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Gilded Tears

A Russian Mafia Romance

Nicole Fox

Copyright © 2021 by Nicole Fox

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

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Gilded Tears

1. Esme

2. Esme

3. Esme

4. Artem

5. Artem

6. Artem

7. Esme

8. Esme

9. Esme

10. Esme

11. Artem

12. Esme

13. Artem

14. Artem

15. Esme

16. Esme

17. Artem

18. Artem

19. Artem

20. Esme

21. Artem

22. Esme

23. Artem

24. Artem

25. Esme

26. Esme

27. Artem

28. Artem

29. Artem

30. Artem

31. Esme

32. Esme

33. Artem

34. Esme

35. Artem

36. Esme

37. Esme

38. Artem

39. Artem

40. Esme

41. Artem

42. Artem

43. Esme

44. Esme

45. Artem

46. Artem

Epilogue: Artem

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Also by Nicole Fox

Kovalyov Bratva Duet

Gilded Cage (Book 1)

Gilded Tears (Book 2)

Princes of Ravenlake Academy (Bully Romance)

*Can be read as standalones!

Cruel Prep

Cruel Academy

Cruel Elite

Bratva Crime Syndicate

*Can be read in any order!

Lies He Told Me

Scars He Gave Me

Sins He Taught Me

Belluci Mafia Trilogy

Corrupted Angel (Book 1)

Corrupted Queen (Book 2)

Corrupted Empire (Book 3)

De Maggio Mafia Duet

Devil in a Suit (Book 1)

Devil at the Altar (Book 2)

Kornilov Bratva Duet

Married to the Don (Book 1)

Til Death Do Us Part (Book 2)

Heirs to the Bratva Empire

*Can be read in any order!




Tsezar Bratva

Nightfall (Book 1)

Daybreak (Book 2)

Russian Crime Brotherhood

*Can be read in any order!

Owned by the Mob Boss

Unprotected with the Mob Boss

Knocked Up by the Mob Boss

Sold to the Mob Boss

Stolen by the Mob Boss

Trapped with the Mob Boss

Volkov Bratva

Broken Vows (Book 1)

Broken Hope (Book 2)

Broken Sins (standalone)

Other Standalones

Vin: A Mafia Romance

Box Sets

Bratva Mob Bosses (Russian Crime Brotherhood Books 1-6)

Tsezar Bratva (Tsezar Bratva Duet Books 1-2)

Heirs to the Bratva Empire

The Mafia Dons Collection

The Don’s Corruption

Gilded Tears

Book Two of the Kovalyov Bratva Duet


Esme was just a girl in a nightclub.

Until I made her the center of my world.

The queen to my kingdom.

The mother to my child.

We had the future in our hands.

And then she left me on that mountain to die.

Little by little, I clawed my way back.

Back to life.

Back to strength.

Back to where I belong.

And now, the time has come to reclaim what belongs to me.

Once upon a time, Esme thought I was her savior.

She thought wrong.

Because by the time I find her again…

I’ll be her worst nightmare.

GILDED TEARS is the second book in the Kovalyov Bratva duet. Make sure you’ve started with Artem and Esme’s story from the beginning in Book 1, GILDED CAGE.


The Mountain Lodge, Picacho Del Diablo, Mexico

Everything has gone wrong at once.

The seconds after Artem leaves stretch out into endless eternity. Minutes slither past, mocking me.

Don’t just sit there.

Don’t just panic.

But I don’t know what else to do. I can barely form a coherent thought.

The cabin is quiet and moonlight splices in through the tiny little cracks in the blinds that Artem pulled down before he left.

How long since he walked out that door? I know it’s been a minute, maybe two, but it feels like so much longer.

My heart drums hard against my chest. I know it’s warning me, but I don’t know what it’s warning me against.

I feel my baby turn inside me and I cry out in shock, in pain. I place a hand over my stomach and try to infuse as much calm as I can into my voice.

“Hush, little bird,” I whisper. “We’re going to be all right. Papa’s gonna come right back.”

Why does that sound like a lie?

Images of dead men and circling birds of prey fill my head. I see blood and violence and my hand clinging onto a gun I don’t want to hold.

The panic took root in my soul the day I saw the dead man down the ravine. It’s been dormant until now, just biding its time and waiting for an excuse to come out and torture me.

But it’s more than just my own head creating monsters.

It’s also the look on Artem’s face before he had left.

That was the look of a man with blood on his mind.

The look of a man who had faced violence so many times that he had become immune to its hold.

In other words… the look of a man who lied to me when he said he was ready to give it all up.

I can’t bring myself to relax or lie still. So I abandon my search for calm and head out of the room.


“Heyo, there she is,” he mumbles cheerily.

But I can tell that that his unruffled façade is forced.

He gives me a tight, unconvincing smile. “It’s late. You should be in bed.”

“You should be with Artem.”

I hadn’t meant it to sound so accusing, but Cillian flinches back slightly. It’s the first chink in his armor. I wonder how long it’ll take him to be honest with me.

He shrugs nonchalantly. “That old grouch? I have more fun with you.”

I narrow my eyes at him and join him on the couch. One glance tells me that there’s a gun placed surreptitiously under the cushion beside him. I pretend that I don’t notice.

“You mean, Artem forced you to stay back to protect me,” I say.

Cillian’s smile is my answer.

“You’re the most important thing in the world to him, Esme. You and that baby you’re carrying.”

“He doesn’t know what’s out there.”

“He can handle himself.”

I sigh uncomfortably and lean back against the sofa.

“I don’t know how you do it,” I tell him. “Isn’t your stomach in knots for at least twenty-three hours of the day?”

Cillian considers that question for a moment. “I suppose it used to be. At the beginning, when I was a green boy with no experience and little confidence. But it’s like anything else in life—you get used to it.”

“I don’t want to get used to it.”

“I know,” Cillian says softly.


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