Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Montage Mantlepiece: Wild Angels

Burning Rubber by Lily Harlem
When trouble rides into town, what girl can resist the ultimate bad boy?

Handling men isn’t an issue for me. I’m not a girly girl and my best friends are the machines I spend my days fixing, tweaking and servicing. So when the Wild Angels roll onto my forecourt and need my help, I’m happy to be of assistance.

But I’ve always been a magnet for trouble and when the leader of the pack, Gid, questions my ability, I can’t help the sassy backchat. Seems it doesn’t bother him too much and before I know it I’m climbing onto his beast and hanging on for the ride.

Bad ass guys like him don’t come without baggage, though, and it seems he wants to get rid of mine. Who am I to complain when it means revenge is hot, his body is hotter and we leave a trail of burning rubber as we head into the sunset? Biker girl, me? I guess it’s in the blood.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene involving mild breath play.

Witness by Rosalie Stanton
She’s the only thing good about his former life, and he’s been asked to end hers.

Serenity Jones never expected her homecoming to be heralded with a double-murder, or that she’d be the lone witness. Yet when she points the finger at the president of the Lucifer’s Legion Motorcycle Club, she finds herself the target of more than just an investigation—she’s a liability, one Lucifer’s Legion is determined to erase.

Dash Denyar owes everything to Lucifer’s Legion. A decade prior, he set himself on a path of self-destruction, and would have crashed and burned were it not for the motorcycle club. His loyalty was bought and paid for—he just never expected the price of loyalty to include ending the life of Serenity Jones, the only woman he ever loved.

Serenity has dreamed of her reunion with Dash ever since she left her hometown behind. Never did she imagine it would be on the other side of a blindfold, or with her life in the balance. As she tries to work out what happened to her childhood friend, she finds herself battling more than just survivor’s instinct. Ten years of unspoken feelings, regrets, and what-ifs threaten to break her, if Dash doesn’t do it first.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of kidnap, murder, references to drug use and suicide.

Grounds for Divorce by Helena Maeve
Overworked and jaded, Kayla is convinced she’s had her fill of bad boys when her boyfriend’s debts catapult her into a stranger’s arms.

A woman with a reputation, Kayla has long given up on true love. She’s thirty-three going on ninety-four, mother of one with a boyfriend who makes no secret of settling for her. When she’s not doing the books at the local strip club, she’s warming up the stage. Holding off the loan sharks is par for the course, until the night outlaw biker, Booker O’Connor, rolls into town.

Suddenly the bills come due and, in an act of desperation, Kayla’s boyfriend offers her up as payment for his debts to the motorcycle club. But their new leader has a reputation of his own.

Booker’s the real deal, from prison ink to bullet scars. No matter how sexy he may be or how much she’s growing to hate her boyfriend, Kayla has been with enough bad boys to know that she should fear callused hands and dangerous smiles. Striking out on her own seems like Kayla’s best option, but the Hell Hounds aren’t known for backing down quietly. She doesn’t expect Booker to give chase, much less discover that she doesn’t mind being caught by a man who can finally give her what she wants.

Reader Advisory: This book contains references to prostitution and sexual coercion.

Burning Rubber by Lily Harlem
Johnny Cash’s throaty voice filled the mechanic shop, filtering beneath the pick-up I was working on. The engine had blown a gasket, an easy enough fix, but I’d needed to wait for the part to be delivered before I’d been able to get on with the job.

Son of a bitch owner was hassling me—kept coming in and staring at my tits and demanding to know when it could be collected. Not my fault he’d bought a fancy car and we lived out in the sticks. This neck of South Dakota wasn’t exactly top priority for deliveries, and the part had taken three days to arrive.

I wiped the back of my hand over my cheek and the slick coolness of a smear of oil chilled my skin. Winter was approaching. Soon I’d have to shut the huge doors facing the quiet road that brought us passing business. But that was okay. I didn’t mind winter here—it meant my boss, Bruce, closed the door of his office and stayed in there all day drinking bourbon and watching porn. It meant he was out of my hair.

I reached for a spanner. Idiot shouldn’t have hired a female mechanic if all he was going to do was moan about my gender forevermore. Didn’t seem to matter to him that I was the best damn engineer for miles around.

The song ended and the DJ started to rattle on about some festival in Denver, miles away and not something that interested me. I wasn’t a typical girl. I liked machines, shiny big bikes and cars that purred. Make-up and cocktails and dancing at parties wasn’t my thing. Give me speed and danger and horsepower—that’s what fuelled my desires.

Suddenly the radio flicked off.

“Jesus, Sandra, what the fuck are you doing?” Bruce shouted.

