7 PM PST.
Tonight, she plans to let go.
Dressed up and anonymous, Sadie Liberato feels powerful, sexy and free. Where better to lose herself than a masked party?
Gear Blackstone’s cheating ex and a scheming best friend have managed to spin his life into a serious downward spiral. At least with a mask on, he can cut loose for one night. And cut loose he does—with the sexiest, snarkiest chick he’s ever met.
After a scorching-hot encounter, Sadie and Gear are desperate to find each other in real life. But can the heat last when the masks come off?
A large, muscular man with tattoos, ear gauges, and a Mohawk standing inside the foyer bro-hugged Elliot, gave Sadie a refreshing once-over to let her know she was indeed a woman, and then let them continue inside.
The music grew louder the farther they walked into the party. But not so loud Sadie couldn’t hear Elliot’s apparent shock. Or rather, his shock.
“I have no words.” Elliot stared at her as if Sadie had grown two heads.
“You keep saying that…which is kind of ironic, don’t you think?”
She sighed. “What?”
“You’re…hot. I mean, really sexy in that getup. Ew, I think I threw up in my mouth a little.” Elliot pretended to gag. Dressed as the Phantom of the Opera, her brother looked magnificent. The half mask he wore emphasized the vivid green of his eyes and the square line of his jaw. But now, inside and adjusting to the festivities, Sadie saw more beautiful people, making Elliot appear almost normal.
“You know, I can look good when I put my mind to it.”
“I see that.” He smiled.
She glanced around at men and women in costumes a lot more revealing than hers. She’d been annoyed enough that she’d decided to go as a warrior princess, complete with a fake sword she considered using on her brother. Sadie’s costume showed a lot of skin but kept the important parts covered. Nothing less than what she wore at the gym, to be honest. A short skirt of fake leather and a matching halter top that bared a good bit of her toned stomach, complete with a scabbard at her back. Fake-gold armbands tightened around her biceps, while quality leather boots with tufts of faux fur around the tops looked authentic enough to be part of the costume. In reality, she’d borrowed them from Rose.
Sadie had left her hair long with a single braid on each side of her face, and she’d darkened her eyes and lips with black makeup. A few fake war-paint lines under her eyes and across her cheeks apparently made her look authentically man-eating—or so the drunk guy brushing by her thought out loud.
Not bad. If he hadn’t been so sloshed, she might have considered trying him on for size. She had a leather satchel belted to her waist containing some money, a few condoms, and her phone.
“Oh my God. Is that who I think it is?” Elliot dragged her around the packed dance floor and up a half level toward the rear of the home leading out into the patio, where the crowd was thin enough to see a small gathering under bright lights. Space heaters and tall tables had been placed around a slate-slabbed yard, while strategically placed minibars provided drinks.
“Who are you talking about?” She rubbed her arms, feeling the chill before Elliot squeezed them in next to two couples by a space heater. Before she could ask again, her brother shushed her.
To the small group near them, he asked in a low voice, “Is that Gear in the Joker costume? And B-Man with Sahara?”
“Yeah” came a low reply from one of the men. “See the camera guy standing just behind the tall Batman? And the other one, the lighting guy there, is wearing scrubs, but he’s no doctor. Dude is working to keep the lights on in this clusterfu—”
“Foley,” the redhead next to him chastened.
“Come on, Cyn. This ain’t the place for reality TV. I just wanna party.”
Sadie glanced at the guy and blinked. The large man had dark hair, a muscular build—the way she liked them—and amazing gray eyes. Dressed as a sexy cop, he exuded menace more than law and order. Très sexy. Before Sadie could close her mouth, Cyn, the stunning redhead wearing an orange prisoner jumpsuit that clung to her curves, whispered something into his ear. He chuckled, and Sadie turned away, knowing she could never compete with a woman that pretty. Not that she’d ever try to break up a relationship, but with that woman, she’d stand no chance.
“Look, Sadie,” Elliot whispered with excitement. “It’s the guys from .”
“Oh, right. Birdman and Glock.”
“B-man and Gear,” he growled.
“Whatever.” She wanted to turn away, but their dialogue sucked her in.
Gear, the bodybuilder mechanic from the TV show, wore white makeup and a green wig and had a Joker grin painted in red over his lips, making him seem both perpetually smiling and sneering at the same time. The purple pin-striped suit he wore seemed painted onto his larger-than-life body. was all she could think, wondering when she’d become so desperate that now maniacal clowns turned her on.
