Release Tour

Title: Hold Me
Series: Music for the Heart – Book 1
Author: Faith Starr
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 30, 2018
Joey has a knack for writing songs that make women swoon. It’s no wonder his band, Steam, is burning up the alternative charts.
Teva is into her studies and career. She has no time for romance or the drama that comes along with it. Until she lays eyes on Joey at a meet and greet contest her friend won.
Sparks fly between Joey and Teva. 
One night of fun with a rock star wouldn’t hurt anybody. Would it? 
It might if the sparks don’t fizzle out like Joey and Teva anticipate. 
How can two people who live completely different lives make a relationship work? Is their passion enough to withstand the pressures of fame, distance, family-struggles, and possible career changes?
Hold Me is Book One in the Music For The Heart Series. All books in the series can be read as standalones but are best read in sequence. All of Faith Starr’s books have Happily Ever After endings.
 
*Note to Reader: This book contains sensitive material and adult themes. It is recommended for those over 18

JOEY’S POV
“The show was incredible. Thank you again for all you’ve done for us tonight. Highly unnecessary but greatly appreciated.”“The night’s not over yet.” The words sort of just slipped out of my mouth. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from her. God, her skin was like porcelain. The touch of makeup she wore only highlighted the sapphire twinkle in her eyes, and the soft shade of pink lipstick filled out her full lips. Fuck, she was ten times prettier up close. A natural beauty, to say the least.

 

 

 

TEVA’S POV
Joey studied me. “I see the wheels turning in your head.”
“You don’t know me well enough to see the wheels turning.” I kept my voice calm, trying not to act defensive.
“And you don’t know me well enough to make judgments about my character based on generalizations you have preset in your mind.”
He caught me off guard with his brilliant insight. “You’re right. You’ve impressed me yet again.”
“Again? You mean I’ve been working my ass off to impress you, only to find out I didn’t need to try?”
“Not in the way you think.” I smiled.

 
 
MEET FAITH STARR
When I’m not managing my husband’s medical practice or taking care of things for one of my three kids, I love writing romance fiction.
There is absolutely nothing like getting into the minds of my characters, bringing them to life, and giving them a life of their own with all the emotions that go along with it. I am swept away, head over heels in love, with each and every alpha male I create and the confident women who steal their hearts.
Being a romantic at heart, with a bit of a dirty mind, I relish creating stories that touch upon readers’ heartstrings, provoke thought, and hopefully provide a bit of insight into some heavy topics.
 
Being married for over twenty-two years ─ holy cow, how time flies ─ I honestly believe in “Once Upon a Time” and “Happily Ever After” endings because I found mine. Aww, I know, so mushy. But that’s me, a softie with a big heart. A bit of a nut too.
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Release Tour

Title: Maz 
Series: Westside Skulls MC Book 6
Author: Jessie Cooke
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2018
 
Maz always knew he wasn’t the best-looking guy in the room, but he was okay with that. He was big and tough, and he fitted right in with his brothers at the Westside Skulls. He loved his job there as an enforcer. He came from a good family, and despite some struggles overcoming feelings of abandonment he had from being left by his biological mother when he was just a baby, he really had nothing to complain about…except that he was lonely. Being average-looking wasn’t what kept Maz lonely. He didn’t need the piercing blue eyes of Dax Marshall or the smoldering dark good looks of his club’s SA Bruf. He attracted many women…he had a secret weapon. Maz’s first language was French, and American women were drawn to his accent. Maz could take almost any woman in the room home with him if he wanted to…but his other secret was what made him so lonely. Maz had the anatomy of a porn star, and one look at his equipment sent most women scrambling for the door. He’d almost given up on finding a woman who would fall in love with him and be able to handle him in bed as well, when Marissa walked into his life.
 

 

Marissa spent most of her adult life taking care of her diabetic mother and she wasn’t looking for anything other than a plane ticket to the East Coast and time to travel, when Maz came into her life. She tried to deny it, but the chemistry was much too overwhelming and the two of them clicked, over almost everything…most especially in bed. Marissa was certain she’d found her soulmate and Maz seemed to think the same thing too…until suddenly he left town, taking an assignment for his club two thousand miles away that might not see him making it home.

