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review 2019-02-09 06:12
Book Review for Doc Marshall The Early Years by Jesse Cooke
 
 
 
 
 
Title: Doc Marshall: SKULLS - The Early Years #1
Author: Jessie Cooke
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: October 26, 2018
Reviewed by Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Arc copy Provided for honest review
5 stars from us
 
 
 
 
 
 
Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Every man and woman that lives on earth makes their mark on it while they're here. But some people leave an indentation...and Doc Marshall and his old lady Dallas were two of those people.

 

Doc Marshall's beginnings were not humble. He was born with advantages that other people only wished for. But Doc didn't want the “things” that his father, a surgeon, worked so hard to give him. What Doc wanted was for his father to notice him. He wanted his father to realize that he was different, special even. By the time Doc was a teenager however, he'd given up on that...and he had realized that Landon Marshall's ambivalence toward him had actually been a blessing, because it left him determined to leave his own mark, his own legacy...people would remember his name someday, and not because he was Landon Marshall's son.

 

Doc joined the army before he was old enough to vote. He saw unspeakable things in the jungles of Vietnam, and he used what he saw, and what he learned to prepare himself for what he wanted. Doc came back from the jungle with his sights set on becoming the president of a powerful MC...the Southside Skulls. He used his intelligence, his grit, and his focus, to make that happen quickly. By the time he was twenty-five...everyone knew his name. He was sitting on top of the world and it was his for the taking...then in walked Dallas Paxton, just to shake things up.

 

Dallas grew up in the times of free-living and free-love. She was a hippie in almost every sense of the word. She loved hard and passionately, without holding back. Something about the MC president with the incredible blue eyes, crawled under her skin and burrowed in deep...and before their story was over, Dallas wouldn't be the same carefree, earth-loving, peace and love girl that she was before.

 

Doc Marshall didn't make a lot of mistakes, but usually when he did, they were monumental. People might even whisper about them behind his back...but there was only one person on earth who had the balls to say it to his face, and that was Dallas. They loved passionately, they fought passionately, they lived passionately. They built an empire together, one they would leave for their son, Dax.

 

This is their story. The beginning and the middle. The question that begs to be answered is...who will remain standing in the end?
 
Join Doc, Dallas, the early Southside Skulls and their offspring for a wild, tumultuous, passionate ride that will leave you breathless...and aching for more.
 
* * *
Book 1 in the SKULLS - The Early Years MC Series. 
This is a Standalone Romance Novel but characters from this story, will appear in future books in the series and many have appeared in the previous series of Southside Skulls and Westside Skulls.
No cliffhanger. 
Intended for Mature Readers.
 
* * *
Skulls - The Early Years MC Series is about members of the MC club, their friends and associates.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Let's start off by saying this is a awesome series and we really loved Doc's current story.For those of you who follow my reviews know that Ms Cooke is one of my favorite top MC authors and each and every book in this series has been a winner in my book.I also want to point out that I really loved the cover of this current story.Those eyes of Doc's just make me melt sigh....
 
From the onset of this story I new this story was going to be a good one.The author had us already engrossed in the story from page one.I am really glad that the author decided to give Doc a story as we have heard so much about him throughout the series that I was really glad to heard Doc's story and how it all began.I actually like how the author choose to do his story now and work backwards and included some of the original and founding members as well and I am so looking forward to Coyotes story next.
 
My favorite character would be Dallas Omg! I loved her from the moment she walked through those MC doors and shook things up.I loved the fact that all the members loved and respected her and their was even one in particular in love with her something the Prez addressed early on in the story.
 
I loved Dallas and found her to be feisty,loving,caring,tolerating,forgiving to a point,smart,love-able,a bad*** in her own right,loyal, and also had that hippie laid back attitude.I loved that her smiles and sunny attitude affected all those around her. She was just a character that you could not help but love.I shed more than a few tears for Dallas and it broke my heart and we experienced her pain right along side of her.
 
 
The chemistry Doc & Dallas had was explosive and they definitely burned up the sheets in and out of bed and an match made in heaven.Two opposites attract who seemed to be soul mates.
 
 
I loved hearing how Doc's got involved with the club and how it all came about and I have to say I found him to be cunning and clever to do what he did when it came to the club and club matters.I wish I could say that I loved him but, it was more like love/hate relationship I had with Doc's character and in the beginning he looked like a promising character.I will say he did have some good qualities as you could see how his men loved and respected but, feared him as well.Doc's actions however were inexcusable and Doc I wanted to smack the crap out of you for the pain and suffering you caused the one who loved you the most.The last half of the book I needed tissues by me.Doc if you were before me right now I would string you up like you do those bad guys of yours.

I loved the story from cover to cover the characters were amazing as always .The suspense and drama and secrets coming to life kept you engrossed in the story the entire time.The story made me laugh as well as shed tears and shed them I did more than once.

 
They say that karma always comes back to bite you and for some of those that holds true and I am sorry that the selfish actions of one individual wrecked and entire family as well as affected and entire club by ones actions alone.
 
This story was and emotional tale and is the type of story that sticks with you for a bit even when the story is over.For me if a story still has you thinking about it still hours later it was an amazing read that goes into you keeper pile for books to be remembered a re-read and a later date.
 
So looking forward to the next book in this on going series.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1973
The jungle was silent, and then in an instant, it wasn’t. The sharp crack of a rifle, the cry of the wounded, and the sounds of the platoon hitting the jungle floor disrupted it...but only for a second. And then once more, there was silence. The entire platoon lay silently in the dirt, even the sounds of their breathing muted as they waited for a sound or a movement that would point them in the direction of the enemy. Every man in the platoon, that is, but one. That one man was slithering on his belly like a snake in the grass, dressed in green camo like the rest of them with a zippered green pack strapped to his back. The bag was a foot and a half long, a foot wide, and six inches deep. It was fully loaded that day and if put on a scale would weigh in at about thirty pounds. Strapped to the outside of the pack were five extra canteens of water for him to use to treat heat exhaustion in the summer and fever and chills in the winter. Inside was everything he might need to tend to the wounded.

