A Whole New Life (Rescue Me Collection Book 0) by #SheriVelarde




Title: A Whole New Life
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 24, 2018
Cover Designer: Soxsational Cover Art
 Add to TBR
 On sale for 99c! 
All other links: books2read.com/whole
A handsome deputy who’s not looking to settle down.
A mysterious woman who’s on the run.
When Deputy Henri Gunther realizes there’s so much more to waitress Jenna Trippleton, his simple small-town life explodes right open. With her safety and freedom at stake, Jenna must decide whether she can put her trust in the one man who’s promised to protect her.


 On sale for 99c! 
Sheri Velarde lives in New Mexico with her husband and their two dogs.
Being an avid reader since an early age, Sheri wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to pursue her dream of writing for a living. Sheri specializes in all things paranormal and that go bump in the night. Her heart truly lies in exploring unknown worlds or adding the supernatural to our world. If it goes bump in the night or has magical connotations, Sheri writes about it. She writes everything from sweet romances to horror stories sure to scare you.
In her spare time Sheri is an artist, jewelry designer, independent comic writer/artist and freelance non-fiction writer. Hiking in the mountains, going to live concerts, art openings, museums, watching movies, playing games, and hosting intimate dinner parties.
Sheri is constantly putting out new material with various publishers, so it is best to keep up with her on her website www.authorsherivelarde.weebly.com.
 Rescue Me Submissions


#SundayShare 148

A Brother at my Back

The only way the system was reliable when it came to Tiffany
Dempsey was in failing her. Once again, it’d done just that, but this time, she
wasn’t about to accept that nothing could be done. This time, she went to a
source outside the law for help. She’s gone to the Sacred Hearts MC, a club whose
reputation for bloodshed and violence precedes them. It’s a gamble she’s
willing to take; desperate times call for desperate measures and she’s never
been more desperate than she is right now.
Zeb joined the Sacred Hearts by way of a second chance when he thought he had
none. He’s determined to do right by his club and himself by changing his ways.
So, when Dragon, his president, asks him for help, he doesn’t hesitate. He’s
more than happy to give the pretty little stripper with the scarred up face a second
chance of her own. The way he sees it, a survivor like her has more than earned

Neither Tiff nor Zeb expected that this protective detail would be anything
other than a strictly business-like arrangement, but the two find quickly that
they complement each other in just about every way. Maybe, just maybe, it’s
what Dragon had planned. After all, the president of the SHMC is sort of crafty
like that.



