Release Date: July 17, 2019
Cover Design: Lori Jackson Design
Screw the rules.
Army veteran Richie Tallin returns to South Dakota from a disastrous war with nothing to gain and nothing to lose. With no real home, his family in shambles, his dad’s old motorcycle becomes the key to a new life as Wreck, the Road Captain of an outlaw motorcycle club. Now he’s living the life he’s always craved—freedom, good times, loyalty, no regrets, and, hell yes, no rules.
But when he finally gets a chance with Isi, a feisty girl he’s had his eye on for years, everything shifts. As fiercely independent as Wreck, Isi is determined to restart her life and keep her family’s business afloat while she hides a wounded past. She and Wreck light a fire in each other that’s unexpected and wild, and what begins as a casual fling becomes passionate and serious real fast.
Life is good.
But when a war of revenge, payback, and power breaks out, everyone gets caught in the crossfire. Choices are made. Sacrifices that can never be undone. In a crazy 80’s world of drug dealers, rock and rollers, and rival outlaws, Wreck and Isi are determined to hold on come what may.
And come it does.
Few know how the One-Eyed Jacks MC of Meager came to be. And fewer still, how the love of one woman changed the destiny of a small town in the Black Hills of South Dakota forever.
I knocked on the fire door of Marla’s Luncheonette and it opened a crack. Those eyes blinked up at me. “Oh, hey.” She grinned. That grin that said, let’s get it on.
“You busy?” I said.
“Just cleaning up. Marla was here on the phone, and—”
“Yep.” She slid out the door and closed it quietly behind her. “You like it out here, don’t you?”
“I do.” I pushed her up against the brick wall and we kissed. She rubbed a hand over my hard length through the fabric of my jeans and unbuckled my belt. “Want that in my mouth … you want that?”
“Hell yeah,” I managed, my pulse jumping at the illicit promise of her voice.
A scraping sounded from behind us. Somewhere.
“Josie?” came Marla’s voice. The door had pushed open.
“Shit.” I lifted Josie from the ground and she staggered.
“What the—” She smoothed a hand down her throat, her face flushing beet red.
“Josie, what are you doing back here? Rich?” Marla stood in the open doorway. We froze under her inspection.
Three years and we’d never had such a close call.
An arm I didn’t recognize slid around my waist. “Josie’s giving me and Wreck a talking to…” came a voice from my side, a slim body pressing against my heated flesh. I sucked in a breath and looked down at my side.
It was that singer from Dead Ringers. The girl … Cinderella. I hadn’t seen her again since that night, and that was over three years ago. Her teeth scraped her bottom lip, her porcelain skin flushed under my hard gaze.
Marla squinted her eyes and crossed her arms.
“Josie caught us,” said the girl. “We both just got off of work and couldn’t help ourselves.”
Josie cleared her throat. “Yeah, I was putting out the garbage, and there they were.”
Marla shook her head, glaring at the girl who had her arm slung around me, her fingertips digging into my side. “Young lady, if your momma could see you now. Running wild, like some tra—”
“Ms. Marla—” I doused her lash of fire with my sharp voice. “We’ll get out of your way.” I steered the girl away from the store, from Josie’s sullen pout and Marla’s scowl.
“Little tramp,” Marla’s voice sprang behind us.
“Jesus,” I said under my breath, steering the girl back to the gas station.
“Come on, Josie,” Ms. Marla bit out. “Don’t just stand there. That floor isn’t going to mop itself.”
“You’re welcome,” murmured the girl as we crossed the street arm in arm.
“Thanks.” I steered her behind the gas station where my bike was parked. “Fancy meeting you here, Cinderella.”
“I live here.”
“Meager is a tiny town. How come I haven’t seen you around then since?”
“I’ve been out of town for a couple of years, now I’m back.”
“So you and Josie?”
“Me and Josie nothing.”
“That’s not what I saw. Josie was—”
“It was spur of the moment. Bad move. Bad mistake.” I blew out a huff of air. “Why’d you bother stepping in anyway?”
“Although it would have been entertaining to see Ms. Marla drag Josie back inside by the hair screaming and go after you with her shotgun, I didn’t think that was good for anybody—especially you.”
“You’re a nice guy.”
“Well, this nice guy just ruined your good girl status with Ms. Marla.”
She only rolled her eyes.
“Unless you’re not a good girl?”
She grinned. “Not as good as I used to be.”
“Well, now the whole town will think you’re a tramp, to quote her.”
She only laughed.
“You don’t care?” I asked.
“Not really. Trust me, you can’t do anything about town gossip. I know better than to give a crap.”
“Good for you. Thanks for the save. I appreciate it.” We stared at each other, a simmering silence between us.
She slid her hands in her back pockets and leaned in close to me. A hint of soft perfume rose up between us. “Ms. Marla and Josie are watching us from the front window.”
Straightening my back, I held her even gaze, gold gleaming from those caramel brown eyes I’d remembered. Damn, she was even more attractive now. Not just pretty, but beautiful. She’d grown up. More woman now than girl.
I said, “Get over here.”
She raised an eyebrow and came over to me, planting her feet in the ground.
“Give me a kiss goodbye,” I said.
Her eyes widened slightly for an instant, but she moved closer, her arms draping around my shoulders, a hand in my hair. She held my gaze and chills went up the back of my neck at her strokes. Finally, she pressed her lips against mine.
Warm, soft. Delicious.
“Can’t do better than that, Cinderella?” I said against her lips, my arm going around her back. “You know, considering what we were just up to over there?” I nipped at her bottom lip and her breath caught.
Her lips met mine again, only this time, her warm tongue plunged between my lips, swiping mine, urgent fingers digging into my shoulders, my neck.
“They still watching?” I asked.
Her gaze darted over at the restaurant. “Yep.” Her breaths came shorter and faster as my hands pressed up her back, pulling her closer.
“Let’s give them a grand finale, huh?” I said, releasing her and getting on my bike. “You been on a bike before?”
With a hand gripping my shoulder, she got on the back of my bike in one move. “Plenty of times.” She settled behind me on the saddle. “You ever had a girl on the back of your bike before?”
“Ooooh, I’m your first?” she said. Smart ass.
My body jerked at the press of her arms around my waist, her hands spreading over my middle. Steady, sure of herself. “You talk a lot,” I said.
“Is that a bad thing?”
“No, I like it.”
And I did. She was feisty and smart and that talking with her made me warm inside in a different way than when I was just attracted to a girl and wanted to get it on with her.
“So you know, after this, you’re under no obligation to pretend again with me,” she said.
“You mean no more kissing?”
I chuckled. “That’s a relief.”
“My mother used to say that tramps ‘date ‘em and drop ‘em after one go.’ So now that I’m officially a tramp, you’re good.”
I laughed, revving my bike’s engine longer than I had to. “Let’s make this real good then.”
One of Five ARC’s for The Dust and the Roar
About the Author
Daydreamer, crazy person, a New Yorker who lives on a beach in beautiful Greece. A compulsive scribbler, a lip-biting romantic, an optimist with a twist and a twisted imagination. Obsessed with emotional epics, intense anti-heroes, and bold, determined women.
And I don’t want to be cured of any of those. Ever.
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