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Cherish Me

J. Kenner

  Cherish Me

  A Stark Ever After Novella

  By J. Kenner

  Cherish Me

  A Stark International Novella

  By J. Kenner

  Copyright 2020 Julie Kenner

  ISBN: 978-1-951812-30-0

  Published by 1001 Dark Nights Press, an imprint of Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination and are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or establishments is solely coincidental.

  Book Description

  Cherish Me: A Stark Ever After Novella

  By J. Kenner

  From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J. Kenner comes a new story in her Stark Ever After series…

  My life with Damien has always been magical, and never more so than during the holidays, a time for us to celebrate the hardships we’ve overcome and the incredible gift that is our family. Over the years, he has both protected and cherished me. He has made my life more rich and full than I could ever have imagined.

  This year, he’s treating me and our daughters to a holiday in Manhattan. With parades and ice skating, toy displays and candies. And, most of all, with each other.

  It’s a wonderful gift, a trip I will always cherish. But this year, I’m the one with the surprise. And I can’t wait to see the look of delight and awe when I finally share my secret with Damien.

  But I’m terrified that when danger strikes, it will take a holiday miracle for me to even get the chance.

  **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.**

  About J. Kenner

  J. Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over one-hundred novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

  JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.”

  In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a lawyer in Southern California and Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.

  Visit JK online at

  Subscribe to JK’s Newsletter

  Text JKenner to 21000 to subscribe to JK’s text alerts



  Facebook Page

  Facebook Fan Group

  Also From J. Kenner

  Click here for an updated Printable Booklist

  Fallen Saint Series:

  My Fallen Saint

  Stark Security:

  Shattered With You

  Broken With You

  Ruined With You

  Wrecked With You

  Destroyed With You

  The Stark Saga:

  Release Me

  Claim Me

  Complete Me

  Anchor Me

  Lost With Me


  Enchant Me

  Stark Ever After:

  Take Me

  Have Me

  Play My Game

  Seduce Me

  Unwrap Me

  Deepest Kiss

  Entice Me

  Hold Me

  Please Me

  Indulge Me

  Delight Me

  Stark International

  Steele Trilogy:

  Say My Name

  On My Knees

  Under My Skin

  Take My Dare (novella, includes bonus short story: Steal My Heart)

  Stark World Standalone Stories:

  Justify Me (part of the Lexi Blake Crossover Collection)

  Jamie & Ryan Novellas:

  Tame Me

  Tempt Me

  Dallas & Jane (S.I.N. Trilogy):

  Dirtiest Secret

  Hottest Mess

  Sweetest Taboo

  Most Wanted:




  Wicked Nights:

  Wicked Grind

  Wicked Dirty

  Wicked Torture

  Man of the Month:

  Down On Me

  Hold On Tight

  Need You Now

  Start Me Up

  Get It On

  In Your Eyes

  Turn Me On

  Shake It Up

  All Night Long

  In Too Deep

  Light My Fire

  Walk The Line

  Bar Bites: A Man of the Month Cookbook


  Lovely Little Liar

  Pretty Little Player

  Sexy Little Sinner

  Tempting Little Tease

  Also by Julie Kenner

  Click here for an updated Printable Booklist

  Demon Hunting Soccer Mom Series:

  Carpe Demon

  California Demon

  Demons Are Forever

  Deja Demon

  The Demon You Know

  Demon Ex Machina

  Pax Demonica

  The Dark Pleasures Series:

  Caress of Darkness

  Find Me in Darkness

  Find Me in Pleasure

  Find Me in Passion

  Caress of Pleasure

  Rising Storm:

  Tempest Rising

  Quiet Storm

  Acknowledgments from the Author

  As always, my love and gratitude to Liz Berry, MJ Rose and Jillian Stein for their unwavering support, generosity of experience and stalwart dedication to me and the romance community.