“Tiffany, what’s wrong?” I heard Nik say distantly, but my
adrenaline was spiking and I was already moving.
“I’ll call you back, I think he’s here.”
“What?” Nik demanded sharply.
“Go now, Tiff, my office,” Alan said gently and I went.
“Alan’s sending me to his office, Zeke’s handling it at the
front. I’m okay for now,” I told Nik. Despite Alan trying to keep me calm, my
heart was pounding. I almost didn’t register what Nik said.
“I’m on my way, just do what your boss says.”
“I am,” I told him, but I was talking to the empty air, Nik
was already gone.
I clattered up the back stairs in my stripper heels and kicked
the door to Alan’s office closed and turned the lock. I figured it was his
office and he had the key. The space was small, and a bank of windows
overlooked the floor below. It was all right, though. They were mirrors on the
outside and you could only see inside at very specific angles. If I sat at the
desk in front of the windows and ducked down a bit behind the monitors, I would
be invisible so that’s precisely what I did. I sat at Alan’s desk, heart
pounding, stomach curdling, and kept bouncing my gaze back and forth between
the cameras on the monitors and out the window at the floor below.
Zeke was on camera, out front, hands raised and pushing down
in his classic ‘calm the fuck down, I’m trying to explain something to you’
pose. Alan stood back, beside the bar, his cell phone pressed to his ear,
nodding and speaking occasionally into it.
My heart thudded painfully in my chest as someone outside the
camera’s range swung on Zeke, in a flash, out of nowhere, and Zeke went
crashing to the ground out like a light. Silas strode forward into the camera’s
view and then, through the front door, larger than life and screaming at the
top of his lungs. Dancers stopped, patrons stood up, and Alan walked calmly
I couldn’t hear anything. There was nothing to hear, the
office up here was so well insulated and soundproofed only the dullest thumping
of the music’s bass beat made it through. I swallowed hard as Silas stopped
just outside Alan’s reach and Alan waved him forward with a broad sweep of his
“What are you doing?” I asked, and realized he was taking
Silas on a tour, either to get him out or to buy time for whoever he had been
on the phone with to get here. I knew Nik would make it. I knew he would be
here, I just didn’t know when, and with how fast and how hard Silas had knocked
Zeke out? I didn’t know if I wanted Nik to square off with him.
I was suddenly very afraid for my lover and biker bodyguard.
I followed Silas and Alan from camera to camera but kept
glancing back to Zeke who was sitting up now and rubbing his jaw. My chest
loosened with a bit of relief at that and I still couldn’t believe that Silas
had gotten the drop on him like that. Zeke was good at his job and I’d seen him
handle himself in more than a few fights before.
The phone in my hand buzzed and I answered it without looking,
Indistinct club noise came through the line and voices, hard
to make out. I looked at the screen and realized Alan had dialed me.
“What’s up there?” I heard Silas demand.
“My office.”
I got up and looked around and finally had to settle for
ducking into his bathroom up here. I stepped into the shower and pulled the
curtain, holding the phone to my chest as I heard the door being messed with
out front.
I held my breath and ended the call, fighting with the phone
to silence the ringer just in case.
“I told you, there’s no one up here,” I heard Alan declare.
“We have no dancer by that name at this club. Now, as I told you downstairs,
the police have been notified about you striking my bouncer. You can clearly
see there is no one up here, so please leave.”
I heard the bathroom door swing wide and bounce against the
wall and the fear swarmed over my skin, sweat standing out along my spine under
the short, light silk robe Alan had gifted me after my first year here. He did
things like that on all of the girls’ anniversaries.
“Fine,” Silas grated. “But I don’t believe you. What is it?
Her night off or something?”
“I swear to you, there’s no ‘Tiffany’ here.” Alan maintained.
“I find out you’re lying to me, I’m coming back here and
burning this place to the fucking ground with you in it.”
Their voices receded and I squeezed my eyes shut, hot tears
tracking down my face. All he’d needed to do to find me had been to pull back
the curtain. He just hadn’t thought to do it. Dumb luck on my part? Who knew?
All I did know was that he was going or gone and I found myself choking on a
silent scream that I would not let out from behind my teeth.
I slid down the wall onto my butt against the cold tile and shuddered,
sweat slick against my palms where I clutched my phone with both of them over
my heart, like it would protect me or something. The blood rushed in my ears
and when the curtain jerked back I screamed and cringed but it was Zeke that
knelt down, a purple knot swelling on his jawline. He put his hands on mine and
said, “Easy, Tiff! Easy it’s just me.”
“Is he gone?” I cried and a hand fell onto Zeke’s shoulder.
Zeke jumped and turned but immediately relaxed and got out of the way of our
boss who knelt down in front of me.
“He’s gone,” Alan assured me.
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure, I’m so sorry. I had to get him out of here. You did
great.” He patted my cheek, the side without the mask, and he looked sorry.






In The Series


Melody Beswick thought she was
bringing herself and her thirteen month old son home to his father. It was her
last ditch effort to make a better life for her and her boy. One in which Noah
had a father to look up to and guide him. While she knew Grinder wasn’t perfect,
she believed in him, and love always found a way, right?
Melody never thought her dreams for herself and her son could twist into such
nightmares, and that it was so true, the old adage, that the road to hell is
paved with good intentions. She’s about to find out that another adage is true,
that sometimes it’s better the devil you know, when instead of finding Grinder,
it’s his cold and critical brother Archer at the end of her long drive that she
must contend with.

With no other options, and no place else to go, Melody is about to make a deal
with this devil that she can’t refuse. Who knew it could, quite possibly, be
the best decision she’s ever made?

