Second Impressions Series - Book cover

Second Impressions Series

M.C. Capocci

Age Rating


Olivia Summer doesn't know what to do with her hot mess of a life, but she knows one thing: she hates men. Darius Rothschild is a hot, domineering jerk with the habit of getting what he wants when he wants it. Giving in to their desires leads to an inevitable fight between power and surrender until, unable to control their growing scorn and hunger for each other, they descend into the flames of hate and passion. Soon, nothing will be left but ashes.

Age Rating: 18+ (Depression)

View more

46 Chapters



I woke up early to pack my bag.

It was an easy task to accomplish with a wardrobe as basic as mine: jeans, sweaters, T-shirts, and a couple of casual dresses. Surely not fancy enough to impress the Rothschild family.

I wasn’t going there to impress anyone, though.

I looked at the engagement ring on my hand as I zipped the suitcase. Why I was still wearing it, I didn’t know. I touched it, and my stomach twisted.

Maybe a part of me wished things had stayed the same.

Sell it! It’s not like he’s coming back for it, anyway.

Of course he wouldn’t. Roger was a coward. At least he’d taught me a valuable lesson—to never trust his candy-ass again. In fact, the entire male population was officially on the same blacklist.

Even if I sold it, it wouldn’t help much. My problems were too big for that. But getting some money out of this tiny rock might provide temporary relief from my debts, and wouldn’t that feel nice?

I sighed, taking it off and sealing it inside a pocket of my bag before checking the time.

Why was I this impatient? Impatient with life, for the driver being late, and for accepting my sister’s invitation.

Once more, I found myself thinking hard about why I was doing this.

Was I about to jump into one of the worst two weeks of my life with no escape?

Two weeks with the Rothschilds. The most powerful, shallow, insensitive, snobby family on earth, just because my sister was dating one of them.

Agreeing to spend Christmas with her new boyfriend’s family had been a mistake, but it was a mistake I still had time to fix.

It was time to upgrade my web of lies.

I picked up my phone and called her, fidgeting uncomfortably.

“Hello?” Her soft, pleading voice echoed in my ear as I pressed the phone to my cheek. She sounded different today, like she had a stuffy nose, almost as if she had been crying for a while.

“Hi, Sarah.” I prepared myself for her manipulative strategies before dropping the bomb. “I changed my mind. I’m not going.”

I counted my breaths, waiting for a reply, but she remained silent. Should I worry? Was her cheerful soul dying?

No, that was my soul.

“What?” she finally asked.

“I submitted the wrong weeks for PTO, I’m afraid.”

I really needed to improve my lying game. The words rolled off my tongue so fast I didn’t even get a chance to fake remorse. I panicked. She is going to know.

“I thought you negotiated that when you accepted the offer!” she fumed. “You. Big. Fat. Liar.”

“I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“Your lies, Olivia! Who submits the wrong weeks for vacation? Do you think I am an idiot?”

Well yeah, just a little.

“Listen, I really need this job to work out. I can’t lose another one. I am terribly sorry.”

I was not about to tell her that I’d been writing at coffee shops while applying for the next corporate gig, so I kept up this lie about my fantastic new job as an associate editor.

If only it were true. To say that things have not been going in my favor was an understatement. My life was a complete disaster.

“You already confirmed. You can’t bail on me at the last minute!”

In fact, I can, little sis!

Mixing real events with fictitious excuses wasn’t going to save me from her insistence. I had nothing to hold on to that was real, which was why she was able to see through my lies.

“Olivia, why are you doing this?”

Because I don’t have a rich boyfriend to solve all my problems like you have? Because I am terrified of you ever finding out I am currently unemployed, right after Roger’s shit show?

Something that I knew well about Sarah was that if she knew what was happening, she would try to fix things with money. Even worse, with money that was not hers!

I would not let my sister’s boyfriend pay for my stuff. I could hear the bells from hell calling me in shame if I were to ever accept anything from her. Who did she think she was, Mother Teresa?

Am I the new holiday charity target for the Rothschild this year?

“I promise, I promise, I promise money is not a problem,” she pleaded with that sweet, insistent voice that made me cringe. “Ollie, if you let me, I’ll take care of you like a baby.”

Who would give this woman a baby to hold for even thirty seconds?

“Oh my god. Stop.” I rolled my eyes, wondering who in our family she got that from. It was an utter mystery; no relative of ours had been known for being this annoying.

“Not everything is about money, Sarah. I’m serious about work. I can’t afford to lose another job,” I answered irritably.

“Why do you have to be like this? You never let me help you.”

Why did she care so much about me? Sarah was a dramatic handful, and apparently, no one could see that except me. I was the only one immune to her charms. Wicked witch.

She was perfect. Beautiful, curvy, classy, blonde, and exotic, while I was…well, me.

Plain brown hair, ordinary dark eyes, and so skinny I could use a Cheerio as a belt. My mom used to say, “If you swallow a meatball, people could think you are pregnant.”

Not funny.

Back then, the mean kids from school used to call me Skeletollie or Skinniollie, which sounded more like an Italian dish than an insult. A lot had changed since I became a woman.

My figure was more athletic and lean than Sarah’s curvy Marilyn Monroe body. I was still skinny, but I liked to think I had my own thing going on.

For years, I’d compared myself to perfect Sarah. I’d thought I envied her, but that was not true; I loved and admired her in so many ways.

But something about her bothered me so much, and I could not turn a blind eye.

Maybe it was that she reminded me of my failures, combined with the fact that she got by in life by the grace of her looks and boobs… Or, as I liked to call them, loobs.

So yeah, I openly judged her, though I knew that was wrong. She was my little sister, the only thing stable in my life, the one who always had my back.