“Jesus, he shaved off his beard.” Elliot fanned himself. “I’m in lust.”
“I know.” Cyn sounded in awe until her boyfriend grunted. “I mean, I’m surprised about the beard.” She coughed. “It’s so sad they broke up, isn’t it, Foley? Gear and Sahara were perfect for each other.”
He shrugged. “Too bad about the show. They sure made some killer bikes.”
Next, to them, another guy agreed while his girlfriend called Gear some unflattering names. Her boyfriend started to argue with her, defending the mechanic.
“People, we’re getting ready to roll.” A man holding a large mic over the TV combatants glared at the onlookers. “Quiet.”
The growing crowd around Sadie and Elliot grew silent.
Elliot gripped Sadie’s hand. “They’re starting. Oh, my God. Best. Night. ”
Illuminated and surrounded by heat lamps, standing across from each other with the mediator seated on a barstool between them, the three leads of —Gear as the Joker, with B-Man and Sahara as Adam and Eve—faced off.
Rough and tumble bad boy mechanics
Living fast and loving hard
Johnny Devlin's a charmer with a checkered past. He has had his eye on scorching-hot bartender Lara Valley for ages, but she's rejected him more than once. That doesn't mean he won't come to her aid when some dirtbag mauls her. When she asks him on a date as a no-strings-attached thank you, he can't say no.
And then he's saying nothing but hell, yes.
Grinning, Johnny left the guys swearing at the table and nabbed a free place at the crowded bar. Lara, Sue, and a few others were hopping, grabbing drinks, and pouring like mad. Behind him, he heard a scuffle break out, and he turned to see two guys who used to be friends hammering on each other.
“That’s rough,” a biker covered in tats next to him said. “But then, Jim should have known better than to hit up Sheila with her new guy right there.”
“He really needs to lay off the tequila.” Lara sounded exasperated. “I told Earl to keep an eye on him.”
Johnny turned and locked gazes with her. She had her long brown hair pulled back in a familiar ponytail. The silky mass reached her lower back, and he was dying to see her hair down just once. She wore minimal makeup, a bit of liner and some thicker mascara. Growing up around women who glammed up for a living, he’d learned early on about a woman’s trade secrets. But he doubted the red in her cheeks came from blush. More like from the heat in the place. And damn, it would have been nice if everyone around him cared about personal hygiene as much as he did.
He wrinkled his nose when a new guy replaced the one next to him and leaned toward Lara, wafting his less-than-pleasant scent. Lara wiped her hand over her nose and pretended a cough.
He and she shared a grin, and his pulse galloped like a racehorse. The sight of her smile, and that heart-stopping dimple, always made it hard for him to breathe. More than physical beauty, Lara possessed a warm inner core that got him hazy and drunk faster than a hometown IPA.
“So, you the bartender?” Smelly drunk guy wanted to know.
She glanced at her black T-shirt that read “Bartender” in bold white letters. “Um, yeah.” Lara gave smelly guy a fake smile. “Another beer?”
“Yep. And keep the change.” He slid a grimy twenty her way.
She poured his beer and handed him back a few bills. “You gave me a twenty. You sure about me keeping all that change?” She was so sweet, so honest.
Way too good for you, Devlin. Leave her alone.
The guy belched, then pulled back ten, giving her a few bucks. “Thanks, honey. I’ll be back.” He stumbled from the barstool, which was quickly occupied by a new customer. Thankfully, this one a woman who smelled like cheap perfume instead of BO.
“What can I get you, Johnny?”
He loved hearing his name on Lara’s lips. She had a husky quality to her voice, and he could too easily imagine it whispering her pleasure while he showed her why she should take a chance on him. Foley thought he had oral foreplay down to a science, but Johnny could have written a book on how to please women, a virtual connoisseur by age sixteen.
He cleared his throat and tried to will away his lecherous thoughts. “A pitcher for the crew.” He nodded to the guys across the bar then leaned closer to her, to be heard above the crowd. “So what’s with Sue? I hear she and Foley split.”
Lara rolled her eyes. Of all the staff at Ray’s, she and Rena seemed the most levelheaded. No drama for them. “She’s pining for the guy. I warned her about him, but did she listen to me?”
“Foley’s a good guy.” He felt the need to defend his friend.
“Sure, but he’s not a permanent guy. None of you are,” she said with a direct gaze that aroused and annoyed him at the same time.
“Maybe we just need to find the right woman.” He gave her the Devlin smile.
