Reckless by Devon Hartford sm

Reckless by Devon Hartford

By popular demand, here’s a teaser from RECKLESS, The Story of Samantha Smith #2 the upcoming sequel to FEARLESS, The Story of Samantha Smith #1


This is the opening of RECKLESS, from the Prologue.

Note: RECKLESS will not be a re-telling of the events in FEARLESS. It will contain an entirely new dramatic arc, but I needed to set the stage. Christos has all kinds of problems that he conveniently avoided mentioning to Samantha in FEARLESS, so this prologue will refresh everyone’s memory. He and Samantha will have to confront these issues, and others, together in RECKLESS. And yes, Romeo and the rest of the gang will be along for the adventure!  :-D





I couldn’t bear to look at Samantha. Naked heartbreak strained her face.

Because of me.

At the end of my first day back at SDU, two cops stuffed me in the back of a police cruiser right in front of her. I felt like a complete douche nugget. You can romanticize it all you want, but getting arrested fucking sucks. Who wants to go to jail, really? I’d been locked up enough times to know.

Samantha tried to catch my attention as the cruiser drove me away, but I avoided her eyes.

I felt bad, but I was too embarrassed to look at her, no matter how many points I’d scored by cleaning up the coffee cesspool in her car before the cops showed up. I grinned to myself. That shit had been rank, but enduring the smell was a small price to pay for more time with Samantha.

The cop car pulled onto the freeway, taking the Five south toward downtown. Traffic was heavy. I’d have plenty of time to mull things over.

I wasn’t sure who was pressing charges against me, but my bet was that fat red-faced fuck who’d been harassing Samantha on the way to campus in the a.m. He tries to jump me, and I’m the one hauled downtown?

Fuck that shit.

I exhaled heavily and pushed away my irritation.

For a guy my size, the back of a squad car was cramped quarters. I wanted to slouch down and get comfortable on the bench seat, but with the cuffs on, it wasn’t doable. Instead, I leaned my shoulder against the door and rested my head against the glass.

Watching the familiar landmarks sail past should’ve been comforting. The mural with the waves and surfers on the storage building in Pacific Beach was pretty nice. But my favorite was always the huge mural of humpback whales on the side of the Chevrolet dealership. Those painted whales swam in a vast emerald ocean, elegant symbols of graceful mobility and independence.

Sadly, the artsy roadside surroundings, the blue skies overhead, and the Pacific Ocean a hop-skip to my right were now an infinite distance from my grasp. They taunted me with promises of fleeting freedom, a stark contrast to my current situation.

Screw it. I wasn’t letting the cage of this squad car trap my spirit. My mind was free to roam and seek safe harbor.

A smile crept across my face as I pictured Samantha in my mind’s eye. Not the downer moment when she’d panicked at the sight of the cops cuffing me, but all the magic moments before that, since this morning.

Like when I’d bumped into her coming out of the Student Center bookstore and she laughed when I told her my name was Adonis. I think that made her the first chick who’d ever openly mocked my middle name. Most girls melted when I said it, like I was some kind of celebrity movie star. Sure, I’d gotten giggles galore and countless stripper laughs from all kinds of bar babes in the past, but not Samantha’s sour-faced disdain. I kind of liked it. She was all spark and no bullshit.

It helped she was epic hot. Too bad she couldn’t see it for herself. But it was clear as day to me. Underneath her self-doubt, she was super-nova, incendiary hot. My lips curled in my trademarked cocky smirk. I could handle it. I liked fire.

Getting burned let you know you were alive.

The funny thing about Samantha was that, even though she was a total hottie, she was a complete spaz. Her firestorm emotions constantly tore up her good looks, turning her face purse-dog ugly half the time. Like when fatty had tried to climb into her VW on the way to campus, the look on her face had been the visual equivalent of nails grinding across a chalkboard. Totally heinous. But it was only temporary.

I dug the honest flow of Samantha’s emotions. It was way better than the contrived gamesmanship of Tiffany and her looney sorority friends with their Halloween-mask sincerity.

Samantha’s naked honesty and tumultuous emotions made me want to protect her that much more. She was some kind of rare and unique truth.

When she was calm, she was undeniably the most beautiful woman on the planet. I don’t say that shit lightly. I’ve been with more than enough hotties to know.

But with Samantha, it went far beyond her looks.

I’d totally flipped for her the moment I’d laid eyes on her. Even with her funky dress and that coffee smell and her jangling nerves, something about Samantha shone right into me like a beacon. Call it her spirit, her essence, I don’t fucking know. But sure as shit, I’d never felt anything like it coming off of any other chicks I’d ever met.

Samantha was in a class of her own.