Fate introduces people at both the right and the wrong times…
So it is for Maren on the absolute worst day imaginable. When all hope was gone, and she was whittled away to little more than tears and despair, up walks Nox, an unlikely hero to save the day. Maren is about to discover that sometimes the good guys wear black, and there are times that the lines between good and evil blur beyond recognition.
Nox is a bad man with a heart of gold, or so it seems. It also seems that Maren has captured that heart with her wide, tear filled brown eyes. Nox never saw himself going for jailbait before, but that’s just what Maren is, all woman trapped in a seventeen year old package. Still, what he wouldn’t do for her, including taking on the unlikely role of keeper to her unruly preteen brother.
This mess could end beautifully or in some serious time spent behind bars for Nox, but sometimes, it’s worth risking it all.

Rush had always been the brother that was the most up for adventure. Then Grinder died and he realized that it was time to slow down. Fast-forward by a year and more and his older brother Archer had found Mel. Hell, his own twin was with a woman of his own! Rush is starting to get restless again, which was just perfect. Cue a string of anonymous hook-ups and one night stands. It was enough to feed the restlessness for a while, then an adventure of sorts came a callin’ by way of the VP’s estranged aunt and the President’s sister-in-law.
Her daughter was in need of some kind of white knight, which Rush could care less about, but the white knight routine did come with a pretty big perk. It would mean that he got to go back to a job that had, once upon a time, felt like a calling.
Of course, nothing was ever easy where Rush was concerned, especially when he actually set eyes on the damsel in distress. One, she wasn’t some paper princess, and two, she definitely didn’t want him around. After all, one-night hook-ups were supposed to be just that… one and done.
 Reckless, dangerous, and out of control; these are the words most often applied to the SHMC’s brother Duracell. Which is why no one can understand what the deal is between him and Blue. Blue is none of those things; if anything he’s quiet, shy, and as mild-mannered as they come. There’s no balance between these two yet they are inexplicably a team. Then Blue gets a single look at Hayley, and it’s all it takes for him to know she’s their third.

Is Hayley the woman for them? A match for Blue sure, but strong enough to withstand the bizarre tempest of Cell’s personality? The two MC brothers have set their sights on the waitress and have been patiently feeling her out. Now it’s time to take the next step and see if she’s indeed able to date the both of them.

She’ll either bring balance to the boys, or Cell’s pull will knock them all off balance and send them crashing, burning them all out before anything can even fully ignite.


Data has always been the quiet brother on the fringes of the club. Always there when you need him, but never quite fully engaged. That’s because he’s been harboring a secret. Long before he joined the club, he had a friend who meant the world to him; she disappeared, prompting Data to search for her… he’s been looking ever since.
A mysterious message appears on an internet forum:
Does anyone remember Amalia Rose?


Of course he does, and he will stop at nothing to get her back. His secret is out, and life is about to change for everyone in some surprising ways.



Check out the Sacred Hearts MC from the very beginning…
Kobo   Smashwords    B&N   iTunes
A.J. Downey is a born and raised
Seattle, WA Native. She finds inspiration from her surroundings, through the
people she meets and likely as a byproduct of way too much caffeine.
She has lived many places and
done many things though mostly through her own imagination… An avid reader all
of her life it’s now her turn to try and give back a little, entertaining as
she has been entertained.
Media Links
If  you want the easy button
digest, as well as a bunch of exclusive content you can’t get anywhere else,
sign up for her mailing list right here.


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Title: “Unforgiving”

Series: Broken Deeds MC #4

Author: Esther E. Schmidt

Cover Design: Esther E. Schmidt

Cover model: Golden Czermak

Photographer: FuriousFotog

Release: February 14, 2018

Buy links:


When you’re on the run from danger that has caught up to you, there’s no way in hell you will pass on a helping hand. Especially one that comes from a handsome, friendly biker who gives you a chance to catch your breath and even offers to take on the danger you’re facing so you won’t have to stand alone.

There are so many people on this planet, yet ultimately it’s a small world. Lives cross and blood will flow. Will the foundation of family cause blindness for what’s hiding in plain sight? Trust, friendship, and love cut deep but what happens when one could leave you bleeding to death? Family can lift you up or drag you down. But what if the ones who are supposed to have your back, are the ones you begin to question?

