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Authors: Megan Hart,Tiffany Reisz,Sarah Morgan

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Seize the Night

Tiffany Reisz


To Mrs. Colvin, my freshman high school English teacher,
who introduced me to Romeo, Juliet, Paris, The Nurse
and (of course) the one and only Mercutio.

Shakespeare and I have been star-crossed lovers ever since…

About the Author

Tiffany Reisz
is an award-winning and internationally
bestselling author of The Original Sinners series (Mills & Boon Spice).
When she’s not writing scandalous tales about naughty priests and
quirky dominatrices, she’s doing sordid things to Shakespeare plays.
She lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her fiancé and two weird cats. Contact her at [email protected] if you dare.

Also by Tiffany Reisz

Cosmopolitan Red-Hot Reads from Mills & Boon


The Original Sinners Series







THE GIFT (originally published as SEVEN DAY LOAN)



Dear Reader,

I hope you enjoyed
, my first Cosmopolitan Red-Hot Reads from Mills & Boon story. Now I’m back with
Seize the Night
, a new sexy Shakespeare retelling for your reading pleasure.

When Mills & Boon asked me for a second Cosmopolitan Red-Hot Reads from Mills & Boon story, I went for a long bike ride to think about what I should write. Since
was a modern erotic update of the comedy
Much Ado About Nothing
, maybe I’d try my hand at retelling a tragedy. There’s no more famous romance in the history of English literature than the one between Romeo and Juliet. I live in Lexington, Kentucky, also known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” and as I rode, I saw horses everywhere. There’s lots of drama in horse racing, lots of money, beauty and romance, too. Could I update
Romeo and Juliet
to fit into this world? Of course I could! I took out the death, added a lot of sex, set it among two rival horse-racing families, threw in a happy ending and turned Mercutio’s infamous line “A plague on both your houses” into my Merrick’s “A plague on both your horses!”

What can I say? I was an English major. This is how I put my degree to use.

Friends, Romans, Mills & Boon readers, lend me your eyes. I give you the story of Remi O. Montgomery, manager of Arden Farms, and her star-crossed love affair with Julien Brite of Capital Hills Farms.

Happy reading!

Tiffany Reisz

PS Fans of my Original Sinners series will catch a few inside jokes. Sorry Wesley couldn’t come to the party. He was busy up north with a certain green-eyed Damn Yankee of our acquaintance.

Chapter One

The Winner’s Circle

The boy in blue started the fight but the boy in red finished it. Swearing turned to yelling, which led to shoving and punching within seconds. Remi fished her phone out of her messenger bag, called the security office, and two minutes later the fight was over. Both young men—college kids by the looks of them—were being escorted away. Too much alcohol and testosterone. Too little good sense.

Remi felt the needle prick of her conscience. She couldn’t judge them, tempting as it was. She’d been that age not too long ago, and she remembered being that stupid. Remembered it all too well.

Still, it made no sense to her. Two guys in opposing jerseys fighting at a football game would hardly have been a surprise. Or even a baseball or a basketball game. But this was Verona Downs. When did college boys start getting into fistfights over racehorses? Bizarre.
was the only word for it.

was also the only word for the man who entered the grandstand and strode toward Remi’s seat. He wore all black, as usual. His slacks, his button-down shirt (untucked, of course), leather bracelets on both wrists, shoes, socks and underwear (if he did, in fact, wear underwear), and sunglasses were all black. Under the black sunglasses lurked intelligent blue eyes usually narrowed in suspicion or derision. Most of the women in the stands watched his progress. She didn’t blame them. He was in his mid-thirties, annoyingly handsome and wasn’t smiling. He had an “I can’t wait to rock your world in bed and then make you regret you ever met me” look about him. Women fell for that look often. She hadn’t. She had zero desire to sleep with him. He was Merrick Feingold. Unlike the women who were lusting at him at this moment, Remi had met him.

“Why, pray tell, am I sitting among the plebeians?” Merrick asked as he took his seat next to her. They must have made an odd pair—him in his mysterious all-black attire and she in faded jeans, a tailored plaid shirt and cowboy boots. He looked like a rock star while she tended toward stable girl.

“This is not ancient Rome, and these are not plebeians. These are people just like us,” Remi said as she made a notation in her leather journal. “And you’re sitting here because your boss wants your sunshiny self sitting right next to her.”

“We have that nice Arden Farms private box right over there,” Merrick said, pointing at the clubhouse balcony section where all the horse owners had private air-conditioned boxes. “This ‘man of the people’ routine of yours is infringing on my creature comforts.”

“This is not a ‘man of the people’ routine,” Remi said. “First of all, I
the people, not
the people.
are people. Second, I am not a man.”

“Prove it,” Merrick said.

“Do I look like a man to you?”

“No. You look like a hot blonde with spectacular tits, which are probably fake, since for all I know, you might be a man.”

“I’m not sleeping with you. I’m your employer. You are my assistant.”

“Until I see you naked I won’t know if you’re actually a man or a woman. It’s like Schrödinger’s Pussy.”

