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Type: Original Cover eBooks
Series: Trust Me Series Books 1-4
Billionaire Romance
Cinnamon Roll MCC
Rich vs. Poor
Opposites Attract
Emotional Scars

Loving him sometimes isn’t enough…

Aiden O’Connell—a convicted felon, loyal brother, hard worker, and fiancé.

I tried to resist him. I failed. Even through his embezzlement trial, I stuck by his side—but at what cost?

Our trust now earned.

Love comes harder.

His father’s insults increasing, a terrifying fire and a vicious attack, all make it harder to stay.

Leaving Aiden would have destroyed me once, but now, it could be the only option for us both…



The room shifts to darkness as Aiden rolls over on his tattered mattress. The cell is small and dank, leaving him shivering uncontrollably. I watch him through the bars as a tear rolls down my cheek. A glimmer of something obscure stands in the background as he tries to sleep. His eyes are closed, but the figure floats toward him—dark, endless, black nothingness fills the room as he opens his eyes. He rolls over to see the shadowy black figure drifting toward him. Sitting up in bed, his back to the wall, he squints his eyes as the figure surges toward him. Lifting him from the mattress by the neck, the dark figure strangles him. Aiden tries to call out for help, but when he opens his mouth, blackness floods his throat. I reach through the bars in an attempt to take hold of him, but he’s so far away. Before I can do anything more, the blackness engulfs him completely, and my Aiden is gone.

Suddenly, I wake, my hands gripping tightly to the pillow Aiden used to sleep on. Somehow, feeling him close to me causes my heart to slow back to a normal rhythm as I take deep, calming breaths. The light is still on from a couple of hours ago when I woke from the same nightmare. I would’ve thought by now, I’d be used to this, but the nightmare still devastates me every single time. Taking another calming breath, I look at the bedside clock. It’s five in the morning. Out of nowhere, the sentencing of Aiden’s trial slams to the forefront of my mind.

“We are here today for the sentencing of Aiden O’Connell. Mr. O’Connell, you have been found guilty of embezzlement by jury verdict...”
More words were spoken but I was barely able to comprehend them. “… I’ll now impose the following sentence. I’m ordering you to be committed to the custody of the state prison for a term of eighty four months or seven years. A good behavior bond will be set at forty months.”

Seven years without Aiden.

My heart hammered in my chest as my eyes slowly filled with tears. I was undeniably lost inside my own thoughts.

How could this be happening?

I’d just found him, and now I had lost him in the blink of an eye.

Softly I cried into my hands as Aiden was taken. He looked back at me, all hope gone. His shoulders slumped as they escorted him away, this time in handcuffs. There was no struggle, no resistance like at the trial.

Watching him leave, I couldn’t believe he’d been incarcerated for something I knew in my heart he had no hand in. And in that moment, I felt my life change irrevocably forever. 

Coffee, I need coffee. Getting up from our bed, I head to the kitchen to make a cup I so desperately need. I find myself drinking it black these days since it reminds me of him. The apartment feels empty as I shuffle from the kitchen to the living room to sit on the sofa. I turn on the television to the early morning news where they’re still covering the major embezzlement story from Mornington Vale’s biggest financial corporation.

Sighing, I switch the channel to cartoons—the Road Runner speeds down a track while Wylie E. Coyote tries to push a boulder onto the road in order to capture his prey. He, as usual, fails miserably, fumbling around like a lost soul.

Much like I am right now.

I’m numb as I drink my coffee still wearing gray sweatpants and a shirt of Aiden’s. It’s been three days since the sentencing, and Niall has been demanding that I remove Aiden’s possessions from his office. Like I’m not struggling enough as it is without having that asshole breathing down my damn neck.

Sarah’s constantly asking me to come back to her house and take up my old room, but I can’t leave this place. I need to be close to Aiden—his smell, his belongings, his everything. I need every reminder I can get. Because the next seven years without him doesn’t seem a reality. So being away from the apartment we shared together just doesn’t sit right with me. 


