Close The Tab By Chelsea Camaron ♥ Chapter / Cover Reveal

Close The Tab Chapter -Cover Reveal
Title: Close the Tab
Series: Devil’s Due MC #3
Author: Chelsea Camaron
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Cover: Cover Me Darling


The system created to serve and protect failed him. The domino effect of one person’s crime going unpunished has no boundaries.

He’s no saint.

Bladen ‘Judge’ Jones rides to escape the firm hand of his past. When home is a nightmare, the unknown suddenly isn’t so frightening. Riding with his brothers, the Devil’s Due MC, is more support than he has ever had in his lifetime.

She’s not afraid to call herself a sinner.

Tamalyn Andrews is a master mixer, hiding out in a small town hick bar on the outskirts of a town for nobodies. Looking over her shoulder is something she can’t stop herself from doing. Old habits die hard.

However, danger bellies up to her bar.

Will Bladen face his own past to uncover Tamalyn’s secrets? When everything crashes around her, will Tamalyn open up to Bladen in time to save her life?

Love, hate, anger, and passion collide as the time comes, and the devil demands his due.

Close The Tab 3D
Close the Tab
Devil’s Due MC 3

Written By
USA Today Bestselling Author


Chelsea Camaron

Copyright © Chelsea Camaron 2017

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Chelsea Camaron, except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.

This is a work of fiction. All character, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

1st edition published: May 30, 2017

Editing by: C&D Editing and Asli Fratarcangeli
Cover Design by: Cover Me Darling
Formatting by: M.L. Pahl of IndieVention Designs

ISBN-13: 978- 1542764612
ISBN-10: 1542764610


Thank you for purchasing this book. This book and its contents are the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be reproduced, copied, and distributed for commercial or non-commercial purposes.


This book contains mature content not suitable for those under the age of 18. Content involves strong language and sexual situations. All parties portrayed in sexual situation are over the age of 18. All characters are a work of fiction.
This book is not meant to be an exact depiction of a motorcycle club but rather a work of fiction meant to entertain.
***Warning: This book contains graphic situations that may be a trigger for some readers. Please understand this is a work of fiction and not meant to offend or misrepresent any situations. There is quite a bit of violence so if that’s not what you’re looking for then please don’t read.***


The system created to serve and protect failed him. The domino effect of one person’s crime going unpunished has no boundaries.


He’s no saint.


Bladen ‘Judge’ Jones rides to escape the firm hand of his past. When home is a nightmare, the unknown suddenly isn’t so frightening. Riding with his brothers, the Devil’s Due MC, is more support than he has ever had in his lifetime.


She’s not afraid to call herself a sinner.


Tamalyn Andrews is a master mixer, hiding out in a small town hick bar on the outskirts of a town for nobodies. Looking over her shoulder is something she can’t stop herself from doing. Old habits die hard.
However, danger bellies up to her bar.
Will Bladen face his own past to uncover Tamalyn’s secrets? When everything crashes around her, will Tamalyn open up to Bladen in time to save her life?


Love, hate, anger, and passion collide as the time comes, and the devil demands his due.






“Tamalyn,” I plead. “Tell me, tell me what happened to your face!”

“I can’t,” she whispers.

“Let me get you some ice,” I start to move off my bed when she reaches out and grips me holding me in place.

“No, don’t leave me.”

“Okay,” I soothe. Laying back on my bed, I press her head to my chest as she relaxes I stroke her hair. Seconds tick by into minutes. We say nothing.

“Tell me,” I whisper. “Tell me who did it and I swear I’ll make them pay.”

She sobs into my chest refusing to answer. Minutes tick by as she finally falls asleep. The hours pass and I silently pray my parents don’t come home anytime soon.

They won’t help her. If they find her here, it will only get worse.

I already know marked her. I just can’t do anything if she won’t confirm it.

Tamalyn Andrews is my best friend. I have watched her grow from a girl into a woman. We have gone from playing in ditches together as kids to stealing kisses as teens.

There isn’t a time in my life where I don’t remember her being in it.

She’s also the only person in my whole world, who knows the truth.

We’re not safe here. We’re just too young to escape yet. Eighteen is two months away and I will do everything I can to get us free as soon as the day comes. Until then, sleep against me Tamalyn, find a moment of peace because when she goes home, she’s facing hell.


Find out if Judge gives the devil his due for Tamalyn’s pain in Close the Tab (Devil’s Due MC 3) releasing May 30th through all major e-book retailers! Preorder available now!



Chelsea Camaron

USA Today Bestselling author Chelsea Camaron is a small town Carolina girl with a big imagination. She is a wife and mom chasing her dreams. She writes contemporary romance, erotic suspense, and psychological thrillers. She loves to write blue-collar men who have real problems with a fictional twist. From mechanics to bikers to oil riggers to smokejumpers, bar owners, and beyond, she loves a strong hero who works hard and plays harder.




Promise By Dani Wyatt ♥ Chapter Reveal


promise - chapter reveal


Release Date March 24th


Add to your Goodreads shelf now.





Ardent Prose Synopsis


Flames stole his childhood. Scorched his family. Scarred his face. Beckett Fitzgerald assimilated his hatred and his pain and gave it to the government. They trained him to kill and his life was set. Or so he thought.


Promise Henderson lives in quiet desperation. Her art is her solace, her brother her world. Only the State of Ohio has control over him and her only purpose left in life is to save Jordan from the same horrors she suffered. When the scarred face of a dark haired man with Monet blue eyes and a warrior’s countenance walks into her life everything changes.


When Beckett sees her, he knows this is his last chance. The little girl from the courtroom ten years ago is standing in front of him and he knows he cannot fail her again. One moment — one choice he made altered the course of her life forever. He must decide to go back to the only life that made sense to him, or tear down her walls and settle the debts of the past.


Ardent Prose Excerpt


Chapter One


{Eight Years Later}

I’ve got my hand over Denise’s mouth.

She’s the loudest woman I’ve ever fucked. Not that I’ve fucked that many, I have to be honest, but enough to know that Denise is loud.

Her dime store, blue eyeshadow and the ever present snapping piece of Wrigley’s Spearmint didn’t deter my cock from being seduced by my landlord.

She’s Mrs. Robinson with red hair and a tramp stamp.

Her thirty-something body is twisted under me like a pretzel, the crooks of her elbows locked around the bend of her knees, holding herself high and wide. It’s how she likes it, and it sets my dick coal-miner deep, so win-win.

I’m in fifth gear. The sound of wet flesh slapping and the bed denting the plaster wall must be heard in all seven bedrooms plus the kitchen of this makeshift boarding house on the low rent end of Cleveland’s ass. Denise is letting loose, bucking like we’re in a damn rodeo while I try to muffle her crazy-ass screams with my hand.

I mean, come on. All that noise is distracting as fuck. I like to know the chick taking it from me is getting off, but I don’t need the whole fucking zip code to know.

She’s about to toss us both off the mattress when I realize the sheet is tangled around my foot. If we don’t finish this up, I may end up in the ER with a snapped ankle and a story to tell. I’m trying to kick the twisted linen off and not miss a beat. This is the second round with her this morning, and I should be enjoying myself, right?

But, I can’t keep my eyes off the clock.

7:41 AM.

Wrap it up, Mrs. Robinson.

I take my hand off her mouth. Her dilated, red-rimmed, emerald eyes widen then she gasps.

“Oh gawwwddddd— oh god!”

She starts right up with the fucking noise, so I slap my palm back onto her mouth.

I tip my hips, grinding down into her until her eyes roll to white, and I feel the tightness start to grab my dick. Then, I feel a warm rush as she gushes and from the way she’s flouncing and quivering, I’m hoping she’s done.

The muscles in my back spasm when Denise let’s go and her ankles lock behind my ass. I knock the last thrust home, and my chin falls to my chest. I cum along with her. It’s a sense of relief, but that’s about it.

A minute later, I’m off the bed, the discarded latex already taking a spin into the sewer and the shower heating up.

“You…” She points to me, making that single word sound like an accusation.

Denise is propped up on the threadbare floral pillows, checking her manicure and snapping on a fresh piece of Wrigley’s. Her tits are motionless, silicone coconuts standing unnaturally high on her torso.

Personally, I prefer whatever size mother nature designed. I’ll take a double A true-blue over triple D fakery any day.

“You’re gonna get me in trouble, you know that? I shoulda never rented you that room.”

A touch of her Brooklyn roots comes through.

“How are you in trouble?” I put one hand on my forehead and one on my chin and jerk my head around. The twist and the pop pop pop as much a part of my morning routine as taking a piss.

I blow out a breath, feeling the momentary pressure-release the neck cracking gives. I’ll do that twenty times today. I have to.

No. Of course not. But someone’s gonna catch on. And, I don’t even want to talk about Leon. If he finds out, we’re both dead. That lady in that back bedroom looks like a bible thumper. She might stick her nose where it doesn’t belong.” Denise’s shrill voice rakes on my nerves. She is so much more appealing when my damn dick is in charge.