A hard pain hit my ankle. He’d kicked the only bit of me sticking out from beneath the car. Bastard. But luckily I wore steel-toe capped boots that went well over the base of my leg.

“Asshole,” I muttered, scooting out on my support trolley.

He stood above me with his hands on hips and jowls wobbling. “Why haven’t you finished this fucking gasket yet?”

“Because I’m out here on my own,” I said. “I had two services to do this morning, for locals, and a guy stopped in with a slow puncture that I fixed.” I glanced at the big black-and-white clock on the wall above a shelving unit of spare parts. “And I should be heading home but I’m staying to get this done, out of the goodness of my heart.”

“Good fucking job.” He wiped his mouth on the back of his hand.

I could smell the alcohol from here.

“Well, it’s not like you’ve got anything to go home for, is it,” he added.

I ignored him. Misogynistic bastard wasn’t worth the emotional effort. Damn, I’d really have to find another job. I’d had enough. And it wasn’t like I was tied here anymore, not now Nan had passed two months back. I’d looked after her for three years and that’s what had kept me working for Bruce and putting up with his abusive shit. Now her finances were sorted, all I needed to do was sell her small house and the world would be my oyster.

Bruce hiccupped and wandered off, apparently forgetting that I was lying on the floor.

I shook my head and rolled back beneath the car. It wouldn’t take long then I could go home and make a meal for one. It still hurt that Nan was gone. She’d been as much of a support to me as I’d been to her, but she’d lived to a grand old age and I had a million happy memories.

Witness by Rosalie Stanton
She’d been here before.

The vein-chilling, hard-pounding, sweat-inducing edge to which only pure panic could drive a person—oh yes, Serenity Jones knew this place well. She’d visited numerous times over her short and rather unremarkable life, most often for reasons or problems fabricated by an overactive imagination. The first true anxiety attack had come at age nine, when she’d been certain her father was right, and she would spend an eternity in Hell. The most recent had been nearly seven years earlier, when she’d come face-to-face with the reality that she didn’t believe in Hell, or God, for that matter, and the world wasn’t as terrible as she’d been told.

Sessions with her therapist had taught her that panic—the sort that was produced in the mind—was the brain’s way of reacting to disorder-induced fears as though she were in actual danger. Serenity had always assumed finding herself in an actually dangerous situation would bring about a different sort of biological reaction. She’d been wrong.

Her arms hurt, stretched above her head, joined by a cuff at the wrists. At least, she assumed it was a cuff. The blindfold prevented her from doing much outside of guessing.

Blindfolded. Cuffed. Holy fuck, what happened?

There was the panic again—pulsing through her body like an old friend. She kicked her legs out, the flaps of her dress—or skirt, she couldn’t remember—sliding across her skin. Her feet, bare, rubbed against what felt like a concrete floor, catching on jagged particles. Pebbles? Whispers of dirt met with her skin. A thick, pungent but familiar smell tickled her nostrils. Motor oil?

Tears burned her eyes, and something else burned too. Her shoulder. Her right shoulder was torturing her. God, what had she done to her shoulder?

Serenity whipped her head, trying to dislodge the blindfold. No use. It didn’t budge.

Slowly—oh so slowly—the panic began to ebb. Not due to lack of reason or fear, but rather because it had nowhere to go but down. Her hammering heart sought a more reasonable tempo, her body—cold, clammy and drenched with sweat—began to rein in the tremors. Wisps of clarity penetrated the hard fog surrounding her brain, and she forced herself to think.

All right, Serenity. Focus. What’s the last thing you remember?

Serenity panted for air, shoving back the urge to vomit. Her last memory was Ellison. Ellison seeing her to car, favoring her with one of his swarmy lawyer smiles, and vanishing in her rear-view mirror.


No, not nothing. Squealing brakes. Stomach falling. The twisted scream of metal. A flare of pain. The car caving in.

Okay, so she’d been in an accident.

Her heart began racing once more as her panic cycle shoved her into another round. Serenity bit her lip and kicked her legs out again. Again, her skin took the brunt of dirt and scattered bits of debris. Again, she inhaled in the increasingly familiar scent of oil and exhaust fumes.

A car accident didn’t explain why she was blindfolded and cuffed.

Then it hit her. The missing pieces. Ellison had smiled his swarmy lawyer smile because they’d just concluded dinner—the same dinner he’d talked her into taking with him after the last meeting to rehash her testimony.

The testimony she was supposed to give tomorrow. Or today, more likely.

The testimony that would put Gunner Pierce permanently behind bars.