 

 

 

 

Marissa wants to know why Maz ran. Maz doesn’t want to know the old family secret he discovered. Will the star-crossed lovers find their way back to each other…or will the explosive secret Maz now holds in his hands, destroy them both and take down two families in the process?

 

 

 

 

* * *

 

 

Book 6 in the Westside Skulls MC Series. 

 


This is a Standalone Romance Novel but characters from this story, will appear in future books in the series.

 

 

HEA and No cliffhanger.

 

 

Intended for Mature Readers.

 

 

 

 

* * *

 

 

The Westside Skulls MC Series is about members of the MC club, their friends and associates. 

 


Each story, while focused around one main character, is not necessarily about a Westside Skulls club member, but the story is related to Skulls members and the club.

 

 


 
 
“Oh, fuck no! No way. You’re not touching me with that thing! Jesus, you need to find yourself a porn star if you want a woman to touch that.” Chelsea scrambled off the bed as if maybe Maz had pulled out a rat, or a snake. Of course, that was what he’d named it, the snake. She was staring at him from across the room now with her chest heaving and her big blue eyes filled with fear. Maz was disappointed, but not surprised. He had hoped this one would be different, but he’d been disappointed so many times before that he was used to it.Maz had only just met Chelsea a few hours before in a club that he’d found on his way back from a ride to Merced. He’d gone to pick something up for Wolf, and Wolf had given him extra cash for a motel room so that he didn’t have to make the ride in one day. The club was downstairs from his room and he could hear the music booming as soon as he’d walked into the lobby earlier. He’d taken a shower and left his kutte in his hotel room before going downstairs with one thing on his mind. Maz was proud to be a part of the Westside Skulls, but sometimes the colors got people all worked up…and tonight he didn’t want to fight, he wanted…no, scratch that, he needed…to fuck.

For the past month and a half Maz had been embroiled in an exclusive and intensely unsatisfying relationship with his right hand. He needed hot flesh, someone else’s flesh. He needed curves and big breasts in his face. He needed a tight, wet pussy wrapped around his cock…and he was hoping tonight he could find that.

He walked into the loud, dark club and took a seat at the bar. The club was so crowded that Maz could hardly hear himself think. He’d only been there a few minutes when a fifty-something blonde with a nice body sat next to him and started talking. He was only able to make out every fourth or fifth word she was saying, but that was okay with him, he wasn’t there for the titillating conversation. He smiled at her and nodded in what he hoped were the right places. She seemed interested in him, which was a good thing, and she was sober, which was even better. Yep…unless she had a dick underneath that short dress she was wearing, she’d do just fine…he hoped.

“So, then I moved to California!” She was suddenly yelling in his ear and he realized the loud music had stopped. She giggled. “Oh, I’m sorry. I probably broke your eardrum.”

Maz smiled. He wasn’t movie star good-looking like Ash, or mysterious and overly masculine like Wolf…or even sulky and dark like Sledge. He was simply average, in his opinion. He was the kind of guy that most women could pass on the street and not be able to pick out of a lineup twenty minutes later. But he could work with that, thanks to his beloved maman.

“My eardrum is just fine, belle femme.” The blonde’s eyes widened, and he saw her go from semi-interested to full-on lust in seconds. His accent was his secret weapon.

When he was a year and a half old, his dad had married a French woman. She had moved to New Orleans earlier, seeking a new life after having her heart broken in Paris. Maz’s father had been there to pick up the pieces. His stepmother Elise turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to Maz and his father. The baby boy had been abandoned by his mother and left with a father who loved him but had no idea what to do with a baby. Maz’s aunt told him stories when he got older about how frightened his father was to even touch him when he was little. She lived on the West Coast, and they lived in New Orleans, and Maz’s father would routinely call her at 2 a.m., begging her to fly out and help him. He’d tried and tried to hire a live-in nanny, but every time the applicants found out that he was a single father, they disappeared. Maz’s dad was a big guy…huge, as a matter of fact…so the women’s reluctance to move into his home with him was understandable, but to Maz’s detriment.