I want to tell her if she didn’t howl like a fucking hyena on a fresh carcass, maybe half the neighborhood wouldn’t know she was letting the resident who rents room 4B bone her twice a day and three times on Saturday.

Why I don’t have a better sense of self-preservation, I’m not sure. I should. I‘ve seen enough shit to last me seven lifetimes.

She’s right about Leon. He would probably kill me first, then kill her with my dead body.

“How would Leon find out? Huh? You said he got picked up last night, right?” I have to yell over the rush of the shower as I stick my hand in to check the temperature.

The steam is hanging in clouds and beginning to mist the mirror that is cracked like an old road map. Whoever mounted it must have been on their knees or ten years old. All I can see in it is the bottom of the shiny, textured skin on my left shoulder and the cut of my abs… along with the shadows of my ribs.

I need some groceries.

I like this mirror. My face is not my best feature.

I step into the shower trying to keep my thoughts about the day in check.

“Yep, he got picked up at the Diablo’s.  That biker bar on 2nd.” I hear the faint squeak of the bed springs just when I lean back into the steaming water, squirting shampoo into my hand.

Denise’s sharp voice makes me jump as she pokes her head around the shower curtain, her eyes shamelessly settling down below my waist with a wicked grin.

Not again, crazy. I’ve got real life happening today.

“He’s in holding at county.” She glances up over my chest, avoiding my face, then back down. “Two warrants and he won’t see the judge ‘til Monday.” She’s snapping her gum, and each time she does it my neck twitches.

My twitching is nothing new, but she’s not helping. Today isn’t just another day. It’s when a judge decides what I already know. That I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself without help from the State of Ohio.

Don’t climb in here with me, please.

I lay my head back into the stream of hot water and close my eyes. Luckily, when I look again, her face is gone.

I throw on the one dress shirt I own and a worn pair of khakis. It’s the best I’ve got, and it’s been my standard uniform for the many days I’ve found myself visiting the fifth district court over the years.

One swipe of my fingers through my hair and I’m ready. I can’t see myself in the damn mirror without bending down, but I’m sure I’m as presentable as need be. I grab my backpack, double check my files and sketchbook are inside, then deep breath, and I’m on my way. My hand is on the door, my mind already halfway down the street.

“Do you even know how old I am?” I spin my head around to see Denise sitting on the edge of the bed, the sheets still twisted in a heap.

I grit my teeth until my jaw pops.


Her eyes light on my face then dart away. I’m used to people looking away, but when that person  just came on my dick four times, they should give me the courtesy of looking at me when they talk.

“Well, I’m not telling you.” She flashes me what she thinks is a coy smile, but it comes off as sad. She stands up and takes a step toward me.

Jesus, whatever.

I should tell her she’s beautiful. That’s what she wants. But, I’ve never told anyone that. My mother was beautiful, and I don’t just mean in the physical sense. No woman since has made me think of that word.

“I’m leaving.” I should say something else.

Something nice, less pragmatic.  Something nice.

She still won’t look at me, standing there with her silicone double D’s and a worn, pale green bath towel in one hand.

“Bye.” She chirps going for cute, and I don’t miss her added eyeroll.

She knows where I’m going, what I have to do today, and she’s pouting? Why I don’t think with my brain instead of my dick sometimes is beyond me.

I let out the breath I’ve been holding. I shouldn’t be fucking my landlord anyway, especially since her boyfriend is facing twenty to life.

My neck is aching, and I can’t stop the urge to twist and jerk my head three more times as I pull the door shut behind me.

Half a step down the hall and I hear the click of the bedroom door latch opening.

“Hey.” Denise’s voice is softer.

I turn and see the towel is thankfully around her torso. Her bedroom is on the first floor, and this hallway has three other rented bedrooms. So, it’s common courtesy to at least wear a towel where there may be other eyes — though I’ve lived in plenty of places where the word courtesy is as foreign as proper hygiene.

“Good luck today.” She forces herself to look me in the eyes. I can see her counting silently, trying to maintain eye contact a few seconds longer than makes her comfortable.

“Thanks,”  I say.

She looks down at the floor after a few seconds, and I make my way toward the back door.

At the end of the hall, I’m already wondering who I’ll be at the end of the day. Will I feel different? Will there be any relief?

“I could fall in love with you, you know.” Her voice knocks me in the back of the head.

Oh, hell no.

I’m not turning around for that. Not now. Not today.



It is ironic that on a day like today when something big is about to happen, I notice more of the small things.

Dimitri that works the metal detector didn’t shave this morning.

I toss my wallet, keys, and cell phone in the little plastic tray. No one needs to tell me what to do.

I also know exactly how much money I have in my wallet. Exactly zero.

Dimitri gives me a full nod with eye contact this morning.

Even he knows.

We’ve never exchanged much more than a few words here and there over the years. Today, I see something else in the movement of his head, the way he takes a deeper breath as I pass.

I fucking hate pity.

I step through the X-ray archway.

With any luck, when I walk out of here, I’ll be legit. On my own, according to the great State of Ohio.

Not that I haven’t been on my own for a long freakin’ time already. But, according to the law, I still need supervision. That shit is hilarious.

I grab my wallet and keys after I’m cleared through the metal detector when I look down and see the dark gray, flattened spot of someone’s discarded gum on the marble floor.

What kind of asshole does that?

I guess some asshole that might not like the way things are going for them. This place is ripe with people who think they’re getting the shitty end of the stick. Most of them sharpened the damn stick themselves and went about doing as much damage with it as they could. Then, they’re surprised when their lives turn into an episode of Cops.

You need a license for almost anything, right?

Want to drive? Well, you need to take a class, then a test, and then you have to abide by a fuck-ton of rules, or they will snatch that precious piece of freedom from you.

You want a dog? Get a license.

You want to burn leaves in the fall? You need a permit.

You want to start a business? Get a shit-ton of licenses, permits, and forms.

You wanna have a kid? Do your thing, nothing else required.

All along the top of the hallway ahead of me, there are slanted white streaks of dusty sunlight filtering through elevated windows. I’ve made this trek so many times.

I see the wide eyes and pinched brows on the people I pass. There is an overwhelming stink of old cigarette smoke when I walk by a forty-something lady with a worn, thick manila envelope clutched in her hand.

It’s not enough that none of the damn windows open in this catacomb of limestone and marble. You add in too many humans and not enough soap, stir that up with lawyers and the sharp scent of whatever they use to polish the floors, and my stomach is ready to reveal my breakfast.

My boots make a thunk-scrape sound with each step. Thunk-scrape, thunk-scrape.

I dip my right shoulder and put more weight on the right step than the left. For some reason, today I notice the uneven cadence.

Miriam at the information desk has a line of irritated people in front of her, yet she still manages to catch my eye, and I wink.

She tugs her lips to the side in an attempt to squash her smile. In her job, it’s important to stay in character. Just as quickly as I pick up on the rare curve of her lips, I see the same look that Dimitri gave me.

Pity and relief.

People pity me either because they know my past or because they can see the evidence of it on my face.

People feel relieved because whatever has happened to me, hasn’t happened to them.

I notice the way kids stare and adults look away. By now, it’s just an observation. I used to get pissed, now I understand.

I get it.

I catch a reflection in the glass that runs along the mile-long hallway outside the courtroom doors. I tower above most people. My hair isn’t unruly, but it does need a cut. Due to budgetary restrictions, a trip to the barber will have to wait.

The wall of glass is on my right, the heavy doors along my left. I hear the sniffles of a girl before I see her. I look down where she stands next to a bored looking woman with a thick file in her hands.

God damn, how hard would it be just to talk to her? Comfort her? Distract her from whatever bullshit is waiting for her today.

She’s probably six years old. I can’t help but notice she has a huge, unkempt knot in her dirty, blonde hair. She’s wearing a ponytail, a messy one, but no one bothered to brush her fucking hair before she came to court. Really?

On top of that, her socks don’t match, and she’s wearing green sweatpants with a cartoon image of The Hulk on one pant leg. Her oversized, yellow t-shirt hangs off one shoulder, and I can see the jut of her collarbones through her pale skin.

Jesus, my heart breaks looking at her.

Sorry kiddo, life ain’t fair. Get a good armor going.

I try to smile at her, but she won’t meet my eye. I want to scoop her up and tell her I get it. I understand. You can’t trust anyone. Especially the adults.

A blast of cool air hits me as I open the doors to Judge Horace Carmichael’s courtroom. I give my eyes a moment to adjust to the dim light, and I knit my brow straining to see as I step inside.

From behind, Louis’s voice greets me.

“Early as usual.” He has a voice that needs to be on the radio.

I like Louis. He’s the only — and I do mean only — person I’ve met in this bureaucracy that even hints at still retaining some humanity.

And a sense of humor.

That is not easy.

