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Eden O'Neill



⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 978 5-Star Reviews

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“I’m going to have fun breaking you, beauty queen.”

They call him kingpin. A blond titan with the looks of a god, the wealth of a king, and the influence of the mob. Lance Johnson is the guy you go to when you want anything on Woodcreek University’s campus.

And I mean, anything.

He’s got more than one dean in his pocket, as well as nearly all the university’s staff—the professor I’m a TA for included.

He’s got grown men and respected scholars by their balls, but he doesn’t have me.

I have a direct hand over his academic future and not only does he know that, he gets off on it. He tests me in any ways he can. He plays with me and pushes our boundaries to the point of their brink. He doesn’t care that I control his grades.

And definitely doesn’t care that I have a boyfriend.

He says I’m nothing but a perfect, little beauty queen. A plaything he can’t wait to break. He sets his sight on me and I’m a target of the most powerful man I’ve ever seen.

He has to be if I let him kiss me.

Warning: Kingpin is an NA enemies-to-lovers romance that contains dubious content and situations some may find triggering. It’s recommended for readers 17+ and is a standalone novel with no cliffhanger. It’s book two in a series of standalones titled Court University, which is a spin-off series about characters featured in Eden O’Neill’s Court High books. Reading the Court High books first is not necessary for the enjoyment of Court University. The characters origin stories merely begin in Court High and can be referred to at any time if the reader so chooses. Enjoy!

*Hardcover and Paperback books purchased after 1/26/24 will include author's stamped signature