By the time his father met Elise, Maz was grossly overweight, not talking at all, and barely walking. Elise had stepped in and taken over, and within a year she had the boy off the bottle, slimmed down to a healthy weight, running, not just walking…and talking up a storm. Of course, his father couldn’t understand a word he said, because he was talking in French. He’d had to learn English as his second language when he started school and it had left him with a strong accent, one that women adored.

“What a lovely accent,” she said. “French?”

“Oui.” She actually shuddered. Yeah, this one was definitely interested…at least for now.

“What’s your name?” she asked.

“Maz, what’s yours?”

“Maz…I’ve never heard that before. Is it French?”

“Oui,” he lied. His name was Zane Zimmerman. The guys in the club had renamed him Maz and he liked it. Zane was too connected to his past, and he was happy to leave it there.

“I’m Chelsea.”

Maz lifted her hand off the bar and brought it to his lips. “Honore de vous rencontrer belle.” He could feel the heat coming off her body as her face flushed, and she let out a little gasp and he knew he had her. Only one drink later and a quick spin around the dance floor, where he was careful to keep his hardening cock from brushing up against her, he had her back up in his room and the little skirt around her ankles.

He was sitting on the bed, still fully clothed, and he had her standing in front of him…gloriously naked. For an older woman, she had a smoking hot body, and his cock was aching. He reached up with one hand and hooked it behind her head, pulling her down in a deep, sexy kiss. She moaned into his mouth and when she broke the kiss and stood, she put her hands in his curly black hair and pulled his face to her breasts. He began to feast hotly on them, licking her smooth flesh and nibbling on her nipples. She liked it when he used the sides of his teeth to scrape along the outside of the nipple, judging by the moans and soft curses escaping from her lips. He reached between her legs as he suckled on her other nipple and found her sopping-wet pussy. He began to stroke it lightly, up and down her puffy lips, lightly skimming her clit from time to time and making her whimper. He kissed his way from her breasts down her belly, licking around her bellybutton as she pushed his head down lower.

He could feel her getting wetter while he stroked her and just before his mouth reached her mound, he slid a finger up inside of her. She cried out and arched her back so that her pelvis was tipped in his direction. He pushed another calloused finger up inside of her. She was fucking tight, and as excited as that thought made him, he knew it also didn’t bode well for how the rest of the night might go. He shook that thought off when his tongue reached her mound and he could smell her sex and how badly she wanted him.

He stood up and deftly avoided her hand, which was reaching toward the massive bulge in his jeans. He wasn’t ready to find out just yet what she was going to think of it. He nudged her down so she was sitting on the bed and then, dropping to his knees, he picked up her legs and threw them over his broad shoulders. She cried out as soon as his face descended on her pussy. Her hands went to her breasts as she lifted her hips even higher to meet his mouth and she twisted, pinched, and pulled on her own nipples. Maz let his tongue come out and he licked her from one end of her beautiful, smooth pussy to the other. She took her right hand off her breast and reached down and used it to open up her lips to him. One thing he did love about older women…they weren’t shy about their bodies. They knew what they wanted, what they liked…and they went for it.

Maz opened his mouth and covered the entire opening of her pussy with it. He began to lick at the sensitive skin on the insides of her lips, probing her opening with his tongue, teasing her. She moved her left hand down too and with that one she wrapped his hair around her fingers and pushed his face in even deeper. He moved it back and forth, tickling her with the light stubble on his chin. She was breathing heavily and making loud noises. He didn’t care if the whole floor heard them; if she let him fuck her, he was sure it wouldn’t be quiet. It was going to be quick and he wasn’t going to be gentle…he knew that already, simply because he needed it so fucking badly.

Chelsea tightened the muscles in her legs and used them as leverage to raise her hips up and down…fucking herself against his face. He pushed his tongue up inside of her as far as it would go and pressed his nose against her engorged clit. She was getting louder and more excited, ripping at his hair so hard that he wasn’t sure he’d have any left by the time he was finished. When her body tightened up she let out a scream that was nothing but lust, and satisfaction. He felt the warm gush of her orgasm and he continued to lick and suck lightly until she began to relax and her legs, up on his shoulders, began to quiver. He lifted his head and looked at her face. She was flushed, and her eyes were dilated…she was drunk with lust…now was the time. He gently took her legs off his shoulders and lowered them, and then he stood up and pulled off his shirt. She sat up and ran her hand over the tattoo on his chest. It was a cross being held by a pair of praying hands and the words “Carpe Diem” were emblazoned across it. Maz had learned a long time ago how to seize the day, and it was one of his favorite sayings. And right then, he wanted to seize the moment.

