Hard Chrome by Vanessa North
Series: American Heavy Metal, Book 1
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date (Print & Ebook): Ebook Oct. 21, Print Oct. 29
Subgenre: Contemporary Romance
Hard Chrome deals with subjects some readers may find difficult, including domestic violence, animal cruelty, drug use, and teen pregnancy.
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He’s tough. But she’s tougher.
Tanner Ellis left American Heavy Metal in her rearview mirror. She didn’t see the beauty behind the grease stains and the polished chrome until it was too late. Now she’s back, determined to save her father’s legacy—and bring the South’s premier classic-car shop into the new century. Nothing is going to stop her—especially not the sexy tech who refuses to follow her lead.
American Heavy Metal is the only home Duke Wilson’s ever known, and no high-heeled, sharp-tongued princess is going to take it away. He tolerates Tanner’s advice, and it’s fun to push her buttons, but she doesn’t belong in the shop—never has, never will. The sooner she realizes that, the sooner he can find his new normal.
When Tanner falters, revealing the pain beneath her bravado, Duke comforts her the only way he knows how. And when violence from his past threatens their future, she’ll be there for him, offering him the one thing he’s always wanted—a shot at a real family. He just has to convince himself to take it.
This book is approximately 49,000 words
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
About Vanessa North:
Vanessa North is a romance novelist, a short fiction geek, and a knitter of strange and wonderful things. Her works have been shortlisted for both the Lambda Literary Award and the RITA© Award, and have garnered praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Northwest Georgia with her family: a Viking, twin boy-children, and two large dogs.
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Vanessa North is celebrating the release of HARD CHROME with a big giveaway! Three prizes are up for grabs: (2) $10 Amazon Gift Cards and (1) Signed Paperback of Hard Chrome + some serious auto-shop inspired swag!
Praise for Hard Chrome:
“Hard Chrome is a sexy, modern, Southern small town romance. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the American Heavy Metal series!” – USA Today Bestselling Author Tamsen Parker
“Come for the grumpy mechanic, and stay for the big-hearted Ellis family! Hard Chrome is the perfect small-town romance–full of sweetness, hope, past hardships, and of course, plenty of heat Duke and Tanner will steal your hearts, and make you believe in the power of forgiveness and good kissing and classic cars–and I can’t wait to read the next one in the American Heavy Metal series!” – USA Today Bestselling Author Sierra Simone
“A sweet yet sexy read! I loved this unique portrayal of life in the rural South.” – Lynda Aicher, USA Today Bestselling Author
Vanessa North’s Favorite Scene from Hard Chrome
Another Saturday dinner with the family. Mac declines to go, citing a friend coming over to watch a game, so I borrow his car and make the trip out to Tegan’s house alone with nothing but a warm apple pie to offer up for the potluck.
Not that I need to worry. When Tegan throws open the door, the smell of Tiffani’s award-winning chili wafts from the kitchen.
“Tanny’s here!” Tegan shouts. “And she brought pie!”
From the living room couch, Tyler looks up from his laptop and smiles at me. “Apple? Or some of that crazy cardamom and pear shit you brought last week?”
“That cardamom and pear pie was delicious.” Tegan rushes to my defense. “And I, for one, as a newly single person who doesn’t cook, am grateful for any damn thing y’all bring.” Under her breath she whispers, “Like he can talk, he brought a bagged salad.”
I laugh. “I’ll teach you to cook, Teegs.”
She wrinkles her nose. “It’s not my thing. I can’t even make an omelet. Just find me a hot woman I can wife who does those things.”
“In Royal? I think you’ve already almost married all three lesbians in town. ’Cept Peggy. Didn’t her partner pass away a few years ago?”
Tegan rolls her eyes at the mention of the octogenarian, and walks away without dignifying my teasing with a response. I follow her into the kitchen and deposit my pie on the counter.
Tiffani is leaning over the stove in a frilly apron and Daisy Dukes, her hair in a loose braid down her back, and she looks so much like our mom it makes me grin, but I don’t say anything, because Tegan and Tyler don’t remember Mom, and it seems selfish to talk about her with Tiffani.
“Hey, Tiff, need any help?”
“Nah, this just needs to simmer awhile longer.” She sets the lid back on the pot and turns to me. “Where’s Mac? I thought I heard his car.”
Of course she would recognize the sound of his engine. “I borrowed it. He said he’s having a friend over to watch the game.”
“Oh God. Don’t look at the couch under a black light.” She snickers.
“Are you going to buy a car? Or are you planning to go back to Chicago?”
I shake my head as we make our way out to the living room and my sisters settle in around Tyler on the couch. I perch on the arm of the recliner—a giant brown thing upholstered in what looks like carpet—and I shrug. “I can’t really afford anything right now. I dumped all my savings into the spa.”
Tegan and Tiffani exchange a long glance, and ice slithers down my spine. They know.
“Tan—” Tiffani looks at Tegan again, and Tegan nods. “We talked it over. You should have Dad’s car.”
Well, that’s the last damn thing I expected. “Dad’s Camaro?”
They look at each other again, smiling.
“Yeah.” Tegan shrugs. “I mean, you already have the keys. And none of us need a car—hell, I have three in my garage.”
“I don’t think the ones you harvest for parts count.” Tyler bumps her shoulder.
“Whatever. One of them runs. And Tyler has his truck.”
“I don’t know that I’d call the El Camino a truck,” Tiffani interjects.
“It’s in the goddamn name!” Tyler shoves against her. “Anyway, this monolingual heathen with her eighties-era M3 wouldn’t be the one to take as any kind of authority about American heavy metal.”
Tiffani smirks. “Dad didn’t speak to me for a week after I bought it. Then one day he comes into the shop and says, ‘Guten morgen, tochter.’”
Tegan and Tyler erupt with laughter, and I feel a smile tugging at my lips.
“How very Dad.” I swallow hard. “But his Camaro—”
“He’d want you to have it,” Tiffani insists. “We want you to have it.”
I remember how much Dad loved that car, already a classic when he bought it. He’d taught me to drive in it. He was driving me home from school when I told him about the scholarship to Cornell, and we cried together because we were happy and terrified and everything was about to change again.
“Thank you.” I look down at my hands, unable to meet my siblings’ eyes, afraid they’ll see my guilt and my shame all too clearly.
Tegan stands up and pushes me into the chair. “Stop perching on things like you’re about to fly away. We’re proud of you. Dad was proud of you. And for however long we’ve got you at the shop, we’re going to take advantage of your big ol’ brain. Love you, Tanny.”
“Love you, Teegs.” I turn to Tiffani and Tyler. “Love you, goobers.”
Tiffani smiles wide, reminding me again of Mom. “It’s getting very mushy in here.”