Fearless will be released on August 1st, 2013.
Until the, here’s an excerpt from the first chapter. Be sure to add Fearless to your To Read list on Goodreads.
I was disastrously late for my first college class ever. My master plan to live at the beach while remaining close to the San Diego University campus had blown up in my face. I had left out one variable: suck-ass traffic.
Nobody had given me the memo that the Pacific Coast Highway was the route that half of San Diego County took to work in the morning.
At least I had a scenic view of the beach while I waited behind a line of cars at a red light in my raggedy VW. I watched a bunch of surfers skimming across the top of the ultramarine Pacific Ocean.
I did my best to relax, clicking my nails on the steering wheel, keeping time to Born This Way by Lady Gaga. I didn’t care what people said, Gaga wrote great music. Girl Power!
The cars in front of me had moved. Finally. Horns blared behind me.
“All right!” I shouted at them. Not watching what I was doing, I reached for the stick shift and knocked my Venti Americano out of the cup holder. The lid flew off and coffee poured all over my bare legs. “Shit!” Fortunately I loved half-and-half, so the coffee didn’t scald me. But the cup had been nearly full. Creamy coffee coated my legs and the footwell. At least none of it got on my new print dress.
“Move it!” someone yelled behind me.
Seriously? I had the BP oil spill turning my car into the Gulf of Mexico and I was supposed to worry about traffic? I threw napkins at the mess, but I didn’t have enough to make a dent.
I frantically grabbed the stick shift and put the car back into first. My foot slipped off the clutch as I put on the gas. I lurched forward and the car stalled. Crap. Coffee sloshed against the floorboards and waved into the back seat. Craptastic.
“Go, you dumb broad!”
I glanced in my rearview at a red-faced guy in a gaudy gold Mercedes convertible. He stood up in his car and leaned over his windshield impatiently.
Flustered, I twisted my keys in the ignition and nothing happened. What was wrong with my car now? I hoped nothing serious because I didn’t have spare cash for a replacement thingamajig or whatever. I took a deep breath. Duh. I’d forgotten to push the clutch.
Red Face shook his fist at me. “You made me miss the light, stupid bitch!”
I leaned my head out my window and prepared to give this guy a dose of feminine fury. My face was nearly sliced off as a motorcycle lane-split between my car and the sedan next to me.
“Hey!” I turned to shout at the motorcycle. “You almost killed me!”
The psycho guy on the roaring black bike didn’t hear me. He rolled to a stop at the red light a few cars ahead of my VW, planted his boots on the ground, and revved his engine. I noticed his thin white T-shirt flutter in the breeze, revealing sculpted bronze back muscles that led to what was clearly an amazing ass hidden under his jeans. The way he straddled the racing bike made me blush. Was he wearing any underwear?
I wish I was that motorcycle. Shut your dirty mind, girl! Thoughts like that will get you into all kinds of trouble!
Maybe I liked trouble.
His narrow waist led to broad shoulders that were equally amazing and stretched the cotton material of his shirt impressively. Yum.
Hold up, girl! He almost beheaded you with his handlebars! No special passes for insane bikers. Even if they are hot from the rear.
“Psycho!” I shouted. He didn’t hear me.
“You made me miss the light, idiot!” I whipped my head around. Red Face had gotten out of his Mercedes and stood right behind my door, his fists planted on his hips. He wore a toupee and gaudy gold chain. His swollen gut, wrapped in a silk button-down shirt, hung over his expensive slacks.
I might have liked trouble, but not this kind.
“Don’t call me an idiot!” I shouted. “And quit yelling at me! I’m swimming in Lake Americano here!” My pulse raced. I knew guys like this. Asshats to a man.
He eyed my coffee mess and smirked. “It’s stupid broads like you who cause all the accidents.”
“Excuse me?” Broads? Was I trapped in a 1940s gangster film? A thatch of curly hair puffed out of his open shirt collar. More like a 1970s mafia movie.
“Dumb bitch! Get off the road! Leave the driving to the men!”
How many times had I been called that in the last two years? I learned I didn’t have to take it from them, so I certainly wasn’t going to take it from this prick. I cranked up my window furiously. Half way up, Red Face grabbed the glass and pushed against it. “Hey! I’m talking to you! Get off the road, slut! You’re blocking traffic!”
I knew that one, too. But I was no slut. Uh-uh. I flashed my teeth at him. If I were a werewolf, now would’ve been the moment when I bit his fingers off. No such luck. I tried to turn the window crank, but Red Face pushed down so hard on the glass, I couldn’t budge it. “Hey, asshole, get off my car or I’m going to pepper spray your face!”
“Don’t back talk me, whore!”
I glared at his insane eyes. I knew the look. He was trying to intimidate me. My face was suddenly hot, and I felt tears welling. I willed them to dry up. I’d promised myself no one would ever intimidate me again, and I certainly wasn’t going to cry for this sloppy bastard.
But old feelings leaked into my awareness anyway. Red Face had managed to bring me right back to that night two years ago. The night that had started all the dirty looks, the labels, the name calling, and the ejection from high school society.
For a second, I almost fell apart. But I had plenty of practice holding myself together under stress. I took a deep breath and shoved my old pain behind the emotional walls I’d worked so hard to build.