Add to goodreads:


For a greater reading experience:

#1 books2read.com/Deeds

#2 books2read.com/Broke

#3 books2read.com/Depay

#4 books2read.com/Unforgiving

Power Play: 39 Juniper Court (The Juniper Court Series) by #LainieSuzanne


Power Play: 39 Juniper Court (The Juniper Court Series)

Publication Date: February 21, 2018

Power Play – The Juniper Court Series

Lainie Suzanne




If Fifty is the new Thirty, then Nina Sullivan is today’s pin-up girl. Blessed with good genes, she’s keeping the crow’s feet and laugh lines at bay, maximizing her youthful appearance. But, factor in her lackluster sex life and she’s pushing a hundred.


In the early years of their marriage, Nina and Sully consumed each other with raw, carnal passion. And then one by one, year by year, their children snuffed out the burning flames.


Now that the kids have flown the nest, Nina is ready to douse the simmering embers of her marriage with her naughty fantasies and a little kink.


Buy Link – https://books2read.com/u/mqpoDd

Kindle- Nook- iTunes – Kobo





I step in front of the full-length mirror to get a passing glance before heading out the door. Though my outfit is very appropriate for the office, it’s boring. I could blend in with the walls. I don’t want to blend in.  I want to stand out.  Turn heads.  Particularly, Sully’s. I want to look like a sexy siren. I want to tempt him into bending me over his desk for hard pounding.

People always ask what it’s like to work with your husband every day. The truth is, we rarely see each other during the day. Sully’s out on job sites most days. But today, he will be coming to the office to turn in payroll hours and expense reports. I still haven’t convinced him to do this digitally, which aggravates me to no end. But today, I will use his antiquated procedures to my advantage.

Rifling back through my closet, I select my black pencil skirt. I pair it with a white oxford shirt, unbuttoned down the front until the red lace of my bra peeks out from the sides. Sliding into my red, fuck me heels, I barely recognize the woman in the mirror staring back at me. She looks like a sex kitten.

Time to make my kitty purr.





The Juniper Court Series


7 Houses, 7 Authors, 7 Different Stories




Project Paradise by Phoebe Alexander

The New Neighbor by Isabelle Peterson

Then Again by Sylvie Stewart

Power Play by Lainie Suzanne

Relationship Resuscitation by Jennifer Theriot

The Knock by Emme Burton

Unexpected Love by Vicki Green



#WednesdayShare 103

The New Neighbor

♥️ 🏳️‍🌈 ⚣ New Release!! ⚣ 🏳️‍🌈 ♥️

The New Neighbor (The Juniper Court Series)

by Isabelle Peterson

Have you ever wondered what’s going on in your neighbor’s homes?

Welcome to Juniper Court, 7 books about 7 homes written by 7 authors all taking place on 1 cul-de-sac.

From Sweet to Swingers…
From LGBT to BDSM…
It’s happening behind closed doors on Juniper Court



The New Neighbor

by Isabelle Peterson
🏳️‍🌈 ⚣


Six months after Erik Beckett’s short-lived marriage from his husband, he’s found it hard to move on. Erik’s colleague, Kyle Murphy, convinces him that he should move out of the condo he shared with his ex. Erik takes Kyle’s advice and finds the perfect house in a quiet neighborhood on Juniper Court.
Kyle Murphy isn’t proud of it, but he’s in the closet to everyone, even his family. In fact, he’s always portrayed himself as a ladies man. However, Kyle has had a thing for Erik since they first met. He’s just been waiting for the right time. When Kyle comes out to Erik, Erik doesn’t know what to make of it.
With Erik in his new home and away from the memories of his failed marriage, is the time now? But, with their history, would Erik ever think of Kyle in ‘that way’? And what would the neighbors think?
The New Neighbor is part of The Juniper Court Series. Learn more about the books and their authors on our website: www.junipercourtseries.com.


**This book is intended for mature audiences 18+.

What are ARC readers saying about The New Neighbor?

Here’s what’s already up on Goodreads!




Want a sneak peek?  Enjoy this excerpt!