The gunfire started back up just seconds before he reached the wounded man, but that didn’t stop him. When he reached the soldier, flat on his back on the jungle floor, he immediately shrugged off his pack and went to work. The first thing he did was pull out his field scissors and cut away the soldier’s pants to expose the gaping wound in his leg. Next came a pressure bandage and then a field IV. It was standard treatment for a gunshot wound that wasn’t immediately life-threatening. The solution in the IV would last about thirty minutes...just enough time for the Medevac to fly in, scoop up the injured, and fly them out to the nearest field hospital.

He spent another three hours that day, patching holes to stop the bleeding, starting IVs to replace the lost blood volume and in two sad cases, doing what he could to make the dying man comfortable until he was lucky enough to pass on. It was a lot of pressure for a nineteen-year-old man...some would say too much. When he wasn’t in the jungle he was working sick call, up at five a.m. handing out ibuprofen and malaria pills, checking on old wounds that had been surgically repaired or stitched up by Doc himself, handing out penicillin for the STDs a lot of the GIs brought back from Saigon when they went on leave, and sometimes just being the sounding board for a traumatized soldier who only needed someone to listen. Some days Doc heard about things that he’d never seen, and others he saw things that he’d never heard of. It was overwhelming at times...but quitting was not an option.

The teenaged boy who ran away from home at the age of sixteen looking to leave his mark on the world hadn’t found what he craved in Boston. He didn’t find it at boot camp either. Strangely enough it had been hiding deep in the jungles of a foreign country. There, Adonis “Doc” Marshall had found the one thing he had been born feeling like he deserved...respect...and he made himself a promise while he was in Vietnam and that no matter what happened, if and when he got back to Boston, he was never going to settle for anything less.
 
May, 1975

“Son of a bitch!” Dr. Landon Marshall sat on the front porch of his comfortable, upper-class home in West Roxbury, drinking his iced tea and reading his paper. The mild spring morning was all so quiet and the neighborhood was peaceful, at least until the sound of a Harley Davidson motor split it wide open and Landon Marshall got to his feet to see what was going on. The neighborhood where they lived was made up of doctors and lawyers and corporate executives...the 1% they liked to call themselves...the upper 1%. Landon Marshall didn’t think of himself as a snob, but if he had to choose a group, of course he’d choose the group on top...wouldn’t everyone? It wasn’t as if he hadn’t worked for it his entire life. Dr. Marshall was a newly retired surgeon. He had spent three decades of his own life saving others, and now he was finally going to be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of all that labor. But he’d like to do it in peace, and when he saw that the Harley Davidson was pulling into his driveway, he was already prepared for what he was going to say to the bearded man sitting on the bike. He headed toward the steps just as the loud engine shut off, but something stopped him dead in his tracks and his next curse was:

“Well, I’ll be a sonofabitch.”

“What in the world was that noise and what are you cussing about?” His wife, Rose, stepped out onto the porch too. She only had to glance at the man on the back of the bike to know. It must be a mother’s instinct. Landon thought, because the man sitting in their driveway looked almost nothing like the boy who had left home five years earlier, tearing his mother’s heart out as he went. Rose dropped straight down to her knees on the porch and clutched at her chest. Her husband thought she was having a heart attack and his first thought was that it figured. He’d always known that boy was going to be the death of one of them; he had just always figured it would be him.

“Rose. Honey, are you okay? Can you breathe?” She looked up at Landon and he saw that she was breathing just fine, but tears stained her cheeks and her bright blue eyes quickly focused back on the man who was now coming toward them.

“Adonis? Oh my God! It is you.” That was when Landon Marshall looked up at his wayward son. Even after five years, the smug look the boy seemed to carry permanently on his face annoyed him. Landon didn’t know if that was proof that he was a bad father, or proof that Adonis was truly the narcissist that Landon had always feared he was.

Adonis Marshall grew up with everything any kid could want...and Landon was sure that’s where they had gone wrong. They’d given their son so much, everything, and eventually Adonis hadn’t appreciated any of it...instead, he grew to believe he deserved it. Landon wasn’t home a lot when the boy was growing up, and some of his indulgences had been to assuage his own guilt. It was only when Adonis was almost seventeen that Landon started to worry that maybe the boy had a personality disorder, something that no amount of Rose’s babying him or Landon’s handing him money was going to fix. When Landon told his son that it was time for him to get a job and stop relying so much on his parents for every little thing, Adonis had just simply packed up his things in Landon’s old rucksack and taken off on the 1971 Harley Davidson that the surgeon and his wife had given the boy for his sixteenth birthday. That was five years earlier and this was the first time they’d seen or heard from him since. Landon didn’t know whether to hug the boy...who was most definitely a man now...or kick his ass for what his disappearance had done to his mother.

Adonis dropped the bag he was holding...the same green rucksack that he’d taken from his father the night he disappeared. He took the porch steps two at a time and helped his mother to her feet. As soon as she was on them, she flung herself into his arms and began to sob as she clutched onto him.

Landon took the time that Rose was coddling her “baby” to study his son. His golden blond hair was long now, down past his shoulders, and pulled back into a ponytail and held in place with an elastic band. Those same deep blue eyes that had attracted Landon to his wife when she was just a girl looked out of his son’s hairy face. He had a long beard and a mustache and although his body was covered with an old army jacket, jeans, and boots, it was easy to see that he’d put on a lot of weight since they’d last seen their skinny teenaged boy. Adonis was even about four inches taller than he had been when he left, and he towered over his mother. He and his father would have been eye to eye, if not for Doctor Landon Marshall’s recently broken hip and the cane he stooped over to hold onto.

Rose pulled back and looked up at her son’s face. “I can’t believe you’re here. Sometimes I wondered if I’d ever see you again. Are you really here?”