He lay down next to her on the bed and said, “Chelsea, I want to fuck you so badly.”

She rolled over to face him and put her hands on either side of his face, pulling him in for a passionate kiss. She raised one leg and draped it over his hip and then he felt her rub herself against the front of his jeans…against his throbbing cock. That was the first sign that his night wasn’t going to end on the note he’d been hoping for. She’d looked up at his face and said, “Damn, that’s a huge bulge.”

He smiled and said, “Objects in the jeans are larger than they appear.” He thought it was funny, but all he’d gotten from her was a polite chuckle.

She moved her leg and said, “Are you going to take them off…the jeans?”

He couldn’t stall any longer, and truth be told, he didn’t want to. God, he needed to feel himself buried inside of the woman. He wouldn’t tell her, but any woman, really. He just needed to fuck, the good old-fashioned way. He unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans and when he pushed them down and she saw the top of his cock protruding from his shorts, that was when her eyes had grown wide. When he pushed down his shorts and she saw the full monte…all ten and a half extremely fat inches of him…the start of another frustratingly lonely night began.

 

Jessie Cooke writes hot romance novels about tough guys, bad boys, bikers, fighters and lovers and the women of strong character who tame them.

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Release Tour

Title: Jack of Spades: Vegas Underground
Author: Renee Rose
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 28, 2018

 

 

 

“YOU’RE AT MY MERCY NOW, AMORE.”
Sorry, bella. You got dealt the losing hand.
Witness to a crime, you’re my prisoner now.
I didn’t mean for things to happen this way,
But tying you to my bed and making you scream
Is an unexpected pleasure. A privilege, really.
And even if I did trust you, now that I’ve had a taste,
I’m not sure I’d let you go…

 

 

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR RENEE ROSE is a naughty wordsmith who writes kinky BDSM novels. Named Eroticon USA’s Next Top Erotic Author in 2013, she has also won The Romance Reviews Best Historical Romance, and Spanking Romance Reviews’ Best Sci-fi, Paranormal, Historical, Erotic, Ageplay and favorite couple and author. She’s hit #1 on Amazon in multiple categories in the U.S. and U.K., is often found on the list of Amazon’s Top Author list. She also pens BDSM stories under the name Darling Adams.

 

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Release Tour

Title: Sweet Southern Summer
Series: Georgia Peaches #3
Author: Colbie Kay & Chianti Summers
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: August 24, 2018

This summer, fireworks will explode for Cayden Fisher. 
 
Brody left his southern roots and the girl he loves for college in California, but he couldn’t stay away. He’s back and ready to get his girl, however, it won’t be as easy as he thought with another man standing in his way.
 
There’s more to Zac than what everyone sees. They all know him to be the easy going, funny guy, but they aren’t aware of the dark past that has burrowed its way deep inside. Will he ever be able to let go in order to move on? To him, Cayden only serves as a reminder of what he needs to stay far far away from, but day by day the struggle gets harder, and it’s difficult to fight his growing desire to give in to the temptation of the third sister.
 
Cayden wants Zac, but he refuses to give into her and her wicked ways. How long is a girl supposed to chase a man until she decides it’s finally time to move on? Cayden always had an easy relationship with Brody–they were friends with benefits–but she never thought of him as anything else, anything more…until now.
 
Where will her heart lie? With the man she wants, or with the man who has always wanted her?
 
In the end, who will Cayden choose?
 

Colbie Kay was born and raised in Kansas where she still resides today with her husband, kids, and their English bulldog Rubble. In 2015 she decided to give her passion of writing a go and published her first book. As an avid reader herself, Colbie loves to write her favorite genres and has so many authors that have inspired her. 
Colbie is a stay at home mom to her two wonderful kids. When she is not writing she loves to sit down with a good book and read. Loving her readers, Colbie hopes to one day meet all of you at book signings.

Chianti Summers is a military spouse, a mother, a lover of music and wine. She is also passionate about sports and that is why she pursued and obtained her degree in Sports Medicine. 

