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The Devil Wears Black

The Devil Wears Black Summary

The Devil Wears Black from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen comes to a second-chance romance about love, loss, finding yourself, and getting lost in the right person.

Maddie Goldbloom stitched up a plan to ensure everything in her life was perfect—from a career in fashion to a chic NYC apartment to a pediatrician boyfriend.

When her ex, Chase Black, storms back into her life with an outrageous request, her immediate reaction is to refuse him. But he only wants to fulfill his father’s last wish. So even though he’s the man who broke her heart, playing his fiancée shouldn’t be hard, especially if it means she gets to watch the arrogant devil squirm a bit.

What ensues is a chain of events that detonates Maddie’s life—and when Chase’s walls come down, they both are forced to face reality.

They say keep your enemies close. But what if your enemy is also the man you love?

About the Author

L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post, and Amazon #1 bestselling author of contemporary, new adult, and romance titles. She likes to write about unapologetic alpha males and the women who bring them to their knees. Her books have been sold to twenty different countries and have appeared on some of their bestseller lists.

She lives in California with her husband, son, and eccentric fashion choices, and she enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows, and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

The Devil Wears Black Introduction

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

October 10, 1998

Dear Maddie,

You are currently five, and very fond of the color yellow. In fact, yesterday you asked me if you could marry it. I hope you still wear it all the time.

(I also hope you found someone a bit more suitable for marriage.)

Fun fact of the day: When the Spanish explorers reached the Americas, they thought sunflowers were made of gold.

The human brain is so imaginative!

Stay creative, always.

Love,

Mom. x

It was official. I was having a stroke.

All evidence pointed in that direction, and at this point, I felt confident I’d watched enough Grey’s Anatomy to self-diagnose:

Confusion? Check.

General numbness? Check.

Sudden headache? Trouble seeing? Difficulty walking? Check, check, check.

The good news was I was seeing a doctor. Literally. I was walking back to my apartment with one when the symptoms occurred. At least I had the luxury of immediate medical attention if I needed it.

I shoved my fists into my yellow sequined jacket with the purple dots (a personal favorite), squared my shoulders, and squinted at the large figure sitting atop the stairway of my brownstone rental, willing it to disappear from my vision.

He stayed put, the bluish glow of his phone illuminating the planes of his face. Midsummer air danced around him, crackling like fireworks. Every whiskey-colored light on the street caught his profile like he was standing on stage, demanding everyone’s attention. White-hot panic washed over me. I only knew one person who made the universe dance around him like aloha girls.

Reluctantly, I ruled out having a stroke.

No. He wouldn’t dream of showing up here. Not after how I left things.

“. . . So my little patient leans down to me and says, ‘Can I tell you a secret?’ and I’m like, ‘Uh-huh,’ thinking he is going to spill the beans about his parents getting a divorce.

But he just says, ‘I finally figured out my mom’s job.’ I ask him what it is, and he says—waits for it, Maddie.” Ethan, my date, held a hand up, crouching with his other hand resting on his knee, clearly overestimating the comic potential of his story.

“‘She slipped a new iPad under my pillow the day I lost my first tooth. My mommy is the tooth fairy. I’m the luckiest boy alive!’”

Ethan threw his head back and laughed, oblivious to my internal meltdown. He was handsome, with his hair, eyes, and loafers almost the exact same shade of walnut brown, his lean runner’s body, and his Scooby-Doo tie.

True, he wasn’t Dr. McDreamy. More like Dr. McReality. And yes, he had shared twelve stories about his young patients over the course of the Ethiopian meal we’d enjoyed, nearly toppling over each time he’d recited their whiplash-smart observations. But Ethan Goodman was exactly the kind of guy I needed in my life.

The man on my stairway was the very person who’d taught me this painful lesson.

“From the mouths of babes.” I played with my dangling sunflower earring. “I miss my innocence. If I could keep one thing from my childhood, that’d be it.”

The figure on my stairway stood up, turning in our direction. His eyes slid up from his phone, catching mine effortlessly. My heart deflated like a balloon, soaring in erratic circles before dropping into a heap of saggy rubber in the pit of my stomach.

It was him, all right.

All six-two chiseled angles and ruthless sex appeal of him. Wrapped in a crisp black dress shirt rolled to the elbows, exposing forearms as thick as my thighs, corded with veins and muscles.