The young man lost his smirk for just a few seconds as he smiled down at his mother. If there was anyone on earth that Landon believed his son really loved, it was Rose. He at least had to give him that, he supposed. “I’m really here, Ma.” She grabbed him again, pressing her face into his chest as she hugged him. While she mother-handled him, Adonis spoke to his father at last, “Hello, sir.”

Dr. Marshall never told his son to call him sir...but Adonis always had. Landon spent his first ten years as a doctor in the army and retired as a general. But when Adonis said “sir” it was not with the respect that term would normally carry. He said it snidely, even when he was a kid...in a way that betrayed his opinions of his father in just that one little word.

“Adonis,” Landon said, wondering where they went from there. After a pause he said, “That jacket army issue?”

“Yes, sir. Just off the boat. Shipped out of Vietnam the day after Saigon fell.” Rose burst into tears again. Landon knew his wife was thinking about their son being over there in the jungle, risking his life every day...and they hadn’t even known.

Finally pulling herself together Rose stood up straight, took him by the arm, and said, “Come on in, you have to be starving.” Landon had so many questions, but he knew his wife well enough to know she wouldn’t tolerate his asking them until her “baby” was fed. Rose’s soft spot for Adonis couldn’t be broken, not even by five years of estrangement.

Landon and Rose had been married for twenty years before Adonis was conceived. They’d been told they would never be able to have a child of their own. Then suddenly at the age of 45, Rose woke up pregnant...and Adonis had been her “miracle baby” every day since. Landon knew her indulgences were a big reason that Adonis had turned out so ungrateful...but he didn’t fault her for it. As far as he was concerned, the sun rose and set on his wife...but the boy he’d always had a problem with. Already annoyed, he followed Rose and Adonis inside and almost ran into his son when he stopped in the center of the foyer and looked around.

“Haven’t changed a thing,” he said.

“I didn’t touch your room either,” Rose said with a huge smile taking over her face. “I knew you’d come back. Oh, Adonis!” She grabbed him again Adonis let her hug him as tightly as she needed to and waited for her to be the one to let go. “I’m sorry. I’m just overwhelmed,” she said. “Come on. I’ve got a roast and potatoes in the cooker.” Landon grumbled something about asking for roast and potatoes for lunch only an hour earlier and being told he couldn’t touch it because it was for dinner. But as usual when Adonis was in the room, Landon was invisible.

Adonis dropped the stolen rucksack on the floor and Landon knew that to still be angry over it five years later was petty...but he also knew it wasn’t the sack that ate away at him. It was Adonis and the way that for his entire life, he’d just taken whatever he wanted. He had always acted like the world owed him something, and that infuriated his father. For a long time after Adonis left, Rose blamed her husband for being too hard on the boy and pushing him out the door. She probably still did blame him, but thankfully she had at least come around to not reminding him every day. 

Adonis stripped off the army jacket and underneath it was a green t-shirt. He was also wearing a pair of camouflage pants and black, steel-toed boots. But what caught Landon’s attention was the tattoo on his son’s neck. It said, “Doc.” Adonis sat and while his mother fussed over him, Landon looked over the tattoos on his son’s arms. On one side was an American eagle with an American flag behind it. On the other was a snake that started at his wrist and disappeared underneath the sleeve of his t-shirt to where it became the medical symbol for doctor.

Once his wife finally had the boy set up with his plate and a big glass of tea, she sat down to watch him eat. Her eyes filled with tears every time she looked at him, but Landon saw the change in them when she spotted the tattoo on his neck. Rose and Landon both had always hoped Adonis would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a doctor. Adonis had expressed zero interest in that growing up, however. In fact, he never wanted any part of anything that even resembled his father. It was too bad, because Adonis Marshall was smarter than his father ever hoped to be. The boy never studied, but somehow made straight “A’s” through school. They talked him into IQ testing when he was fourteen and he tested at 142...genius level.

“Adonis, what does that tattoo mean?” Rose asked. Landon was surprised that she wasn’t freaked out by the idea of someone permanently scarring her “baby.” Maybe she’d move on to that, but for now he was curious too, but hadn’t wanted to ask.

“I was a medic in the army,” he said, leaving it at that. No one said much until he finished and once he drained his glass of tea and convinced his mother he didn’t want more food Landon said:

“So, are we going to talk about you taking off and breaking your mother’s heart when you were sixteen?”

“Landon!” Rose scolded.

“It’s okay, Ma,” Adonis said, not taking his blue eyes off his father’s face as he said, “I guess the only way to explain it was that I just got tired...of everything. Leaving was the wrong way to deal with it, I guess...but back then I just didn’t know what else to do.”

“You were tired?” Landon said, feeling the anger rise up inside of him. “Tired of what, exactly? Were you tired of being waited on hand and foot by your mama? Having everything you wanted and needed handed to you and not having to work for it? Is that what made you so tired that you had to run away?”

“Landon, stop!” The men kept their eyes on each other and ignored Rose’s pleas.

“I notice you weren’t too tired to take that new motorcycle I’d just bought you when you left. And you weren’t too tired to take the money out of your college fund, were you? And that rucksack! That’s the only thing I had left from my time in the service, and you just took it, like you had a right to. Then you waltz back in here five years later, again, like you have a right to. You think being a medic and tattooing ‘Doc’ on your neck is going to impress us to the point that we’ll forget everything else you did? You broke your mother’s heart.”

“Please stop!” Rose’s face was covered in tears, but Landon could only see her out of the corner of his eye. He still hadn’t taken his eyes off his son.

“You finished?” was what Adonis said when he finally spoke. When Landon was quiet for a few beats Adonis went on, “You don’t have to worry...sir.” His voice was low, deep, and thick. For the first time in his life, Landon was almost frightened of his own son. “I don’t plan on staying around here,” Adonis said. “I came home to see my mother and as soon as Grant’s got his shit together, we’ll be going into business together on the Southside.”

Landon raised an eyebrow. “You’re going into business on the Southside? What kind of business are you going into over there? Drug dealing? Pimping? Car theft? Burglary...?”