“You just used quantum physics to hit on me. I’m almost impressed.”

“Impressed enough to sleep with me?” Merrick asked.


Merrick shrugged. He seemed philosophical about her refusal and not the least disappointed. For all his quantum flirting, Merrick’s interest in her was merely mechanical. And she had no interest in him at all. She was twenty-six and he was thirty-six. To her Merrick was like an older brother. An older brother she paid to do whatever she told him to do. The best sort of older brother. The type she could fire.

Remi’s cell phone buzzed in her bag. She dug it out and looked at the name. Now she remembered why she’d hired Merrick.

“Ugh. Help. It’s Brian Roseland.” Remi handed the phone to Merrick.

“You want me to do the thing?” he asked.

“Please and thank you.”

“Yell-o?” Merrick said, taking the call for her. “No, Remi’s not here right now. She’s on a date.”

Remi covered her mouth to stifle a laugh. Her? On a date on a Thursday afternoon? Good thing Merrick was a better liar than she was.

“She’s been gone all week, Mr. Roseland,” Merrick said. “It’s that kind of date. One with traveling and exotic locations and them sticking body parts into each other.”

Remi grabbed for the phone. Merrick jerked it away.

“But I’ll tell her you called once she gets back from her weeklong exotic-locale sex date.” Merrick tugged her ponytail to annoy her. It worked.

Then he ended the call and handed her the phone.

“I told Roseland you were on an exotic-locale weeklong sex date,” Merrick said.

“Yes, I heard that part. Did you have to go into that much detail?” she demanded.

“Look, Boss,” Merrick said, “either learn how to lie to people or leave me alone when you make me do your lying for you.”

“Fine. Thank you for getting rid of him. Third time he’s called me this week,” she said. “Maybe if he thinks I’m on a date he’ll finally get the hint that it’s completely over.”

Remi dropped her phone back in her bag just as the post parade began. The outriders trotted alongside the jockeys astride their racehorses. Her own Arden Farms jockey, Mike Alvarez, in his red-and-white silks, threw a smile at the crowd as he and their three-year-old filly Shenanigans passed the grandstand.

“Boss, are you ever going to tell me why you dumped Roseland?” Merrick asked, as she made a note in her journal.


“Please? I’ll whimper. Don’t make me whimper.” He whimpered.

“Do you really care?” she asked. “Or is this just perverse curiosity about my sex life?”

“I care desperately in a perversely curious-about-your-sex-life way,” Merrick said. “You never tell me anything about your personal life. You don’t hit on me. You ignore me when I hit on you. You keep our work relationship professional no matter how hard I try to make it unprofessional. It’s like you have integrity or something, and quite frankly, I’m sick of it.”

Remi closed her journal.

“If I tell you, will you shut up for two whole minutes during the race?”

“Two minutes? I can do that. Talk,” Merrick ordered.

“When I started dating the handsome Mr. Roseland, I thought he was a really nice guy,” she began.

“No wonder you dumped him,” Merrick said. She glowered at him. He whimpered in response.

“I happen to like nice guys,” she said, and a face from her past flashed in front of her eyes. A young, handsome, smiling face—near-black eyes, dark red hair, a smile both sweet and striking. She kicked the memory out of her mind—a futile gesture. She knew it would only gallop back in her brain. “In fact, I love nice guys. It just turned out Brian wasn’t a nice guy.”

Merrick pushed his sunglasses up on top of his head and stared at her.

“If he hurt you, you tell me right now, Remi,” he said. He only called her Remi in his rare moods of deadly seriousness. He’d probably called her by her first name all of twice in two years. The rest of the time she was just “Boss.” “If he got rough with you I will get rough with him. That prick can watch the horses race from his boxed seats in Hell.”

She shook her head.

“No, he didn’t hurt me,” she said, touched by Merrick’s devotion. They harassed and insulted each other, but at the heart of their working relationship was a solid core of respect and loyalty. And near-constant exasperation on her part. “I promise. I’d kick his ass if he tried. It was just that... So three months ago, Brian and I know...”


“Fucking. And the condom broke. I’m on birth control, but I still panicked. Abject white-knuckle panic.”

“Is Roseland a heroin addict?”

“Clean as a whistle and so am I. But even the thought of having a baby with Brian terrified me. I couldn’t imagine spending Christmas with him, much less marrying him and having kids. It was a horrible thought. So we broke up.”

She spoke matter-of-factly, but the break-up had been anything but matter-of-fact. Brian had been furious and accusatory, demanding to know if she was cheating on him. He’d been so bitterly angry he’d scared her, and from that moment on, she had refused to see him or speak to him. His ensuing profanity-laden tantrum had proven that her instincts to dump him had been dead-on.

“That’s the whole story?” Merrick asked, sounding skeptical.

“That’s it. I broke up with him. He threw a hissy fit about it. The end.”

“Well, you are
the second or third most beautiful woman in north-central Kentucky.”

