Harper Kincaid has moved around like a gypsy with a bounty on her head ever since. All the while, longing to have the guts and follow-through to do what she really wanted: to write and become a published author. That wish has finally come true and she's tickled hot pink.
When not writing, she adores listening to indie, lo-fi, complaint rock played on vinyl, the theater, well-informed optimism, happy endings (both kinds), and making those close to her laugh 'til they snort. She is a self-admitted change junkie, loving new experiences and places, but has now happily settled in the cutest lil' town, Vienna, Virginia.
Leave it to the awesome forces behind Ramblings From This Chick to be the ONLY way I finally got my shit together.
Allow me explain.
You see, I’ve wanted to write a prequel for my upcoming release, Girl Breaker, for a while now. Had it all planned in my li’l blonde head and everything. But did I make it happen? Uh….noooo. And just when I was ready to really cause myself some impressive bodily harm, Danielle gave me the prompt and deadline I needed to make my long-coveted prequel happen.
Or at least a taste.
In this brief scene, we’re at a New Year’s house party, hosted by a couple featured in my first book, Rule Breaker. They invited sisters Jessica and Samantha, who live a few blocks down the street in their childhood home – renovating while grieving over the sudden loss of their parents, killed in a drunk driver accident.
It’s the first time our heroine, Jessica, lays eyes on rough-around-the-edges and ripped beyond reason, ‘Mad’ Max. He’s sinewy sex in leather and jeans. He’s also sharp as a tack and crazy protective – details that play out deliciously later on.
This scene happens at the party and shares a slice of the thigh-clenching heat between Jessica and Max.
I knew it was rude as all-get-out, but I had to do it.
I was standing off to the side, in the farthest corner of the room, on my phone. I was Googling:
‘When is it socially acceptable to leave a party?’
Rephrased I also typed out:
‘Minimum amount of time one has to stay at a party without offending host’.
In fairness to Wade and Meyer, their New Year’s Eve party looked like a really good time. There was plenty of food and booze and just the right mixture of singles and couples. Meyer was a born-and-bred Southern girl and her party was proof positive of that. Any other time – please, any other year – and I would be in the thick of it, ringing in the New Year with everyone else.
Without my sister there, I just didn’t have my heart in it. And no matter how much I pleaded and begged, Samantha wasn’t leaving the house – even if this party was only a few blocks away.
As if reading my mind, my good friend and neighbor, Lauren, walked up with a glass of champagne in hand.
“I’m so glad you came,” she smiled and offered me the glass. I accepted it, wondering why she wasn’t drinking herself. “But you look like a short-timer, ready for the prison gate to unlock.”
My shoulders dropped. “That bad?”
“’Fraid so,” she said with a sweet, small smile. I could tell she was concerned and I couldn’t help but wonder if Lauren had been the one to draw the short straw to check on me.
“You couldn’t convince Sam to come out, even for a li’l while?”
“Not a chance,” I answered, checking my phone to see if my sister had texted me, which she hadn’t. I let out sigh. “The Sam I know wouldn’t miss a party for anything, especially with all the men here. Dear Lord, does Wade have any homely friends? It looks like a modeling call for a Hugo Boss ad in here.”
Her shoulders bopped as she silently giggled. “That’s true,” Lauren said while scanning the room. “Anyone you want to meet? There’s no reason for the whole night to be a total loss.”
Even though I was, technically, dating someone from work, I couldn’t help but peruse the area. We weren’t sleeping together yet and we hadn’t had a talk about being exclusive. Besides, there was just something…off about Henry, something I couldn’t put my finger on.
As expected, all of Wade’s friends looked like typical Northern Virginia single guys: either preppy, country club types carved out of cream cheese or geek-chic man-boys sporting Star Wars t-shirts and cargo pants with extra pockets for their zip drives.
Nothing wrong with any of them.
So why was I bored out of my skull?
Meyer powered walked across the room to us with a wide and stiff grin, as if a swarm of road bugs had just flown into her mouth but was pretending like nothing happened. As soon as she got close enough, she grabbed Lauren’s arm like it was a life preserver in the deep end.