She decided to take a chance on writing in 2016. One day she would love to travel to Italy and mark it off her bucket list. Until that day comes she will continue to be taken away by reading and writing with a nice glass of wine.

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Release Tour

Title: Carbon Replacements
Series: The McAllister Justice Series #4
Author: Reily Garrett
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Release Date: September 9, 2018
Cover Designer: Rylan Killian
The killer held a knife to her throat—the ultimate decision locked within a dark and deviant gaze.
Determined and dedicated, forensic pathologist Remie Tallin validates her talent by detailing a victim’s last moments of life. Returning to Portland signified her new beginning where a psychopathic stalker designates her a pawn in a seductive game of intrigue.
 
The lines between predator and prey blur in hunting a medical genius bent on resetting the laws of nature. Evidence has never failed to point Remie in the right direction, yet conflicting discoveries mock the legal system and defy the scientific arena for clarification.
Detective McAllister’s return from leave includes a new assignment along with a partner well versed in subtle sarcasm and innuendos. Discovering the new medical examiner unconscious at the scene of a grisly murder forces him to unite with his brothers against a world of chaos where reality shifts according to a psychopath’s desire.

“Wendy, I’m t-tellin’ you, the man’s a serial killer. He has the body of a Greek God, but his mind is full of squirming maggots.” Gena stifled a sob with a shaking hand, her body wedging back against the driver’s door after twisting to face her roommate beside her. “He’s more depraved than any fucker we’ve ever crossed, and he’s going to find me.” Aftereffects of the adrenaline rush magnified tremors in her fingers and lips while increasingly shallow breaths expelled carbon dioxide faster than her body could produce it. No doubt, the by-products of dizziness, cramps, and weakness crept into her awareness. Fear-sweat on her forehead glistened from distant flashes of lightning.
“Hey, slow down. Take a deep breath. You’re new to this and easily spooked. Just because men are pigs doesn’t mean they’re murderers. Take the money he gave you and don’t see him again. Change your number. Lay low for a bit.” Wendy startled with the repetitive crash of thunder reverberating in the Honda’s dark and eerie confines. “Can I at least see what’s got your panties in a twist?” She reached for the black cloth covering her friend’s evidence only to be pushed away.
“Oh God, Wendy. I shouldn’t have dragged you and Remie out here tonight. The creep knows I’m a sophomore, but I didn’t tell him which college. I don’t want him to find either of you.”
“Shit, Gena. I may be a student, but I can take care of myself.” A note of uncertainty snaked through Wendy’s voice.
From the back seat, Remie contemplated the wind’s increasing fury, so like her own, sweeping, all encompassing, erratic. Parked along a deserted back road hours before dawn didn’t equate to a tranquil setting when listening to accusations of murder. I should’ve brought my dog. Buckeye would’ve waited in the SUV. She’d just moved back to Portland and lacked the normal discreet channels of investigation derived from time-developed working relationships. Not that I’ve figured out what the problem is yet.
Small raindrops pattering the passenger window progressed to a heavy deluge that silvered with the dashboard’s ambient light. It was a perfect night to snuggle under a blanket with a cup of cocoa and a scary book. Living the scenario brought the rancid taste of bile scalding Remie’s throat.
“Girls, you know I’m a doctor, not a cop, right? What happened to toning life down to live like normal human beings? No more adrenaline junkie. Gena, it’s not like you need the money for tuition. Jesus, if your parents knew what you were doing for thrills, it would kill them both.” Years of schooling in forensic pathology aged Remie decades in the eyes of college girls too naïve to avoid such foolish and dangerous behavior. More than ten years difference thrust her into the role of adopted mentor to the neighborhood wild child with crazy tattooed on her brain.
“Jesus. I’m so sorry, Remie. You spent a night in the hospital last week after wrecking your car. You don’t need this.” Unspoken recriminations gathered around Gena like a smoldering blanket, the flameless combustion withering her resolve.
“I’m fine. The few scrapes and bruises have already healed.”
“I figured a few tricks for kicks, no harm. It’s not like I don’t use condoms, and we’ve only done it a couple times.”
“The harm is that there are real nutjobs out there. Deranged people you do not want to meet. Trust me. I see the results of their work every day during necropsies. It’s what I do… remember?” Visions of Gena lying on a cold slab while an ME separated the upper part of her cranium to create a removable skullcap strengthened Remie’s determination to see the situation resolved.
“Roomie, what makes you think he was a killer? Did he threaten you? Did you see a gun?” Wendy laid a calming hand on her roommate’s arm. “Hell, everybody has guns these days. I’ve got a .357 stashed in my bedside table. Let some psycho come to my dorm looking for easy targets—he’ll get a hollow-point surprise.”
Gena, the cute little kid from the farm next door with wide hazel eyes and curly brown hair had grown up with a nose for trouble, yet usually lacked affiliation with high drama. With the start of the spring semester, the risky escapades should’ve ceased.
“While he was in the can, I picked the lock on his briefcase, thinking he was some kind of lawyer or something.” If not for the frightened gaze bouncing between the proof clenched in her fingers and the nebulous woods on either side of the lonely road, Gena could’ve been any college student recounting a dicey hazing ritual. The tone and pitch of her voice increased when she unfolded the fabric covering her stolen treasure. “I saw syringes full of something, along with empty containers, and these. I also found alcohol swabs and betadine solution. Who carries betadine in a briefcase?”
“You stole from a John? Are you crazy?” Wendy snatched the wooden box with a huff and a groan.
Detailing around the container’s top edge included an intricate inlay bearing a darker grain. Similar designs decorated urns. “You better hope we can return them before he notices they’re gone. Where did you hook up?”
Wendy slid the lid back on the six-by-six inch square. The smooth glide on concealed grooves further testament to the boosted prize’s value.
Shadows shielded the contents from Remie’s view.
Wendy’s high-pitched scream rendered the burgeoning storm to white noise, instinctual awareness hurling the box’s contents against the windshield. Their arc proved too fast to visually track. Two pink lumps, small and irregularly shaped, formed the basis for a new nightmare.
The rattle and thump of the container ended when it landed perched on the steering wheel, upside down.
“Fuck! What the hell are those?” First medical school, then forensic pathology, enlightened Remie to evil’s worst-case scenarios. Her mom once said that after indoctrination, nothing new would appear under the sun. Whoever created this mayhem transcended anything evolved from humanity’s convoluted gene pool.