After walking to the ensuite, I wash my face and look at myself in the mirror. I look pale, gaunt, thin, and generally terrible, shocking even. But I don’t care. I simply wish Aiden were here. I exhale, brushing my knotted hair and teeth. Choosing my jeans and one of Aiden’s polo shirts, I pull them on, trying to feel close to him.

I’ll be heading into the office today to grab Aiden’s things, so I messaged Mike letting him know I’m ready to go in. I don’t know if ‘ready’ is the right word, but I pull my shit together enough to get this done.

A short time later, Mike’s waiting for me as I step to the elevator, and we move down to the parking garage. Concern is etched all over his face when he sees me. This is the first time I’ve left the apartment since Aiden’s sentencing, the weight of all that has happened leaving me exhausted.

“Miss Taylor, are you sure you should be doing this today?” Mike asks with hesitancy in his voice.

With a mindless shrug, I stare at him. He exhales, opening the front passenger door for me, and I make my way awkwardly into the car. “Miss Taylor, have you eaten anything since I saw you last?” he asks.

I don’t answer. He takes my silence as a no—the correct assumption.

He sighs audibly and starts the car, seemingly frustrated with me. To be honest, I’m frustrated with myself. Before all this happened, I was working hard to be a stronger version of Jeni. To be tougher than the woman I had fallen into, but now, all I feel is weak.



A fucking shell of myself all over again.

The drive to the office is a strained silence. I wish I could be more, do more, find the strength to talk to Mike. He’s hurting too. But my pain without Aiden is all-encompassing, and I am drowning in an agonizing existence.

“Do you want me to come in with you?” Mike asks as we pull up at O’Connell Finance.

Answering with a shake of my head, I step out of the car while nervous butterflies flitter around in my stomach. Slowly, I walk up the stairs to the automatic doors, then over to the reception desk where Josie and the other girl are working quietly. Josie spots me, her sympathetic stare does me no favors so I ignore her. I continue to the elevator, taking the ride to Aiden’s office. My heart pounds as I get closer, and a slight twinge of nausea follows.

The doors open, and I see Rachelle sitting at her desk. Her eyes float up and down my body as her mouth drops open when she sees me.

I know I look like shit. You don’t have to confirm it for me!

Ignoring her obvious stare, I walk into the foyer, take a deep breath, and move over toward my desk. The flowers Aiden gave me on my first day are shriveled and decaying.

How fitting…

Walking toward Aiden’s office, my heart races ferociously as I enter and quickly shut the door behind me. I lean against the closed door while my breathing quickens and my head fogs to the point I can’t think straight as the panic ripples through me. Exhaling out a staggered breath, I stare at his untouched desk. The memory of us together before he was arrested floods my mind as I picture myself sitting on his desk while he kisses me. With a final heavy sigh, I manage to blink back the tear threatening to fall and pull my shit together.

You can do this.

My eyes shift to the boxes Niall’s placed on the floor. Straightening my shoulders in defiance, I walk over to Aiden’s desk and look at the photograph of us at Skye’s birthday party. I run my finger over Aiden’s face, then with a steely demeanor, I place the picture frame into the box.

I can do this.

Suddenly, Niall slams the door open, causing it to hit the wall with a loud thwack as he enters Aiden’s office. My body flinches with the harshness of the noise. “Good, you’re here. Now get his shit out of this office as quickly as you can. I don’t need this stuff lying around as a reminder of a son I used to have. I can’t even call him my son, that fucking pathetic excuse for a man.” Niall storms back out as quickly as he came in, slamming the door behind him, rattling the bookshelves as he leaves. Like a whirling dervish that asshole gives me whiplash.

How can he say that about Aiden? About his son?

My head pounds, but I continue packing. Unexpectedly, my stomach lurches with the urge to be physically ill. I dash from the office to the bathroom holding my hand over my mouth, and barely make it in time, heaving and expelling bile from my stomach into the bowl. I cough and sputter, annoyed at myself that my steely resolve obviously isn’t holding as well as I was hoping it would.

Once there’s nothing left, I slide onto the cold tiled floor. An overwhelming sense of defeat and loneliness engulfs me as I try to calm my breathing. I’m utterly lost without Aiden, and I have no idea where to go from here. I look up through my long lashes to see Brielle walking toward me.

