Adriana Anders has acted and sung, slung cocktails and corrected copy. She’s worked for start-ups, multinationals and small nonprofits, but it wasn’t until she returned to her first love—writing romance—that she finally felt like she’d come home. Today, she resides with her tall French husband, two small children and fat French cat in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she writes the dark, gritty, steamy love stories of her heart.
Welcome to Blackwood
It’s road trip time! You’ve packed up the minivan, the kids, the dog, the husband and… scratch that. You hit the road on your jerk of an ex’s Harley, with nothing but the clothes on your back and some cash in your wallet. You’re on Interstate 64, in Central Virginia, headed east when a sign appears… BLACKWOOD, Exit ahead. The orange wash of sunlight makes you think it might be time to turn in, so you swoop off the highway and head into town.
The first thing that hits you in Blackwood in July is the heat. Well, that and the humidity rolling off the road in waves that’d make you wet if you didn’t have the wind in your face. You think about ignoring the speed limit as you approach what appears to be a tiny stretch of downtown, but you spy a sheriff’s car just beyond the Welcome to Blackwood sign and you know better.
The pavement narrows, traffic thickens and you’re here—Blackwood, Virginia, the slowest, sleepiest town to boast a post office in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. On the right, what looks like an old train station’s been converted into a library, past closing time you imagine, and across the road is aa strip of antique shops, flanked by B&B—too precious for your blood. You sweep your eyes around until… there. It’s a bar. THE NOOK, it’s called, but it’s got that look… seedy trying for better. Beside it, there’s a dojo, its big plate glass window showing the world how silly it can look to do martials arts. Or, in the case of that big, bearded monster of a dude, how unbelievably sexy.
Like magic, a space clears up in front of The Nook and you pull in, yank off your helmet and take a look around. So, people are looking. It’s a small town, it’s to be expected. Plus, you’re kind of hot in those skin-tight leathers.
It happens as soon as you swing open the front door—or maybe the second you look up and catch sight of the long tall drink of hotty behind the bar: you breathe a sigh of relief.
“What’s your poison, love?” he asks, with the thickest cockney accent you’ve heard outside of London. And then, because you needed that extra little nudge to tell you you’d come to the right place, he grins and says, “Welcome to Blackwood.”
Want more of the Blackwood experience? Check out this Blackwood-inspired board over on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/adrianasboudoir/blackwood-virginia-blank-canvas-location. And, if you’re really curious about what the town has to offer, let Clay convince you that you might want to stick around: https://www.pinterest.com/adrianasboudoir/clay-navarro-the-atf-agent.
Undercover cop Clay Navarro left the Sultans biker gang a changed man. Its ringleaders may be awaiting trial, but he wears the memory of every brutal act he was forced to commit tattooed across his skin. He doesn’t have space in his messed-up life for anything gentle—not now, maybe not ever.Dr. Georgette Hadley is drawn to the damaged stranger’s pain, intimidated but intrigued by the warmth that lies beneath Clay’s frightening exterior. But when the Sultans return looking for revenge, she finds herself drawn into the dirty underbelly of a life forged in violence…that not even her touch may be able to heal.
Check out the Blank Canvas series:
Up For Grabs:
- 1 Print copy of Under Her Skin
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