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Read a Sample

Chapter One


The elegant writing blurred beneath my fingertips, two names.
“You are cordially invited to…”
My teeth gnashed together reading over the calligraphy. All I could do not to shred the wedding invitation in my hands. He’d done it. My dad, a once respected man in our law-abiding community, had finally done it. He was getting married.
And he was doing it with a woman half his age.
Clarise could very well be my sister at her age, and here Dad was embarrassing himself, embarrassing me.
I slammed the mailbox closed, wanting to get out of the slush and ice of the Midwest. I’d just hopped outside to put the trash out, my legs beeding in goosebump pimples as I hadn’t even thought to put a coat on. My boots soaked, I stepped delicately over the salted walk, then back into my new house. I’d barely been here three days, and there were still boxes stacked around.
I warmed myself, tossing that invite on the kitchen counter before kicking off my snow boots. The weather had been gratefully clear outside when I moved in, but it was still cold enough where the snow wouldn’t be melting anytime soon. At least my landlord had thought to shovel and salt the walk before I moved in, one of his good tidings in hopes I’d actually buy the place and not just rent. This was a possibility if I liked it, but I hadn’t wanted to make any permanent decisions since I was just a grad student. I’d just needed to get out of my apartment and was totally over roommates this term, too old for it and no patience.
I pushed back my frizzy red hair and made it into the living room, my boyfriend Sinclair on the couch watching some sport. He’d been pretty much a permanent fixture on the red leather love seat all day, how he got when he watched sports. Seeing me, he smiled with his beer in his hand, reaching a hand out and securing my hip. He guided me over to sit with him, and though I wasn’t interested—I loathed any kind of sport—I was happy for the attention. He got really lovey when comfortable, and I liked that, squeezing up beside him under his muscular arm. He hadn’t brought clothes tonight, but I hoped he’d stay. I needed to get off something fierce. It might loosen me up and get me out of my head a little.
Hoping for some of that ease now, I took Sinclair’s beer, chugging the yeasty liquid down in a big gulp. He chuckled, watching me before taking it back, and shaking his head, he got back into his game. His hand gripped my hip again, rubbing it. “You just go outside?”
“Mmhmm,” I said, stealing a swig of his beer again. I charged it down, then gave it back, and after eyeing the empty bottle, Sinclair slid it on my coffee table.
He lounged back. “I could have gotten you your own, you know?” He jostled, dashing his well-trimmed eyebrows at me. Dark hair and smoldering features, he was a partner now at Huntington, Huntington, and Brewer, his family’s law firm. He’d worked hard to get there too, not much older than me at twenty-eight. Of course, it helped that it was his family’s firm. My boyfriend was legacy. He pinched at my hip. “And since when do you drink anything other than margaritas?”
“Since my dad decided to marry a woman half his age. Excuse me.” I got up to get my own beer, getting another one for him too. I came back with the invite, tossing it on the coffee table, and Sinclair extended his long reach to study it.
“I see,” he said, flicking the thing back where it was before settling himself back into the couch. I returned under his arm after he cracked opened both beers. He drew off his. “You’re still going, though, right?”
I was sure he expected me to, the two of us always two minds about the issue. After all, how many men in his family had trophy wives like my dad? The whole thing was commonplace and not unusual to him at all.
But it was for me, and it wasn’t just the fact that my dad decided to marry one of his colleagues, the woman working at his office when they met. It was the fact that he’d lied about it, cheated on my mom and threw away an over-twenty-year marriage to do it. That’s what grated me about the whole thing, not Clarise’s age.
Annoyed by how much Sinclair wasn’t bothered about the whole thing, I started to get up, but he dragged me back, bigger than me and far more muscular. Sinclair wasn’t a huge man. He had more of a runner’s physique and had done cross country when he went to Woodcreek University. That was his alma mater and where I currently went for my graduate degree. He frowned. “Don’t be upset.”
“But why should I go?” I pouted. “He left Mom and me.”
“It’s not about who left who.” He warmed my arm. “It’s about you being the bigger person in the situation. Not to mention people would talk and you don’t want them talking.”
Ah, the Coventry family image. He was right, of course, people did talk and in both our circles. The Huntingtons tried to avoid scandal just as much as we did, but since my mom and me were already in the thick of it with my dad’s crap, what did I care. And why should I be the bigger person? Dad hurt me, not the other way around. True, he had tried to reach out in the past, but I hadn’t made it easy. Eventually, he realized it was a losing game. Especially after I went to college on the West Coast and put distance between us. Coming home to the Midwest for graduate school hadn’t changed much even though I was back. I imagined it wouldn’t until I was ready to make that happen.
Sinclair folded a hand over my shoulder before bowing my head to kiss the top. We’d dated all throughout his time in law school, our essential meeting at a bar during one of my holiday breaks back home. I didn’t think things would last after that considering we were long distance for a time, but we had. He smiled at me. “I know it sucks. You know my dad left my mom too.”
This was true, but I also knew it ended up working out in the end. His dad had come back. My dad… no, he wasn’t coming back. That wasn’t his way. I thought at first he had just gone for some hot, young tail, but that wasn’t the case when I saw the two of them together. It was like he couldn’t see beyond her.
Like he loved her.
“You know I’ll be there by your side, right? At the wedding and supporting you?” Sinclair assured, and when he flashed that handsome grin of his at me, it was hard to stay mad for too long. He shook me. “You’ll get through this, and like said, I’ll be with you.”
I appreciated that, appreciated him. My body warming, I crawled from the couch and into his lap, my boyfriend chuckling as he was forced to put his arms around me to keep me from falling off the couch.
I kissed his neck, his hand playing with my T-shirt. I wasn’t wearing a bra so my nipples were on fire against the hard panes of his chest.
“Billie…” he husked, a gravelly sigh in his voice. I reached down, going for the remote. I started to turn off his sports, but that’s when he grabbed my hand. He eyed me. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“I thought it was obvious.” And sucking on his neck, I straddled him. “I’m clearly trying to have sex with my boyfriend.”
“Mmhmm.” He chuckled again, but my kisses should not be eliciting chuckles. They should be turning him the hell on, but for whatever reason, he was trying to watch the game over my shoulder. Undeterred, I kissed his neck harder, rolling my hips against him, but he pulled me back. He frowned. “You know I’m too old to be coming into work with a hickey on my neck.”
I frowned now. “No, you’re not, and if anything, that’ll just tell your colleagues you got game and please your girlfriend.”
“Or,” he stated, sliding me off his lap entirely. “My brothers will never let me live it down, and my father and uncles will give me shit the entire day. They might not even let me deal with clients, and I wouldn’t blame them. It’s not professional.”
“So having private sex with your girlfriend at her house is not professional?”
“You know that’s not what I meant. I just mean there’s a time and place.”
If at home with just him and me wasn’t that place, then I didn’t know what was. Scoffing, I got up from the couch, deciding to go to bed.
A heavy sigh instantly could be heard from behind me. “Where are you going?”
“Bed,” I called from my bedroom. “I got stuff to do tomorrow too. Classes?” In fact, my first day back. On top of being a student, I was a teaching assistant. I’d have classes as well, priorities just like him.
The less than dulcet sounds of a sports announcer coming from my living room could be heard again before another sigh. “You’re going to be funny about this, right? There’s not much longer on the game. I can come in after? Stay the night?”
Since he didn’t really do that, always pulling an early night to go to work the next day, I sat with the decision. Literally sitting on my bed.
“You’re thinking about it,” came in from the next room, a clear smile in his voice. He had me, and he knew it. “I’ll make it worth your while.”
“You better,” I cut, only a little pout before getting changed into a bed shirt and shorts and climbing into bed. His deep chuckle could be heard from the living room as I did, and shaking my head, I lay on the pillow. I waited, my thoughts lulling over my day tomorrow. I tried not to think about the whole situation with my dad and I did well, the soft sounds of the television gently playing in the next room drowning my thoughts out. I closed my eyes but decided to do so only for a moment. Sinclair said he’d be in soon, and he wasn’t getting out of his promise.

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