“What’s up? You okay?” she asked.
I could see her squeezing Lauren’s arms tighter.
“Um…there’s a man at the door, looking for you and Jackson. He said you told him it was okay to come by?”
Lauren’s expression cleared, recognition filtering through. “Oh, that must be Max. He’s a friend. Actually, he’s going to be renting out my house. He insisted on dropping off the check tonight, for some reason. Guess he wants everything finalized before the end of the year. I hope you don’t mind.”
“He’s what now?” Meyer looked as if she was going to pass out. Yeesh, how bad could this Max guy be?
If Lauren spotted her best friend’s discomfort, she didn’t acknowledge it. “Oh that’s right. I forgot to tell you. We would’ve run it through your office, but Max needing a place in this neighborhood just dropped into our laps, like literally right after we decided I was going to move to Jax’s house.”
Meyer waved her hand, dismissing what she said. “I don’t care that you’re not running the lease through my company. It’s just…he’s very…”
“He’s…what?” I chimed in.
She fanned herself with both hands. “I don’t know. I’ve just never seen a man so…massive before. It’s like there’s a leather-clad Viking standing at my front door!”
Lauren’s eyes widened. “You didn’t invite him in? What’s the matter with you?” She started walking to the front of the house. I decided to follow because it was the perfect time for me to make my exit.
And besides, I was curious.
Lauren opened the front door and, I swear on all that’s holy, I couldn’t breathe.
Yeah, he was that good-looking but it wasn’t in a pretty-boy way. This Max was a composite of polar opposites: sharp, high cheekbones paired with the softest-looking, round and full lips I’d ever seen on a man. He had kind eyes - their color was this pale green that turned almost luminescent, making him look like some cursed paranormal demigod. His body was all muscle, as if chiseled out of marble from an ancient Roman era, and the skin on his hands looked rough and calloused. Yet his dirty-blond hair appeared fine and baby soft, and the scar that bisected his right eyebrow was worn down smooth and shiny.
The image of running my tongue along that scar made me shutter and it must’ve been enough of a shift in the air because his eyes darted from Lauren to me.
Crap, he noticed my reaction to him. Smooth move nerd girl, I thought.
Instead of resuming what he needed to do with Lauren, he just stared at me, his gaze fixated in a way I’d never encountered before…the kind I couldn’t break away from if I tried. And that’s when I realized why.
He was looking at me like I was something he was going to hunt. Like he was a wild thing, a feral beast desperate to sink his heat deep and rough into me. A rush of wet invaded my folds and I felt my nipples bead, my arousal almost like a living entity outside my body.
I had never, not in my life, experienced desire even close to that before. So, of course, I did the most logical next step.
I gave a quick goodbye to my friends and took off for my house, like it was on fire.
Because I was on fire.
I bolted like a little girl running from a wolf in a forest. I didn’t even have enough courage to gaze over my shoulder, to look back at where he was.
Although, there was no need, really. After all, I had just met my new neighbor. The wolf was practically at my front door.
Sometimes the best thing a good girl can do is make a bad decision.Jessica has always been the girl with her head in the clouds and her nose in a book, only dating the “nice guys”. But when rough-around-the-edges Viking-biker-god, Mad Max, and his precocious little girl move onto her street, Jessica falls hard and fast for both of them.Max is no stranger to women wanting to share his bed—and he’s always been more than happy to oblige them all. He’s lived wild all his life—that is, until a daughter shows up on his doorstep and he meets a redheaded angel down the block.There’s nothing more he wants than to claim Jessica as his, to bring the gorgeous spitfire to his bed. But a man like him doesn’t get a happy ending with a woman like her. He’s got a whole other life, one he’s kept secret for good reason.If Jessica found out what he really is, there’s no way she could love him. He should keep his hands to himself. But he’s Mad Max—he’s never done the right thing, and he’s not going to start now.Warning: Contains a dominating alpha male who’s a lot more than he seems, and a good girl with a swirl of flavors under her vanilla.
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