Her Knight in Black Leather
Published: January 28th, 2013
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Heat Level: Sensual
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Length: 55,000 words
Cat Edwards has spent her life playing the wallflower in an effort to escape the repressive weight of her mother’s tarnished name. Dragged to a bar by her best friend in an effort to forget a broken heart, the shy bookworm is determined to be someone else for the night, but quickly gets in over her head. She discovers chivalry isn’t dead after all when a mysterious stranger comes to her rescue. He’s wearing black leather and a mischievous smile that promises to be exactly what she needs.
When his terminally ill father suffers a setback, Michael Brant returns to the town he swore ten years ago he’d never return to. He’s come back this time determined to make peace with the past, but being home brings up memories he doesn’t want to remember anymore. His first night in town, he’s captured by a damsel in distress. Cat’s beauty is made all the more alluring when he realizes she has no idea who he is. He can’t resist spending a single night in her arms. With her, he’s only a man, disconnected from his family’s name and the past that haunts him here.
As the town erupts with the news of his return, Michael’s dark past comes back to haunt him, putting Cat in danger. Someone is threatening her life and the life of her family. Desperate to keep history from repeating itself, Michael offers her his family’s name in order to keep her safe. When the lie spirals beyond their control, can they stop their hearts from becoming entangled as well?
He touched her arm, hoping to ease the fear all but screaming at him from her eyes. “What happened this morning?”
Cat’s head turned as she darted a glance around her, before her gaze finally settled on him again. “I was threatened. A very angry digitized voice called me names and told me I’d pay for my indiscretions.”
Anger surged in his chest, settling in his gut like hot coals that set fire to his blood. That goddamn article. Someone dragged her into his mess. “Have you called the sheriff?”
She nodded. “Yeah, but it didn’t do me any good. He said he’d log the complaint and to let him know if I get any more, but unless I’m being threatened in person, there isn’t much he can do. The calls are coming from one of those prepaid cell phones, but the phone was registered to someone who doesn’t exist.”
“A fake name.”
She nodded and turned to stare at the ground, her whole demeanor taking on a soft vulnerability that twisted at his insides. The calls clearly frightened her, and an overpowering need to protect her surged in his gut.
The rebel in him flared to life like an old, familiar friend. Whenever someone pushed unfairly, something within him always pushed back. The way she looked now reminded him too much of the pain he heard in her voice as they stood in the gazebo during the fireworks. She was being threatened, and the intimidation worked. Anger surged in his blood. Damned if he’d sit by and allow someone to take that fire from her.
Before he could stop himself, he cupped her face in his palms and seized her mouth. He allowed himself a moment to revel in the sweetness of her lips, the way they melted beneath his own as her body leaned ever so subtly into his, then released her.
“Let ’em object to that indiscretion.” He furrowed his brow, not bothering to hide the scorn in his tone. “Whoever’s got you in their sights now has me to contend with. Come on, I’ll take you home.”
I love a romance about a bad boy and a good girl. But this isn’t just a fanciful love story. Someone isn’t happy about the past and even less happy about the little romance being played out in the town’s gossip rag. Cat soon finds herself the target of a psychotic stalker. When people she loves get hurt in her stead, Michael can think of only one thing to do – present a united front and offer her the protection of his family and their name.
Cat Edwards was a delightful heroine, and I don’t say that often. When we meet her, she’s coming to terms of her failed engagement. After catching her fiance/boss with the secretary, she’s both out of a relationship and a job. Instead of letting that get her down, she helps out in her father’s bookstore, and allows her friend to drag her to a bar to let loose. Getting swept up in the instant, mutual attraction to Michael is her first step towards total abandon. However being in a small town means that the town has a long memory, and her behavior could lead to old wounds being opened – something she wants to avoid at all costs. The last thing she wants is for gossip mongers to compare her to her mother. With Michael’s open and honest attention she blossoms from a wallflower into a more confident woman.
Michael was my ultimate romantic hero. His bad boy appearance belied the man beneath the leather clad exterior. He is the black sheep of his prominent family, the son that didn’t live up to his father’s expectations, and the man who is still paying for the careless actions of his past. While everyone else has already formed a negative opinion of him, only one woman sees his true self.
Cat just looked at him like a man. With her, he could be himself, disconnected from his family’s name and the past that haunted him.
Call it serendipity that these two somewhat broken people should meet. While the timing was perfect for Cat to take a risk, it couldn’t come at a worse time for Michael.
“I don’t want to go home yet.” He twisted at the waist and patted the seat behind him. “Take a walk on the wild side with me.”
I loved the chemistry these two had from the beginning. It was simple attraction fueled by the distraction they both craved. Michael may have been portrayed as a bad boy, but he was such a good person to his core. Between the demons nipping at his heels, the cold shoulder from his ailing father, and his growing attraction to Cat, he was a man who just wanted love and acceptance and sought forgiveness.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that one of my biggest pet peeves is when characters refuse to communicate. Either out of fear of rejection or stubbornness. Ms. Stewart did me a solid by making Cat and Michael really talk. Cat was an open book, and never minced words when asked a direct question that could have embarrassed her.
“I wanted the fantasy. You were a little wild, a little dangerous. A Harley-riding bad boy in black leather with a wicked gleam in your eye who challenged anyone to try to judge you.”
I loved her attitude and approach. It was as if she was saying “Don’t like my answer? Too bad. This is who I am, and you can take it or leave it.”
“You were everything I wanted to be and exactly the type of man I never go for.”
“Tell me something. What exactly are you doing out here with me?”
It was a bold question, one that put her on the spot, but he had to know where he stood.
The same was true for Michael.
“This town gets to me, too, and I swore a long time ago I didn’t give a damn. But you…you don’t look t me the way everyone else does.” His eyes burned into hers and seared a path right into her soul, tenderness mixed with pulse-pounding passion. “You’re a temptation I can’t seem to resist. Stay with me tonight.”
His words, the way they seeped inside and wrapped around her heart, stunned her to her toes. The bad boy had a vulnerable side, and he’d just laid it at her feet.
He never made it a secret that once he accomplished what he had come home to do, he would leave again. He didn’t want to break her heart, and he told her that. That gave her all the power to make her own decisions, to play the game while knowing the rules.
Every one of their love scenes made me swoon rather than get extremely hot and bothered under the collar. The scenes were not graphic, but then they didn’t need to be. Their honesty with one another and the words they shared did a good job of ratcheting up the passion to beautiful heights. The ending was emotional and perfect for them as it came full circle. Great, fluid writing, sincere dialogue and loveable characters. I fell in love with this story, and I think you will too.
Other favorite lines
“How old are you?”
“Old enough to know better, but still young enough to do it again.”
About the Author
J.M. writes what she likes to call sweet and spicy contemporary romance. She’s a stay-at-home mom who lives in Seattle Washington, with her husband, two boys and their two very spoiled puppies. She’s been devouring romances for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her passion.
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