She had a calming effect on me, like everything in the world had fallen into place at last, and the human race could kick back and sip Mai Tais into eternity. This was a unique experience for me. Ever since my mom had left my dad, my life had been a scattered vortex of recklessness. Peace and calmness were strangers to me. Daily disaster and emotional chaos were my resting state.

There was one memory of perfect calmness that I cherished, and I turned to it whenever my head was spinning out of control. It reminded me of the calmness my life could have, if only I could figure out how to hold onto it for longer than a minute or two at a time.

It’d happened two or three years ago, on a surfing trip down in Baja with Jake and some of our buddies.

We’d camped overnight on the beach, and I’d hit the waves first thing in the morning, before everyone else was awake. They were sleeping off the cases of Coronas everyone had pounded the night before. For whatever reason, I’d gone easy on the brews and was ready for an early start.

After I’d paddled out for the seventh time, I’d been sitting on my board in meditative silence, alone, lolling on a glassy ocean, waiting between sets, feet dangling in the tropical water while a perfect sunrise soaked the horizon. The entire world had felt like everything was as it should be, the way nature intended. For the first time since my mom had left my dad, I’d felt perfect, total calmness. For a fleeting moment.

Then it was gone.

Samantha had brought that peaceful feeling back ten times over. I’d felt it continuously since meeting her, and it spiked whenever I was in her presence. Too bad the cops trashed my vibe the second they took me away. Fucking five-oh. I shook my head.


I needed more of her. I was hooked. I mean, junkie hooked. She gave me something I couldn’t give myself, no matter how hard I’d tried.


Bouncing around inside the rolling jail with the two cops sitting in front of me suddenly yanked me painfully out of my private reverie.

Bars, handcuffs, no escape.

I struggled to keep my feelings for Samantha protected from my grim predicament. I didn’t want my current situation tarnishing my memories of her in any way. After taking a deep, calming breath, I dove back into comforting reminiscence.

I recalled Samantha’s surprise when we’d first locked eyes in Life Drawing class. Watching her struggle not to stare at my package while she’d been drawing me naked was probably the comedy highlight of my year. She’d been ready to boil over with embarrassment.

Despite her nearly perpetual awkwardness, I totally dug her, no matter how off-kilter her mood.

Stalking her at the Eleanor M. Westbrook art museum was probably the calmest I’d seen her. The deserted museum was a quiet and relaxing cocoon, making it easy to let your guard down. I’m sure Samantha was so busy marveling at the paintings, her worries had fallen away. I knew the experience well. I felt it every time I went to a great art museum myself, and slid into the colors and shapes of the paintings, escaping my own inner turmoil for brief moments.

While Samantha had stood mesmerized in front of my grandfather’s painting, Shrouded Paradise, I witnessed her truest beauty come out of hiding for the first time like some timid field mouse sniffing the air for danger. That crazy beauty was such a fragile, fleeting thing, like a snowflake or a perfect sunset. You could only appreciate it if you stopped yourself and really took it in before it was gone, maybe forever.

I wanted desperately to protect Samantha from whatever haunted her because I knew her insecurity ran deep, just like mine. The only difference between me and her was that I hid it, and she didn’t.

I couldn’t decide if she was the bravest person I’d ever met, or the craziest.

It didn’t matter.

I wanted to wash away her tears and fears so that the amazing young woman I sensed beneath her teenaged anxiety could finally emerge.

I already knew beyond all doubt that I would do anything to help Samantha find her way in life.

The fact I was parked in the back of a squad car because of her, ten hours after we’d met, was living proof.

I sighed heavily again, my heart accelerating while my chest tightened around it. Man, I knew Samantha was going to be trouble for me. Maybe even more trouble than where I was heading in the back of this black-and-white. I grinned to myself. The good news was, this shit was temporary.

I looked forward to finding out how much trouble Samantha could be the second I got out of whatever steaming mess I’d tripped into with the cops.

Because whatever was brewing between me and Samantha felt permanent.



RECKLESS will be released in October, 2013.

Follow my Facebook page for the latest updates:

Devon Hartford, NA & YA Novelist


48 thoughts on “RECKLESS Teasers

  1. I am sooo looking forward to reading Reckless. I loved Fearless and cannot wait to get more of the guys and girls in the next book! :)

      • waiting!!! Just finished reading Fearless and I love Christos!! I am glad I waited until closer time for Reckless to be released so Fearless will be fresh in my mind!!! Great story!!!!