For a second it looked like he might have connected with her, but then she laughed and shoved his pitcher at him. “For you guys, there’s a right woman, and a left woman, and a woman on the side…”
The woman next to him laughed. “Seems like she’s got you pegged, sexy.”
He gave her the Devlin smile and winked, and she stared at him, her lips parted. So at least he hadn’t lost his magic. He took the pitcher from Lara, and their fingers brushed. He felt the tingle all the way to his cock and swallowed a groan. Pasting on a sly grin, he said, “But, Lara, if I had you, I wouldn’t need any of those others.” He drew her hand to his mouth and kissed the back of it. “See you later, gorgeous. And you know, you ever change your mind about mixing pleasure with pleasure, you have my number.”
“You mean business with pleasure,” she corrected.
“Do I?” He grinned and left, doing his best not to look over his shoulder at her, but it was damn hard. Especially when she laughed. The sound carried like wind chimes, and he felt a shiver start from his toes and work its way up his body. That hollow in his gut hit him because he had a crazy urge to go back to the bar just to stare at her. Take in her joy with life.
I am such an asswipe.
Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte has over 100 books published with more constantly on the way. She’s a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. Visit http://marieharte.com and fall in love
1 Rad-Reader Author Interview Weekly Schedule Author: Here Friday 7 pm PST. MAY 27 Marie Harte AUTHOR OR: All I Want for Halloween
Author: Here Friday
7 pm PST.
New Authors added in Red
1 Rad-Reader Author Interview Weekly Schedule
All I Want for Halloween
May 4 – Shelley Wade
Behind the Badge
May 11 – Kathryn R. Biel
Live for This
May 18 – Amber Daulton
May 25 – Jane Porter
Take A Chance on Me
June 1 – Dee Ernst
A Safe Place to Land
LET’S WELCOME KATE CARLEY
Rad-Reader: Where did the idea for the storyline come from?
Kate: I love going to the apple orchard, and several years ago, our family took a Saturday afternoon excursion to one of the many orchards in our area. This particular family-owned orchard had a sprawling farmhouse right in the middle of the property, and as we paused to chat with the owners, I felt as if we were visiting old friends, although I’ll admit, I don’t even know their names. They’re an older couple. Their children are grown, but on that visit, they pointed toward a middle-aged guy—their oldest son—and I couldn’t help but wonder what his story was. That little kernel of an idea inspired me to write Helping Her Remember, the first book in my new Crawford Falls series.
Rad-Reader: Tell us about Kelly Anne and Dylan. Something we don’t read about in the blurb.
Kate: Dylan is incredibly athletic and outgoing. He loves baseball and coaches little league.
While Kelly Anne is quite shy, she takes pride in two things: her job as a nurse and her role as a parent.
Rad-Reader: What was her reason for returning to her hometown?
Kate: As a teenager, Kelly Anne was inspired to become a nurse, specializing in memory care for seniors, by the nurses who took care of her grandmother during her final days with Alzheimer’s. Kelly Anne always hoped that one day she could work at the same facility where her grandmother had stayed. So, when an opportunity presented itself, she jumped on it.
Rad-Reader: Why didn’t she ever tell Dylan her reason for leaving before now?
Kate: While Kelly needed to return to college for her final semester, the way she left town—without a backward glance at Dylan or any of her friends—allowed for bad feelings to fester. Initially, she was hurt by what she’d witnessed and overheard in the barn, and she was frustrated by Dylan’s drinking. But once she realized she was pregnant, she knew she couldn’t expose her child to an out of control alcoholic father.
Rad-Reader: Is Kelly sure the words she thinks she heard were spoken about her and not about someone else?
Kate: Yes, Kelly overheard Ashley and Dylan in the barn the day she left. I wanted to show that words could be just as damaging as actions, leaving a scar far deeper than Dylan’s cheating.
Rad-Reader: What made her go the words, the girl, the broken promises or the drinking?
Kate: It’s a rotten combination of all of them, isn’t it? She had to return to college. That was non-negotiable. But overhearing a drunken Dylan calling her hurtful names sent Kelly Anne scurrying home to pack her bags a couple days ahead of time.
Rad-Reader: Did Kelly Anne just feel like odd man out? With his drinking issue? Even his friends thought she was a little too hard on him.
Kate: I think that was a major issue for her. She initially moved to Crawford Falls the summer before her sophomore year of high school. She fell into their group of friends and tried to fit in. They had already established a routine of partying, something Kelly Anne never felt comfortable with.