Adonis shoved his chair back from the table. Rose was crying, Landon stood up so as not to give his son the advantage of looking down on him, and with a steely look in his deep blue eyes, Adonis looked into Landon’s green ones and said, “All of the above. You know how much you like being in that 1%, old man? Well, guess what? I’m going to own my 1%. I’m going to own this whole fucking city one day. After you’re gone nobody’s going to remember your name, but when I’m dead my legacy is going to live for fucking ever.” With that, Adonis Marshall bent down and kissed his mother on the cheek and leaving the rucksack on the floor, he turned his back on his parents and walked out of his family home for the very last time.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Jessie Cooke writes hot romance novels about tough guys, bad boys, bikers, fighters and lovers and the women of strong character who tame them.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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review 2019-02-09 06:08
Book Review for Coyote Lee: SKULLS - The Early Years #2 by Jessie Cooke
 
 
 
 
 
Title: Coyote Lee: SKULLS - The Early Years #2
Author: Jessie Cooke
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: October 26, 2018
Reviewed by Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Arc copy provided for honest review
5 stars from Us
 
 
 
 
 
 
The night Xander Lee found himself half-drowned, flat on his back and looking up into the blue eyes of his savior, everything changed. Going from lost boy to hardcore biker overnight definitely had its advantages. But could a guy with no social skills and the burden of a guilt he couldn't shed, ever really fit in? Called Coyote by his brothers and friends, he struggled to do his best, but falling in love with his president's old lady might just be his fatal mistake. That mistake would see him banished to another coast, alone, afraid and expected to fail.
 
With the weight of a soul that ached constantly and an almost nonexistent sense of self, Coyote found enough of a spark inside him to get things started...and from there he would blaze a path that no one saw coming. Not just any man could take one brick and build an empire...but despite his own misgivings, Coyote Lee was no ordinary man. Even life at the top didn't come without a heavy price however. The love/hate relationship he had with the man who gave him a second chance at life, lay at the core of almost everything he did. The secrets he kept to himself for so many years gnawed at his soul. The whiskey he tried to drown the pain with was never enough, and the women and children who loved him would only get a glimpse of who the man inside really was.
 
Could Coyote ever measure up to the late, great Doc Marshall? Or would he die trying? Take a ride with us through the Central Valley of California and across the all the hearts that Coyote touched in this life and decide for yourself, but hang on tight and be careful what you say and do...because someone is always watching!
 
* * *
 
Book 2 in the SKULLS - The Early Years MC Series. 
 
This is a Standalone Romance Novel but characters from this story, will appear in future books in the series and many have appeared in the previous series of Southside Skulls and Westside Skulls.
 
No cliffhanger. 
 
Intended for Mature Readers.
 
* * *
 
Skulls - The Early Years MC Series is about members of the MC club, their friends and associates.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Omg! This author has done it again.We loved Coyote Lee from beginning to end and what a page turner it was and we loved every minute of it.
 
This author always amazes me as everything she writes is superb.The story started off with a bang and kept you glued to the pages to the very end and along the way I shed a few tears.
 
I was so looking forward to this story as we never really new to much about Coyote or his life and I have to say that we were very surprised of some of the things we learned about him.
 
What we loved most about this current story was its characters as they definitely livened things up.I found Coyote and Doc Marshall's story similar in the fact that they were both respected and admired  and loved but, they made crappy choices when it came to their women and family life.
 
I loved that so much was going on to keep your interest in this story and we have to say that we were in awe of the lengths that Coyote went to in order to save the love of his life.
 
I found Coyote to be one scary dude who definitely lead a colorful life.I also felt him to be more standoffish than the other characters as he always seemed to carry the weigh of the world on his shoulders and never truly happy.
 
I loved the chemistry and the sparks that went on between Coyote and Colleen as it made for some very hot sexy scenes and she made the perfect old lady and we found her to be a hoot and she made us laugh more than once.She was a true old lady in every way and all who were blessed to know her loved her.
 
I have to say that the ending wowed me and I have to say that I never saw the story ending  the way did .
"I love when that happens ! "
 
