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text 2017-09-18 22:14
Review: Rule Breaker by Lily Morton
Rule Breaker - Lily Morton

 

Sjeesh... As twisted borderline Gabe was behaving, I did like the basterd. It was a ff miracle Dylan forgave him that easily. Guess true love conquers.

I enjoyed the banter. I thought they were very funny together. And thank goodness, Gabe redeemed himself at the end.

Also see here for an extra bonus from the author Lily Morton Scrambled Eggs and Lemsip

I understand we can expect Henry's and Jude's story. I'm looking forward to that. They were awesome friends and they deserve an HEA.

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review 2017-09-17 23:25
For book lovers, readers who enjoy banter and fun dialogues and who prefer their fantasy set in a quasi-quotidian world.
Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings (The Lily Singer Adventures, Book 1) - Lydia Sherrer

I’m not sure why, but I don’t usually read a lot of fantasy. I used to, when I was younger, and I enjoy movies and series about it, but these days I don’t seem to have the patience for some of the world building, complicated names, and tonnes and tonnes of characters that seem to be the usual fare in many of these stories. When I saw this book and read what it was about, something made me check the ‘look inside’ feature on Amazon, and I enjoyed what I read. And yes, I was right. I did enjoy the book.

Although I love a good story and an ingenious plot, I’m a characters’ reader first and foremost. And that was what attracted me to this book. We have a female character, Lily Singer, a librarian, bookish and studious, shy, socially awkward, conservatively dressed (a pencil skirt, a blouse, and heels are her uniform), and a wizard (yes, not a witch). And a male character, Sebastian Blackwell, a charmer, full of social graces, always looking for a shortcut rather than hard work, casual and untidy, and always able to get on the good side of people. Well, most people. Ah, and a witch (yes, a witch). Although in classical literature men used to represent the intellect while women were nature, the intellectually superior woman paired with a man who is more into faith or instinct rather than brain is not unusual these days (from the X-files to Harry Potter, and even the Simpsons), and here it works well. The two characters like each other (so far not in a romantic way, although all is possible and I haven’t read the rest of the novels in the series), and drive each other insane (opposites attract), but their abilities complement each other and they make a good team. Where Lily studies spells, books, and ancient knowledge, Sebastian can get help from fae and mundane alike (mundane are non-magical beings, although Sebastian has no powers of his own. That’s what distinguishes wizards from witches, who have to channel other beings’ powers). Their interaction is fun, light, and humorous, and their backgrounds are more similar than they realise. They are comfortable with each other but not to the point of revealing all their secrets to the other. And there is plenty of room to further develop their relationship in future books.

The book is divided into a couple of stories or episodes. The first is one is a full case that gives the reader a good sense of who the characters are and what their relationship is like. It’s a ghost story, a case that Sebastian has been booked to solve but he needs Lily’s assistance. This story, although, written in the third person, is told from Lily’s point of view, and it has all the elements ghost story novels would love. A haunted house, the ghost of a man trapped by a scorned woman, spells… There is an interlude, again in the third person, from Sebastian’s point of view, that introduces what will be the next case, which is quite a personal one for Sebastian, as somebody has stolen a family heirloom, a magical object that alters time. Sebastian’s point of view helps us understand the young man better, and gives us insight into some of his actions that Lily lacks. Lily has to come to the rescue once again, in a case that introduces complex elements and concepts, including a time loop, and discusses in more detail elements of world building and the powers peculiar to objects, wizards, and witches in this world.

Both stories are quick paced and interesting, and although the cover (that I think is superb) perhaps seems geared towards a younger audience, the book touches on issues such as drinking, terminal illnesses, and its take on magic is more philosophical and scientific than would be expected in books for a younger audience. There are delightful characters (a fae that loves mouldy pizza, for example), there are things that make one’s mind boggle (the time loop), and the information about this alternative world is interspersed with the story, without slowing down the action or requiring pages and pages of explanation. The glossary at the end (the book ends at around 92% in e-book format, and the rest is the glossary, about the author, and a sample of the next book in the series) clarifies further some of the aspects of the story and some of the terms used, but there is enough explanation in the text itself to understand the plot without needing to go backwards and forwards to check the terms/

A couple of quotes from the text:

Criminals were sadly predictable, especially those with so little self-respect as to wear their pants around their knees.

