Winnie thinks she has the perfect life.
Two beautiful, healthy children. A police officer husband. A job that she loves. Oh, and let"s not forget that she"s a nationally ranked marathon runner.
Fast forward six months, and her perfect life has imploded.
Winnie finds herself in a completely new world, and this new world is a brutal bitch.
In this new life of hers, her husband is gone. He realizes, at the worst possible time, that he"s no longer in love with her. He"s in love with her best friend. He leaves, and doesn"t look back.
Her sixteen-year-old daughter is in trouble with the law, and she"s barely making ends meet thanks to losing the job that was keeping her and her tiny family afloat.
Then, the last thing that could make it all bearable, her running, is ripped out from under her, too. Thanks to a spinal stroke that leaves her unable to walk, let alone run, she"s having to relearn how to do the simplest of tasks"such as putting on her own pants.
She"s at the lowest of lows, and the last thing she wants is a sexy, bearded, motorcycle riding alpha to tell her how to live her life.
But Steel Cross never asks her what she wants.
The moment Steel Cross sees Winnie"s daughter steal some shoes for her younger brother, he knows he"s in trouble.
He"s a sucker for misunderstood teens. After all, he was once one himself.
He knows he can"t just walk away, and the moment he sees that troubled teen"s mother, he doesn"t just know it, he feels it. Down to the very bottom of his soul.
With his share of hard knocks, he knows that he shouldn"t step in and make his move on a fellow police officer"s ex. There"s a code, after all, yet he just can"t seem to help himself.
He"s done being the good guy. Sometimes he just wants to be bad.
And Winnie makes him realize that being bad is still kind of good. As long as you"re with the right person.Books in Series:The Dixie Wardens Rejects MC Series by Lani Lynn ValeBooks by Author:Lani Lynn Vale Books
To everyone that received a book from me for Christmas, they"re due back at the library by Friday.
-How you know you"re poor
Conleigh slammed the door shut, and she locked it for good measure.
I sighed and looked out the window, hoping to find the patience to move on from this new teenage attitude that my recently minted sixteen-year-old was throwing at me.
My eyes caught on our new neighbor, and I gasped.
My new neighbor was gorgeous.
He was wearing a tight pair of Wrangler jeans that fit him like a glove, a black faded t-shirt, and a belt that held a big black gun to his hip. Next to the big black gun was a gold shield, one that I couldn"t read from this distance, but I knew to be a shield for the Mooresville, AL Police Department.
"You going to do okay there""
I smiled and answered into my phone. "Yes," I sighed. "I"m going to be okay here."
"Good, I"m glad." She sighed. "I"m home and trying to sort through the mountain of expensive shit that my parents left me in the will. Do you think they"d turn over in their graves if I burned the whole place down to the ground""
"I"m pretty sure with that corrupt little police town you"re living in, they"ll find a way to charge you for it, then put you away for murder on top of that."
Krisney started to laugh.
"They"re not that bad."
"No, they"re not," I admitted. "How about you just go through the junk, hold an estate sale, and post a dollar on everything""
Krisney started to giggle, but my attention was laser focused on the man who was no longer standing at his mailbox.
"Your neighbor," I found myself saying. "Who is he""
"The one to the left, or the one across the street"" she questioned.
"Across the street. The silver-haired hottie who has muscles on top of muscles."
"Steel Cross, better known as Big Papa to his MC, or BP to the guys at the police department where he works," she answered instantly. "He was also one of the reasons I bought that house. I figured what better and safer neighborhood to buy into than one next to the chief of police."
"The chief of police"" I breathed. "You"re shitting me."
"Nope," Krisney said. "Anyway, I gotta go. But he"s really nice. Don"t be scared to talk to him."
She hung up before I had a chance to say that there was never going to be a day that I"d talk to him. Not willingly. He was too pretty for me and my broken self. He"d probably chew me up and spit me out.
But as I watched him in all of his alpha male glory as he stepped in front of a speeding car, and then proceeded to give the teenager the lecture to end all lectures, I realized that if he ever spoke to me first, I"d have no choice but to talk to him.
The sheer magnetism of him was enthralling.
I"m at that age where a twenty-two-year-old is looking good"but so is his dad.
-Winnie"s secret thoughts
"Cody, no," I called, seeing my son, who was all of five years old, staring at me with the most heart-breaking expression on his face.
That came from Conleigh, my eldest daughter. Conleigh was sixteen, going on forty-three.
She was my surprise baby when I was sixteen. She was also more of a mom than I was at times"at least lately.
No, before you ask, they do not have the same father. Yes, my husband had loved Conleigh like she was his own, or at least, he had while we were married. Now, I wasn"t so sure. Conleigh wasn"t taking this move well. My husband had left me for another woman, and he then forced us to move out of our home because, technically, it all had been his when we"d gotten married.
I looked up to see her staring at me with anger in her eyes.
"Seriously, what"" I growled. "I can"t. I don"t have any money, and I can"t buy it for him right now."
"I do," she replied stubbornly.
I ground my teeth
"I know you do," I said. "But, unfortunately, he can"t always get what he wants, and you need that money for lunch this week."
"I can make a lunch," she offered.
I looked up at the ceiling and counted to ten.
"He does not need the car. He has fifteen just like it at home. You do not need to buy it because you have to pay for lunch next week. Do not make me repeat it again."
Plus, Conleigh rarely ever got up in time to get herself out the door on a normal day. Adding making a lunch to the routine would surely make her later than she normally was.
We"d just pulled into the check-out lane when the sliding doors of the grocery store opened and two cops rolled in. One of them was my ex-husband, and the other was a man that looked downright appetizing.