Another awesome and amazing read and I am so looking forward to the next in this series.This is a series I love more and more as the stories unfold in this series  as they are just pure enjoyment .
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prologue
Texas 2002
“What’s that you’ve got there?” The social worker had gotten the call early that morning. She had been doing this for almost twenty years, and these calls still rattled her to her very core. She recently moved from California to Texas, somehow hoping that things wouldn’t be so dark there. She’d seen things that she had to suppress and they only came out now in her nightmares. Texas wasn’t any different; at least that’s what her first call of the day today was about to teach her. She sat on the dirty couch next to the little boy. If the cop who called her hadn’t told her he was a boy, she wouldn’t have been able to tell. He had his head bowed and tons of matted, dark hair hanging down over his face. It looked like his hair had been braided at one time, but they were dreads now. She wasn’t sure if that was intended or not. “Hey, the officer told me your name is Adan. I’m Trinity.” She held out her hand, close to where she knew he could see it under all that hair, but he remained focused on what he was holding in his lap. “Can I see this?” She touched it and suddenly the mute, still little boy became like a wild animal. He clutched the leather bundle to his chest and scooted back on the couch, peering out at her through an opening in his hair. Trinity gasped when she saw his face. She hadn’t meant to...but his skin was so dark, and so was his hair, yet staring out at her were the bluest pair of eyes she’d ever seen. “Adan...” she said, again.
“Adam!” The sound that came out of the small boy’s mouth startled her at first.
“I’m sorry, I thought it was Adan...”
His blue eyes cut toward the bedroom. The woman that had been there was gone. Trinity had watched them load the black bag that bore her body into the ambulance when she first got here. The first light of morning was just showing over the horizon then, but now the sun was climbing and Texas was waking up. She looked at the little boy sadly. Her compassion for human beings had drawn her to this job, but her empathy might well destroy her someday. “She called me that,” he said. “I don’t want to be called that anymore. My name is Adam. Adam Marshall.”
“Marshall?” she asked, confused.
The little boy slowly opened up his arms to reveal the vest that he was holding so tightly. It had a big, round patch on the back that said, “Southside Skulls, Boston Chapter.” He turned it over and Trinity saw what was stitched on the front of it. “Doc Marshall, Prez.” Well, maybe at least this poor little baby with eyes like sapphires wouldn’t spend the rest of his life alone...
* * *
Boston
Spring 2002
Coyote sat on the edge of the bed, staring at the wall. He’d been staring at the same spot for fifteen minutes. The door to the bathroom opened and Colleen stepped out. Coyote shifted his focus and his eyes roamed his wife’s sexy body. “Is it bad that I’m horny again?” They had made love the night before—it had been passionate and heated—then again that morning when they woke up, but considering what day it was, it had been slower...sweeter. Colleen could always sense his moods and she always knew when he needed her.
She laughed at that and picked his tie up off the dresser. Standing in front of him, she draped it over his neck and moved his long, thick hair so she could slip it underneath. “We don’t have time.”
“Let’s not go,” he said, while she worked on the tie. He lifted his arms and put them on her hips. She had wide, sexy hips. He loved them.
Colleen smiled down at him softly and said, “If I thought you meant that, I’d stay right here with you. But I know you wouldn’t let them lay him to rest without you being there.”
Coyote sighed. “I fucking hate this. We’ve been to way too many funerals lately. I hate funerals. But this one...fuck, babe, this one is the worst.”
She stopped fooling with his tie and bent down so she could press her lips to his forehead. “I know, love. It’s always hard to say goodbye...but when it was so unexpected...”
Coyote chuckled and said, “I honestly believed he would live forever.”
Colleen sat next to him on the bed and took his hand. “He will,” she said. She ran her free hand down his back, over the patch on the kutte he was wearing with his button-down shirt and tie. “Because of this,” she said, and then she moved her hand around front and put it against his chest, over his heart. “And this,” she said. “Because of men like you, who will carry on his legacy. He’ll live forever, baby, and so will you.”
Coyote chuckled again, mostly to fight back the tears that were pressing hard, trying to get out. “I’ll never leave a legacy like he did.”
“Hmm,” she said, “we’ll see. Now stand up and let me do your tie.” Colleen was his biggest fan. Coyote had never been overly confident. His childhood was shit and his early adult years hadn’t been much better. Meeting Doc Marshall had changed his life in so many ways. Who would have thought that falling in love with the man’s wife would have pushed him into the greatest opportunity of his life? Doc banished him to California and for a hot minute, Coyote thought that was it for him. But somewhere he found the resolve he needed to get things started out there...and somehow, things had taken off like one of the wildfires that burn every year in the foothills above the valley that he now called home. He’d met Colleen, and they’d had a son. His son was grown now...and he was a fine young man. Coyote had made so many mistakes along the way, though. He had secrets, even from his wife, that ate away at him daily. He made decisions that ended lives. He walked around in his kutte that said “Coyote, Prez, Westside Skulls” on it, like he owned it. But sometimes deep down in his gut, he felt like he was still faking it. “There,” Colleen said, finally getting the tie all tied up. Coyote pushed the knot up and had to take a deep breath to fill his lungs. He hated wearing the fucking things, but if anyone ever commanded enough respect to deserve one worn at his funeral...it was the man he was going to say goodbye to today.
“Alright,” he said, reluctantly, “I guess we should do this.” They walked out of the room and down the stairs hand in hand. The ranch had changed a lot over the years, but it always did Coyote’s heart good to see the pictures on the wall of the great room when he reached the landing. They had been added to, but none had ever been deleted. He knew there was a lot of talk about taking Hawk’s picture down. The Skulls had been searching for him for three years, but so far, not a trace. One could only hope that the man who betrayed his best friend, and the man they all loved and respected, was dead in a ditch somewhere south of the border.
Coyote’s eyes landed on the very first photograph in line on the wall. It was in black and white, but if you looked closely enough, you could still see that his eyes were unlike anyone else’s.
“Hey, Coyote.” Coyote turned toward the voice and had to quickly correct himself. Doc Marshall’s eyes were looking at him, but not from Doc’s face.
“Dax, I’m sorry I missed you last night, we got in late. You remember Colleen?” Dax Marshall was almost the spitting image of his father...but Coyote could see Dallas there, especially in his smile. His heart still ached when he thought about her. He’d never stopped loving her. He felt guilty about that for a lot of years. But one thing he had learned was that there were different kinds of love, and different levels of it. His love for Dallas had been on a level all its own.
“Of course,” Dax said, taking Colleen’s hand first. “Thank you for coming.” He shook Coyote’s hand then and Coyote, not caring what anyone thought, pulled the boy in for a hug. He knew that an almost twenty-two-year-old Dax would object to being called a boy. But Coyote could vividly remember the day he drove his mother to the hospital to give birth to him. It seemed like only yesterday. Dax stiffened slightly, but he hugged Coyote back. Coyote let him go and said:
“I’m sorry. This is just...surreal, I guess.”
Dax nodded. “Yeah, it is for all of us. The SUVs are outside and ready to go, if y’all want to catch a ride. Otherwise, you can ride out with those of us who are riding.” Coyote looked at the mass of bodies behind Dax. He doubted that a single man who had ridden with the one they were going to bury would dare step into an SUV on a day like today. He looked at Colleen and with her powers of perception, she smiled and said:
“I’ll ride in one of the SUVs and see you there.”
Coyote smiled and kissed her cheek. He looked back up at Dax as she left and said, “You have no idea how much I loved him.”
Dax smiled and said, “You loved him enough that although you wanted his old lady, you never did anything about that. He banished you to the middle of nowhere and you loved him so much that you built an empire...in his name. You loved him so much that you drove my mother to the hospital the day she gave birth to me. I think if I shook this building and all the men who loved and were loyal to my father fell out...you would be on top.”
One of the tears Coyote had been holding back slid out of his eye and began to roll slowly down his cheek. He brought his hand up to wipe it away and he said, “Fuck, Dax...what are we going to do without him?”
Dax looked around the room again, letting his eyes linger on the photos on the wall, and said, “He’ll always be there for men like you and me, Coyote. Any time we want to give up, or we want to settle, he’ll be there, mentally kicking our ass. Anytime I think I’ve just had it...that I’m done…I picture his face when I was five years old and he made me slide down a water slide. I was terrified, but to this day I can’t remember a better feeling than facing that fear and watching the pride on his face as I did. That’s what Doc Marshall was all about. Fears exist...we have to face them, if not for ourselves, then for him and all he did for us. We better get going.”
Coyote nodded. He followed Dax and the crowd of bikers out the door of the Skulls clubhouse. They all stood on ceremony as Dax climbed on the back of Doc’s Harley for one last ride. After the memorial service, it would be retired to the meeting room and another part of Doc Marshall would live forever, in infamy.