The New Neighbor
by Isabelle Peterson
© 2018
Around three, we were finally done and collapsed on the sofa, but seeing all we’d accomplished, I felt rejuvenated. Kyle and I busted our asses and looking around, I couldn’t have been more excited. Happy. Content. I was home. The possibilities felt endless. Kyle was so right about me moving out of the condo.
Then I remembered my new hoop.
“Still up for a game of one-on-one?” I asked. I was tired, but I couldn’t wait to give the hoop a go.
“Really? I mean, I don’t wanna cut into your time, like if you have a girl on deck for tonight. It is Saturday,” I taunted.
“Nope. No girlfriend.” He looked at me a little oddly, like he was trying to read me about something, then added, “Not had one of those in… um… ever?”
I laughed at his reply. Kyle was always chasing skirts. What could he have meant with his comment?
“A boyfriend then?” I tried. The thought made me laugh harder. Every time we’d ever been out, Kyle was hitting on the ladies. Not even subtly. He was the ‘office player.’
Noting the seriousness in Kyle’s eyes, I stopped laughing and apologized. He looked me straight in the eye then barely louder than a whisper he said, “Evan and I broke up about three months ago.”
It was like a needle went skidding across the top of a vinyl record.
I was stunned.
“Oh,” was all I could seem to say. I mean… What? Kyle? Gay? No way. All he ever did was brag about the ‘ladies.’ But he just confessed that he had been dating a guy. Someone named Evan. What do I do with this new information?
All my laughter seemed—horrifying. Here Kyle had just revealed something enormous, and I had been laughing. Then a massive wave of holy shit! rolled over me. My earlier thoughts about him during the day as I watched his strong thighs and back… The ease at which we got along… I took in the man before me—strong, confident, and sexy as hell—and my brain felt like it was short-circuiting.
Realizing that I’d let his confession go without any response, and I was just standing there like some sort of ninny, I finally found my voice and said,  “Cool,” giving him my best reassuring smile. “So, no attachments right now. Let’s play.”
We headed outside and after a few practice shots fell into a game of one-on-one. We were playing for maybe twenty minutes, but I was too distracted to play well at all.
Kyle was gay.
I’d never thought of him in that way, and now that I knew, it was all I could think about. How great we get along together, how he was smart, and clever, and funny, and into sports, and interested in traveling the world… How he checked all the ‘boxes.’
Then again, we worked together. He had a no-dating-at-work policy. It was something I’d never even considered, but I’d never thought about dating anyone I work with. I’d heard the nightmares of spoiled office romances.
“Time out,” Kyle called. “Dyin’ out here. Too hot.” Because it was now late in the afternoon, coupled with the start of summer, it was pretty hot out. Before long, Kyle and I had both worked up quite a sweat, not to mention that thinking of Kyle was making things even hotter.
“Maybe that’s why your game is shit,” Kyle suggested with a laugh. But it was no laughing matter when he pulled off his shirt. Holy Sweet Dancing Babies. Kyle was ripped. Pecs. Biceps. And not a six-pack, but an eight-pack! The sight shot right to my groin.
Needless to say, this game was over for me. I had been finding it difficult to concentrate before. Now with a growing boner, I was done for. I wondered if I would have had the same reaction had I not known that Kyle was gay… and looked like that? 


#GayRomance #ContemporaryRomance #FriendsToLovers 
>>>  GET YOUR COPY NOW!   books2read.com/NewNeighbor 

About the Author

Isabelle Peterson


Isabelle Peterson is a Chicago suburbs girl living in Connecticut enjoying days in New York City. Her Dream Series was never intended to exist. Thanks to a couple authors who dared her to a write book (when she typically wrote screenplays), we got the book Ditching the Dream, which then evolved into the Dream Series. This first book didn’t take more than 8 months to complete the dare from rough draft to published, with several times rescuing the draft from the deleted file. 

With the Dream Series, a collection of 6 books, now complete and available, 245 Days (another M/M Romance standalone novel),  and now The New Neighbor, Isabelle continues work on several standalone novels to be released over the next couple of years. 