Layla, my childhood friend turned next-door neighbor, called him a real-life Gaston. “Easy on the eyes but begging to get thrown from a roof.”

He was frowning as if he himself couldn’t figure out what he was doing here.

With the tousled black hair.

Slanted blue-gray eyes of a manga character.

With that Greek-god bone structure that made you consider committing war crimes for a chance at running your teeth across his jaw like an animal.

But I knew he wasn’t Mr. McDreamy or Mr. McReality.

Chase Black was the devil. My personal devil. Always clad in black, a cruel comment ready on the tip of his tongue, his intentions as tainted as his smirk. And me? I’d been dubbed Martyr Maddie for a reason. I couldn’t be mean if my life depended on it. Which, luckily, it did not.

“Really? If I could keep one thing from my childhood, it’d be my first baby tooth that fell out. My dog swallowed it. Oh well,” Ethan peeped enthusiastically. My head snapped back to my date. “Of course, accidents with dogs always happen. Like that time another patient of mine—God, wait till you hear this story—came into my pediatric clinic because of a suspicious rash—”

“Ethan?” I stilled midstep, unable to focus on another sweet story. Not that the stories weren’t riveting, but calamity was literally at my doorstep, ready to explode all over my life.

“Yeah, Maddie?”

“I’m so sorry, but I think I’m a little nauseous.” Not technically a lie. “Think we can call it an early night?”

“Oh no. Do you think it was the tere siga?” Ethan frowned, giving me a puppy look that broke my heart.

Thank God he was too busy talking my ear off about his patients to notice the gigantic man standing in my doorway.

“No way. I’ve been feeling off for a few hours. I think it’s finally hitting me.” I glanced at Chase behind Ethan’s back, swallowing hard.

“Are you sure you’ll be okay?”

“Positive.” I smoothed his Scooby-Doo tie over his chest with a smile.

“I like positivity. It makes the world a better place.” Ethan’s eyes lit up. He bent down to kiss my forehead. He had dimples. Dimples were great. Ethan, also, was great.

So why was I eager to bid him farewell just so I could murder my unexpected guest on the stairway to my apartment for the entire street to witness?

Oh, that was right—because Chase Black had ruined my life and left me to piece it back together, each shard of our broken relationship cutting me deep.

More on that in a second.

I just had to say goodbye to my perfect, almost-saved-me-from-a-stroke Dr. McReality.

As I walked the rest of the way to my building, my heart flapping against my sternum like a fish out of water, I fantasized about the various ways I was going to greet Chase.

In all of them, I appeared blasé, five inches taller, and wearing femme fatale Louboutins as opposed to my green Babette shoes.

Funny, I don’t remember leaving the trash outside. Allow me to escort you back to the recycling bin, Mr. Black.

Oh, you want to apologize? Can you be specific as to why? The cheating part, the humiliating part where I had to take an STD test afterward, or simply for wasting my time?

Are you lost, sweetie? Would you like me to escort you to the brothel you are obviously looking for?

Suffice it to say, Chase Black did not bring out the Martyr Maddie in me.

I stopped three steps away from him. My nerves were as tattered as my peach-patterned dress, and I hated the flutter of excitement skimming through my chest. It reminded me how stupid I’d been for him. How convenient. How submissive.

“Madison.” Chase tilted his chin up, looking down his nose as he examined me. It sounded like order more than a greeting. The patronizing pinch of his eyebrows also didn’t look too inviting.

“What are you doing here?” I hissed.

“Let me come up?” He tucked his phone into his front pocket. Straight to the point. Not can I but let me. No How have you been? Or Sorry about that time I crushed your heart to dust or even How is Daisy, the Aussiedoodle I gifted you for Christmas, even though you told me you were allergic to dogs no less than three times, and your friends now dub her Assholedoodle for her tendency to piss in people’s shoes?

I clutched the lapels of my thin summer jacket, furious at myself for the way my fingers shook. “I’d rather not. If this is about you screwing your way through New York, you’ve got the wrong address. You can checkmark my name.”

Summer heat bled from the concrete, curling over my feet like smoke. The darkness of the night did nothing to dim how hot it was. Manhattan was sticky, bloated with sweat and hormones. The street buzzing with couples and shark packs of tourists, rowdy coworkers, and college kids is up to no good.