Though probably only thirty or forty, her wrinkled skin, sunken face, and stringy hair made her look more like fifty. (Sorry, this one I highlighted because I’m 52, so I worried that’s how women in their 20s think of us…)

As I haven’t read Harry Potter, I can’t comment on similarities and differences, but there is a conversation between Sebastian and Lily about the nature of magic (including mention of the books with the boy with the scar) and here is what Lily says:

But unlike in stories, magic is part of nature, it doesn’t defy it. The only reason mundanes call what wizards do “magic” is because it’s science they don’t understand yet.

The book is set in the South of the USA (the library where Lily works is in Atlanta, Georgia) and the location and language add to the charm. I don’t want to enter into a lot of detail to avoid spoilers, but let’s say that I’d love to have access to some of the spells and magical objects Lily uses (oh, book lovers; you have no idea what she can do with books!).

In summary, this is a fun read, two stories in one book, set up in a recognisable world, with some added ‘magic’ and magical creatures, familiar but not quite as we know them, whose main characters become our friends and are people we’d like to spend more time with. Recommended to readers who like fantasy but prefer to engage with the characters rather than to read detailed descriptions and a lot of world-building, and who are looking for fun dialogues and quick-paced stories. Ah, and if you love cats, you’ll adore Sir Edgar Allan Kipling.

I was sent an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

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review 2017-08-25 19:55
Souljacker by Yasmine Galenorn
Souljacker: A Lily Bound Novel - Yasmine Galenorn,Cassandra Campbell

Lily is a succubus who staves off the hunger and makes her living by running a sex salon. The book opens when she discovers one her best werewolf clients dead in a bed, drained of blood and missing a hunk of flesh. 

The vamps in this book are not of this ilk.



They are mean, they are hungry and some of them are batshit crazy. These vampires are monsters, just as it should be. Sadly, they do not make much of an appearance. There are a few dead bodies here and there but we don’t get to spend any time in their heads. Such a missed opportunity. I love being in a madman’s head, if only for a short time.

Because of the dead guy in her bed, Lily’s life is turned upside down and inside out. She loses her livelihood, is targeted by a madman and an angry widow bent on revenge and she’s getting dangerously hungry for some chi and sexy time. When she realizes her best friends are also in danger, they enlist the help of a chaos demon who is a most excellent PI and handily enough, very good at the sexy times.



This started out as a whole lot of murderous and sexy fun but somewhere along the way it lost me. It became dull. Nothing much happened for chapters on end. There was much talk about sigils and security and blah, blah, blah. At this point, I even began to start longing for one of these guys to pop in and woo somebody to death just so something would happen.



Really the only thing keeping me reading was the sexy chaos demon. I kept waiting for him to create some major, you know, chaos but I may have to wait until the next book for that happen. It wasn’t even what I’d call a paranormal romance because there was no romance development here either.

There was an engaging story of Lily’s enchanted cat. If the rest of the book had been as interesting as the cat’s backstory I would’ve gobbled this book up. But as written, most of the characters were a little flat and not fleshed out nearly enough for me. There was no emotion, very little action and there wasn’t even any humor. It was all just a bit too tepid for my liking. I tried another of this author’s books years ago, Witchling I believe it was, and I didn’t like that one very much either so maybe it’s me and my atrocious taste again. 

Ah well, I may pick up book two because I do realize this book was the first in a series and much setup needed doing. Hopefully it has more sizzle and less fizzle than this one.

Narration Notes: This audiobook was read competently by Cassandra Campbell who she gives each character their own distinctive voice, none of them cringy, and I always appreciate that because I’m sure it’s not easy. 

I received a copy of this audiobook from Tantor Media. Thanks Tantor!