 

A sudden gust of wind and rain blew in as the driver’s door flew open. Gena lurched forward and hunched away from the torrent of slashing storm riding the invading cool blast. Her descent into hell included a flash of silver and guttural laugh.

Reily is a West Coast girl transplanted to the opposite shore. When she’s not working with her dogs, you can find her curled up with a book or writing her next story. Past employment as an ICU nurse, private investigator, and work in the military police has given her countless experiences in a host of different environments to add a real world feel to her fiction.
 
Over time, and several careers, many incidents have flavored the plots of her stories. Man’s cruelty and ingenuity for torment and torture is boundless, not contained by an infinite imagination. Witnessing the after-effects of a teenager mugged at knifepoint for a pair of tennis shoes, or an elderly woman stabbed repeatedly with a screwdriver for no apparent reason, left an indelible impression that will forever haunt her subconscious. In counterpoint, she has observed a woman stop her vehicle in severe, snowy weather to offer her own winter coat to a stranger, a teenager wearing a threadbare hoodie. Life’s diversities are endless.
 
Though her kids are her life, writing is Reily’s life after. The one enjoyed after the kids are in bed or after they’re in school and the house is quiet. This is the time she kicks back with laptop and lapdog to give her imagination free rein.
In reading, take pleasure in a mental pause as you root for your favorite hero/heroine and bask in their accomplishments, then share your opinions of them over a coffee with your best friend (even if he’s four-legged). Life is short. Cherish your time.
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Release Tour

Title: Sledge: Westside Skulls Motorcycle Club
Series: Westside Skulls MC Romance Book 5
Author: Jessie Cooke
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: September 10, 2018

 

 

 