But isn’t there a rule that allows big sisters to reign over their siblings?

I was more than a sibling; I was her role model, the one who took care of her. I was supposed to support her, not the other way around!

“Is this about your cheating, bastard, egomaniac, ex-fiancé?” she asked, and I felt the air sucked out of my lungs. Though I didn’t show it, it still hurt me.

Ouch! Sarah 1 – Olivia 0.

“How candid. He has a name, you know,” I replied calmly.

The Dark Lord,” she whispered, making me narrow my eyes while breathing in.

“Please, drop it.”

“Is this why you are being so defensive? You know I am on your side, don’t you?” She calmed her giggles into what she considered a more serious tone.

Sweet baby Jesus, please help me.

“I mean, I still can’t believe Roger would be capable of—”

“Can we not?” I cut her off, pronouncing each word slowly. The last thing I wanted to do was extend this conversation to that topic.

Breathe in, breathe out. Don’t lose your cool.

“I’m just saying,” Sarah went on, oblivious. “You said she was cute, and…she is not.”

I slammed my left palm on my face. I was starting to regret making her believe that Roger had cheated on me with his cute secretary rather than what he really did.

I was just throwing some dirt into the mix, giving people other topics to talk about, topics that couldn’t hurt. A controlling narrative kind of masterpiece.

“We’ll talk about this in person in a couple of hours,” she added.

“I said I’m not going to the Hamptons, Sarah.” I spoke through my teeth, staring at my reflection in one of the mirrors of my crappy apartment.

“But the driver is already on the way, Olivia!” she hissed.

I took a deep breath into my little mind palace and walked into the garden of quietness, pushing away any guilt and yelling. Especially the yelling.

She was calling me by my full name now, which meant she was utterly distraught. I made myself relax. I could keep this up all day. She wasn’t going to break me.

Then I heard sniffing and sobbing through the phone, reminding me we were trapped in this vicious circle. She was the victim, and I was the villain.

“Don’t you know how much I need you? Why are you always pushing me away?” She continued sobbing as if her life depended on it.

Was I the worst sister in the world? There must be other siblings with more considerable traumas than the one I’d created in Sarah.

“I’m not pushing you away; it’s just that right now is not a good time.” I felt selfish as a long, awkward silence spread between us.


I heard a masculine voice on the other side of the line.

“Love, are you all right?” That must be Alexander Rothschild, her new boyfriend.

“She is not coming!” Sarah answered in rage.

Oh, there you are. Spoiled Sarah was back! What she wanted, she got, and when things did not go her way, she did this dramatic act, and a magic wand appeared to grant all her wishes.

But not from me. In this game, I was Sarah’s Achilles tendinitis.

She hung up the phone, leaving me with a smile. My dreams of spending a peaceful holiday alone looking for a job that paid real money were just around the corner, and I was on a winning streak.

Heaven was near. I could feel it! I could almost hear the sound of checks being made out to my name, and finally, no one would disturb my peace.

Then, an email from Santa’s naughty list popped up.


Financial Services Department, 203 West St, New York, NY 10282

Miss Olivia Summer

3107 E 25th St Unit N56, Brooklyn, NY 11226 Flatbush-Ditmas Park

December 2021

Dear Miss Summer


Further to my letter of November 28th, we have not received this half-year’s monthly installments, and there is a remaining balance of $78,980.26 of your private loan to pay us back.

Should payment of these past installments not arrive within the next seven days, your account will be frozen, and further actions will be taken.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Attewell

Customer Accounts Manager

I reread the letter word by word.

Breathe, swallow, breathe. Don’t panic.

This was happening. This was real. I was broke and had nothing to offer beyond a huge debt for a non-profit career and a blood-sucking failure of a business.

Olivia Summer, Miss Smarty Pants, you are in very deep shit.

It was like I had triplets. Baby number one was my student loan, baby number two was my loan-funded failed business, and baby number three, the icing on the cake, was my New York expenses.

Let me tell you, living here ain’t cheap; this is a pricey city!

Sometimes I asked myself how I ended up like this. Sarah always said my biggest virtue and defect was how overconfident I was, but was that true?

I always encouraged myself on adventures, but this was like I broke a mirror and got seven years of bad luck. In my downward spiral, I’d even adopted a stray cat, but he’d abandoned me as well.

“Yes, Ollie, go to an Ivy League. Go and study literature; you’ll be the next Hemingway!” I muttered, mocking myself, my inner bully taking over.

I hugged my knees close to my chest in a fetal position while my head rested on a pillow. I had no more energy left in me.

Lord, take me. I’m ready to leave this thing called life.

It disgusted me to hear myself sound as dramatic as my sister.

I closed my eyes, torturing myself again with the truth: I was broke and single. My rent was due soon, and my bank account was running out of money.

My stomach started making sounds, making it hard to concentrate. I had seen those survival TV shows. I could teach myself how to live by eating tree bark and rainwater. Oh my god… Am I going nuts?

I was checking to see whether I had any wine left when someone knocked on my door.

“Olivia,” a deep man’s voice called from behind the door. “I’m here to pick you up.”

Sarah hadn’t turned the driver away. That sneaky bitch!

My eyes shifted from the door to Ben Attewall’s letter.

Was this a signal from the universe?

And then it was clear.

The mental drain I would experience being around that snobby family made me sick, but it couldn’t be worse than my crappy apartment or having to deal with my personal finance nightmare.

I, Olivia Summer, lost it.

My legs were already moving toward the door.

Rothschild family, here I come…

Next chapter
Rated 4.4 of 5 on the App Store
82.5K Ratings
Galatea logo

Unlimited books, immersive experiences.

Galatea FacebookGalatea InstagramGalatea TikTok