Chapter One
New York
July 1975
Sweat, and the smoke of dozens of cigarettes and just as many joints, hung like a sticky fog in the air as Coyote was led down the empty stone hallway toward the room where the fight would take place. His fights were always in a different warehouse and he was picked up at his dumpy little apartment in the Bronx and driven to wherever it would take place by one of Slinko’s men. Sometimes the drive took hours and sometimes only minutes. Coyote was always disoriented when he got wherever they were going, no matter how long it took, thanks to the blindfold they handed to him to put on each time before they left his driveway. You might think, instead of common thugs, that they were the fucking CIA.
Not that he really felt like he had any right to throw stones. Coyote had worked for Slinko now for almost a year. He was one of Slinko’s fighters, a lost kid he “found” on the streets, moved into a crappy apartment, and took ownership of. Coyote and the other fighters might as well have been machines for all Slinko cared. They ate what Slinko’s guys told them to eat. They worked out three hours a day at a gym that took over an hour to get to and back from each day...and come Saturday night, they fought...and they’d better fucking win. Coyote didn’t have any family, and Slinko made sure that all of his fighters stayed way too busy, tired, and isolated to have friends. All that mattered to Slinko in the end was that they won. He had invested a ton of money in them...or so he liked to say when he showed up with a “lecture”...or more like a threat…on a Saturday night. He expected a return for his investment and he only got that if they beat some other guy to a bloody pulp. Coyote had been the star of dozens of Slinko’s fights, and he hadn’t lost yet. He wasn’t sure what would happen if he did. Slinko never came right out and told him. But he wasn’t stupid. He could see that the men who lost their fights never showed back up for another. If Coyote worked for anyone but Slinko he might just think they’d been fired...once they healed, of course. But the truth he knew in his soul was that winning was saving his life.
Still, that wasn’t why he won. Coyote’s “life” consisted of Slinko’s orders and Slinko’s fights. He didn’t have family, he hadn’t been with a woman since he left California almost two years before...and as far as he knew, he had nothing to look forward to. Every so often he would have a dream, mostly at night while he was asleep and the ugliness around him was invisible. He would dream that he was a “real” fighter. He dreamed that he trained in a real gym with a real trainer and come Saturday night, his pick of music was played overhead while he bounced on his toes down the long hallway that would lead to thousands of adoring fans and the brightly lit, well-padded cage in the center of it all.
There was no cage where Coyote fought...just a circle made of bricks. He stood on cement in the center of that circle with his opponent, while the bloodthirsty onlookers made bets on who would still be standing when it was all over. At least the surface encouraged him to stay on his feet. His head had hit the floor so many times that he wasn’t sure his brain could take another concussion. He learned how to fall and he learned how to deal with the pain. It was his life...for what it was worth.
Slinko did pay them when they won...a little. The apartment he so “kindly” allowed Coyote to use had been completely unfurnished. He used his winnings to buy some furniture, dishes, and his most valuable possession...a console television set. It wasn’t one of those newfangled color TVs and there was no antenna on the building...so the picture was fuzzy most of the time and it only got two channels. But the voices of people that weren’t yelling at him…to hit someone, hurt someone, draw blood, or kick ass...soothed his aching soul. He watched things like The Brady Bunch and Leave It to Beaver and tried to imagine how different his life may have been if he’d been raised by Mike and Carol Brady, or Ward and June Cleaver...instead of his parents, God rest their souls.
It didn’t matter what he imagined, however. He knew what his reality was. Tonight, Slinko had met him in a small room in the back of the warehouse, and he’d told him that the opponent he was about to go up against would be his toughest yet. Slinko was being extra nice. He told Coyote that he had put him instead of one of the other guys up against Viper  because he was the “best” and Slinko knew he could do this. He told him that he’d get a big bonus if he won this one...enough to buy a color television and a new antenna. At the end of Slinko’s long spiel, he had told Coyote to be sure and let him know if he didn’t think he was up to winning tonight. He had a lot of money riding on the fight, and if need be, Coyote could be “replaced.” Coyote knew what that meant. In his mind, anyway, it meant that he would be on his way to that seat in hell he was sure the devil had reserved for him, and Slinko’s life would go on...sans a few hundred thousand dollars, and down another fighter.
“I got this,” was all Coyote had said. Now as he walked toward the circle and got a glimpse of “Viper,” death almost sounded more inviting. He took his place on the other side of the circle and quickly, without pulling his head all the way up, he took stock of who was in the room. Coyote was not an educated man, by any means. But he wasn’t stupid, either. He did have one ace in the hole, just in case an opportunity to use it ever presented itself. Coyote had an almost photographic memory. He remembered every face he ever saw, and if there was a name to be put to it, he would remember that as well. These illegal fights that took place in the midst of an empty warehouse in the center of nowhere and under the cover of night were not a poor man’s paradise. Only rich men came here to play. These men were important men in the community. They were doctors and lawyers, cops and politicians. Most of them were married with children...but it was rare that the woman draped over their arm wore a wedding ring or went by the name of “Mommy.”
For those who came alone, Slinko offered a second service...just as lucrative for him as the first one. Slinko didn’t just pimp out fighters. He had a collection of women “robots” as well. Some of them looked way too young to Coyote...but he was barely in a position to speak up for himself, much less anyone else. But he watched and listened, and somewhere deep down inside he hoped that someday he’d have cause to use all that knowledge he’d gained. Slinko offered him a “girl” once as a bonus for winning a fight. Coyote turned down the offer, cursing himself the whole time. He’d only been with one woman in his life, and that was some older woman who gave him a ride on his way out East. He didn’t know what to do with a girl his own age, and he was scared to death that she’d tell Slinko if he did it wrong.