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text 2017-08-18 11:32
Halloween Bingo 2017 | Ani's Tentative Reading List!
The Nightmare Charade (Arkwell Academy) - Mindee Arnett
Just Past Midnight - Amanda Stevens
The Dead Travel Fast - Deanna Raybourn
Saving Fish from Drowning - Amy Tan
On the Night of the Seventh Moon - Victoria Holt
Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions (Audio) - Neil Gaiman
Blue Dahlia - Nora Roberts
Black Rose - Nora Roberts
Red Lily - Nora Roberts
The Lotus Palace - Jeannie Lin

 

Halloween Bingo 2017



So, obviously, instead of finishing up books I'm currently reading, I've spent the past two days looking for book possibilities for all of my Halloween Bingo squares.

I've already been making a tentative listing of books I'd like to read for my own customized Bingo card above, courtesy of Moonlight Reader and picmonkey!  Thanks Moonlight!

Tentatively, this is what I'm planning on reading, four books of which are from my 2017 Reading Assignment list, and most of the other books are pre-owned TBR, and seriously just need to be read.

Please excuse my drawn out ramblings.


Magical Realism:  Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan
-- I have had this book for a very, very long time and have never read it.  As I read through the summary, it struck me that this particular book could count as magical realism.  I had considered reading this book for the Diverse Voices square, as well, so if it doesn't seem at all like magical realism, I might shuffle it off onto some other square.

Other possibilities:  Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen; The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker


Classic Noir:  Undecided
-- I've never read books in this genre before, but am open to trying something new.  Also, keeping this square allows me to cut out some of the 'horror' squares, and I'm more partial to mystery anyway.  The first group read for September will hopefully find me a nice book I can read for this square!


Ghost:  Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts
-- There are a lot of possibilities for this broad category, but I have recently acquired a lot of Nora Roberts books and would like to get through them.  I read something by Nora Roberts for last year's Halloween Bingo (Dark Witch), so it wouldn't hurt to read another something (or three somethings) for this year's bingo.

Other possibilities:  Devil May Ride by Wendy Roberts; Haunted by Heather Graham; An Inquiry Into Love and Death by Simone St. James; This House is Haunted by John Boyne


Supernatural:  The Nightmare Charade by Mindee Arnett
-- The Nightmare Charade is a book off of my Reading Assignment list, and this, unfortunately, is the only square it will fit on the card (unless I use the Free Space, of course).  And yes, I DO want to have it read, as I've been planning to read it in either September or October for the longest time now.  Otherwise, there are many other possibilities to pick from.


Diverse Voices:  The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin
-- This was the next book I thought about after the Amy Tan book listed above.  In fact, if Saving Fish From Drowning does not actually work for Magical Realism, then I may just shuffle it back down here.  But, in the meantime, I AM quite interested in reading The Lotus Palace, a book written by an Asian author, that takes place in historical China, and is a mystery novel as well!

Other possibilities:  Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan


Cozy Mystery:  Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
-- Oh, the possibilities for this game square!  There are any number of cozy mysteries that I am quite interested in, so the above may not be my final choice.  It is just the first book that popped into my mind when I thought of cozy mysteries.

Other possibilities:  Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris; Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio; The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde; Frozen Stiff by Annelise Ryan; Shadowland by Meg Cabot


Witches:  Undecided
-- I am not a hundred percent familiar with witch books, but I think I should be able to find something.  If all else fails, I think Nora Roberts has a few books about witches.  There are two books in particular that I own that have a witch, so I may just pick one of them.

Possibilities:  Jaxson by Alisa Woods; Protecting His Witch by Zoe Forward; Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman


Vampires:  The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn
-- I'm not big on vampire books, so I had considered doing a Dracula reread via the full-cast audio that I own.  Then, while I was going through my shelves, I stumbled upon this little gem by Deanna Raybourn, of which I had just purchased with an Audible credit not long ago.  The book takes place in Transylvania, and there is talk of creepy castles and charming vampires.  I'm totally reading this one for this square!  And to think, I almost decided to exclude it from my choices!


Country House Mystery:  Undecided
-- The truth is, I'm not sure I know what a 'Country House Mystery' is, but I'm willing to find out.  Recommendations are welcome!  Though one of the books I found that was listed as a popular country house mystery was Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles.  I'd been meaning to get some more of Dame Agatha's work read.  What does everyone else think?


