Lacey Daniels wants a normal life where she can go to dinner or the mall without constantly looking over her shoulder. Unfortunately, her abusive father is out of prison and more dangerous than ever. The Hawthorne Guardians, a local motorcycle club that protected her as a child, is her only hope for normalcy. Some of the faces have changed, but the credo is the same: protect the innocent. One Guardian, Ratchet, takes an interest in more than her safety. He wants her heart.
Despite her growing feelings for Ratchet, Lacey can’t escape the threat her father poses. With him free and seeking revenge, she will never be safe. Her only chance for a normal life — and maybe true love — lies with Ratchet, a man who is willing to do whatever it takes to keep her father from hurting her again… even if it means risking his life to save her.
What readers are saying...
“E.A. West does a great job building a community that oozes with funny and entertaining characters to lighten the mood, although they are very serious when it comes to protecting the innocent...”
“...I recommend this book to readers who enjoy action, adventure, romance, drama and justice dished out in abundance to all who break the bikers’ code.”
I desperately needed to rest, but stopping for even a short time was dangerous. An approaching car didn’t give me a choice.
I leaned against a utility pole at the corner, my entire body hurting, and stared at the collection of motorcycles parked outside a bar a little farther down the street. Men wearing black leather vests stood around talking to each other and the few women scattered throughout the group.
None of them looked familiar, but I had to hope the patches on their vests did. I needed to find the Hawthorne Guardians. I couldn’t trust anyone else, not even my own mother.
She’d become part of the problem.
Tears blurred my vision, but I blinked them away as I forced myself to walk toward the bikers. Crying was a luxury I couldn’t afford at the moment.
One man turned his back toward me, and I spotted the familiar stylized HG with a sword in the middle I was searching for. Maybe he could tell me where to find Bear.
Before I reached him, he hopped on a motorcycle and rode away with two others. My heart sank, but I couldn’t give up. I had to find someone who could put me in contact with Bear. I continued on to the bar and hoped for the presence of more Hawthorne Guardians.
I staggered into the dimly lit bar and paused long enough to steady myself. Staying upright was a challenge when it felt as if a spear lanced my skull. Too many people packed the place, and not enough wore the familiar patch.
In fact, I couldn’t spot a single Guardian in the crowd. My anxiety shot through the roof, but I shoved it aside. I could deal with it later, after I was safe.
If I was ever safe again.
Skipping the patrons, I went straight to the bartender.
“Hey.” The word came out barely above a whisper. I cleared my throat and tried to raise my voice enough to be heard over the din of conversation and music. “Hey!”
The bartender, a muscular guy with tattoos and no hair, stopped in front of me. He ran his gaze over me and shook his head. “You look like you’ve had a few too many already, darlin’.”
Trust him to confuse pain with drunkenness. “I don’t want a drink. I’m looking for Bear. Have you seen him?”
“Sorry. Don’t know that name.”
My slim hope of help slipped further from my grasp. “Do you know where the Hawthorne Guardians’ headquarters or hangout or whatever they call it is?”
“Their clubhouse? It’s straight up this road, about two miles out.” The bartender studied me. “What do you want with them? You don’t seem like their type.”
“Thank you.” I walked away, almost running into a big guy who appeared in my path. I sidestepped and cradled my left arm to my chest, thankful he hadn’t bumped it. Dodging him was painful enough.
Outside, I drew in a deep breath of the cool night air and winced. Big mistake when I wasn’t sure if my ribs were broken.
I started the long trek out of town and hoped like crazy I could make it to the clubhouse before I collapsed. Someone there would know Bear. They had to. I didn’t have anywhere else to turn.
Long before I reached the clubhouse, my steps faltered and the world spun. I wasn’t sure if I was walking in the right direction.
At last, I spotted a solid fence with a big gate in it. That had to be the place. I couldn’t go any farther.
As I leaned beside the gate, trying to figure out how to get inside to the building that resembled an old airplane hangar, the rumble of motorcycle engines filled the air.
Looking back the way I’d come, I watched lights approach in the darkness as the roar grew louder. The motorcycles slowed and stopped, their headlights all aimed at me.
“Who are you?” a gruff male voice called.
“Lacey.” I pushed away from the fence and struggled to stay vertical as I approached the motorcycles. With the lights blinding me, I couldn’t tell if these guys were part of the motorcycle club I was looking for, but how many clubs could have a property in this specific location? “I’m looking for Bear.”
“You’re looking for who?” The rider who spoke climbed off his motorcycle.
“Bear.” I stumbled toward him, pain and exhaustion causing darkness at the edge of my vision. “He’s a Hawthorne Guardian… or was, anyway. I need to see Bear. He knows me.”
The rider walked forward and barely caught me as my legs gave out. “Whoa there, sweetheart. Let’s get you inside, and then we can talk about Bear.”
He knows Bear.
The thought brought relief, even as he lifted me into his arms. He called for someone to open the gate, and then my vision swam and faded into oblivion.