Louis’s barrel chest and dark stare would be intimidating attached to anyone else. He’s a monolith, towering over me by a good three inches. He must get his hair buzzed every day, because, in all the years I’ve known him, I’ve never seen it noticeably longer or shorter. A few more silver hairs replace black each year, but that’s the only change I’ve been able to detect.

“Yep. So, everything good? You think we’re good?” I despise the insecurity in my voice.

“Well, you know I’m always honest.” He gives me a reassuring smile. “Yes, I think we’re good. Could it still go sideways? Sure, there’s always that chance.”

“Fuck.” My hands go up and over my head, rubbing back and forth, gaining momentum. I can’t believe we could come this far and have it all fall apart.

I’m not going back. They can hang me by my balls; I’m not going. I will not live another day in another foster home.

“Hey.” Louis senses my rising ire, and he knows that will not work in my favor in front of the judge. “Breathe. I have a good feeling, okay? We’ve got all your bills, school records, recommendations — all the proof you’ve been knocking it out of the park on your own. You are the most organized almost-eighteen-year-old I’ve ever met.” He laughs, but I can still hear that halt of doubt in his voice.

I’m making a sound like a pressure relief valve on a steam engine when Louis lands a solid hand on my shoulder. My neck is twitching like a motherfucker.

After almost a year of taking care of myself under the watchful eye of my current social worker, I get a notice that Child Protective Services wants to place me in yet another foster home.  Fuck that.  I worked my ass off getting them to agree to let me live on my own even though I had just turned seventeen at the time.  They said it was a probationary arrangement, but I hit all my high notes for a year.  I worked, paid my bills, kept my grades in the four-dot-oh range and then this?

So, after I got the letter, I wrangled Louis and my social worker and petitioned the court to release me permanently from the nurturing care of CPS.  I’m just a bump shy of my eighteenth, so fucking come on already.

Louis gives my shoulder a squeeze, he can feel my tension.  He’s one of the only people I let touch me. I’m not a fan of people in my personal space.

“I’ve got another case coming before Judge Carmichael today. She should be here by now.” He scans the nearly empty courtroom and looks at his watch. “Just wait here, and I’ll be back.”

Louis turns away as I settle into the rearmost row of benches tossing my backpack next to me.

He stops a few steps away. “You bring your notebook?” He sets his eyes on me, raising his eyebrows.

It’s a rhetorical question; he knows I have it. I always have it.

“I want you to start right now. You’ll want to have something about today. I’ve got a feeling things will go your way.”

Over the years, I’ve discovered that sketching and drawing relieves my stress. Whenever I have a court date, I’m sketching faces, writing down thoughts, snippets of things I hear. It’s become a part of me.

Louis is out the door. There are two other people inside with me, huddled together in the kind of hushed whispers you find in the cool darkness of a court of law.

The room feels like a bulkhead, and no one leaves quite the same way they came in.

I unzip the top of my back pack and pull out my files and sketchbook.  I flip it open to a blank page and shift forward on the bench to dig for the pencil in my back pocket. I set pencil to paper. I love the sound of the surfaces meeting, and then making something new from the friction. I start writing.

Let this be the last fucking time.

I can’t go back.

I won’t go back.

The soft squeak of the hinges on the massive door draws my eye.

The very instant I lay eyes on her, my pencil comes to life.

Louis is guiding a young man a little younger than me inside the courtroom and gets him settled in a bench toward the front.

Right behind him, I see another little girl accompanied by what must be her social worker hustling into the room. Her eyes dart around like a cornered mouse, their color near translucent. Like the crystal clear shallow water of a tropical shore, I want to look away, but I’m mesmerized. Her hair falls to her waist in a tangle of silk the color of antique porcelain. She is as close to a living, breathing china doll as there could ever be.

My eyelids burn when she turns toward me. Her ivory cheek is decorated with an angry purple and red circle. I notice how she crinkles her nose when she looks up at the woman by her side, hoping she will be the one to save her. Because I can see she needs saving.  Then for just a moment, our eyes meet.

This broken, little soul with white hair and skin to match digs her sheer blue eyes into mine so deep, I feel her fear. My heart shatters inside my chest as I see the pain in her eyes and the way she moves so softly, gliding instead of walking.  Her arms around her waist, holding onto herself, hoping for protection that she seems to know will never come.

Someone else was born inside of me that day. Someone that knew she was part of me.


Ardent Prose About The Author


Dani Wyatt loves her alpha men; make them military, cowboys, MMA — any uber alpha with a wicked possessive streak and an insatiable libido. Receive a free exclusive unpublished title when you join Dani’s private readers group for updates, free chapters and discounts.


She’s a 40 something regular lady who just happens to love badass alpha males who pull your hair and love their women with a lethal passion.


When she’s not writing (which is not often) she is probably laughing about some irony (like A-1 Steak Sauce is vegan), riding her horse, wondering why The Walking Dead can’t have a new episode every night, or looking cross-eyed at some piece of technology sent to ruin her day.


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Lay It Down by Carina Adams ♥ Chapter Reveal



lay it down - chapter reveal


Release Date : April 7th


Pre-order links

Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon CA





          Ardent Prose Synopsis


The Bastards MC Series Boxed contains the first two books in the series – Always Been Mine and Honey Whiskey


Josephine Walker:

My carefully constructed, picture perfect life is crumbling around me. For the first time in fifteen years, I don’t know who I want to be.


I need to find me.


I’m done playing it safe, done caring what others think. I want wild and crazy. And, as much as I try to ignore it, I want Matt to see me as more than just his best friend.


Matty Murphy:

The Bastards live in a world most don’t understand. We follow our own rules, only accountable to each other, the innocents we protect, and the people we couldn’t save. Each of us wears a mask, hiding behind a polite smile and a respectable job, covering the monsters inside. I made peace with who I was a long time ago. I have no regrets.


Except one.


Jo Walker. I’m not letting her go without a fight.


Ardent Prose Excerpt




A giggle floated across the room, snagging my attention from the conversation a few of the guys were having around me. I didn’t have to look up to know who the contagious sound was coming from—Joes had a laugh like no other. It was a sound that always made me smile.

Then again, Jo had an uncanny ability to make everyone around her react that way. I’d once bet a co-worker he couldn’t spend the entire day locked in a car with her without laughing. The crotchety old bastard was adamant that she was annoying as fuck and he wouldn’t as much as crack a smile. He’d even rolled his eyes at her as they were leaving, scowling at whatever story she’d been sharing.

I didn’t gloat—much—when he walked up at the end of the day and put a fifty in my hand. I did laugh loudly as I walked to my car, but that was only because I’d been in his shoes.

I may have been a member of the Josephine Walker fan club, but after that day, Robert Pappas became the president. Any time one of our co-workers complained about the new kid, Old Bobby—as Jo affectionately called him—was quick to put them in their place. Easiest money I’d ever made.

Another laugh pulled my thoughts back to the present, and I looked up, watching her with our work friends. A group of us had come out for our monthly “Babes and Booze” night; I inwardly cringed at the God-awful title it had been given. It was the one evening a month when we grabbed our significant others and went out drinking to forget that we were responsible adults, a night we all looked forward to for weeks.

There was only one rule: no talking about work. It might sound simple to follow, but at least one of us broke it every month. We couldn’t leave the job at the office, no matter how hard we tried. A bad case stayed with you long after you’d gone home. We all had ‘em, but some of us were a lot more fucking unlucky than others. Sometimes you just needed to lift the bottle, drown the memories, and depend on your friends to get you home.

Tonight, that was my plan. As much as I loved my job, some days I wished I’d stayed a carpenter. A bored housewife who wanted to flirt with the help was a hell of a lot easier to forget than the case I’d been assigned this week. Todd, a tiny toddler, had been beaten bloody because his mom didn’t have one fucking ounce of maternal instinct and lacked even the smallest amount of motherly love. I’d seen some fucked up shit—hell, we all had in this job—but I’d never forget his bruised face, eye swollen shut, and the fear that made every inch of his body shrink away when I walked into his hospital room. He would never remember the words I had whispered or even begin to understand what I meant when I promised him he’d never go through it again. But I’d never forget.

That kid had gotten to me. Part of me wanted to scoop him up and take him home, spend the rest of my life making sure he never missed another meal or bath and proving to him that he could be a kid, a real kid, without fear of physical harm. Another part of me wanted to call Rocker and have the boys come take care of the parents, just to make sure they never got him back. Instead, I did my job. I let the law work the way it was designed and prayed that it wouldn’t let me down. Because I sure as shit didn’t know how I would react if his parents got him back and hurt him again. I wasn’t sure I could do my job if there was a next time.

I could rest easier knowing that one of the best foster moms I had ever worked with was staying at his bedside at the hospital until Todd was discharged. Then she would take him home and love him like her own until his parents could get their shit together. She would hold him, and scare away the monsters in the night, tell him he was adorable and funny and sweet, and give him lots of kisses. She was a fucking saint, the kind of mom every kid deserved. The idea that she might save him then I’d have to take him back to shitty-ass parents pissed me off.

