Owning Violet

Owning Violet

by Monica Murphy


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New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy begins a sexy contemporary romance series that introduces three sisters born to wealth, raised to succeed, ready to love, and destined to make waves.
I’ve moved through life doing what’s expected of me. I’m the middle daughter, the dutiful daughter. The one who braved a vicious attack and survived. The one who devoted herself to her family’s business empire. The one who met an ambitious man and fell in love. We were going to run Fleur Cosmetics together, Zachary and I.
Until he got a promotion and left me in the dust. Maybe it’s for the best, between his disloyalty and his wandering eye. But another man was waiting for me. Wanting me. He too has an overwhelming thirst for success, just like Zachary—perhaps even more so. He’s also ruthless. And mysterious. I know nothing about Ryder McKay beyond that he makes me feel things I’ve never felt before.
One stolen moment, a kiss, a touch . . . and I’m hooked. Ryder’s like a powerful drug, and I’m an addict who doesn’t want to be cured. He tells me his intentions aren’t pure, and I believe him. For once, I don’t care. I’m willing to risk everything just to be with him. Including my heart. My soul.
My everything.
Praise for Owning Violet
Owning Violet owned me from the first page to the last. Ryder and Violet’s chemistry is off the charts! Read it, own it, love it!”New York Times bestselling author Katy Evans

“Scorching hot romance filled with suspense, lies, secrets, and explosive heat. Ryder is pure yummiest, a perfect mix of a dominant dirty-talking alpha and a sweet, protective broken bad boy.”—The Rock Stars of Romance
“There’s just something dark and edgy, yet totally irresistible about this novel. I couldn’t put it down! . . . It’s a romance that offers real emotional development and a steamy relationship that will leave you begging for more.”—Peace Love Books
Owning Violet is exquisitely written. It’s 400 pages of scorching hotness that just sizzles with desire. . . . Monica Murphy is an author to watch out for.”—Lady A, Literature Junkie Extraordinaire
“Monica Murphy has a new hit series on her hands!”—Swoon Worthy Books

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553393262
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/02/2014
Series: Fowler Sisters Series , #1
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 492,444
Product dimensions: 5.17(w) x 7.93(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Monica Murphy is the New York Times bestselling author of One Week Girlfriend, Second Chance Boyfriend, Three Broken Promises, Four Years Later, and the eBook novella Drew + Fable Forever. A native Californian, she lives in the foothills of Yosemite with her husband and three children.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


Tonight, my life is going to change.

In preparation for it, I spent all day at the spa. Treated myself to a facial, massage, wax, mani, and pedi. My skin is smooth, my face is clear, my fingers and toes are painted a perfect demure pink. My muscles are relaxed and loose, but my brain . . .

My brain is jumpy. My stomach is a mess of nerves. My outward appearance is the exact opposite of my inside because so much is on the line. Everything I’ve strived toward these last few years is coming to the final pinnacle tonight.


I found a dress to wear for this special moment a few days ago at Barneys, one I knew Zachary would approve of. A navy-­blue sheath, it hits just above the knee and skims over my curves, subtly sexy because he doesn’t like anything overt. Obvious.

Meaning he hates everything my older sister wears, does, says. He doesn’t much approve of the way my blunt baby sister acts, either.

But that’s fine. He’s going to ask me to marry him tonight. Not Lily or Rose.


There’s nothing obvious about me. I’m the epitome of understated. I would make the perfect politician’s wife. Standing behind my man, offering my never-­ending support all while wear­ing the pleasant smile I’ve mastered over the years. There have been a few slipups in the past. I struggled once. Fought for my life, really, and survived.

My father and grandmother like to pretend none of that ever happened. Zachary doesn’t even know about it. It’s a moment in time—­before I met him—­the family prefers to sweep under the rug.

It’s so ugly, Violet, Father told me once. Wouldn’t you rather forget?

So I try. For the family.