Haunted House:  Black Rose by Nora Roberts
-- Once again, the possibilities are endless.  But I'm starting a trilogy, and I'll be damned if I leave another series unfinished for a long time.  Black Rose continues the the trilogy, In the Garden by Nora Roberts, following behind Blue Dahlia, and there is talk of a ghost being present in the setting of the book's house for over a hundred years.  I'd call that a haunted house!

Other possibilities:  This House is Haunted by John Boyne; Ghost Horse by Patricia Rosemoor; Haunted by Heather Graham


Aliens:  Undecided
-- I don't know why I kept this square, however, I DO have one book that will definitely fit, if nothing else will.  For the meantime, I'm going to keep my options open, but chances are, I'm going to read my one and only possibility for this game square so far:  The Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa.  You wouldn't think that this book would fit, but one of the characters is an alien, even if not the creepy weird aliens of space invaders and horror.


Genre: Horror:  Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
-- Halloween wouldn't be complete without a book by Neil Gaiman.  Smoke and Mirrors is a short story collection that is tagged as 'horror,' so I'm going to go with that.  The summary gives a great description that comes off kind of horror-like anyway.  Again, this is a tentative pick, I might change my mind later if I stumble upon something else.  But I own this in audio, so the chances of me changing my mind is a bit slim.


Free Space:  Red Lily by Nora Roberts
-- I can't find another spot to place this book so that I can finish off the trilogy.  So it will go here unless I can find a different place for it that I don't already have another book lined up for.


Monsters:  Undecided
-- Okay... this is another square I'm not entirely sure why I kept.  I thought I'd be able to find something to fit, but I can't come up with anything outside of dragons (mythological creatures), which there are plenty of books for.  Do random animal shifters count?  Feline shifters?  Bear shifters?  Unknown animal, possible monster shifter?  I suppose I could always read something about Bigfoot...

One possibility:  His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik -- because, dragons.
Another possibility:  The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett -- because giant turtles, and dragons.
Last possibility (that I can think of):  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
-- because, fantastic beasts and mythical/magical creatures... which probably include dragons.


In the Dark, Dark Woods:  On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt
-- I picked up about three Victoria Holt books from a library sale a long time ago and have been looking for a chance to introduce myself.  Ever since my first Gothic romance, I've been paying more attention to author names that come up in connection with the genre.  On the Night of the Seventh Moon's summary mentions something about the significance of a forest.  I'm going to go with that.


Amateur Sleuth:  Just Past Midnight by Amanda Stevens
-- I have a feeling that this category was created probably for a cozy mystery of some sort, where the protagonist is often times NOT in law enforcement.  But as the description isn't entirely restrictive, I decided to go with another Reading Assignment selection, wherein there is a mystery, there is a murder, and the protagonist is a psychologist.


Werewolves:  Undecided
-- I probably have the same love for werewolf books as I do vampire books, but if I were honest, I'd be more likely to pick up a werewolf book than a vampire book.  So this square remained in my choices, and now I'm trying to figure out which of my wolf shifter books I want to read... if wolf shifter = werewolf, that is.

Possibilities:  In the Company of Wolves by Paige Tyler; Jaxson by Alisa Woods


Gothic:  The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
-- There are a number of books that I'm considering reading for this space, if only because I'd recently been drawn to Gothic romance and the genre appeals to me.  I've been shuffling around possible books by Mary Stewart, Susanna Kearsley, Simone St. James, and maybe even Kate Morton.  On the other hand, I DID pick up three Victoria Holt books at a library sale, and having already chosen one for one of my game spaces (see Dark, Dark Woods), I have two more I could try.  So this is a tentative selection.

Other possibilities:  Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart; Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels; The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley; The Visitor by Amanda Stevens; Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt; The Black Opal by Victoria Holt; An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James; The Secret Garden by Kate Morton


Romantic Suspense:  Hit and Run by Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin
-- Frankly, this is a 'Free Space' for me since romantic suspense is my go-to genre.  I have so many possible picks that I my biggest problem is figuring out which book I want to read for this category.  So, to make life easier on myself, I went and chose one more Reading Assignment book, one of the books that I kept telling myself I wanted to read during the summer, but because of REASONS, I never got to it.  I'm not even going to give myself other possible reads, because I'd just end up becoming wishy-washy in my choices.