Three days later and I was still pissed off. I could feel the tension flow through my body, as if it was just waiting for someone to infuriate me further so I could use my fists and get out some of this anger. I took a long drag off my bottle, hoping it would help me forget this week.

Joes picked that moment to look over at me, her smile slowly fading into a frown as she caught my eye. Shit! I hadn’t even realized I was giving her the death glare until she raised an eyebrow and tipped her head in silent question. I shook mine, hoping she would understand that she wasn’t my target, and sent her a quick smile. Our friend Teagan grabbed Jo’s arm, dragging her eyes away from mine, and said something that made everyone laugh.

Jesus, she was gorgeous when she laughed. My mouth was suddenly dry, and I took another gulp of my Sam Adams, unable to tear my eyes away from her. She’d pulled her dark hair back, giving me the perfect view of her face; her usually pale skin had a pink tone tonight, probably from all the alcohol she’d consumed, but it suited her. Even from halfway across the bar, I could see the pale blue-green of her eyes. She was beautiful all the time, but when she laughed…

No. I shook my head, scowling at my thoughts. She was taken. Seriously fucking taken. Happily married taken. I ground my teeth at the idea. Married to a fucking douchenozzle who didn’t even begin to deserve her. I may have some serious shit buried deep, but compared to that fucker, I looked like a prince. I took another swig, pissed at my thoughts. She was my Joes, my best friend. That was it. That was all she could ever be, and any other ideas that filtered through my mind, I’d blame on the booze or my miserably fucked up week. Just another reason for me to be pissed off at the world.

I needed a shot. Screw one—I needed ten. Chased by a couple glasses of Jack. I turned back to my buddies, made my excuses, and headed to the bar.

“You okay?” Joey’s voice was full of concern as she slid up to the counter next to me.

I nodded, threw my head back, and swallowed, hissing as the harsh liquor burned its way down my throat. “I will be.”

“Wanna talk about it?”

I could feel her heated gaze but refused to look at her. I didn’t need to see the concern I was sure was etched all over her face. Instead I shook my head and lifted the next shot in line. She chuckled, and I turned to her in surprise.

“Jesus, you are a stubborn ass!” She shook her head, but I couldn’t tell if it was in annoyance or humor. Then she smiled and stepped in closer, wrapping her arms around my hips. “I’m sorry you had such a rough day.”

I sighed, moving my arm around her back and pulling her close. If she didn’t care that Billy or our friends saw us like this, I didn’t either. Fuck ‘em. Half of ‘em thought we were already screwing, and the other half knew she thought of me like a big brother. I couldn’t care less about any of their opinions. As for Billy, he could suck it. I leaned my chin down to rest on the top of her head, enjoying her soft body against me, while she gave me a quick squeeze then pulled away.

I let her back up but kept my arm over her shoulders. My mood instantly improved. “What was that for?”

She smiled up at me then shrugged. “You needed a hug.” She laughed lightly, as if embarrassed by her actions. She tipped her head back to meet my eyes then wrinkled her nose. “I like her.”

One of the many reasons she was my best friend, Jo was a master at changing the subject and could distract me from even my worst thoughts. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Jo smirked. “I mean, obviously she’s gonna wake up in a few weeks and wonder why in the hell she’s dating an old man who looks like you, but in the meantime, she seems pretty great.”

“Old man, huh? Last time I checked, you were about a minute younger than me.”

“Dude, you turn thirty-five next month and that’s ancient!” Her eyes grew wide in exaggeration, and she laughed. “And what is she, like, twelve?”

I snorted. Tay definitely looked a lot younger than twenty-six. “Yep, something like that.” I couldn’t help but smile down at her.

“Seriously though, she is beautiful. You weren’t lying; I think she may be the prettiest woman I’ve ever met.” A frown crossed her features, but she cleared her face before I could say anything.

I raised an eyebrow, sure I was missing something.

“And she’s nice. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I think you’ve finally found it.”

“It?” I didn’t want to know what she meant, but I had to ask.

“Your future.” I didn’t know what to say, and she shrugged knowingly. “You don’t have to say anything, but it’s been written all over your face all night. You’re distracted because of work, yeah, but you’ve got this goofy surprised look too. As if you just realized something important. Kind of like the one you had when you realized you were in love with Becky.” Jo moved her attention to the bar, as if avoiding me, and grabbed my glass of whiskey. After taking a giant gulp, she turned back to me. “I was worried. After Bex…”

She bit her bottom lip and “hmphed” the way she did when she was debating something. That habit always distracted me and pulled my thoughts to places they shouldn’t be, like wondering what sounds she would make if it was my teeth sinking into her. Forcing my mind to clear, I raised the third shot and downed it fast.

“I just worry about you.”

“I know.” I’d been a screwed up mess after my divorce; there wasn’t a bottle of booze I didn’t like.

Joes had come to my hotel a few weeks after I’d left my house, and she made me sober up. She stayed with me for days while I acted like a pathetic loser, whining and crying and telling her I didn’t have a future without my wife or kid. It was an embarrassing time, and I’d wiped most of it from my mind—of course she’d remembered.

I swallowed hard. “You really think Taylor’s future material? ‘Cause she’s obviously too good for me.”

Jo chuckled. “Obviously. But she’s young and you’re… well, you’re you. She’s probably convinced she’s the lucky one.” She shook her head again. “You be nice to her!”

I’d been seeing Taylor for a few weeks, and even though I’d told Jo all about her and Taylor all about Joes, I’d been dreading introducing them. Becky hadn’t been bothered by the fact that my best friend was a woman; she trusted me, and I never would have betrayed that trust. But some—hell, most—of the women I’d dated since the divorce didn’t feel the same way. My last girlfriend had been convinced that I was going to leave her for Jo one day; instead I broke it off because she wouldn’t stop obsessing and wanted me to stop seeing Joes anywhere other than work. I apparently needed to come with a warning label: Hot female best friend included. Petty, self-centered, and jealous women need not apply.

Taylor wasn’t jealous of anyone; she knew she was damn close to perfection and didn’t have a problem letting everyone know she was God’s gift to men. Yet not only was the threat of another woman still there, but I would do anything for the other woman in this scenario. I just didn’t know how Tay would feel once she figured out how close Joes and I really were.

I was worried about Jo too. She’d been crushed after my divorce. She tells everyone that I’m her best friend, but there were times when it seemed that she and Bex were closer than we were. She’d laugh and tell me it was the “girl code” that made her take Becky’s side in arguments and that I was still her best friend. I’d complain about it, but secretly, I liked the fact that the two of them were cohorts, because it meant I got to spend more time with my two favorite girls. When Bex left me though, she’d dropped Jo too, devastating my friend. I didn’t want to be the cause of that pain again. If she and Taylor got close, and Tay and I didn’t work out, Joes would be left once more.

It had been almost a month since we’d started dating, almost two since we’d met, and it was time for me to introduce the two most important women in my life. Figures it would happen at such a fan-fucking-tastic time, but the week had already been shit, and if they didn’t like each other, that would be par for the course my life had taken lately. I may not have shown it, but I was relieved to avoid that bomb and happy that at least Jo liked Taylor.

“When am I not nice?”

Jo only answered my question with an angry one-eyebrow look.

“Hey!” I held up my hands in defense. “I’m nice to her!” I laughed.

“Who are you being nice to?” Pretty Boy Billy Boy came up behind Jo and wrapped his arms around her possessively.

There wasn’t a single man in that bar still wearing what they’d worn to work except for him. No, everyone else had gone home and changed into jeans. But Billy? His pompous ass needed the entire world to see he wore a suit and tie; he needed everyone to think he was important.

Fucking asshat. I reached for my glass and took a long drink as he slid his face into Jo’s neck. I fucking hated him with every fiber of my body, but I nodded my hello. “Billy.”

“Matt.” His voice was just as cool as mine; there was clearly only one reason we needed to talk to each other, and she was standing right between us. He gave Joes a quick squeeze, making her squeak. “You ready to go, Pudge? I’m exhausted!”

My hand tightened on the glass when I heard the nickname he still used. Fucking hate him. I clenched my jaw, remembering the promise I’d made to Jo last year about minding my own goddamned business. As much as I wanted to beat his ass into oblivion for the sly way he constantly talked down to her, I had to hold it in. He was Jo’s choice, not mine. My job was to support her.

Pudge, Joes told me once, was his term of endearment for her. I didn’t understand how a name like that could ever be anything other than an insult. And only an absolute selfish fuck would not be able to see how much it bothered her; it freaking bothered me for her. She wasn’t fat. I hated the word curvy—since it had been overused in the last few years to explain away obesity—but that was exactly what Jo was. She reminded me of the 50s pin-up girls in Uncle Liam’s workshop—full and round in all the right places, tight and toned in the rest. Lately she’d gotten too thin for my liking, a fact I blamed on Billy and his insulting nickname. I tried to keep my face blank but knew my repulsion must show.

