Fragile Longing Page 1

Author: Cora Reilly

Genres: Romance

Sofia knows how it feels to be the consolation prize.Too young.

Not blonde.

And definitely not an ice princess.

Her sister is—was—all those things. Perfection. Until she wasn’t. Until she ran off to be with the enemy and left her fiancé behind.

Now, Sofia is given to Danilo in her sister’s stead, knowing she’ll never be more than second best. Yet, she can’t stop longing for the love of the man she’s crushed on since he was still her sister’s.Danilo is a man who’s used to getting what he wants.



The sought-after ice princess.

Until another man steals his bride-to-be. Danilo knows that for a man in his position, losing his woman can lead to a loss of face.

Wounded pride.

Thirst for revenge.

A dangerous combination—one Danilo can’t leave behind, not even when a girl just as precious takes her sister’s place to placate him. Yet, she’s got one flaw: she’s not her sister.

Unable to forget what he’s lost, Danilo might lose what he’s been given.Thou shalt not covet.

I’d pined for Danilo even when he had still been engaged to my sister. It had been an innocent infatuation of a young girl, fantasizing how things would be if he were mine. My knight-in-shining armor, my Disney prince.

It had been my favorite daydream, until a simple fantasy had turned to reality when my sister couldn’t marry him.

That dream soon turned into a nightmare, and a silly girl’s fantasy burst.

He didn’t want me.

No two snowflakes are identical in shape; every single one of them is unique—magnificent, icy perfection.

Like my sister.

I’d tried to imitate her, but an imitation would never be the original. I was an echo of the perfect melody. A shadow of an immaculate image. Always less. Never enough.

Serafina had been close to perfect in people’s eyes when she was still around, but now that she was nothing but a fading memory, her absence amplified all that she had been. She’d become larger than life.

She lingered in every corner of the house, and worse, in the minds of the people she’d left behind.

How can you beat a memory?

You can’t.

My fingers trembled as I smoothed down my wedding dress. It wasn’t my name that would be whispered in the pews today.

Because I was the consolation prize.

The surrogate bride.

Worst of all, I was not my sister.

I peered at my reflection, my face hazy through the fine gossamer veil. Dressed like this, I almost looked like Serafina, minus the blonde hair. Still less. Always less. But maybe Danilo would see the similarities between my sister and me. Maybe, for a second, he would look at me with the same longing he used to direct at Serafina.

Before he realized I wasn’t Serafina. Before that look of disappointment settled on his face again.

Less than he wanted.

Tearing the veil from my hair, I tossed it away. I was done trying to be someone else. Danilo would have to see me for who I was, and if that meant he’d never look at me twice, then so be it.“I can’t marry you.”

My fiancée’s words echoed in my head. Peering down at the engagement ring she’d given back to me, I tried to pinpoint my emotions—a potent mixture of fury and shock. The ring mocked me where it lay in my palm. Serafina had hardly been able to stand my closeness when she’d uttered those words.