Zachary arrives at my apartment right on time because heaven forbid he’s ever late. One of the many qualities I admire about him. He’s punctual, thoughtful, efficient, handsome, and smart. So incredibly smart. Some call him conniving. Others call him cutthroat. Rumors swirl that there are other women. I’m not stupid. I have my suspicions. They might have even been confirmed once or twice. But when we’re engaged, when we’re married . . .

That will change. It has to.

Zachary and I have a perfect relationship. The sort of relationship I’d dreamed of since I was a little girl. One that Lily mocks constantly, but what does she know about love?

Sex and addiction and getting into trouble, she knows plenty. But love? I don’t think she’s had a real relationship in her life.

I have. Boyfriends throughout junior high and high school, then my one very serious boyfriend in college. The one I’d originally thought I might marry. The one I gave my virginity to midway through freshman year. I’d been a real holdout, one of the last remaining virgins among my friends.

He dumped me the beginning of our sophomore year. Right after everything . . . happened. The incident, I like to call it. The thing no one likes to talk about. So I don’t talk about it either.

After the breakup, I remained single. Tried my best to rise above everything that happened by focusing on finishing school and then on my career, my legacy at Fleur Cosmetics.

I might have quietly fallen apart for a short period of time that not many know about. We kept it secret. Father didn’t want any more public humiliations. We lost Mom so long ago and he always said I was the most like her. Delicate but determined. Smart but not always practical.

I lived up to his expectations for a brief, not-­so-­shining moment. I needed therapy. I needed medication. More than anything, I needed to be numb. Craved being numb. Feeling emotions only hurt, and I was so tired of hurting.

But eventually I knew I needed to learn how to cope on my own.

Father let me return to work after my brief stint away. And when Zachary Lawrence started working for the company two years ago, getting to know him, I was soon interested. And so was he. I could tell. I didn’t care if at first he talked to me only because I was the CEO’s daughter. I flirted. I wanted his attention.

And I eventually got it. Got him.

I knew dating someone I worked with wasn’t the smartest move, but I couldn’t help it. Where else can I meet a man of such good quality? Someone I can trust? I have trust issues. No surprise, considering what I’ve been through.

While my father calls most of the shots, the company really is a family business. Both Rose and I work there. Even my grandmother still comes in and consults, though she’s now eighty-­five and mostly retired.

She loves Fleur Cosmetics and Fragrance. My grandma is Fleur Cosmetics and Fragrance. She started the brand. It was her face that appeared in the magazine advertisements and billboards for so many years. Dahlia Fowler is a legend in the cosmetics industry.

And despite my weaknesses and my father’s once complete lack of faith in me, I desperately want to follow in her footsteps. With Zachary by my side, of course, considering he works in the brand marketing department and has higher aspirations. The two of us could take Fleur to the next level. I know it. He knows it.

Together, we’re a force to be reckoned with. And once we’re married . . .

“You’re lost in thought.”

Zachary’s deep voice washes over me and I blink, realize that he’s watching me. His brows are furrowed and his mouth is turned down. He looks concerned.

“I’m fine.” I smile, hope lighting within me when I see the worry etched all over his handsome features slowly disappear. His blue eyes twinkle as he reaches across the table and takes my hand, grasping my fingers tightly.

“I have something I want to discuss with you,” he says in that low, reassuring way of his.

My smile grows and I nod, squeezing his fingers. “Now?”

“Yes.” He takes a deep breath and lets go of my hand. Odd. “I’ve known about this for a while and it’s . . . taken everything within me to work up the courage to tell you.”

Oh. How sweet. He’s nervous about proposing. Zachary’s always so confident about everything—­I’m surprised. “Go ahead and just say it, Zachary. I’m fairly sure it will all work out in the end.”

“I agree. Your father said the same thing.”

My heart skips a beat. He spoke with Father. This is serious. This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for all this time. I can’t believe it. My fingers are literally trembling in anticipation of the ring he’s about to slip on my finger. I wonder how big it is. I don’t like gaudy jewelry. Neither does Zachary. Understated, refined—­that’s more our style. Perhaps he spoke with Grandma and she gave him her engagement ring, though rightfully that should go to Lily since she’s oldest . . .