A concerned look crosses her face, and once she reaches me, she holds out her hand to help me up. “I saw Father storm back into his office and realized you must have arrived. I thought I’d come and see how you are.”

“Thanks. I could honestly do with your support at the moment.”

Brielle pulls me from the floor into a tight embrace. “I know how you feel. I can’t seem to shake this hollow feeling either, but at least we can be here for each other.”

I nod, and with Brielle’s help, I find my resolve once more. A quick walk to the sink, I wash my face and hands, and we make our way out to the office area. Rachelle isn’t at her desk, as we continue walking. And as we get closer to Matthew’s office, the sound of hushed voices gains both our attention. So I stop and stand just outside his office door where they can’t see us. Brielle raises her eyebrow in confusion, but I put my finger up to my lips, gesturing for her to be silent.

“You didn’t see what she looked like, Matt. She’s a mess. You did that to her, and I helped.”

I furrow my brows, knowing they’re talking about me.

“As if I care. She’ll get over it. She’s just a money-hungry bitch. She’ll move on and forget all about Aiden by the time he’s out,” Matthew snaps.

My eyes widen at Brielle, who’s listening just as intently.

“I don’t know, Matt. She’s devastated, and I feel guilty as fuck.”

“Don’t! Aiden deserves what he got, and we’re reaping all the benefits.”

My stomach churns at his words.

This fucker! Really!

“I know the rewards for this are money, but destroying their lives isn’t what I signed on for.”

“You need to pull yourself together. It’s imperative we remain united. Aiden deserves this, and I’m enjoying every single minute of knocking him off his pedestal… the arrogant prick.”

My hand moves up to my mouth to stop myself from gasping out loud, and Brielle’s eyes widen. With my hands shaking, I take out my phone, open the video recording app and press record, holding the camera part of the phone around the door, just enough to catch them. Brielle steadies my hand with hers as I position my phone through the doorway to record their conversation.

“I don’t think the ten million dollars is going to help my conscience, Matthew. But I do love you, so I’ll follow along and trust in your decisions.”

“Rachelle, it’s not just about the money. It’s always been about shoring up my position here as vice president, so I can take over from Niall when he retires…” He pauses with a slight laugh. “This company will be ours, Rachelle. We will own this corporation, and it’ll be worth way more than a measly ten million. We’ll be rich beyond our wildest dreams, and we can do anything we want. Don’t you see? Setting up Aiden was the best thing we could have ever done!”

Rachelle says something I can’t quite hear, but then Matthew continues, “Rachelle, think about it. Aiden does seven years, four if he behaves himself, then he’s out. He can start his life again. He has plenty of money. In the meantime, we’ll reap the rewards. Aiden’s tough, he’ll be fine.”

My body shakes as I try to keep the phone steady so it captures everything.

“Anyway, I’ve enjoyed destroying Niall’s little family. It’s been fucking awesome to sit back and see that bastard’s world collapse right in front of his eyes. Niall has always put Aiden before me while I’m the one working my ass off and making all the damn money for his company. Niall will regard me as his number-one son now that Aiden’s out of the way. He’ll take me under his guidance while I take him down from the inside...” I hear him laugh. “Just goes to show that even with my messed-up childhood, I can be the ‘good son’ and not the spawn of Satan, like my mother used to call me…” He pauses again for some reason. “I’ll enjoy showing Mother just how clever I can be when I own this huge conglomerate, and I’ll make sure that bitch gets absolutely nothing.”

I shake my head. My emotions are running on overdrive. First anger, then bitterness, and finally, elation as I realize we may have something we can use to help Aiden. My hands continue to shake as I listen while trying to ignore the sound of my heart thrashing in my ears.

“Matthew, I think we should take what we have and run. Go somewhere. Another country maybe and start again.”

Matthew exhales exaggeratedly. “Look, we have everything we need right here. We don’t need to run. Anyway, the detectives would’ve taken the embezzled money out of our account by now. We don’t have any money to run. We need to play this out.”