Rad-Reader: What caused his drinking? Will we find out? At first, it was made to sound like it was her leaving that drove him to drink harder. At least that is what I thought.
Kate: Well, I don’t want to spoil the story for those who haven’t read it yet, so let me just say that yes, at the end of Helping Her Remember, Dylan shares why he drank and the emotions he attempted to numb at the bottom of a whiskey bottle.
Rad-Reader: Do you think his dad at the orchard with AJ strengthened Kelly’s case by allowing Dylan to see by the barn kittens that Kelly Anne had only been trying to protect herself and her child? Like he now had to do?
Kate: Most definitely. For Kelly Anne, she saw Dylan’s alcohol use as a major issue that she refused to expose her baby too. That protective instinct was huge for her, just like the momma cat in the barn protecting her kittens. That analogy eased the hurt for Dylan when he fully understood it.
Rad-Reader: Dylan wants to be totally angry at Kelly Anne for not letting him know that he was a father but when she had tried to get him to change his ways concerning his drinking he wouldn’t. Not to mention his friends sided with him on that issue. How was she to know she could trust him? She was to busy trying to live and raise a baby.
Kate: As a general rule of thumb, I disagree with women who keep their baby’s paternity a secret from the father. I believe that guys (of course with some exceptions) should get that opportunity to be involved. So, as I was writing Dylan’s story, I was simply crushed to find that the love of his life, Kelly Anne, had a kid she had kept secret from him. It wasn’t the story I planned to tell, but it was their story. And as I got to know more about Kelly Anne, I understood her deep need to protect her son from his alcoholic father.
Rad-Reader: Do you think Kelly should have some burden to shoulder for running out and not talking to him about what she saw and heard the next morning?
Kate: Of course. Wouldn’t all romance novels resolve themselves so much quicker if everyone just communicated a bit? For Kelly, what she saw and heard that day were the final straws on top of Dylan’s drinking. She just couldn’t live that way a moment longer. It was a personal decision to pull the plug on the relationship, which, from a self-preservation angle, made a lot of sense until she found out that she was pregnant.
Rad-Reader: How did Dylan go from being so angry that morning really all day as he was with AJ to holding Kelly Anne as she cried her eyes out that night?
Kate: Dylan has a philosophy of putting the past in the past. He works hard not to dwell on those things he can’t change. On that first day with his son, Dylan is still reeling from the fact that he’s a dad and all that he’s missed out on in AJ’s life. But he also grasps Kelly Anne’s need to protect their son. And on top of it all, it’s got this weak spot where Kelly Anne is concerned, so he holds her while she cries.
Rad-Reader: When they took that walk to the tree they each seem like they are caring a little passive aggressiveness about the past so how did Kelly Anne leap to the candlelight night being ok?
Kate: Man, that’s a good question. Runaway hormones and unchecked self-control are the only reasons I can imagine!
Rad-Reader: It seems like all Dylan wants is his end game which is to get her into bed again. Am I reading him all wrong? Horny Teenager much?
Kate: Dylan is a man who knows exactly what he wants. And he wants Kelly Anne. Always has. Always will.
Rad-Reader: Kelly Anne wanted to hold back letting AJ know they were a couple yet the second time going with his dad she goes. Why?
Kate: Kelly Anne senses her son’s trepidation about being away for an entire weekend. She meets Dylan and AJ at the orchard for a walk out to the falls. I wanted to show the three of them beginning to build memories together. And later that night, when AJ is fast asleep, Kelly Anne sneaks back into Dylan’s house for a little rendezvous as she reclaims her sexuality with Dylan.
Rad-Reader: Dylan was used to instant gratification and now so does, AJ. That didn’t worry Kelly Anne with, his father’s history? Or did she not see the pattern?
Kate: Dylan definitely hates to wait! And just like his daddy, AJ has a hard time resisting a wrapped gift with his name on the tag. But I think a lot of AJ’s sass is related more to him pressing the limits with his new dad.
Rad-Reader: He didn’t seem to have a sponsor or did he walk past some of his bad decisions cold turkey and is now going to meetings to maintain?
Kate: No, Dylan participated in a twelve-step program to get sober, and now going to meetings is still a huge part of his life. Rather than show him speaking with his sponsor, I opted to show him leaning on his friends and family. For me, writing about a recovering alcoholic meant that I needed to show the daily struggle he faced. Just because Dylan is no longer drinking doesn’t mean that he’s never tempted. I wanted that urge to feel authentic to my readers.