Visit her on www.isabellepeterson.com or on facebook www.facebook.com/isabellekpeterson


Rock & Regrets (Reckless Release Book 2) by #CassandraLawson


Rock & Regrets (Reckless Release Book 2)

Publication Date: February 16, 2018

♬´¯`♬ ★ #Rock&RegretsNewRelease ★ ♬´¯`♬ ★
#Rock&Regrets by #CassandraLawson is now LIVE and #Free to read with #KindleUnlimited!
Grab this hot #RockStarRomance today!

★Buy Links★

Amazon http://amzn.to/2C2hcR4

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2F5hDsl

Amazon AU http://amzn.to/2HmK3yL

Amazon CA http://amzn.to/2C2Rz2o

Title: Rock & Regrets

Series: Reckless Release #2

Author: Cassandra Lawson | @Author_C_Lawson

Genre: Rock Star Romance

Release Date: February 16

Add to your TBR: http://bit.ly/2o1iNhl



At sixteen, I dreamed of fairy-tale endings and living happily ever after with Austin Knight. I was a fool! Austin was no Prince Charming. Rather than sweeping me off my feet, he broke my heart.

That was fourteen years ago, and I am completely over Austin. He is in my past, and that’s where he’s going to stay. At least, that’s what I thought until he moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area. Now, he’s determined to win me over. It won’t work. I will not think about how good Austin looks playing the drums shirtless, or what an incredible kisser he is. All right, I might think about those things a little, but I’m definitely not going to fall for him again.


I’ve never been the guy who rides off into the sunset with the girl and makes all her dreams come true. I’ve always been the rebound guy, the one who helps rebuild a woman’s confidence after a breakup. It hasn’t been a bad gig. I got all the benefits with none of the drama. It was all I wanted until Piper walked back into my life.

She’s not ready to forgive me, and I don’t deserve a second chance. I should just leave her alone, but after seeing her smile, I can’t do that. I’m done being the rebound guy. Piper doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to do everything in my power to make her love me again. This time, I’m not letting her go.

★The Series★


#FridayShare 89

Vegan by #ErinLee



Publication Date: February 13, 2018

Vegan by Erin Lee Author
#Horror #Occult #Thriller #Tribe #CrazyInk

Following those codes can be deadly.
Not following can be worse.

Pre order now!
Release date: 2.13.18

by Erin Lee
Link: http://a.co/bWyldgM


The Ten Golden Rules: They are simple.

Do not mistake humble for weak, nor meek for frail.
Don’t confuse empathy with stupidity, or honesty with foolhardiness.
At no time underestimate the power of gratitude.
Always be appreciative and sincere.
Forever hold true the virtues of integrity and patience.
Never assume.


The Ten Rules of Karma: They are certain.

Expectations based on pretenses often come with a price tag too high for even the loftiest of egos. Arrogance is certain to find its way back to powerlessness.
Those who put themselves first always die unaided, afraid, and eventually overlooked.
Honor comes not with manipulation or forced servitude.
What you give is what you receive tenfold.
Truth is in action and intention alone.


The Word:
The meek shall inherit the earth.
Or so they said…


#TuesdayShare 101


Title:  Speedbump

Author: Charli Coty

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: February 5, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 68200

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, contemporary, bisexual, trans, genderqueer, non-binary, #ownvoices, musician, disability, drinking/some drug use, multicultural, small town, Oregon, some violence, illness/disease, Alzheimer’s

Add to Goodreads


Ezra Cook is sole caregiver to older brother Tray, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in his forties. They live outside the small town of Drop, Oregon, on property Tray bought with his Microsoft settlement money. For years, Ezra has been going on and off low doses of testosterone to maintain a comfortable level of androgyny. Ezra spends most days juggling Tray’s needs and the work required to survive in rural Oregon on a small income, ignoring their own needs, especially companionship and sleep.

Ellred “Red” Long escaped Drop at seventeen but returns to his hometown in disgrace after his band dumped him on the streets of LA. Coming back doesn’t seem like such a dead end, though, after he sees a guy walking along the side of the road in the rain and gives him a lift.