“Okay, let’s see what happens.”

He throws his hands in the air with glee as he puffs out his chest. “What gets me about all this is how easy it was to set that son of a bitch, Aiden, up. The Swiss bank account idea was genius and so easy to manage over the internet. Your idea of planting the original transfer receipt and ‘with compliments’ slip we used was exceptionally creative. Who knew you could be so deceptive? It was so easy to pull off using Aiden’s name, his computer and phone to transfer the money between the various accounts. Hopefully, in a year or so, Niall, the old fucker, will croak, and then this will all be ours…” I hear laughing. “If not, we can always help him along… I heard arsenic does a great job in small doses over a long period of time.”

My eyes widen with shock.

Now he’s planning to kill Niall?

Holy fuck!

I stop the recording, look at Brielle, and signal with my eyes to the elevator. She nods as we both carefully slide away from the wall and walk steadily and quietly to the elevator. I press the button frantically, hoping like hell they don’t come out and see us. As soon as the doors open, we don’t hesitate to get in where I press the close door button repeatedly, not that it actually does any good. Eventually, the doors close, and I breathe a sigh of relief as my heart pummels so hard I feel like it might burst out of my damn chest. I look over to Brielle who is also trying to steady herself.

“Oh my God, Jeni… I think we have the evidence we need to help put them where they belong.”

I nod, and a large smile forms for the first time in weeks. “I know, and we have recorded evidence as well. I can’t believe Rachelle’s in on it. Matthew, yes, I believe that. But Rachelle? She most definitely had me fooled.”

The doors open to the main reception area, and we walk briskly to the parking garage where Mike’s waiting.

Mike. Mike,” I yell as we both run toward him.

He quickly exits the car and walks toward us. “Miss Taylor. Are you okay?”

“We need to get in the car, I have to show you something but not out here where anyone can hear.”

Mike opens the door and we both slide in, then he runs around to the driver’s side. Upon closing his door, I gather my breath and press play on my phone. I study Mike as he watches and listens to the conversation closely between Matthew and Rachelle.

First, his eyes widen in shock, then he grins. “The first thing we need to do is take this recording to Jenson.”

He has the car started and in reverse before I can put my phone down. The drive to Jenson’s office is just as fast.

With our adrenaline pushing us, we enter the building where he’s luckily available. Once inside his office, I explain to Jenson how Brielle and I overheard the conversation and how we managed to record a video of the entire incident.

“This is a very serious matter, especially since Niall’s life has been threatened. Unfortunately, unless you have permission from the recorded parties, this recording isn’t admissible in a court of law. However, there’s enough here for me to delve further into the matter, especially considering there are two people who witnessed this conversation. I’ll play this to the police and the District Attorney’s Office. They might call you both in for discussions.”

We both nod eagerly and continue listening.

“This will help the police obtain search warrants, and the District Attorney can, if he feels the evidence is compelling, prepare a motion to quash the conviction. We’re still within fourteen days of the guilty verdict and sentencing, so the defendant can move for a judgment of acquittal.”

My heart leaps into my throat, excitement bubbling under the surface.

“There may be more evidence we haven’t found. Matthew admitted to Rachelle how he set up the Swiss bank account, so I should be able to trace this back by seizing computers and checking through phone records. This is something we weren’t able to do before the trial because there was no evidence linking their involvement. Now, we know who, and placing them at the scene will help authenticate how they managed to carry out the embezzlement. If you don’t mind, may I retain your phone? I want to take this to the police and District Attorney immediately and get started by lodging the motions, so we can clear Aiden’s name.”

I have no idea what he wants to do, but if having the recording on my phone helps bring Aiden back to me, he can keep the damn thing. “Yes, take it. Let me know if you need anything else from me.”

“Jeni, you and Brielle may or may not be called to explain what you overheard. I’ll be able to help you both with what you can and cannot say.”

I nod emphatically. “I’ll do whatever you need to help,” I tell him as Brielle nods in agreement.

“Good. All right, leave it with me. I’ll get in touch as soon as I know more. Please be aware that you should not discuss this with anyone, as it is new evidence. Nothing should get back to Matthew and Rachelle.”