“. . . so he’s asked me to test out the new position in London and see if I’d be a good fit. And I said yes.”

Wait. What? “P-position? In London? What are you talking about?” I clear my throat, proud that I keep my voice level. I didn’t want to make a scene in the middle of one of the most elegant restaurants in all of Manhattan. I could hear my father’s voice now.

Violet, that just wouldn’t do.

“Your father is sending me to the London office, just on a temporary basis. They’ve created a new position there since growth in the UK and Europe has been so strong the last couple of years. I’ll be trying out the new chief brand and marketing director position both in London and Paris. It’s a tremendous opportunity, Violet. One I couldn’t turn down. This promotion could change everything.” The pointed look Zachary gives me says he’s made his choice and there’s no chance I can talk him out of it.

“But . . . Wait a minute.” I shake my head, a huff of fake laughter falling from my lips. He can’t be serious. That’s what he wanted to tell me? About a possible promotion? To London? “What about . . .”

“Us?” he finishes for me with that rueful, charming smile. The one that says he knows he’s a little bit in trouble but somehow he’ll talk himself out of it. As usual. “I won’t be gone for long, only a few months. Hey, I bet you could fly over for a weekend. Come to London or even better, Paris. We can explore the cities together.”

No offer to take me with him to live there—­not that I’d go, especially since it’s temporary. But it could turn permanent and he might end up staying. We don’t know.

Would I leave to be with Zachary? Only if he promised that we would be married—­and he vowed his complete fidelity. I feel safe here. Everything I know, my family, my friends, my career, is here. In New York. Not London or Paris. And what about the ring? The proposal?

It sounds terrible in my own head, but I expected that. A beautiful diamond solitaire ring accompanied by an offer of marriage, along with Zachary’s promise of undying love and faithfulness to me. A girl can tolerate only so much and I know it’s stupid, but . . . I love him.

I do.

Disappointment threatens to wash over me, but I hold it at bay. I have to.

“I think I know what you were hoping for,” he says softly. “But what sort of marriage could we start if we’re on two different continents? It wouldn’t be fair to either of us. We’re still young, darling, especially you. We have plenty of time.”

“We’ve already been together almost two years . . .” My voice drifts and I drop my head, blinking my eyes shut for an agonizingly long moment before I open them again. I refuse to cry. I am twenty-­three years old. I refuse to bawl like a little girl.

“And maybe we’ll have another year, maybe two years, like this, but I promise, I will marry you.” My heart leaps at his words. “I swear. I just—­I need this. This promotion is important to me and I’m not the only one your father is considering. I’m a front-­runner, but still, there are no guarantees. For you, it’s different. This is your family. They’ll give you whatever you want,” Zachary says, irritation making his voice scratchy. Does he even register the change in tone? “But for me? I have to work at it. Constantly.”

I stiffen my spine, offended by his words. They make it sound like I’m some sort of spoiled brat who gets whatever she wants whenever she wants. “I’ve worked very hard at Fleur since I was in my early teens,” I say in protest. “You know this.”

He waves a hand, whether dismissing his words or mine, I’m not exactly sure. “You know what I mean. Just . . . let me have this. I’m not a selfish man but I’ve worked damn hard for this career, Vi.” I hate it when he calls me Vi and he knows it. “I’m almost thirty years old. The time for me to do this is now. Before I marry you and we have children and I won’t be able to ever leave.”

The way he said that makes me think he would feel like he’s stuck with the wife and children. In other words, with me and our future children. Why am I letting this bother me? Am I being too sensitive? What he’s saying makes sense. He needs to push forward with his career. I understand that. But I need to push forward with my career as well. And my life. My personal life, with marriage and children and . . .