  2. i just read fearless nonstop. I literally picked the book out of random…. im so glad I did!! you have me as a fan for life!!!!!!!!!!!!! im desperate for reckless!!!! see you in

  3. Omg I’ve just finished reading Fearless and I absolutely loved so glad I haven’t got to wait to long for the next will definitely be recommending it to my friends

  4. I loved Fearless!!! I enjoyed seeing the sensitive side of the alpha-male character for once!!! I also love that Christos speaks Greek. My hubby was stationed near Hania, Xania, Chania, (or however you see it spelled using the wrong alphabet) on the island of Crete (Kriti). I was an awesome 2 years!!! By the time we left, I understood Greek very well, however, my vocabulary was still limited and I almost always had to ask the speaker to slow down because Greek is such a multisyllabic language and is spoken so fast. :D It was cool for me that I knew what “agapi mou” meant before it was explained in the book. I sooo can’t wait for the next book!!!!!

    • That’s awesome, Wendelin! :-D Sounds like you had a terrific experience living in Greece! I totally envy you. I know what you mean about the weird alphabet! I speak ZERO greek, but love the sound of the language, the culture, the food, so I’m doing my best to work in bits and pieces. Glad you liked Fearless! Reckless is ALMOST finished! :-D

      • Oh, btw, if you need any arc readers for “Reckless” I would love to help. And, my knowledge of the Greek language is totally at your disposal!!! :) Is it October yet???

      • I just added you to the ARC list, Wendelin! :-) Reckless is currently in the beta stage, so you will be getting an ARC possibly by next weekend. :-D Thanks again for you interest! -Devon

  5. Love! Love! Love!
    Couldn’t put my ipad down. Ended up reading the book when I had a second to spare!
    Cant wait for the next books to come out!
    There aren’t many books that gripped me like Fearless did and now im hanging out or more Samantha and Christos.

    • Awesome! Thank you so much, Tina! AND AND AND!!! The manuscript for Reckless is DONE! I still have to edit, but I’m on target for a mid-October release! :-D Thanks so much for reading Fearless! :-D

  6. Wow this was a great book. You kept it interesting and I couldn’t put it down. Can’t wait to see what happens next. Do you have a date for October yet?

    • What up, G! So glad you enjoyed Fearless! :-D Reckless is almost ready for release. I still have to edit, but I’m looking at Mid-October! Thanks again for reading, and stopping by to write and say hello! :-)

  7. I found this book on Amazon for .99 and wanted something to read at the beach last weekend, and I have to say I am sooooooo glad that I bought it! I love the chemistry between Samantha and Christos. I finished the book that afternoon and can’t wait for the next one. I love to read so if you want another beta reader I would love to be one. You have me totally hooked and counting down the days until Reckless comes out!!

    • That’s awesome, Brandy! :-) So glad you enjoyed Fearless. And guess what? Reckless is about to be published! I still have to edit, and get beta reader feedback. Speaking of which, since you’re interested, can you hit me up on facebook with a direct request? I need an email address for you, and I don’t want you to have to post it publicly here. :-) Thanks! -Devon

  8. Do you have a release date for Reckless? I just finished my 2nd read of Fearless and can’t wait to continue this story. You’ve definitely found a fan in me.

  9. I can not wait for Reckless, Fearless was one of the best books I have read I could not put it down. Keep them coming you have a fan for life.

  10. Truly totally loved Fearless! Now I have to wait tip mid-Oct for Reckless?? I may lose my mind!

    P.S. I would love to be a beta reader for any future books you write. I’m a “retired” high school teacher who is analog re: grammar etc!

    • Hey, Pam! First, thank you! :-) Second, I’m ALMOST finished with Reckless. Like, early release this week finished. Third, no worries about auto correct grammar annoyingness. Fourth, for Beta reading, can you hit me up on Facebook and let me know your direct email and preferred file format, Kindle, epub, or pdf? :-) Thanks, Pam!

  11. I can’t wait for the new release. I have already read Fearless twice and am anxiously waiting for Reckless to find out what happens next. I would love to be added to your list of beta or ARC readers.

    • Janet! Reckless is going to release THIS week, ahead of schedule. Please hit me up on Facebook regarding ARC for Reckless. I will need your direct email and preferred file format, Kindle, epub, or pdf. :-D

      • OMG, I just finished Fearless. It was great. I need, not want but need, more of the story now. Do we really have to wait until 2014 to find out what happens because I think will go crazy until then.

  12. I have read both fearless and reckless and cannot wait until the third installment, approx how long will we have to wait, just says 2014 which can’t come quick enough

  13. Pingback: Fearless/Reckless/Painless by Devon Hartford | Vampy and Racey Bookblog

  14. Pingback: PIMPIN’: The Story of Samantha Smith Trilogy by Devon Hartford | Lovetiggi's Book Reviews and Promotions

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