  Discover 1001 Dark Nights

  Click here to explore


  FOREVER WICKED by Shayla Black ~ CRIMSON TWILIGHT by Heather Graham ~ CAPTURED IN SURRENDER by Liliana Hart ~ SILENT BITE: A SCANGUARDS WEDDING by Tina Folsom ~ DUNGEON GAMES by Lexi Blake ~ AZAGOTH by Larissa Ione ~ NEED YOU NOW by Lisa Renee Jones ~ SHOW ME, BABY by Cherise Sinclair ~ ROPED IN by Lorelei James ~ TEMPTED BY MIDNIGHT by Lara Adrian ~ THE FLAME by Christopher Rice ~ CARESS OF DARKNESS by Julie Kenner


  WICKED WOLF by Carrie Ann Ryan ~ WHEN IRISH EYES ARE HAUNTING by Heather Graham ~ EASY WITH YOU by Kristen Proby ~ MASTER OF FREEDOM by Cherise Sinclair ~ CARESS OF PLEASURE by Julie Kenner ~ ADORED by Lexi Blake ~ HADES by Larissa Ione ~ RAVAGED by Elisabeth Naughton ~ DREAM OF YOU by Jennifer L. Armentrout ~ STRIPPED DOWN by Lorelei James ~ RAGE/KILLIAN by Alexandra Ivy/Laura Wright ~ DRAGON KING by Donna Grant ~ PURE WICKED by Shayla Black ~ HARD AS STEEL by Laura Kaye ~ STROKE OF MIDNIGHT by Lara Adrian ~ ALL HALLOWS EVE by Heather Graham ~ KISS THE FLAME by Christopher Rice ~ DARING HER LOVE by Melissa Foster ~ TEASED by Rebecca Zanetti ~ THE PROMISE OF SURRENDER by Liliana Hart


  HIDDEN INK by Carrie Ann Ryan ~ BLOOD ON THE BAYOU by Heather Graham ~ SEARCHING FOR MINE by Jennifer Probst ~ DANCE OF DESIRE by Christopher Rice ~ ROUGH RHYTHM by Tessa Bailey ~ DEVOTED by Lexi Blake ~ Z by Larissa Ione ~ FALLING UNDER YOU by Laurelin Paige ~ EASY FOR KEEPS by Kristen Proby ~ UNCHAINED by Elisabeth Naughton ~ HARD TO SERVE by Laura Kaye ~ DRAGON FEVER by Donna Grant ~ KAYDEN/SIMON by Alexandra Ivy/Laura Wright ~ STRUNG UP by Lorelei James ~ MIDNIGHT UNTAMED by Lara Adrian ~ TRICK
ED by Rebecca Zanetti ~ DIRTY WICKED by Shayla Black ~ THE ONLY ONE by Lauren Blakely ~ SWEET SURRENDER by Liliana Hart


  ROCK CHICK REAWAKENING by Kristen Ashley ~ ADORING INK by Carrie Ann Ryan ~ SWEET RIVALRY by K. Bromberg ~ SHADE'S LADY by Joanna Wylde ~ RAZR by Larissa Ione ~ ARRANGED by Lexi Blake ~ TANGLED by Rebecca Zanetti ~ HOLD ME by J. Kenner ~ SOMEHOW, SOME WAY by Jennifer Probst ~ TOO CLOSE TO CALL by Tessa Bailey ~ HUNTED by Elisabeth Naughton ~ EYES ON YOU by Laura Kaye ~ BLADE by Alexandra Ivy/Laura Wright ~ DRAGON BURN by Donna Grant ~ TRIPPED OUT by Lorelei James ~ STUD FINDER by Lauren Blakely ~ MIDNIGHT UNLEASHED by Lara Adrian ~ HALLOW BE THE HAUNT by Heather Graham ~ PRINCE ROMAN by CD Reiss ~ THE BED MATE by Kendall Ryan ~ DIRTY FILTHY FIX by Laurelin Paige ~ NO RESERVATIONS by Kristen Proby ~ DAWN OF SURRENDER by Liliana Hart