How much we want to bet that I'll end up changing my mind and reading something else anyway?


Darkest London:  Undecided
-- I had a few books I was interested in reading for this space until I realized that the books I'd been choosing were set in England, but not in London.  Well, that ended up being a problem I figured I could easily remedy, so another search had to be done.

And would you look at that?  Goodreads has a nifty list I decided to peruse:  Books Set in London.
However, since that list has anything from contemporary romance to Paddington Bear, I decided to do a more narrowed search of 'mysteries set in London' and came up with this list:  Best London Mysteries.

Possibilities:  Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick; Mistress by Amanda Quick; What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris; The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle; London Falling by Paul Cornell; And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander; The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry; A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas


Murder Most Foul:  Every Secret Thing by Emma Cole (a.k.a. Susanna Kearsley)
-- So I'm not entirely certain if this book fits--the summary mentions a murder, the book is tagged 'mystery.'  I really DO want to read this book (or rather, listen to it since I have it on audio).  But I'm not entirely sure that this is a murder mystery, per se, because some parts of the summary hint that this is a death that occurred in history.  Nonetheless, I obviously have a lot of books to choose from considering how broad a category this one is, requiring only that we read a murder mystery, any murder mystery.  So I might just include a few alternate options.

Other Possibilities:  Hit and Run by Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin; Chasing Evil by Kylie Brant; The Prey by Allison Brennan; In the Woods by Tana French; Midnight Exposure by Melinda Leigh; The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin; The Jade Temptress by Jeannie Lin; The First Victim by J.B. Lynn; A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas


Serial/Spree Killer:  Dear Maggie by Brenda Novak
-- Another category that has a lot of possible books I could read.  But to keep things simple, I'm inserting another Reading Assignment book on this space.  Dear Maggie's summary mentions the presence of a serial killer--that's good enough for me.

Other Possibilities:  Chasing Evil by Kylie Brant; The Hunt by Allison Brennan;


Classic Horror:  Undecided
I don't know what to pick.  Maybe a reread of Dracula, although, the truth is, I'm sort of waiting out for the October group read and will probably just use it to fill this square since the group reads are wild cards.


Terrifying Women:  Undecided
-- Amanda Stevens has written a book that I recall being tagged as 'horror.'  Then again, I can always pick up another Shirley Jackson book, or maybe something by Barbara Michaels... Daphne du Maurier...

Possibilities:  The Lottery by Shirley Jackson; Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels; The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart; The Devil's Footprints by Amanda Stevens


Locked Room Mystery:  Undecided
-- I've only done a cursory search of the books that would fit this category and narrowed my choices down to a few, though I'm not entirely sure what I want to read.  All of these titles I found at the Goodreads Locked Room Mystery list.

Possibilities:  The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux; The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle; The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins; The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie;  Cover Her Face by P.D. James; The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/08/halloween-bingo-2017-anis-tentative.html
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review 2017-08-02 02:59
Book Review for Lucky by Lily Atlas
 
 
 
 
 
Title: Lucky
Series: No Prisoners MC Romance
Author: Lilly Atlas
Genre: MC Romance 
Release Date: July 31, 2017
Arc Copy provided for Honest Review
5 stars from us
Reviewed by Angels With Attitude Book Reviews


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
After six painful months caring for her terminally ill mother, Kori learns the identity of her father. Desperate to connect with the only family she has left, Kori sets out to meet the man responsible for half of her DNA. There’s just one problem: he’s the President of the No Prisoners MC, Las Vegas chapter.
 
Raised as the step-daughter of an MC member, Kori has one rule when it comes to dating: no bikers. But following that rule becomes a real challenge when she meets Lucky, a member of her father’s club. He's handsome, he's sexy, and he makes her feel special.
 
Lucky has his own rule for dating: don’t do it. With a revolving door to his bedroom, he has no interest in a relationship. But what begins as harmless flirting with his Pres's daughter heats up, until he can’t get Kori out of his mind. She's enough to make him give up being single. 
 
But Lucky is holding onto a dark secret. He's learned the Pres and VP are involved in activities that could bring down their chapter. He was nearly ready to act when Kori arrived. Now he must decide: move swiftly against his club's leaders, or wait to give his relationship more time to develop? Either way, can he save her from getting caught in the crossfire?