Jo caught my look, and for an instant, shame drifted over hers and she broke eye contact. Patting Billy’s hand, she nodded. “Yeah, babe. I’ll be right there. Go get the coats?” Billy grumbled but retreated back to their table, and she turned eyes that vaguely reminded me of the Caribbean Sea to me. “You sure you’re okay? ‘Cause if you need me to, I can stay.” She smirked suddenly. “I’m not sure how your girlfriend would feel about me hitching a ride home, but…”

I fought the urge to haul her into my arms and instead cupped the softness of her cheek. I stared into her eyes, getting lost for a minute as I thought about what I really wanted to say. Fucking right I need you to stay. I need you to come home with me, need you to make this entire week fade into oblivion. Reality crept in, and I shook my head. “No. Go home. I need to go save Taylor from Teagan anyway.”

She reached a hand up, covering mine. “You know I’m here if you need me, right? I’ll always be just a phone call away.”

I nodded. There wasn’t much I was sure about anymore, but that fact was clear.

She dropped her hand to my chest as she stepped into me, stretching up on tiptoes, and kissed my cheek. “Love you, Matty.” She smiled quickly then backed away, my hand falling from her. “See you tomorrow!” Jo called over her shoulder as she made her way to Billy.

I finished off the whiskey before I turned and leaned back against the bar. Taylor was lost in conversation with a group of clerks from work, not even noticing that I wasn’t where she’d left me earlier. I watched her laugh with my friends, waiting for her to realize I was staring, hoping she could feel my eyes on her. She never gave me as much as a glance.

Jo was wrong; Taylor wasn’t my future. I had to be honest with myself, as much as I fucking hated the idea. There was only one woman I wanted to be with for the rest of my life, and she was taken by a dickwad who thought he was too good for her. If she was mine, I’d do anything to keep a smile on her face, make her happy, and keep her safe.

I glowered at that thought, knowing I’d never have the chance. The ball-busting truth was that Billy wasn’t the only one bad for her; the skeletons in my closet terrified even me and were hidden away for a damned good reason. If Joes knew a quarter of my shit, the secrets I kept, she’d run away screaming. I’d never be able to let her in because once I did, she’d leave and never look back. That was not a chance I was willing to take.

No, Jo would never be mine.

That cold hard fact pissed me off more than everything else that had happened this week. Fuck my life. I turned back to the bar and ordered another round.


Ardent Prose About The Author


Carina Adams has been writing and creating characters for as long as she can remember, allowing her to fall in love with the next man of her dreams with every new story.

Thankfully, fate stepped in and granted her the ultimate wish – a life full of men. Carina lives in a picturesque New England town with her husband, the man who ruined the thought of all others, and two amazing sons who always keep her on her toes.

Carina received her MBA in May, but would much rather play with her imaginary friends (the voices in her head) than work her 8 to 5. When she isn’t trying to juggle being a working mom with karate and football practices, surprising her children with her sci-fi movie knowledge, or writing, you can find her with her nose pressed against her kindle, laughing with friends, or living life vicariously as her Derby Girl persona, Writers Block.

Carina is the author the of Bastards MC series and best selling Forever Red. She is currently writing Out of The Blue, the follow up to Forever Red. She loves to hear feedback from her readers, no matter what type. You can email her at:

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Ardent 4






Challenged By Ryan Michele ♥ Chapter Reveal


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Ardent Prose Synopsis


Lust, love, and second chances.


Growing up in the fast-paced and rough life of a motorcycle club wasn’t easy. Cleaning up the mess his father had made of Vipers Creed meant sacrifice. Cade ‘Spook’ Baker had given up everything to bring the club life back to what it was supposed to be: a family.


The choices he made were not what he wanted, but they were necessary for the club as a whole.

Second chances rarely came to Spook, so when his Trixie walked boldly into his clubhouse, the decision was made. Trixie would once again be his, this time for good.


Trix Lamasters was raised by a master—a master con. All grown up, she made her life solid by making it about her club, Sirens. But one bad business decision brought her to her knees, forcing her to call on the one person she had sworn she would never trust again.


Pasts have a way of not staying there. Things that were buried deep have a way of finding themselves in the light of a new day. Could something that had once crashed and burned for Spook and Trixie find a way out of the wreckage? With the odds against them, can they find a way to overcome the challenges, or will it all blow up in their faces?


**Due to content, mature audiences only.**


Ardent Prose Excerpt


Challenged (Vipers Creed MC#1) ©Ryan Michele 2016


My head filled with a cloudy, dense fog that I couldn’t shake. Even with my eyes open, a filmy haze covered them, making everything blurry. Voices were muffled, as if I were under water, sinking. I thought I recognized one, but couldn’t tell for sure.

Too hard to think.

I attempted to pull my arms up, but they were immediately halted by something. The hard, cold, heavy attachments clinked like metal. Even straining to move them, my muscles were so weak, so lethargic I couldn’t. I tried my legs, and the same thing happened.

A hard surface pressed against my back as the cool air of the room cascaded over my skin, my nipples, my stomach… Oh God, was I naked?

I opened my mouth, wanting to scream as deep panic set in. Unfortunately, nothing came out except air. Even that took more effort than I had in me.

Placing the pieces of the puzzle together, I couldn’t make heads or tails out of anything.

Heat at my side had me turning in that direction, only to see a fuzzy, black figure. I squinted then blinked, trying to get the focus to come back, but nothing. Not a damn thing.

“Hello, darlin’. Welcome to hell.”


Chapter One


A lump gathered in my throat settling like a rock, hard and brutal, sucking the wind out of me. My hand slightly twitched as I dialed the number I never in a million years thought I would call. I switched the phone to my other hand in an effort to shake out the trembling, because nervousness wasn’t an option. Trix Lamasters would not turn into some twit who couldn’t think straight over one phone call. Being a shrewd businesswoman, I’d learned from the best not to let shit get to me, how to compartmentalize things and deal.

I swallowed hard, moving the lump from my throat to settle into my gut like a boulder. As I focused, my breathing evened out. The thick steel in my spine could handle anything life threw at me, including this call. Including the man who would be on the other end of the line.

The green button stared back at me, my finger hovering over it. Then I pressed it and pulled the phone to my ear just as it started ringing.

One ring … two … three …

“What?” was barked through the phone line with a male’s voice tainted by harsh impatience.

“Can I talk to Cade? Shit.” I stopped myself. He wasn’t Cade anymore. I needed to remember that a lot had changed. “I mean, Spook. Is Spook around?”


“Hello?” I pulled the phone away from my ear, looking at the bright screen, making sure the call hadn’t dropped. Nope, the little numbers in the corner were still counting away. I pressed it back to my ear, waiting a few beats.

“Who wants to fucking know?” His tone turned gruffer, almost as if he were a protective watch dog of Cade’s, and nothing or no one got past him.

Watch dog or not, I wasn’t about to get eaten.

“This is Trix Lamasters. I need to speak to him.”

More silence, not even a breath or noise in the background.


His voice came over the line right as I intended to speak again. “Stop fucking saying hello. I’m here.”

Hell, maybe someone pissed in his Wheaties this morning, his attitude having nothing to do with me. Or maybe it was just him.

I slapped my hand to my forehead as the word dumbass rang in my mind.

“Sorry, I thought the call dropped.” Now I apologized to the rude man? Get a grip, Trix.

“What do you need with Spook?” The guard dog didn’t give me an inch. Nevertheless, he didn’t need to know my business.

I needed a diversion.

“Can you just get a message to him to call me?”

“Babe, either tell me what you need, or nothing fuckin’ gets to him.” His tone turned flat and resolute.

“Fuck,” I muttered then heard him chuckle. The damn man needed a bone before he played. Asshole. “An employee of mine has been seen at your clubhouse. I need to talk to her.”

“Call her,” he quipped.

“She doesn’t have a phone,” I retorted, feeling the fire burn in my veins.

“Not my problem,” the man sneered. From his attitude, I knew he would have no problem hanging up on me right now, never telling Cade I needed to talk to him. Good thing I dealt with assholes on a regular basis.

“Look, the bitch owes me money.” Anger raced through my body. I let it be heard through each clipped word.

He let out a deep laugh that was almost intriguing if he weren’t a jerk. “You may as well kiss that cash good-bye.”

My pride had other ideas.

“Fuck no. I want what’s owed to me.” I sighed, needing a different tactic. “Look, can you just give Spook my name?” He would either call or he wouldn’t, but maybe that would get the dog to want to nose around. Maybe curiosity would get him to spread my name at least.

“This is gonna be fun. Hang on.” The man must have covered the mouthpiece with his hand, because everything he said was muffled except for him calling Spook’s name. That, I could hear clearly. My adrenaline spiked at the thought of Cade coming on the line.

