Authors: Kelly Hunter
A Fairy Tales of New York Romance
Pursued by the Rogue
Copyright © 2015 Kelly Hunter
The Tule Publishing Group, LLC
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
The Jackson Brother series
The Honeymoon Trap
Sympathy for the Devil
What a Bride Wants
What a Bachelor Needs
The Fairy Tales of New York series
Book 1: Pursued by the Rogue by Kelly Hunter
Book 2: Tempting the Knight by Heidi Rice
Book 3: Taming the Beast by Lucy King
Book 4: Seduced by the Baron by Amy Andrews
This one’s for Amy, Lucy and Heidi because my respect and admiration for you knows no bounds. We may not own Sully’s pub in reality but in my mind every corner of it is ours.
Pursued By The Rogue
is the first in a four book, multi-author series called
Fairytales of New York
The stories are connected in a number of ways. Firstly, by four heroines who have been friends since boarding school. Secondly, by an often used setting – an old, family-owned, Irish pub in Brooklyn. Each story also riffs off a different fairy tale. I chose
The Ugly Duckling
by Hans Christian Andersen and promptly set about making my heroine feel ugly and unwanted.
Once Dawn soars, she becomes a successful and highly regarded young woman in the field of medical research. Unlikely, perhaps, but her career trajectory was inspired by the real-life story of the remarkable Elizabeth Holmes and her blood testing company, Theranos.
I hope you like my ugly duckling,
Visit her website at
Ten years ago, St. John the Apostle Academy, Upstate New York.
awn Turner wasn’t
a pretty girl – she only had to look in a mirror to know that.
And now she was ugly on the inside as well.
She crossed the moonlit room and sank onto the pile of pillows and blankets on the floor. She didn’t care that her stripy grandfather pajamas stood out in stark contrast to the pretty nightwear of the other three girls nestled amongst the bedding. She just wanted their company on this dark, blood-soaked night. She wanted to talk about little things not big ones. She wanted their laughter and their acceptance of her, regardless of her flaws. Dawn, the scholarship girl, the charity case, the biggest misfit of them all.
It was still a mystery as to why the three other girls in her dormitory tolerated her at all.
Her parents hadn’t wanted her. They’d stayed in Australia to study remote outback communities, and when carting Dawn around with them had gotten old and her schooling had become too much of a burden they’d shipped her off to an aunt and uncle in Upstate New York.
They’d called it seeing to her welfare but it had felt a lot like abandonment to Dawn.
Her aunt and uncle – childless and happy about it – hadn’t known what to do with her either, so when the scholarship to St. John’s had come up Dawn had made her way to boarding school with barely a backward glance. It hadn’t taken her long to discover that the good sisters at St. John the Apostle Academy treated her with even
They’d made it very clear that as long Dawn’s grades made the school look good, her presence would be tolerated.
Big of them, she thought, and then with her next breath cursed herself for her lack of gratitude. She could get a good education here, one she was determined to put to good use. She had a roof over her head and food in her stomach. She’d made friends here.
There was a
to be grateful for.
The three girls who’d waited with varying degrees of impatience for her to join their midnight party – Faith, Mercy and Zel – they
They were the first real friends she’d ever had.
“Is there any particular reason we’re drinking stolen altar wine at midnight?” she asked. Not a regular activity – even for them.
“We’re celebrating.” Faith handed her a tumbler of wine.
“Us. Our friendship. Sláinte.”
Dawn’s smile wobbled at the salute she’d heard for the first time six weeks ago at a twenty-first birthday party in an old Irish pub in Brooklyn. Faith came from an American-Irish family; four beautiful older brothers, one grieving father and a dead mother who had lost her fight with cancer two years ago. One of those brothers – the most handsome of them all – had looked at Dawn and smiled.
And thought her beautiful.
Don’t think about him, Dawn. Don’t go there.
Not so smart at all, the scholarship girl.
Dawn looked at the wine; in the darkness it looked like blood. And there was Faith, waiting for a toast.
“Sláinte,” she offered faintly and Mercy echoed her.
Mercy, with her thick Spanish accent courtesy of her Argentinian heritage. Mercy, who’d bonded with Dawn four years ago for reasons unknown. Misfits both. Maybe that was the reason.