  BLAZE ERUPTING by Rebecca Zanetti ~ ROUGH RIDE by Kristen Ashley ~ HAWKYN by Larissa Ione ~ RIDE DIRTY by Laura Kaye ~ ROME’S CHANCE by Joanna Wylde ~ THE MARRIAGE ARRANGEMENT by Jennifer Probst ~ SURRENDER by Elisabeth Naughton ~ INKED NIGHTS by Carrie Ann Ryan ~ ENVY by Rachel Van Dyken ~ PROTECTED by Lexi Blake ~ THE PRINCE by Jennifer L. Armentrout ~ PLEASE ME by J. Kenner ~ WOUND TIGHT by Lorelei James ~ STRONG by Kylie Scott ~ DRAGON NIGHT by Donna Grant ~ TEMPTING BROOKE by Kristen Proby ~ HAUNTED BE THE HOLIDAYS by Heather Graham ~ CONTROL by K. Bromberg ~ HUNKY HEARTBREAKER by Kendall Ryan ~ THE DARKEST CAPTIVE by Gena Showalter


  DRAGON CLAIMED by Donna Grant ~ ASHES TO INK by Carrie Ann Ryan ~ ENSNARED by Elisabeth Naughton ~ EVERMORE by Corinne Michaels ~ VENGEANCE by Rebecca Zanetti ~ ELI’S TRIUMPH by Joanna Wylde ~ CIPHER by Larissa Ione ~ RESCUING MACIE by Susan Stoker ~ ENCHANTED by Lexi Blake ~ TAKE THE BRIDE by Carly Phillips ~ INDULGE ME by J. Kenner ~ THE KING by Jennifer L. Armentrout ~ QUIET MAN by Kristen Ashley ~ ABANDON by Rachel Van Dyken ~ THE OPEN DOOR by Laurelin Paige ~ CLOSER by Kylie Scott ~ BLOOD NIGHT by Heather Graham ~ TWIST OF FATE by Jill Shalvis ~ MORE THAN PLEASURE YOU by Shayla Black ~ SOMETHING JUST LIKE THIS by Jennifer Probst ~ WONDER WITH ME by Kristen Proby ~ THE DARKEST ASSASSIN by Gena Showalter


  THE BISHOP by Skye Warren ~ TAKEN WITH YOU by Carrie Ann Ryan ~ DRAGON LOST by Donna Grant ~ SEXY LOVE by Carly Phillips ~ PROVOKE by Rachel Van Dyken ~ RAFE by Sawyer Bennett~ THE NAUGHTY PRINCESS by Claire Contreras ~ THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT by Darynda Jones ~ CHARMED by Lexi Blake ~ SACRIFICE OF DARKNESS by Alexandra Ivy ~ THE QUEEN by Jen Armentrout ~ BEGIN AGAIN by Jennifer Probst ~ VIXEN by Rebecca Zanetti ~ SLASH by Laurelin Paige ~ THE DEAD HEAT OF SUMMER by Heather Graham ~ WILD FIRE by Kristen Ashley ~ MORE THAN PROTECT YOU by Shayla Black ~ LOVE SONG by Kylie Scott ~ CHERISH ME by J. Kenner ~ SHINE WITH ME by Kristen Proby

  From Blue Box Press:

  TAME ME by J. Kenner ~ TEMPT ME by J. Kenner ~ DAMIEN by J. Kenner ~ TEASE ME by J. Kenner ~ REAPER by Larissa Ione ~ THE SURRENDER GATE by Christopher Rice ~ SERVICING THE TARGET by Cherise Sinclair ~ THE LAKE OF LEARNING by Steve Berry and MJ Rose ~ THE MUSEUM OF MYSTERIES by Steve Berry and MJ Rose ~ TEASE ME by J. Kenner ~ FROM BLOOD AND ASH by Jennifer L. Armentrout ~ QUEEN MOVE by Kennedy Ryan ~ THE HOUSE OF LONG AGO by Steve Berry and MJ Rose ~ THE BUTTERFLY ROOM by Lucinda Riley ~ A KINGDOM OF FLESH AND FIRE by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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  Table of Contents

  Book Description

  About J. Kenner

  Also from J. Kenner

  Acknowledgments from the Author

  Discover 1001 Dark Nights


  Author’s Note

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Discover 1001 Dark Nights Collection Eight

  Discover More J. Kenner

  An excerpt from My Fallen Saint by J. Kenner

  Discover the World of 1001 Dark Nights

  Special Thanks

  One Thousand and One Dark Nights

  Once upon a time, in the future…

  I was a student fascinated with stories and learning.