Another great MC romance in the No Prisoner's series.In this story we were on a journey with Kori and Lucky to finding their own piece of love and happiness.

Kori has lost her mother and has learned who is her long lost father in one swoop.After her mother's death she seeks out to find her father and to get to know him if he is willing.In doing so she learns her father is the president of the No Prisoners MC club.

Kori has one thing going for her and that is she is not a complete stranger when it come to club life her mother was and old lady and her stepfather a member of a club.I found Kori to be sweet kind,loving,independent, and she had a sense of humor and was full of spunk.

I always pick a favorite character in a story and mine is going to be Kori.I just loved her from the onset.But,she won me over when she made the ultimate sacrifice to protect Lucky even though doing so she was going to cost her the man she loves.

Lucky's character surprised me the most.Lucky was not your typical MC character.I found him to have more feelings and was more open than any of the other MC members.Yes he has baggage like most but, I loved how he openly he expressed his feelings a thoughts with Kori.It showed he was caring and had feelings and was capable of giving his heart to someone.Yes,he was dangerous but not in a scary kind of way.

Lucky saw Kori as a challenge and she was the first girl who didn't fall at his feet.He knew right then and there that she was the one for him.I loved this couple together they had awesome chemistry that made for some really hot sexual encounters.They were just so cute together with their constant teasing and bantering with each other as it made us smile and laugh.

I found Lucky to have his own  insecurities in this relationship that definitely clouded his judgment when it came to Kori.But, all those insecurities is what drew me to Lucky's character.It made for  more of an emotional story.Falling in love is not alway's easy but, its more rewarding when you have to work for it.
(grins)

This MC romance had tons of drama,deceit,greed.The story always had something going on.Keeping it interesting.This MC is divided as it is but,when the secrets are revealed to the club is it going to make or break it?

I love when you read a story and from the onset you connect with its characters and I was able to do that with these characters as I could help but love them.We also enjoyed reading about the other members as well.

Another great story filled with love,romance,drama,betrayals that had a great cast of characters and we loved it.

I am so enjoying this series and recommend it to all MC lovers.

5 stars from us 


 
 