“Yeah?” a voice I recognized from my dreams said into the phone. The deep, raspy tenor had grown over time and slithered down my spine all the way to my knees, giving them a slight tremble. It took only one word to make my stomach flip.

Fuck, I knew this was a bad idea, but I wasn’t that girl anymore. He would not have power over me. I wouldn’t allow it.

I paced my small living room, needing the movement to get my knees back in line.

“Cade? It’s Trix Lamasters.”

“First, the name’s Spook. Second, who?”

That one kind of stung. All right, more than stung. It tore another hole in my already battered heart was more like it. The asshole didn’t even remember me, but what did I expect, being one in a sea of many? There was absolutely no reason I would have stood out to him.

“We went to school together,” I tried.


I rolled my eyes to the ceiling, hoping divine intervention would give me the gift of patience or a gun. Neither came.

“Whatever. I get you don’t remember me, but you have one of my employees there. I need to talk to her. She owes me money, and I need it back.”

“Trixie Lamasters.” I could hear the devilish grin as his words snaked over the phone. Not going to lie, my pussy quivered.

No one called me Trixie anymore, because once upon a time, he did and I had loved it. After he abruptly left my life, taking the one thing I could never get back, I refused to let anyone call me by that name. Never again would I allow the hollow feeling that name represented to seep through me. Now, hearing him after fifteen years, the vault of memories opened wide, something I did not want to happen. I didn’t want to feel, yet each recollection of the past bombarded my mind.

“Long time.”

I paused mid-step as a flash of younger Cade hit me. Shaking my head clear, I continued to pace through my living room.

“Yeah, very long. Anyway, you have a woman there by the name of Nanette King. Can you hand her over to me?”

I wouldn’t let the smoothness of his voice draw me in like it had all those years ago, reducing me to a pile of teenaged mush. Strictly business, I told myself, because business I could handle.

“How do you know she’s here?”

“I had her followed, and it led to you.”

I guessed he didn’t like the fact that I had found her that way, judging from the muttered curses that followed. Each word made me smile. I had a payroll of people who worked for me now, and some little twit-fart would not run off with my money. That wasn’t how I operated my business.

Nanette had fallen off radar. Cade’s club happened to be the last place she was seen; therefore, I had to call him. I may as well have strapped zip-ties around my wrists, locking them in place.

“First, if she’s at the club, there’s a reason. Second, bitches here don’t go by their real names, so I don’t know if she’s around, because I don’t know a Nanette. Third, you come to the clubhouse, and we’ll talk.”

Business was business, but my heart spiked at the thought of seeing him again.

Cade’s club, Vipers Creed MC, had been in Dyersburg for years. Even before I came into this world, their presence had been well known. This town had tales, but these days, the Vipers were mostly known for Creed’s Automotive where they made custom bikes and cars in their own little world located on the outskirts of town.

I’d hoped to avoid a meeting since I couldn’t see any point to it. I wasn’t in the mood for a high school reunion. The past needed to stay there, locked up tight.

“I’ll describe her to you. Tell me if she’s there, and I’ll send someone over to get her,” I declared, trying to veer him from this path.

Negotiations were something I excelled at. There had to be an arrangement that suited us both, one we could manage over the phone. It would be the best course of action. The less contact I had with him, the better. I could have Ike, one of the bouncers at Sirens, pick her up. Win-win all around.

He chuckled, and my body went on alert because of the slyness in it.

“Babe, you don’t get how this works. You want something from me that I have, bring your ass here, and we’ll discuss it. Tomorrow night, seven.” Silence.

This time when I looked at the screen, the number fifty-seven blinked rapidly. He’d hung up on me.

“That arrogant piece of shit!” I growled, tossing my phone to the couch where it bounced on the cushion.

I should have known he’d still be a dick. Some things never changed. Guess I was going to meet up with Cade after all.

I completely ignored the slight tremor that thought caused.


During the entire drive, I berated myself for giving the money to Nanette in the first place. One stupid decision started this path, one I could have avoided if I’d stuck to my rules.

Nanette’s eyes were anxiously cast to the floor of my office as she rung her hands together absently.

When she didn’t talk, I prompted, “Speak.” It sounded like a command I would give a dog, but at times like these, when people wouldn’t get on with their shit, it was deserved. I had shit to do, and she obviously needed something.

“I need to borrow five thousand dollars,” she said in a surge.

I leaned back in the leather chair behind my desk, my brow raised as her eyes looked everywhere but at mine. Nervous? No, she was damn near petrified.

I waited out the quiet for her eyes to meet mine, the fear coming across loud and clear.

When they did, I asked, “For what?”

I wanted to hear her out, because if she had problems, I needed to know whether those problems would blow back onto Sirens. It was always about the business.

“The bank’s gonna foreclose on my house if I don’t come up with the money by Friday.” Her eyes filled with moisture.

While I wasn’t a cruel and heartless bitch, this wasn’t my problem. She was a grown adult and needed to handle her own problems, including money to pay her bills.

“No,” I answered firmly. “You can go now.”

Nanette’s face turned to dismay as my answer rolled around in that head of hers. Her skin paled, her nose twitched, and she swallowed hard, as if not to puke. She began to say words; only, they came out as sounds of mumbled breath as she lost her composure.

I held up my hand in an effort to stop her choking rambles. “Stop trying to talk. Listen. I’m not a bank; I’m not an ATM machine; I do not run cash advances. You need money, you work for it. That’s how the world goes round.”

“Please,” she started in a rush. “I’m taking care of my dad. He’s sick, and if I lose the house, I’ll have nowhere to make sure he’s okay.”

“Not my problem.” This was one of the reasons I closed myself off from the people around me, only letting a small few into my tight-knit circle. I had heard so many sob stories over the past five years running Sirens that not much penetrated the thick wall around me.

“Trix, I’ll pay you back every penny with interest. Please. You’re my last hope. My dad has lung cancer, and it’s progressing quickly. All my money goes to his treatments, and because of that, I got behind on the mortgage. I just need an advance on my checks. I’ll work extra shifts, and come in whenever you want.” Her words strung together like a melody, and fuck me, I felt her panic.

She continued, “He has no insurance, so I’m paying for everything out-of-pocket. It’s bleeding me dry. I don’t know what else to do.” Tears rolled down her face. Judging from her body language, which I had learned from the best how to hone in on, the bitch was telling the truth.

Fucking hell. I didn’t want to feel it. I tried to push it back. The businesswoman inside of me screamed, ‘No fucking way!’ while the woman inside of me was proud of how Nanette took care of her father. Was I really going to do this? Shit.

“Twenty-five percent interest to be paid in full six months from now.”

Nanette’s eyes lit up in shock. “Really?”

“That’s six thousand two hundred fifty dollars in my hand six months from this date. A fucking day late, I’ll make your life a living hell.” I would, too, finding every way possible.

“Okay,” she said, swiping away the remnants of her tears, a flash of relief snaking into her eyes.

I folded my hands, placing them in front of me. “I’m not fucking around, Nanette. These are the terms.” I pulled out the gun from the holster attached under my desk, setting it on the hard wood. Her eyes widened. “Every last penny in six months,” I reminded her. “You sure you wanna do that?” It was the only out she would get if she agreed.

She nodded her head then spoke, “I understand. Six months, sixty-two fifty in your hand.”

I put the gun back in its holster, my warning as clear as I could make it.

“Out. I’ll have the money for you by the end of your shift.”

My damn pride would not let this go. The bitch owed me a lot of money. I wanted it back. I wanted her. If that meant I had to go into unfamiliar territory with a guy I did not like, so be it.


“Oh, my God, he’s coming this way,” my friend Beth practically screeched.

I hit her arm, trying to get her to stop embarrassing the hell out of me, as the hottest guy in school walked our way. Most considered him on the bad boy list, and damn if that didn’t send my heart a flutter.

His eyes locked on mine. I couldn’t stop staring; he had some sort of trance over me. Those blue eyes held mischief and intrigue.

“Hey. How you doin’?” His voice was deeper than most of the other boys in school, making him seem older and more mature.

“Fine,” I responded, my nervousness coming through on that one word.

“Wanna go out?” he asked as my heart squeezed. The hottest guy in school had just asked me to go out with him. Holy fucking shit.

“Sure,” I replied as calmly as I could.

“Cool. Meet me at six at Regan’s.”

Regan’s was a local diner hangout that we all went to regularly.


He winked then turned, striding off.

Beth’s wide smile mimicked mine as we closed our eyes and did a silent, little, open-mouth scream. I had a date with the Cade Baker.

As I pulled myself out of my thoughts, my breath hitched at the monstrosity in front of me: huge cinderblocks stacked one on top of the other, higher than my two-story house. The ends looked like princess parapets with sharp points in the roof. Windows all around them provided a view of every direction. At closer look, I noticed men standing inside them, their eyes trained on me. I felt like I was going into a war zone instead of a motorcycle club.

I rolled up, stopping the SUV at the closed gate to the entrance.