Finally, I feel good. It’s not the clear path home that we need, but at least it’s an opening to one, and that’s good enough for me. We still have hurdles to jump, probably a lot of them, but getting Aiden back seems a little closer now. The idea that there’s a bright light down this crazy damn tunnel is giving me hope—an expectation that Aiden will be back with me soon.

We leave Jenson’s office, and Mike leads us to the car. “Right, first I’ll drive Brielle back to the office, and then we’re going to get you something to eat. I know you must be hungry. What do you feel like?”

For the first time in days, I genuinely smile. A feeling of hope engulfs me, and my stomach rumbles. I haven’t felt hungry in days. Now, with a little bit of good news, my appetite might just be making an appearance. “Whatever! Honestly, I’ll eat anything.” Feeling great, I get into the car. “Can I borrow your phone, Mike?”

He nods and hands it to me. First, I dial Sarah to tell her the good news, and then I call Callie. I know Jenson told me to keep it quiet, but Sarah and Callie aren’t going to say anything. They deserve to know.

Mike pulls up at O’Connell Finance not long later, ushers Brielle out of the car, then pulls us back into the traffic. I’m grateful for Mike, but we really should have spent some more time with Bree to discuss things. Today’s a big day, and we should be celebrating it with the people who love Aiden. But I know Mike is only doing what Aiden would want him to, and that’s taking care of me.

Mike enters a drive-thru and orders something while I’m still on the phone with Callie.

When we get back to the apartment, Mike joins me. Entering the living room with two large bags of food and some super-sized Cokes, he places them on the table and takes a seat.

“Now eat,” he instructs sternly.

I smile, taking the food out from the bags. It’s a feast. I raise my brow in question because I can’t believe he ordered so much.

“Thought you might be hungry,” he answers my unasked question.

“You look happy,” I murmur through a mouthful of food.

“I am. It’s a pretty good outcome all ‘round.”

“Thanks, Mike… for everything.” Suddenly I feel full, but all that food’s now sitting badly in my stomach. I probably shouldn’t have eaten so fast and so damn much.

“Anytime, Miss Taylor, and if you need me at all throughout the night, please use Aiden’s phone to call.”

“Of course. Thanks, Mike.”

He places the rubbish in the trash, hugs me, then walks to the elevator. He turns toward me with a smile. “Good job, Miss Taylor,” he states, then steps into the elevator.

I feel better, better than I have in days. A small glimmer of light shines in this dark and painful black tunnel I’ve been in.

I flick on the television and turn it to Netflix to watch a movie, then spend the rest of the day relaxing on the sofa with a faint hint of a smile on my face.


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Packed to the brim with angst and drama, you will be unable to put down K E Osborn’s Trust Me Series. Sit back, relax, and enjoy. I’ll bring the popcorn.


Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2021

After the way book one, Trust Me, ended I was keen to get my hands on this book to see how poor Aidan was going to get out of prison! Thank you for not making us wait too long, phew, the worry was real! This second book continues straight on with the story and we find out what happens with Aiden’s incarceration.

This second book certainly takes you on that old emotional roller coaster ride where you experience the full gambit of emotions, and deeply too. The loss and heartache associated with Jeni and Aiden is devastating, the fear and angerwith the suspense element—something that could be felt right inside you and at times made me a tad rattled. Then there are the fun, exciting times that leave you feeling lighthearted and joyful. No matter the feeling, you experience every single one with the characters. 

The suspense in the story is slowly built up and really well done. Poor Jeni seemed to cop so much, but with Aiden beside her, she is okay. Along with the darkness from the suspense is the vindictive manner in the way Niall, Aiden’s father, treats Jeni and everyone else. I desperately wanted to slap him silly! When a story makes you become that involved then you know it’s a good one.

Once again, as in book one—Trust Me, the descriptions are superb and the imagery is easy to create in your mind. I feel you get to know the characters better in this book too. An interesting ending, one that annoyed me simply because I didn’t want there to be any issues. 😂 However, it will make book three, All Of Me, that much more exciting!