(All information obtained from authors website. We own nothing. No copyright infringement intended.)
Things aren’t exactly going my way. My breath burns heavy and hot in my lungs as I run. And run and run and run.
Not that I should have expected them to go smoothly. After years spent under my father’s command or seeking freedom from it, it’s eerily unsurprising to find I’ve landed myself in this much trouble just one day after getting released from prison.
Yeah. I said prison.
But I didn’t belong there.
I don’t intend on going back.
Working out in the yard at Baybrook Penitentiary, jogging the perimeter every chance I got, has paid off. Blood is drying on my shirt, the sting of broken flesh on my knuckles a physical reminder of what I am capable of. I dig deep and find the strength to run faster.
Now to find a car. I had a friend when I was on the outside. He owed me a favor. I cut across a yard and skirt a big wooden playground set with brightly colored plastic tubes and slides, wondering what it might have been like to grow up in a house like this. I wonder if the kids were protected. Safe. Loved.
But I don’t have time to do a postmortem on my childhood. Praying no one is looking out of a window, I leap a fence to an attached apartment complex and land on my feet on a crumbling pile of asphalt. The weeds are overgrown, the trees scraggly. There is junk in the yard and garbage in the lot proving that the people who live here don’t give a shit about appearances.
Or much of anything.
People like us have our reasons for feeling that way.
If Lady Luck is any friend at all, she’ll shine on me, and Mark’s Dodge Charger will be parked in exactly the same spot as when he and I used to break laws together. Minor laws. We didn’t kill anybody or anything.
I slink past a few other cars parked under a dilapidated awning, and spot Mark’s Dodge, Chelsea (named for an ex-girlfriend), parked outside of his garage. Similar to the real Chelsea, the car is dull and kind of dirty. But for my needs, the car may as well have a light from heaven shining upon her. This is a blessing when I need one most.
I calm my walk as I approach his driveway, edging along grass that needs mowed and taking a peek through a pair of partially open shabby curtains. My former good buddy is sprawled on his couch snoring, mouth wide open. I wonder if he was able to keep his job at the gravel pit, or if he was fired for one of many reasons he’d been fired from everywhere else. I smile as I remember the fun we had together. Feels like about a hundred years ago, even though it’s been more like two. “Fun” had been a rare commodity in my world back then, and right about now it is extinct.
I consider knocking on his door, asking if I can borrow Chelsea, but I don’t consider for long. The debate lasts exactly two seconds before I turn away from Mark’s window and walk to the car I’m about to appropriate for myself. She’s unlocked so I slide onto the seat and palm the steering wheel, ignoring the sting on my knuckles as I grip the wheel. I haven’t driven a car in a while—not since I stole my father’s Explorer one fated night, and being in the driver’s seat sends a rush of intoxicating freedom surging through my veins.
Freedom I can’t allow to be taken from me. Not again. Not ever.
I am prepared to hot-wire her, a handy trick, but then check the glove compartment—the stupidest place to keep a set of keys second only to the visor.
There, beneath the expired registration is a key taped to the vinyl cover of the owner’s manual.
Before my luck runs out—given the way every other damn thing has worked out tonight, it very well might—I jam the key in the ignition and turn over her blubbering engine. Loud. Way too fucking loud.
As I back out of the driveway, Mark’s door swings open. He lumbers out, wearing boxers and nothing else, rubbing his eyes, his hair and beard scraggly. I stomp on the brakes and shift in to drive. Mark’s stark confusion fades and he smiles.
It’s as good as getting his permission. I jerk my chin in a silent good-bye and gun the engine. The fuel gauge reads three-quarters full, plenty of gas to get me to the shittiest convenience store I can find. I need supplies for where I’m going and if the place is shady enough, the clerk won’t bat an eyelash at my T-shirt covered in blood. One hand gripping the wheel, I keep my eyes on the road while searching the front and back for something to change into. Surely Mark has left a shirt or— My fingers curl around something cool and slick in the back seat and I pull it into my lap. The dark leather smells like pot, and has seen better days—like the nineties—but the jacket will have to do. At least it’ll cover my shirt.
My bleeding knuckles, however . . . I shake my hand out as I pass a Waffle House, several semis parked in the lot, the inside well lit—a little too well lit. Stopping even briefly to wash my hands is tempting, but risky. I settle for the napkins I spotted in the glove compartment when I was digging for the keys.
Alternating hands on the steering wheel, I wipe as gently as possible, grateful that most of the blood isn’t mine and consider I’m luckier than I gave myself credit for a moment ago. My father was always a fighter. I’ve seen him take down a man twice my size—one who was out-of-his-mind high. I shouldn’t have been a challenge for him tonight, but I had the element of surprise.
What I didn’t have was the proof I went to my childhood home to reclaim. The videotape that would exchange mine and my father’s places in the eyes of the law and anyone with a functioning conscious. The plan was to send him to prison, not send myself back. It was time. Jeremy is gone. Mom is safely out of the country.
But now . . . now I don’t know what the hell to do. Without proof of what he’s done, it’s my word against my father’s, and there’s no doubt who the masses will believe.
I have no idea how I’m going to get that tape. It isn’t as if I can go back and ring the doorbell. It’s not like I can go to the police and plead my side of the story.
There isn’t much sympathy for the ex-con who beats the police chief unconscious. Especially when the police chief is his father.
(All information obtained from authors website)
A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.
Jessica is a social media junkie who loves to hear from readers. You can learn more at: jessicalemmon.com.
Jessica Lemmon is a contemporary romance writer, artist, dreamer, wife, and den mother to a rescue dog. You can learn more about her sexy heroes and the women who fall for them at www.jessicalemmon.com.
Email Jessica: email@example.com
Email Jessica’s Agent: firstname.lastname@example.org
- USA Today Recommendation A Bad Boy for Christmas
- Publisher’s Weekly Review A Bad Boy for Christmas
- RT Top Pick! Bringing Home the Bad Boy
- RT Seal of Excellence Nomination Bringing Home the Bad Boy
- #1 Nook Bestseller A Millionaire Affair
Nicole Resciniti, The Seymour Agency
Please direct PR inquiries to:
As always I want to thank Random House Loveswept and Netgalley for providing us with a copy of this book so that we could bring you this review.
The things that poor Tucker has to deal with growing up are heart breaking and to end up having to go to jail because the real evil character. It also makes me hurt Tucker and the extremes he needs to go to, to get his name cleared. Morgan lets not only her feelings from high school for Tucker the boy she always thought was unattainable, that dark and dangerous sexy guy that she craved, have free reign. She gives into the desire she felt for years, it is also a great way for her to get her feeling of sexuality back after the way that her boyfriend and friend betray her during her 21st birthday. Though at times I think she is a bit dumb in her actions, but then again those are actions of a woman who just wants to help the guy she has fallen for. There are some moments where you worry that things are falling apart for Tucker and his mission, but then Morgan helps him find ways to fix it. The end is very sweet and glad I made it through to the end.
I gave this book 4 suspenseful kisses…
Happy reading… Adri