This night wasn’t much different than any other as far as Coyote could tell. The warehouse was packed, and noisy. Coyote was fighting in the second match of the night. The first one had been quick. Coyote wasn’t allowed to watch the other fights; he only knew when they were over and how they went, if the winner came back to the fighter’s room...or the loser hadn’t shown up before they came to call him out. He focused his attention back across the circle on his opponent, Viper. Viper looked like the kind of guy that grown men would cross the street to keep from passing. His neck, chest, and arms were covered in black and white and faded green tattoos that looked like they might have been carefully crafted in prison. Coyote was six-foot-two and this guy had to be at least two inches taller than that. Coyote was told by the “trainer”…the guy who escorted the fighters in and...if they could walk...out of the circle, that he weighed in at three-fifty pounds. He was wearing shorts and nothing else, and as far as Coyote could tell by looking at him, none of the three-fifty was fat. He was bouncing up and down on the balls of his bare feet and nothing was moving. He had scars on his face, a lot of them, and his nose looked like it had been broken more than once. The swastika tattooed on his bare scalp drew the picture together. Coyote knew how to fight, and he was good at it. He did it to survive, but it didn’t normally give him joy. He focused on the swastika now, however, and thought about looking at it on the ground when he took this racist son of a bitch to the floor, and it did feel good.
When the buzzer rang he tried to block out the cheers and jeers echoing off the walls and ceiling around him, and he focused on the giant in front of him. There were no referees, no real rules...the people just wanted to see a fight, preferably a long one, with lots of blood. With both eyes on Viper, waiting for him to make the first move, Coyote cracked his knuckles and his neck and cautiously moved forward until he was close enough to Viper that the other man took a swing. Viper swung hard, but Coyote dodged it, coming up with an uppercut to the other man’s chin. Viper barely flinched, but as soon as Coyote was upright, the man threw another punch...this time his right fist connected with the side of Coyote’s head. His fist felt like steel, and it hurt like a motherfucker, but Coyote didn’t go down. He shook off the ringing in his ears quickly enough to dodge the next blow and this time threw a punch at Viper’s ribs. He hit hard and fast and he heard something snap and Viper wince. He almost hoped that he’d cracked one and punctured a lung, so the fight could be over. No such luck, though. Viper managed to keep moving while he fought through the pain and caught his breath, and then he lunged toward Coyote and started throwing punches one right after the other. Coyote bobbed and weaved and managed to dodge a few of them...but it was a relentless barrage of left, right, left, right, head, shoulders, ribs, head...Viper was trying to wear him down...and doing a pretty good job of it so far.
Coyote’s body was screaming in pain. Viper was in close, using Coyote’s face like a speed bag. He couldn’t hear anything and it was getting hard to see thanks to the blood and sweat in his eyes. He had never wanted to go down so early in a fight before, but this guy was a killer, and if he was going to die anyway, he wondered if he shouldn’t just get it over with. About that time he either saw Slinko or imagined he did, out of the corner of his eye, and the idea of Viper winning wasn’t half as repugnant as the idea of Slinko getting to finish him off if Viper didn’t. Viper wasn’t good with his feet, but Coyote hadn’t been able to get his arms up past the other man’s bulk and he was pushed to the edge of the circle already. So, with all the strength he could muster, he spun his aching body around, lifted his leg, and let his foot connect with Viper’s neck. The big guy stumbled a few feet back. He didn’t fall, but it gave Coyote the room he needed to attack. He didn’t know where the burst of energy came from, but it propelled him forward and he began to pound every part of Viper’s rigid body that he could reach until he heard the sound of the buzzer, calling an end to the first round.
During the small break, the men were allowed to use a wet towel and a dry one to wipe the blood off their faces and bodies and get a drink of water. If anything was bleeding too profusely, one of the “trainers” would try and patch it up, to get them through the next round. Apparently, none of Coyote’s injuries qualified. He mopped the sweat and blood off his face and chest, drank the thermos of cold water, and while he waited for the next buzzer, once again, he soaked up the faces in the crowd.
Without any other fanfare, the buzzer sounded again and Coyote and Viper met in the middle. Viper didn’t waste any time, landing a right jab smack on Coyote’s nose. The pain radiated up through his sinuses and into his ears. It pissed him off...not at Viper, but at himself. Getting hit dead in the face like that was a rookie mistake. But the beating he had already taken made his reflexes slow and his judgment cloudy. That’s why, when he saw Viper rearing back to kick him...he made a fatal mistake. Coyote let his reflexes take over from his good sense, and he turned about ten degrees to the left and ducked his head. Viper’s right foot didn’t hit the target it was looking for. Instead, it sunk into the small of Coyote’s back, right over the top of one of his kidneys. Coyote heard himself scream, right before they turned out all the lights.
* * *
The next thing Coyote remembered was waking up with a pounding headache. Or maybe he wasn’t awake. He felt like he was floating, and then he realized he was suffocating. His head was pounding because his body had no oxygen...he couldn’t breathe. He opened his mouth and only when he sucked in air and got water instead, did he realize that he was drowning.
His body went into survival mode and his arms began to flail, looking for something to grab onto. The water was freezing but the cold at least made him too numb to concentrate on the pain. He needed to take a breath...if he didn’t, his lungs were going to explode. He opened his eyes as much as he could. It was dark, and dirty. He was probably in the Hudson River and if that was the case, fighting was a moot point, but he didn’t know how to not fight...he’d been doing it his entire life. Something kept drawing him toward the bottom of his dark, watery grave, but he fought toward the surface until one of his hands felt the cool air of the night. He sank again, but fought his way up, and then again, and the third time out just as he started his decent...probably for the final time…he felt a big, strong, cold hand clamp down around one of his wrists and then his body being hauled up out of the water, just as if he were no heavier than air.
Coughing, sputtering, choking, and trying to remember how to breathe, he looked up into a pair of eyes so blue that they shone in the night like a cat. Coyote said the first thing that came to his mind...
“God?”
“Close,” the man sporting the blue eyes said with a laugh. “Damned close.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
Let's start off by saying this is a awesome series and we really loved Doc's current story.For those of you who follow my reviews know that Ms Cooke is one of my favorite top MC authors and each and every book in this series has been a winner in my book.I also want to point out that I really loved the cover of this current story.Those eyes of Doc's just make me melt sigh....
 