When you’re teased and tormented as a kid about everything you’re not able to change about yourself, you grow up tough on the outside, but shattered in a million pieces on the inside. Steve was a poor kid, thrust into a world where people had everything he thought he wanted, but couldn’t have. He was bullied for being “different” and made to believe he was “less than” everyone else.
Ten years later, Steve is now Sledge, an enforcer for the Westside Skulls. He found a place where he could put his tough skin to use, and people weren’t constantly judging him. He loves life in the MC. He works hard and he plays harder and he never lacks for female companionship. For once in his life he has everything he wants or needs. Well…almost everything.
Daria Ford had it all growing up. Money, looks, popularity…everything except what she really wanted, the one thing that would make her happy. Daria wanted Steve and since she was used to getting what she wanted, she was shocked when her plans went sideways, and she was left feeling embarrassed and rejected.
Ten years later Daria is still searching for fulfillment. She has a good life, but she’s not happy. She’s always felt like something was missing and when she started writing romance novels for a living, it seemed to fill the void, at least for a while. Funny thing was that all the heroes in her books looked and sounded a lot like Steve, her high school crush.
When Daria accidentally crashes head first back into Sledge’s life, will these two people come together and find what they’ve both been looking for all along? Or will Sledge’s insecurities rule his heart and Daria’s imagination fool hers?
 
* * *
 
Book 5 in the Westside Skulls MC Series.
This is a Standalone Romance Novel but characters from the previous stories in this series appear in this and future books in the series. 
HEA and No cliffhanger. 
Intended for Mature Readers.
 
* * *
 
The Westside Skulls MC Series is about members of the MC club, their friends and associates. 
Each story, while focused around one main character, is not necessarily about a Westside Skulls club member, but the story is related to Skulls members and the club.

 

 

 
New York City – 2007

 
“Baby, why aren’t you dressed? You’re going to be late.”
 
Steve sat on the edge of his bed, dressed in a white t-shirt and jeans with holes in the knees. It was his “uniform” at home, much more comfortable than the button-down white shirt, blue tie, and blue slacks he had to wear to school five days a week. It was Friday night…homecoming…and Steve had been voted homecoming king.
 
“I’m not going, Mom.”
 
“What? You have to go! You’re homecoming king!” She beamed with so much pride that Steve was surprised she didn’t actually light up the room. It was going to break his heart to tell her…but he couldn’t have her sitting in the bleachers and watching his humiliation from the sidelines. He’d put it off as long as he could.
 
“Mom…I’m pretty sure it’s a joke.”
 
She pulled her brows together. “A joke? I don’t understand.”
 
“Mom…they wouldn’t have voted me homecoming king on purpose, unless it was a joke. They’re going to do something to embarrass me, and I don’t want you there, watching. I don’t want to be there. I give them enough ammo at school every day.”
 
His mother looked crushed and it made his heart hurt. She sat down next to him on the bed and after a few silent moments she said, “Have you been getting bullied?” Steve had been bullied since the day he started middle school. He was from a whole different world than the rest of the students at the private school he attended. The neighborhood he lived in was an old one, the houses were run-down, the yards unkempt, and most people worked two jobs, or twelve-hour shifts, to support their families and still couldn’t make ends meet. The other students lived in high-rise penthouses in Manhattan, or old mansions in Chelsea. They were kids who had never known what it felt like to want anything. Steve had grown up wanting so many things…but mostly, just to be accepted.
 
He wasn’t completely alone any longer. He had two really good friends and he didn’t think he could have done any better than his mother for a parent…so things weren’t all that bad. But the rich kids found some kind of sick pleasure in constantly reminding him that he didn’t fit in…and he’d managed to keep that from his mother the whole time. That was the one advantage to having to take two buses to get across town to school every morning, and having a mother who usually couldn’t take off work to come to school events. She was so proud of him for his achievements, and he wanted to keep it that way. He never wanted her to know what an outcast he was…but if she was going to find out, it wasn’t going to be by watching her son get humiliated.
 
“No, Mom, they don’t bully me,” he lied. “Look at me, I’m huge. They’d be stupid to start anything with me.”
 
She put her hand on his big arm. He was huge. He was a senior in high school and already six-foot-three and over two hundred pounds of muscle. A lot of his time was spent working out with some old weights his brother’d left in the basement. It helped clear his head and it was how he got rid of the aggression that built up throughout the day. “But you’d never hurt anyone, and they can probably sense that. Steve, please talk to me.”
 
