Excerpt: Jonah Bennett - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Jonah Bennett wasn’t like his family. The mafia business was firmly what his brothers did, not him.

That changed the day a rival family killed his fiancée.

Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.


Bennett Mafia

Can be read as a standalone

Book Type:

Romantic Suspense

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Excerpt: Jonah Bennett
By Tijan

Excerpt: Jonah Bennett

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tijan comes a new story in her Bennett Mafia universe. JONAH BENNETT is out this week, and I’m thrilled to share a sneak peek below!

A screech of brakes.

A horn blaring.

That was the only warning we got.

Melissa and I were traveling. We’d taken time off from our residencies, mine in surgery and hers in family practice. We were in different locations. The driving distance wasn’t that far, but this time together was special to me.

I had decided. I didn’t want to wait anymore.

That was my last thought as we came to a quick stop in our rental car. The traffic had frozen, bumper to bumper.

“What the hell is going on?” Melissa asked.

I looked over at her and smiled. She was beautiful, like always. Big doe eyes. Long brown hair that had a slight curl. We’d been together for the last year. When I switched to go to medical school in the States, she was in the same year as me. We dated on and off for that year and the year after, but it was on and off for a reason.

Then school happened.

We graduated.

We went into our specialties, but we decided to try again.

I was happy that we had. I was happy with her.

I was just happy.

She was gorgeous. She was kind. Smart. She liked to tease me with this little sparkle in her eyes. She was also competitive, always pushing to get the best marks on each test and exam. She pushed me to do better, and that was a novel experience for me. I was used to pushing myself. No one in my family was in the medical field. It wasn’t what they did, but me… That was not me. I was the first to venture outside our family business.

It wasn’t that I didn’t have their support. I did. They wanted me to go, to do better, to be better, but that’s all they had to offer. So I was left in the role of pushing forward, forging a new path. Though not with Melissa. She motivated me, and that was one of the many reasons I’d fallen in love with her.

Right now, however, I was mostly focused on the fact that we had six days left to celebrate before going back to our normal, hectic lives. I reached over and threaded my fingers with hers, staring at the sparkling ring on her finger.

“We should call our families tonight,” I suggested. “Tell them about the engagement.”

She’d been glaring out the window at the traffic, but when I dropped a kiss on our fingers, she relaxed.

She turned to me, that sparkle in her eyes. “Oh, you mean I’ll actually get to meet your family? Your very reclusive family that you’ve always said isn’t in the States and out of phone reach?” She was teasing, but sort of not.

She hadn’t met my family for a reason, but they knew about her.

Kai had her investigated. And if Kai had any files on her, then I knew Tanner got them as well. He probably had done a couple passes, too. Meaning, that he saw her in physical proximity, he knew her, but she wouldn’t have known who he was. Brooke wasn’t one to be left out. She insisted to overhear a phone call I had with Melissa one time. It was her way of “meeting” her.

That was my family.

But it was time. If she was going to marry me, she needed to know what she was marrying into. It was only fair, but once she knew, I’d have to be prepared that she might decide not to be with me—or worse, that she’d say something to someone else.

I leaned back and shot her a grin. “When you meet them, you’ll know why.”

The traffic still wasn’t moving forward, and more horns had started to blare.

I frowned. “You think it’s an accident up there? That’s why we’re stalled?”

“Oh.” Her smile melted away.

If someone was hurt, we were supposed to go help.

Melissa reached for her seatbelt at the same time I did.

“Open the trunk,” I called as we rounded to the rear of the car.

She found the button to pop it open, and I saw a first aid kit pushed back in the corner. I grabbed it, shutting the trunk.

As I did, a guy came walking toward us, past the truck in front of us. Tall. Broad shoulders. White. He was in cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, decked out like a stereotypical cowboy—probably Wrangler jeans and a shirt stolen from the set of an old Clint Eastwood movie. I catalogued all that out of habit.

He saw me and stopped.

He looked at Melissa.

He turned back to me. “You’re Jonah Bennett?”

I frowned. “Who’s asking?”

“Do we know you?” Melissa stepped toward him, looking him over. The doctor in her came first, always. “Are you hurt? Is there a car accident back there where you came from—”

She was concerned about him, concerned about others.

That’s what she did, who she was, and why I loved her.

He pulled a gun out and pointed it at her.

She didn’t seem to register that.

She was looking for blood on him when he pulled the trigger.

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