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Owning Violet: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
4.25 stars--OWNING VIOLET is the first installment in Monica Murphy’s contemporary, adult The Fowler Sisters erotic, romance series focusing on heirs to the Fleur Cosmetics Company Violet, Lily and Rose Fowler. This is Violet Fowler and Ryder McKay’s storyline. Told from alternating first person points of view (Violet and Ryder), OWNING VIOLET finds good girl and daddy’s favorite Violet Fowler in a state of confusion. Believing her less than faithful boyfriend of two years is about to propose, Violet comes away shocked to discover that Zachary has accepted a temporary position in London, England  with Fleur Cosmetics. Dismissed and discarded, Violet will unknowingly find herself the pawn in a much different game when the sexy head of packaging for Fleur Cosmetics-Ryder McKay-takes an immediate interest in Violet where an anything goes relationship is just what she needs. Hoping to keep their tryst a secret, Violet agrees to a ‘friends with benefits’ affair not realizing that someone else is pulling Ryder’s strings. What began as a dare becomes something so much more. The relationship between Violet and Ryder is spontaneous, erotic and sensual. From the boardroom conference table, to the bedroom and every surface in between Ryder and Violet’s supposedly secret affair becomes fodder for the employees at Fleur Cosmetics. Violet is considered the quiet, shy and overachieving sister but in the bedroom a different side of Violet will emerge.   Ryder is a bad boy with a bad boy reputation; an alpha male with dark secrets and a darker past but when Violet is told that everything about their relationship is a ruse, Violet will walk away heartbroken and destroyed. Ryder has made a pact with the devil and the devil has set her sights on someone more powerful within the company. Ryder is a man who demands obedience in the bedroom; a little rougher around the edges with his needs and wants.  The sex scenes are numerous, provocative and intense.  We are introduced to Violet’s sisters Lily and Rose. There are some broken family dynamics as it involves Forrest Fowler and his daughters, but none more so than the destructive nature of betrayal and loss. Forrest’s new love interest could very well destroy the company and that of his daughters’ respect and love. OWNING VIOLET focuses on the corporate ladder and what some people will do to get what they want. There are moments of intimate passion and heartbreaking revelations but in the end two people will get their happily ever after. Monica Murphy’s incredible imagination will pull you in and never let go.
dayzd89 More than 1 year ago
Lately my depression has been horrid. I tried picking up a book for the past few months, hoping in vain that something could distract me from my dark thoughts. A few weeks ago, I went to Barnes & Noble and decided to buy two books to jump start my passion for reading. I'm very happy that I chose Owning Violet by Monica Murphy. It's a passionate tale, one filled with hurt and darkness and emotion. Monica Murphy is a wonderful writer, and she brings the characters to life with lush detail. I loved both Ryder and Violet and thought their chemistry was scorching hot. This book was just too good to put down. And that cover is just gorgeous. I definitely recommend this novel and cannot wait for the next installment in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book I loved it,was a fantastic book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a fan of the alternating point of view every chapter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took me a month to read this novel..smh. The book was repetitive, I got bored and annoyed. Ok.. we get it, he had a rough childhood.. I'm sure others will love the book, I just was not into it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed the characters and the story. Some story lines specific to this couple were left hanging, but it was still very enjoyable and they will probably continue in the sequels.
slz52 More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars. I really liked the majority of this book, it has characters you love, and characters you love to hate, the sex is pretty graphic, not always hot but not bad either, however the ending did not live up to the rest of the book, it was disappointing and confusing, a large part of the plot is to get one person to London, how did everyone end up there? And I for one couldn't wait to read about Pilar getting what she so much deserved and I don't mean anything good, but that never happened, maybe in the sequels? I'm really not sure if I'm going to buy them, I honestly feel a bit cheated on how this one ended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting a while to read this book and all I can say is HOT! It was so worth the wait! Violet and Ryder were an explosion waiting to happen..just 2 people at the same place at the wrong time but it worked out..not without bumps and bruises. I wanted to slap them both several times but that's what makes it a great read! Great storyline and hotness placed in just the right spots!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