“I am talking to you, Mom. Things are okay. Mostly they leave me alone, but I’m different from them, you know that. I’m not even a little bit popular. I know this is a joke and I’d rather just stay home and skip the humiliation, okay?”
 
She nodded. “Of course. I’d never want to see you hurt like that. But please promise me you’ll let me know if there’s more going on, okay? I just get the feeling…”
 
“Nothing more is going on, Mom, really.” The phone began to ring, and he was relieved when his mom got up to answer it. They had a home phone and she had a cell phone, but Steve didn’t have one now. He had…he’d had a phone that his mother probably worked forty hours of overtime to buy for him. It had been tossed in the toilet at school by some of those kids who “didn’t” bully him. His best friend had kicked the guy’s ass and gotten suspended from school for three days because of it. Steve was called a coward by everyone else for not fighting for himself. He wasn’t a coward. He was afraid, though. He was afraid that if he threw that first punch, he wouldn’t be able to stop. He was afraid of killing someone.
 
His mother appeared in the doorway a few seconds later and said, “That was the school principal, Mr. Gamble.”
 
“What did he want?” Gamble was old money and he looked down on Steve as much as the other kids did. As part of his scholarship agreement, Steve had to work in the school office ten hours a week. Between that and the two-hour bus ride each way, he wasn’t even able to get a job after school and help his mother out. He couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of that school and out of New York, away from all the hateful, snobby people.
 
She sat down next to him again and she looked like she was going to cry. Laying her head over on his big shoulder she said, “You are so good. You know that? No matter what anyone tells you, you’re pure goodness, and if they treat you badly it’s because they’re jealous of your intelligence and your heart…”
 
“Mom, I love that you’re trying not to hurt me, but I’m a big boy. Just give it to me straight…what did he say?”
 
“The girl…the one who was supposed to be homecoming queen…she told the principal that you’ve made inappropriate advances toward her, and she wasn’t comfortable being queen to your kind.” Before Steve could say anything she quickly said, “I know it’s a lie. I told him, that’s not you. He said that without proof he couldn’t really punish you in any way…it’s a ‘he said, she said’ situation. But in light of what she did say, he had to disqualify you from being homecoming king.”
 
Steve’s chest burned with…hate, maybe? He wasn’t sure what the feeling was. For the longest time, he thought he was in love with one of his best friends, but when he figured out his two best friends were in love with each other, he promised himself he’d never do anything about that. Then, all of a sudden one of the prettiest, smartest girls at school started paying attention to him. He’d been suspicious at first, but she’d hung out with him and his friends more than once, and he had begun to believe she was serious about wanting to date him. Surprisingly, she invited him to her sister’s wedding. It was a huge affair that made him sick to his stomach, but at the same time he couldn’t remember ever being happier…because he was with Daria.
 
Also, surprisingly however, Daria drank at her sister’s wedding…a lot. No one seemed to notice the seventeen-year-old girl finishing off everyone’s wine, or champagne, or even their hard liquor except for Steve. He didn’t want to lecture her on their first date, however, so he kept his mouth shut too…until she took him up to her room on the floor that the entire family had rented in the hotel for the occasion. She started kissing him, and it was amazing. His teenage hormones were raging, and he wanted nothing more than to have sex with the beautiful girl. But she was drunk, and he knew that would be wrong. He’d never want to take advantage of her. When she started undressing and he told her to stop…she freaked out. She even threw things at him and told him he would be sorry. How dare a guy like him turn down a girl like her?
 
In the past, she had never been one of the group of kids who picked on him. But after that night, she was true to her word…and it was another reason why he was sure the homecoming king thing was a joke. They probably knew he wouldn’t show up. He was smarter than that…so this had been their back-up plan. She made him look like a predator when all he’d been trying to do was conserve her dignity. So yeah, maybe it was hate he was feeling…or maybe it was love, flowing out of his heart and turning into acid in his veins. Maybe love was going to be as elusive to him as it had always been for his poor mother. Maybe he was just that unlovable.

 

Jessie Cooke writes hot romance novels about tough guys, bad boys, bikers, fighters and lovers and the women of strong character who tame them.

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