Ellie Sanders lives in rural Hampshire, in the U.K. with her partner and two troublesome dogs.
She has a BA Hons degree in English and American Literature with Creative Writing and enjoys spending her time, when not endlessly writing, exploring the countryside around her home.
She is best known for her taboo stepdad novel ‘Good Girl’ and has published several other spicy romance books including Vendetta: A Mafia Romance, and her spy erotica series ‘BlackWater’.
A dark, sexy, modern reimagining of Romeo & Juliet. Dual POV. 18+
Exiled. For six long years. But my father is dead now and I’m head of the Montague Family. I’m not going to stay hiding in the shadows anymore. No, I’m going to get my revenge on every single person that screwed me over.
Starting with her.
Rose Capulet. The love of my life. By the time I’m finished she and everyone in this city will understand the monster I’ve become. The monster they made of me.
I’m going to take this city. I’m going to take everything they love and leave them with nothing but the ashes.
Six years ago he ruined my life. Six years ago he left, just walked away without a second glance, while I was trapped here in Verona. At the mercy of my family, at the mercy of the Governor too.
Only Roman Montague is back. And that old bitter rivalry has all but escalated into open war.
He thinks he can simply pick up where we left off, that I’ll just spread my legs for him. But I’m not the same girl I was. I’m not that naïve lovesick fool anymore.
No, this girl has teeth now. And by god will I make him pay for what he’s done to me.
I haven’t been in this city, in my home, in over six years. Six god damn years. It doesn’t feel like anything has changed, even the faces look the same. Perhaps no one noticed my absence. Perhaps no one cared.
I feel a flash of fury at that. That I was forced into exile, forced to hide, and to all these people it meant nothing. My sacrifice was nothing.
My hand tightens around the glass and I force myself to be calm. I am back. I have returned and this entire city shall feel the consequences.
And then I see her. Even from this distance, with her back to me, I still recognise her. Though her perfume may have changed, I know the scent of her soul. The colours of her heart. Two men are escorting her but I pay them no heed.
She walks up, takes a seat, and orders a drink. Vodka tonic. Just like she used to drink.
At least some things don’t change.
Only the things that matter.
My anger grows then, as I take in her clothes. Scarlet silk of a designer dress that clings to her curves that seem to have only gotten better as she’s aged. I guess the colour couldn’t be more perfect. She is in many ways the scarlet woman. The betrayer. Her dark hair flows in loosely styled curls reminding me of all the times she used to play with it while we’d talk, while we’d whisper our desires, as if any of it was real to her.
But especially I take in the diamond glinting on that finger. She moved on. She forgot me. She married someone else.
Despite everything we’d promised. Everything we’d agreed. In the end it all meant nothing. I meant nothing.
She sips her drink, her rouge lipstick leaving a smear on the glass, reminding me of so many times she would have done the same on my lips. Suddenly I can taste it, I can taste her. She glances around. Perhaps she senses that someone is watching her. In truth half the bar is. She’s Rose Capulet for Christ sake. Her family is as powerful as mine.
Her eyes cast over the corner where I’m sat, concealed, but she doesn’t see me and if anything that tells me what I need to know. That I am nothing. That she truly has forgotten me.
It should strengthen my resolve. It should make this task easier. Afterall I came here tonight for one reason and one reason alone. To make my mark. To let this city know that I am back and that this time they will pay for their insults.
Starting with her. With Rose. My first love. In truth the only woman I have ever loved, have ever cared for, my own sister excluded. If I had anything left that resembled a heart then I would feel something akin to grief in this moment but I have nothing now. Nothing but darkness.
She turns, her legs tucked to the side on the stool like she’s some graceful beauty and not some heartless creature of deception.
My hand pauses. I’m not one for changing plans. But now that I’m here, now that I’ve seen her it’s harder than I imagined. I thought this would be easy. I thought this would feel good. To take my vengeance. She belonged to me after all, all I’m doing is claiming that, fulfilling the promise she made all those years ago, when she said she would die for me. Though I can see now how hollow those words were, I was going to make them real. To claim her life. To take it. To watch her last deceitful breaths pass over those perfect lips.
But I can’t do it. The realisation hits me from nowhere.
I can’t kill her.
But she doesn’t deserve to live either.
And then he walks in.
No, saunters in.
He doesn’t look around. He knows where she is. His men have been stood close enough as if they’re her bodyguards but I wonder with the way she seems to flit if they might be more than that. Perhaps he senses her duplicity too. Perhaps he’s learnt to keep a tight leash on her. Can’t blame him for that.
He puts his hand on her back, where the dress exposes her skin and she doesn’t react. Doesn’t recoil from his touch. My jealousy spikes because she should fucking recoil. She should hate it.
His mouth lowers and he murmurs something in her ear. She sighs, nodding her head, her eyes fixed in front. She puts the glass down, gets to her feet and he leads her out, her heels clacking with every manicured step she takes.
She doesn’t look then.
She just walks.
Hand in hand with Paris Blumenfeld. The man she married instead of me.
I’ve always been writing for as long as I can remember, from little stories and poems to fully fledged novels as a teenager that I now reread back and cringe at. I did a degree in creative writing and after having the words bouncing around in my head for so long I decided it was high time I turned my dreams into reality and started publishing last year.
I am a bit of a manic writer. I have ADD so I luckily (or unluckily) have something called hyper-focus which means I can sit and write for seven hours straight without moving, drinking, peeing, anything! It means I can get a lot of words down in a relatively short space and time – as quickly as my fingers can physically type them! Plus, I suffer from insomnia and spend many a night writing away the dark hours until the sunrises. I usually have two WIP’s on the go at one time so I can bounce between them, for some reason this helps to keep the creative process flowing. I generally live off chocolate and coffee and find them the perfect diet for my imagination, if not for health reasons.
Me and my fiance bought a do-er upper two years ago so every minute I’m not writing, I’m either painting, sanding, or smashing out walls with a sledge hammer – it’s very therapeutic, especially when my characters aren’t playing ball.
I always have a drink to celebrate. I also find it both satisfying and sometimes quite a bittersweet moment, especially if it’s a standalone and I won’t be writing about the characters again. It feels like I’m parting ways with an old friend.
I’m not sure I ever have! I think the writing process is so involved that by the time I’m publishing it I’m just excited to be holding a physical copy in my hand and that is enough.
This duet is one I’ve wanted to write for a while. I knew it would be dark and I wanted to lean heavily on the stalker and secrets aspect. I also spent a long time psychologically delving into Rose’s headspace and hopefully as her character develops you get a better understanding of where all those horrible emotions come from.
Not exactly but I do like to pull certain traits from people around me. I think it adds to the roundness of the characters and makes them more individual and believable.
Without giving any spoilers, I did quite a few flashbacks so you got an experience of how Roman and Rose were when they were younger. But Rose is hiding a dark secret from that time and I had to carefully balance it so not give away what was really going on until the pivotal moment, while also not leaving the prior chapters lacking.
Rereading chapters and discovering little bits I’d forgotten I’d written and marveling at how dark and emotional it was.
I love the works of H.D.Carlton and Shantel Tessier. I wanted to write something that was as equally dark and equally compelling as they have, but in a story and setting that fitted my style and ideas.
I think when Rose and Roman are at the house. He knows her secret (no spoilers) and she’s starting to trust him, to realize that maybe he wasn’t what he seemed either. It’s quite a breakthrough for them and you finally get a reprieve from all the drama.
Ahhh I can’t answer this because once you’ve read the second book you’ll know exactly who I want to meet and hurt so badly.