“Thank you for that regionally specific compliment,” she said. “Now shut up. It’s post time.”

Merrick went silent as all six horses were slotted into the starting gate. Any second now the bell would ring and the horses would burst from the gates. It was just an ordinary race on a Thursday afternoon at Verona Downs. Not even a stakes race. And yet it looked like the Kentucky Derby for all the press there and the grandstand packed with fans. At least fifty people had brought homemade signs that bore the words, I Call Shenanigans! Did these people not realize that horses, unlike football or baseball players, could not read?

Remi held her breath.

The bell rang, and the horses exploded down the track in a furor of pounding hooves and streaming colors. The crowd around them cheered and clapped and roared. She and Merrick watched the race in silence.

After two minutes and a mile and a half had passed, Shenanigans of Arden Farms was declared the unofficial winner. Remi should have been happy that their champion filly had won the race. A nice purse, a sweet victory, another trophy in the trophy room...

“You don’t look happy, Bubbalah,” Merrick said and put two fingers on either side of her face, forcing her lips into a smile. She gave him the most glaring of death glares. “Your little pony won her race. Smile like you mean it.”

The outrider led Mike and Shenanigans on a victory lap.

“Let’s go,” she said.

“Thank God,” Merrick said, as they stood up. “I’m starting to sweat. It’s October. I don’t let myself sweat in October.”

She grabbed her things, and Merrick let her out into the aisle. He followed behind her as she strode to the rails.

“Have you noticed anything weird here lately?” she asked him.

“Yes. Definitely. What the hell does that woman have on top of her head? A sailboat?” He pointed at a lady walking past their section. “Ahoy there!” he shouted at the woman in the white hat with the voluminous veil. “No one can see over your damn schooner! Full steam ahead!”

“Merrick, please behave yourself.”

“Why? You’re in the cheap seats. Nobody knows that YOU’RE REMI MONTGOMERY AND YOUR FAMILY OWNS SHENANIGANS, THE WINNING HORSE.” Merrick spoke so loudly everyone in a twenty-yard radius heard him. Of course they did.

“And you wonder why I won’t ever sleep with you,” she whispered to him.

“AND YOU AND I AREN’T SLEEPING TOGETHER,” Merrick said, still in his obnoxious booming voice. Everyone in the grandstands stared at them as they walked down to the viewing area in front of the track.

“Remind me why I hired you again.” Remi slid her bag over her shoulder as they headed to the clubhouse.

“Because you wanted someone outside the racing industry who didn’t give a fuck about horse racing to be your assistant. Also I’m brilliant
the sexiest man alive.”

“Two out of three ain’t bad. Come here, I want to show you something,” she said, pausing at the track to watch the jockey weigh-in. The results of the race wouldn’t be official until the jockeys were weighed.

“Finally. But let’s find a stall so we can have some privacy for our first time. I want it to be as awkward and uncomfortable as possible for the both of us.”

She opened her bag and handed him a magazine.

“Wow,” Merrick said, a word she’d never heard pass his lips before. Merrick was not easily impressed. “You don’t see horses on the cover of
Sports Illustrated
very often. Then again, I only ‘read’ the swimsuit issue.”

Remi stood next to him as they stared at the cover—Shenanigans, her family’s chestnut filly, and Hijinks, the Capital Hills colt, barreled down the center of the Verona Downs track toward the camera. The picture had been snapped in the final stretch of the Lexington Stakes—a glorious action shot of two beautiful beasts running their guts out.

“Look at that headline. The New Civil War—Hijinks Versus Shenanigans in the Horse Racing Rivalry of the Century,” Remi read aloud, trying not to roll her eyes at the hyperbole. “They called us the Hatfields and McCoys of horse racing.”

“That’ll sell some T-shirts.” Merrick handed her the magazine.

“This article is ridiculous,” Remi said, flipping through the pages. “It’s all about the vicious rivalry between Arden Farms and Capital Hills—two of the oldest Kentucky horse farms. Everyone’s picking a side—Team Shenanigans versus Team Hijinks.”

“I’m still Team Edward.”

“I saw a fight today right by the rails. It was between two guys, one wearing an Arden shirt, the other guy in a Capital Hills shirt. After this feature, the entire racing world will be betting on Shenanigans and Hijinks. They’re even selling Hijinks and Shenanigans stuffed animals..”

“Now that’s just sick.”

“Tell me about it. These horses are turning into money trees.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing. Shenanigans is your family’s horse,” he reminded her. “More notoriety, better attendance, better press, more money, more money for me, your faithful assistant who deserves a raise. Should I write this down for you?”

“Write this down for me,” she said, handing Merrick a pen and her journal. “One hundred million and two hundred million. Got it?”

He held up the page where he’d written the figures. “So?”

“One hundred million is how much money is bet on the Kentucky Derby. Two hundred million is how much is bet on the Breeders’ Cup.”

“And I wrote them down why?”

Remi shook her head and turned to the Winner’s Circle. Her mother and father stood next to Shenanigans while the assembled press frantically took pictures.

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