Grounds for Divorce by Helena Maeve
Kayla had long given up trying to make out the melody that brayed from speakers duct-taped to the ceiling. She gripped the pole with one hand and swung in a lazy arc, parting her knees suggestively on the descent. Beads dangled from her thong, caressing her thighs and catching on the hollows of her hips. Anything to draw the eye.

She dug her fingernails into the steel in an effort to resist smoothing out the tassels.

The fantasy she was weaving wouldn’t sell if her clients knew how much her outfits itched or what blisters she got from the stilettos she wore on stage.

She tipped forward, kneeling to roll her hips. The friction of thin air did nothing for her, but she moaned anyway. That, too, was part of the fantasy.

The lights were low in the club, but still she noticed the smattering of patrons watching her. None rushed to slide money into her thong. It was still early and Kayla’s routine wasn’t elaborate enough to merit the tips. She was the starter—there to whet appetites before Heidi or Lou were ready to take to the stage.

At the far end of the club, a door swung open, letting in the dizzying glare of a late afternoon sun. The light was blinding. Kayla distinguished a couple of broad-shouldered figures before her vision fogged.

Probably transients, in for a drink and a show before they got on the road again. Not the kind of patrons willing to waste their cash.

Chair legs scraped the tile floor down the stage, the loud screech curbing the swell of bitterness before it could snag hold.

Kayla glanced over. A thickset guy sporting an unfortunate buzz-cut waved a four-fingered hand. His buddy—younger, lankier, his chin like the point of a triangle—leered. Their faces were unfamiliar to Kayla, but their leather kuttes raised a few flags.

Shit. Zach had promised he’d steer clear of the Hounds.

She was relieved when the music finally wound to a close and she was free to lever to her feet, job done. Zach couldn’t say she wasn’t pulling her weight, though he might have a few pointers to improve her routine.

“What? That’s it?” one of the new arrivals heckled.

The heavier of the pair snorted under his breath.

“First course comin’ up,” Kayla replied sweetly. Her six inch heels and two-foot tall stage gave her a sense of altitude, not superiority. She was still naked but for her skimpiest bra and thong, rhinestones swishing against her thighs.

All in a day’s work.

She breathed a sigh of relief as she stepped off stage. At least in the back office, she had only one fragile ego to coddle. First stop was the dressing room, to change out of her costume.

“Zach wants you,” said Lou, smacking her shiny lips in the mirror. “What do you think of the color? Too trampy?”

Kayla tugged a hand through her hair. She craved a shower to wash away the stick of too many stares. “What’s the routine?”

“Arabian nights.”


Lou met her eyes in the glass. The improbably steep slant of her cheekbones seemed even sharper thanks to the judicious use of blush and bronzer. “Did I mention your boyfriend wants to see you? He’s the one who changed up my set. If you’ve got a problem—”

“No problem,” Kayla interjected, shrugging into a silk peignoir and cinching it tight at the waist. “Arabian nights sounds great.” For the third time this week.

Zach only ever changed the set list when he had a personal affinity for the routine.

Kayla locked down the thought. She couldn’t afford jealousy.

Lily Harlem
Lily Harlem is a best-selling, award-winning author of erotic romance. She lives in the UK and writes for several publishing houses including HarperCollins, Totally Bound, Pride Publishing, Evernight, ARe and Sweetmeats Press. She also features in numerous UK and US anthologies, some of which all proceeds go to charity.

Her books are a mixture of full length novels and short stories, some are one offs, some are sequels or part of a series (all can be enjoyed as stand-alone reads). What they all have in common are colourful characters travelling on everyone’s favourite journey — falling in love. If the story isn’t deliciously romantic and down and dirty sexy, it won’t be written, at least not by this author. So with the bedroom door left well and truly open you are warned to hang on for a steamy, sensual ride - or rides as the case might be!

Rosalie Stanton
Rosalie Stanton is an award winning erotic romance author, with emphasis in paranormal and contemporary. A lifelong enthusiast of larger than life characters, Rosalie enjoys building worlds filled with strong heroes and heroines of all backgrounds.

Rosalie lives in Missouri with her husband. At an early age, she discovered a talent for creating worlds, which evolved into a love of words and storytelling. Rosalie graduated with a degree in English. As the granddaughter of an evangelical minister, Rosalie applied herself equally in school in the creative writing and religious studies departments, which had an interesting impact on her writing. When her attention is not engaged by writing or editing, she enjoys spending time with close friends and family.

Helena Maeve
Helena Maeve has always been a globe trotter with a fondness for adventure, but only recently has she started putting to paper the many stories she's collected in her excursions. When she isn't writing erotic romance novels, she can usually be found in an airport or on a plane, furiously penning in her trusty little notebook.

Lily Harlem

Rosalie Stanton

Helena Maeve


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