 
Las Vegas, November 2015
Three-fifty-seven a.m. Pretty fucking early. Why the hell he was awake, he had no clue. Maybe his female companion had inadvertently woken him when she crawled her sweet ass out of the bed and slunk into the night.
Lucky’s head was a bit groggy, but the intoxication seemed to have worked its way out of his system. A quick cup of the sludge his MC brothers called coffee and he’d be good to ride home where he could actually get some comfortable sleep. This damn bed was like sleeping on a pile of rocks, and sharp nails.
Now where the hell had his cut landed?
He found it dangling from the foot of the bed. Once dressed, he made his way down the dark hallway toward the main area of the clubhouse. The building was a seven thousand square foot single story old shoe factory that had been converted for their needs years ago. The front of the building served as the heart of the clubhouse. The space was wide open, with a massive bar, pool table, dart boards, and a number of plush, albeit questionably sanitary, couches. That’s where they partied, hung out, and generally caused a ruckus.
A long hallway led to the back of the building where offices and spare rooms were located as well as the giant meeting room, or chapel, where the club conducted its business. Lucky loved his second home, even if sleeping there was a less than restful experience.
He trod as quietly as his booted feet would allow so as not to wake anyone else who’d spent the night. As he neared the bar, loud, angry voices broke the silence of the early morning.
“How did this happen? Tell me how the fuck this happened!” Rebel’s smoke-roughened yell made Lucky wince. Their Vegas chapter president was not someone to piss off. Those who got on his bad side often found themselves missing a tooth or two. Just last year when their club brothers from Crystal Rock, Arizona were in town, Rebel had rearranged some punk’s face for having the nerve to step on his foot and not apologize in a crowded bar.
“I don’t know, Pres. Casper called me just five minutes ago. First thing I did was come to you.” Savage sounded just as agitated as Rebel. Another man you didn’t want to put a target on your ass. Like Lucky, he lived up to his nickname with gusto.
Lucky halted, unsure if he’d be welcome at this moment. If it seemed like they could use his help, he’d be more than happy to jump in, but something felt off about the situation. The small hairs on the back of his neck rose to attention. An issue requiring attention at four a.m. on a Saturday could only mean trouble.
Casper. Why did that name sound so familiar?
“Tell me exactly what Casper said. Word for fuckin’ word. And give me a fuckin’ cigarette. I left mine in my room.”
Silence descended and Lucky pictured Rebel lighting up and sucking in that first soothing drag. In eight years, there had perhaps been three times he’d seen Rebel without a cigarette between his fingers and smoke billowing from his mouth. His leathery face and raspy voice bore the marks of a man who loved his smokes.
“Spit it the fuck out, Savage.” Rebel sounded close to losing his cool. Surprising for a man who ruthlessly commanded respect and never seemed at a loss. Shit must be bad.
“Casper said they’re having ongoing issues with their supply from the cartel. Trust has been a problem since the Crystal Rock chapter ambushed them. Stealing the mil meant for the cartel pissed the Grimm Brothers off, big time. They liked working with Snake but hate Casper’s guts.”
Lucky remembered now. Grimm Brothers MC. Casper was the VP and Snake had been the president for a while. Nasty motherfuckers who caused serious trouble for two of his brothers, Striker and Jester. Snake kidnapped Striker’s woman and blackmailed Jester’s ol’ lady with threats of killing her only brother. The Grimm Brothers were the sworn enemy of the No Prisoners Crystal Rock chapter.
“Shit.” Rebel’s curse was followed by a loud boom that had Lucky jolting. He tiptoed a few steps further into the hallway. He should leave. Spying on the President wasn’t a smart idea, but now he itched to know the rest of the story.
“Did they get this month’s shipment? Thirty percent of that product had our name on it,” Rebel asked.
Wait. What? Lucky’s blood ran cold. His club steered far away from the drug trade.
“Most of it. The cartel held some of it back as punishment for Casper’s bad attitude.” Savage paused and without actually looking at him, Lucky could imagine his cold eyes turn deadly. “Said they have no problem finding new buyers so Casper needs to get his ass in line.”
Rebel let out a harsh laugh followed by a barking cough. “That scrawny asshole knows how much I depend on the cash from our heroin sales. He better get his shit together or the cartel will be the least of his worries.”
Lucky swore his heart stopped beating for a few seconds, just before it kicked up into a fast gallop. Rebel and Savage were selling drugs. Who else knew? Who else was involved? How long had this been going on?
Nausea rolled through his gut like a violent storm. His sister had died of an overdose when she was just seventeen. One of the reasons he’d chosen this specific MC when looking to prospect was the fact that they were fierce in their stance against involvement in the drug trade. Too risky and too much collateral damage. Or so he’d believed.
“Maybe we should consider cutting out the middle man. Deal with the cartel ourselves.” Rebel coughed. The man’s lungs had to be blacker than tar.
“Not a bad idea, Pres. Things ain’t the same since Jester beat Snake near to death. You think Casper finished the job? You know that greedy asshole was just biding his time until he could claw his way to the top and no one’s heard from Snake in the months since.”
“I need a drink. What a fuckin’ mess.” Rebel sighed, then the sound of liquid being poured reached Lucky’s ears.
Well, now he sure as hell couldn’t step out into the bar area. With the stealth of a ninja, Lucky crept back toward the room he’d crashed in. This was far too much information to process at four in the morning after a night of heavy drinking. His thoughts bubbled and swirled like molten lava in a volcano near eruption.
Now he got to choose between two shitty options.
Turn a blind eye and keep his trap closed.
Or run with what he overheard to someone who could help. Take it to the Crystal Rock chapter. Tell them his president and vice president were in direct violation of the club’s strict no drugs bylaw. Be a rat.
And in the MC world, there was nothing dirtier than a rat.
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lilly Atlas is a contemporary romance author, proud Navy wife, and mother of two spunky girls. By day she works as a physical therapist for a hospital in Virginia. Lilly is an avid romance reader, and expects her Kindle to beg for mercy every time she downloads a new eBook. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened yet, and she can often be found absorbed in a good book.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
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