Ezra and Red’s chance meeting begins an uncomfortable friendship neither had expected, and both allow fear to keep it from escalating into a hookup, or worse, a romance. Red never meant to return to Drop and doesn’t want to get stuck there again, while Ezra’s protective walls may be too strong to breach, from either side.


Charli Coty © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

It had been a while since the last time a moving vehicle hit me, but I wasn’t in the mood to take chances. The night was dark—no moon and only a smattering of stars peeking between the clouds. At least the rain had finally stopped. The county road I was walking along was flat, but I’d just passed a turn when headlights flashed behind me, coming up fast. A blind turn the locals had been known to straighten now and then, especially when the weekend and low visibility coincided.

I ran toward the neighbor’s patched fence, toward safety in the form of a boulder guarding the apex of the turn, hoping whoever sat behind the wheel didn’t mean to run me down. The way my luck was going that night, with the unexpected rain and Granddad’s truck quitting, it surprised me when the car stopped and I was still standing upright.

The GTO—the 1964 stock GTO that I knew to be deep purple but looked black right then—rocked gently and then settled. It rocked again when he leaned across the seat to roll the window down. Even if he’d seen my truck, he wouldn’t know who I was. He’d left town before we moved here, and only one thing about me is at all noteworthy anyway. Everyone knew the day he’d come back to town. Red Richardson—also known as Ellred Long, the name he got the day he was born. Back from Los Angeles where he’d never really made it, but he’d come close enough to be a Big Man in this little backwash town of five hundred (give or take). What he was doing so far off the highway or any of the main roads, I had no clue.

“Hey,” he shouted. Even only hearing him shout, you couldn’t help but know the man could sing. “Let me give you a lift. It’s starting to rain again.”

Slowly, to give myself time to figure out what was going on, I approached the passenger side of the car. I didn’t want to get in—that was trouble waiting to happen if I’d ever seen it—but I wasn’t looking forward to walking for another two hours either. I bent and looked in the window, a safe four feet between me and the car. A blast of warm air hit my face, and I tried not to look too hard at him. He always wore nice button-down shirts, in videos or going to the Mini Mart in Drop—jewel-tone red, purple, black—that looked like silk.

“Where are you headed?”

“Nowhere. Just out driving.”

Even in the dark, I could see his brilliant smile. He probably paid good money for that whiteness. I couldn’t see his long black hair or whether he was clean-shaven or had that short patch of beard he sometimes wore on his chin, but the smile did me in on its own.

“Where are you headed out here on foot in the middle of the night?” Red asked.

“Home.” A few steps closer won’t hurt. Maybe. “My truck quit a mile back.”

“The white International? That’s a shame. Cool old truck.”

We stared at each other another minute, sizing up the situation, and then he reached across and opened the door. He saw a dirty guy, obviously the one who’d filled the bed of said truck with firewood. A filthy, wet, and tired guy who only wanted to get home.

He has no idea.

I brushed off my pants as best I could and slid onto the seat. “Thanks. I’m up the road a couple of miles.”

Red Richardson extended a hand and introduced himself. As though he needed to tell anyone who lived within a fifty-mile radius who he was. I gripped his hand for as short a time as I could get away with and nodded.

“Ezra. Ezra Cook.”

“Good to meet you, Ezra Cook.” Red looked me over, and I could’ve sworn he was wondering how much trouble he could whip up for the both of us. If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought he wanted me to pay for the ride with a blow job. Or maybe he was only trying to figure out who I was related to.

That would take a very long time and end the same way as his music career: in disappointment.

I adjusted myself on the seat, pulling my filthy jeans lower across my hips and turning said hips away from him. He shouldn’t be flirting with men, and if he kept it up, I wasn’t above pointing that out. He could get himself killed doing that out here.

Red cleared his throat and gunned the engine. It sounded amazing. His father and brothers had kept the car on the road, probably figured he’d never be back to claim it. Probably prayed he’d never come back to claim it. That GTO was the nicest ride in three towns. Or maybe I liked the whole package—the sexy washed-up musician driving a fifty-year-old muscle car.