Dawn the abandoned, Faith the motherless, Mercy with her elsewhere heritage, and then there was Zel, the final addition to their little group of four lost souls.
Zelda Madison had arrived at the convent school only last year, orphaned and in possession of an uncaring older brother who couldn’t wait to see the back of her. Zel had been abandoned too, and the Sisters in their wisdom had thought Faith, Mercy and Dawn would be a good influence on her.
Zel could corrupt anyone.
“My glass is empty. Why is my glass always empty?” Zel wanted to know. “Where’s the wine?”
The wine, yes. Wine, not blood. Good call. Maybe Dawn could drown her sins in it. She set the tumbler to her mouth and swallowed down hard on the thin, sweet liquid.
Don’t think. Don’t stop. And whatever else, don’t confide to
that six weeks ago she’d lost her mind, not to mention her virginity, to Faith’s youngest brother, Finn.
She’d felt so loved.
So very, very beautiful in Finbar Sullivan’s arms.
It was a feeling that had ended all too soon.
There was a special Hell reserved for willful, wayward, ugly girls who might just possibly be having a miscarriage or might just possibly be having a really late period.
And Dawn was in it.
Sex without marriage, sin and punishment.
“Where did this wine even come from?” she asked.
“Kitchen storeroom,” said all three of the girls.
“So it’s not consecrated? Good to know.” Dawn swallowed what was left in her glass and held it out to Zel for a refill. “Am I pretty?” No. That was a no-brainer. “Wait, let me rephrase. I’m not pretty and I know it, but is there
I can do to make me look more normal?”
“Conformity’s overrated,” said Zel. “Embrace the uniqueness that is you. And get some clothes that aren’t three sizes too big for you.”
“I’m going to grow into these clothes. My aunt said so.”
“Not any time soon,” muttered Zel. “Your aunt needs to rethink that prediction.”
“You’d start with your eyes,” Mercy interceded firmly. “Gray eyes are unusual.”
“Since when?” said Dawn.
“In Argentina they are. I could shape your brows just so.” Mercy traced a path over her own shapely brows. “Like a frame. Make people look to your eyes first.”
“And away from everything else? Will that work? What about my ears? And my mouth? People are always looking at my mouth.” It was overly wide, overly plush. She had a crooked eye tooth, but her parents thought braces unnecessary.
“Probably wondering what you can fit in it,” said Zel with a smirk.
“More wine for starters,” muttered Dawn. She knew what Zel meant. Finn had liked Dawn’s lips on him well enough. They’d made him groan, deep and rough. They’d made him curse.
He’d made her feel wanted.
“Mercy’s right,” said Zel from the comfort of her classically beautiful features. “Emphasize the eyes. And no more borrowing other people’s lipstick. You need your own colors. Corals. Nudes. Pale, not bold. I’ll go shopping for you next time I’m allowed out of my cell.”
“You will not! I’m not a charity case.”
Zel smiled, her halo of blonde hair cementing the angelic look. “Let me rephrase. I am about to go on a lipstick buying binge. Later, when I decide that some of the colors don’t suit me, I’m going to see if anyone here wants them before I throw them out. Charity it’s not. That’s recycling.”
Dawn shifted restlessly and wore a stabbing pain low in her belly. She’d been having sharp pain there all night. Maybe it was her appendix. Maybe that would account for the screaming terror.
Please, Lord, make everything be okay. I’ll be so, so good.
“Finn wants us to come to a gig he’s playing next month at a jazz club in Manhattan,” said Faith. “He says he can get us all in to watch.”
Some of us
need permission to get out of here first,” muttered Zel.
“You’ll be out of detention by then. Consider it incentive to not push Sister Ignatius’s buttons,” Faith said. “Be good and you too can come along.”
“Would we stay at your place afterwards?” Mercy asked. Faith’s house being a small apartment above the pub Faith’s family owned. “Will there be room for us all?”
“We could stay at my place. There’s room for a circus there,” offered Zel with a dangerous smile. “My brother starts another six-month tour in the Legion next week. We could stay there under the careful supervision of no one at all.”