Unease whispered around me due to the heavy security. Who in the hell were they protecting in there, the fucking president?

A large man built like a stubby Mac truck with a goatee and light brown hair came up to my window, his eyes covered by black glasses. I hit the automatic button to lower my window, waiting for it to clear all the way down.

“What can I do for ya?” he asked, bending into the window with a smirk on his face. He made no qualms about looking down the front of my shirt at my ample cleavage. I hadn’t worn the shirt for that purpose, but I had very few shirts that didn’t show off the girls.

I snapped my fingers three times in quick succession, and his eyes met mine. “My eyes are up here.”

“But down there is just as fucking good.” He licked his lips as lust blazed off him.

Men, they were all the same Booze, bitches, and boobs.

“I’m here to see Cade.” Dammit, I needed to stop that. Cade wasn’t his damn name any more, but separating the two came as a challenge. “I mean Spook. He’s expecting me.”

“Fuck, boss man always gets the prime pussy.” He groaned in a way that suggested this type of occurrence was routine, an idea which I pushed out of my head as soon as it entered.

I arched my brow. “No one gets my pussy but me,” I combated, tilting my head just a touch.

I told things like they were and didn’t back down from a fight or a challenge. That being said, I had also learned how to cut my losses and get the hell out of a bad situation. Burly man here would not intimidate me.

“Doubt that one.” He nodded to one of the guys in the tall tower, and the steel gate slowly started to open with a loud creak in front of me. “Have a good time, and when you’re done, come find me.”

“No, thanks,” I murmured, driving away from him with no intention of searching him out ever.

The wide area felt vast, almost like a whole city block. I had lived in Tennessee all my life, so of course, I’d known of the Vipers Creed. Everyone did. However, to actually see their compound, to be in their space, unnerved me. There was an aura of power that I felt down to my bones, causing me to fight back a shiver.

Vipers Creed MC had bought an old army compound many years ago. The structure on the outside reminded me of the classic war movies I passed by on television. Inside the gates, though, looked nothing like the starkness of the outside.

Several buildings outlined the space. An enormous structure looked like it had two, maybe three, levels to it. I assumed that was the main building, because several smaller concrete structures surrounded a large courtyard with bright green grass and a fire pit off to the side. Some actually looked as if they were homes with plants and flowers around them. It seemed homey, comfortable in a way, like a family lived here and took care of it.

Off to the far left sat Creed’s Automotive, with several hot rods and a few bikes lining its parking lot.

A spot near the larger building came into view. I parked my car, turned off the ignition, and then sat back in my seat, giving myself a moment. I did this before every business meeting just to make sure I got my head on straight. Too bad this meeting had to be with Cade. If rumors over the years served me right, he was the president of Vipers Creed. The two guys I had talked to confirmed it with the boss man bullshit.

People changed a lot over time, going different paths, some good and some not so good. I wasn’t a judge, jury, or executioner in this scenario, but I had to wonder, with all the security, exactly how much Cade changed from the boy I’d known all those years ago. Did his life happen to be so dangerous that he had to be behind cement walls with guys guarding them? And if it were that dangerous, why would he choose this life?

I wanted to bang my head on the steering wheel. It didn’t matter. I was here for one reason and one reason only. I should have found comfort in the knowledge that the meet was business, but it didn’t come.

With a heavy sigh, I opened the SUV door then hopped down to the blacktop. I pulled my shirt down, readjusting myself and making sure the girls were covered. I’d gone simple, wearing a pair of ripped jeans, a blue V-neck top, and flats. I loaded myself up with silver on my wrists and a couple of chains around my neck. I didn’t do much with my hair besides run the brush through it. I liked having my chestnut tresses fall in thick waves down my back.

“Hey, mouse,” a man with a bald head and a tailored beard said from my left. Black sunglasses covered his eyes, and his lips were lifted into a sexy smirk. He wore a leather vest, which had a Secretary patch on it, over a dark blue T-shirt. He was attractive in his own unique way.

Mouse was a strange greeting, but I went with it.

“Hi, I’m here to see Ca—Spook,” I told him, lifting my hand to block the penetrating sun that my sunglasses had no chance of hindering.

“I bet you are.” He chuckled, running his hand over his beard as he appraised me.

I should have felt heat from his intense stare, but I didn’t. Okay, maybe a flicker if I was being honest with myself. I knew how I looked, considering I saw myself in the mirror every morning.

My body drove some guys crazy because I had an abundance of tits and ass. I understood that. It was even flattering that men found me attractive. At the moment, though, I didn’t his need his appraisal or anyone else’s. I just wanted to get this shit over with. In and out. Wipe my hands clean of Cade again.

“Can you tell me where he is?”

The bald man walked closer, holding out his arm with a crooked elbow like an usher would do at a wedding. I smiled. It was cute, especially from a burly man like him. I placed my hand in the bend of his firm arm.

“Let me show you to him,” he said.

We began to walk, and all the while, the heads of the guys sitting in the courtyard area turned and whistles erupted. I ignored the noise, falling into step with the man.

“Thanks,” I told him with a pat on the arm.

“Anything for the boss man.”

While I didn’t know Cade’s life, I had some assumptions. I watched the television shows about men in motorcycle clubs and all the havoc they raised. I didn’t know if they were actually true, but at least I wasn’t going in completely blind. I did know they had a hierarchy of power, and the men had to ride Harley’s. Other than that, I only knew what the TV shows told me.

Who am I kidding? I was pretty much clueless.

The man chuckled deeply. “So, what’s a hot piece like you coming here for?”

When he asked the question, I looked up at him. Lines sprinkled around his eyes and lips like he’d ridden his bike in the sun for hours. His face matched the tanned color of his head. It wasn’t a look, though; it was him.

A small grin played on his lips, catching my attention. I didn’t know if he already knew the answer to his question and was playing me or if he actually was being inquisitive. Once again, I rolled with it.

“I have word one of my girls is here with you. She owes me money, and I want it.”

He opened a solid, steel door, and we walked into darkness. I ripped my sunglasses from my face as the low hum of the newly turned on lights illuminated the room. The scents of stale booze, cigarettes, and sex permeated the air like a thick haze. I knew those three smells by heart because I smelled them every day. They were my livelihood, the reason I had stepped foot in Cade’s world.

“This way,” he said, pulling my arm.

I followed him into a wide open space. Tables were scattered throughout with chairs at each of them. A long bar sat on the other side of the room with loads of liquor, looking like it could give me a run for my money in comparison to the one I had at Sirens.

I felt kind of strange holding this guy’s arm without knowing his name, so I asked.

He lifted his shades to the top of his head and stared down at me with eyes the color of the ocean. They weren’t blue, and they weren’t green. They were both, and they were breathtaking. I got sucked into them momentarily.


“Stiff?” I questioned as he walked me through the space and down a long hallway. What in the hell kind of name was Stiff?

Pictures hung on the wooden planked walls, but at the pace we were going, I had no time to look at them without stumbling over my own feet.

He chuckled. “Yeah, mouse. You stick around, and I’m sure you’ll find out why.” He winked then stopped us in front of a wooden door. With his fist, he banged loudly three times, shaking the pictures on the wall next to the door.

“What?” barked a voice from the opposite side. Even with the wood between us, with that one word, I felt my body instantly awaken, wanting to pull toward the sound.

“Someone here to see ya,” Stiff yelled back.

“Nice intercom you have here,” I murmured.

Stiff chuckled.

Little did I know that opening that door would change my life forever.


Ardent Prose About The Author


Ryan Michele has a huge obsession with reading, which only came to life after her best friend said she had to read Twilight. After reading that series, her entire world changed in the blink of an eye. Not only was she sucked into new worlds and all of the wonderful words authors put down on paper, she felt the urge to begin to write down the characters that played inside of her head. In doing so, Safe was born. Then Wanting You and the Ravage MC series.


When she’s not reading or writing, she spends time taking care of her two children and her husband, enjoying the outdoors and laying in the sun.


Author Links


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Ardent 4




Booty Call By Ainsley Booth ♥ Chapter Reveal


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We are delighted to bring you an excerpt from Booty Call (Forbidden BodyGuards  #2) by Ainsley Booth. Sit back and enjoy the hotness.


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Booty Call

Ardent Prose Synopsis


I know what I’m doing when I text Scott at four in the morning.

He knows what I’m doing, too.

That’s why he shows up twenty-three minutes later, freshly showered with a condom in his pocket and a barely dissolved breath mint on his tongue.

I smirk as he looms over me. “You are such a dirty old man.”

“We need to stop doing this.”


“Because you’re twenty and I’m not. Because I want to take you on a f***ing date and you won’t. Because we wind up yelling at each other half the time.”

“But the rest of the time you’re inside me and it feels so good, right?”

His eyes darken and I don’t need to look down to know he’s hard for me.


Ardent Prose Excerpt





Happy birthday to me.

I’m supposed to be having an epic shop-a-thon with my sister in SoHo, but now we’re stuck at the Apple store because Hailey needs someone to fix her phone. Her fiancé Cole will have a fit if she’s off the grid.