He pulled back onto the road, his headlights illuminating a whole lot of nothing in front and to both sides. The silence stretched out too long, something that wouldn’t have bothered me any other time or place.

“You’ll see a big red mailbox on the right.”

Red chuckled. A quiet rumbling, tuned to perfection like the car. “Your folks live out here long?”

That got my hackles up, but no sense in going down that road. “No. We moved to Drop in the early aughts.”

He darted a look in my direction—at least that’s what it probably started out as. Red couldn’t tear his eyes off me, which should’ve felt more like trouble than it did. Denial. It’ll get you every time.

“Aughts? What’s that?”

“You know. The first decade of the twenty-first century. Aught one, aught two…” When I realized I’d actually been speaking to him like he was anyone else—like we were two regular guys in a car, nothing unusual, nothing out of the ordinary to see here—I caught my tongue between my teeth and bit down. Not hard, I’m no masochist, just hard enough to remember why I should shut the hell up.

“How old are you?” He chuckled again. Damn him. “My father says that, but I didn’t think anyone under sixty used that term.”

“We’re all old out here.”

“Interesting. Because I’ve always heard the opposite. About me, anyway.”


“That I’m immature. A hopeless man-child.” He laughed and took one hand off the wheel. My attention fixed on that hand as he rubbed his thigh and then gripped it. His laugh sounded embarrassed and like he was bragging at the same time. I needed to get out of that car before I got myself in trouble.

“You can drop me anywhere. I don’t want to put you out.”

“I’ll take you home. It’s no trouble.”

Red rubbed the thigh of his jeans again, maybe to dry a sweaty palm, and then returned his hand to the wheel. His concentration seemed to focus on driving and the road outside the windshield instead of on me. Disappointing, but for the best. Even if he did keep flirting—if that was really what he’d been doing—it wasn’t like it would have gone anywhere. Rock stars didn’t get involved with…people like me.

I’d just raised my hand to point out the mailbox when he slowed to take the turn. His cocky grin made me want to adjust my pants again, but I was afraid we’d end up in the ditch if I did. Red roared down the half-mile stretch of dirt and gravel that passed for our road but stopped the car without making any ruts. He might be cocky, but he was no asshole.

Great. I’d sort of hoped he was.

He stopped in the turnaround near the front porch, and before I could even say thanks, the front door burst open. My brother stormed out and didn’t stop, yelling at the top of his lungs about something. All he wore were battered and ripped jeans—the hair on his head and chest looked white in Red’s headlights and wild like he’d been asleep on the couch. His enormous feet were bare. I jumped out before the car had stopped rocking.

“It’s me—Ezra,” I shouted over him. “Tray, the truck broke down, and Red here gave me a lift home.”

Tracy stopped and glared at the car, both hands locked in fists. He didn’t move or say another word, which was probably for the best considering he’d been woken up by headlights to find out I hadn’t made it home.

I closed the car door and looked at Red through the open window. “Thanks for the ride.”

“You going to be okay?” He looked between Tracy and me a couple of times. Clearly, he thought the answer was no.

“Yeah. It’s my brother. The car must’ve woke him up. We don’t get a lot of traffic back here, that’s all. Thanks again.” I stepped back and gave him a little wave. When he didn’t head out right away, I took Tray’s arm and started up the porch steps. Tracy didn’t make it any easier—he twisted at the waist to look back, no doubt trying to figure out who was crazy enough to drive down his road. Even FedEx and UPS had Tracy Cook’s place listed as a no-fly zone, so we had to drive over an hour into Portland to pick up any packages. When we got any packages, which didn’t happen much.

Nobody would’ve sent any presents to the Cooks’ two black sheep, even if they had found us again.


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Meet the Author

Charli Coty misspent a large chunk of her youth on the back of a Harley, meeting people and having adventures that sometimes pop up in their fiction. Mx Coty writes everything from contemporary to paranormal, always with a happy ending. Charli has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

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Whiskey River


Title: Whiskey River
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: February 10, 2018
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Within a tough city girl beats the untamed heart of a wild spirit…

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Black Light: Roulette Redux (Black Light Series Book 7)


Black Light: Roulette Redux (Black Light Series Book 7)


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