  I studied philosophy, poetry, history, the occult, and

  the art and science of love and magic. I had a vast

  library at my father’s home and collected thousands

  of volumes of fantastic tales.

  I learned all about ancient races and bygone

  times. About myths and legends and dreams of all

  people through the millennium. And the more I read

  the stronger my imagination grew until I discovered

  that I was able to travel into the stories... to actually

  become part of them.

  I wish I could say that I listened to my teacher

  and respected my gift, as I ought to have. If I had, I

  would not be telling you this tale now.

  But I was foolhardy and confused, showing off

  with bravery.

  One afternoon, curious about the myth of the

  Arabian Nights, I traveled back to ancient Persia to

  see for myself if it was true that every day Shahryar

  (Persian: شهريار, “king”) married a new virgin, and then

  sent yesterday's wife to be beheaded. It was written

  and I had read, that by the time he met Scheherazade,

  the vizier's daughter, he’d killed one thousand


  Something went wrong with my efforts. I arrived

  in the midst of the story and somehow exchanged

  places with Scheherazade – a phenomena that had

  never occurred before and that still to this day, I

  cannot explain.

  Now I am trapped in that ancient past. I have

  taken on Scheherazade’s life and the only way I can

  protect myself and stay alive is to do what she did to

  protect herself and stay alive.

  Every night the King calls for me and listens as I spin tales.

  And when the evening ends and dawn breaks, I stop at a

  point that leaves him breathless and yearning for more.

  And so the King spares my life for one more day, so that

  he might hear the rest of my dark tale.

  As soon as I finish a story... I begin a new

  one... like the one that you, dear reader, have before

  you now.

  Author’s Note

  Hello, Awesome Reader!

  I hope you enjoy this Nikki & Damien Stark holiday novella. For fun, I’ve pulled a lot of elements from one of my all-time favorite holiday movies. (At least in my family we consider it a holiday movie!)

  I won’t say what the movie is because, hey, spoilers. But if you recognize it and it’s one of your favorites, too (or if you think I’m insane and it’s so not a holiday movie!), I’d love to hear from you!

  You can email me your thoughts at [email protected]

  Or feel free to share on social media; here’s a sample Tweet just to make it easy on you, but definitely feel free to write your own!

  Just read Cherish Me from @juliekenner — she includes elements from one of her favorite holiday movies—and mine too! Can you guess which one? Learn more here:


  Just read Cherish Me from @juliekenner — she includes elements from one of her favorite holiday movies. She’s insane! It’s not a
holiday movie at all (but I still love the book)! Can you guess which one? Learn more here:

  There are also a couple of things in the story that I think long-time readers of Nikki & Damien’s saga are going to love—I won’t say what exactly, but there are definitely some story points that readers have been asking for … and hints to the direction of future Nikki & Damien stories. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss anything that’s coming next for this awesome couple!

  Subscribe here:

  Happy Reading!

  Chapter One

  “Mommy! Daddy! Watch this! Watch this!”

  I turn just in time to see Lara, my oldest, grab her little sister’s hands. Both girls lean back, their eyes to the sky as they spin and spin and spin until finally, they let go and tumble into a dizzy heap on the play mat next to Dallas and Jane Sykes’ massive swimming pool.

  “Very nice,” Damien says, shooting me a sideways grin as he squeezes my hand. It’s four-thirty, and the setting sun casts a golden haze over the yard, making Damien’s raven-black hair gleam.

  “Can I spin and then jump in the pool?” Lara asks. “Pretty please?” She’s five now, and convinced that she can do anything and everything without repercussions. Sometimes I think that might be true. She’s Daddy’s little girl, after all.

  “No, you can’t,” I say, adjusting my blanket. I’m stretched out on a comfy outdoor sofa, my legs curled up so that my feet are just brushing Damien’s thighs. Normally, he’d be resting one hand on my leg, but today he’s cradling Mystery, Dallas and Jane’s baby daughter, who’s cooing sleepily in his arms.