Mollyville: State of Shock (Book 2 in the Mollyville series) – Meet The Humperdinks

HI TECH, NO SOCIAL MEDIA, SELF-GOVERNMENT, ALL ORGANIC, ON PHARMACEUTICALS, OFF THE MAP, INDEFINITELY SUSTAINABLE. MOLLYVILLE.

HI TECH, NO SOCIAL MEDIA, SELF-GOVERNING, ALL ORGANIC, ON PHARMACEUTICALS, OFF THE MAP, INDEFINITELY SUSTAINABLE. MOLLYVILLE: STATE OF SHOCK.

MOLLYVILLE: STATE OF SHOCK IS BOOK 2 IN THE MOLLYVILLE SERIES.

MEET THE HUMPERDINKS

The family business is blackmail.
Gran's put-together ménage of pretty young things are ambitious.
The competition is fierce—and none are willing to lose.

When Gran, the aging but beautiful matriarch of the Humperdink family, hires a handsome young man as her live-in secretary, it comes as no great surprise to her five heirs—three who had themselves been her assistants, then lovers and finally platonic companions.

No longer caught up in the daydream of being in love, and no longer Gran’s lover, Rian, her long time assistant and trusted companion has accepted his new role and is doing all he can to maintain what power he still has. Awkwardly, this has come to mean hiring the new guys, but there is a sense of power even in this and being the one to sift through the potentials has its benefits.

Even though he's no longer her man, Rian still runs the show. Over the years, Gran has granted Rian certain privileges, allowing him access to her money and the occasional glimpse into Humperdink family affairs. When Gran makes arrangements for Rian to be moved to an en suite in a separate wing of the house, she doesn't degrade his access to her assets, instead she gives him responsibilities, a salary and a few contracts of his own. It's the one thing that sets him apart from Gran's other conquests. For Rian, who hasn't quite recovered from the sting of being replaced, this is the only thing that gives him some sense of peace as powers shift in the Humperdink household. Rian might not be her favorite pastime anymore, but Gran gives him access to her cash-flow and so he tells himself that he alone—though no longer her bedfellow—is still her top man. Believing the other men Gran instructs him to interview and hire are little more than sport, Rian puts his more tender feelings aside and endeavors to find a younger, finer version of himself to appease his mistress.

However, the new secretary du jour is different than the others. He is bold, ambitious and, as some soon discover, Cuinn Kjæris is dangerous…and not to be fucked with. Not content to be her favorite, Cuinn strives to be her only. Wanting to win favor by any means necessary and intending to seduce Gran, he finds himself entangled in a sticky web of promiscuity, blackmail and fraud. What he’d mistakenly presumed to be an easy payday and a leisurely lifestyle has turned out to be anything but. In looking for a way out, he finds a friend in Gran’s first heir, Candy, a beautiful but emotionally damaged young woman who has lost her sense of appropriateness long ago in a haze of pharmaceutical cocktails and unhealthy family relationships.

Despite Candy’s friendly warning to Cuinn that—just like the man before him—he is replaceable, and ignoring her insistent unsolicited advice that he find a way to make himself useful beyond Gran’s bedroom, Cuinn becomes complacent, attending his duties with a conspicuous sense of entitlement. Within weeks, Gran hires another more beautiful young man named Charlie and has Rian showing him the ropes.

Stunned by the new hire but still feeling secure in his position, Cuinn redoubles his efforts in the bedroom—the one area in which he feels sure that he's still the best. He takes even more particular care with his appearance, and produces little surprises (sometimes even staging events) to impress upon Gran his gracefulness and charm. In the weeks that follow Charlie's engagement, Cuinn can’t help noticing the younger man’s talents and charisma, his easy manner with all women and the close fraternal bond Charlie seems to effortlessly form with the Humperdink men. Succumbing to envy, Cuinn begins to compare himself to Charlie. In so doing, Cuinn loses his sense of self, becoming overly competitive and obsessed. Cuinn still spends most nights with Gran but her waning affection leaves him with more doubts than affirmations. It may be that Candy was right all along.

To add to Cuinn's frustration, Candy—having long since given up on winning Cuinn’s affection—has turned her attention to Charlie, who rejects her affections preferring to keep things between them friendly but distant.

Warned off by Rian from pursuing Cuinn, determined not to be undermined by her fellow heirs, and outraged by Gran’s insistence that she leave Charlie alone, Candy, full of resentment from a lifetime of being denied, plots to have the one thing she’s always wanted for herself—everything.