Read Online Books/Novels:
Sin (Vegas Nights #1)
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
New York Times bestselling author, Emma Hart, brings the heat and heart in a brand-new series of sexy standalone novels, starting with SIN…
Damien Fox lived up to his name.
(SIN is book one of the Vegas Nights series. Each book in this series is a standalone novel.)
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It didn’t feel real.
Staring at the book-themed bar that was now mine, I sighed. It was all I could think about. It wasn’t real. It was a dumb dream that I’d wake up from if only someone would punch me in the face.
I’d always known that The Scarlet Letter would be mine. The bar was a love letter from my father to my mother, and today was the first time I’d stood in the building since my father’s death. Seventeen years since my mom’s murder had flown fast—but not as fast as the three months since my father’s passing. I’d spent the weeks since his funeral staying with family in California, but two days ago, I’d gotten a call from the manager of the bar.
Someone wants to buy your bar, she’d said. He’s offering a ton of money. You need to come and handle this.
Honestly, that was the polite version. Since the manager was my best friend, the exact words had been, “Dahlia Lloyd, that’s enough of this. That cock Damien Fox wants to buy the bar and won’t leave me alone. Get your ass back to Vegas to deal with your shit, because this is your problem, not mine. I won’t fix anymore for you. Three months is long enough.”
She wasn’t wrong. She’d been running the bar in my absence, doing all the things that weren’t in her job description because I’d been hiding from the reality of my situation.
Which was this. The Scarlet Letter, Las Vegas’ most successful non-strip club, was mine.
This building with its book-nook booths and literary influence woven into every part of it was all mine.
I knew how to run it. I knew every inch of the building. I just didn’t know what the hell I was supposed to do now.
“Well, hello, stranger.” Abby, my best friend, strolled into the bar, cutting off my woeful and self-pitying inner-monologue. Her fiery auburn hair fell loosely around her shoulders, contrasting perfectly against her scarlet-red dress.
She pulled me into the tightest hug known to man, squeezing for all her worth. Which, thanks to her love of Pilates and yoga, was a lot.
“Hey. Can’t breathe.” I wriggled to extract myself from her tight grip.
“I don’t care if you can’t breathe.” She squeezed one last time, as if to make her point, then let me go. “How dare you leave me here to deal with that insufferable man?”
I blinked at her. “I didn’t even know you were dealing with him until two days ago.”
“You should have known.”
“With all my psychic powers?”
Abby pursed her glossy lips.
“I know, I know.” I sighed. She could guilt-trip with the best of them. “I should have been here. I’m sorry, Abs. I just needed…”
“Time. I know. Four weeks from your dad’s diagnosis wasn’t enough time for you.”
Swallowing hard, I carefully set my purse down on the table nearest to me. It was one of the one-legged ones that was fixed to the floor, and its lone leg was a stack of fake books. It was one of my favorite things about the bar.
“It wasn’t,” I agreed with her. “I still don’t feel ready to be back here.”
“You’ll never be ready. You just have to do it. If we all waited until we were ready to do something, we’d do nothing but watch reruns on Netflix.”
She had a point there, too. I hated it when she was wise like this. It made it hard for me to argue with her.
“Well, I’m back now. I dropped my stuff at the house earlier, and I’m not going anywhere.” Somehow, saying the words made it feel more real. “You’re right. Three months was too long.”
And, if I was honest with myself, I was starting to get bored—and annoyed. I loved my family, but I had little tolerance for my soap-star cousin whose drama didn’t stay on the set. I knew moping around wouldn’t be something my dad wanted me to do. He’d made that abundantly clear the moment the doctor had looked at him and told him the tumors on his lung were cancerous and that treatment would only prolong his life.
“Don’t cry for me, flower,” he’d said, holding my hand. “I’ve done my bit with you, now it’s time for me to see your momma. It’s all yours now.”
I took a deep breath and swatted the memory away. Holding onto it would do nothing but make me cry. It was still too raw—four weeks wasn’t enough for anyone to find out they were losing a parent, especially not when that parent had raised you for almost your entire life.
Quite simply, I didn’t really know how to live without my father. It was a world I was attempting to navigate, and most days, I felt like a newborn giraffe trying to walk for the first time. As lame as that sounded, it was the truth. That was why coming home was so scary.