When I regained my composure, I spoke to Red Face in a calm, commanding voice. “Remove your fingers from my window and get back into your car. Now.”
He ignored my request. “Move it, skank!”
This guy was plain crazy. He probably didn’t know what day of the week it was, let alone his own name. He needed a handler with a leash. Where was Animal Control when you needed them?
What to do? I didn’t have pepper spray. Even if I did, it would be buried in my purse underneath the hoarder’s paradise I kept inside it. I considered biting his fingers once again. Until I noticed he had hairy knuckles. Ew. That made him the hairy werewolf in this scenario.
I considered gouging his eyes with my nails, but the way he was standing, I couldn’t get an angle. I looked around for help. No one was jumping out of their cars. I was on my own on this.
Shit, when wasn’t I?
Red Face kicked my car door with his pointed loafer. “Hey! I’m talking to you, pinhead!”
I noticed motion out the corner of my eye. Psycho Motorbike had put his kickstand down and swung his leg over his motorcycle. Helmet still on, he swaggered toward my car.
Psycho Motorbike stopped short of Red Face, who hadn’t noticed him. Psycho Motorbike’s front side was as impressive as his back. His broad chest flexed under a V-neck t-shirt. The tanned edges of his sculpted pectorals danced in the open collar. Muscled arms covered in tattoos hung at his sides. Leather gloves covered his fists.
I couldn’t see much of his face with the helmet on, but his sapphire blue eyes pierced my heart. “You gotta problem?”
Was he talking to me or Red Face?
Red Face swiveled to confront blue-eyed Psycho Motorbike. “Who the fuck are you?”
“This guy bothering you?” Psycho Motorbike stared into my eyes, clearly talking to me. Sigh.
“I’m talking to you, you fucking prick!” Red Face shouted at Psycho Motorbike.
Psycho Motorbike never took his eyes off me. I gazed into his two blue oceanic jewels and nodded slowly.
“The lady wants you to leave,” Psycho Motorbike said to Red Face.
“What? I don’t take shit from you, punk. Get the fuck outta here,” Red Face growled.
Psycho Motorbike took a step toward him. “Back off, buddy.”
“Fuck you, prick!” Red Face lunged toward Psycho Motorbike.
In one fluid motion, Psycho Motorbike side-stepped and punched Red Face in the gut. The fat man went down in a crumpled heap. Nope. this wasn’t a gangster movie or mob drama. This was an old west showdown! Woo hoo, Psycho Blue Eyes! I almost clapped. Almost.
Psycho Motorbike leaned over, grabbed Red Face by the back of the shirt and pulled him to his feet. The muscles in his tanned arms bunched and stretched beneath his intricate tattoos. Wow. Red Face coughed and sputtered as blue-eyed Psycho Motorbike led him somewhat politely to the curb and dropped him there like a sack of rice.
“You need an ambulance?” Psycho Motorbike asked Red Face while towering over him.
Still coughing, Red Face’s eyes bulged from their sockets. Surprise, embarrassment, and anger warred on his fat face. He looked up at Psycho Motorbike and shook his head no, then hung it between his shoulders in defeat.
I rolled my window down as Psycho Motorbike walked over and leaned onto my car. I noticed the material of his shirt was an expensive knit, and slightly transparent. Quiver. One of his well-toned forearms rested on my windowsill.
I inhaled the faint scent of his cologne, which hit the manly sweet spot somewhere between dusty cowboy and crowned prince. Strength and style. That’s not the only spot it hits. Down, girl!
There was no way he could see anything beneath or through my knee-length dress, but I squeezed my thighs together, just in case. Just in case I jumped him. Rawr!
Now that he was my knight in see-through armor, maybe I should stop thinking of him as Psycho Motorbike and call him Motorknight.
“You okay?” A dimple twitched beneath his cheek. I detected a cocky smile. I couldn’t see his lips beneath the helmet’s face mask, but I could imagine them. Swoon. He looked at me expectantly.
“Uh…” Pick up your panties and grow some ovaries, girl! Loosen that corset or you’re going to faint right here! “Thanks, yeah, I’m okay.”
His face twisted. “Why do you smell like coffee?”
“Um…new body spray?” I said hopefully.
He noticed my legs and the coffee spill. He chuckled. “Looks like you had an accident.”
Boy, he was really looking at my legs. I wanted to squirm. “Yeah. Accident.” I sounded like an idiot.
“What’s your name?” His eyes melted my good sense, like Superman’s laser beam eyes, except blue.
Cars started honking again. The light had cycled back to green.
“My work is done here. Sam. Antha.” More dimples. Wow. Was this guy for real?
He slapped the roof of my car, swaggered back to his bike and rocketed down the highway. I wanted to shout “My name’s Samantha Smith! My cell phone number is—” but I had a small fragment of self-respect remaining.
I started my car and tried to follow, but he was long gone. All I had left of that horrible-magical moment was a car floor soaking in coffee and my outfit equally in need of a wash and detailing.
Psycho Blue Eyes had made me forget all about Red Face. But Red Face had brought back everything else.
All because of something I did…
A mistake I could never undo…
Something I would regret for the rest of my life…
Be sure to add Fearless to your To Read list on Goodreads.