Loving Lucas by Violetta Rand
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Series: Lies & Leather #1
Perfect for fans of Joanna Wylde and Monica Murphy, Violetta Rand’s explosive new Lies & Leather series kicks off with a red-hot motorcycle racer who rides hard and plays for keeps.
Twenty-one-year-old Karlie Augustine is a survivor. She’s smart and tough, but she’s in too deep with a bad boyfriend who isn’t above breaking her spirit—or her body. Luckily, help arrives in the form of a leather-clad, motorcycle-riding hunk on the right side of the law. Lucas Lafontaine is pure muscle, a Corpus Christi cop who ignites something primal deep within Karlie. And when he offers her room and board in exchange for housekeeping, she finally starts to feel safe again.
As their arrangement turns deliciously decadent, Lucas gets hooked on Karlie’s killer body and fighting spirit. He wants to heal the pain he sees behind her eyes, but to protect her he needs to keep her close, especially now that her psycho ex won’t take a hint. Even as Lucas fights his own battle for custody of his young son, he knows that what he’s found with Karlie is real—and that he’d do anything to protect the woman he wants to take to the finish line.
I watch the girls run to the RV, then I eyeball the asshole whose chest my knee is grinding into. “Say mercy and I’ll let you up.” He deserves a big lesson in humility.
“Do you know who I am?”
I laugh. “Should I?” I’m new to this track. I don’t care if he’s Josh Hayes, the circuit’s biggest professional road racer; no one treats a woman like that. “Guess you’re going to tell me.”
His name is vaguely familiar. I shrug, pressing down on his ribs a little harder; air rushes out of his lungs. “If I let you up, are you going to stay here until your ex gets back?” I’ll give him one chance.
He nods. A man of my word, I let him go.
Connor slowly gets to his feet, brushing off his leathers, glaring at me. “If you think this is over . . .”
We both turn around when we hear approaching female voices. His girlfriend’s name is Karlie; she’s barely five feet tall, maybe a hundred pounds. What I can’t ignore is her eyes: like the hottest part of a flame, they glow violet-blue. Her long auburn hair is tied back in a ponytail. As for her figure, that’s well hidden under the three-sizes-too-big hoodie she’s wearing. She gestures at me, a silent thank-you as she holds up her backpack. Her friend is carrying a suitcase. I smile, but she focuses her attention on Connor.
“My things are out of the RV,” she informs him. “Now you can go back to sleep.”
It amuses me to hear her stand up to him after what I witnessed before. I admire her spirit; I’m always intrigued by feisty women. Connor glowers, visibly struggling to maintain control of his temper.
“Last chance to come peacefully,” he says. “If you don’t, you’ll never see the rest of your things again.”
That makes her react and she drops her backpack on the ground, then covers her pretty face with both hands. I’m standing close enough to hear her take a deep breath, like she’s gasping for air. “Nothing is worth my self-respect, Connor. Nothing.”
Good girl. Brave girl. If she’s anything like my ex-wife, being surrounded by her personal possessions is important. She gains more respect from me for making that sacrifice. Men and women are just hardwired differently. Women attach deep sentimental value to keepsakes and men just don’t give a shit.
“Come on, Connor.” A guy steps up, slapping him on the back. “Let’s grab a beer.”
Connor takes a last look at me, then at Karlie. It’s over for now; even our onlookers disperse.
Once he disappears, the girls hug each other, then offer the bags to the guy who tried to intervene before I took over.
He takes the luggage.
“I’ll stash the bags and grab the cooler.”
“I need a beer,” Karlie says. “Maybe two.”
A few minutes after he leaves, Karlie and her friend exchange whispers, staring at me the whole time. I grin, crossing my arms over my chest. Not the first time I’ve been the subject of female gossip and it surely won’t be the last. Karlie’s friend gives her a smug look, then gently pushes her in my direction. “Do it,” she calls after her.
Karlie approaches, her head bowed. “Thank you.”
I want to gaze into those radiant eyes again, see the same fire I noticed before. “It was nothing,” I say. “Should have punched the bastard.”
That makes her laugh. I get my wish when she looks up. “I’m Karlie.”
“Lucas Lafontaine.” I offer my hand.
When we shake, an electric current runs up my arm. I know she felt it too, because she quickly lets go. “I’ve never seen you here before.”
“First night,” I say. “I just moved to Corpus three weeks ago, transferred from Lake Jackson. This track is closer than the one near San Antonio.”
“What class do you race in?”
“Vintage,” I say. “KR750 Flathead Harley-Davidson.”
She smiles, flashing perfectly straight teeth. “Love those.”
“You?” I ask.
She blushes. “A little motocross and Powder Puff.”
“They still call it that?” I rub my chin, wondering how female racers in the day and age of equality among the sexes tolerate that name.
“This is an outlaw circuit, you know,” she informs me. “Not AMA—so yes, we still race Powder Puff.”
“I’ve been told if I had as much skill as I do will, I’d be a world champion.”
Her honesty is refreshing. “That’s a start,” I say, grinning. “Spirit is a big part of racing.”
“Yeah.” She rolls her eyes. “If you’re part of the pep squad.”
We both are chuckling when her friend joins us. “What planet are you from, Superman?” the friend asks.
“That’s a relief,” she says. “Very few guys have ever stood up to that asshole. Thanks for having my girl’s back. I’m Marie Longoria.”
“Wanna beer?” she asks. “My boyfriend, Brandon, should be back in a second.”
Beer and barbeque, the next best thing about racing. I nod. “Sure.”
Brandon returns with a large white cooler and sets it on the ground, flipping the top open. He digs through the ice, pulling out a bottle of Budweiser, then tosses it to me. “Welcome to Seaside Extreme Sports.”
I catch it and twist the top off, take a swig, then stare at Karlie. She’s intently watching me and I like it a little too much.
About the Author
An environmental scientist by day, Violetta Rand has been in love with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. Rand enjoys outdoor activities, music, reading, and losing herself in the world she brings to life in the pages of her stories. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband.
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