From the onset of this story I new this story was going to be a good one.The author had us already engrossed in the story from page one.I am really glad that the author decided to give Doc a story as we have heard so much about him throughout the series that I was really glad to heard Doc's story and how it all began.I actually like how the author choose to do his story now and work backwards and included some of the original and founding members as well and I am so looking forward to Coyotes story next.
 
My favorite character would be Dallas Omg! I loved her from the moment she walked through those MC doors and shook things up.I loved the fact that all the members loved and respected her and their was even one in particular in love with her something the Prez addressed early on in the story.
 
I loved Dallas and found her to be feisty,loving,caring,tolerating,forgiving to a point,smart,love-able,a bad*** in her own right,loyal, and also had that hippie laid back attitude.I loved that her smiles and sunny attitude affected all those around her. She was just a character that you could not help but love.I shed more than a few tears for Dallas and it broke my heart and we experienced her pain right along side of her.
 
 
The chemistry Doc & Dallas had was explosive and they definitely burned up the sheets in and out of bed and an match made in heaven.Two opposites attract who seemed to be soul mates.
 
 
I loved hearing how Doc's got involved with the club and how it all came about and I have to say I found him to be cunning and clever to do what he did when it came to the club and club matters.I wish I could say that I loved him but, it was more like love/hate relationship I had with Doc's character and in the beginning he looked like a promising character.I will say he did have some good qualities as you could see how his men loved and respected but, feared him as well.Doc's actions however were inexcusable and Doc I wanted to smack the crap out of you for the pain and suffering you caused the one who loved you the most.The last half of the book I needed tissues by me.Doc if you were before me right now I would string you up like you do those bad guys of yours.

I loved the story from cover to cover the characters were amazing as always .The suspense and drama and secrets coming to life kept you engrossed in the story the entire time.The story made me laugh as well as shed tears and shed them I did more than once.

 
They say that karma always comes back to bite you and for some of those that holds true and I am sorry that the selfish actions of one individual wrecked and entire family as well as affected and entire club by ones actions alone.
 
This story was and emotional tale and is the type of story that sticks with you for a bit even when the story is over.For me if a story still has you thinking about it still hours later it was an amazing read that goes into you keeper pile for books to be remembered a re-read and a later date.
 
So looking forward to the next book in this on going series.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Jessie Cooke writes hot romance novels about tough guys, bad boys, bikers, fighters and lovers and the women of strong character who tame them.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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review 2019-01-27 18:33
Review of Twilight at Monticello by Alan Pell Crawford
Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson - Alan Pell Crawford

This book looked at the years of Jefferson's life after his Presidency (after a brief review of his life up to that point).  I don't feel like there was much new here that I did not already know outside of the extensive discussion about his children, grandchildren, and other family members.  I particularly enjoy getting a feel for early 19th century Virginia planter society.  In the end, the last years of Jefferson's life were rather depressing as he struggled in terms of both money and health.

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text 2019-01-03 07:10
Release Blitz - NYE Kisses Collection

 

 

Get Kissed NOW! The New Years Eve Kisses Collection is available now! Each book in the collection is a STANDALONE.

 

 

BUY THEM HERE: http://bit.ly/NYEKisses

 

 

 

3....2....1....KISS. Join 11 best selling authors in celebrating the best way to start the new year: with a kiss!

 

Each book will be a separate release and will feature a NYE Kiss.

 

FEATURES THE FOLLOWING AUTHORS:

Shantel Tessier

Tracie Douglas

Sonya Jesus

Mayra Statham

Winter Travers

Geri Glenn

Teresa Crumpton

Melanie Codina

Lisa B Kamps

Felicia Fox

Kristen Hope Mazzola

 

 

 

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text 2018-12-31 19:22
24 Festive Tasks: Doors 9 - Thanksgiving, Task 2 and Door 20 - Christmas, Task 2 (Christmas Dinner)

I've decided to combine these two tasks -- they both deal with dining in some fashion, and while I would actually not want to change anything about my / our personal holiday traditions, just for once I think it might be fun to have

 

Christmas or New Year's Eve dinner with Mark Twain,

 

enjoy his sense of humor and myriads of stories (he must have been quite the raconteur), all the while enjoying an

 

all you can eat dinner

 

featuring my mom's very own minced beef and bell pepper stir fry, her potato salad, as well as my BFF's curry & cream soup, Indonesian rice salad, and mousse au chocolat;

 

amplified by some of the goodies that make up my favorite restaurant's weekly changing culinary trip all around the Mediterranean and some of my favorite Spanish restaurant's tapas.  (Alternatively, a bunch of Indian curries -- say, mango, korma and saag --, Thai / Indonesian / Vietnamese lemongrass chicken, Szechuan beef, and sweet & sour pork.  Or a selection of Mexican burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas and tacos with guacamole, salsa roja and sourcream on the side ...)

 

 

All of this, with a nice Rioja Gran Reserva, plenty of sparkling mineral water, and an espresso or cappuccino to chase it down ... as well as a single malt, preferably 15+ years of age.  Cheers!

 

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