizing billionaire who was handsome as sin and just as charming.
In Ours to Love, I did not like him at all. The heroine, London, captured my sympathies to a point, then she just became nauseating to me. Add in the tortured, alcoholic older brother, Javier and you have a menage a mess. There's just so much about this book tha Ours to Love didn't live up to the previous Wicked Lovers series.
There's just so much about this book that I didn't like. She also spent years in a coma, so she missed her adolescence altogether. But these Dom's went hardcore with her after knowing her less than a week. I'm talking knife play and fire play. We're supposed to believe that she trusted them enough to allow that but then she uses her safe word because she does not want them to see her scarred back.
And here's some examples of how this story doesn't work view spoiler [London eavesdrops on Javier and his private investigator, whom he's hired to find his wife's killer. He knows she's been listening and says it's confidential info. Later he gets drunk and needing help to get him home, she calls her cousin, Alyssa. She promptly tells her and Xander about the P.
What part of confidential and NDA's does she not get. She signed one. And can somebody, please tell me how the hell did Brenner know anything about London, especially that Javier cared for her. How does he send the assassin after her? I'm still shaking my head over that one. And in what world do the three of them imagine a wedding and a marriage legally taking place for them? View 1 comment.
DNF This series has been hit or miss for me all along. The last two books I really enjoyed but this one is a definite miss. Heroine is a 25 year old virgin now ready to give it up to any man that will give her enough attention so she can spread her legs and both brothers are immature douchebags. Both end up wanting the heroine. I could care less about the plot when DNF This series has been hit or miss for me all along.
I could care less about the plot when I can't connect with any of the characters. I digress after the last quote: "London being alone with Javier would only bother you if you thought she was interested in your brother, too. That felt like a "that's my toy and you can't have it" moment with a jealous child and on that note I'm done. View all 10 comments. Dec 05, Heather rated it it was ok Shelves: hotttt-sex-reads , bdsm-hotness , too-damn-expensive. Three is fun, but it's definitely a crowd. Did I get everything I wanted for my favorite playboy Xander?
Hell NO! Sign me up now! However, I'm always left with the feeling of frustration when the relationship ends up triad relationship. I had hoped for London to end up Three is fun, but it's definitely a crowd.
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I had hoped for London to end up with one then the other brother's story continue to another book. How exactly do you marry two men, brother no less, start a family with those two men and live happily ever after? Oh yeah, it's called polygamy. I'm no fuddy-duddy at all, but I live in the real world and in the real world, last I checked, even in this modern day polygamy is a big-time "No-No".
A relationship between one woman and two brothers is just all kinds of odd too. I mean, no condoms during a tag-teaming sex-a-thon? Sounds pretty messy to me. I like stories that are realistic. A happily ever after between a woman and two brothers isn't very believable to me and had hoped for a lot more with this book. Dunno about you, but I find that pretty ridiculous. View all 4 comments. Apr 12, Seena Seena marked it as to-read. It frustrates me that I have to wait a year between books!
Mar 03, Ash rated it really liked it. Hehe, I love it! Jun 25, Shannon rated it liked it. Ok, I liked this one way more than I should have. Why you ask? The story is unbelievable and the dialogue is often bad. BUT Shayla Black writes really good characters who I want to know more about and even though the ending was predictable for anyone who has read the books in this series gorgeous yet dangerous and brilliant men are the targets of a plot that ends up putting the heroine in danger. And oh yes, she is naturally submissive and they are DOMS who are shocked at the honesty and beauty of Ok, I liked this one way more than I should have.
But they neglect to tell her that and they push her too hard and too fast so she runs off. No really, go back and think about it - many of these books have that exact formula. In this one, we have the lovely, young, inexperienced but wanting to finally live her life, London. She was in a tragic car accident that robbed her of many things. She has come to love with her cousin Alyssa and her husband Luc in Lafeyette. Alyssa owns a strip club. London lets herself in and begins to do a strip tease to an empty house.
Next we meet his much darker brother Javier who spends his time at the bottom of vodka bottles. Ciroc to be exact as we are told over and over again. Xander has dragged him to Lafeyette to get him clean and sober before he kills himself as he tries to drown his guilt over the murder of a wife he never cared for let alone loved. It just so happens he needs an assitant and London needs a job. See, I should really not like this book, but I can't help myself.
I want to know what happens and the sex is hot and I am jealous of London even though I'm not entirely sure what any of these characters look like. But I am sure Xander and Javier are total hotties. There were some truly great moments, because like I said Shayla Black writes good characters. Even though I think much of this story is completely unbelievable I really did like how she dealt with London's greatest fear and what her men did to help her get past it. Well, I liked what they did the 2nd time. They totally effed it up the 1st time which is why London ran from them.
But hey, it wouldn't be a romance book if someone didn't run at some point. May 15, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews rated it really liked it Shelves: guiltypleasures-angeline. True to her writing abilities, Miss Shayla once again delivers a great story. Xander and Javier are two brothers, who grew up together, but are virtual strangers.
Javier was groomed from an early age to take over the family business and not rely on hi Angeline's review posted on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews Review copy provided for an honest review. Javier was groomed from an early age to take over the family business and not rely on his younger brother. I loved Javi from the moment I met him, even in his grumpy, stubborn drunkenness. There is just something so endearing to me about that man. It was Logan who put it in perspective for me. My entire attitude towards Xander changed; I was not alone.
We have these troubled men who seemingly have it all; then in walks London and she lit the place up! Of course, she has her own demons, but London is truly a good person. She offers her friendship and heart without reservation to these men in the hope of helping them heal. Although her experience in the world is limited, she is very smart and adapts quickly to what life throws at her.
Considering the entire situation no spoilers, remember , it just seemed like too much. It took me a bit to process and move on. One of the most touching scenes I have read in a long time was when London fully showed herself to Javi and Xander. It was beautifully written and it touched my heart. I absolutely loved how everything worked in the end.
I have always loved Thorpe, tortured soul that he is. It all gives me shivers, of the good kind. Ours to Love is a great addition to this fantastic series.
Ours to Love
If you have not read the Wicked Lovers Series yet, you must!! Start with book 1 Wicked Ties and work your way up. Great characters, great story lines by a phenomenal author!! I really enjoyed this book. I love that the heroine, London, though inexperienced and had a terrible history of an accident with a traumatic brain injury, was the strength that was needed to bring two brothers out of their dysfunction and misery. Javier, drowning himself in misery and booze, and Xander drowning himself in women, are both taken by surprise when this unassuming, big hearted woman enters their life.
At first they compete for her, but when Xande I really enjoyed this book. At first they compete for her, but when Xander realizes that she may also be the only salvation his brother might have, he shares her. Especially considering her attraction to both brothers. There's definitely a light and dark brother, one brooding and stormy and the other lighter and charming. Even though they had everything money could ask for, they never had the love and support that made them rich in the way London was. In return, they show her that despite scars and her "imperfect" body, her beauty shines through.