I didn’t want a public scene, but I wanted him in my apartment even less. Know the expression If anyone can have it, I don’t want it? That applied to his body.

After we’d broken up, it had taken me weeks to rid my bedsheets of that singular Chase Black smell. He’d followed me everywhere, like a dark cloud with a bellyful of rain. I could still feel the fat swell of tears behind my eyelids when I thought about him.

“Look, I know you’re upset,” he started, his tone guarded like he was entering a negotiation with an undomesticated honey badger.

I cut him off shakily, surprised by my own assertiveness. “Upset? I’m upset about my laundry machine breaking down. About my puppy chewing her way through the crocheted blue poncho I bought last winter, and about waiting for the next season of The Masked Singer.”

He opened his mouth, no doubt to protest, but I held my hand up, waving it for emphasis. “What you did to me didn’t upset me, Chase. It devastated me.

I don’t mind admitting it now, because I’m so over you I forgot how it even felt to be under you.” I barely took a breath before spewing more volcanic arson his way. “No, you’re not coming up. Whatever you have to say to me”—I pointed at the ground beneath me—“this is your stage.”

He ran a hand through his hair, so black and soft looking it made my chest tighten, eyeing me like I was a ticking bomb he had to diffuse. I couldn’t tell whether he was annoyed, remorseful, or exasperated. He seemed like a mixture of all three. I’d never known what he felt, even when he was deep inside me. I’d lie there, looking into his eyes, and see my own reflection staring back at me.

I crossed my arms, wondering what had prompted his visit. I hadn’t heard from him since we’d broken up six months ago. But I had heard from Sven, my boss, about the women Chase had brought back to his penthouse in the aftermath of our breakup. My boss lived in the same glitzy Park Avenue building as Chase. Apparently, the latter hadn’t been crying himself to sleep.

“Please.” The word twisted in his mouth uncomfortably, like it was made of gravel. Chase Black was not accustomed to asking for things nicely. “It is a rather personal issue. I’d appreciate not having your entire street as an audience.”

I fished for my keys in my little clutch, stomping my way up the stairs. He was still on the first step, his eyes burning a hole through my back. The one time he looked at me with anything but frost, and I was completely immune to it. I pushed the building entrance door open, ignoring his plea.

Funny, I’d always thought it’d feel divine to dismiss him the way he’d dismissed me. But right now, my feelings swirled among hurt, anger, and confusion. Triumph was nowhere in sight, and glee was miles away. I was almost past the threshold when his next words gave me pause.

“Too scared to give me ten minutes of your time?” he challenged, the smirk in his voice like a stab in my back. I froze. Now I recognized him. Cold, calculated. Playfully ruthless. “If you’re so over me and not at all tempted to be under me once we get upstairs, you can go back to your blissful, Chase-free existence after I say my piece, no?”

Scared? He thought I was scared? If I were any more immune to his charms at this point, I’d actively throw up at his sight.

I swiveled, jutting my hip out, a polite smile on my lips. “Cocky much?”

“Just enough to get your attention,” he deadpanned, looking awfully like a man who didn’t want to be here.

What is he doing here, anyway?

“Five minutes will do, and you better behave.” I pointed at him with my clutch.

“Cross my heart and hope to die.” He put a hand on his chest mockingly.

“At least our hopes are aligned.”

That drew a chuckle out of him. I fled up to my apartment on the second floor, not bothering to glance behind me and see if he followed. I tried to sort through the reasons he was here. Maybe he’d just gotten out of rehab for treating his destructive sex addiction.

We’d only dated for six months, but during that time, it had been pretty obvious Chase wouldn’t rest until I had carpet burns all over my back and walked wonky the next day. Not that I’d had any complaints at the time—sex was a part of our relationship that had worked well—but he was an insatiable tomcat.

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The Devil Wears Black

The Devil Wears Black PDF

Product details:

EditionKindle Edition
ASIN B087WJD1MJ
Posted onMarch 9, 2021
Formatpdf
Page Count369 pages
AuthorL.J. Shen

The Devil Wears Black PDF Free Download - HUB PDF

The Devil Wears Black from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen comes to a second-chance romance about love, loss, finding yourself, and getting lost in the right person.

URL: https://amzn.to/32zQKwF

Author: L.J. Shen

Editor's Rating:
4.6
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