God forbid. It’s not like she isn’t being shadowed everywhere by her bodyguard—big, brooding Scott Mayfair, of the dark, dirty looks and annoyingly consistent hands-off-Alison attitude—for our “girls weekend”. But her phone stopped working at lunch, so now Hailey’s waiting for a so-called genius to help her fix it.


I’m going to take advantage of the fact that Scott can’t leave Hailey’s side and go buy myself a present.

“I’m just heading around the corner,” I murmur to my sister. She knows where I’m going. Every time we come to the city, I visit the Mercer Street Agent Provocateur. It’s become my little ritual.

Alison Dashford Reid, all grown up and secretly wearing something naughty beneath her studious university student uniform of yoga pants and hoodies. Although that’s not what I’m wearing today—while it works for Washington…New York City, not so much. Not at the level that Hailey and I are playing at this weekend.

I’ve got my Jimmy Choo fuck-me boots zipped over my skinny Sevens, and a wool jacket over a silk camisole, because it’s February and there’s only so much cold my nipples can take in the name of fashion.

I sling the skinny strap of my purse across my body and join the flow of Saturday afternoon shoppers. New York is unlike any other city in the world, and SoHo might be my favorite neighborhood in my favorite city.  Narrow shops and cobblestone streets. It brings out the girly girl in me, and I indulge that lucky bitch with pretty underwear.

Inside, Agent Provocateur is glossy black lacquer and sparkling crystal chandeliers. A sea of silk and lace. Black ribbons and satin cups. It oozes feminine power and celebrates all things sexy.

My private collection of lingerie is one step in the direction of claiming more of that attitude for myself.

One day soon, I’m going to be this woman.

I sigh. Maybe not soon. I have to keep my head down until I’m done school and can leave Washington. Leave the toxic world of my parents behind and just be myself.

Be Alison, girl with silk panties. Girl with an easy, breezy attitude toward sex and men and life.

“Can I help you?” A smiling salesgirl approaches, and I’m glad I dressed up. I look the part of the rich socialite, and all afternoon I’ve been getting that treatment. Not normally something I care about one way or the other—and if pushed, I lean toward other. Because seriously, being rich just gives people the excuse to be depraved fucks.

And then have children, and ruin their lives with the depravity.

I shudder inside.

But on the outside, I just smile at the salesgirl. “I’m going to look around a bit. First time in a while since I’ve been in the store.”

First time since all the weird shit went down with my sister last year. Now I can’t just get on the train and come to New York for the weekend. Now when I suggest a girls’ trip, it’s a full-on thing, complete with Scott tagging along if Cole is busy.

We made that mistake once in the fall. Ugh. Totally un-fun, although it did beat a totally awkward family Thanksgiving.

This trip wasn’t my idea, even though it’s my birthday weekend. But Hailey’s got a gleam in her eye about a wedding dress, which means Cole’s finally won their non-stop battle over whether or not to get married.

Well, not that there’s a battle over getting married. Just a battle over the actual “getting hitched” moment. As in, Hailey doesn’t want a wedding. Not one our mother can ruin.

So I bet they’ll elope, which is totally fine.

After all the shit she’s been through, Hailey deserves to be happy.

And if she wants to buy a non-wedding dress for a secret wedding that she’s not telling me about just yet, I’ll suck up a totally un-fun trip to the big city.

After all, when I get bored, I can always ditch the bodyguard and sneak into a lingerie shop.

I smirk to myself—which of course is when karma decides to punish me.

“Something funny, Miss Reid?”

Damn it. I sigh and roll my eyes to the sparkly chandelier, keeping my back to Scott. My sister’s bodyguard. My secret crush. My totally off-limits, no-fun babysitter for the weekend, apparently, since he’s followed me, and not for any fun, dirty reasons. “How did you find me? Do I have a tracking device implanted under my skin?”

Scott laughs quietly and circles around the display until I’ve got face full of cotton dress shirt and black suit jacket. Both fitted and stretched across strong shoulders.

A wide chest.

Probably a hard set of abs, but I’ve never gotten close enough to test that theory.

I don’t look up at his face. Instead, I pretend to look at the panties on the far side of the table, right in front of his hips.

His package is pretty substantial, too. Definitely stretching the fabric there.

I blush, but I don’t duck my head further.

I’m totally fine with Scott knowing that I’m thinking about his cock.

He’s not fine with it, but that’s his problem.

He clears his throat and crosses his arms, swinging a collection of our shopping bags in front of his body to hide what I hope is a monster reaction to me. “Your sister suggested I might find you in here.”

“And you left Hailey alone to come find me?”

“Cole showed up. Turns out he had business in the city after all.”

Of course he did. Which meant that our girls’ weekend just turned into me being a third-wheel on a romantic getaway.


“Then I might head back to D.C.” I say quietly. I’m not trying to hide the fact I’m disappointed. It’s my birthday. I can be fucking disappointed if I want.

I can swear like a fucking sailor and pretend I’m not a Dean’s List, finishing-school Good Girl, because it’s my twentieth birthday and I can’t even buy lingerie without my sister’s drama intruding.

And since that drama won’t let me check him out… yeah, I’m pouting.

“You can head home. If you want.” His voice is…is…

I jerk my eyes up to his face.

He’s mocking me.

Outrage surges through me, unexpectedly, at the barely contained laughter in his voice. I can feel my face turning red, twin dots of heat burning on my cheekbones. I pick up a complicated thong, with bonus straps that do nothing but torment the person looking at the wearer, probably, and I hold it up between us. “You don’t think I should do that, Scott?” I put my own mocking spin on his name. “What should I do instead? You think I should stay here in the big city, and buy these panties, maybe wear them out tonight under a little black dress? Knowing full well there’s not a chance in hell I’ll get peeled out of them at the end of the night by a hot guy? Happy birthday, Alison. Here’s to another year of bodyguard-enforced virginity.”

I’m being a whiny brat. I don’t care. It’s been months of this rock star treatment, and seriously, it’s overrated. We grew up in a wealthy family, so having private security isn’t totally out my realm of understanding, but Hailey’s relationship with one of Washington’s top crisis management guys—and getting tangled up in a human trafficking ring—has taken shit to a whole new level.

It actually doesn’t affect my everyday life. I go to school. I even have my own apartment now, having moved out of my parents’ estate at Christmas time because there’s only so much fucked-up drama one can handle and still stay on the Dean’s List.

But it does affect every “sister thing” I want to do with Hailey.

Including celebrating my birthday.

So I stare at Scott, daring him—fucking daring him—to tell me that I can do anything I want, of course I can.

Because I can’t.

He stares back, his face unreadable.

“I don’t think Cole is planning on going out for dinner with you two, if that’s your concern,” he finally says gruffly, but I’m still pissed off. Anger sizzles under my skin and now I’m just thinking shit that’s not fair and doesn’t really matter. But that’s the thing about feelings, right? Once you have them, you can’t just un-have them.

Tears prick at the back of my eyelids, and no, that is not happening. I pinch the inside of my palm with my fingers and slowly roll my eyes back to the ceiling, exhaling as I tell myself to pull it together.

Let him think I’m a haughty bitch. I don’t care.

“Miss Reid,” he starts, and I drop my gaze, staring past him as I twirl the panties on the tip of my finger.

“I’m not a child. You can call me Alison, or Ms. Reid. Or nothing at all. That would be my preference.” I swing past him and hold out the lace and ribbon scrap of nothing to the sales girl. “I’ll take these with a matching 32C bra, please.”

I shake my head when she asks if I’ll need to try anything on.

While the thought of making Scott sit outside a change room would usually make me achy and wet, right now I’m not in the mood to play the tease. Not when it’s not going to get me anywhere.

I’m not a child. I told him that. I told my parents the same thing when I moved into my own apartment.

One of these days, I’m going to start believing it for myself.

And until then, I’ll fake it.

I’ve been doing that my entire life. I’m a pro.

After I pay for my purchases, I head for the door. Scott stands back, letting me move past him, but even though he hasn’t said anything, I still feel unsettled. Like maybe I haven’t had the last word.

He doesn’t get to do that to me.

I am not a child. I won’t be handled.

I stop and meet his gaze head-on. “Call the restaurant and change our reservation. Cole can join us. And you can, too.”

“I’m fine at the bar…Ms. Reid.” His jaw clenches, but that’s the only reaction.

“I understand that.” I lift my bag and wave it in the air. “But since my future brother-in-law won’t let me wear this for anyone else, tonight I’m wearing these for you. Whether you like it or not.”

Watch the trailer :


Sexy man and woman in a provocative embrace



Sexy man and woman in a provocative embrace


Sexy man and woman in a provocative embrace



Ardent Prose About The Author


Mom by day and filthy romance writer by night, Ainsley is super grateful for caffeine, banana and blueberry muffins, and yoga pants.  


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