Rad-Reader: If your book was made into a movie who would you want to play…
Kelly Anne: Maiara Walsh
Dylan: Kellan Lutz
AJ: Boden Johnston
Jake: Chuck Hittinger
Jesse: Chris Wood
Lacey: Melissa Benoist
Olivia: Zooey Deschanel
Hawk: Mark Sanchez
Grady: Vladimir Ivanov
Talia: Jessica Lowndes
Talia: Jessica Lowndes
Brynn: Emma Stone
Ras: Brad Pitt
Iva: Anna Gunn
Kate: Wow! Love your selection of characters. You’re spot on for a couple of them. And you selected Maiara Walsh for Kelly Anne, but she’s definitely my pick for Claire Bronstad who makes her debut in book 2, Giving Her Promise!
Kelly Anne: Ashley Benson
Dylan: Theo James
AJ: Boden Johnston
Jake: Tyson Ballou
Jesse: Thomas Beaudoin
Lacey: Melissa Benoist
Olivia: Nikki Reed
Hawk: Ricky Whittle
Grady: Jessie Pavelka
Talia: Marie Avgeropouloshttps://www.pinterest.com/pin/232498399497542394/
Brynn: Emma Stone
Ras: Dennis Quaid
Iva: Anna Gunn
Rad-Reader: What song or songs best describes your couple or your book as a whole?
“Hey Whiskey – Smithfield”
When He Was Drinking
“Bittersweet Company – Kip Moore”
Kelly Anne leaves when he wanted the booze Moore than her. Betrayal.
“Every Little Thing – Carly Pearce”
When Kelly Anne caught Dylan with someone else before she left town.
“Different for Girls – Dierks Bentley (ft. Elle King)”
When her heart was broken by Dylan 6+ yrs. ago.
“Forever Girl – Jon Langston”
When Kelly Anne Comes Back into Town.
“You Are the Reason – Calum Scott, Leona Lewis (Duet)”
When they figure out what their future will look like.
Kate: I don’t have a playlist for my stories like many authors do, but here are a few of the songs that remind me of Helping Her Remember
Hold On, We’re Going Home – Drake
(featuring Majid Jordan)
Breathe – Taylor Swift
Your Arms Feel Like Home - 3 Doors Down
Behind These Hazel Eyes - Kelly Clarkson
Rad-Reader: What did you want to be when you were a young girl or has writing always been your dream?
Kate: No, I never dreamed of writing a book. As a kid, I always figured I’d be a teacher. I loved math! I know that’s weird. But I went on to get my degree in mathematics and computer science. I worked in the industry for almost 8 years as a computer system designer. So yeah, that’s about as far away from romance author as you can get!
Rad-Reader: What is your dream vacation?
Kate: Well, I’ve always wanted to take a Mediterranean cruise, so that’s one on my bucket list. And over the years, hubby and I have hauled the kids on numerous driving vacations to many of the National Parks, but we haven’t made it to any of the West coast ones yet.
Rad-Reader: What is your method of writing your books? Are you a pantser or an organizer, etc.….
Kate: I’m organized. I like lists and charts and spreadsheets. Oh, and an outline is great too. Although I try to stick to the plan, my characters wander off course sometimes. For the most part, I indulge them. It’s always fun to see where they take me!
Rad-Reader: What is your favorite genre to read?
Kate: Romance, for sure! I like contemporary, suspense, and some paranormal. I love a great Scottish Highland romance, too.
Rad-Reader: What is your next project and when is it coming out?
Kate: Giving Her Promise is book 2 in my Crawford Falls series. It’s Jesse and Claire’s story. You can pre-order it now for release June 8, 2018.
Rad-Reader: Where can our readers buy your books?
or any other online retailer including Barnes & Noble and Nook
Rad-Reader: Where can our readers find you on the Web?
Kate: All My Links:
My website: http://www.katecarley.com/
COMING FRIDAY 7 PM PST. WELCOME MARIE HARTE AUTHOR OF: Tonight, she plans to let go. Dressed up and anonymous, Sad...
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COMING FRIDAY 7 PM PST. WELCOME MAGGIE WELLS AUTHOR OF: Kate Snyder scored her first national championship in ...
LET’S WELCOME KADIE SCOTT AUTHOR OF: Rad-Reader: Was there an inspiration for this story or just a story that yo...