teetee1968 More than 1 year ago
Fantastic! Monica Murphy writes unlike any other author that I read. Her writing is unique and intriguing and so very addicting!! Owning Violet sucks me in right from the start. Ryder is SO very WRONG for Violet - but ever so right!! I love a damaged hero that can be redeemed. The chemistry is OFF the charts. This is a fantastic story and I can't wait to read the next two in the series!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. My only critique is that Violet forgives too easily.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ReesesSH More than 1 year ago
Violet is unhappy. She survived a vicious attack a long time ago, but everyone wants her to forget and to move on, so she did. Now she’s working at her family cosmetic company. Her boyfriend Zachary is ready to go over seas for a promotion, he isn’t going to propose, and he’s been cheating on her. Still violet doesn’t leave, until Ryder. Ryder wants everything that Zachary has, the promotion, the in with the boss, and the girl. Setting in motion a plan to get Violet to dump Zachary, get into bed with him, and get the promotion while crushing Violet’s spirit so his “friend” Pilar can take over Violet’s job. Ryder and Violet clash in all the best ways. They both have dark pasts that define them. Ryder was poor and doesn’t know what real relationships should be like. Violet has been betrayed time and time again. Violet and Ryder push each other to be better and worse in the naughtiest ways. Lots of naughty times in the office, and work related parties, and cars, and a whole slew of other places. Pilar and Zachary are characters I loathed from the first pages until the end of the book. Zachary is an egotistic jerk who cheats on Violet and then later blames her for his infidelity. He uses Violet for a promotion. Pilar is conniving and vengeful. I know I will be seeing more of her in the upcoming books. Owning Violet was almost 400 pages which is long but I read it in about one sitting. The characters were come and go for me. I liked them at times, but then I didn’t. While Ryder was using Violet in the beginning I knew it wouldn’t stay that way for long. I enjoyed how Violet really blossomed into a strong female character instead of a timid girl who always followed the rules. Monica Murphy has made another amazing cast of characters that I can’t wait to learn more about. The world surrounding the Fleur Cosmetic Company is dangerous, gossipy, and has all kinds of drama just waiting to be read about. I am super excited to find out what happens next. Thank you, so much to Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me a copy of Owning Violet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this to be a great book for my cabin vacation. I can't wait to read about rose.
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
I've always enjoyed Monica Murphy's books, so when I received an offer to review the first book in her new (and sexier!) Fowler Sisters series, I jumped on it. And boy am I glad I did.  Office romances are a trope I tend to enjoy. I love the "forbidden" nature of them. While that's not really the basis of the storyline in Owning Violet, it's what originally attracted me to the book. (I'm really a sucker for any type of forbidden romance.) What I got instead (and LOVED) was a whole bunch of lies and manipulations and twists and turns. The story kept me on my toes and, honestly, kept me guessing right up until the end because I wasn't really sure how everything was going to play out.  Violet began the book as the "good girl." She played by the rules and did what was best for her family. She was a smart woman, but she didn't have much of a backbone. Her boyfriend was an asshat with a wandering eye... and then some. Enter Ryder. Ok, so Ryder was NOT a good guy. He's not the kind of guy you can trust, but he certainly is the one you lust after. He was just as ambitious as her jerk of a boyfriend and he loved to play games. When she became the target and he agreed to seduce her and drop her to break her, things got all kind of hot. The chemistry between Violet and Ryder was intense. He pushed her boundaries and I feared the sexy scenes might make my iPad catch fire. Of course, nothing is entirely what it seems and once real feelings get involved, the story gets that much more complicated. And I loved every minute.  This is how to kick off a new (and smokin' hot) series. The second book in the series, Stealing Rose, won't be here until March, but I'm already anxious to read it. I can't wait to get more of the youngest Fowler sister. I think her story will be really interesting. The quietest ones are usually the wildest. :) I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved everything about this! Can't wait for more!